What Should You Look for within the People You Hire

Most leaders I’ve met need to construct a high-performance group. Instinctively, they know that this requires nice individuals. But few of them have ever taken the time to outline precisely what they’re in search of with regards to the best candidate.

Good leaders start the recruiting course of with a written job description. This typically consists of the required academic expertise and technical abilities. But nice leaders do greater than this. They take a step again and take a look at the baseline qualities of the candidate.

They ask questions like—

  • What form of workers are we attempting to draw?
  • What form of individuals will get the outcomes we wish and others anticipate?
  • What form of individuals can we need to encompass ourselves with?
  • What form of individuals will contribute to the tradition we try to construct?

Warm our bodies are clearly not sufficient. Better-than-average received’t get you there both. Even “actually good individuals” are inadequate. You want greater requirements if you will obtain your mission.

As I’ve considered this, I’ve lowered these excessive requirements to a kind of formulation: H3S.

I need to fill my firm with people who find themselves humble, sincere, hungry, and good. The “h” within the phrase “excessive” represents the primary three attributes. The “s” within the phrase “requirements” represents the final attribute. All are equally vital, however let me expound on every of them individually.

For simplicity sake, I’m going to make use of the masculine pronoun under, however it needs to be understood that the best candidate might, after all, be both a person or a girl. Gender is irrelevant.


Humble individuals have an excellent sense of himself. They don’t assume extra extremely of themselves than they need to (delight), nor decrease than they ought (poor shallowness). They are sober-minded, having a sensible grip on their strengths and weaknesses.

They don’t exhibit self-ambition. They could be formidable for the trigger, firm, or group, however they’re not formidable for themselves. They aren’t overly involved about their title, standing, or place relative to others.

Humble individuals assume the posture of a learner and don’t faux to know greater than they do. It by no means crosses their thoughts that they stands out as the smartest particular person within the room.

They respect different factors of view and asks inquiries to guarantee that they perceive an concept earlier than criticizing it. They make different individuals really feel good and competent.

They are others-centered, irrespective of who the opposite particular person is. They acknowledge “the little individuals,” these which can be simply ignored by everybody else. They are valued and handled as friends.

Whenever I rent an government, I at all times wish to take her or him to dinner. I’m at all times to see how they deal with the host, the waiters, and even the busboys. Will they be curt? Demanding or brusque? Does they deal with the individuals who serve them with dignity? Do they even discover them? Are they appreciative?

I’m at all times leery of people that suck-up to these they need one thing from and disrespect everybody else. There’s no explaining it away. This is a personality flaw. I’ve no persistence for it, and I don’t need somebody like that working in my group.

Humble persons are open to correction and never defensive. They are fast to confess errors and apologize. They know learn how to say, “I am sorry. What I did was wrong. Will you please forgive me?” Everyone makes errors. The actually humble attempt to make it proper. Usually, they’ve had loads of apply.

They are acutely aware of the contributions others have made to their life, profession, and achievement. They are fast to offer credit score and categorical honest gratitude. Conversely, when others praise them, they provide a easy thank-you, with out making an enormous fuss about it.

Finally, they don’t think about sure jobs to be beneath them. They see what must be achieved, pitch in, and are simply pleased to be a part of the group.


As Dr. Stephen R. Covey factors out in The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People:

Honesty is telling the reality—in different phrases, conforming our phrases to actuality. Integrity is conforming actuality to our phrases—in different phrases, conserving guarantees and fulfilling expectations. This requires an built-in character, a oneness, primarily with self but in addition with life. (195–196)

When I take advantage of the time period honesty, I’m referring to each honesty and integrity.

At probably the most fundamental stage, sincere individuals not lie, exaggerate, or misrepresent the info. Spin management is a international idea. So is bragging. If something, they’re given to understatement, particularly about their very own accomplishments.

They don’t withhold unfavorable data however provide the good, the dangerous, and the ugly. They have the braveness to face actuality head on and make their phrases conform to it. They would by no means ask another person to lie on their behalf or cowl for them.

They are additionally sincere in giving others suggestions. They are capable of be direct with out being hurtful. They don’t say something about those that are absent that they wouldn’t say in the event that they have been current. They keep away from drama.

Finally, sincere individuals maintain their commitments, even when it’s troublesome, costly, or inconvenient. If they stated they’d do it, they do. You can take it to the financial institution.

Early in my profession, I used to be capable of land the job as a advertising director at one of many bigger publishing homes. The solely drawback was that I didn’t have any expertise. None!

So my new boss put me on a casual 90-day probationary interval. He stated, “Look, I feel you’ll do high quality, however let’s comply with a 90-day trial run. If all the pieces goes as deliberate, I offers you a elevate equal to 10 % of your annual wage. If not, we’ll shake fingers and half firm as pals.” I enthusiastically agreed, rolled up my sleeves, and started working.

Knowing that this was an infinite alternative, I learn all the pieces I may on advertising. I labored laborious. I bought to the workplace early and left late. I used to be decided to show to my boss that he had made the precise resolution.

At the top of the 90-day interval, I used to be really trying ahead to my assessment. I knew I had exceeded his expectations. I used to be assured I’d get the elevate.

My boss referred to as me into his workplace. After the same old pleasantries, he stated, “Mike, you’ve achieved an excellent job. You have exceeded my expectations in each means. I’m very happy with you.”

“But I’ve one drawback,” he continued. “Last week, our dad or mum firm instituted a wage and wage freeze. They have refused to contemplate any exceptions.”

My coronary heart sank. Though I attempted to look skilled, I’m positive that my disappointment was written throughout my face.

Then he handed me an envelope and stated probably the most superb factor. “In that envelope is a verify for the quantity I promised you. It’s not from the corporate, however from me personally. I’ve mentioned this with my spouse, and we’re each in settlement. You don’t have a alternative about whether or not or to not settle for it. So don’t even take into consideration refusing. I made a dedication to you. You lived as much as your finish of the cut price—after which some—and I need to dwell as much as mine.”

As a younger businessman, that act made an infinite impression on me. Not solely did it bond me to my boss—nonetheless considered one of my greatest pals—for all times, it has offered concrete steering in each robust resolution I’ve ever made.


A hungry particular person is somebody with an urge for food. Metaphorically talking, their final meal is already a fading reminiscence. They need to eat, they usually need to eat now. All they’ll take into consideration is meals!

In different phrases, hungry individuals don’t dwell on previous accomplishments. They are by no means glad. They’re at all times reaching for extra—setting greater objectives. They are pushed to exceed no matter expectations have been imposed upon them. This is simply part of their make-up.

They are intellectually curious. They learn always—information sources, magazines, and books. Lots of books. They love studying new issues and sharing that studying with others.

Hungry individuals don’t get caught in a rut. They’re open to new concepts and new methods of fixing previous issues. That means they’re at all times in search of the perfect answer and embrace change if it can take them—or the corporate—to a brand new stage.

They come to conferences ready, having accomplished their homework. In the assembly, they pay attention actively, asking a number of questions and taking notes. Afterward, they observe up. They full assignments on time with out somebody having to prod them. They are relentless with regards to execution.

In quick, hungry individuals full out, holding nothing again. More than something, they need to win and are prepared to pay the value to take action.


Smart individuals often rating excessive on conventional IQ checks. But not at all times. You need to watch out. Some persons are book-smart however street-stupid. I’d wish to have each. But if compelled to decide on, I’ll take the street-smart candidate.

Smart persons are a fast examine. They can join the dots with out a whole lot of assist. They have a pure means to assume laterally, that’s, throughout disciplines. They can apply studying from one subject or class to a different.

They’re snug utilizing metaphors and analogies. They know learn how to make advanced topics easy with out complicated themselves and everybody else within the course of.

I used to be a philosophy main. Some of the books I needed to learn have been actually troublesome. I keep in mind studying, re-reading, after which re-re-reading some significantly robust passages. Then it dawned on me. If this man is so good, why can’t he clarify this in a means that’s simple to observe? I concluded it was a case of  “the emperor having no garments.”

In my expertise, confusion usually masquerades as complexity. Listening to an evidence, you could be tempted to assume that you simply’re simply not good sufficient to know the difficulty. In actuality, the presenter might not perceive it properly sufficient to make it easy. I need individuals working for me who’re good sufficient to work by way of the complexity to be able to arrive at a easy rationalization.

Smart individuals additionally ask considerate questions. They see connections between matters that others miss. They are conscious of nuances. And they’ve various pursuits, which come in useful when attempting to know new data.

They are additionally capable of focus mentally, for lengthy intervals of time if essential. They don’t surrender shortly. They maintain urgent till they acquire readability or perception. They are a artistic drawback solvers.

Finally, good individuals have cognitive intelligence. That’s largely what I’ve lined right here. But that alone will not be enough. In my opinion, a profitable candidate additionally wants emotional, relational, and even religious intelligence to succeed.


It’s laborious to seek out the buried treasure until you’ve a map. It’s troublesome to win a scavenger hunt until you’ve a listing. And it’s inconceivable to rent the precise individuals until you understand precisely what you’re in search of.

In my firm, I need to rent people who find themselves H3S: humble, sincere, hungry, and good. If I can do this persistently, I’ll construct an excellent and enduring group.

By the way in which, I’ve additionally developed a listing of 25 questions to ask candidates. These questions allow you to discern whether or not or not she or he is the preferrred candidate. You will discover them, if you understand what to search for.

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