Monday, 11 November 2013

Hiring, two at a time

Lately, I've been thinking about good ways to find the right people to work with.
In other words, how to conduct job interviews so you get just the people you want.

In a timeless piece of advice, Dee Hock of Visa put it this way:

"Hire and promote first on the basis of integrity; second, motivation; third, capacity; fourth, understanding; fifth, knowledge; and last and least, experience.
“Without integrity, motivation is dangerous; without motivation, capacity is impotent; without capacity, understanding is limited; without understanding, knowledge is meaningless; without knowledge, experience is blind. Experience is easy to provide and quickly put to good use by people with all the other qualities.”

The authors of  "Tribal Leadership" translated that thought to looking for values and mindset first, because their research showed that only shared values and a common cause to strive for gave companies a culture that could overcome any challenge.

To me, a high focus on teamwork, collaboration and treating my colleagues as I would treat myself is part of those things, and so I found myself wondering about this:

Instead of interviewing (and subsequently, hiring) people one at a time, you could tell candidates to wait another moment, and only invite them when you have at least two people willing to join you - and could actually imagine to hire both.
Invite both of them and conduct an interview with both at the same time - and afterwards, give the room to them, with one single task: Writing a letter of advice about the qualities of the other guy and why to hire that person for your company.
Answer their questions and leave, observing them from outside, and meditate on whether you would hire none, one or both of them - but don't make a decision until you get their letters of recommendation and have observed them at work with what might well be their competitor.

I guess you could learn a lot from your observations in that hour - and if all goes well, you can hire two people who already know each other and have worked as a impromptu-team right on the spot, with demonstrated qualities in teamwork and in assessing another person's qualities.

What do you think of this?
Would it contribute to your hiring process?

Do you know of a company with interesting, successful procedures in hiring?
Please share.

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