5 traits billionaire Richard Branson looks for when hiring someone

Finding the right talent at the right time is vital for the growth of any business. New talent not only brings growth but business continuity. They are the extra pair of hands that make sure the business runs smoothly on a rainy day.

“The people you need are rare, but they are not hard to spot.”

Richard Branson, Business Stripped Bare

Conventional wisdom points to hiring someone with the right academic and professional qualifications. Also, it works most of the time. However, it will take more than just qualifications to build a business in its early stages.

The kind of people who do well in any business is a special group. Richard Branson, in his bestseller Business Stripped Bare, points out the numerous encounters he had with people with vastly different backgrounds, who had a common trait that made them great employees/colleagues in his business endeavours.


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1.    They can grow into their work, and respond with excitement when we give them greater responsibility

Some people love to work. They don’t mind putting in extra hours and effort. Face new challenges without hesitation. These are the people that can drive a business to success.

2.    They try new things, methods, tools, voluntarily to improve their work, without following a given recipe.

No recipe, method, or system is perfect. Businesses need to continually try and improve their offerings to provide the best service possible to their clients. If you are a small business, you will not have a budget to hire someone specifically for research and development. Your next hire must be a person who thinks a little outside the box.

3.    They enjoy working with others

In a small business, the importance of teamwork cannot be emphasized enough. This not only extends to the workplace. In a small team, people may end up relying on each other in their professional and personal lives.

4.    They get their hands dirty when needed.

You will never really know what you are making until you have made it yourself. You need people who are not only good with maths but the tools as well. There’s no forecast when and where the requirement will be, but the ability to perform in the field is a must at any employee and employer.

5.    They do not limit their scope of work to a specific field of expertise.

At small businesses and startups, it’s a necessity to share overlapping responsibilities in different parts of the business, be it in, accounting, IT, or procurement. There is no getting around this fact when you are limited on manpower.


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Often these people will not have the necessary qualifications. They will be at a bar, a cafe, a hotel, in a business place, in libraries, at the post offices. They will be working on an easily overlooked job, serving tables at a restaurant, running sports activities at a hotel or maybe a cashier at a department store.

Wherever they are, it’s not hard to spot them. More often than not, they have the remarkable ability to take greater responsibilities and perform will in situations where conventional talent fails.

It’s vital to be on the lookout for talent, not only for the business opportunities. Be on the lookout for people who will run that extra mile. It’s not easy to find energetic and enthusiastic people with the right attitude. Seek out people with the right spirit bubbling under the surface. Get working with them.


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Thank you Yanalya on Freepik for the featured image.

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