Make Hiring Easy: Start By Looking At Personality Matches

Hiring is no easy feat, let's not kid ourselves here. But it can lead you to some of the best partners, co-workers and employees if you focus on the person first, and the skills second.

Make Hiring Easy: Start By Looking At Personality Matches
This picture doesn't really have anything to do with the post. It's just a cool picture I ‘tried' to make on a smart phone at Navy Pier.

Whether you are searching for a partner, a co-worker or an employee to hire it's always a rather long and difficult process. For example, as of this writing, I'm searching for someone knowledgeable to handle a good bunchy of the internal programming and development projects we have. But finding someone who is competent, hard working, and reliable is already difficult enough, and on-top of that they also need to be rather knowledgeable in their field. But that's not it, they also have to be able to learn and do things quickly.

Though before all of that, they have to be a person that we can work with for a very long time. So how do we find these quality people that have great people, reliable and good at their job? Let's look at what some of the top influencers and entrepreneurs in the world have to say about that.

Charlie Collier, President of AMC, says

The final decision rarely comes down to their ability to relate a prior experience or convince me they can perform specific tasks in the job description they're interviewing for. …

What I’m looking for is what they are going to be able to do to make us successful beyond their job description. How does the individual sitting in front of me relate to people, approach unusual challenges, flex when blind spots are exposed? In essence, I want to find out not just how they “fit” their defined functional role but how they will be able to quickly adapt and make decisions that will have impact well beyond it.

Diego Rodriguez a partner at IDEA says he “[thinks] Like Indiana Jones“:

My point of view on hiring for informed intuition comes from something Indiana Jones said to Marion after being shot at, punched up, and dragged under a truck. In the scene (from the first movie, the really good one), he was explaining to her that, while getting older, it was the physical wear and tear that was the issue:

“It’s not the years, honey;” he said, “it’s the mileage.”

So when I’m looking to hire someone, I use a positive spin on Indiana Jones’ mileage maxim: You don't need years of experience to have earned high mileage. The key here is that mileage—the number of times you’ve taken something to market—trumps years on the job. By the way, mileage can come from anywhere: I look for life experiences where people created something from nothing. For example, before arriving at IDEO, MBAs I’ve hired as business designers have built everything from a clothing brand to an entire house.

Tom Keene is an editor at Bloomberg says he doesn't care where you went to school:

I have one cardinal rule…a rule learned years ago from an original mentor. Always, always interview a new hire over food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner or high tea, it is amazing how important it is to observe someone out of the office, breaking bread.

I want smart people who want to learn. It doesn't matter who you know, where you went to school, or where you grew up. It does matter what you know, what you read, and what you watch.

Lesley Jane Seymour, the Editor In Chief at Meredith Publishing Corporation says she does six things when hiring:

1) Be brutally honest in the interview. 2) Don’t hire them if you sense even a whiff of entitlement. 3) Do a hunger check. 4) Remember, everyone announces themselves in the interview. 5) Shake ‘em up a bit. 6) When you find the good ones, help them move up—even if that means losing them.

And there is so much more to learn.

But the point is that it's not all about skill. Heck, skills almost always comes last. It's YOU they are hiring for these quality positions. It's your expertise that YOU have to utilize, so be yourself, be a thought leader and be out there. That's what they are looking for

Read more on the LinkedIn “How I Hire” series.