A lot of the success of any business rests on the success of its hiring process.  It’s not surprising that successful brands usually have some of the industry’s best talent.  This is probably the reason why most business owners pay very close attention to hiring.

If you think about it, the connection between hiring and success is pretty much a simple equation.  Put the right people in the right position and you’ve got yourself a winning combination.

Finding and identifying the right talent isn’t simple, however.  With growing choices and business needs, it’s not unusual to make a few mistakes along the way. So how do you avoid them?

The best way to do it is to get the wisdom of some of the world’s top CEOs:

1.  Roberto Orci, Hollywood producer and screenwriter

Roberto Orci

“Hire someone smarter than you and then challenge them with all you’ve got — it’s the only way to keep them interested, invested and challenged.”



For one of Hollywood’s top producers and screenwriters, hiring someone smarter and constantly challenging them so they give their best is an effective way of keeping them interested and invested.

Time and again, we’ve heard stories of top talent leaving because their tasks have become boring and stale.  When it reaches a point when they’re no longer “challenged” by what they do, they’ll most likely quit and go somewhere else.

It’s important to keep people hungry, especially the top-performing ones, because they thrive on challenge.  Once they lose interest because what they’re doing has become repetitive, you might as well start looking for a replacement.

2.  Roy McDonald, founder and CEO of OneLife

“Our recruitment process is clearly defined. We hire based on the profile requirements of the position and we encourage team members to bring their partners to our training events.”



For OneLife CEO Roy McDonald, lifestyle, health, and well-being play an important role in running the business.  This is the reason why apart from encouraging people to bring their partners, OneLife also pays well.

Roy believes that treating people as business partners is the key to success, which makes perfect sense because anyone who feels that they are part of that success will definitely give 100% every time.

3. Ian Robert, Scouted 

“Building a workplace that aligns towards a very clear and important mission is extremely important in attracting millennials. Explain why the work they will be doing is changing the world and making it better.” 


For Ian Robert, Head of Growth at Scouted, making people (millennials more specifically) understand how their skills can contribute to society and “change the world” so to speak, makes a world of difference.

A high salary is almost a given across several businesses, and contrary to popular belief, won’t really get you the best talent out there.

Why the business exists and how it contributes to society has become an important factor in attracting the best talent today.  It’s no longer just about the money.

4. Steven Zausner, Fission Ventures

“Think about hiring people over the age of 35. Experienced hires can add pragmatism, knowledge, and balance to startup cultures. Too many CEO’s are afraid to hire people who are older or more experienced than they are. This is a mistake.” 


For Fission Ventures’ Steven Zausner, age and experience is a huge consideration.  In fact, they are more likely to hire someone above the age of 35 because they like the balance, experience, and pragmatism they bring to the table.

This is especially true for startups where most CEOs are usually reluctant to hire people older than them.  They say experience is the best teacher, and when you’re looking for quick wins like most startups, hiring this way makes a lot of sense.

5. Com Mirza a.k.a. “The $500 Million Man,” CEO of Mirza Holdings

“I rarely use headhunters and HR companies: I prefer to tap my existing and extended network first. Then I run online ads for specific positions to target suitable candidates for the hiring criteria.” 


Image Courtesy of The National

For Com Mirza, who is dubbed “The $500 Million Man”, hiring rock-star workers and managers is the way to go. Mirza believes that such talent is an extension of the CEO.

By hiring workers like them, CEOs effectively take much of the work off their shoulders so they can concentrate on running the business.

Rock-stars can also easily increase growth, and when you have lots of them doing work for your business, it’s almost certain that your company will soon be headed for success.

6. Rachael Nemeth, ESL Works

“Companies use the term “culture fit” too frequently when hiring. The problem with that approach is that potential hires are not pieces in a puzzle. When one employee leaves, it’s next to impossible to replace them with the same exact talent. Look for ways to expand your puzzle — not just complete it.”


ESL Works founder and CEO Rachael Nemeth believes that every new talent you bring into the fold should add value to your culture instead of fitting right into it. Bringing in new talent will provide the business with new insights that will make it better rather than merely replacing someone who left.

Her advice is to say “we function better when…” instead of saying “we look for people who are…”.  It’s an interesting approach to hiring because it is the business that makes the adjustment instead of the new hire. It is also logical, considering how diverse the talent pool is today.

7.  Jay Georgi, founder of Nadvia

“Always do a background search and have multiple meetings with them. The interview should be in a non-work environment. See how they behave outside of work. Social media has the ability to reveal lots of things.”


Image Courtesy of Entrepreneur

Nadvia Founder Jay Georgi values trust which is why he makes it a point to develop trust with the top talent in his business.

Unlike other CEOs, Jay doesn’t want to have “yes men” occupying top positions.  Instead, he pushes them to the limit and forces them to fight back. He says that people in his business should have the proper skills and foundation because he can teach the work-related stuff himself.

He also goes out of his way to interview people in a non-work environment because he wants to see how people are outside of work.

8.  Pekka Koskinen, serial entrepreneur, investor, founder, and CEO of Leadfeeder

“Top employees know which startups are hot. They do their homework to find out what customers say about you. So, our priority is to be known as a promising, fast-growing startup. And we recruit from our networks.”


Pekka Koskinen believes that attracting the best talent requires work from his end.  By making his brand promising and popular (which the business prioritizes), he believes they can attract the best talent the industry has to offer.

Leadfeeder also hires people via their network because they found this approach to be effective, having had success with it in the past.

Like other CEOs, Pekka believes that hiring top-notch talent makes running a business easier because they can help achieve goals without the need to be micromanaged.

9.  Rafe Furst, entrepreneur, investor, and co-founder of Crowdfunder

“Almost without fail, if I ignore the “Hire slow, fire fast” rule, the new hire doesn’t work out.”



Image Courtesy of Box of Crayons

For Rafe Furst, hiring slowly presents both the business owner and the prospective talent an opportunity to work together and discover more things about each other.

He also believes that for one to hire successfully, he or she needs to understand people at a deeper and more personal level which goes beyond work.

10. Gary Nealon, president of Nealon Solutions and The Rox Group

“We outsource to the most talented. We actively seek out the best AdWords team and the best Facebook team, dramatically decreasing our cost per acquisition and increasing return on investment for ad spend.”


Image courtesy of GaryNealon.com

For Gary Nealon, outsourcing tasks reserved for the most talented workers has been doing wonders for his business.  This is a particularly smart move because you can save a lot of money outsourcing instead of hiring in-house.

When you’ve got the best talent doing things for you, you can see an increase in ROI while saving a lot on employee benefits, which don’t apply to outsourced talent.

11. Tai Lopez, investor, and advisor

“Hire your top talent’s friends.”




Image courtesy of TaiLopez.com

For Tai Lopez, business is a lot like dating, owing to the fact that when you’re single, the best matches are usually all taken.

Business is pretty much the same since a lot of the people available in talent pools are unemployed.  The reason is mostly that they’re not good or that they have personality issues.

To make things easier, what he does is hire his best hires’ closest friends because he believes that birds of a feather flock together. This does make sense, but can still be risky.

12. David Blatt, Global Sports Party Inc.

“One of the most critical roles in a startup or a grownup company is that of talent evaluation. Smart hires are vital because they are smart enough to use intellect, passion, and the ability to combine individual genius with teamwork.”


David puts a lot of value in hiring smart people.  He believes that smart hires are important because they know how to use intellect, passion, and the ability to combine individual genius with teamwork.

What we can learn from David is that you can’t hire someone just for the sake of filling up positions.  If you’re going to hire someone, make sure they are smart and qualified.

13. Craig Handley, co-founder and CEO of ListenTrust

“Your business needs values and to stand for something. Hire people with the same values, desire, and character.”



Image courtesy of CNBC

For Craig Handley, values, desire, and character will always trump talent.  It is for this reason that Craig believes that hiring someone who shares the same values and character is best for the business. Craig had ListenTrust standardize 30 questions to ensure that candidates align to their core values and culture before hiring them.

Hiring someone with an impressive resume won’t be good enough if they don’t align because they won’t fit.  A hiring decision like this is bad for both the hire and the business.

14. Grant Cardone, top sales expert

“To get great people, I use video — I do not look at resumes. This saves time. Tell them, “We love your resume, now send me a 60-second video.” If they make the video cut, put them on the spot in the interview to verify what they claim to be great at.”  


Grant Cardone believes that surrounding yourself with the best talent makes for a successful business.  To filter out outstanding individuals, however, his approach is to have them send a 1-minute video. If they make the cut, he then conducts an interview to make sure that the candidate is legit.

15.  Gary Vaynerchuk, founder, and CEO of VaynerMedia

“My “A players” care about different things and have different ambitions. I try to over-communicate with them and create a world where they feel comfortable communicating with me.”



Perhaps the most popular on the list, the man known as Gary Vee, focuses on over-communication when it comes to managing talent. He firmly believes that once everyone is speaking the same language, there’s no room for repetition because there’s continuity.

Gary Vee also believes that what matters most is not having to talk about details, but knowing exactly what you need to do and doing it.  When it comes to running a business, chemistry is key.

Final Thoughts

From these examples, we can see that success in hiring leads to success in business. While their methods and approaches may differ, they target the same thing — what works for the business to make it better.

Regardless of their styles, what remains constant is the difference that top talent makes in helping CEOs achieve their business goals.  Paying close attention to your hiring process is crucial because this is where it all begins.

Are you the CEO of a startup who’s looking to hire for the first time?

If the answer is yes, we recommend that you first identify which style you are most comfortable with, and when you’re ready, sign up as a client so you can begin hiring talent for your business.