The 5 F’s of Hiring

I’m involved in lots of hiring interviews.  When I find a candidate who is a true ‘A’ player, I know that 5 factors need to be in place in order to seal the deal.  Conversely, if you’re thinking about career change, it won’t work out for you unless the 5 pieces are in place.  You can read more  about them in the book “Who” by Geoff Smart and Randy Street.


Is there a fit between the company’s values and culture and the candidate?  Is there chemistry?  Do you like each other?


If the hours/commute/location/hours flexibility don’t work for the family, it’s not a good choice.


The candidate needs to know that they will be given a certain amount of automony.  The amount depends on the position.  Candidates are looking for the ability to make their own decisions (within reasonable parameters).


While money shouldn’t be the deciding factor that reels in a new employee, the money has to work.  Great cultures typically pay on the high side of fair market value.  Paying too little may mean that the new hire’s heart isn’t fully engaged on day one.   You are also setting them up to be poached by someone who will step up and pay them fairly.


Does the work environment, the people they meet and the job you are holding out to them seem like it’s going to be fun?  Can they envision themselves showing up every day and having a nice time?

Ignore the 5 Fs for sealing the deal in hiring at your peril.

In summary:

 When you’re vetting a candidate, make sure they pass the test of the Five Fs:

  1. Fit
  2. Family
  3. Freedom
  4. Fortune
  5. Fun

Additional resources

Thanks for reading this coaching tip on The Five F’s of Hiring.  Here are some other articles that might interest you:

  • How to do a hiring screen interview
  • Master hiring tactics they didn’t teach you at Harvard Business School
  • Five insider hiring tips from a professional interviewer
  • What to ask in the three basic hiring interviews: Screening, interviewing, and reference checking

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Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at

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