How to Hire Like Warren Buffett: 5 Strategies to Success


How to Hire Like Warren Buffett: 5 Strategies to Success

Building a team of motivated and skilled employees takes time and some trial and error. However, there are steps that companies can take to improve their hiring process and find better employees without wasting time on candidates who will not deliver. Warren Buffet’s hiring strategy focuses on finding qualified candidates with three important traits: integrity, intelligence and energy. Here are a few of the things any hiring manager should consider before your next round of interviews:

“Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”

First Impressions

A great resume and a quick chat on the phone can sometimes cloud the vision of the interviewer. It is important to keep yourself in check and consider all parts of the interview, and not to sell yourself on a candidate who made a great first impression but didn’t follow through with a great interview. Likewise, be mindful that some of the most skilled and talented employees may not make a great first impression. Instead, make note of your first impression, then set it aside and focus on the meat of the interview itself. Warren Buffet places a lot of importance on integrity, and that is his first and foremost qualification to look for. However, first impressions can make integrity hard to spot, so it is important to remain vigilant in seeking it throughout the entire interview process.

Present a Challenge

Many companies post job ads that include a list of general skills and requirements for a position. As a result, you are giving candidates the answers to your interview questions and giving them an opportunity to doctor their resume and answers accordingly before you ever meet them. Instead, present your job and your interview questions as a real challenge that requires a solution. The best candidates will have the IQ to solve the problem, and they should be forward thinking enough to provide a creative solution without any priming from the job ad. This is also a test of their energy and interest, as top candidates will be excited about the opportunity to prove that they can accomplish a real task, rather than repeating what they have done in the past.

Play a Strategy Game

More and more the use of games and puzzles allow companies to test for specific skill sets among candidates. Being able to solve problems quickly on a time table will engage candidates and show how well they will react to change in the workplace. Some companies even use these games as a form of advertising to draw in successful players who may not have known that there was a job at stake to begin with.

Look for Strengths

Integrity, intelligence and energy are the three key factors that Warren Buffet says make a good employee. However, none of these are skills that can be taught. They are all innate traits that an individual either has or does not have before they ever arrive for the interview. A person with all three of these qualities will be willing to learn any new skill set presented to them. Find candidates who have all three on their side and line them up with a position that they will care about and be motivated to do well at. Employee engagement and job satisfaction will go up, and the company will see growth.

Hire Once

One of the most common mistakes companies make is hiring too many people, and sifting out the bad ones after they have invested time and money into them. Instead, Buffet recommends paying close attention to a candidate’s past employment and history to ensure that it is honest and accurate, as well as representative of the skills that they will bring to the table. Being willing to do this research will prevent high turnover and make sure that the dishonest and unskilled candidates don’t make it in to begin with.

“In the world of business, the people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love.”