This hiring process got me the best employee I ever had. A serious A-Player. Performance was an 11 on a 10-scale.
These counter-intuitive steps will help you get the best talent – and avoid bad-fit team members BEFORE you give them an offer. Using this process, over time you can upgrade your whole team to be A-Players.
Focus on Results
Most people make a job post describing what the employee does + qualifications.
Don’t do this.
Define what needs to be done in the role and what success looks like. Put that in the job post.
A-Players are attracted to knowing what success looks like. By changing your job description to not describe “who” but “What” you change the kinds of people who respond to the job posting.
Instead of finding people who fit the box of a typical employee, you get people who know they’re expected to hit a certain benchmark. The ones not afraid of a performance based culture.
Weed the Lazy
Think through how the application process usually works – you post the job somewhere, it’s distributed to thousands of people who may or may not fit … and let’s face it, only a really tiny percentage of them are A-players.
The job sites make applying very easy. Too easy in fact. They can apply with a single click.
So what happens? You get dozens of resumes of maybe-fits, and D-players. It’s hard to tell who is who.
Here’s the fix: in the job posting ask a very specific question that couldn’t be answered with an application blast.
Example: “What’s the last webinar you attended relevant to this job & what did you learn from it?”
Then, you every resume that doesn’t answer the question.
See what we’ve done here? We’ve shifted the burden from you reviewing a ton of resumes of applicants just applying because they can, to reviewing just the ones who take the time to thoughtfully answer a relevant question.
Never forget – this same person will later be someone you’ll want to effectively delegate to. If they can’t follow directions now, what do you think the odds are the will when they’re not supposed to be putting their best foot forward?
Find the Gems
Ask the ones that are left to record a very short video answering a question that’s relevant to the role.
What you’re doing here is introducing a little bit of friction into the process of applying. We want that friction, because it’s doing the job of bubbling up the great – and more motivated – applicants to the top.
You’ll be shocked how many won’t bother to do the video (cut them) – AND how many outstanding answers you get from resumes that didn’t look special.
See Them Work
The standard interview process is a 1:1 screening interview. By ditching convention you have another opportunity to find A-Players.
Instead, do a group interview where candidates cooperate solving a problem. Cuts down your interview time and you get to see how they collaborate, communicate, and think.
A-Players will shine. The “good interviewee/bad employee” will be exposed.
Do Outcome-Based Interviews
Don’t waste your interview just going over each position on their resume.
In your 1:1 in-person interview, go over the success criteria for the job. Then, ask them to describe past experiences that will directly apply to achieving these criteria.
Look for the ability to learn & adapt. Look for if they’ve learned from each job and will bring those learnings with them.
C and D-Players are just taking the next job they get. A-Players aren’t just in it for the job. They’re in it for elevating their skills.
Watch Yourself for a Common Mistake
Nearly everyone suffers from this problem, and it will lead you astray. And that is, hiring people because You Like Them or because They’re Like You.
You’re hiring for company success, not a social club. Employees aren’t are partners in getting the company to realize your vision.
If you overindex for liking people (You Like Them) then sure, you’ll initially enjoy the social element – until their poor performance makes it unpleasant.
If you overindex for them being similar to you (They’re Like You) then you won’t be getting complimentary styles that can lead to breakthroughs as you grow.
Getting It Done
A hiring process that incorporates these will reliably surface better candidates than the old “Take the 3 best resumes and hire the best interviewee.” However, there are two things you need to do to put it in place.
First, treat hiring like a process. Every candidate needs to go through the process. Don’t short-cut it, because all you’re doing is compromising the effectiveness of the method. You won’t get A-Players.
Second, you’ll need more candidates than you think for this. And for good reason – if you’re looking to get the top 1-2% of performers on your team, what do you think the odds are of finding them only having a handful of people going through your process?
Remember I said that I used this process to get the best employee I ever had? I had over 120 people start the process – to end up with that one person. Sounds intimidating, but remember the system is doing most of the work – not you. It was SO worth it.
Now you have the blueprint. Go build yourself a dream team.
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