“I don’t believe in reference checks…”

Michel Falcon

Michel Falcon is an entrepreneur, international keynote speaker and author who leverages his People-First Culture™ philosophy to create customer experience, employee engagement and company culture strategies to grow businesses. Often he has an unconventional opinions like not using reference checks in his hiring process. He is the author of the best-selling book, “People-First Culture: Build a Lasting Business by Shifting Your Focus From Profits to People” and the creator of the Team Operating System online course. Michel also operates a portfolio of restaurants and venues in downtown Toronto. His venues have grown to earn tens of millions of dollars in revenue with more than one hundred and fifty employees in less than two years by using the same strategies he’s going to share with us today. He has been hired to advise companies like Subway, Verizon Wireless, Alfa Romeo, Electronic Arts, and many others globally recognized brands.

Some questions I ask:

  • What has been a triggering moment in your career that lead you to develop a passion for company culture?
  • What are some of the tools leaders and organizations can use to understand and create a better culture?
  • What will be the shift in how we hire based on trends and changes we are seeing in employee behavior and expectation?
  • How do we change our hiring practices to find the most aligned candidates? 

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How Michel started his career working at McDonald’s.
  • What to do with the Gen Z workers coming into the workforce and why he thinks they are open and like the idea of entrepreneurship.
  • How to stop hiring toxic employees.
  • How to understand and create a better culture – the interview process, have the corporate courage to not hire the great candidate that doesn’t fit the culture.
  • The importance of our parents in our careers – Your parents gave you the DNA to be the leader.
  • He does a lot but it comes back to company culture, employee experience, customer experience.
  • Why Michel Falcon doesn’t like calling his team “staff”, or like it when they call him “boss”.
  • What leaders who have side-hustles should do to build a productive team… and how they can work with their team members who also have side-hustles.
  • Give a second look at reference checks. Recognize that you are relying on other people’s judge of character. You may benefit from trusting your own gut than someone else’s.

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