How to Hire the Perfect Employee

If I suggested that you hire two new employees this week what would your response be? Let me guess: “I can’t afford it,” or “it’s more trouble than it’s worth”. Those are the two most frequent responses I hear from my business clients. And I’m here to tell you that neither is true.

Today we’re going to take a look at the latter: why does it feel like hiring and training employees causes so much pain? In most cases it’s because the entrepreneur is using a poor model for the hiring process. In fact, many business owners have no model at all. These new hires usually don’t work out if they are determined solely by skills and experience. This not only cost time and money, it’s frustrating to the entrepreneur, leaving them with the belief that employees simply are not worth the effort. 

But nothing is farther from the truth. The problem is that hiring managers (that’s probably you) are basing their decisions on what they see on the resume. But skills can often be trained. Emotional intelligence and personality type come from an innate ability coupled with life experience.  You cannot train for emotional intelligence!  If you hire an account manager with the hard skills necessary to manage your clients’ accounts but he is adverse to deadlines and has a limited ability to handle a conflict, it’s a recipe for disaster.   As another example, if you hire a customer service representative who can flawlessly enter one hundred orders in an hour but has no patience or tolerance for “difficult” customers, you won’t have to worry about order entry mistakes! 

To hire the right person for the right job, begin by assessing the personal qualities that your ideal employee would possess. If you are hiring a coder, you want this person to be focused, analytical, and creative. Yes, creative! The best coders are problem-solvers and that takes creativity!

If you are hiring for a sales position you’ll want someone who is a connector. They are personable, driven, and a great communicator. 

What are some fun questions you can ask your candidates to find out more about their personality and work ethic? Here are a few of my favorites. Adding this piece to your hiring puzzle will bring you much closer to your dream team!

Question 1. 
“Using your imagination, create your ideal co-worker. Tell me about that person. What would they be like?”

What’s interesting about this question is that your candidate is very likely to describe themselves! This will give you great insight to their work ethic and personal characteristics. 

Question 2. 
“If you came with a warning label what would it say?”

This question catches people so off guard that they blurt out the most honest responses, including those they would never admit to in an interview!

Question 3. 
“How would people communicate in a perfect world?”

If your candidate responds by saying, “by email only” and you are hiring for a sales position, you know this won’t work! Or if you require this position to report weekly to and about the client and they prefer texting, you will have a problem. Communication is key to success. Understanding how your employees’ best learn and communicate is a must. If your candidate’s style is not a match, move on to the next. 

Go ahead; make up a few of your own questions. Make the process fun and challenging. This will give your candidates an inside look at your fun and creative company culture, they may love it—or they may not. Either way upfront knowledge is the golden ticket to hiring success!

Marla Tabaka is an entrepreneurial coach who inspires entrepreneurs around the world to attain what she calls, The Million-Dollar Mindset. As a result, many of her clients have achieved – even surpassed – the million dollar mark in annual revenues and are living the life of their dreams. In addition to running a thriving practice, Marla is a columnist for Inc. Magazine on-line, and hosts two international on-line radio shows, The Million Dollar Mindset and Million Dollar Mindset Tapping. Marla wrote this feature article exclusively for Debbie (, an organization dedicated to helping small businesses succeed. If you would like to consult with Marla to learn how she can help you grow your business and better your life, contact her at