When a company is in high-growth mode, mistakes are not magnified. When there are new clients, new projects and revenue growth, mistakes easily get swept under the carpet. In an age where managers are many times afraid to ask questions at the risk of being viewed as a "micro-manager," we sometimes only know if we have a poor performer when the music stops. By that point, it's too late. Many times the accumulation of bad employees (performance or attitude) is what has led to you being left without a chair when the music stops.
The question of how to hire is not only what I have built LaSalle Network on, but is also the eternal question since the beginning of time. Whether it be Brutus turning on Caesar, or the numerous people who have left Oracle to open up competing software companies in today's economy, we have to think about not only how to hire, but also how to retain.
I hire differently depending on the level of the position. There are certain qualities where certain skills are more valuable, and others where I need people who can purely execute. I expect some new hires to advance quickly based on the role. On the other hand, I am realistic that some people may not be a long-term solution, but a great short-term fit. The biggest mistake I see hiring managers make is they want the same things from every employee.
The three things I never sacrifice when hiring are:
So many employers are looking for the perfect fit, which I don't understand. Whether it be a C-level or entry-level candidate, I want people who can converse easily and are open about their life.
Our whole company is involved with hiring new people. I believe that managers must like the people who work for them to ensure a healthy culture. I know many companies that grow, are successful, and make a lot of money, but the managers don't like their staff, and they don't care about it or the culture. Their mantra is "get the work done," and they move on. That's fine, it's just not to my liking.
I want to know how people see the world. How they view their friends, family, career and hobbies. Not because of the answer, but to see their thought process. Do they have depth, and do they think a couple layers below the surface? I enjoy working with people who are "real," and teach and learn by sharing.
I have yet to meet anyone who has a 100 percent success rate in hiring. The key to having a 100 percent success rate is exiting people when you know you have a problem with them. The people we have kept too long, and have allowed to leave on their own terms, have always made us look back and ask ourselves why we didn't exit them sooner. Rather than focusing just on hiring, I spend more time now making sure the people we want to stay, stay.
Manners. Communication. Likeability. Work ethic. If people are willing to push themselves and are likeable, respectful and can communicate, that's my kind of hire. We can teach the rest.