How do you decide whether someone really is a good hire or not?  We all know that is really, really hard.  As someone once told me, “Hire hard so that you can manage easy.” 

I think one of the things we don’t do is we don’t ask people enough about what they actually did and who they did it with and how they handled various situations.  We just look at their resumes and assume we know what it means, whatever it says - that I worked here, did this. 

You actually want to dig deep and listen to how they think about what they were doing in their work and who they worked with and maybe ask them a couple examples of what they did when they don’t know something? 

I think it’s very important to understand how people are going to respond when they actually are stressed or when they don’t know something.  Do they know how to ask for help, do they reach out?  I think the other thing that’s very important is to try to do some due diligence to look and see and talk to people who know them, who know what it was like to work with them. 

The more you get closer to the behaviors, what they actually did and who they did it with, I think you’re much more likely to have the right kind of data to make good decisions.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock