Every entrepreneur and business owner knows that they can't do it by themselves. Hiring great people is the key to unlocking a great legacy. Companies are built by teams, not individuals.

If you're a business leader, you are critical to the success of the organization. Your most important contribution, however, may be the people you hire.

When you make hiring decisions, look beyond titles and experience. Instead, look for qualities. The character and qualities of the people you hire are just as important as their roles and functions. Here are the 10 types of people that you want on your side.

1. Someone who plods.

He gets there early. He leaves late. He's predictable. He's punctual. He's dependable. He's loyal.

Plodders are people without the flamboyant personalities. They may not be fashionable or even fun to be around. This isn't the life-of-the-party guy. Instead, this is the person who will be logging hours and getting stuff done when times are tough and revenue is low.

Every company needs someone who's going to be there no matter what.

2. Someone who's just plain good.

Now and then, you meet someone who is a freaking genius. Hire these people. Instantly.

A genius usually has one specialty. You can gauge his or her virtuosity by their portfolio.

I've watched programmers who can effortlessly whirl out elegant code to achieve complex tasks. It only takes them a few minutes. I've seen designers piece together an ADDY Award-worthy website mockup out of thin air. I've read stuff by copywriters that was worthy of Hemingway.

Whatever his or her drawbacks or shortcomings, such a person has genius. Hire genius.

3. Someone happy.

Don't smirk contemptuously at this one. Happiness goes a long way in improving the overall attitude of a business.

A 20-year longitudinal study found that hanging out with a happy person increases your chance of your being happy by 25 percent to 34 percent. Happiness is a sign of health, personally and organizationally.

Having someone happy in your company is like hiring a non-stop, energy-infusing vitamin.

4. Someone social.

They have longer lunch breaks, more dates, a vibrant social life, and are frequently lurching in late to meetings. They are social to the core.

Before you dismiss them as impetuous or facile, listen to Malcolm Gladwell's assessment of this person: "These people who link us up with the world...who introduce us to our social circles--these people on whom we rely on more heavily than we realize--are Connectors, people with a very special gift of bringing people together."

Social people are connectors. They can take your company from obscurity into a wealth of social connections.

5. Someone scholarly.

Occasionally, you come across people who are walking brains. They prefer watching documentaries to hit TV series. Their hobby is nonfiction. They collect academic degrees like some people collect shoes. They have an obsession with knowledge and an unending appetite for information.

These are helpful people to have around. It takes some humility to hire someone smarter than yourself. Compounding the problem is that smart people often don't know how to get hired.

In spite of the challenges, there are rewards. Smart people gift an organization with intellectual brilliance that is both contagious and valuable.

6. Someone bossy.

An article in Entrepreneur states, "The people who run your business while you're out are some of the most important staff members you'll hire."

Manager types know how to get stuff done because they know how to tell people what to do. No one leads by waiting for social cues or settling for the status quo. Leaders have to be tellers, encouraging people to act by virtue of their example and exhortation.

"Bossy" may be a bit of an overstatement, but you're going to need a manager. If such a person is effective (even if they are a tad overbearing), maybe that's OK.

7. Someone eloquent.

No matter how business-driven and results-oriented an organization you run, you're going to need an artist or two.

One of the most significant artists is the wordsmith. The wordsmith can create sizzling hot copy on demand for any occasion. The need for copy is everywhere--your pricing page, your product description, your operating manual, your landing pages, your employee handbook, your RFPs, your sales email, etc.

An eloquent writer can take these requests and deliver eye-popping content that has more than adequate ROI. Get the best one you can.

8. Someone crazy.

Today's businesses crave innovation, creativity, and outside-the-box thinking. But here's the problem: When hiring managers actually meet a person who embodies these traits, they get scared.

Why? Because sometimes the most innovative and creative people are also a bit off-the-wall. They're crazy. Maybe they're weird. Weird people have a hard time getting hired.

But since when is weirdness a disqualifier for employment? If someone is weird enough to disrupt bad business patterns, innovate an earth-shattering product, or brainstorm the heck out of a backward business, then you should hire them.

Business Insider's Julie Bort summed up the problem: "Sadly, some 85 percent of these tech geniuses are unemployed mostly because they are considered weird," she says. "Many of them don't get past a recruiter who can't recognize their superior tech skills. Or they get hired, then fired because they don't fit in."

Companies are making a mistake in those cases. The quirky individual who is fidgeting across from you at the interview could be the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. No, they're not normal, but yes, they are insanely good.

Companies who embrace crazy can make crazy leaps forward.

9. Someone who's a rebel.

Hiring managers prefer people they can control. It's nice to have a group of passive doers who will carry out your bidding and perform duties.

Does it ever make sense to hire a rebel? Absolutely.

Rebels are the brave ones. They're not afraid to be branded as troublemakers when the rest of the organization passively submits to a bad idea. They see through pessimism and envision possibilities. They know to say "no" when clients turn into bullies.

Most importantly, rebels are hackers. A hacker walks past "best practices" and "standard operating procedures" to create a culture of growth that outstrips the competition.

Rebels may not look respectable, but they sure as heck can change an organization for the better.

10. Someone with gray hair.

Too often, companies are hesitant to hire people outside the typical employable age-bracket. Once someone hits that half-a-century mark, they're viewed as a liability, an insurance hazard, outdated, too expensive, or a short-term employee.

It's time to rethink that paradigm. People are retiring at an older age, not simply due to financial constraints but because of the enhancements in health care and longevity. Your 50-something hire could be with you for 15 or 20 years.

What do you get when you hire someone older? You get experience--people experience, business experience, and life experience. That's something you can't put a price tag on.


When you bring a group of people like this together, you're in for an adventure. There might be conflict. There might be chaos. There might be some intense company meetings.

But more than likely, there will also be some power, progress, and profitability.

What kind of people do you look for when you hire? Let us know in the comments.