Warren Buffett: '3 things I look for in an employee'

Warren Buffett: '3 things I look for in an employee'

Warren Buffett bought his first stock at aged 11 and by aged 17, he made $53,000. The legendary investor, business magnate and philanthropist, worth $80billion, now aged 87, has plenty of wisdom to offer when it comes to identifying and hiring the right employees.  

The Chief Executive Officer of Berkshire Hathaway - a conglomerate which owns more than 60 companies - told Nebraska Business magazine that he looks for three things: “You look for intelligence, you look for energy and you look for integrity.”

However, for Buffet, the most important trait is integrity, which can be cultivated. "Every business student you have has the requisite intelligence and requisite energy," he says. "Integrity is not hard-wired into your DNA.

"A student [of college age] can pretty much decide what kind a person they are going to be at 60," Buffett says. "If they don't have integrity [now], they never will. The chains of habit are sometimes too heavy to be broken. Students can forge their own chains.”

Buffest suggests finding a strong role model: "Just pick a person to admire and ask why you admire them. Usually it is because they are generous, decent, kind people, and those are the kind of people to emulate."

The benefits of mentoring are countless, from helping staff to fast-track their professional development, to boosting vital skills such as client management, time management or giving a sleek presentation – and they also make business sense.

Shraga Zaltzman, CEO of business and work specialists, Work Avenue, tells HR Grapevine that start-ups are 3½ times more likely to grow user numbers for their products and services if they have helpful mentors.

Zaltzman adds that well-implemented mentoring scheme, such as a ‘buddy’ system between junior and senior employees, can not only increase your employees’ output, but also nurture a more cordial and communicative environment.”

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Comments (1)

  • L I Molnar
    L I Molnar
    Sat, 14 Oct 2017 1:36pm BST
    Let's not forget that 'college age' is any age. Creating shame based on age lets underpriveled people think it's too late for them to go back to school.

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