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.