3 Rules From Richard Branson for Hiring Remarkable People

This article was originally published on Inc Southeast Asia. Read more here.

Serial entrepreneur Richard Branson describes his conglomerate The Virgin Group as an “open zoo.”

Writing in his book “The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership,” published in September 2014, Branson emphasizes the importance of creating a friendly (if, in his case, chaotic) company culture. After all: entrepreneurs should love what they do, and that often means finding the right people to work with.

No matter what culture you’re trying to create–be it zoolike or more traditionally serious–hiring the right people is critical.

Here’s what Branson does to ensure his business brings on the best people:

1. Don’t delegate—do it yourself.

While it’s tempting to let HR handle everything, Branson urges entrepreneurs to get their hands dirty. He, like Google CEO Larry Page, insists on being involved with all senior-level hiring decisions (even when it means flying those candidates out to Necker island for an interview.)

What’s more, Branson likes to look for talent in places where he himself does not excel, recalling that Spanx’s CEO Sara Blakely once said to him: “The smartest thing I ever did in the early going was to hire my weaknesses.”

Evaluate where you personally could stand to improve, and seek out that quality in others.

2. Prioritize character over the resume.

Branson warns that you shouldn’t put too much emphasis on the applicant’s past experience. After all, cultivating a diverse team–including candidates from different job sectors–can lead you to better, more creative solutions.

Citing Ralph Waldo Emerson, who once said “Character is higher than intellect,” Branson goes on to explain that Virgin conducts group interviews where applicants are asked to play games with one another: “The idea being to let applicants’ personalities shine through in simulated real-life situations–we want people who can laugh and have fun with our guests, which is not something you can easily reconnoiter by reading a CV and asking questions over an interview desk.”

And sometimes, if the applicant is really nervous during an interview, Branson will ask them to tell him a joke. It’s a great icebreaker, he writes, allowing them to express their own, unique personality.

3. Beware of candidates who want to be “set free.”

As an entrepreneur, it’s also tempting to favor formerly “caged” applicants who say that they’re ready for a more open position in a startup with less structure.

But be careful, writes Branson: “The not insignificant issue is, ‘You can take the person out of the cage, but can you take the cage out of the person?'”

Many former executives actually depend on structure, and can’t handle the responsibility that comes with having freedom at work.

This article was written by Zoë Henry is a staff reporter at Inc. and a graduate of Brown University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. @ZoeLaHenry

 Sign up on Kalibrr and start hiring better today! You can also follow us on Facebook for more business and recruiter advice.

2 thoughts on “3 Rules From Richard Branson for Hiring Remarkable People

  1. seo

    Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. Seo Plugin


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *