How He Hires – Richard Branson’s Top Tip

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How He Hires – Richard Branson’s Top Tip

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By Yvonne Manzi
Guest Writer, University of London


I’ve discussed before the importance of good hiring practices, as a bad hire can cost an organization hefty losses in time, money and resources. These can vary of course – based on your organization’s needs and culture, on your own personal hiring style and interviewing techniques, they can vary for many reasons. There is one thing, however, which you should not overlook, and that is applicable to all organizations – personality. British business magnate Richard Branson, in an article he posted on LinkedIn, writes:

“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.”

“Personality is the key. It is not something that always comes out in interview – people can be shy. But you have to trust your judgement. If you have got a slightly introverted person with a great personality, use your experience to pull it out of them. It is easier with an extrovert, but be wary of people becoming overexcited in the pressure of interviews.”

“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.”

So take it from Richard Branson, who built an empire that only continues to grow. When hiring new employees, look for transferable skills, and bring out the personality in them.


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