How Does Richard Branson Hire?

In this post (part of a great series on LinkedIn, entitled How They Hire), Richard Branson talks about his personal philosophy when it comes to hiring. Like all of his advice, it is simple, to-the-point, full of common-sense and worth a quick read (it’s short). His main points:

  • You can teach people most skills, but you can’t change their personalities. Getting someone with the right personality for the job / company in question is therefore the top priority.
  • The interview is not the most accurate tool in assessing an individual’s fit. Some people perform well in interviews and others don’t. This does not necessarily predict their probability of success and we need to adapt to this when hiring.
  • Look for people with transferable skills, i.e. people that are able to work in a variety of different jobs. Specialists are of course sometimes needed, but a versatile workforce is a benefit that shouldn’t be undervalued.
  • Look at qualifications last because, again, they don’t predict fit well. Good grades by themselves are not valuable; they need to come with the right experience and a suitable personality.
  • Don’t fall victim to the pressure to get someone quickly to spread the workload. Take the required time to find the right person, the potential damage caused by a quickly-made bad hire is not worth the risk of rushing to fill a gap.

I find myself largely agreeing with the advice above. Fitzii, after all, was founded to enable companies to assess fit on the three dimensions of:  1) personality, 2) cultural fit and 3) experience (including skills & education).

What about you? Do you hire like Richard Branson or have a different view on how to find the right people? Let us know in the comments.