Iconic Tour

Arianna Huffington shares her one rule for hiring great employees

Arianna Huffington
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Huffington: Uber is taking very strong measures to change the culture
Huffington: Uber is taking very strong measures to change the culture

Choosing the right employees isn't easy … but it's critical.

Self-made millionaire Arianna Huffington says she abides by one rule when hiring.

"I have this one rule, which I learned the hard way," she said at the iCONIC Tour conference in New York City on Wednesday. "No brilliant jerks allowed."

"No dumb jerks, either," Huffington clarified, "but that rule is easy. The harder rule is, No brilliant jerks."

If you think a prospective employee could be toxic to the company down the road, she says, it doesn't matter how brilliant they are. "Don't go there. And if you go there by mistake, fire them as fast as possible," said Huffington, who launched her namesake media company in 2005 and sold it to AOL in 2013 for $315 million.

"The truth is," she says, "there's nothing worse for a culture than quote-on-quote top performers who are really undermining their colleagues and creating an atmosphere where people can't be their best and can't create."

In terms of her go-to interview question, "I always want to know what people want to do in five years. It shows where their heart is," Huffington said, and whether or not they simply "see this job as a steppingstone."

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