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Hiring Can Be a Headache

Hiring can be a headache. Most candidates bring their a-game into the interview, but it’s difficult to be sure how much of that enthusiasm will be carried into their performance at work if and when they’re brought on board. While you need a candidate who is familiar with the technical skills required for the role you’re looking to fill, their transferable & soft skills are oftentimes more of the key indicators as to whether or not they are a smart hire. The right person for the role may not necessarily have more experience than other applicants, but rather solid transferable skills and the drive to learn and improve. 

Adaptability, versatility, problem solving, communication, and leadership (even outside of a formal leadership role) are among the most notable transferable skills found in top performing employees. But of course, these aren’t easy things to identify in someone before actually working with them. So, what’s the best strategy to make an educated guess on what a candidate's performance will look like once hired? Additionally, what is needed to ensure the hire is the perfect fit for your team specifically?

Identifying Top Performers

In our recruiting work, it’s very important to us that we provide each client with the most ideal person for the role. We do a lot of work up front to learn and understand the company culture, but that doesn’t eliminate the portion of the process that relies on ensuring a candidate has the transferable skills to succeed. There are characteristics outlined in Patrick Lencioni’s bestseller, The Ideal Team Player, that I’ve found extremely helpful in identifying a top performer. Ask yourself, are they:

  1. Humble? 

  2. Hungry?

  3. Smart?

Another way to know if someone is going to excel in a role is the GWC strategy, which is a component of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). This involves asking yourself three simple questions as you make your decision; do they:

  1. Get it? - Does this person demonstrate a big picture understanding of the company mission and their role within? Does they seem to have an intuitive sense and a natural ability to understand the position-specific expectations?

  2. Want it? - Do they demonstrate a positive, can-do attitude with focus and momentum? Do they seem genuinely excited about your business and their role within?

  3. Have the capacity to do it? - Do they display the necessary cognitive, physical, emotional, and practical abilities to complete the job?

Power in Potential

Past these tried and true methods, keeping an open mind can come into play in a large way. Considering factors beyond a traditional resume is often a good idea. For instance, in management, consider a parent who has juggled planning, scheduling, and numerous family responsibilities. In a role with an emphasis on teamwork, think about the experiences of a former athlete who led their team in college. Diversity and range of experience are also very important to note, as transferable skills are most often present in well-rounded individuals who have excelled in varying roles and/or industries. 

Lastly, recruiting and hiring based on potential isn’t a bad idea. Taking a chance on a less experienced candidate whose presence says ‘humble, hungry and smart,’ often pays off. Someone coming onto the team from a different background brings new, fresh energy into the role and the workplace as a whole. This energy often improves innovation and productivity, increases diversity in problem solving strategy, and creates a more well-rounded team. 


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