How to hire the right people

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Every business owner wants to hire the right people – people who will add to the company’s culture, be able to manage themselves and produce awesome work. But how do you do it? Does it rely on your interviewing skills? Gathering enough potential candidates? Writing exciting job postings?

As Chief Creative Officer, I have hired every new Integrity employee for the past eight years. The key to hiring the right people is knowing what to look for. Hiring to the H’s has always been a core strategy, as we only seek Hungry, Honest, Humble and Happy folks to join the team. (We even list the H’s on all our job listings).

But the H’s aren’t the only qualities that catch my eye. Growing on my experience recruiting only the very top talent, here are additional characteristics you should be looking for the next time you recruit:

  • Soft skills - this is a really broad category, but we’ve found it super critical to only add team members who are skilled at writing, communicating, negotiating, presenting, being proactive and resolving conflict.
  • Music lovers - this is a working theory of mine, but we’ve found folks who are excited and passionate about music tend to be better employees. If a recruit is proud to share their latest artist find, or excited about telling you about the last concert they attended, it often correlates to a someone who is actively engaged in life.
  • Lifelong learners - our world changes at an unprecedented pace and only those who truly enjoy learning can keep up.

To add to the above, here are a couple items we view as negatives:

  • Agency hoppers - we never recruit from competing firms. Rather, we prefer identifying talent from outside of St. Louis, and outside of the agency world, and bring them into our culture. We love grabbing folks from non-profits, higher ed, manufacturing and other industries.
  • Money as top motivation - we look for craftspeople who prioritize challenging work, quality team, balance and work product produced over vanity metrics such as titles, corner offices and max salary. If you are in this just for the money, you’ll never produce the best solutions.
  • Smokers - never hire a smoker. They stink and are horrible team members.

My final bit of advice is what I call the ‘Flight to LA’ test – would you enjoy a three hour flight to LA sitting beside this person? Would you learn something from them? Would it be an engaging experience? If the answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions, walk them out immediately.

So why does it matter if you hire the right people? Well, as Integrity has learned over its 15+ year history, when you hire the right people, you don’t need as much policy. This allows you to offer better benefits like Open PTO – a perk Integrity employees love – and create a company culture of trust and empowerment.

What business owner doesn’t want that?

Want our hungry, honest, humble and happy web development team build your next custom web application? Send us a message.

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