Our CV-Free Hiring Process: How To Hire A-Players

When you’re trying to grow your company, you come to realize that the team you’ve gathered is really the backbone behind that. A-players are very hard to come across, and are usually somewhere in your list of candidates.

The problem with finding A players is the following:
1) There isn’t enough A-player candidates that apply
2) There too many candidates (40+), most of which look the same. 
3) It’s hard to quickly figure out who’s an A player without having an interview.

This is what our current hiring process looks like:

Determining Need For Position

In this stage of our hiring process / funnel, we simply outline what we’re looking for in a candidate.

For example, we recently hired Jefferson, our latest Technical Customer Happiness Officer. We really wanted someone who was: Very Technical, Knew How To Write CSS3 Like A Wizard, Super Nice, Empathetic. We would’ve never found him had we not outlined what we needed for the person to be successful in the position.

Creating A Rigorous Application Process

Now that you know, roughly, who you want, and how they should “look” like, you’d want to put together a bunch of questions that’d allow you to spot that the candidate is definitely qualified, in a rough sense.

For example, if you’re looking to see if they write good CSS3 code, it’d be a good idea to ask them to include a link to the CSS code they’re most proud of.

What this will also allow you to do is eliminate all the B & C player candidates. They go around mass applying for jobs, and have no clue what your company does.

An easy way to figure out if the candidate actually is an A-player is to simply ask them what they know about your company. B and C players will say something like “Nothing”, indicating they haven’t put in the effort to research.

Promoting The Job Application Page

We’ve had a LOT of luck in this field. We used to get ~10–15 job applications for a developer position, and most were B/C players. I realized that great developers usually aren’t looking for jobs.

In this stage, you don’t even want to worry about candidates, you just want to work on filling you funnel, to the point where you have so many interests, and end up with a solid few great applicants for the next stage.

One tip would be to go back to step 1, and try to trace where the person might be hanging out. For example, we knew someone great with CSS3, might be on Github, so we scraped Github. (Shh)

P.P.S: We’ve found that making the page as detailed as possible, with the benefits and why they should work at your company goes an absolutely long way with the number of applications we get (~1.5–2.0x more)

Hand Picking Candidates

Assuming you’ve promoted the hell out of that amazing job application page, you should end up finding a good ~5–10 candidates that where you’re unsure who to hire.

If you have more, you probably should’ve made your application process more rigorous or better defined the ideal person — or, simply got a ton of traffic! :-D

Once we’ve identified these 5–10 amazing people, we simply add them on Skype, and tell them that the interview is done via chat. This allows them to relax, and respond whenever they can. We don’t do a lot of video calls, so communicating via chat is very important to us — as it’s the default mode of communication.

At this stage, we’ll usually ask them a few questions about their personal life, to better understand them, and really see what they’re like to talk to. We answer any of their questions, and if we like them (90% of the time we do, as we don’t talk about the role as much — we keep the interview as easy as possible for them to ‘ace’)

After a few minutes with the candidate, we’ll decide we want to move them to the next stage and offer them a test project. The reason for the chat-based ‘interview’ is really to make the candidate feel like they’re winning, giving them absolute hope & motivation for the test project. We also like to use it as an opportunity to soft-sell why we absolutely love them & why we think we’d be a great fit.

Giving Them A Test Task

Once we’ve had a brief chat, we’ll send over a simple test that reflects something they’d be doing at Helpjuice. We rarely send over pointless tests to prove their skill set, but rather, we send over tests that reflect current tasks/challenges we have, and see how they solve them.

From here, we’ll end up with 3 solid candidates from 5–10 that we chatted with

Offering Them The Job Of Their Life

Once we’ve picked 3 solid candidates, we have a internal discussion with the entire team, and who they liked the most. We’ll usually debate a few candidates, and end up with one.

Once we end up with that one, we create a really nice looking “you’re hired” document, outlining why we love them, their responsibilities, and stating their salary.

So far, 100% folks have accepted the offer, and pour in all of our effort into making them instantly feel as if they were part of the ‘family’ from day 1.

I can’t emphasize the importance of this stage, as a lot of companies butcher it, and, to me, it’s kind of like making a great joke: Unless you have a strong ending, it’s not really entertaining