Human Resources

Checklist for Hiring

Tony Greenberg, CEO of RampRate ( and DeepStrat ( shares his checklist for hiring the right person. When thinking about who to hire it is important to think about factors like their strengths and weaknesses, level of honesty, and references.

  1. Decide if you would want to have dinner with this person
  2. Assess their strengths & weaknesses
  3. Check references- 3 employers, 3 past team members & last fired position
  4. Figure out their level of honesty
  5. Determine their desired compensation & overall employment goals

Companies are not projects. They’re teams. They deliver something so how the team works and team dynamics are critical to a success? So when I think about inserting someone into a particular team of innovation, I think are they conceptual, linear, adapting, or changing? What exactly are their innate strengths?

As result, now that I know that, are they actually going to work well within the construct of the team? When I want to have dinner with this person, it’s the first thing on my checklist because if I don’t, the team won’t.

The second, I want to decide what they’re great at. You’ve got only certain strengths and certain weaknesses and you don’t put all the people with the same strengths and the same team of innovation.

I find outside references through LinkedIn and other tools. I don’t want to talk to someone’s golfing buddies to find out if they’re great at work or not. I do ask a person, “Give me three people you worked for, three people that work for you and a reference to the last job you got fired from.”

If they can’t be honest about that, it’s a little bit of a problem. Self promotion is okay, lying is not. It’s the next on my checklist. I love – I had verbally driven individual. I love a guy with gusto and proud of his achievements but it’s a very slippery slope between that and an outright lie. Liars will lie to your team and then ruin your organization. Stay away.

And the last is something that I’ve learned probably too recently. You can’t get people for less than they think they’re worth. What they make does not mean how they’re committed to the company and I’ve learned this and skinned my knees a hundred times. Ask someone, “What do you want to do here? What do you want your job to be? What is it you want with your compensation? What percentage is base pay versus variable or performance compensation? And what are your personal goals?”

And if those things that they answer don’t align with your vision of what you need, it’s not a fit. Move on.

Knowing the person’s resume and their professional fit is nothing to do with his success as part of your team but deeply beyond into how they fit into your ethos and groups to ensure that innovation is maximized and efficient.