New Insights On Hiring From Sir Richard Branson
I thought I would take a break from our normal discussion of hazardous waste management and share some insights that I gained this week from an article posted on LinkedIn Influencers by Virgin Group founder Richard Branson. A key piece of business wisdom that I have learned over the years is that the great ones succeed by taking risks and moving away from where the crowd is headed. Branson like so many other successful business executives is no different.
In an article entitled “How I Hire: Focus on Personality," Mr. Branson discussed what he looks for in a great hire, and you may be surprised to learn what he had to offer on the topic. Here are some of the highlights:
- “The first thing to look for when searching for a great employee is somebody with a personality that fits with your company culture. Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality. If you can find people who are fun, friendly, caring and love helping others, you are on to a winner.”
- “Be wary of people becoming overexcited in the pressure of interviews.”
- “While specialists are sometimes necessary, versatility should not be underestimated.”
- “Some managers get hung up on qualifications. I only look at them after everything else.”
- If somebody has five degrees and more A grades than you can fit on one side of paper, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right person for the job. Great grades count for nothing if they aren’t partnered with broad-ranging experience and a winning personality.”
- “Don’t be afraid of hiring mavericks. Somebody who thinks a little differently can help to see problems as opportunities and inspire creative energy within a group. Some of the best people we’ve ever hired didn’t seem to fit in at first, but proved to be indispensable over time.”
I find Mr. Branson’s ideas on hiring the right person for the job refreshing and full of common sense. It is my experience that many companies today don’t get the concept of looking at candidates that have transferrable skills from other industries. Business has shifted over the last few years and those companies that are thriving are creative and forward-thinking regardless of the industry.
I enjoy gaining wisdom from thought leaders like Richard Branson. If you are on LinkedIn they have great business insight in their “Influencers” section. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and check it out. While you are there, take a moment and connect with me and IDR Environmental.
Even in our business as a hazardous waste disposal company, we are always looking to influencers to see how they are running their own business and what makes them successful.