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How I Hire For Genius...

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

One thing I’ve come to realise over time is in order to do really effective marketing and sales, you need really high quality staff… But there’s a problem - sourcing. Many of them are really hard to find and equally hard to keep, especially when you’re a young company without a lot of resources.

So, what do we do?

Well, I’m not sure how you do things, but I can share how we do it…

First, I create an ideal candidate persona to target exactly who I want, then I use a proprietary search algorithm that sources the best people for the job, shortlisting the best of the bunch.

We reach out to them and start the multi-stage interview process.

My ethos on this is staff are an investment that yields dividends. I want to ensure I’m able to invest in my people as much as I can, we have a wonderful culture here and I know my staff respect me for how much I invest in them.

We pay them higher salaries because we work hard, and we reward them really really well. We even have on the spot bonuses for anyone that goes above and beyond (green juice tokens!).

From what I understand, a lot of major corporations go out of their way to hire from public universities - they seek out the really high end educational institutions throughout the world to source their candidates.

This is a great strategy and you can find really smart people here, but we’ve found that a bachelor's degree more often than not isn’t going to drive results. Many business owners miss a crucial factor when recruiting for sales positions, marketing positions, customer service positions… Unless you have seriously solid operational procedures that can be run on auto-pilot, you need people that can think outside the box. People that intuitively understand your customer on a very deep level - to find this, you need to recruit for emotional intelligence.

So how do we do this?

Many companies opt for psychographic testing. Although useful for filtering in the early stages, it doesn’t really cut the mustard when you’re actually speaking with people - even running behavioral analysis over social media profiles just isn’t that effective as often people use a persona themselves when writing their profiles - they’ve gamed it!

To battle this, we have very emotionally intuitive hiring managers that empathise with the candidates during their interviews. Not only does this allow us to set our candidates at ease so we can see their true personalities, it also allows us to establish any masks or falsehoods the candidate might be carrying as a part of their psyche.

Okay, I appreciate this probably sounds a little weird - it’s definitely not the traditional approach. But we’ve really found it works. As long as your candidate fits the persona you created for them and you know they will mix with the company culture, this is a great way of doing things. Seriously, pull out your Tarot decks - this stuff has value!

Now as for the process itself, it’s a very long winded multi-step process that really separates the wheat from the chaff. We treat it like a marketing funnel.

It works a bit like this:

Once you’ve defined your candidate persona, we have a checklist that we use to find out exactly what kind of questions we need to ask to find the right person.

We couple this with a set of company culture questions (we need a balance of personalities for a successful culture, so each job position has a different set of questions) that we map on a radar graph to determine how our culture currently stands, and how it can be improved.

We also have a third set of questions that everybody must fit as well (organizational wide filtering questions).

Now we put all of this hard work together in the form of a survey and before anybody can receives a meeting they must complete it.

Based on their answers, we can work out whether they are motivated by the same things we are (things like giving back and things beyond just money). Once someone has gone through the process of answering a survey, their resumes are sent over to HR, checked by them and a call is arranged.

So, the call.

This is not an opportunity to quiz them on their technical capability. I firmly believe most people can grow into positions and it is upto us as leaders to find what positions fit them best. The call more importantly is to determine what kind of person they are. Technical skills are great, but we want genius, creative and enthusiastic staff that are going to stick around for the long run.

The conversation with HR is a very short conversation (5-10 minutes long). It’s just to determine if they’re truthful and if they are a nice person.

Provided everything goes well and they meet all the criteria on our checklist, they are passed on to a meeting with the hiring manager. The hiring manager will spend an hour with that person on the phone, really getting to know them and having conversation just like somebody would in the park or in the pub. It takes pressure right off people and really allows them to open up, then we change our tone, and we start to be firm with them. We want to see how they react under pressure.

Most organisations don’t talk about this side of the interview process - I think many people are scared to come across like they are putting people under pressure. Well, the reality of the situation is that their job requires them occasionally to be under pressure and to hit strict deadlines - the last thing we want is to hire someone and put some pressure on them, only to find out they can’t handle it. It’s safeguarding.

Now once we’ve done that, and they check all the necessary boxes... They get shortlisted.

Once we have 5 shortlist candidates we proceed to the next stage.

(If they don't find 5 top candidates, then the hiring manager will pick the best of the bunch)

It’s time for the group interviews! We get the candidates to work together on achieving a task, so we see how they work in a team, then we split them off from the team and we place them in a situation on their own.

Then it’s time for all the candidates to compete against each other in a race for the most output.

Output isn't really what we are looking for, we’re not looking for the person who produces the most stuff, we're looking for quality at pace.

Whoever produces the best quality at the fastest pace wins - simple.

After this, we offer the winning candidate the position, congratulate them on their hard work and

get them onboarded!

...that's how we hire 1 member of staff.

It’s lengthy even with the automations in place… But I can assure you, it’s worth it.

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