Nine Steps To Automate Your Hiring For Culture And Skill by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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My company has interviewed hundreds of people over the last decade and has learned some painful lessons. 
We have fine-tuned our hiring processes for virtual hires to avoid repeating these costly mistakes.

Here is a nine-step guide to set up a funnel to pre-qualify all applicants with the absolute minimum amount of personal time spent on each applicant.

What you will need:


• Company vision

• Core values

• Wonscore (a personality, intelligence and motivation test)

• Skills test for the position

Step 1: Sell your prospects on the job.

You sell your products or services, but don’t want to sell your team members? Think again. Make your job ad a sales page and sell candidates on the whole package of the company. 

Step 2: Take applicants through your vision and core values.

Have them explain how they will fit into the bigger vision of the team and what the core values mean to them. This will be your first filter against core value issues and people who are not aligned with your bigger vision for the company.

Step 3: Filter the rest of the applicants for communications skills.

This is the first manual step of the process. You will need someone (not you) to go through applicant resumes and cover letters and filter out those who clearly aren’t a fit. Have them look for poor grammar, the presentation you are looking for in the position and an understanding of your company’s core values. 

If a prospect is not a good fit, communicate with them about the reason. Have an automated email that goes to your “no” prospects that says, for example: “We have high standards at [company name] and noticed there were grammar and spelling mistakes in your application. Thank you for applying but we will be looking in a different direction.”


Step 4: Further filter applicants based on intelligence, motivation and personality.

Have candidates take a Wonscore assessment by Wonderlic. This will test their intelligence, motivation and personality. It takes about an hour to fill out, so it also tests how excited a candidate is to work with you.

Step 5: Further filter applicants through a skills test.

If they scored over a 70, send them an email that pushes them through to your skills testing phase. This should be a basic test that you put together to assess their technical competency. If it is a management position, ask them how they would handle a team member conflict; if it is a developer position, have them take a test on WordPress; if it is a designer position, ask them to design a logo. While this is subjective to the business and position, there are many pre-built tests out there.

Pro tip: If you are hiring for a leadership-level technical skill set, you also need them to prove they have success metrics. This means they have success, not just experience, in whatever position they are applying for. For example, if they are a developer, have them send you a link to their GitHub repository. You want to see that they have at least 4000 downloads of one of their scripts. They need something to prove that they were successful in that position before you even test them.

Step 6: Set up the first interview.

If they pass your test, they make it to the first interview. This interview will not be with you. Find someone in the company who likes talking to people and get them scheduled for the first call. Keep the questions vague and have them read the candidate for culture fit. Look for anything that would immediately disqualify them. For example, they don’t show up or are late for the call, they are constantly using degrading language, etc.


Step 7: Conduct a topgrading interview.

The purpose of this interview is to find out if the person has relevant success experience for the position and to see who the most applicable references are for that person. The time it takes for this interview should correlate with how important the position is.

This step takes the most time if done correctly, but it will be worth it. I recommend reading the book Who by Geoff Smart. It is probably the most concise way to describe how easy this step is.

Step 8: Set up a technical interview.

This means testing for hard skills and should be with whomever will be managing the person so they too can be confident in the prospect’s competence. Again, this is specific to the job. If they are applying for a lead developer position, ask them to code software. If they are applying for a management position, ask them what their favorite management methodology is and what management techniques they have seen the most success from.

Step 9: Conduct reference interviews.

If the manager likes the person, then you need to do the most important step. Set up interviews with their references. Do not outsource this step. You want to hear the microexpressions of every answer. Nobody is going to have long pauses when talking about A players. They will not struggle to think of positive words to describe someone. We use this as the questionnaire for consulting references:


1. “How do you know them?” Look for them to set a context for how they worked together.

2. “What are their success metrics? What was successful when working with them?” Avoid words like “experience” — that is not a success metric.

3. “What are their biggest weaknesses?” Ask this only after asking about their success metrics so the person answering feels more comfortable. Listen for microexpressions and tonality to see if they believe what they are saying. Subcontext is massive on this question.

4. “If you were me, would you hire them?” This puts them in your shoes and builds empathy. If there is something they didn’t tell you, they are more likely to open up on this question.

Hiring can be frightening, but following these steps removes much of the risk and makes the process much simpler (and more enjoyable) for everyone involved.

December 20, 2018 at 09:10AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs