Last week I wrote a post about finding your next hire. You can read that here.
I mentioned the importance of hiring slow.
As we’re in the process of hiring now, I’m reminded how crucial that is.
Studies show that we aren’t very good at judging people after one meeting. We tend to have a bias. If we want to like them, we’ll easily overlook something without realizing it.
It’s for that reason, we follow these steps when hiring. Keep in mind that this is what we’ve evolved to over the years and we often change this process a bit depending on the candidate, our needs, and the situation.
The first step is always a 15 minute conversation. We used to do this in person and now we do it on the phone. We only do this interview after the person has properly submitted resume and we feel they can potentially be a fit.
You will hear a lot of people suggest that you make candidates jump through a bunch of hoops to make sure they are serious and can follow instructions. While there is some wisdom in this, I wouldn’t take it too far. The main thing is to get as many quality applicants as you can handle because a certain amount won’t work due to schedule, compensation, etc.
I also want to mention that at any point in the process you know a candidate is not going to be hired, it’s time to stop interviewing them and let them know. Don’t waste their time or yours.
On the flip side, I would keep interviewing until the hiring is done. I’ve made the mistake in the past of stopping the process because I thought we found the perfect fit. When she didn’t work out, we were back to square one.
OK back to the steps.
The 15 minute conversation is a combination of small talk and the following questions:
1. What are your Career Goals?
2. What are you really good at professionally?
3. What are you not good at or not interested in doing professionally?
4. Who were your last 5 bosses, and how will they each rate your performance on a 1-10 scale when we talk to them?
Those questions are taken directly from the book The Who.
The point of the 15 minute interview is to get a vibe if you like the person and to see where they are at.
The second interview is a pretty standard interview. It’s in person and we ask questions to see how they respond. Some of the questions are based around our core values and some are designed to see if they might be hard working, a team player, and caring.
We also go over our mission statement at that point and see how they respond. If you haven’t yet, at this point collect references and anything else you need.
The third interview is a personality assessment. We go over why we do it as well as their results.
It’s during this interview that we also review the KRAs/Job Description. The probation period as well as the benefits would be discussed at this point.
Following that interview, we then discuss any issues, challenges, or potential concerns on either end. This is important because we want to make sure there isn’t anything below the surface that may come out later when it’s more difficult to address.
For the 5th interview, we try to involve other people. We may have them sit in on a team meeting or schedule a time for them to meet with 2 other team members. It’s valuable to have multiple perspectives.
Next there will be some form of shadowing.
Our system is very teachable so this isn’t so we can see them designing programs or anything. It’s more to see how they interact with clients. This might be more important than anything else. They could be the most technical person in the world but if the clients don’t like them it won’t do any good.
So far we’ve done at least 6 interviews!
If they get to that point there is a pretty good chance they get the position but it’s not guaranteed.
The last interview would include their spouse/significant other. When someone joins your team, it’s not just them you are getting. You are also getting their spouse. For example, if you meet their spouse and they are CRAZY, that will affect things.
7 interviews might sound like a lot. While there are reasons for all the interviews, I think the biggest benefit is spending TIME with the candidate. It’s amazing what comes out over time.
You’re working hard to build something great. Don’t let someone come in and ruin things because you didn’t do your due diligence. It’s your house. Protect it.