- Clone your best people. Identify superstars; map their attributes; ask their customers, employees, peers and supervisors what makes them great; match new hires to that profile.
- Let them be a little “different.” OK, we didn’t mean cloning, exactly. Even as you’re looking for people who match your stars’ fine attributes, find yourself some unconventional characters who aren’t afraid of change. Then, when the ground shifts, you’ll be ready.
- Hire the mission-oriented. Easier said than done, but you want people driven by a purpose and people who’ll need to stretch a bit.
- Look for people who excel at what you don’t. You never want a whole team of quarterbacks; somebody has to block.
- Be clever. Advertise in ways that make people stop, think … even laugh.
- Screen for the qualities you want. If you need somebody who will go to any length to complete the job, ask candidates to tell you about a time they broke rules to solve a problem or satisfy a customer. And don’t tip your hand about what you’re looking for.