Hire X-Men.

A recent post from Mashable discusses the following three hiring questions that Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, outlined over 15 years ago that are still incredibly important, but often overlooked today:


  1. Will you admire this person?
  2. Will this person raise the average level of effectiveness of the group they’re entering?
  3. Along what dimensions might this person be a superstar?


If you interview based on these criterion, it is nearly impossible to hire employees that are less than your company’s corporate X-Men.


Across the world, children are born with an extra twist to their chromosomes that allow them to exhibit superhuman abilities: fire a beam of force from their eyes, sprout wings that allow flight, or read men’s minds. These ‘children of the atom’ are often feared and despised by the world, forcing these mutants to resort to desperate actions. However, one group of mutants have banded together to show the world that it need not fear their kind. Apart, they are simply scientific curiosities, freaks and monsters – but together, united by their shared belief, they are more. They are the uncanny X-Men,” Joe Button summarizes.


Think about it—each of the “mutants” brings something amazing and new to the table to help the team reach a common goal. Why wouldn’t this be appropriate for interview criterion?


Hire a candidate who is admirable. This is a unique take on the traditional hiring processes because it makes the interviewer look for something they can learn from the potential new addition to their team; and adding a new edge to an already dynamic team is something that should always be taken advantage of. Hire Storm—you never know when your company is going to have an outdoor event.


Raising effectiveness should be a given—training is involved in the acquisition of a new hire, but beyond that, the new person shouldn’t be added weight dragging down the team. Hire Professor X—how productive would a company be if it had a team member that could read clients’ minds? This person should have a new perspective and new ideas thus raising productivity altogether.


Every hiring manager wants to be the omniscient one to hire the next X-Man, golden child, or in a sales-driven office like MultiView, the next person to earn a place on the Wall of Champions. This person has to mesh well with the corporate culture and accept guidance and training required for the role (despite tenured career) while also managing to be quirky enough to make it their own. The phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” is null-and-void in the workplace.


The main takeaway here is for hiring managers to be actively looking not for candidates who can simply do the job, but candidates who have a passion for the job and can bring something unique to the table. The end-game should be to hire a team of super heroes. Hire X-Men.

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