Ivanka Trump has high expectations for who she hires — and she wants to make sure she’s making the right choice before offering someone a job.
That’s why she always asks job candidates for references.
The executive vice president of development and acquisitions at The Trump Organisation and head of the Ivanka Trump lifestyle brand says: “We want self starters. We want people who are optimistic, who see challenges as opportunities. People who are dedicated, who really are accountable to one another and toward achieving shared goals, who are ambitious. I like people who aren’t shy about the use of that word.”
Trump tells Business Insider she likes to really get to know the people she hires, both in terms of their professional credentials and perspectives — and says it’s important that she make sure they’re the right cultural fit for her company.
That’s where reference checks come in.
“If there’s one single thing that I do every single time, it’s require references,” she says. And the “true stars” typically have references from each place they have worked — and these these references are happy and willing to speak on their behalf, she explains.
“It’s always a huge red flag for me when somebody’s reticent or reluctant or a little slow in providing thoughtful references that are a testament to them as a person and their professional accomplishments,” she says.
“I’m also really surprised how few people call for references. I’ve had friends of mine hire people that I know well or that have worked for me, and I haven’t gotten the call to do a reference check. That’s almost the most basic thing one can do to assess them.”
Trump says a negative reference isn’t necessarily a reason not to hire someone. She wants to get to know a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, since this allows her to be more thoughtful about how she sets them up for success in her company.”
But she warns about the hazards of not making the right call.
“Mis-hiring is a huge mistake. It’s a tremendous opportunity cost throwing the position to the wrong person. It’s often something that isn’t rectified for a long period of time,” Trump concludes.
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