The A Player Hiring Process – How to Choose the Best Employees For Your Law Firm

Apr 14, 2023 |

Patrick Carver

Hi, I’m Patrick Carver / CEO, Constellation Marketing

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Key Takeaways:
1. How to source great candidates
2.How to structure the application / interview process
3. How to select the best candidate and get them to work for you

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The A Player Hiring Process – How to Choose the Best Employees For Your Law Firm

You can’t grow a great company without great people. But how do you find the good ones?

That’s what we cover in this episode of the Optimized Law Firm Podcast, “The A Player Hiring Process – How To Hire Great People For Your Law Firm.” 

As a law firm, it is essential to have a robust hiring system in place to attract and identify the best candidates for open positions. The success of your firm largely depends on the quality of your employees, and hiring the wrong people can be costly in terms of time, money, and productivity. A well-designed hiring system can help you find candidates who not only have the necessary skills and experience but also fit well with your firm’s culture and values. By investing in a hiring system that includes clear job descriptions, effective recruitment strategies, and thorough screening and selection processes, you can increase your chances of hiring the best employees for your law firm.

Transcript:

[00:00:00.720]
It’s an absolute fact that you cannot grow a great company without having great people. But a very common challenge is how do you go about finding those people who can add significantly to your business? Thankfully, that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about today. Welcome to the Optimize Law Firm podcast. My name is Patrick. I am the owner of Constellation Marketing. We help law firms grow their businesses online. This podcast is all about helping you run a more profitable and enjoyable law firm.

I think this topic today goes into both because if you’re not working with great people, then it’s certainly not enjoyable. They’re not going to be fully contributing to your business and helping you grow in a predictable and enjoyable way. But it can also unlock a lot of profit as well if you get the right people in place. This is a topic that we are not quite experts on, but we have enough experience in the trenches that I thought it would be valuable to put together some of the changes that we’ve made in order to go after a higher caliber of person, ultimately get the type of results we want from our employees.

Developing a Process [00:01:19.790]

So it’s been really crucial to develop this process that I’m going to go through, really map it out for you, and give you the blueprint so that you can find great people for your business as well. In this video, I am going to cover the following:

  1. The first one is going to be how to source great candidates. 
  2. Second, how to structure the application and interview process.
  3.  And third, how to select the best candidate and then ultimately get them to work for you. 
  4. I will also talk about some of the fatal flaws that most people make before the hiring process even starts. 


And after that, you’re going to have a really clear roadmap for how you can go out and get your next employee whenever the time is right. So, just from personal experience, I can share that it makes a world of difference when you ultimately hire good people. We’re not Pepsi or something that’s been around for 100 years. We’re certainly on the younger end of the business spectrum. But after being in business for a little over six years now, we’ve certainly gone through our fair share of hiring and firing. We’ve gotten to the point in our business, and I think with most scaling law firms, you get to this point as well, where you are not really happy about using complete willpower to drive the growth of the business.

During the first part of the business growth cycle, you’re really doing a lot of stuff yourself. You don’t really have systems or processes in place. You’ll find that once you hit a certain point, it’s really challenging from an operational standpoint to deliver great client results. And it’s really challenging and frustrating as a business owner or manager if you don’t have good systems in place for that because we’ve been through this process as we continue to grow, and we’re hitting a lot of those challenges right now. And a lot of it all goes back to structure processes and ultimately getting the right people. And the right people make such a world of difference because there’s an enormous difference between folks that you will hire for your business who will do the minimum or just do exactly what you tell them. And then you have other people, and these are called the A players. And there’s a book that I believe coined this phrase: it’s this right here, it’s who. And they talk about this concept of the A player that you’re looking for the people who are basically the top 10 % in the world, and they have a 90 % chance of going above and beyond the job title.

[00:04:09.510] 

So you’re really, in a nutshell, it’s trying to find exceptional people who really will drive your business. And for me, that means a lot of initiative, a lot of follow-through, not a lot of hand-holding. These are the type of people that I’m looking for. And the best way to describe them is that they’re go-getters. They are going to go and go the extra mile to do the extra little bit of task without you having to ask. Those are the type of people I really look for and want to align with my business because otherwise, you, as the owner-operator will always be going in, cleaning up situations, always providing guidance and advice. 

And all of that’s important, but only to a certain point. You want to be able to create those systems, help people learn, help people train, but ultimately help them fish for themselves. And it’s at that point where you can actually scale. It gives you that flexibility as a business owner to allow your business to do the day-to-day work on a daily, monthly, and weekly cycle all by itself. It gives you the freedom and flexibility to go out, have vacations, and do other stuff to where you have your role, but you’re not doing everything and constantly putting out fires.

Let’s get into the actual process for this. I won’t bore you with a big, long story about how we used to do it because I think you all probably share similar stories with yourself, so it’ll definitely hit close to home. But we basically go, there’s no process to it is the best way to put it. We would, at first, start with some of these individual freelance websites go put a job post up. One of the big mistakes that I made early on was basically taking people with their word. I’d put a job post up and say, Hey, I need someone to create blogs for me. You get 50 people that would say, Hey, I can do blogs for you. The problem that I found with this is that as you start to work with these people, you really get to know what the quality of their work is, their follow through, etc. I was doing that after the fact, after I had already selected them and chosen them, basically on gut feeling, I’d have maybe a couple of questions and get on a call and figured I could be the best auditor by looking them in the eye of whether or not they would turn out to be a good employee.

Some have been awesome. That worked fantastic for some. We still work with a number of those people today. But in a lot of cases, it was ultimately disappointing because we would come in, we’d go through all this work to get the candidate, put the job post up, do interviews, bring them in, and then they would be gone after a week sometimes because they had another job that they liked better, or they just became flaky and didn’t ever come back.

This whole process is all about mitigating your risk when hiring a new person so that, ultimately you get a great quality hire, a positive contributor to your business. But it also is going to save you a ton of time and frustration so that you can go through this. It’s not all being done in real-time after the fact. Once they’ve already been hired, you’re paying them, and you’re actually then on the hot seat to deliver results for your clients and give them a great experience. You want to be figuring out and going through this process, spending this time before that. So ultimately, when it’s time to go and deliver those customer experiences, you’ve already got people you can count on processes mapped out, and you’re in great shape to ultimately grow your business.

With that, let’s get to the steps. There’s about, I think, five steps, six steps here. Then, I’ll go through some of the trial-and-error takeaways that I have experienced as I’ve gone through this process myself. We’ve recently made a number of new hires, so this process is really fresh. We’ve changed it a number of times. Ultimately, it’s only as good as what works for you. Maybe this can be an inspiration for you in terms of how you would model your process. There’s going to be some different stuff, but take it for a ride and see what you think. 

Step 1 – Define the Role, Expectations, and Core Values

The first step that we’ll talk about is going to be really the prep work, defining the role, expectations, and your core values as a business or as a business owner. First rule: do not skip this step. As I mentioned in the past, I throw something up on a job board, start to bring people in, and just figure it out as I go along. But this is really the worst way you could do it. A big part of getting a successful hire is doing this prep work in the beginning.

[00:09:29.090]
Some Advice:

  • You can look on the internet for similar job titles, what’s included, and other job descriptions.
  • You can also ask around to colleagues and other people. Even if it’s not a law firm business owner, you can have somebody else who’s a business owner who has experience with the hiring process. And you want to get suggestions on what makes a great candidate. How do you structure your job roles? What do you put into the job description? All of this is really important.
  • And you want to try and get as specific as possible with your KPIs, your key performance indicators, what that day to day work looks like, and really come up with a very clear concrete idea of what you’ll want that person to do. It’s important to get this information done upfront and spend some time on it because it’s ultimately setting up someone for failure if you don’t know what you’re going after, what you’re looking for, then you can’t really go out and find a person who’s going to excel in that role. 
  • When you’re computing all of this, just try to be as detailed as possible. No doubt, things are going to change, but you want at least to have a decent roadmap that you can then go and look for the people that match up with the responsibilities and the things that you have outlined in your prep work and in your documentation.

 

The core values component [00:10:57.500] 


We can talk about that a little bit later, but you want to think about this as well in terms of what are some common characteristics of the great people who work in your business? 

For us, things like following through and proving ROI are all really core values. Those would be more core goals for our clients, and a value would look more like we see things through. But that’s more of the value and our DNA that we want to be the people who are trustworthy, honest, and transparent about the work they’re doing for their clients. Then, ultimately, we get the job done. We then can take that into the job description and talk about how you need to be someone who really follows through. You can start to list out some of these characteristics. Those are really great because as people read the job description, they’ll self-identify and you can get to self-filter out people who really identify with those specific things that you want with it. 

That’s pretty much it for the first step; really is just making sure you have that good foundation, and then you can always update it and change it as you go. But spend that time. It won’t take more than an hour or two, but having that is super important as we get into the following steps. 

 

Step 2 – Create a short filter quiz [00:12:25.400] 

Step two is where we like to create a short, what I call filter quiz. The goal here is to basically kick people out and filter down to a decent-sized group of potential candidates. What we are looking for here is we’re going to send them a handful of questions, and typically it’s a mix of practical and personal questions. On the practical side, we want to start to filter out people who don’t have the experience, don’t know what they’re talking about, really, in terms of the work that’s going to be done. Think back to those things that you listed as day to day work and what the actual pieces of the job would look like, what their responsibilities would be, and quiz them about it. 

A good corollary for us is we’re talking about SEO, and we hire SEO people. In the initial quiz, we want to ask them specific questions such as: what are the most important things to do when optimizing a page? How do you feel about Google’s last algorithm update?

Some of them are going to be question-based. Some are going to be more like a free response or require critical thinking. But we’re just trying to get some of those tripwires to figure out whether or not this person actually knows what they’re talking about and has that basic level of knowledge about the topic that they are going to be working on. 

Also, ask some personal questions as well. Things like, what hours do you want? What’s important to you in a job? We might have other questions like around salary, different things like that, just so that we can figure out if we’re even in the same ballpark. If we’re compatible, potentially with these folks. It doesn’t have to be exceptionally long, but you want to do a couple of those, ideally as many as possible, types of questions. You want to lead them there but not make it extremely obvious what you’re asking in terms of what it’ll lead to. Are you a hard worker? Yes. People are going to say yes all across the board. But you can ask these other things like how you would solve a problem and things like that.

Think about your best employees or even your own characteristics, what you feel separates you from someone else, another competitor, and add those types of screener questions in there. Then, as you’ve gotten that first group, and we’ll talk about how to get that group here in just a second, you want to rank those entries. 

One mistake we made was grading on a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 being the best. Now, the reason that was a mistake is because there’s too much room and it isn’t clear enough to effectively sort people out. We figured out that the recommendations of different people on our team and their understanding of how good a 7 was versus an 8 definitely varied. As we proceeded through this process, we ultimately moved into a 1 to 3 rating system. One is a disqualification, just not a good fit. Two is a maybe. Then three is I feel very strongly or this person is very interesting, and we definitely want to add them.

At that point, you can then shortlist your top candidates. Depending on a couple of factors, like how many applications you have, just how much knowledge people need with the role, and different things like that, you can then maybe select all of your threes or all of the twos and threes for that next step in the interview process.

But by doing it this way and batching them, you’re going to save an enormous amount of time than trying to have everybody do individualized interviews or discussions. This way, you can just create one document with an assessment link at the bottom. We use Google Forms. It’s extremely easy and free. Then, we just get email notifications as those people come through.

 

Step 3 – Flood the Market  [00:17:52.740] 

The big activity that we’re going to talk about now in the third step is then flooding the market to try and get as many possible candidates as you can to fill out that initial step. So step three is what I call the flow of the market. What I mean by this is we want to get the job post up in as many places as possible where there are relevant candidates. So we want to do this because, ultimately, we’re going to be better off with a large pool of candidates than relying on one individual job board or asking friends or whatever because we’ve figured out that candidates come from all over. And we’ve been really surprised by some of the sites or some of the places where we posted these applications and gotten great people to come through.

But you’re not in a good position of being able to find these A players if you ultimately only have a short list of, say, ones and twos. You’re likely going to be in a pinch looking for someone to fulfill this role. 

And so you’ll probably end up going with somebody who’s like a one or two on this, what I call an aspirational hire. And I’ve made this mistake plenty of times where you meet somebody and you’re like, Well, they don’t do X, Y, and Z, but they seem like a good person, seem hungry, and they do match these other characteristics that I’m looking for. Ultimately, more often than not, those don’t work out:

  • Because you’re making sacrifices. 
  • They often don’t have the skills that are needed to be successful in that role, 
  • or they just don’t have a real interest in the specific content that you are hiring them to do.

I have evolved over time to really go after people who are already in a role that is exactly what I’m hiring for, and only in some cases where I’m going and working to try and find a junior person that we want to bring along and coach and bring in at a lower salary, would I look for people who have the soft qualities but don’t have those hard technical skills?

Long story short, having more candidates ultimately will help you in this pursuit. It’ll make your life so much easier and you’ll have a challenge in terms of picking the right person. But you’ll be so much happier down the road when you realize you’re not settling for someone. 

You’re really getting a person who has a great chance to succeed and do well for your business. Where do we go out and post this document that has the job description and an assessment? There are a number of different places. I’ll go through all of them.

  • Job Boards: Number one, job boards. Indeed, on LinkedIn, there are niche job boards. If you’re looking for someone in SEO, there are SEO job boards and different things like that. There may be job boards specifically for the legal community. Lots of different opportunities there. That would be a great first place to start.
  • Freelance Sites: We also look at freelance sites like Upwork, which can be great in some cases. Other times, it’s maybe not the best. It just ultimately depends on the role you’re hiring for and doing due diligence. My one beef with freelance sites like this is that you often get people who are nomads, and they want to hop around from gig to gig, have that flexibility, and not be locked down with a full-time job. Sometimes, we get the opposite. People are tired of that. They want to be in a team setup. They want to have that structure and day-to-day stuff where their freelance work has just not been that successful. That can then be a great opportunity as well. We’re looking at candidates right now who’ve been in both of those buckets. People are looking for that full-time or just more of a part-time. Depending on the role, if you do have a part-time role, Upwork and freelancer.com are great places to look for people who can fill in and do a great job. We’ve done this a lot where we start people part-time and then move them to a full time hire over time. That’s how we got some of our best people. It gives you the advantage of working with them on a trial basis, essentially. Then if they exceed and they do well, then you bring them on full time.
  • Niche Groups on Social Media: Other areas or other ways I would go about doing this are social media groups; there are groups on Facebook, and there are groups on LinkedIn. Often, there are very specific niche types of groups. If you’re looking for someone who could do front office or you could do, you’re looking for a remote attorney who you just want to do paralegal type work and stuff like that. There are groups for that. There are people like paralegal associations and different things like that. Those are great places to post. We’ve got a lot of candidates that way because, if you think about it, you’re going right after a group of people who already know what they want. They’re already locked in and want that type of job. You have to make fewer compromises in terms of the skill set and the experience with that type of role.
  • Recruiting Firms: Other ones we’ve done are recruiting firms. This is a pay-for-performance model. We’ve worked with a few of these where they go out and find candidates and you only pay if it’s a successful hire. It can work can be great.
  • Direct Recruiting: We also recruit directly. LinkedIn has a function called Inmail, which is a byproduct of Salesforce Navigator. You can go in and search for people by their specific job role and title, which can be a really great way to do it. Honestly, I would recommend it because, typically, people who are great are already going to have jobs. They’re not really out there looking that much. We’ve seen it both. Don’t want to be insensitive because there are tons of situations outside folks’ control where great people get laid off. They’re going to be out looking for a job. Don’t want to say it the wrong way, but you can find great people in both spots. Don’t be afraid to go ping people who are doing the exact job that you’re after because it makes such a big difference in bringing them on and training them. It’s a much lower amount of time that you have to spend where they can be fully operational with your firm and start to add value as quickly as possible. This whole thing, like our last job run that we did, cost about 150 bucks to do a LinkedIn sales navigator post on some of the sites, like indeed different places. Well worth it to get. I think the number of cans we got was between 30 and 40 with it. Really good. We’re really happy about the folks that are coming in to join the team with it. Moving on to the fourth step. This is where we would do a practical exam or video, sometimes both.

 

Step 4 – Practical Exam or Video  [00:24:29.590] 

Now that we’ve filtered down to the twos and the threes, we’ve got our smaller group; we want to go into more detail. This is really where the rubber meets the road in terms of who we want to move to, that upper tier, that final list. In this, we want to do a deep dive. This is going to assess their abilities and fit how they think, how they solve problems and different things like that. You can do this in two different ways or both. We’ve done both of these, and I think both have merit. Depending on the role, we might do an exam. On another role, we might do a video that functions like an exam, but it just really depends. 

The difference, I would say here, is an account manager for us is a very front-facing client facing type of role. We want people who are okay to be on camera, happy to get on the phone, bubbly, and things like that. Whereas someone who does SEO or pay-per-click management is going to be more of a behind-the-scenes type of person. It can be someone who’s really outgoing and likes to be on camera, but more often than not, they’re not.

Then honestly, we’re not planning on putting our SEO people on making videos and stuff like that. They don’t really need to be in those roles. Designing this second assessment video is really up to you. But what you want to do is give them a really practical test with it. If you were hiring a receptionist for your office, you would want to give them a scenario and have them record a call of doing a mock intake or just how they would answer a call or having a call with a friend or something like that where you can get a real feeling on video for how they interact with people. 

You can also ask them questions where they have to think on their feet and come up with… What I’m really looking for at this stage is the critical thinking component. Can they think about solutions? 

Because if they are going to just follow a SOP or test, that’s okay, and there are roles for that. But if we’re looking for real A players, we want people who can come to the solution by themselves and think their way through challenges. I would give them a specific challenge that you have with your business, a very realistic scenario, and make it open ended and see what they come back with.

That type of assessment where it’s really open ended, you’re giving them a lot of room to show their personality, show how their brain works, that’s the best way to do it. 

Then, from there, you’ll do the exact same process we did a couple of steps ago where you’ll rank them from 1 to 3, where you’re drawing these clear lines of who is disqualified and who you really like. Only the top ones are then going to move on to the final two steps for us. 

Step 5 – Personality Testing [00:28:00.500]  

Step number 5 for us is going to be personality testing. Talked a little bit about this at the beginning in terms of we’ve made mistakes where we hire people, they seem great, they say all the right things, and then they just turn out to be unreliable. They don’t really meet or match our core values in the way we like to operate and the best people on our team like to operate. Using a personality test is a great way to hedge your risk and your investment here. This is not an IQ test, and it’s not really an aptitude test or a skills test or anything like that. This is really just to understand the person behind the answers, what motivates them, how they go about solving challenges, and how they think about this stuff.

We have used two different types of testing for this. They’re the two most popular ones out there that I know about are the Kolbe and the disk test. These are short tests that you can give your potential clients. Some are free, like disk, which offers a free, smaller assessment. Kolbe is like 55 bucks. That’s why we wait until the very end of this. We’re not just sending out $55 tests to all of these people who are not ultimately qualified for the job. 

This is going to be a great way to then match the personality type that you’re dealing with in the role. You can then figure out what really motivates these people. I’ll give you an example. For account managers, we talk with other marketing agencies who are more established than us, have been around for longer than us, and have done a lot more hiring. We asked them, What do you look for in your account manager? They can give us really specific insight into the types of people inside, and we use the Kolbe for this; inside the Kolbe test, the categories that you need to have high scores on sync up with being a good account manager.

The Kolbe Assessment: In the Kolbe assessment, there are four categories. The two categories we’re looking for are follow-through and fact finder. We get good insight from these other companies who say, We’ve gone off script here and tried to find people or got people in that we just felt really strong about. But if they haven’t met these two criteria in the acceptable zone, ultimately, they don’t turn out to be great fits. It’s like a way to de-risk or hedge your bets a little bit where you’re taking it out of all the risk from your gut feeling and your assessment to something that’s really scientifically based and does a great job from what I understand as far as predicting outcomes of potential candidates. 

Now, when you’re looking at this role, an account manager, compared to, say, a fulfillment role, we would be looking for different personality traits. And so for this one, it may be more like really good follow-through and good, what they call an implementer. What you can do with this, as we’re focused obviously on the marketing side, is look around, and there may be other law firms who have gone through this and put this material out there.

Or you can ask and talk with the companies who provide these actual tests and tell them who you are and what you’re looking for. Because they’re going to have a tremendous amount of insight as to what types of profiles work for different types of roles. They see companies like you or similar to you all the time. That can really give you a nice bit of a framework or reference point for knowing which ones you want to look for. You may, at this point, be thinking, Wow, this is overkill, or maybe not. But this is all coming from a place of, We’ve made a bunch of mistakes, or We’ve learned on the job to figure this stuff out. Now we’re getting to that point where I feel like, Okay, we can see the full, clear process with all of these checkpoints. 

The next time we do this, it’s going to save us so much time because we have all this already dialed up and we can go and create the quizzes, the job outline, all of that stuff. Then it’s really just about putting those seeds out there and getting people to go through and fulfill it.

Step 6 – Interviews [00:32:50.910] 

Last item here, so step number 6 is going to be our final interviews. This is where you should have your finalist by now. Two or three people, really. 

This is just ultimately your last checkpoint to make sure that this person is going to be a good fit. You have a good rapport with them. I think it’s also really important to bring in any stakeholders as well at this stage to make sure it’s a good fit for everybody. Because if you are the owner of your business and you are going to have this person work directly with someone else on your team, you probably want to get a little bit of buy in. 

You don’t necessarily need to have them run the process. But I think it’s beneficial here to bring them in because they may have insights that you don’t. Also, you ultimately want somebody that they’re going to gel with and create that team chemistry where it’s not an acrimonious type of relationship. Ultimately, that’s going to be a better, more productive group for your business to work and grow with it. A couple of questions and things I like to ask at this point.

  • Motivation: Number one, I’m looking for their motivation for the role. That is important. Obviously, money and having a job is always a primary driver. But this is where I’m really trying to get down under a little bit because if their motivation is they love the material, they feel like they’re really good at it, or they love this type of job because they’ve done it before. Things like that are really great to hear and validate everything else that you’ve looked at up until this point. You can figure out if people’s motivations don’t really match up with what you want out of the role; you’re going to be able to spot that and then ultimately disqualify some of these people.
  • Workflow: The next thing you can ask about is to get an idea of their workflow. You might ask questions like, What’s your normal day look like? How do you schedule a busy day? What’s your process for that or something like that? This gives you a really good insight as to their workflow, how they process tasks, how they set their day up, and what their planning abilities are like. Asking these types of questions will then give you an idea of what employee they will be. What will they do in a day, and how will they go about attacking those things and ultimately driving the results that you need in your business?
  • Problem-Solving: Then another one that I like to ask as well as how they handle your current problems. I like to ask potential hires here questions about current problems that we have that, ideally, their role is, or their potential role is dealing with right now. Common problems we have are client communication, figuring out the right cadence, how we get stuff back that we need, and all those sorts of things. I like to ask those people those questions because if it’s all a top down type of relationship where I’m always giving them the directives on, Here’s how you talk with the client. Here’s how you do this. Ultimately, I’m not ever going to be able to escape the operational side of the business. You can create those frameworks and guidelines, but ultimately, you’re hiring someone that you want to be able to give complete responsibility to, not only to do the job well but also to improve the job and innovate and improve it over time. When you ask these types of questions about how they would handle stuff, you’re looking for people who have a different idea of how they would solve it, or they have a really well thought out response, things like that, because that’s going to be the best indicator of whether or not they are a good fit moving forward. If they’re going to be giving you that flexibility so that you can get some of your time back and you’re not constantly checking their work and training them and going back over these things because it will just be innate to them. That’s really ultimately what you want.

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of our six part process for hiring. Hopefully, now you have some fantastic candidates, and it creates a new type of problem that you’re trying to decide between a few great people. They’re out there, and you can absolutely get them if you put in the leg work to do this and have this structure in place. I promise you will be so much happier with the results from doing it this way as opposed to taking what you get and not having really much say in it until you figure out later down the road that it’s not a great fit.

Our Final Thoughts: Trial and Error Takeaways  [00:38:00.700] 

A couple of final takeaways from our trial and errors that we have gone through over the past year. Number one, I’ve already talked about this a lot: do the lay work upfront. This is going to save you so much time in the long run.

Start small and you can continue to improve your process over time when you go from higher one to number two, three, four.

Then, by the end, you’ll have a really great, well-documented process and can ultimately turn over the whole thing to somebody else on your team. Number two, don’t talk yourself into a candidate. What I mean by this is I was talking about this earlier where sometimes you’ll get one or a two, and you’re like, Well, I like them, or they said a lot of the right things, but they don’t have this experience. They’re in a completely different time zone, or they don’t like getting on camera. 

Well, we can maybe train that or do that. Don’t do it because, ultimately you will be in for a lot of pain down the road. Really, what your mindset should be here is to let these people wow you. Don’t hire what I would call aspirational candidates who feel good but ultimately don’t have the skills or the personality to succeed in the role. It’s largely speculative where you’re hoping that they eventually get to be an A player in that role. But if you do these other steps right and you flood the market and you have your system in place, you will find people who will wow you.

Even if it’s only one, that’s all you need to get in there, and it’ll be a perfect fit. I can tell you, from our experience, when we’ve gone through and done it this way, we get more great candidates than we can handle. Now I’m connecting other people with them because they’re so good, and we just had to pick really the top one that we were after. Third, document your process so that you will know exactly what you want to do for the next time. You can take this that I’ve set up and modify it, update it, change it a little bit, and do what you need to do. But ultimately, as you go through, take some time to take some notes after it, and then you’re setting yourself up for success the next time. Then, finally, or there are two more, test someone on your team with managing the first part of the process. Now that I had a really big hands-on role in crafting this process and going through a couple of these hires, I’m now going to completely pass this off to someone on my team who’s going to do all the steps one through five, and I only come in for that final interview.

After you set it up, that’s when you get to leverage the system and the process around it so you can get more time back into your day, and you really only have to come in when it’s absolutely essential that you do and you’re not getting bogged down with this, it could go on working on other parts of your business. Then finally, my last piece of advice is don’t be cheap during this. I mentioned a couple of things that you’d need to spend money on to effectively perform this process, such as putting up some paid job listings and doing the Kolbe test. You might even need to put some advertising behind the job post itself. You can play around with this stuff. Everybody’s system and network is different, but you want to get more candidates than you know what to do with, basically, because that’s how the cream is really going to rise to the top. As you go through all these different decision making factors, you will clearly see who are the best candidates. But if you don’t have a good pool of data, you’re never going to be able to get there. Yes, we’ve spent about $500 on Kolbe tests or something for this last interview.

But when you think about hiring somebody who’s going to maybe be with you for multiple years or however long you envision them working for your business, it’s a drop in the bucket because of the pain, the time wasting, the loss of revenue, and all of these other factors that will ultimately make a bad hire, really painful. You can skip all of that. Hope this has all been helpful. I know it’s a little bit long, but try to add as much information that we could provide that would be useful to you in your hiring process. Get out there.

If you have any questions, please let me know. I’d love to help you out and help you find great people for your business, as well as making a huge difference in the growth trajectory of ours. Thank you, and have a great day.

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Patrick Carver

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