Three Qualities Every Business Leader Must Look Out for During Hiring.

For every entrepreneur or business leader, the hiring process is regarded as one of the most important processes in the organization and, as a result, it must be done with utmost carefulness. Although most big organizations outsource the bulk of this important process to the HR guys, some small businesses do not have this luxury because of their size and absence of the HR dept. In this case, the business leader has to spearhead this process.

Bringing fresh brains into the organization is a big deal. This is important because it injects new ideas that influence the growth and development of the organization in great measures. When the right employees are introduced into the workforce, the overall operational activities will be tremendously increased, employee collaboration will be improved and the health of the organization will be at its peak. But when the wrong people are introduced, operational activities will significantly plunge, conflicts among employees will be ensued and as a result, the overall health of the organization will be drastically affected.  And the difference between hiring the right employees from the wrong ones for the organization lies in identifying job fitness.  Job fitness is what makes all the difference in getting the right employee.

In order to get right people for the job, business leaders must focus on these three core qualities during hiring:

  1. Character

An individual’s strength of character is a strong determinant that makes a great difference during the hiring process. And business leaders must always put this in perspective. Character is the most powerful force a person must possess in their life; it is like a good security system that protects a person from external influences. Good character protects a person’s life, legacy and leadership qualities. Good character also determines who a person is and forecasts who he will become in the future. Without good character, a person’s life is at risk. And when business leaders fail to probe into a potential employee’s character before hiring, they are also putting the organization at risk.

Many times, business leaders place plenty emphasis on the competence of potential employees. They feel that what they need to understand fully well is whether the potential employee can carry out the job effectively. But, often times, this has backfired because while competence is important, it is not the first thing to be focused on. Competence without good character is like putting a competent thief in charge of your finances.

Character determines a person’s level of integrity, passion, commitment and stability. And it can easily be gotten by asking the potential employee probing questions about his past activities on her job, life and engagement with others in different spheres of endeavor.

The percentage rating for character is 40%

  1. Clarity of Communication

A person’s strength of communication is the second important quality to be focused on during hiring. It must not be relegated to the background no matter how competent the potential employee may seem because the bulk of the job of an employee is in communicating the values, mission and vision of the organization.

I have sat in interviews where a person has all the competences in the book to carry out the job but cannot fully express himself. This is bad for business because today’s business environment is on the fast lane. And only employees that are able to communicate effectively and sell the ideas of the organizations will be given the chance to play.

The percentage rating for clarity of communication is 30%

  1. Competence

This is the last thing a business leader must focus on during the hiring process. The sad reality is that they put this tops on the list while almost not recognizing the others. This is why there are high levels of mismatches in the area of job fitness in many organizations today.

Competence determines if the potential employee has the requisite skills on the job. But in many instances, if the potential employee scores high on character and communication, if the potential employee shows huge promise for the future and can fully sell, with clarity, the culture of the organization, I encourage business leaders to bring them into the organization and train them on the job. This is because competence is easier to imbibe in a person than character. It also falls in consonance with my famous hiring mantra: hire character; train competence.

The percentage rating for competence is 30%

From the ratings, you can see that character scores higher than competence. In the final analysis, it is not how competent an employee is on the job that makes the biggest difference in the organization; it is how good they are in character.

Today’s business leaders must focus on these three qualities while bringing in fresh brains into their organizations.



is a thinker, content developer and business development strategist. He is the Principal of Richard & Malcolm Consulting; a business development company. Richard enjoys working with entrepreneurs and leaders pursuing transformational change for their organizations. He is the author of two books – The RICH Theory and Advance. Connect with him on twitter @RichardChilee

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