How to Hire—So You Don’t Have to Fire [with Colleen Baader]

Episode #215 the Wingnut Social Podcast

How do you hire the right people so you don’t find yourself letting someone go six months down the road? Do you hire for your weakness or hire someone that fits in with the culture? So much goes into hiring the right person. So in this episode of Wingnut Social, Colleen Baader joins Darla to share how she hires for her design firm.

Colleen Baader has been an interior designer for 27 years primarily focusing on commercial design. Seven years ago she started Vertical Interior Design focused on corporate, healthcare, and hospitality design. She even designed and built her own home in 2018. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:56] Mini News Sesh: How to filter comments
  • [4:00] All about Colleen Baader
  • [6:50] The 1st thing to know before hiring
  • [11:24] How to hire to complement your skills 
  • [14:11] Hire for skills—not design background
  • [19:28] The compensation conversation
  • [21:43] Do you hire a contractor or employee?
  • [23:38] Don’t be afraid to hire up
  • [26:37] Offer your team development opportunities
  • [28:26] The What Up Wingnut! Round
  • [29:45] How to connect with Colleen Baader
  • [34:10] The wacky blooper reel!

Connect with Colleen Baader

Resources & People Mentioned

What you NEED to know before hiring

Colleen tries to look at the strengths of her team—and where she’s seeing weaknesses. Then she tries to target those weaknesses in the hiring process. They give out a survey called “The Culture Index” to help determine an applicant’s natural tendencies and personality. Are they detailed? Visionary? Organized? 

If she’s looking for someone detailed, she knows her creative people will be worn down and exhausted by those tasks. But if they’re being 100% creative for their 8 hours at work, they leave on a high. Colleen strives to hire the right people for the right role so they don’t leave burned out. You want to hire someone for a role that they’ll be successful and find joy in. 

You’ll have opportunities for more jobs if you allow your team to be diverse. People with different skills not only complement each other, they learn from each other. She always strives to foster collaboration—never competition. You should be rooting for each other to close deals. 

Once you find a few individuals who fit, have them come in and work with the team for half a day. They can see what it’s like to work with them. The people you work with and the environment you’re in can often be what keeps you at your job.

Don’t be afraid to hire up

Darla wanted to get to the point where she wasn’t doing all of the design work. If you’re hiring and want to delegate, you want to make sure the hires are capable of taking on that role. Conversely, Colleen emphasizes that you can’t be afraid to hire people that are smarter than you or are more talented than you. You have to learn to set your ego aside. Colleen worked with someone who said, “Let’s hire the smartest people and get out of their way.” Colleen loves it. She admits that her CAD skills and elevations aren’t great, so she uses her skills where they’re used best and offloads her weaknesses to someone else.

What about the compensation conversation? How do you hire to scale? Should you hire contractors or employees? Listen to the whole episode for Colleen’s take!

Quick Tip: How to filter comments on Instagram

Go to the hash marks in the upper right corner and choose “settings.” Check “privacy” and click on “comments.” You can choose “filters” and choose “hide offensive comments.” You can choose the words that are trigger words (ahem, “bitcoin”) and filter out any comments that include those words.

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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