Lessons on Hiring - Join our team - Dave Ramsey

14 Lessons On Hiring by Dave Ramsey in Entreleadership

CategoriesHuman Resource, Recruitment151 views

Business is easy… until people get involved. And ain’t that the truth? Your team is central to your success. Pick a great team and you make your work that much easier. Enjoy and hopefully learn a thing or two from this curated list of advice when hiring from Dave Ramsey from his best selling book, Entreleadership.

Turnover is bad for business

Proper hiring creates a good team, and a good team lowers turnover. Turnover is very expensive, particularly in a small business. When you lose a team member, not only is their job not getting done, but oftentimes your job isn’t getting done because you have to stop what you are doing and begin the interview process again. Plus, new team members have to be trained. That takes time away from other tasks, and the new team members take a while to become good at their task, costing you even more productivity.

Take your time

The first and often the largest mistake we make in hiring is we don’t take enough time. Take more time! You don’t want employees, you want team members. An employee is someone who comes late, leaves early, and steals while they are there. The process of adding team members requires you to slow down the hiring process. Take more time!

The person hired properly will perform better, will not cause problems, and will be more likely to stay.

Twelve components to a good hire

1. Prayer

As a person of faith, I ask God to send me who He wants to work with me to do the work He gave me. I also ask God to keep the crazy people away so I can get my work done. Sometimes He answers that prayer. LOL. If you are not a person of faith at least spend some quiet time in the morning thinking about the type of person you want to work with every day and the type of person you don’t want on your team.

2. Advertise and Get Referrals

We have found most employment advertising to be a waste of money. We are not trying to collect thousands of résumés. We are instead trying to find someone who fits on our team and wants to join our crusade.

By far our most successful hiring procedure is referrals from existing team members. We pay our team a bounty of $250 in cash, handed out and applauded in a staff meeting when we hire someone they sent us and that person makes it through the ninety-day probation period. And every time we hand out that money in a meeting we remind the whole group to be very careful to send us only their friends who are rock stars and not to send us friends who are turkeys or drama queens.

3. The Thirty-Minute Drive-By Interview

You should never hire someone in one interview. Ever. Your first interview should be a quick “get to know you” conversation to begin the process or cull someone out quickly.

In a drive-by thirty-minute interview, use the ratio of two ears to one mouth. Listen twenty minutes and talk for ten minutes. Listen much more than you talk. Don’t go thirty-one minutes; cut it off, because you two will be talking again, many times, if there is a reason.

4. Résumé and References

This is the most worthless of the twelve components to a good hire, but it’s still needed. You need a résumé so you can quickly get to the formal training someone has that pertains to the position you are filling. Other than that a résumé is a great place to begin several conversations where you will discover what the person is really about.

Since most people have the good sense to put down only references who will say good things about them, references are generally useless. We do check references because if the person is stupid enough to list references who don’t know we are going to call, or stupid enough to list references who aren’t going to say nice things about them, then we consider them too stupid to hire.

5. Testing Tools

Too many companies use testing tools as a key component in hiring. You and your leaders need to have enough relational intelligence to determine who to bring on without giving undue weight to some kind of “magic test” that will tell all.

However, we do use testing tools as one of the indicators of a good fit in hiring. The tool we always order after the second or third interview is the DiSC personality test. This tool gives us a quick look at the personality style of the person. We want to see if their style fits with the job, how their style will fit with the team they will join, and how they will interact with the style of their immediate leader. This is a quick test of twenty-something questions that just takes a few minutes, but sit reveals with fairly good accuracy a person’s tendencies.

6. Do You Like Them?

In most cases you are going to be working really closely with the people you hire. For goodness sakes, don’t force yourself to work with people you don’t like or don’t have anything in common with. There are some people you don’t need to hire—simply because you don’t like them. That is good enough.

7. Do They Light Up?

When you start talking about the position or when the candidate starts talking about the position, do they light up? Does the mere thought of getting to do the work at hand fire them up? Or are they just looking for a J-O-B? If all they want is a paycheck you will never keep them happy.

8. Personal Budget and Mission Statement

Very few people are nerdy enough to come to us for an interview with their personal mission statement already done. However, we do show people our mission statement in the interview process and if they go through the whole process and are hired, we require everyone to build a personal mission statement. We want their statement to show how the position they accepted is them living their dream

Did you know that if you hire people who are broke they don’t make good team members? If someone has financial problems they can’t concentrate on work because they are constantly worried about their bills. Broke people struggle at work.

9. Compensation Calculation, Benefits, and Policy Review

As we go through the different interviews we always go deeper into detail and develop exactly how a team member will be paid. We unpack the benefits we offer and we go over our core values and operating principles in detail before we hire someone. Remember that people whose first question is about pay are not people you want. If they are preoccupied by pay and benefits you will never do enough or pay enough to make them happy, because they are just looking for a J-O-B and not an opportunity with work that matters.

10. Key Results Areas

Before you even post a position you need to have a written, detailed job description. We call our job description a listing of Key Results Areas (KRAs). You need to define in detail what winning in that position looks like. What are the key touchstones that will make you, the leader, thrilled you hired them?

Writing out the Key Results Areas really helps you to define who you are looking for as well as clearly communicates what the position entails.

11. Spousal Interview

This may be the best advice in this whole book. A hire is a huge decision. The last interview we do is an informal dinner with the department leader and their spouse, and the hire and their spouse. With the first forty people we hired, Sharon and I went to dinner with the hire and their spouse. We started doing this so I could get Sharon’s input and see if she got some kind of feeeeeling about them.

12. Ninety-Day Probation

Once a person is hired, they are on a ninety-day probation and we have very little obligation to them during that time. Likewise, we tell them that our company is on probation with them and they have very little obligation to us during that time. They are welcome to walk in and quit. We probably won’t release them without lots of discussions because we have invested heavily at this point, but we have a low obligation. After ninety days though, we take serving our team and working with them very seriously.


That’s hiring as Dave Ramsey sees it. Here’s hoping something resonated enough with you to warrant trying.

If your efforts are better spent elsewhere, here’s why you should consider hiring a recruitment company.