What to Look for When Hiring People

What to Look for When Hiring People

We are looking to hire someone to add to our great team of Indonesian Language Teachers in the language branch of our company.  When it comes down to it, we want the right person for the job.  What qualities do we want in a person joining our company?  What qualities do you look for in a person?  

We want someone who is quick to listen, quick to learn…in a word: teachable.  We also want them to take initiative and be willing to try new things.  Someone who gets it after I explain something once, but if they don’t get it, who is brave enough to admit it and seek clarity.  I want someone who is honest.  

Warren Buffett, owner of Berkshire Hathaway, and one of the richest men in the world looks for a few things in hiring people:

“We look for three things when we hire people. We look for intelligence, we look for initiative or energy, and we look for integrity. And if they don’t have the latter, the first two will kill you, because if you’re going to get someone without integrity, you want them lazy and dumb. I mean, you don’t want a spark of energy out of them. So it’s that third quality. But everything about that quality is your choice.”

So, for Buffett, integrity is the linchpin.  If integrity isn’t there, the other two qualities are actually dangerous!  I agree with this.  With integrity comes trust, and a willingness to entrust parts of the company to the person we hire.  

Questions for Reflection

  • What are the top three things you look for when you hire people?
  • How can we try to find out these things in a job interview?  


Selena Mahoney
Selena is co-owner of BME services. She has lived, taught and trained all over the world, and is a certified coach, speaker, and trainer for the John Maxwell Team.