We all have bought into the belief that following hiring best practices will ensure that we make the correct hiring decisions. Yet those best practices really do not produce consistent results. Why?

First, “best practices” are guidelines that trickle down from the big name-brand companies who all have the advantage of a much fatter wallet… And they are Transactional!

Second, what works for large companies does not work for startups. The truth is that you are needing to hire totally different people. Startup companies need “builders” to fuel company growth. And builders are not all about the $$money. They are about personal & professional growth. 

This requires that you approach these people in a way that is counterintuitive to “best practices” and centered upon answering the question, “what’s in it for me”.

For those of you who are new to the show or don’t know me yet:

  • Cut my teeth as an Executive Recruiter for Tech Startups in the Silicon Valley
  • Coached leaders, candidates & helped to build over 200 tech companies
  • Black belt in BJJ,  F1 aficionado & adrenaline junkie

Today we discuss:

  • Why it is critical to break away from hiring best practices
  • Process to create your Own “best practices” that crush your competitors

Challenge today?


  • There really is NO right way to hire
  • Hiring Fails are acceptable (50% success rate) 
    • Cost of doing business
  • Copy those who are already successful
    • Google today is much different than Google at your stage.
    • Evaluate for cultural fit… you evaluate for skills
  • People from name brand companies are great hires
    • They may be…. If they are builders
    • Most people that are willing to leave big companies are not high performers
    • High performers have “golden handcuffs” - best to rent
  • More candidates give me a greater chance of success
    • More candidates = time loss
    • Target 
    • 1-3 people per position into the Interview process


  • Top of funnel

    • Reliance on job boards 


  • Interview training

How do we solve the problem? 

What to believe

  • Strong hires come from someone in your network
  • Positioning before Skills
    • Positioning is in a person’s DNA
    • Builder, Improver, Maintainer
    • Only builders will help you grow the company

Focus on the interview, not the funnel

  • The Interview process is what wins hires, not the number of candidates
  • Current best practices are:
    • 10-15 minutes on a “screening call” 

      • Selling the company
      • Selling the job
      • Gather requirements
      • Schedule an interview
  • Importance of the Discovery call
    • Biggest time investment is to be made
    • Determines a person's positioning (builder, improver, maintainer)
    • Invaluable insight into a person’s pain, what they desire
    • Impact they have brought into their current organization (key indicator of a builder)

Make Interviewing your strongest talent

  • Solidify your process

    • Timing 

      • from first contact to offer acceptance
      • Timing of each interview (45-1 hour)
    • Rules
      • Interviews start and end on time!
      • No meandering
  • Steps - Discovery call, Interview (video, onsite) -number of interviewers
  • Content- pre determine & assign interview questions
    • Questions must be designed to surface evidence of value alignment
    • Not about asking questions but having conversations
  • Broadcast your process
    • Make it known that the interview is challenging
    • Hire for Value Alignment first!
    • Make it known that you foster growth for “builders”
  • No Evidence, no vote
    • Interviewers need to be trained!

      • Roleplaying 
      • Recording conversations
    • Bias has no merit
      • Either a “Hell Yes” or a no
      • Decision must be supported by evidence

Rick's Links:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rick-girard-07722/

Company: https://www.stridesearch.com/

Podcast: https://www.stridesearch.com/hire-power-radio

Authored:  Healing Career Wounds (Amazon)


HireOS inquiry: rick@stridesearch.com


This show is proudly sponsored by Criteria Corp: https://www.criteriacorp.com/


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