How to Hire the Best Team Members: Hiring Based on Skills and Work Ethic

One of the most essential parts of running your business is hiring the right people who you know will get the job done. Hiring is tricky and can often lead to frustration due to how the traditional hiring process is set up. Those who know me know that I have very strong opinions on hiring. Here’s why:

The Problem With Traditional Hiring

I’ve always hated the traditional way most American businesses hire potential employees. The resume, the cover letter, the interview —  it all seems fake to me. 

Think about it, your resume is designed to make you look like a rockstar no matter what. Only your highlights are included, but what about your mistakes? Your weaknesses? To me, that information is just as vital when you are hiring someone. 

I hate the idea that making a mistake in the professional world is so taboo. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my professional career, and I see each one as a learning experience. I want to see what you’ve learned from those mistakes and how you can grow with my company. 

Along with resumes, the traditional application and interview process is inherently flawed. Most application processes are set up for applicants to provide a certain type of answer. In most cases, there is little room for individual expression and often, applicants will just tell you what you want to hear. 

Think about every job interview you have ever been on. Did the interviewer properly prepare to meet with you? Are they reading off a list of generic questions? Do they even ask you about your specific skill set? Odds are, you probably have prepared answers for most of the questions. 

To me, the whole process masks the applicant’s skills, which is the real reason for hiring someone. Can this person actually do the job assigned to them? To eliminate candidates who are not a good fit, my company hires team members a little differently. 

Elimination Funnel Hiring

If you have read my other posts, you know that I expect a lot from my team. I want to deliver the best content to my clients and to do that, I need a dedicated team. I do not need a squeaky wheel that delivers poor work. 

Instead of going through the traditional hiring process, potential team members must submit a small amount of work. Writers must turn in a sample article. Developers must work on a small project. Some of these tasks may take a couple of hours to complete. 

That small task alone weeds out most applicants, as they don’t want to put in the work for a company they don’t work for. However, the ones who do are already on the right track. I want to see that you can do the work before I hire you. 

Rather than a traditional interview, all applicants submit a video recording of themselves telling us why they want to work at my company. While it may seem weird to some, it is another crucial part of weeding out candidates who aren’t a good fit. 

Why? My team members are all remote-based. My team members record themselves almost daily for meetings, feedback and training. If you are not comfortable on camera or recording yourself, you are going to have a hard time. 

The Bottom Line

Overall, I value work ethic and skills over everything else. I am not here to hold my team’s hand through each project. Through the systems and processes we have in place, I expect my team to make the right decisions and get the job done. 

While my hiring process is unusual, it allows me to have more transparency with who I hire. I also see which candidates are the most dedicated and if they have the potential to grow within the company. 

I hope my philosophy on hiring is useful to you as you grow your team. Let me know what you think in the comments and contact me with any questions.

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