How Branson hires

Some of the world’s top businesspeople have been revealing their hiring secrets. How do you measure up?

How Branson hires
An Influencer series on LinkedIn has seen some of the world’s top businesspeople – including Richard Branson and Lex Fenwick – reveal their hiring secrets. How do you measure up?

Fenwick: people, not resumes
Dow Jones CEO Lex Fenwick cuts right to the chase: “Resumes are puff pieces. They’re written by an individual, about the individual.”
While a resume might match the job the recruiter is looking to fill, looking good on paper doesn’t often mean they’ll fit the position or management style. Using a resume as a starting point will often lead you to those with a lot of qualifications who can do the job with their eyes closed, but that isn’t good. Instead, grow your network constantly and seek out individuals who can bring something new to the position – you have to be different to be successful.

Branson: Focus on personality
Corporate rockstar Richard Branson stated that he hires based primarily on personality. Branson stated that most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train personality.
“Personality is the key. It is not something that always comes out in an interview – people can be shy. But you have to trust your judgement. If you have got a slightly introverted person with a great personality, use your experience to pull it out of them. It is easier with an extrovert, but be wary of people becoming overexcited in the pressure of interviews,” he advised.

Monahan: Ballplayers
Tom Monahan, chairman and CEO of CEB, used the analogy of one looking good in a baseball uniform not necessarily being a good player to explain his hiring methodology. On the surface, someone might seem to fit the role – but looking good in the uniform won’t do it. Hire constantly, and probe for humanity and facts.

Welch: Game-changers
Jack Welch, executive chairman of the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University, boils hiring down to a formula: the must-haves, definitely-should-haves, and the game-changer:
  • Must-haves: Integrity and high IQ.
  • Definitely-should-haves: Energy because stamina matters, the ability to energise others to keep the momentum flowing, the edge to make yes-or-no decisions on the tough calls and the ability to execute and get things done, topped off with a healthy dose of passion for both work and life.
  • The game-changer: The game-changer, also known as the ‘generosity gene’, refers to the built in want to help others improve, grow and thrive. These employees will develop into managers who can inspire trust and unleash the dormant productivity and creativity within their staff.

What do you think of these top-tips? Are there some we missed? Let us know in the comments.

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