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What do you look for in an employee?

Regardless of the business, stage, industry, etc. what do you really look for when conducting interviews?

13 Replies

Christopher Cioffi
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Christopher Cioffi Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO at mPoint Media, Inc.
Ioannis, Before you hire anyone, establish a culture document and outline the values you want to be evident in the working atmosphere. Then use this as a guideline for hiring people who are aligned with the culture you want to foster. No detail is too small when it comes to what you want. I have a culture document that states our open policy for discussing salaries, how you are expect relate to others, our policy for work place education and our commitment to support an employee, etc. It has been my experience that if you establish your culture from the inception of your company then you will attract better people. It certainly isn't a fool proof way to avoid bad hires. However, everyone in the company signs the statement of understanding that they will abide by the culture. What I have found happens is people help each other adhere or in times when they are having difficulty remind them of their commitment. In my opinion a bad hire can be disastrous in a startup. If you are driving towards an MVP, release date etc. one wrong hire can cause you to lose months of momentum. I have taken people with great cultural fit over experience and I am happy with this decision. If they like where they are working, their commitment to being as good as they can be is amazing. Build the space that you would want to work in, hire great people who are aligned and then you can get out of their way and watch them become larger. Regards, Christopher Christopher Cioffi Christopher@inception3.com office +[removed to protect privacy] mobile +[removed to protect privacy] skype ccnc150
Jan Van Bruaene
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Jan Van Bruaene Advisor
Vice President of Engineering at RTI (Real-Time Innovations)
I have a long list of interview questions, and a battery of technical questions. However, at the end I think it comes down to four qualities:

1. Does the person exhibit a love for the art? Whatever the art may be: programming, UX, writing, painting, music, etc. A talented (aerospace, chemical, mechanical, etc.) engineer, who loves programming, is likely better than a mediocre computer science graduate.

2. Is the person curious? Some of the best folks I know are knowledgeable about many subjects. They are always curious about how things work, or why something doesn't work.

3. Is the person of high integrity?

4. And last, but not least, does the person exhibit grit, perseverance, and endurance?

https://medium.com/@waffletchnlgy/grit-ad0bd7e90e44#.5yxp5n6kr

Neil Licht - HereWeAre
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Want To find-close Business Online without competition Before They Google Search? We solve this problem 1(508)-481-8567

What do you look for in an employee?


One of the key things we must look for and uncover in recruiting and then interviewing a potential employee has nothing to do with skills, prior successes, nor ability to do the job.

It's actually this: Does the person really fit in with the general "corporate personality"? That fit will define if the employee even has a chance to succeed regardless of great success elsewhere or will evenwant to stay once hired.

Included in that "corporate personality" are critical things likehow people( management candidates and specific job type candidates)
- act as themselves and with others
- like to be managed v the usual management/supervision style at the company
- are they mostly Introverted or extroverted, work alone or in teams,
- type of supervision they actually need and want v where they need their independence to workon and manage doing their job.
- interact with each other, clients/customers, socialize,
- type of managing style as in delegate and let the employee do it with the manager checking in/reviewing on up to strict micromanaging,
- work together, get and receive advice, communicate
- empowerment to make decisions or not

Yes, that'sa "company personality" and its the real word definition of what its like to work at the company. The employees "personality" as in their way of thinking, way of working, approaching, doing the job and doing things" must be a great fit.

If the way a company is or gets things done and it's core personality is too different than the potential employee, the potential employee, if hired, will fail, not because of lacking skill or experience but because of being a complete fish out of water in the company's real world working environment.

Get to that "match" early on in an interview and be brutally honest with yourself on if there is a great fit with the "corporate personality". Get below the hood, find how a person is and likes to work and, no matter how great the applicants credentials and accomplishments have been elsewhere, if the "corporate personality" fit isn't there, don't hire them.
David Johns
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David Johns Entrepreneur
Providing experienced entrepreneurial, educational choice and non-profit management consulting.
Character. David Johns Entrepreneurial and Educational Management Consulting (610) 937-0992
Nigel Dessau
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Nigel Dessau Entrepreneur
Chief Marketing Officer at Wellsmith, LLC
Lots of good answers in this idea but I want focus on a different point. If you are hiring millennial you will need to think about what makes them join and why they might stay. This will be linked to their 'passions' or 'mission' in life. You can find this out by asking questions about them and 'their story'. That means you need to listen to what matters to them and see if it crosses over with what matters to you, your team and your businesses. If it doesn't, then it really doesn't matter how qualified they are for the job. They will not stay and you will be back to square one.
Sheri Murad
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Sheri Murad Entrepreneur
Regional Head of Talent Management, North America at Firmenich
Skills are transferable, fit is not. Making sure that the person "fits" the culture of your workplace, maybe even to the subculture of the team/department they will work in, is critical. While you can use behavioral based interviewing, some people interview really well and then they start and you can't believe the person working for you is the person you interviewed. I've recently started using Predictive Index assessments, which more of a psychometric tool that looks at a person's motivation and fit to a specific position. Which ever way you decide to assess your candidates, be sure to look at "fit".
Mike Moyer
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Mike Moyer Entrepreneur • Advisor
Managing Director at Lake Shark Ventures, LLC

Many managers think of their employees as "A, B or C" employees. In some cases, companies actually get rid of "C" employees on a regular basis. I've never seen anyone actually define what it means to be an A, B or C employee so I took it upon myself to outline how I think it breaks down:


A employee- takes the company forward in a meaningful way. Goals are benchmarks, not the end game. Puts the needs of the overall business first with an understanding that personal rewards follow corporate gains. Bolster's team spirit through optimism, energy, creativity and respect.


B employee- maintains the status quo, service the business well, strives to meet goals. Focuses on personal compensation, but is happy when the company succeeds


C employee- has a negative impact on the overall growth and expansion of the team's efforts. Brings negativity and skepticism to the process, builds walls in an attempt to protect their job knowing that it may be in jeopardy. Blames others for failure and lack of advancement.

Vlada Piddubna
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Vlada Piddubna Advisor
Head of Business Operations at CyberCraft Inc.
"I value people who want to learn and do better, as it's much easier to learn a new skill than learn a new attitude". Actually, in most cases it's impossible to make people learn a new attitude. So look for people with the right attitude and a sparkle in the eyes.
Tom DiClemente
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Tom DiClemente Advisor
Management Consulting | Interim CEO/COO | Coach
Integrity!
Neil Licht - HereWeAre
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Want To find-close Business Online without competition Before They Google Search? We solve this problem 1(508)-481-8567
Summing up, seems most of us see "fit" and integrity as the key attributes in hiring decisions. These attributes stand out in this conversation as the real key when hiring someone. THats encouraging because thatsthe make or break in if an employee makes when hiredand even wants to stay or is kept on.

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