Executive Leadership: Hiring The Right Staff


Asian recruitment team hiring candidate in job interview

Hiring the right person is one of the biggest challenges of a leader.

Hiring the right staff eases your workload, increase your productivity and enhance the team dynamics.  Hiring the wrong person can lead to a lot of headaches and painful experiences.

If you’re a manager, you’ve probably hired the wrong person before. You had a hard time counseling the staff, hoping that he/she will improve.  You try the soft approach – it doesn’t work. You try the hard approach – it seems to work for a while, and then tapers off.

In the end, hours of productivity is wasted managing the person. Few months later, you decide to let the staff go. You spend even more time trying to find another candidate, praying that you don’t have to go through the same trouble again.

So what can you do? –You think you should find a recruiting agency, but you doubt their ability and willingness to understand the job requirements  – they’re on commission after all.

If you want to hire a good staff, it’s pretty much up to you. You’re the best judge of whether someone can thrive in your work environment.

So then the question is: how can you hire a staff that works well? Here are some important pointers you should look out for:

Job Fit.

You need to consider if this person is suitable. For that, you can use my free personality test and career guide to decide. Some naturally better at administration while there are others are better with creating and innovating.

Consider the job scope of the role you are the interviewing the candidate for. Is it a job that requires working with structure, or is it a job that requires more adaptability?

Most people leave their jobs because they think they don’t have fulfillment in their job. The real reason is that the jobs don’t suit their personality.

Spend considerable time considering your candidate’s personality. It’ll give you a clue whether they are suitable for the job. You’ll be doing the candidate and yourself a huge favor.


What is this person’s attitude?

A person with a great attitude is easy to teach and a joy to work with. They willingly accept their mistakes without challenging you – they are more eager to become better than to try to prove you wrong. Those with poor attitudes will give you big headaches – they’ll spend more of their time justifying their actions than actually improving themselves. When you try to correct them, they get resistant and may even push the blame to someone else.

At the interview, everyone puts their best foot forward. If you hear another ‘I’m willing to learn’ comment, you’re probably going to knock yourself against the wall. How can you distinguish someone’s attitude in an interview?

Simple: Challenge their point of view. This is the kind of challenge you need to make as a leader at work anyway. See their response. The humble person may reason with you and explain themselves cordially while the proud person will try to ‘attack’ you or your comments.

This exercise will show you how a person reacts to disagreement. If their response is not to your expectation, then you’ll want to consider seriously if you actually desire to work with them.


A fool-proof way, of course, is to hire someone on probation. However, don’t put the person to running the everyday operations of the company, yet. (Unless you’re really desperate for manpower). This is to minimize disruption of daily activities in case you don’t wish to hire this person on a full-time basis.

Put the person on a side project and see how they run. The challenges of running a project should be sufficient to bring out the good, bad and the ugly of this person. After seeing that, you can now make a more objective evaluation if you want this person for the job.

Of course, this approach takes more effort, but I think the reward of having a staff with great attitude is important enough that you should consider this important step in your interview and hiring process.

About the Author


Ethan Lin is the founder of www.leadershipgeeks.com and www.personality-central.com.sg. He has a passion to empower and develop people. Professionally, he is a corporate trainer focusing on sales training, leadership development and team building with his company Personality Central.

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