20 Recruiting Quotes by Industry Titans to Guide Your Hiring

Whether for customer support or elsewhere, hiring can be a difficult and frustrating process. If you want to create a strong and healthy company, though, finding and developing the right people is paramount.

The best place to find the right advice for a successful company is from those who've done it. For some encouragement and directions, check out these quotes from the captains of industry.

I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.

Bill Gates

Although a workhorse often seems like the obvious candidate for the job, Gates points out that a problem solver and efficient worker is often the best choice. It is not necessarily the one who stays latest at the office that is doing the best work. Find the one who can figure out the best way to accomplish the task to bolster your company.

Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he’s hired to do.

Malcolm Forbes, Forbes

Forbes looks for someone knowledgeable to hand the work over to. Experience, especially in a start-up or small business, means that you are freed up to use your time on your work rather than teach.

Also, someone who excitedly discusses the work you are hiring for shows passion for the job. People with passion care to learn about what they love to do. Find those people.

I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies.

Lawrence Bossidy, GE

The culture that you build is crucial to your business. There cannot be a successful company without the right people to build it up.

Hiring can be exhausting, but keep your eyes on the main goal: getting people that add value. It will more than pay off.

I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way.

Lee Iacocca, Ford

Iacocca’s statement is critical for attracting young and talented workers. Most Millennials look for a company where they are given responsibilities and a chance to learn and improve themselves.

The days of micromanagers are over: the ability to let your employees shine is the recipe for a successful business.

You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world…but it requires people to make the dream a reality.

Walt Disney

As painful and difficult the process of hiring the right employees may be, it is an important part of growing your company. Who you hire is who you choose to live out the vision for your company. Choose wisely.

Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don't have the first, the other two will kill you.

Warren Buffet

Character is one of the few things you cannot teach an employee. You may try to explain its importance and make it a value in your company, but if you hire someone without integrity your company will suffer. A business of integrity starts with who you hire.

Hiring the right people takes time, the right questions and a healthy dose of curiosity. What do you think is the most important factor when building your team? For us, it's personality.

Richard Branson

There is no way around it: hiring takes work. If you are willing to put in the work, you will be rewarded with an employee or team that works for you and propels your vision.

Branson is emphasizing yet another characteristic that cannot be taught: personality. Someone that brings life to your company reflects well on you. Look for what’s ingrained in a candidate, like personality.

Find ballplayers, not those who look good in baseball caps.

Tom Monahan, CEB

Monahan underscores the importance of looking deeper at a candidate. Many people can look good in a one 15-minute interview. Multiple interviews, multiple people to screen the candidate, background checks and personality tests all help give a more accurate assessment of whether someone is truly the worker for you, or just “looks good”.

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This statement also emphasizes the importance of keeping out the kind of people that only seek to look good at the expense of the company. These people cut down their peers and subordinates in order to make themselves look good. They are the death of their companies; find people that actually do the work to look good instead.

Engagement has to be human, because people trust people more than brands.

Ana Alonso, Shell

No matter your business there is no getting around the people aspect. Find and hire the right people to represent your brand because that is what makes a business successful. No matter how great your product, your company will never be better than the people that work there.

Hire character. Train skill.

Peter Schutz, Porsche

Most things can be taught, but no amount of training can produce character. If you hire someone with integrity and a solid work ethic, you can take care of teaching the rest.

A company should limit its growth based on its ability to attract enough of the right people.

Jim Collins

People are crucial to whether a business stands or falls. It does not matter how good a product or service you offer; in the hands of the wrong people it will fail.

Do not fall into the trap of hiring someone subpar because you need a body. If there seems to be no one available, perfect your practices, streamline, and wait it out.

In technology, it's about the people. Getting the best people, retaining them, nurturing a creative environment, and helping to find a way to innovate.

Marissa Mayer

As exhausting as it can be and how it may distract for what you would rather be doing, the hiring process is critical. Although Mayer emphasizes its importance in technology, any business survives and thrives by the people that you hire.

I'd rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.

Jeff Bezos

A bad hire is like poison to your company. Take the extra steps, interviews, and hours to avoid them.

Hire right, because the penalties of hiring wrong are huge.

Ray Dalio

Just as much as the right people grow your business, the wrong people bring it down. The cost in a wrong hire is more than just wasted money. They take energy, bring down your culture, and waste valuable time.

Hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture. 

Howard Schultz

Schultz emphasizes how important it is to look beyond a resume to the person. Do you connect with this person? Do they seem in line with your values? How do others feel about them? Hiring is more than numbers. Get a feel for the person and trust your gut.

My theory is that A players hire people even better than themselves. It’s clear, though, that B players hire C players so they can feel superior to them, and C players hire D players. If you start hiring B players, expect what Steve called ‘the bozo explosion’ to happen in your organization.

Guy Kawasaki

Some fear hiring someone better or more talented than themselves. To grow a business and improve a company, though, humility is required to hire the right people.

Not only do you need to be humble while hiring, but hire humble people as well. They will look after the wellbeing of the company rather than just looking good.

The Who is more important than the What.

Ray Dalio

People make the company and sell the product. Without the right people on your team what you sell is useless. Who you have is more important than What you have.

The secret to my success is that we’ve gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.

Steve Jobs

Do not cut steps to find the right people. Whatever work you put into finding them more than pays for itself. The better people you have, the better business you will have.

Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth… Hiring was- and still is- the most important thing we do.

Marc Bennioff

Hiring is an essential part of what you do. In order to grow your company and be successful, find the right talent to make your vision a reality.

Take care of the people, the products, and the profits- in that order.

Ben Horowitz

A great product and profit are essential for business, but without the right people it goes nowhere. Find the right people, foster their growth and create a powerful company culture to achieve success.

Successful companies take their time and go to great lengths to find and encourage the right people. They also have a definite pattern in their advice: hire for character, personality and passion. Then train for skills and let them develop those skills.

Hiring pays exponentially for the amount of work you put in. Take these moguls’ advice and find the right people to grow your business.