Foxy’s Hiring Process
One of the mistakes I see business owners do is they wait too long before they hire someone. Ideally, you’d want to start the process a few months before you need the person. This gives you enough time to create the ad, do the interviews and train the new employee. Rushing this process might make you more susceptible to mistakes and more likely to overlook red flags.
The most important aspect for us when it comes to hiring a new team member is who they are as a person and how are they going to fit into the culture. Yes, previous experience, talent and skills are important, but they are not everything. You can teach someone how to load a truck, but you cannot teach them how to be empathetic or have integrity.
We have a fairly short, 3-step hiring process:
Step 1 – Online Application
Before we put the ad out, we sat down and had a think about what is most important to us in terms of the type of person we want to attract. Then we include all the ‘buzz words’ in the job description, e.g. passionate, driven, fun, challenging but rewarding environment, etc.
The main purpose of the first step is to find out if the person can follow simple instructions and provide us with all the information we requested.
Step 2 – 30min Informal Interview
The reason we make this informal is to make the applicant comfortable. We want to create an environment where they can be their authentic self, which helps us get a feel on who they are as a person.
In terms of questions, we’ve had a lot of success with these three:
- How would your best friend describe you? This is basically the same as asking “How would you describe yourself?”, but with this question people often go to a self-promotion mode and say things they think we want to hear. Asking it from the perspective of their best friend, they tend to answer with qualities relating to their character (e.g. funny, loyal, trustworthy…).
- Tell me something about yourself that isn’t on your resume. With this, we always provide more context before we let them answer. “For example, our Lead Stylist Jenessa is obsessed with plants and names them. I collect board games, I’m a bit weird as well.” Doing this gives them permission to talk about something that isn’t work-related. Are they fun to be around? Are they interesting?
- How many sofas do you think there are in Australia? Weird, right? This non-sensical question is meant to throw them and put them under a bit of pressure. It has no specific answer, but we just want to see how they deal with that. The only wrong answer to this is to say “I don’t know” with no attempts to resolve it. The reason we ask this is to see how they think on their feet when there’s no specific black or white answer. Because let’s be honest, in this industry they will get in situations like that quite often.
PS: We never check references. I can literally hear the PR people screaming at the screen right now, but I’ll be honest – I don’t see the value in calling the three people they selected to hear about how great they are. That’s what the Trial Day is for, which brings us to the next step.
Step 3 – Paid Trial Day