How to Hire the Right People For Your Company
Our number one challenge as a firm is people. We have no shortage of work from new and existing clients. However, hiring qualified people who fit our culture is a challenge. We’ve learned the hard way that there are no shortcuts here. We needed a process informed by science and human resource expertise. For most businesses, there can be no growth unless the right people sit in the right seats at your company. Here’s how we hire the best and brightest.
- The Job Posting. In the first paragraph, describe your company, its values and vision. Be transparent about your excitement for the future of the company, and the importance this role will have. Clearly define the job and its responsibilities. This calls for a “more is more” approach. Be detailed. You want to give candidates a very precise idea of what this job entails. Don’t worry about length. A candidate who will not take the time to READ your posting THOROUGHLY is not a good candidate! Also, be sure to use filtering criteria offered by most online job sites. For example, we have the job site throw-out any resume that does not contain CPA.
- The Won Score. After we identify suitable candidates based on their resumes, we send them the Wunderlic test to assess them. The result is called the Won Score. It rates a candidate in 3 major areas: cognitive ability, motivation, and personality. The test and its resulting score are relative to the specific job. Wunderlic has a massive database of job titles and descriptions, and scores candidates based on the optimal scoring for the specific job. We have used this to hire all of our employees at all levels. We have found it to be very accurate. The scientific approach is essential, as it provides a number you can use to make decisions.
- The Phone Interview. Once the candidate has passed the Won Score with flying colors, we schedule and conduct a brief phone interview with our hiring manager. The purpose of this interview is to assess how well they communicate verbally. We have a script of 4 open-ended questions designed to get the candidate talking about their professional goals, their strengths, and what their previous bosses might say about them. We ask the exact same questions of every candidate on this phone interview. Beyond strong communication skills and getting our questions answered, we’re also looking to hear the smile in their voice and a sense that they are engaged and strongly interested in the job.
- The In-Person Interview. Or the Zoom interview, especially these days. Candidates who crushed the phone interview move on to a series of final interviews with the partners and other members of our team. Again, we have a script of open-ended questions that are behavioral in nature. We ask the exact same questions of every candidate to get apples to apples comparisons. We want to hear how they handle certain situations, how they deal with failure, examples of times when they have to adapt to significant changes – that sort of thing. Having a pre-defined script of questions eliminates the awkwardness of interviews, and allows interviewers to focus on what the candidate says rather than churning in their own heads for the next question. We also allow time for the candidate to share what they have learned about our firm, and ask questions of us. Any candidate who does not at least visit our website and discuss something on that site – they’re out. Any candidate who does not have more than a couple questions about our firm and what we do – they’re out.
After these in-person interviews, we may or may not end up hiring someone. In the final analysis, we want to be excited about each and every hire. We want to be certain they are a good fit skill-wise and culture-wise. This may require additional interviews with a new set of pre-defined questions. Any lingering doubts are discussed thoroughly. If, in this crop of candidates, nobody excites you, do not hire! Re-start the process on a new group of candidates.
While this process takes time, it is absolutely essential. You cannot fast track this process. As I mentioned, we learned this the hard way. The wrong hire is massively expensive, not only in money, but in time, stress, damage to company culture, and damage to customer relationships. Spend the time and resources to hire the right person each and every time.