Monday, May 16, 2011

Hiring the Right People

One of the more frustrating aspects for anyone in a management position has got to be hiring new people. So many questions arise...
Is this person going to grow our business?
How do I know which candidate is best?
Should I go with experience or a desire to learn?
The fact of the matter is you can’t know with any degree of certainty that the person you select is going to pan out, but you can make every effort to be as up front and honest about the position (and thereby eliminating people who don’t think the job is for them) in an effort to save interviewing time.

We’ve implemented some serious changes to how we hire people. Firstly, instead of putting an ad out with the standard jargon: “team player”, “organized”, “able to learn quickly”, etc., we’re going to list every last thing the job will entail. This way candidates can tell whether or not they want to apply, and neither the interviewer nor the applicant are wasting each other’s time.

Secondly, once someone decides they would like to apply, we have changed our interviewing techniques. Rather than asking the mundane questions such as “Where do you see yourself in five years?”, or “List your five strengths and weaknesses.”, PL is going to take a rather unorthodox approach.

Below you’ll find the first step to our interviewing process:

It begins with a written questionnaire:
Dear Applicant,

Working for PL is an adventure every day. We want like-minded geniuses to join us on our quest to conquer Earth.

Below are some questions that will help us get to know you. PLEASE NOTE: there are no right or wrong answers.

If this isn’t your kind of deal, you may stop at anytime and leave. We won’t judge you.

The choice, of course, is yours.

We hope you choose to stay for the interview.

On the next page, there are questions to help us determine if the candidate is compatible with our group.

We have a core group here that are amazing. It took us the better part of five years to get this team and I will do everything to keep them here. So if someone isn’t a good fit, we need to know ASAP.

Here’s a sample of the kinds of questions we ask:

If you could have one song as your entrance music every time you went somewhere, what would it be and why?

Multiple Choice:

My favorite Stooge is__________.
1. Larry
2. Moe
3. Shemp
4. Curly
5. Curly Joe
6. Joe

This or That:

Star Trek or Star Wars?
Mountain Dew or Coke/Pepsi?

True or False:

[T][F] - I have worn a costume in public on a day that wasn’t Halloween.

[T][F] - I have written or read fan fiction.

Tell us your hobbies:

And so on. Basically, we’re making ever attempt to weed out the people who won’t gel with our core team.

After that, comes the face to face interview (provided they haven’t already decided we’re not for them and left). And the interview entails giving us actual demonstrations of their skill sets. We need to know they can do what we told them we needed in our want ad.

If that goes well, the last step is references. If those check out, we may have our team member.

So we’ll see how the changes work in getting us the right staff faster.

Are we missing anything? Do you have tricks you could share? Tweet them or comment here. We’d love any other help we can get!

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