Hiring – Whose Job is It Anyway?

Hiring (1)

Oh No, not another interview 🙁

This is how I felt when I was asked to attend my 4th interview for a customer service role at Saint Gobain Glass more than a decade back.

I had already gone through a series of aptitude tests and 3 rounds of interview. Finally, when I thought that I had the job nailed, I got this request asking me to visit their office for another interview and this one will be conducted by the MD himself. During the entire interview, I felt as if i was being evaluated for my character and judgement.

To say that I was surprised would be an understatement. The role for which I was being interviewed for was just a customer service executive and to think that the MD of the organization would spend his valuable time to interview me was a bit surprising and intriguing at the same time.

Long story short, I got the job and was in for even more surprise. Shortly after I was inducted, I got invited to a meeting with the MD again. This time with a set of people who had joined with me or within the same month that i had joined.

I got to know that he spends about a couple of hours with all new recruits every month (at least every other month).  This was part of his regular schedule. In this meeting, he spoke about his vision for the organization, the kind of company that he was trying to build, his expectations from us and finally checked if we were adjusting to our new roles well.

Then he would randomly meet with a cross section of the company in an intimate group setting and ask about honest feedback on a regular basis.

I was also told by my HR colleagues, that it was rare that he rejected candidates whom he interviewed, but that did happen from time-to-time, when he felt that the candidate would not be a good fit for the kind of organization he had envisioned.

Now, more than a decade later, I realize and understand how important his actions were.

My learning from his behavior were

  • The importance of hiring the right kind of people.
  • The importance of staying connected and making sure that these new employees were treated well and settle into their jobs smoothly.
  • The importance of setting the right expectations from the start
  • The importance of consistent and continuous engagement & communication with the team.
  • That hiring the right people is ultimately the responsibility of the leader and not anyone else and important enough not to delegate.

Do you agree with his actions? What else should he be doing or should he be not doing?

3 Things That I Look for When Hiring


We all end up in a situation when we are required to hire someone. It might be to grow your business or to replace someone who has decided to move on her career. 

There is already lot of good advice on hiring best practices. However, I would like to share with you three things that i look for in a candidate before deciding to hire her. 

  1. Passion: The first thing that I look for in a person is passion. The passion could be for any topic, not necessarily their jobs or roles in the past but for any topic. I have realized that it is much easier to help people find passion in work, if they have experienced passion elsewhere. 
  2. Friends: The question that I ask before making any hiring decision is will he make a good friend for me and the team. The other thing that I try and find out is her circle of friends. This tells me about their social skills and ability to go along with people. 
  3. Learning: The last thing that I look for when hiring is their openness to learning and exploring new stuff. The world we live in is changing so dramatically, that keeping up and ahead of these changes will require us all to be open to exploring, learning and occasionally failing. Have they failed at anything? Have they learnt anything new in the past few years? 

If I find that the answers to all these questions are in the positive, I go ahead and hire her. Everything else can be taught.    

What do you look for in people before you hire them?

This post has been adapted from my book – Your Startup Mentor