Over the years I have interviewed and hired lots of people. I’ve made mistakes, hired bad eggs, forgot to ask important questions, not followed my gut and been so desperate that I’ve just hired anyone.

    In more recent years other people in the business have also had a hand in hiring and we are now at a size that we have the luxury of a full-time person whose role (amongst others) is to find us great team members.

    We’ve followed the adage that three heads are better than one and have combined all of our experience to come up with a process that incorporates everything that we have all learned, failures and all.

    Our process:

    • Write a good job description. Describe the ins and outs of the role, as well as the type of person you are looking to hire. Be honest and clear about what the role entails. There is no point fudging around the ‘detail’ and then being disappointed about the relevance of candidates.
    • Get rid of any CVs that are written badly, have typos or have suspect timelines.
    • Pick the top 8-10 CVs and do a phone interview. 
If a candidate’s first question during the phone interview is about money- ditch them.
    • Create a shortlist of people who have a good phone manner, are personable, engaging, interesting and interested, and have a good attitude about them.
    • Use a profiling tool to help ascertain whether the candidate has the right inherent skills for the specific role you are looking for (we use Kolbe but there are lots out there).

    At this point we are usually down to about 4 or 5 people.

    Have 2 people interview them. Have a series of set questions that are relevant to the role and ask the same questions to each candidate.

    3 questions to always include

    • What do you understand the role to be?

    2.What do you understand the company does?

    1. What is your 3-year plan or where would you like to be personally and professionally in 3 years?

    Bring your ‘finalists’ back for a second interview.

    Have 2 people interview them. One person is from the first interview and the other person needs to have a good ‘spidey’ sense.

    Try and get the final interviews done in a short time period so you can easily compare people (ie. days not weeks).

    This interview is a ‘sense test’ interview. Whilst everyone should ‘sell’ themselves in an interview you need to have your ‘bulls***’ radar on: Will they work well with the rest of your team? Are they a good fit?

    Hopefully, at this point you will have found a really great person and can offer them a job. If you haven’t, don’t settle for the ‘B’ and ‘C’ candidate. Start the process again.

    Whilst we follow the process that we have established, we also have a set of rules that help ensure long-term success.

    The golden rules of hiring:

    • Don’t hire out of desperation. This never works out, trust me!
    • The 3 month mark.  If it’s not working out at this point then call it a day.

    This is the time when people are eager and on their best behaviour. If you’ve got problems now just think how bad it could get.

    • The 6 month mark. People can hold it together for about the first 6 months, then the cracks begin to show. Pay attention.
    • If you got it wrong and it isn’t working out, cut your losses sooner rather than later. Waiting doesn’t make it any easier.
    • Trust your gut. I’ve never regretted ‘not’ hiring someone.

    So if you’re about to utter those immortal (and now infamous) words ‘You’re hired’, don’t forget the golden rules.

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