In baseball, usually the best team on the field wins. The same goes for business. If you want to build an all-star business, you need to build an all-star team.
So how do you build an all-star team? With PIE.
After I made a pretty large hiring mistake early in my career, I was determined never to this mistake again. I read volumes of books on how to hire including Who, TopGrading, Hiring with Your Head and many others. With a systematic hiring process, our hires have been extremely successful, our business more profitable, and my life much easier.
If your hiring process needs to be revamped, I strongly suggest you read the above books. For a little extra help, here’s what our process looks like:
- Resume & Cover Letter Review – We review the candidate’s experience and how well it lines up with the position. We also require an excellent cover letter. We believe writing well shows intelligence and clarity of thought. If a cover letter wasn’t included, we simply throw it out.
- Phone Screen – We perform a basic phone screen to understand why the candidate is looking for a new position, and if our position lines up with their career goals.
- Online Test – We have our candidates perform an online test to gauge their intelligence and understanding of various social situations. If the position is technical, it will also give us an idea of their technical knowledge.
- Interview 1 – During this interview, we go through their resume in a reverse chronological order looking to see how their career is progressing.
- Interview 2 – This is a more in-depth interview with many more of our staff.
- Reference Check – A quick fact-finding call to make sure the candidate’s experience lines up.
But what about during the interview? What should we be looking for? That’s where PIE comes in. After what feels like a million interviews, we’ve realized all-stars and great leaders share the following three characteristics in abundance:
Warren Buffett also agrees with us and points out the importance of ethics:
Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.
— Warren Buffett
While PIE is simple, it’s also deceptively complex. Over time, we realized many of the dimensions we rated our candidates on were actually covered in PIE. For instance, we used to score our candidates on cultural fit and we came to realize that passion for the position will make almost anyone a cultural fit.
Even though we’ve streamlined our entire hiring process into Salesforce.com, it’s still hard work. It takes us roughly 300-400 resumes to fill a position with an all-star, and you should be in the same ballpark.
By improving your hiring processes and focusing on the right candidate qualities, you will greatly improve your business success and life as a manager. Three to six months of hard work is nothing compared to a lifetime of fun working with excellent people.
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