Christopher F. Earley//August 29, 2022
Christopher F. Earley//August 29, 2022//
“People are not your most important asset. The right people are.” — Jim Collins
I am a massive believer in the importance of hiring the right people for my firm. Without the right people, my firm can only go so far.
But hiring the right people rarely occurs by happenstance or luck. Rather, it requires a very thorough and systematic approach. I believe this greatly increases one’s chances of finding fantastic team members.
Here are some ways I have found success with hiring.
Your ad should be narrowly tailored to attract the right candidate and to repel the wrong candidates. Think of a dating ad in the personals. Those ads are written specifically to attract the right person. Writing a job ad should be no different.
Make very clear in the ad exactly what the job entails and who would be the right fit. Be sure also to make clear how one should apply. If they can’t follow the precise instructions I lay out in the ad, then I don’t consider them.
For example, I always conclude the ad with the instruction to email me a resume with the subject line “apples.” If the applicant does not follow that simple instruction, it tells me that person did not carefully read the ad in the first place, and I won’t consider him or her.
Our job ads also contain a link to a two-minute video in which I discuss the core values of our firm and the types of people we are looking for, as well as the types of people we are not looking for. This is an effective way of further increasing your chances of finding the right candidate.
Also, always run your job ads in as many places as possible so that you cast the widest possible net.
Your ad should be narrowly tailored to attract the right candidate and to repel the wrong candidates. Think of a dating ad in the personals. Those ads are written specifi cally to attract the right person. Writing a job ad should be no different.
When interviewing, I ask open-ended questions that are intended to get the applicant to talk. Dive as deep as you can to get a really good feel on how the applicant thinks. Curveball questions I ask are: “What is the worst thing a previous employer would say about you?” and “What would your friends say is your greatest weakness?” I make clear there are no right or wrong answers, which I find makes the applicant comfortably settle into the interview.
If I like the applicant, then I will have him or her back for a second interview. That’s when I have my team members interview the applicant. I do it that way because almost certainly they will pick up on things that I have missed. The more eyes and ears you can have on a potential job candidate, the better your chances of finding and selecting the right person for the job.
After I and my team have interviewed and interacted with the candidate — and if we all like him — then I will invest in having the applicant complete an online assessment that is administered by a third party.
This evaluation reveals crucial things I want to know about, such as how the applicant makes decisions, how she sees the world, what motivates her, etc. There are various tests such as the Kolbe A Index Test and the Gallup StrengthsFinder that you can and should utilize.
Finding and identifying the right job candidate is not easy and often can be discouraging work, but it is definitely worth the time and effort.
Christopher F. Earley is a Boston attorney and author who concentrates his practice on the representation of the seriously injured and their families. If you have other ideas on this topic, please email [email protected].