How to Hire Effectively


Many team leaders struggle with hiring and do so quite ineffectively. Often times, what’s missing is the key principles and processes needed to ensure a successful hire. I’m going to show you my very own hiring process and teach you how to create an effective hiring process that works for you. I’m going to tackle the common mistakes so that you can avoid them and get straight to building your own team.

How to Hire Effectively

The truth is hiring is hard and most people do it ineffectively. That’s why this video will show you how to do it effectively.

This is almost exactly what we do, but you can modify this to fit your business. I’m going to show you step-by-step most of our hiring process. I may even point out as we get under way, where we kind of differ a little bit and some of the different things that I do, based off of who I’m hiring, or based off of the kind of process we take and how our business is structured. These principles and processes really form the foundation of a great hiring process. You’ve got to have both the principles and the process.

Slow Down

Slow down. Hiring fast is the biggest mistake that most people make. Most people hire way too fast. They find someone to fog up the mirror, welcome them aboard, and then they wonder why they have so many problems and why there’s so much turnover. Slow your butt down. Slow the hiring process down.

I know how it feels to need to hire somebody ASAP, but don’t give the job the first person that shows any interest in working for you. This creates so many problems for so many leaders. I really want you to think this through, and I want you to slow it down.

Our hiring process takes about two to three weeks, depending on the position that we’re hiring for. Sometimes longer, but most of the time we can get it done within two to three weeks, for an individual. Now, the hiring process for a whole position can sometimes take months to fill. And we’re okay if it takes months to fill, because I’d rather have the right person in there than just a body.

Conduct multiple rounds of interviews

This is another big problem I see: most people conduct one or two rounds of interviews and think that’s enough. Hint: it’s not.

The reason we conduct multiple rounds is because anybody can bring their A-game once. And if you’ve ever conducted multiple rounds of interviews, we have about four to five rounds of interviews, and the reason is very simple. We have seen people bring their A-game once and we’ve seen people bring their A-game twice, but at about the third or fourth or fifth time, it’s a lot harder, and they’ve got to keep working and bring their A-game, and sometimes they don’t. And if they’re not, then you have to ask why aren’t they bringing their A-game, because this is the best you’re ever going to see them at times.

Remember, they’re trying to impress you in the interview. If they’re not bringing their A-game over and over and over again, you’re going to wonder if they’re going to be able to bring their A-game into the office over and over and over again. You must conduct multiple rounds of interviews.

Interview Multiple Candidates

This is another big problem that I see. If you interview only one person, then you have nothing to compare them to. Anybody can look great when they’re not compared to anybody, so you want to interview multiple candidates for a position.

Don’t “Trust Your Gut”

Your gut is an idiot. Do not trust your gut. Your gut will get you in trouble, because your gut, in that situation, is all about connection. It’s all about rapport, and it’s all about whether you made a connection. But that’s not what you’re going for. That’s part of what you’re going for, but it is not everything that you’re going for. In fact, you want to be very analytical in the hiring process.

Instead of trusting your gut, you want to make sure that you have the right person for the right fit, and if you connect, great, but that’s not what you’re ultimately going for. I’ve seen people make gut level decisions, and all they did was hire somebody that their gut told them was great, only to find out later that they just weren’t a fit for the position, ethically, morally, and everything else. If you trust your gut, you might make a bad call when it comes to hiring.

Hire Hunger, Train Skills

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire somebody who isn’t skilled in a position, but if you give me two people, one person who is hungry, and doesn’t have the skills, and the other person who has the skills, but no hunger, I’ll take the person with the hunger all the time, because you can train skills, but you can’t train hunger. Somebody either has that desire, that hunger, that go get ’em attitude, or they don’t. And I want the person with the go get ’em attitude.

I’ve hired people for my team that don’t have the skills, and I’ve trained people on the skills, because they’ve had the desire and that hunger. I want people with motivation, with energy, and with passion. Without that, all the skills in the world, just lead to a mediocre performance, and an average level performance. If you can find both, get them and don’t let them go.

Get Outside Help

Want to prevent your gut from making a stupid call? Bring somebody else in. We do team interviews. Every time we get to a second round, we do a team level interview where I pull in key people who might be interacting with somebody, or key people whom I might want to get their perspective on. Regardless of who the interviewee will report to or work with, I will always get outside help. I will always do a team level interview.

When I didn’t have a team, and it was just my wife and I starting the company, I would pull in an advisor, a business advisor, or business coach. We also do this for our clients. Our clients will bring our team of coaches in to help them in their hiring process. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you get outside help and save your gut from making a dumb call.

Sample Hiring Process

This is very close, very close to our hiring process. It’s not exact, but it’s very close to how we hire within. This is what it looks like.

Step One: Write a better position description and ad.
You always want to write better job descriptions and ads. Do not settle for a paragraph. A paragraph sucks. If you want to see how we write our job ads, go to travisrobertson.com/careers. This is what we do for every position. A simple paragraph doesn’t do it. You’re going to get way too many applicants who aren’t qualified. A great job ad is going to help you filter candidates very quickly and it’s going to weed some people out, and you’re going to be able to tell very who’s just bulk applying to a lot of different things that you’re hiring for, so do go check out how we do it at travisrobertson.com/careers

Step Two: Review applications and DISC profiles.
We do DISC profiles at the very beginning. I won’t even review an application until they fill out a DISC profile. Now, that’s just me. Some people move DISC profiles further into the hiring process. I like it up front, because if they can’t get me an application and a DISC profile, and if they’re not willing to invest the time to learn a little bit about themselves with a DISC profile, why on earth do I want to talk to this person?

Step three: conduct a fifteen-minute interview by phone only.
(If you want to learn more about this step in-depth, watch the video I did on it here.)
Now this is critical. This is interview round number one, but I will not get them into the office until I’ve talked with them for fifteen minutes over the phone. And here’s why; because I’ve had people walk through that door, and it is so clearly not a fit, that I either have to turn them away after they just drove into my office, or I have to sit there and waste an hour of my time with somebody who’s clearly not a fit of the position. This allows me to weed out those quick no’s.

Step four: Conduct a 45-60 minute phone interview.
Now, I do a phone interview here. First, I do the fifteen-minute phone interview then I do round number two, which is a 45-60 minute phone interview. It’s structured very simply: the first 45-50 minutes I’m going to ask you questions. You don’t get to ask me questions; I’m going to ask you questions. Then the last 10 minutes I’m going to open it up to you, and you can ask me any questions you want.

Step Five: Conduct a 45-60 minute in-person interview.
I like to get a couple phone interviews under my belt, because I can hang up on somebody a lot easier than I can ask them to leave the office, but this is my first chance to interview them in person.

Step Six: Call references.
Usually they know that I’m going to call, and they prep their references to let them know that somebody may be calling about a position. That’s pretty darn normal. I’m okay with that. I’ve got a whole list of questions that I’m going to be asking these references, to try and dig in. One of the great questions that I would ask is “if it was money from your pocket, would you rehire this person?” It’s a great question, because you will be surprised at some of the answers you get.

Step Seven: Conduct a 60 minute team interview.
Again, usually a person, depending on the position, will go through a phone interview where I conference in people from our team or some of our coaches who may be all over the country. This might be a combination of in person, plus phone conferenced in people or video conferenced in people for the interview. But that’s a great way of getting other people an outside perspective, whether a business advisor or somebody else.

Step Eight: Dinner with the significant other.
This is not always applicable or not always relevant, but when possible, meet the significant other. Lisa and I will take people out to dinner if they have a significant other. And the way I define significant other, is this: if you’re just casually dating, I don’t need to meet your significant other. But if you’re shacking up or married, I want to meet the significant other, because you’re going home to them every day. Which means I need to know a little bit about your home life. Because, does your home life impact your work life? Absolutely. I need to know if are you married to someone who is bat crap crazy, because that will impact your performance. It’s worth noting that this is very rarely ever an issue. But there have been a couple of times where we have done a dinner with a significant other and felt that something was off with their relationship, and we were right, so it saved us a little bit. This dinner is very casual; don’t sit there grilling them with questions, you just want to get to know them.

Step Nine: Offer and Negotiation
We add in a couple things here and we do things a little bit differently, but take this step and modify it to fit your business and each position you hire for

Imagine if you were to do these steps, how much better your hiring process would be, how much better the people who join your team would be, and how much better your culture would be? This process works and it has the potential to completely change your business because you’re making sure that everyone that comes through your door each day is a fit all the way around.

Your next action steps:

  • Download the sample interview questions.
  • Make sure you register for the team building webinar. We’ll be talking about how to build, structure, and compensate a successful team.
  • Join us at one of our live events. We’re releasing new dates all the time so make sure you come and check us out at one of those!
  • Schedule your free coaching session. Don’t delay, we’ve got great coaches who can get on the phone with you for a period of time, and talk with you about your business. This isn’t just a glorified sales pitch, we’re actually talking to you about solving a big need that you have, and showing you what it is that we can do for you.

I look forward to seeing you in a future video. Now remember, if you believe in yourself just half as much as I believe in you, you have an amazing career, amazing business, amazing life ahead of you, and it is an honor to serve you as a part of this. Take care, you guys.

Posted in: