Why LinkedIn Hires Super Bowl Winners, Olympic Athletes and Rocket Scientists.

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Photo by Corey Motta on Unsplash.

By 2018, the US Staffing Market is expected to be worth $146 billion. Yes, that’s right, businesses are paying fortunes to hire the right people the first time around.

At first glance, this seems like a ridiculously large number, but a bad hire can cost a company as much as $50,000.

Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, offers new hires $2,000 to leave the company — measuring their stickability before investing money, time and resources to train them.

His motto of “Hire slowly, fire quickly”, has helped Zappos become the largest online retailer of shoes in the United States, selling to Amazon back in 2009 for a little under $1 billion.

Hiring the right people the first time around is crucial to the success of a company, and for startups… a good or bad hire can make or break them.

Below you will find three unconventional yet effective ways you can assure you are hiring the right people.

LinkedIn is very adamant about hiring what they define as interesting people — past Super Bowl winners, olympic athletes and rocket scientists (seriously).

Not all brands have the luxury of hiring individuals with these types of credentials, but they can still make interesting hires.

Maybe you hire a retired musician, a florist looking to make a career change or a young woman that runs an online jewelry store.

In a world where interesting sells and brands are forced to push innovation to stay relevant, you need to hire interesting people with diverse backgrounds that offer both new perspectives and unique value.

While hiring the 25-year old MBA student to fill a project manager role makes sense and is probably a safe bet, I would argue you would get more value out of hiring a 25-year old entrepreneur who dropped out of college to pursue an innovative business idea and failed.

You get what you pay for. If you hire boring people, they are going to produce boring work. But, if you hire interesting people, you are going to get interesting work.

I am not saying an MBA is boring, I am just saying make sure the person with the MBA you are hiring isn’t boring.

While boring may be safe, safe doesn’t make your company a market leader, interesting does.

Why do we determine an applicant’s capabilities through a resume/interview? Why not test their abilities by asking them to do the work you are hiring for?

If you are looking to hire on a graphic designer, ask the applicant to design a logo.

If you are looking to hire on a copywriter, ask the applicant to write out a sales email.

If you are looking to hire on a refrigerator salesman, ask them to sell you a damn refrigerator.

I couldn’t give a shit less whether or not my graphic designer is a great interviewer — I want my graphic designer to be an exceptional graphic designer.

By asking an applicant to do a few hours of work, you find out three extremely valuable things:

  1. Do they actually care enough about your company to do the work? If they aren’t willing do a few hours of free work to land a job with your company, there is a good chance they aren’t that interested.
  2. Can they actually do the job you would be hiring them to do? This is self-explanatory.
  3. Do you enjoy working with them? If you are going to spend 40 hours a week working with a potential hire, you better figure out if you would enjoy working with them.

If you receive 250 applications for a position, ask all of the applicants to complete a 1–2 hours task. Chances are, 25% of those applicants will take the time to do the task — you should only interview the 62 people who do the work, because at least you are interviewing individuals who have shown serious interest in you and your companies mission.

Resilience is the power or ability to return to original form after extreme pressure or strain. I believe it is the number one quality a successful business professional can posses and is one that is not often tested during the application process.

If you want to run a resilient company, one that can thrive in the cut throat world that is business, you need to be hiring resilient individuals.

You need to build a team of individuals that don’t accept the word no, individuals that get back up and swing after getting punched in the nose.

Resilience can be tested in a number of ways, one of which we discussed earlier in our second point, Measure Their Skills by Having the Applicant Actually Do the Work”.

Individuals with a lot of resilience will do the work without question.

Another way to test resilience is by seeing how many times they are willing to follow-up. Some organizations when hiring for sales positions, make their candidates follow-up three times after an interview before telling them they got the job.

Their belief is that if a candidate isn’t aggressive enough to call three times to get an answer, they aren’t going to be aggressive enough to be a sales superstar.

By Cole Schafer.

Cole is the copy chief at Honey Copy, where he helps startups make more money through emails and landing pages that read like poetry and sell like Ogilvy. When he isn’t slinging copy, he is right here on Medium sharing ideas about life, business, marketing and how god-awful RadioShack is. Or riding alpacas..

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I write pretty words and sometimes sell things. https://coleschafer.com/subscribe

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