Exklusivt med Sir Richard Branson
Intervju | 2016-02-05
Han är känd för våghalsiga äventyr tillika storslagen och kreativ marknadsföring. En filantrop adlad av drottningen för sina bedrifter, god för över 4 miljarder pund och mannen bakom imperiet Virgin Group. Vi på Interim Search är stolta att ha fått en personlig intervju med kanske världens främste entreprenör: Sir Richard Branson.
Are there any specific personal attributes that you are looking for when hiring someone?
Personality is the key. The first thing to look for when searching for a great employee is somebody with a personality that fits with your company culture. Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality. If you can find people who are fun, friendly, caring and love helping others, you are on to a winner.
It is not something that always comes out in interview – people can be shy. But you have to trust your judgement. If you have got a slightly introverted person with a great personality, use your experience to pull it out of them. If you are satisfied with the personality, then look at experience and expertise. Find people with transferable skills – you need team players who can pitch in and try their hand at all sorts of different jobs. While specialists are sometimes necessary, versatility should not be underestimated.
Some managers get hung up on qualifications. I only look at them after everything else.
If somebody has five degrees and more A-grades than you can fit on one side of paper, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right person for the job. Great grades count for nothing if they aren’t partnered with broad-ranging experience and a winning personality.
That doesn’t mean you can’t take risks when building your team. Don’t be afraid of hiring mavericks. Somebody who thinks a little differently can help to see problems as opportunities and inspire creative energy within a group. Some of the best people we’ve ever hired didn’t seem to fit in at first, but proved to be indispensable over time.
When, in general, is it beneficial for an organization to hire an Interim Manager?
When companies go through growth spurts, they often hire in bulk and a company culture can suffer. While it may seem a desperate rush to get somebody through the door, it is worth being patient to find the right person, rather than hurrying and unbalancing your team. I heard a great line by Funding Circle CEO Samir Desai at the Institute of Directors Conference in London (quoting Apple’s Dan Jacobs) about making sure you hire (and fire) the right people:
“It’s better to have a hole in your team than an asshole in your team!”
When should you hire from within and when should you look outside the business?
If you’ve been hiring great people all along, when an executive or manager does leave, you should fill that job from within if possible. The key is to keep up a constant stream of strong candidates into all positions, especially the entry-level ones that your competitors might ignore.
If you hire the wrong person at the top of a company, they can destroy it in no time at all.
Promoting from within is generally a good idea as the employee who is promoted will be inspired by the new role, already know the business inside out, and have the trust and respect of their team.
Equally, bringing in fresh blood can reinvigorate a company. Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia both brought in CEOs from outside – John Borghetti at Virgin Australia and Craig Kreeger at Virgin Atlantic. They have brought a lot of fresh ideas into the company, as well as experience of what the competition is doing well and what they are doing badly.