Why skills are overrated when hiring – Pick Dave’s Brain

Should you hire a ten-year-old to work for your business?

This week’s question comes from Jason.

Q: Hi Dave. Jason from Utah. I’m looking to potentially hire someone and you talked about hiring slow and firing fast. So I was just wondering what your vetting process is for hiring people out there to work in your office or as a virtual assistant type?

Thanks for your help!

Click to tweet this: Employees with great skills are a dime a dozen. Employees with great traits are worth a million! @DaveCrenshaw

Video transcript:

Should you hire a ten-year-old to work for your business? I’m Dave Crenshaw and it’s time to Pick Dave’s Brain!

This week’s question comes from Jason.

Jason:

Hi Dave. Jason from Utah. I’m looking to potentially hire someone and you talked about hiring slow and firing fast. So I was just wondering what your vetting process is for hiring people out there to work in your office or as a virtual assistant type?

Thanks for your help!

Dave Crenshaw:

Wonderful question, Jason.

Yes, most businesses–especially small businesses–are hiring way too fast. And then when they get somebody that they know really isn’t working out for them, they kind of drag their feet and it just goes on forever.

Instead of firing slow and hiring fast, we want to hire slow and fire fast. So how do we hire slow, but in a meaningful way?

The best way to do this is to first determine the traits that are needed for the position. Now I emphasize traits versus skills. Skills are things that people know how to do. How to use Microsoft word, how to answer email, whatever it is. But traits are who they are—hard worker, humble, creative, however you want to define it.

Traits are things that basically a ten-year-old could have. In fact, that’s something I teach to my clients, the ten-year-old rule. If a ten-year-old could have it, it’s probably a trait. If a ten-year-old likely can’t have it, then it’s probably a skill.

So, list out all the traits for the position that you want to hire. And then when you interview people, you want to interview against those traits.

Now this means that we have to have a lot of people to interview and that means you want to invest a lot of time and some money in broadcasting your job opening. So, we want to post on places like LinkedIn and use their promoted post. We want to post on places like ZipRecruiter and get it sent out to lots of different places.

It’s worth the time and the money that you are investing because…think about the consequence of a poor hire over time. If you can get the numbers, then it’s going to be easier for you to whittle down to the best prospect.

Now just one last comment because you mentioned about whether I am having someone work for me virtually. If I have someone work for me virtually, the process is just a little bit different. I’ll post the job on a place like UpWork, for some small little piece of work.

For instance, the design for the characters in my book, The Focused Business, came from a graphic designer on UpWork. I asked three different designers to create one design. And then I found the one that I liked working with the best and had the kind of flavor I was looking for. And then I hired them for the much more expanded job of creating all the characters. You can use the same process when it comes to hiring a virtual assistant.

It’s a great question, Jason. Thank you.

And if you want to pick Dave’s brain, all you need to do is click on that button that you see down there. Or you can simply go to DaveCrenshaw.com/ask.

And boy, I am looking forward to getting your question.


Feel like you’re the only one who care about your business? Learn how to unleash the power of a more motivated team, without paying them more. Maximize Motivation with a free copy from Dave’s mini-book, SAM: The Entrepreneur’s Sidekick, by clicking here.