How to Hire the Right People and Other Tips This Week

Why you should open up to potential hires, how you should approach influential people, the importance of listening to your fans and more: our best tips of the week.

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By Brian Patrick Eha


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A roundup of the best tips of the week from

It's one thing to hire employees with the right experience and skills, but getting people with the right personalities for your company can be more challenging. Company culture is hard to define, and that makes hiring a risky proposition if you don't know how to snag the right people.

One thing you should do if you want to get a sense of a potential hire's personality is to bring your own personality to the interview. "You put people on guard if you ask them to reveal something about themselves but don't give them anything in return," says Jonathan Basker, a vice president at Betaworks, a New York-based company that builds social web companies. He recommends acting natural and opening up to interviewees about yourself and your company. And don't try to "gotcha" them with difficult trick questions. "There should be no power dynamics," Basker says. "It should just be a conversation between two people." More: Hiring Secrets: Finding a Personality Fit

With influencers, give more than you ask for.
Influential people -- thought leaders, major authors, successful business owners -- often find themselves fielding a lot of requests from people asking for a piece of their limited free time. If you want to separate yourself from the pack and truly connect with an influencer, you should find a way to provide value rather than just asking for help. "Give three things and ask for one," recommends Steven Babitsky, co-author of The Street Smart MBA. More: 6 Steps to Connecting With Influential People

Aim for the moon, but have a timetable.
Former president John F. Kennedy made the goal of putting a man on the moon seem attainable in part by setting a real-world timetable for the accomplishment. You should do the same in your ventures, says Douglas Brinkley, professor of history at Rice University. "Think about what's big and bold and what your company can do, and get the word out. And a timeline is hugely important so it's more than empty promises." More: Lessons in Persuasion From the Most Celebrated American Presidents

Protect your employees' sensitive information.
The Internal Revenue Service is being defrauded by scammers using stolen Social Security numbers to file false refund claims. "Identity theft is a huge epidemic the IRS is facing," says Russell Fox, the author of Tax Strategies for the Small Business Owner. To prevent being a mark for scammers, make sure you keep your employees' Social Security numbers secure. You may even want to keep them locked in a physical filing cabinet rather than saving digital copies. More: How to Keep Your Zen During Tax Season

Listen to your fans and engage them as individuals.
When telecommunications giant Nokia learned in September 2012 that one of its customers, 32-year-old Aaron Hall, had driven 400 miles to be first in line for the unveiling of the company's new Lumia 820 and 920 smartphones, the company made Hall the focus of a blog post. Stay on the lookout for passionate customers like Hall; they are your biggest brand advocates, says Brad Spikes, Nokia's head of social media marketing for North America. More: 3 Ways to Turn Social Media Followers Into Promoters of Your Brand

Brian Patrick Eha

Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.

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