Nobody can be the expert on everything. As an entrepreneur, I always have to find people who know more than me, and trust them to do their job.
But hiring is tough (and that’s probably an understatement). People lie in interviews all the time (from both sides) trying to make the best impression. And often, jobs go to the best salesperson, not the most suitable person (at least for non-technical/managerial roles).
When I’m hiring someone – whether it’s a freelancer on Upwork or Fiverr, or a consultant – I use one key criterion to filter them out, and it works so well that often I’m left with only one candidate at the end.
It’s their ability and willingness to TEACH — to EDUCATE me a little, so I walk away having learned a new thing or two right from my first interaction from them. Good teachers have an excellent grasp on their subject to begin with, they are excellent communicators, and they also have a GIVER’s attitude which makes them decent human beings (in general).
To put this into practice, when I message a freelancer or start an interview, I usually start with a question that goes like, “hey I’m not an expert on this thing, so could you maybe educate me a little about how it works, and what I should be looking for?”
The non-teacher will give me a curt or very concise answer that can be summarized as, “this is what I need from you, and this is what you’ll get from me.” Or at most, they’ll ask me a couple questions and then give me that same answer. Either way, it’s not what I want.
And what will great teachers do instead? We know it when they do it. It’s not hard to see.
A special thank you to Dave Ramsey who first introduced me to this concept in a youtube video.