In my past life, I used to have a recruitment business. I’d read through hundreds of CVs a week, and write tens of job advertisements weekly too. I played around with which ads worked, and which ones flopped and quickly got to learn how to make them stand out.
I love hiring new people. It’s a joy to be able to give someone a great new opportunity that they’ll love, and a joy to think of the value they’ll bring to the business.
Having come from a background of reading hundreds of CVs a day and conducting countless interviews, the shine of the recruitment process has somewhat worn off, but the outcome has not. I still get that feeling of excitement (akin to just before you open Christmas presents) when I get to offer someone a position on my team.
Two cool questions have helped me improve my hiring.
The first is this: “Will this person lift the average of the team, or will they bring it down?” My goal is to consistently send the average upwards. I’m never scared of hiring people who are brighter, more organised, more astute, lovelier or more capable than me and the rest of the business. When this new person walks in, I want my existing team to sit up that little bit straighter and I want them to enjoy their role more because the new person is enriching their working life.
Here’s the other question I ask: “Is this person an A grade team player, or am I settling for second best?” My experience is that your gut never fails on this one. You know when you’re trying to convince yourself that they tick all the calibre and suitability boxes, when really you’re cutting corners to just get someone in to the role. Yes it’s painful when you need to fill a vacant position but it hurts more when you make a wrong hire.
These two questions (while certainly not exhaustive) have served me well when building my A team.
What other questions have you found useful when hiring?