What Donald Trump Can Teach Us About the Hiring Process

Full disclosure.  I am NOT a fan of Donald Trump.  But I do find him very interesting to watch.

And we can all learn a lot from him – about what NOT to do.

Take recruitment, for example.  He recruits people using the following 2-question method:

  • Are they related to me?
  • Do they do what I tell them to do?

If the answer is yes to at least one of these, they are HIRED.

But – if they show signs of disloyalty, or they question his motives – they are then FIRED.

The result?  A high staff turnover.  At least 57% of people in his first 18 months, according to CNN.

Furthermore, there is nervousness, uncertainty, and instability in the White House – and in the nation.

In business terms – instability is contagious, and if you have high staff turnover, others in your team are probably also looking for work.  When staff turnover reaches critical levels your customers become aware, and they begin to consider other suppliers.  As a manager, you spend all your time firefighting rather than developing your people and growing your business.

So what is Trump doing wrong?

His recruitment process is totally subjective.  He doesn’t appear to produce meaningful job descriptions, he doesn’t use objective tools, he ignores the opinions of trusted recruitment partners, he doesn’t try to understand candidate motivations, and he stokes resentment by promoting people who don’t deserve it.

In short – EVERYTHING.

What can we learn from this?

Don’t hire anyone according to gut feel.  It’s important, but not the whole story.  Take references, give people technical tests, put them through behavioural assessments, try them out if you can.  Get evidence for what they are really like, and what they are capable of.

Then give them the job.

Then keep them motivated.

And don’t fire people – unless they REALLY deserve it.