Friday, May 25, 2012

How to Hire Good People Fast

I've been doing the hiring where I work for a over a year now. What I've learned over the course of this time is that I'm not a big fan of calling a lot of people and scheduling multiple interviews. I don't believe the interview process needs to drag on for weeks or months to find the perfect person. 

There are a lot of articles on how to apply for jobs and write résumés but not many on how to review résumés and hire people. If you're a hiring manager take note of these tips below to help you save time in the hiring process. If you are a job hunter take note on what not to do.

Sidenote: If you're willing to pay $49 AppSumo also has an amazing automatic hiring strategy here.

First, start with an anonymous online job posting. The posting should be thorough and clearly explain the duties of the job. It should list the good benefits as well as the bad. You don't want to misrepresent the job only to have a new hire quit because you were afraid of pointing out the bad parts of the job up front. 

Next, somewhere in the job posting put a trap to see how well the potential applicants can follow instructions. An example is something like, "Please respond by email and attached both your résumé and your desired salary. We will not consider any applicants that do not submit both of these". Sounds easy enough but you'd be surprised how many people will not be able to complete this simple task. My thought is that if they can't complete a simple task before you hire them they won't be able to complete a simple task after you hire them either. Also, by asking them to submit their desired salary up front it helps you eliminate people whose monetary expectations are too far out of line with that of your company.

Next you'll have to go through the résumés and eliminate the bad ones not only by actual résumé content but also by the way it is presented. Let me also state clearly that it is definitely not cool, and it is illegal, to discriminate against someone because of their race, age, sex, sexuality, religion, health, or disability. You should look to disqualify people instead based on erratic behavior, unprofessionalism, inability to follow orders, and sloppy workmanship. 

Below is a list of things I have seen before in real life that would lead me to question a person's candidacy for a job:

  • Scanning their résumé in sideways.
  • Ending their sentences with no punctuation
  • Not capitalizing 'i'. (i really need a job. i hope to hear from you soon.)
  • Living over an hour drive away from the job they are applying for.
  • Just writing a couple lines that they are interested in the position and for me to give them a call, but not including a résumé of any kind.
  • Just including a résumé in a blank email.
  • Typing in all pink.
  • Ending multiple sentences with two periods..
  • Having an email address like or 
  • Weird salutations, "Dear Gentlest Sir or Ma'am", "Many Blessings Be With You,".
  • Having not worked in 3 years.
  • Having worked 5 jobs this year.
  • Having just started a new job two months ago.
  • Having a 5 page resume.
  • Typing everything in an Egyptian font style.
  • Having a resume that goes onto a second page by only one line.
  • Using profanity. 
  • The name of the person that emailed the résumé is different than the person applying. (It conveys that a spouse or family member is job hunting for someone lazy)
The red flags listed above should really eliminate 90% of the applicants leaving just a handful that you can more closely review. My feeling is that when a person is applying for a job they should be on top of their game. If they have multiple errors and are unprofessional right from the beginning just think about how bad they'll be after they work for you for a few months. Focusing on a good hiring process that weeds out bad candidates quickly will help you find stable, sane, professional people for long-term employment.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Axiom 22: Clothes Make the Man

"Clothes and manners do not make the man; but, when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance." -Henry Ward Beecher

"Keeping your clothes well pressed will keep you from looking hard pressed.
-Coleman Cox

When it comes to fashion most men are clueless. A lot of men assume it is a topic that only women need to know about. In reality one of the quickest ways to change the world's perception of you is to change the way you dress. My rule for what clothes to wear is simple: dress one notch nicer than expected. In professional situations it sets you apart from everyone else. Managers and clients will notice you and take you more seriously. In personal situations it will help you exude self-confidence.

If you have plenty of money you can stop reading now and go find a personal stylist to make sure you're looking great. If you're not rich and you're just a regular clueless guy like I once was here are a few tips to help you dress to impress.

  • Don't buy cheap clothes. Stop buying clothing at places that sell low end merchandise. I understand you may not have $120 to buy a nice pair of jeans, but the $20 pair of jeans at the bargain store will look like crap every time. From now on either pay full price for nice clothes and add pieces to your collection slowly over time, or search a little harder to find the nice stuff at discounted prices. I have no problem finding high-end jeans that normally sell for $120 for $35 at places like Nordstrom Rack or Dillard's Outlet. You can find the good stuff for cheap too if you look a little harder.
  • Buy stylish clothes. Just because you spend a lot of money (or something is of good quality) doesn't mean that it is stylish or that it will look good on you. Try a bunch of stuff on to see what works best for you and make sure you're shopping at places that keep stylish brands in stock.
  • Buy Clothes that fit. Every man should know what size suit coat, shoes, dress shirt, and pants he wears. Get professionally measured from time to time and save the info on your smartphone so you can refer to it quickly when you are shopping for clothes. Clothes that are too baggy or too tight will look stupid on you.
  • Accessorize. The pants and shirt are the main pieces to any outfit, but the little things can add up also. Cuff-links, socks, a nice watch, a nice scarf, and other accessories all add to the synergy of your look.
  • Know when to wear white socks. White socks are for working out or mowing the lawn. Wear dark socks or dress socks for all other occasions. 
  • Dry clean your clothes. Take care of your nice clothes and always have them properly dry-cleaned. This includes jeans too. There's nothing more ridiculous than wearing a nice button-down shirt that is so wrinkled it looks like you pulled it out of the glove box of your car.