A friend of mine with a micro business recently asked me to help them hire minions.

You have to realize that, while there’s a small language barrier (minions understand us, we don’t do so well with their language), minions overall are much easier to hire and employ than people. Still, the process is nearly the same.

This one keeps my travel coffee insulated.
This one keeps my travel coffee insulated.

We all need the occasional human or minion. For those of you who want to simplify the hiring process (and save time and money!), I condensed an 8-week graduate-level course into this handy 5-minute guide. (TBH, it’ll take you a few minutes to read and a little longer to put into practice. But nothing like 8 weeks, I promise!)

You’re gonna want paper or maybe a table set up in Word or Excel for this, because you need to start with a 3×2 table. Your column headers will be “Ideal” or “Perfect”, “Adequate”, and “Minimum”.


You absolutely-positively must have a written job description. Sounds like a horrible task, right? Fear not – it’s pretty easy. Think about the specific tasks you need your minion to perform in this job. Start with the bare minimum your minion will need to do and know, along with work behaviors you absolutely require. This is a minion who might be lacking some of what you expect but who could be trained. Bullet this list under “Minimum.” Then think about what your ideal minion would know and be able to do, and create a similar list under “Ideal”. The middle column is, of course, the satisfactory minion who is housebroken and has learned a few skills.



With each category of performance (tasks, skills, and so on), you’ll need to work out the pay and any benefits you’re willing to provide. Plug the numbers into the second row. Smart business says you get what you pay for. Research suggests you’ll come out ahead paying a little more for a minion that impresses you. Remember you’re paying for skills as well as the less-definable things like infinite patience or a willing attitude. Make sure your pay scales are justifiable – check here to compare. Keep in mind that minions will be happy with less cash as long as you recognize their efforts. If you’re broke and only need short-term help (8 to 12 weeks), you might be able to substitute students for minions as part of a work-study program, but this takes time to set up.



You don’t need to be reminded not to discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, and so on. However, if you have specific requirements, make sure anything that could possibly be considered discriminatory is an actual BFOQ (bona fide occupational qualification). This would be something like needing your minions to meet a height requirement for helping sabotage evil overlords with high walls, for example. If your requirement is legit, you’re good, but if in doubt, check relevant state laws; either a qualification meets BFOQ exceptions or it does not – there’s no gray area. Below your table, list any BFOQs.



Always screen minions before you interview to save time. There will usually be a few that simply aren’t qualified, or who have horrible references. After screening and before interviewing is the time for personality or cognitive ability assessments. Finally, when you’re down to just a few minions, get that job description table out. Take a few minutes and copy it over as a new table, with another column or two for your rating and comments. Then start interviewing. Keep the interview structured by using the job description table as your guide. Ask every minion the same questions and rate every minion against your table with the same rating scale. This will prevent a bit of interviewer bias – giving a higher score to a particular minion just because you like his laugh or her lab coat, for example.



When you narrow it down, make your offer. Keep it simple and professional. If you’re too friendly at this stage, you may offer extra pay or benefits that aren’t be part of the deal, especially if you sense a bit of hesitation from the minion. Stick to the script and see what happens. Most people (and minions) need a little time to consider things, so give your minion a day to think it over. If it’s not the right fit, it’s okay. Just move on to your second choice. Never bribe a minion or you won’t get the respect and loyalty you deserve.

That’s it. It will take you longer to write out the job description than it took you to read this (though not much), but I absolutely cannot stress enough how useful this first step really is. Still, it’s a straight-forward process and I know you can handle it. As always, if you have any questions or want to go over any part of it in more detail, I’m here for you.

Seriously. For you. I didn’t spend most of my life in school (and corporate zombie-land) just so I could have a hobby blog. I’m a fan of the self-employed, the small and micro business owners – this is one way I can support YOU. On that note, please also comment (here or on the Facebook page) about how much you look forward to using this process with your next minion hiring! (Plus, a like or a share would be awesome!)

Blog Sig

Cavico, F. J., Muffler, S. C., and Mujtaba, B. G. (2010).  Appearance discrimination in employment: Legal and ethical implications of “lookism” and “lookphobia”. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 32(1), 83-119. DOI: 10.1108/02610151311305632
Taylor, B. (2011).  Hire for attitude, train for skill. Harvard Business Review Blog Network, February 1, 2011. Retrieved from http://blogs.hbr.org/2011/02/hire-for-attitude-train-for-sk/

2 thoughts on “The 5-Minute Guide to Hiring Minions

    1. That’s great insight! I never thought about it this way but the parallels are all there for a savvy employee to use. Thanks for sharing this!

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