But instead of getting allllllll the way into the weeds today, I want to share one simple hiring tip that’s made the entire process 10x easier for me.
You can apply this at ANY level of hire, whether it’s a contractor doing virtual assistant type work or a Director of Marketing:
Find 1 applicant that makes everyone else seem unqualified.
This is the kind of applicant who resets your expectations for the role. You immediately get excited and want to fast track them to an interview.
The key is trying to uncover this applicant as early in the process as you can. Whether you hire them or not is beside the point. The value comes from the instant clarity it’ll bring to your search.
You thought you knew what you were looking for—but now you know for sure. Don’t be surprised if you feel like rewriting the job description after finding this applicant.
“OK, cool...but how do I actually find them?”
One of the most effective ways I’ve found to uncover these benchmark applicants is asking the following question on the application: “Why are you the perfect fit for this role?”
For example, my wife and I used this question when we were hiring a house manager last year. Here’s a quick sample of what the average response looked like:
Normal Answer #1: “I babysit other friends’ kids and enjoy every minute. I cook and clean their homes while training the kids basic fundamental learning! :)”
Normal Answer #2: “I am friendly and outgoing and love children (I’m partial to boys too!) I live alone and have a lot of flexibility!!”
Normal Answer #3: “I have a ton of experience with children and working in private homes as well as experience in the church (office setting). I work well with others and find it an honor to get to mold little minds to become everything God created them…”
Now imagine 200 more responses like those.
None of them are bad. But none of them stand out. They’re just a big bowl of “meh.”
But eventually, we came across the benchmark candidate who changed everything. Her response made both of us tear up as we read it:
I don’t care how well you think you know what you want out of a particular role…
There’s always some element of “not knowing it until you see it” involved.
The sooner you can find the person who makes you say, “THAT is exactly what we need and I didn’t even know it,” the sooner your search will get easier.