Nike says Bo knows baseball. Wall Street says Bill Gates knows how to hire great employees.
Here’s a telling quote from the Vista man himself. “Hiring smart people has been the single most important thing we’ve done as a company from the very beginning” says Bill Gates in the December 1999 Entrepreneur article “Entrepreneur Of The Millennium: Bill Gates”
Almost ten years later this advice still rings true. Before you read one resume, or even post a job description, think long and hard about how to hire great employees. Here are five hiring tips inspired by Bill Gates and the behemoth called Microsoft.
Know your culture
If you have a conservative, buttoned-up, IBM-blue-suit-wearing environment, don’t hire the surfer dude who works best with a team of creative rule-breakers. Be honest with yourself. Fitting a square peg into a round hole is about as smart as loading software made specifically for a Mac onto a PC.
Develop a Rock star reputation
Be a company or boss that people want to work for. Think of those “Greatest Company to Work For” lists. Strive to be one of those companies.
When people know that you are the best in the field– and that you will settle for nothing less than world domination–the great employees will find you. Microsoft has a reputation of being a place where people are willing to endure a grueling selection process to make the cut. Winners want to work for winners.
Hire passionate people who love to learn
People of hire intellect remain voracious readers and lovers of knowledge. Don’t hire the person quoting Socrates; employ the person who wrote a technology program that thinks like Socrates.
Worried about keeping the interest of a smart person? Keep raising the knowledge bar high and keep the tolerance for stupidity in your company low. A quest for solving problems and finding solutions will motivate a passionate person beyond salary and stock options.
Never settle for second best
Hiring employees and replacing employees is an expensive undertaking; one that can seriously put a strain on your business.
During the hiring process don’t be too overly anxious to fill a position. If you interview 10 candidates with great qualifications, but their personalities don’t feel perfect in your gut; move on. Bad employees smell desperation and attract to anxious hiring managers like a moth to a flame.
Use a panel of interviewees to separate the weak from the strong
70% of communication in an interview is body language. Build a team that will discover hidden nuances and subtle gestures during the interview process while you are listening to the answers given by the applicant.
Think of your interview team as the Supreme Court of Hiring: the justices are smart and their opinions are diverse but they all have the same uncompromising goal of hiring the best employees.
Use these Microsoft-inspired hiring tips to hire the best employees using the wisdom and the brainpower of the world’s greatest software company and the man behind Windows. Regardless of your budget, capacity for world domination or your high school SAT scores you can’t afford to hire anything less than a great employee.