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Hiring Advice from Entrepreneurs: 4 Common Themes

Posted by Erin Borgerson on September 16, 2013

hiring advice from entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs love to talk about hiring and they love even more to give advice about hiring.

Last week, Inc. asked their Twitter and Facebook readers, "Entrepreneurs, we want to know: what's the #BestHiringAdvice you've ever received (or learned the hard way)?"

The responses took a few different directions like "trust your gut" (bad!) and "always check references" (good!). But there were 4 different themes that stuck out. 

1. Verify your applicants

Matt Foster the CEO of ArteWorks SEO tweeted, "Ask for proof of a college degree. Don't assume it is so just because it is on someone's resume." 

Entrepreneurs are hiring for very fragile businesses which is why the verification process was tweeted about several times during the day. From checking their Facebook profile, to checking their education credentials, entrepreneurs were adamant about verifying every candidate and hire.

2. Look for drive

Laura Gailiunaite, CEO of Lingua Inn, tweeted "Look for committed, quickly-orientated, active and honest people." 

Many of the tweets were centered around the need for driven and motivated candidates. Entrepreneurs are a forward-thinking bunch and tend to gravitate towards similar thinking candidates. 

Want to hire driven candidates? Ask questions based around their behavior in past circumstances where they pro actively solved a problem or handled a situation.

3. Hire for the future

Sarah Cargill, CEO of Cargill Communications, said "Prepare for a job that doesn't yet exist."  

Ajay Rajagopal, The Nakshatras, said "Always recruit for the requirement along with the forecast on future projects. Never recruit a person just keeping in mind the present project."

Entrepreneurs are always thinking about the future, which is why they are so successful. Always be preparing for your next hire and keep a constant candidate pool, you never know when you need to select your next hire.

4. Check References

Lauren Smoliar, CEO of Peppertree Engineering, said "Reference checks are not optional, even if the person was referred by someone you know."

Ensuring a candidate's past behavior aligns with an entrepreneur's future plan is a good practice. Create a reference check questions guide and implement a process when completing checks.

Learn more tips about how to correctly execute reference checks in this upcoming webinar. 


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Erin Borgerson

About the Author

Erin is the Director of Marketing, Crisis Controller and Culture Ambassador (the last two titles she gave to herself) who joined the Hireology team in April of 2012. As a certified Inbound Marketer, Erin manages Hireology's marketing department, the Hireology Blog, and media relations. She is also a co-leader of the Chicago Hubspot User Group which brings together Hubspot users from around the Chicagoland area. Erin set off to Chicago after graduating from Western Michigan University. In her spare time she can be found shaking it in a Zumba class, reading a bestseller, or drinking a craft beer on her Wrigleyville porch.