A company founder approached me last week with a problem. He has had a critical role open for the past 6 months and no one has accepted his offer. 5 people had been offered the job and every single person turned it down.

When asked why, the founder said, “I did a great job selling each one of them from the beginning so It must have been the money”.

Then I asked, “what was it that the person you were trying to hire really desired in their next role. To that his response was “I have no idea”.

We get so busy selling that we forget to ask.

Interviewing is not about selling. Interviewing is about understanding the truth of what is important to the person on the other side of the table.

And understanding is how we avoid turned down offers!

Guest Bio:

Jeff Wolfe is an energy and cleantech industry leader and serial entrepreneur. He has spent his career creating new solutions in the built environment and clean energy. As CEO of Veloce Energy he is working to accelerate the electrification of everything by creating systems that reduce the cost, time, and complexity of powering EV charging and building electrification.

He has been President for the Americas of a global EV charger manufacturer, worked in retail energy and in a multi-national oil company, and designed over a billion dollars of hospitals, laboratories, and other infrastructure. 

 Today we discuss:

  • Why listening during the interview process produces results
  • How to let candidates lead you to the truth and ultimately the right hiring decision


  • Met 4th cofounder through 3rd party 
  • Brought him on over zoom
  • Didn't meet him for 5 months

Challenges today?

  • Aggressive employee environment
  • Wages going up
    • Lower wages 
    • Can't settle on talent
  • Show people that they want to work for us
  • Communicating mission (Why)

Why is this important to the company?

  • Able to hire good people for reasonable compensation
  • Need to find people who want to solve the problems, create the solutions as much as the founders do

Rick’s Nuggets

  • People not accepting or leaving - not the $$$
  • People compelled to align with values, mission & purpose

How do we solve the problem? 

  • Let the person tell you what they need

    • Why do people stay - three elements of compensation

      • Money & Benefits
      • A good work environment and good people to work for
      • Good and important work to do.
    • Provide 1 element, good people will stay for 6 months
    • Provide 2 elements and good people will stay for 2 years
    • Provide all 3 and good people will become great people and will stay a long time
  • Create company culture
    • Learn how to communicate it and own it
    • Don't worry about scaring people away
    • Share fact based beliefs - if people do not believe in the problem being solved, or in the solution, they will do a poor job of executing against it
  • Interview 
  • Look for value alignment early. Part of the filtering process
  • What does HR mean
    • Honest relationships
    • Get to a yes/no faster
    • Better yeses and nos
  • Create understanding of the what the fit is
    • Leadership communication
    • Constant reinforcement
    • Whole picture
  • Honest offers
    • No low balling
    • Get people to join rather than be hired
  • Not over-interviewing people
    • Take notes 
    • Different people focus on different aspects, based on their expertise, no one person can really do a complete interview
    • Cumulative thumbs up/down
    • It is partially a gut decision. Don’t ignore the facts, but the gut needs to align.

Rick’s Nuggets

  • Values

    • North star for strong team
    • Alignment fuels passion & engagement
  • Interview
    • Interviewing for value alignment

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

  • Learn to embody and externally express the company culture and mission. Do not be afraid of them
  • Don’t worry about being liked by every candidate. A strong culture and mission will attract the right people, especially in these times
  • Define HR as “honest relationships”

Guest Links

  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffwolfeenergy/
  • Company: https://www.veloceenergy.com/
  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/veloceenergy/
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeffWolfeSolar

Host Links:

  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rick-girard-07722/
  • Company: https://www.stridesearch.com/
  • Podcast: https://www.hirepowerradio.com
  • YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeEJm9RoCfu8y7AJpaxkxqQ
  • Authored:  "Healing Career Wounds"  https://amzn.to/3tGbtre
  • HireOS inquiry: rick@stridesearch.com

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