My Number One Recruiting Technique for Busy Leaders
I’ve been waking up at 5 am for the last two months and it’s changed my life.
During these early morning hours, I’ve been reflecting on lessons I’ve learned in the last three years of running this business. Some lessons were difficult, painful, and expensive, while others were light bulb moments and great opportunities to make improvements going forward.
One of the latter improvements I’ve made is around hiring.
Over the years, I’ve honed in on asking the right questions in an interview and assessing a candidate for how well she will jive with the culture of the organization, but one piece I kept missing was the candidate’s actual working style.
How does she communicate? How does she handle deadlines? Will she like this type of work?
A candidate will likely tell you what you want to hear as you ask these questions in an interview, but I’ve learned the hard way that reality is sometimes different and that it usually ends up in the dreaded turnover.
So now I ask candidates to complete an actual project that needs to get done within my business.
I give them a short time period, say two weeks, and pay them a fair amount of money to complete the project. This is a micro test run of what working together would be like with a real, live project. Both parties have skin in the game.
Hiring amazing, lasting, committed employees!
By having candidates do a real, live project, I can easily assess their:
Working style. Do they turn in a project at the last minute (e.g. 11:59am for a 12pm deadline) or send the project back a day or two early?
Work product. Are there spelling and/or formula errors? Did they pay attention to little formatting details and follow instructions?
Communication style. Does the candidate ask me questions along the way that have already been answered in the instructions? Does she confirm deadlines or ask clarifying questions? Is there radio silence until she turns in the work?
This one recruiting technique is widely applicable across all industries and has resulted in my best hires to date. It might take a little longer but almost always results in candidates that are the perfect fit for your organization (and who will stick around for the long haul).
Now go forth and hire!