How to filter job applicants quickly – weeding out the wrong type of people to employ

take ownership and be accountable

Our company has over 500 employees,  I haven’t put a professional system in place to interview people, check CV’s or do personality tests due to the nature of our business.

I wouldn’t be so stringent on staff that are not part of the core management team,  i.e if you need 40 cleaners, you just need them to do a good job because they are not working with other people, managing staff or dealing with customers.

These filters are when considering managerial types or other people facing customers and other team members. Some of these things you can argue or they are generalisations and not everyone is the same, but there are more reasons to why I look for these than I have mentioned. This doesn’t mean they won’t get the job because life isn’t that simple.

  • I look for negative posts on their social media, negative thoughts, sharing negative things, you don’t want negativity around, its like cancer within the business. You do not want toxic people in your business! They can do untold amounts of damage within your business and sometimes you don’t notice their effect until they are gone

  • Any attacks/arguments political,  this is usually people that have a problem with authority plus so much time wasted on fighting a losing battle

  • I look for habits, good and bad,  I wouldn’t employ a high-performance type person if they have bad habits, bad habits are contagious,  good habits are contagious,  if you are really being picky, you need to get people that lead by example.  If your a health business then maybe a fat person won’t suit it, if your a fitness business, then maybe you don’t want smokers around.

  • Look for racist posts – we have dodged a few bullets this way, if not just the racism, but its the judging, lack of understanding and negativity

  • Look for a sense of humour, this is a real positive for business, the ability to make a joke or keep the team cool when bad things are happening

  • Anyone blaming other people and not taking ownership during interviews is a really big problem for me, I have sat there listening to people list all the jobs they have worked for and why it wasn’t there fault that they no longer had the job,  ideally a guy that turns up in a T-shirt saying everything is his fault, and taking ownership of everything is the guy that I want, hes the guy that is in control and will take action to fix things.
    take ownership - everythig is my fault
    Take Ownership and Get Control Back


  • Loyalty is more important than skills/experience often.  I think most employers will agree, although we would rather not teach people from scratch, we are happy to invest if we know the person is really around for the long haul, loyalty is a big thing for me, it takes patience though, you have to prove yourself or show signs first. It’s important to have people motivated by money in a sales environment, but loyalty still needs to be up there.  I am where I am today because loyalty was more important than money, chasing money means you won’t climb the ranks so fast, but of course, not all employers have the mindset of raising people levels,  so I totally understand people moving around companies.

  • Radical honesty, I really like people being honest about their mistakes,  then we can learn from them, I am always cool about 1 mistake, but I am not cool if the same mistake gets repeated and hasn’t been learnt from, because that’s cost us time, money and stress.  We have to be honest to put business before our feelings.  Ray Dalio talks about radical truth and radical transparency in his book “Principles By Ray Dalio” An extremely decent book for those with big teams.

  • Ego – this is pretty much what I just mentioned,  our feelings need to come after what is best for the business, older guys that have become wiser tend to start seeing the big picture more and will take an ego hit to better themselves. Sometimes our feelings have to take a battering for profitability, but you can’t expect this lower down the chain. (if a cleaner is abused by a good customer, it needs to be dealt with,  if a good customer abuses me or one of our core upper-level team, we should take the hit)

  • People that ask questions – I am looking for people that ask questions and want to learn about everything, this interest is going a long way

  • High Energy – I am looking for people with a contagious energy that flows around the room, motivates people and inspires the rest of the team

  • People with children tend to be more serious and motivated, but this isn’t a rule, it’s just an observation

  • Team players – we need team players, which also means showing up on time and not having days off for little reason, if one person in the team drops off, he’s letting everyone down,  its important everyone works together in rising the business to new levels, everyone is responsible for each other’s profit, job security and motivating each other.  Often people won’t work hard for themselves but they will for others, peer pressure is a very strong motivator and so it should be.  Business is a group effort, can’t have one player letting the team down,  we need to help, motivate and teach each other. Even if employees aren’t getting a profit share, their job security and future rises are in the hands of you and those around you at every level.  (this is about shifting everyone’s mindset rather than beating people to comply)

    One point I want to raise is that it’s important to remember that we are all screwed in some way, we all have problems,  so I ask myself if there is someone next to them that can compensate for this and they can help the other person nicely.  For example, someone might be bad at managing staff but could with numbers,  and their sidekick has the opposite problem,  so we often try to match people together to give them a good chance, rather than fight it.  We can train people to do alot of things but it takes time.  Also, I am a big fan of forgiving people for something bad, once someone does something bad and you have given them the benefit of the doubt, you have proven to them that you have got there back and they will be grateful forever…  this is the opposite of begging someone to work for you,  they throw it in your face forever lol


    Before anyone slams me on all the points above,  these are not solid rules, some people have attributes that outweigh their negative points and different jobs require different people. Its just things to consider when weighing up peoples good and bad points, while depending on the job role.  For example, people with addictions can mean they are highly driven and obsessed, not just displaying a lack of control.  Also, some people can change, some people might be having a bad part of their life, if they are consistently failing or feeling sorry for themselves, then I don’t want them around… if they have had a few recent problems but are positive, then that’s fine.

    The most important thing is when asking people what they are good and bad at, remember it is far less accurate than asking their friends and family! Sometimes it’s worth asking their friends/family,  I am not sure in the corporate world if this is allowed,  but in my world in a social holiday town, we have a lot of mutual friends knocking around. I guess asking ex-colleagues would be a good starting point. A few guys have said to me “I love the guy, but I wouldn’t employ him”