Hiring is one the hardest things founders—especially early founders—have to do. Building a pipeline of candidates is one thing, and it’s not easy; narrowing it down to the right person is even more difficult. For most people, it’s both an art and a science. One thing I’ve seen repeatedly is a lack of intentionality in the screening process, which results in hiring subpar candidates. Said differently, if you’re not intentional in your process, your team will comprise mediocre performers or worse. To help drive an intentional process, interview for certain attributes.
One attribute I consistently see in A players is a desire for accountability. High-performing people like to be held accountable. They want to do what they’ve committed to and have others ask them about it. If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. You don’t become an A player by not doing what you said you would. People who aren’t A players tend to avoid accountability. They may commit to something, but they don’t want people to ask them about it. They want to do (or not do) what they want, when they want. These people can frustrate team members, cause friction in organizations, and impede work getting done.
If you’re building a team, don’t hire for people you’re comfortable with or who are similar to you. Instead, execute an intentional process that zeros in on attributes that matter, like accountability!