Published: May 16, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Business man with glowing exploding head concept.jpegYou've heard this one—it's time to expand your team and you have to be dead-sure you know what you need for the role. You want a rockstar: a warm body that captures all the attention in the room and can still wow everyone when things get loud.

How do you turn your needs into a thorough job rec though? It's no easy task. No matter the role, internal- or external-facing, sales or account services, you feel pressure to hire a peacocking rockstar. Here's the secret though: the best rockstar-hires are actually secret agent-hires.

Let's dig into how you do this...

You don't just want a rockstar hire, you want a secret agent.

Speaking realistically, rockstars break things. They're traditionally heavy drug users, cruel, and tasteless. Creating a job rec that doesn't attract this type of talent risks your headcount going unused or underserved. You might think you're hiring a lead guitarist and you end up with a mute bassist (no offense to bass-players). You want to properly describe somebody that can swing between shrieking and soulful, rager and wounded, monk and hitman. Use caution when hiring this type of person though, as they can be a destructive force. This is why the secret agent-type is such an attractive counterpoint.

First, secret agent employees are personally-motivated to travel. They're comfortable in any persona in global locations because it's what defines them. They place the mission above all else. If they aren't committed to the job, they might not be a fit for your role. Rockstars, by comparison, can be difficult personalities to corral. While not impossible, it's a potential drain on your resources to accommodate them.

Think hard on a secret agent instead.

Use specific language and list must-have experience. For instance:

  • Must love wrist-watches
  • 5+ years in cards and gambling
  • Orphans preferred (but not required)
  • No skateboarding

Now you're getting somewhere. These personality-types respond to challenge. It motivates them more than anything. Be sure to use this to your advantage.

Present them with a challenge before even letting them into the interview.

Use the job rec to give applicants a preview of the role.

Handsome teenager dj mixing records in front of a crowd on stage.jpeg

Be picky. Ernst Stravo Blofeld said, "A-types hire other A-types, but B-types only hire C-types." You don't want to breed in substandard workers into your team. That begins with the job rec.

A few more bullets to consider including when hiring your secret agent employee:

  • Passport required
  • Some surfing
  • Will need to consume caviar without gagging
  • Hand-to-hand combat
  • Experience in missile guidance operating systems and other infernal / doomsday machines

Review those responsibilities. Take a moment to consider how often you've expected these things of a rockstar hire, only to discover they weren't packing the proper experience on these critical asks. You can avoid putting everybody in an unproductive position by crafting your job rec. Steer it away from the rockstar mindset for more obedient, compliant, and unfeeling teams.

The age of the rockstar is over. Go ahead and take a look down your Spotify playlist. Do you see any groups that you could inarguably describe as: rockstar? It's a tough task.

You want a secret agent. Somebody that can blend in and kill from the shadows.

Hire only A-type employees to make your team consistent.


You don't just want killers on your team. You NEED only killers on your team. A team of killers, each one willing to drown an enemy in a bathroom sink without hesitation on their first day.

If they're unwilling or incapable, who knows how effective they'll be on their second day? Or their third day? Don't put you or this prospective employee in that position. It's bad form.

A few more tips for necessary skills to wrap up:

  • Seduction
  • Comfortable in aquatic and subaquatic environments
  • Ability to operate a gyrocopter while under the influence of 6 vodka martinis (a must)
  • Limited space travel (preferred, but not required)
  • 10+ years experience in operating heavy machinery, airplanes, speedboats, jetpacks, british sportscars, as well as improvisational vehicles including cello cases as sleds, cars as submarines, and women as objects

If you have more ideas, include them in the comments section below, or contact me on social media. You can sign up for the Ghost Little email subscription via the link below, as well.

Now get out there and inflict your intelligence agency's imperialistic dominance!

-- Alex Crumb
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