Answer this question:

What are some common traits of rockstar managers?

You know the ones.

They rise quickly. They get things done–but remain liked and respected. They build awesome teams, and therefore awesome careers for themselves.

  • leadership skills?
  • a talent for organizing?
  • the ability to hold awesome one-on-one meetings?

These are traits of great managers, but even these pale in comparison to one other trait:

Great managers are those who are able to BUILD up amazing teams from scratch, and that means they are amazing at hiring.

It might sound too good to be true—because it probably is—but follow these guidelines below for every single hire you make, and you’ll be building up a talent and reputation for building great teams.

And building great teams = great career for you.

1 – Take Your Time and Get It Right. 110% Right.

Legendary management author Jim Collins had it right:

Your team is like a bus. You need to be putting the RIGHT people in the RIGHT spots and the RIGHT time.

If that sounds hard—it’s because it is.

There’s more info on the bus metaphor by the way.

And while finding the perfect “who” could be tedious, frustrating, etc—leading you to WANT to make hiring decisions a little too quick, remember this:

All that frustration is nothing compared to hiring the wrong person. That means not only 10x more headache for you, but also your team.

Don’t be afraid to take your time if it means finding the right person.

Speaking of which…

2 – Know Exactly Who You’re Looking For.

We should’ve put this first, probably.

The job title & description is simply not enough.

You (and any other interviewers) need a crystal-clear vision of the new hire.

  • What is their ideal background?
  • What is their ideal education?
  • What are their strengths?
  • What weaknesses don’t really matter?
  • Which do?
  • Hyper-organized, hyper-creative, or a balance of both?

Explicitly define your perfect hire, and it’ll be 10x easier to spot them when they walk through the door.

3 – Vet Candidates Thoroughly and Across Your Entire Team

Under no circumstances should you make a hiring decision based on the inputs of just 1 person.

“Duh,” you say, but doesn’t it often work out like that, even if there are 2 or 3 different interviewers throughout the process?

Not only should you screen new hires with several interviewers (honestly, the more the merrier in our opinion), but you should sincerely seek and consider their input.

New hires don’t just need to be a great fit for you—they need to be a great fit for the company and their coworkers.

It matters.

Hire the right person for the bus, not just the driver.

4 – Move Quickly

Yes, we just gave the advice to take your time trying to find the right fit.

However, this time-taking can only happen after you have:

  1. posted the job
  2. Reviewed her resume
  3. Emailed her
  4. Phoned her
  5. Brought her in for the interview
  6. etc.

The “deciding” part of the hiring process should be deliberate, methodical, and with nothing left to chance. Everything else should be proceed as fast as humanly possible.

No, forget humanly. As fast as the software allows.

Automate follow-up emails.

Review resumes, schedule interviews, send emails—batched processed.

For every other step in the interview process outside of deciding, operate quickly.

This will also help the feeling of the ENTIRE process taking forever since the decision phase will take longer.

Be agile.

5 – Ditch the HR-Approved Interview Scripts

Or, at the very least, do much more than the HR-approved interview questions.


There are 3 stages to an interview, and 2 are far more important than the other.

  1. First impressions (important)
  2. The Interview
  3. Everything that happens after the interview before they leave the building.

That #2? That’s the HR-approved questions, and they can definitely reveal how prepared the interviewee is—but that’s enough.

Not only should you pay close attention to the “casual talk” after the official interview questions—but you should actively plan that time. You will be reviewing a candidate’s fit!

Moreso than the scripted interview questions.

6 – Take Notes Immediately After the Interview (Additional Points for Using Audio!)

You’re a manager. You’re stretched thin enough already.

Trying to remember anything in 2019 and beyond is futile and simply not necessary.

Try using your phone’s built-in voice recorder to quickly take notes and organize your thoughts about the candidate. This is quicker than writing and typing and is easy to refer back to later.

Ads make quote above.

7 – Found the Right Person? Hire Immediately and Generously.

If the person is worth hiring, they’re probably worth hiring for other companies as well.

If you truly know you’ve found the right person, move quickly, and get all of your negotiating chips laid out beforehand!

When we say “generously,” we don’t mean give away the farm and throw all negotiating tactics out of the window.

But you should organize your maximum salary cap, a list of additional perks and benefits, etc before you sit down at the table.

At that point, be smart and do whatever it takes to get that perfect fit.

That’s it.


World-class managers know the truth about hiring—it’s beyond important–it’s an essential step to building a great team.

So, treat it as such!

Hire A players every time, and both you and your team will reap the benefits.