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[Originally published on LinkedIn] Capital One CEO Richard Fairback once said, “At most companies, people spend two per cent of their time recruiting and 75 per cent managing their recruiting mistakes.” Now, you may not be in a business where you need to build a team, but I believe this statement is relevant personally as well as in business.

As an individual, have you noticed you attract the same sort of person in your life over and over and getting incredibly frustrated by them? It may be poor relationships with co-workers, or in your personal relationships.  If you find you’re in the 75 per cent statistic, whether at work or play, the first step is to take a look in the mirror and accept full responsibility for what is happening.

Which can be a huge slap in the face. But I believe we all have a responsibility to work harder on ourselves in order to create the relationships we deserve in our lives. That annoying co-worker – or serial unsuitable boy or girlfriend – is often a mirror held up to our own behavior.

I’m glad to say that the 75 per cent recruiting mistakes statistic does not hold at RedBalloon, not least due to the active role of our employee experience manager, Megan Bromley, who has been integral in us winning so many “Great” and “Best” places to work awards.

Here are the 5 top tips she lives by, all of which add immense value to the employee experience at RedBalloon. I believe they can also be used as a personal yardstick too:

  • Invest time and energy in creating your (business) values – and then embrace and live by them. Once you have your values in place this creates a perfect grounding for everything people related
  • If you do recruit people, think of HR as an experience – not how you use humans as resources, but rather how those people are able to experience and engage with your business
  • Invest in yourself and your people leaders – you can have all the ideas and new innovations in the world, but if you aren’t engaged with what you are trying to achieve, you won’t get buy in.
  • Be authentic. In a workspace, that means allow people to come to work as themselves and not their job titles – people will always have good and bad days and managers need to accept that. Apply the same authenticity to your personal life. (Apparently 90% of all men of first dates are dishonest to some degree.)
  • Get to know who your people really are and what makes them tick – how do they like their coffee? Do they even drink coffee? What are their pet peeves? Do they like private or public recognition? The more you know – the more it actually shows you care about them as individuals.

One of the ways that we increase our success – is letting people know exactly what it would be like to work with us…so we produced a 2 minute video and stuck it on you tube. It really talks about what we stand for (link below)

You need to be a smart business leader – and operator – to build a business full of people with smarts. As a leader you have a responsibility to work harder on yourself than on your business. Only then will you be able to create the team you deserve. Because after all they are a reflection of ourselves – take a good hard look in the mirror.


Reader Interactions


  1. Thanks for sharing Nomi! I think there’s still a hit-or-miss thing in the world of hiring. It’s not really a lack of talent that’s causing the problem; it’s more about finding someone who can fit personality-wise to your team. I guess, hiring managers need to start on a clean slate in choosing who will be right for the company; it’s very crucial to your business success. Love the inspiring video, anyway.

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