Developmental relationships

Hire tough

Pérez has a very simple philosophy when it comes to hiring
people at The Related Group — take the time to hire a star.

“In order for you to really succeed,” he says, “you have to
hire tough, and hopefully, then manage easy, which means
that if you make the right decision upfront and get the right
person, then it becomes a lot easier to manage that person.”

Pérez is anything but naive about real-life circumstances. Let’s
face the facts — if you have a senior employee walk out in the
middle of an important project, you have a gaping hole that may
hurt deadlines and bottom lines. Nonetheless, he says you’re
better off taking a hurt in the short run than hiring foolishly and
putting together a subpar project.

“What happens is whenever you hire, it means that you have
a need that needs to be satisfied very rapidly, i.e., I need a project manager in Mexico, and the project is going on already,” he
says. “So the instinct is, ‘Jesus, even if this person isn’t great,
let’s hire them.’ That’s a mistake. You have got to take the time,
even if the need is very pressing, to make sure that you have
the right guy, because the damage caused by having the wrong
guy is immense.”

To hire stars, you have to take each step carefully. During the
interview, Pérez recommends you flesh out the details of the
person’s work character.

“As you talk to them, you ask not just generalized questions
like what are your best characteristics, what are your worst
characteristics, which are good to ask, but very few people are
going to say to you, ‘I’m really dumb, I don’t work hard, I have
to be home every day by 5 o’clock,’ but you start asking questions that will lead you to understand character,” he says. “Ask
how would you act in the following situation? ‘When you
worked in the following firm, what specifically were your
duties?’ And when they tell you, ‘I did this, this and this’ then
you ask them more just to make sure that that is exactly what
they did, because a lot of people overestimate what they did.”

Rather than be impressed by a flashy resume, Pérez says you
must get the specific details of work that people have done and
ask for the examples.

“So you dig hard into those things that will tell you what is
the real experience, can he do it pro forma,” he says. “You say,
‘Show me; give me samples of your work.”

Once you’ve verified those things, you absolutely must check
multiple references on anyone you are putting in a position
that can impact your company. And that doesn’t mean you talk
to the close friend a candidate puts on his or her resume.

“Typically, unless you have a person that is fairly stupid, he’s
not going to give you a reference that’s going to say this guy is
a drunk, so we really do our work in checking references,”
Pérez says.

The Related Group regularly makes calls inside the industry
and back-checks with people it trusts.

“We all check references based on who in the company
knows somebody that’s worked with this guy so we get a
straight answer,” Pérez says. “Because most companies today
don’t want to get sued, so they say, ‘Yes, he was a good worker; he worked here from this date to this date,’ and it’s very
hard to get anything from those things either positive or negative. So you have to go to people that trust you that give you
the right scoop. And that’s a long and difficult process … but
that’s what I mean by being tough, because you have to stay
with it, because if you don’t hire stars, your company will
never be a star company.”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.