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A 5-Star Approach to Hiring Talent


Danielle Mulvey is a former flight attendant turned entrepreneur who cracked the code on hiring and retaining 5-star employees. Her company, "All-In" consults companies on how to attract top-tier employees. She joined episode 28 of the Jess Get Hired Podcast to discuss.

The Five Star approach takes a look at measuring 11 qualities that are a part of a 5-star employee profile. Companies are currently finding it difficult to attract and hire the talent they need for their open jobs. With approximately 11 million job openings in the US Labor market, organizations are finding ways to attract talent including hiring bonuses, flexible work schedules, above-market salaries, and more. Unfortunately, companies are finding it expensive to continue to hire, train, and eventually replace employees in the cycle of the "Great Resignation" era.

Hiring is a numbers game. Cast a wide net. Attract as many employees as you can, and then filter the 1-2-3 star candidates.

Danielle shares that hiring "ends up being a numbers game. You need to cast a wide net. You need to attract as many applicants as possible and you need to systematically filter out the one, two, and three-star candidates so you're not tempted by average ho-hum or the (below average) type of candidate ...the other interesting thing is that a 5-star employee does the work of two or three, 1, 2 or 3-star employees. So you're paying them the same. Why not just hire one 5-star employee for $50,000 a year than hire two 3-star employees that you're both paying $50,000 a year? That means that you're paying a hundred thousand dollars for two average or ho-hum or worse employees when you should just be paying $50,000 to one five-star employee."

Hiring one employee at $x dollars who is a 5-star employee is better than paying for someone who is just average.

Given her answer, I was intrigued to learn more

Her formula for hiring the best is what she identifies as the 11 Universal Qualities of a 5-star Employee and it is the scorecard she uses to coach companies on hiring the best talent.

The 11 Qualities are:

  1. Supportive: Providing encouragement or emotional help; Encouraging; Caring; Sympathetic; Reassuring; Understanding

  2. Collaborative: Produced or conducted by working together; Cooperative; Synergistic

  3. Proactive: Creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened; Energetic; Enterprising; Take Charge

  4. Flexible: Ready and able to change as to adapt to different circumstances; Accommodating; Adaptable; Amenable

  5. Completes Tasks: has a plan for the day and is accountable to self and team in completing the plan / tasks for the day

  6. Achieves Goals: Sets and drives to achieving short and long-term goals with a plan and milestone points

  7. Produces Quantifiable Results: Metrics-oriented to achieve the prescribed benchmark for success; Likes to "gamify their work", Never settles for "less than" results or performance.

  8. Actively Listens to Fellow Team Members; Fully concentrating on what is being said rather than just passively "hearing" the message of the speaker; Listens with all senses.

  9. Communicates Their Thoughts: Open and proactive in sharing feelings and emotions, as well as opportunities for improvement.

  10. Open to Feedback: Willing to take on board feedback from a broad range of sources, give it careful consideration, and able to manage internal gut reactions, especially when feedback is not what was expected.

  11. Insatiable Thirst for Knowledge and Growth: Actively seeks to learn more

List courtesy of The All-In Company (

Danielle suggests using a rating system for these characteristics to determine the overall star rating and identify the traits that would be ideal for your 5-star hire. Her company, All-In, assists businesses with 10 or more employees and at least $1 million in revenue in determining what is affecting their profitability. It always comes down to not hiring the best talent, which leads to turnover and low profitability in the end.

As a jobseeker or current employee, how do you know you are a top-notch contender? During your interview or while you are at work, use the list above and prepare to come up with examples of how you've been able to display these traits in the past or in your current role. This will help if you are interviewing or being considered for a promotion.


For more insight, listen to our episode together. Check out Danielle Mulvey:

  • LI: /in/danielle-mulvey-66a315/

  • or

About Jess Get Hired Podcast: Jessica Fiesta George, a Talent Acquisition Leader, Recruiting Strategist, and Employer Branding Specialist, hosts one of the nation's most popular business and career podcasts, Jess Get Hired. This podcast is for job seekers, business professionals, hiring managers, recruiters, business owners, the underemployed, and underappreciated employees who want to level up their opportunities. The podcast focuses on personal branding, introduces new HR technology, discusses job market trends, and provides perspectives from top CEOs and small business coaches on what is disrupting the talent space today.



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