If you’ve read through this blog you will know that I’ve run into more than my fair share of schmucks. So let me see if I can make life a bit less troublesome for you by sharing my thoughts—and guidance from others—that will keep you clear of such schmucky-ness! The post below is from an excellent writer, and scholar, Marshall Goldman. Just hearing the title of one of his books, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There,” made me want to jump the snowdrifts in Bellingham, WA right now to the nearest bookstore! In the excerpt below from his recent post on the Harvard Business Publishing blog, Marshall provides practical guidance to improve hiring. Enjoy! – Lori


We distilled 13 years of consulting insights across hundreds of companies, performed exclusive interviews with over 20 billionaires and 60 other CEOs and investors to collect their best advice and stories on this topic, and completed a university-sponsored scientific study of 313 CEO careers.

What did we learn? We learned 7 things that managers can do today to improve their hiring success rate from 50% to 90%. We call this the “A Method For Hiring.”

Write a written “scorecard” with quantifiable outcomes you expect a person to deliver. It’s time to be precise—not fuzzy.

Identify what elements of your culture you must have in candidates.

Source the best candidates using your network and think twice before over-relying on ads, job boards, and recruiters.

Consider paying a much bigger referral bounty to your employees who source A Players who are hired. One high performing company, for example, pays its employees a $100,000 hiring bounty for people who are hired (paid out $10k per year for 10 years of start date if both the referring party and the referred party are still employed).

Select the right person by conducting at least one extremely thorough, 3-hour, chronological interview. Really dig in.


Find out for each job the person has had:
• What was the person hired to do?
• What were his or her biggest accomplishments?
• What were his or her mistakes?
• What would his or her bosses say about them (which can be verified with reference checks)?
• Why did he or she leave?


Watch out for red flags like: candidates who don’t take responsibility for past mistakes, or who speak poorly of most of their bosses.

Watch out for the 20 behavioral derailers that Marshall Goldsmith writes about in What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.


Sell candidates by remembering the 5 Fs of what candidates care about:
• Fit (with your company)
• Family (support for joining your company)
• Freedom (to make decisions)
• Fortune (and glory)
• Fun


You can do it. Master the A Method for Hiring. Enjoy more career success. Make more money. Have more time.

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