My best hiring advice

On Tuesday I talked about all the fears and stories we tell ourselves that make hiring hard, today I’m going to give you my best advice for making it easier.

Tip #1: The truth is, it’s a LOT of work to find, screen and select the best people.

Believe me. I’ve experimented with lots and lots of shortcuts to “life hack” the process. None of them have worked. None! If you want good people you simply have to do the work. What work you ask? Buckle up, here it comes.

Tip #2: More candidates are better than fewer candidates

The more candidates apply the more likely it is that you’ll have one great candidate to hire at the end of the process. If you have 3 candidates, how likely is it that the best candidate is one of those 3? But if you have 300 candidates, it’s much more likely that the best candidate is that pool.

So even though you might have a friend who knows someone they promise would ”be perfect,” don’t be tempted to go with them to save you time and effort. If you want consistently excellent results you have to go through the whole process of creating a job posting and gathering as many candidates as possible. Sure, add your friend of a friend to the mix, but make them one of many candidates you interview.

Tip #3: Screening resumes is a terrible process. Don’t do it.

Most of my clients don’t do the work to create a large pool of candidates because that means going through 300 emails, and reviewing 300 resumes, to find the 10 – 15 that are qualified… I get it. That process is painful and time-consuming without much benefit. Don’t do it!

Instead, create a form on your website (i.e. Google form or whatever form plugin you have installed) and ask 3 – 5 relevant questions that would help you to identify the top candidates without ever looking at their resumes! Use those answers to screen out the 10 – 15 that you actually want to talk to.

Tip #4: You’re most likely conducting your interviews all wrong.

Interviews that don’t utilize a written interview guide have no predictive value. Truly! If you don’t use a written interview guide you may as well just pick names from a hat and save yourself and the candidates a lot of time. It’s basically the same thing. (No, I’m not actually recommending that!)

For interviews to have any predictive value you have to make sure that you ask all candidates the same questions. You have to ask the question even if you think you know the answer, and you have to stop doing all the talking and let them answer. When I do interviews I usually have 2 interviewers meet with one candidate and the interviews usually last well over an hour.

You spend more of your waking hours with your co-workers than you do with your spouse. Take the time you need to get to know them before you marry, er, hire them.

TLDR; Hiring is hard. There are no shortcuts. You can’t do a halfway job and expect consistently excellent results.

If this all sounds like a lot of work to you, it is! But what is more important than hiring a great team? Nothing makes a difference in a business like great employees — when you have a team you can trust it makes your life and business exponentially better.

If you need help with hiring right now, that’s something we do a lot of at Anchor Advisors. We have both “done for you” recruiting and consulting to help you to build your own process.

Hit reply if you have any questions, or want to know more.

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