How to Hire People Who Make You Rich

We have all been sitting on the uncomfortable side of the table being berated by the overweight man with the nonsense questions. This is often the scene when a company is trying to hire people. They let some middle manager, barely fit to lead himself, act as the qualifier. This is also why they probably have above normal turnover.


As I climbed the corporate ladder and our company, Allied Equipment, hired people, I typically had someone else doing the interviewing. They would bring me their reccomendations and I’d choose from there. That was the WRONG way to do it! So I started to hire people myself and got creative to developed a procedure by which all hires are now made at our company.

The procedure has yeilded great hires who make us rich. Employees can be your best asset or your worst nightmare. Selecting the right hire makes all the difference.  Below is the list of things we look for when we hire people. I present them in order.

1. Character – I believe you can train a person to do just about anything. In fact, we set each new hire up with a mentor to teach them the ropes. What we can’t teach them is character. If you’re rude or lazy, I can’t help you.  So look for character.  If they have it, you can mold them into the best employee ever.

2. Chemistry – The candidate must mesh well with the team. Just because someone is really smart, that doesn’t qualify them as a good hire. Ask questions about hobbies and interests to see if they’ll be able to relate to others in their department.

3. Skills – My interviews typically don’t take long. I ask a few questions that only a qualified person would know. For example, what does EBITDA stand for? Anyone in finance should know this.

4. Opportunity to Succeed – Speak with the new potential hire about their life and get to really know them. I like to take them out to lunch. You’ll find them talking about life experiences. Listen for times when they were given opportunity, how did they handle it? You want people with a chip on their shoulder who, when faced with opportunity to succeed, will take advantage.

5. Test Without Them Knowing – I had a potential salesman call me to set up his interview. I told him that I’d call him back, but I had no intentions of doing so.  It was a test.  He emailed me a few days later saying he didn’t want to bother me but wanted to remind me that he was still interested and looked forward to our call. This showed persistence, a good quality in a salesman. Test passed!

6. Desires – Ask about your potential hire’s desires at your company. Where do they see themselves in a few years? What excites them about this job? These answers will tell you what your potential hire is fighting for.   It also tells you what you need to do in order for them to receive intrinsic value.  You need to provide the opportunities for them to achieve their desires.  Any good hire must have a purpose when they come to work.

You can look through endless resumes all day long, but until you ask the right questions, you’ll never really know if you’re doing the right thing when you hire people.  Start with the end in mind.  What makes a good employee?  Then come up with questions and tactics that will reveal to you the right person.

Question:  What bizarre questions have you been asked in an interview?

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