Most of us have a tendency to fast track anyone who comes through an internal referral. The rationalization is that we automatically trust the referral source so the person will be a great hire. Add time pressure to fill the role and we are ready to extend an offer before the interview takes place.

Yes there is an increased likelihood that the person will work out. But there is danger too.

Because a person is a referral, is the exact reason why they need to be impressed with your thoroughness in your interview process. This does not dissuade the A-players from joining you. It gives them the impression of excellence expected from everyone within the organization. 

Our guest today: Todd Ausherman, CEO of Notaroo

Todd is an attorney and entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in building high growth companies in the financial services space.  Having successfully exited multiple companies, while personally hiring hundreds of employees along the way, he is currently building Notaroo, a lending software platform for the mortgage industry. 

Todd is here to share his experience with hiring internal referrals.

Today we discuss:

  • Why it is critical to thoroughly vet internal referrals
  • How to ensure the the referral fits

Challenge today?

  • The internal hire from the company that acquired the company
  • Build from 19-250 people in 3 years
  • Went into default and took two people
  • Got a hero and a zero
  • The zero - had his own way
  • Created a lot of barriers
  • Nothing got done
  • First hire power bred discontent among his tribe
    • Led to a mutiny
    • Unreasonable belief in his ability
  • Project fell flat

Why is this important to the company?

  • The team of malcontents poisoned the culture
  • Ultimately the CEO unloaded a bad employee on him

Rick’s Nuggets

  • Must do diligence for everyone, especially referrals

    • Why is this person being referred to me?
    • Do they align with our values?

How do we solve the problem? 

  • Culture first

    • Create a lot of events
    • Break down the communication barriers
    • Humanize himself as a leader
    • Open a channel for people to be heard, raise your hand
  • Spread out the balance of power
    • Minimize the possibility of a mutiny
    • Team leads responsible for smaller teams
  • Decentralized hiring control to the team leads
    • Process that multiple people decided on the hire
    • Recruiting - intro calls
    • Interview conducted in groups of 2- accountability partner
    • Leader final interview
      • Penguin question
      • Hired a person who didn't like penguins(company mascot), it didn't work out.
      • Knockout question: stick to it
  • Fire Fast
    • Eliminate the cancer as soon as you learn of it

Rick’s Nuggets

  • Values are what form your culture
  • Hiring process!
  • Knockout question!

Key Takeaways that the Audience can plug into their business today!  - Value:

  • Sticking to your knockout question
  • Mindful of your key lieutenants and what their motivations are 
  • Confront the uncomfortable truth of seeing a person who is a performer but the agenda is self driven. Don't hide behind a person’s performance- cowardly

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Authored:  "Healing Career Wounds"

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