Every manager desires to have a team of successful people working with them. If you have the ability to assemble successful teams, you’ll be respected by your bosses and remembered after you leave.

Remember former President Ronald Reagan? He did many important things, but he is most remembered for his ability to assemble a great team and communicate with them and through them. The trick isn’t in knowing that you should hire successful people, it’s in knowing how to hire successful people.

Mutual funds all have a disclaimer that tells us that previous success doesn’t guarantee future success, and that’s absolutely correct. Past success doesn’t guarantee future success, but that’s the way to bet. While past success doesn’t guarantee success, those who’ve had little success in the past rarely become superstars.

Below are four tips for hiring people with a history of success:

  1. Check their attitude—Successful people are generally more positive, speak with confidence, and can quantify and qualify their success. Unsuccessful people speak in generalities and blame others for their lack of success.
  2. Look for a cultural fit—Even if the person you’re interviewing has a great track record of success and a great attitude, if they don’t fit into your team or uphold the ethics of your company, you’re hiring a problem, not a solution. Make certain the superstar in front of you will be a team player and a happy addition to your team and company. If not, pass on them. You don’t need additional problems.
  3. Review their track record—Anybody can talk a good game. Get them to speak in specifics about their accomplishments and how they achieved them, the latter being more important than the former. If their accomplishments came about because they knew how to maximize the systems at their previous employers, you’d better make certain you have similar systems or that they can operate without those systems. Check references, read their previous performance reviews if they can produce them, “Google” them, and talk with their friends.  If this person has had a great deal of success, they will be able to provide people who can attest to it. If not, pass.  They may be great, but if they can’t prove it, they could be misleading you.
  4. Success-‘full’—The word successful means full of success, so let’s expand that to mean success in all areas.  Try to hire well-rounded professionals, not one-dimensional experts in your niche.  Take them out to dinner with their spouse or significant other, and see how they interact.  Find out what they do for fun and what organizations they support. What could be better than hiring a truly well-rounded, successful leader? Dig a little deeper and you will know how big your star really is.

Do you agree with the four ways listed above?  Would you list another way?  Your input is always appreciated.