Welcome back! If you’ve read parts one and two of our Hiring Top Talent series, you know we’ve had a look at hiring philosophies from Steve Jobs and Admiral Hyman Rickover. If you’re just coming into the series, check out part one and part two. For the last blog I want to look at another incredibly influential individual, Sir Richard Branson.

Virgin Group’s legendary founder runs an empire made up of 200 companies in everything from healthcare to hotels to space travel. Branson credits much of his success to one thing: hiring the right people and, as a result, building unstoppable teams. Here are two resounding quotes of Branson that really resonate with hiring top talent. “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” and “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” Consider that the first step in keeping an employee long enough to work on these two fundamental gems of employee development is making good, or better yet, great hires!

In fact, Branson believes that having the right team is the most important thing you can do for a business, calling his people the “greatest asset and the lifeblood of the brand.”

Below are the seven hiring rules he has followed to hire people who will drive Virgin to ultimate success:

  1. Personality always wins over book smarts.
  2. New hires don’t have to ‘fit’ in right away.
  3. Look for experience and transferrable skills vs. qualifications.
  4. Define your company’s purpose to attract the right people.
  5. Hire for the skills you lack.
  6. Promote from within when you can.
  7. Don’t hire in bulk if you can help it.

The High Impact Training program includes Hiring Top Talent a module packed with lessons learned from world-class leaders like these – and the Goal of Transformative Leadership Development™ is to share these lessons with you and your team. Our goal is to help your organization grow and reach its full potential. Consider the possibilities of having your team focus on hiring the people with extraordinary potential and then investing in them to create an extraordinary leadership team that will, in turn, build a world-class organization. If you’d like to learn more have a look at our website or Eventbrite page.

View the entire series.