Ask The Right Questions When Hiring


Is the candidate a good fit for the company culture? Will they make a positive impact on the company? These are the questions that we find most important when hiring.

Ask The Right Questions When Hiring

So, have you made a bad hire? I can assure you I have. The key to a bad hire is a quick and swift decision to set their future free. I’ve made the mistake a couple times of not ripping the band aid off quicker and limiting the damage. If you are a business owner or a member of leadership, you have probably been involved in, made, or witnessed a bad hire.

I think that what leads to that is that we often focus on skills, talent, or industry expertise and a host of other things that are certainly important, but I would argue that in many situations, it’s not the most important thing. In certain professions, knowledge and expertise is going to be more important than others and it’s true to some degree in all professions, however, I also know its easy to make excuses about how important that is while overlooking a couple key things that are just as critical.

Here is a big important question. Are they a good fit to the culture and will they positively add to the culture going forward? At my age, if not, this is going to be a big uphill battle for me. Now, if your company culture has already gone south and you’re comfortable with that, then maybe it doesn’t matter. At the Paragon family of companies however, we have a very strong, positive company culture that we work hard to maintain. Just two weeks ago at our 2022 Year End Celebration, where we had the full enterprise represented, our culture was on full display for employees, spouses and special guests. One person after another noted the “culture” and the “people” as their favorite part about working inside our eco system.

This is something we covet and work hard to protect that with good hires. Adding talent to our teams that make positive contributions to our culture make the company stronger. It makes people want to come to work, serve our clients and make a difference. It makes people want to be better tomorrow then they are today. They want to bring their “A” game to work every day. That’s a big win for us and our clients. I cannot tell you how many clients tell me that part of why they chose us is because they couldn’t wait to work with our team. That’s huge!

Secondly, I am trying to answer another important question. Is this someone I want on the bus? I am not as worried initially if they are an ideal fit for the specific opening we have as I am…do I want them on our bus? In our case, we have several buses that are very different, and we have lots of options. Is this person going to add value to our team? Many of our people were in a couple different seats before we found the ideal fit where they hit home runs in.

I can tell you that many times I have met someone either in an interview or even in an outside meeting not related to employment and said, “I want that person on the bus. “I may not even know where I want them yet or what spot they may fill, but they need to be on the bus. I want their character, their skill set their knowledge or their electric, positive add to the culture. Several people in our organization have come through the door and fit the profile of someone who we want on the bus, serving in some capacity because of the value they bring to the table.

Now, maybe the ones you thought needed to be on the bus, in reality needed to be in front of the bus while its moving. It happens, I get it. However, we have had more success concentrating on culture fits and thinking about the overall fit to the organization than we have skillsets and abilities.

Donnie Brawner, Partner Colligo Holdings
CEO/Owner, Paragon 360 & Paragon Fabrication