The #1 Hiring Mistake You Better Not Make...

When I first started out in this business, my hiring practices were a little haphazard, to say the least. I met a person, and if they had been referred by someone I knew, that was good enough for me. I hired them.

After getting burned a few times, I am still learning how to (and how not to) hire people. Overall I have gotten a lot better at hiring the right people for the job the first time out.


A great many CEOs like to have a long, drawn-out employee interview and selection process, and that's fine. I've found it's best if all potential new employees are interviewed at least three times, by three different executives in our company. After each interview, each executive submits his or her own thoughts and perceptions on the candidate.

Some companies have much, much longer interview and selection processes that include live case studies (like Google), with days and days of interviews. There was a time when I thought they were crazy and just wasting time - but now I think they are brilliant.

But there's one aspect of hiring that is often overlooked. Hiring is not just about checking someone's competency level. It's about seeing if someone "fits" your company. Just because someone is good at what they do doesn't mean that they will be a great employee in your organization.

Here's the #1 mistake you can make when hiring someone: You hire them because they have a great talent, great skills, great everything...but you pay no attention to how well that person will fit within the existing corporate culture.

You see, every office has a particular atmosphere. Every company has a certain "mood" and "attitude." It's often hard to put your finger on what that mood or attitude is, and it's virtually impossible to quantify. But believe me, it's there - and it should be an important factor in any hiring decision.

So no matter how wonderful the candidate is, the question you MUST ask is "Will this new employee fit nicely into the status quo? Will they mesh with us and our corporate culture?"

If an office is populated with a very competitive, sales-driven group of people, then an easygoing, laid-back person won't be the right fit for that office - even if they are incredible at selling and have proven it time and again. The high-key atmosphere would almost certainly cause stress, and a laid-back person would soon be ready to climb the walls!

The opposite is true in my office. All of us are very laid back, sometimes even goofy. We like to have fun, and you almost have to have a good sense of humor to be in the room with us! Someone who was by nature a serious type would be a really bad fit. In fact, I recently had to let go of a lady who was smart and competent, but so grimly serious that she scared all of us to death!

True Story: Why I Didn't Even Interview the Best Salesman in the Industry!

Just a few weeks ago I found myself seated at a table with one of the best of the best salesmen in our entire industry. His sales feats are legendary. His Rolodex is eye-popping, everyone knows him, and everyone is already very accustomed to buying from him. On the surface, he is the PERFECT salesman.

I actually had a chance to interview him - possibly even snap him up for our company. But I didn't.

The minute we sat down and started talking, I realized that this super salesman was just not a good fit for our company. I could just tell that he would make all our team conference calls more tense, the whole office more tense, and just make everyone feel more reserved (including me). His style was simply counter to our corporate culture.

He would undoubtedly make lots of sales, but he would also make me and the rest of our team a lot less happy with what we do...and we ARE happy with what we do!

I had a nice chat with the super salesman without ever asking one typical interview question at all. One great salesman is not worth ruining the WORKING dynamics of the rest of the team.

So the next time you are thinking about hiring someone, remember that personality is a key element. You should ask yourself, "How would this person get along with my team? Does this person fit?" Sometimes your answers will be a surprise even to you!




The Mystery CEO is a young entrepreneur who started a company now doing close to $2 Million a year right in his DORM room! Now he lets you watch over his shoulders as he learns more about entrepreneurship. You can even listen-in when he interviews CEOs who manage $100 Million+ companies! Read his entrepreneurship blog right away for all the entrepreneurship training you'll ever need! http://www.MysteryCEO.com


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