A couple friends that used to work for me recently asked me to be a reference for jobs they’re applying to. They’re both top-notch. They’re the kind of people that are a huge asset to a team.
Which got me to thinking about how you find good people. People are a company’s most important asset. By far. You need to choose good people … the right people, if you want to build a great company.
So here’s a tip or two to help you do that …
I honestly never put a lot of stock in references. You need to check a person’s references, but seriously, how many people are gonna have you call up someone who has nothing good to say about them? Not too many.
In professional circles though, the more references you can get, the better. There is the odd time when you’ll run into someone who’s burned a lot of bridges and messed a lot of people over by doing shady business or shoddy work. And even the people that like them, their references, will give you the straight goods.
The best kind of reference is when you can see real examples of someone’s previous work.
Skills and Experience
The importance of skills and experience is completely dependent on what you’re hiring a person to do. And what kind of team you already have in place. Here are a couple things to consider:
- Do you need to bring in some new expertise to tackle a certain area?
- Do you have the expertise in house to train someone?
- Will you need to un-train someone with experience and then train them to do things the way your company does them?
Just like with references, you don’t want to rely on someone’s skills or experience to carry your company into the future before you really know what they can do. There are career burger-flippers who can’t build a burger without making a total mess of it and there are trained surgeons who shouldn’t be allowed near a scalpel.
The Proof is in The Pudding
It takes time to build a great team. It takes time to find the right people. And it takes time to turn good people into great people. You can speed up that process by always keeping your eye on good people. But it takes working with great people on a previous venture to find a kick-butt team fast.
To do it from scratch, you’re gonna have to test-drive a few people. Maybe a lot of people. Good references are a step in the right direction. And bringing in people with strong skills and experience is a step in the right direction.
But at the end of the day, you’ll only know you hired a superstar after they give you consistent superstar performance.