We’ve all made the mistake before: an administrative assistant just put in their two-week notice, and the role needs to be filled. Or, more and more agents are signing on with the team, but there isn’t a strong sales manager to oversee team leads.

So you turn around and hire one of the first people you interview, in an effort to fill the position as quickly as possible. Then, within a week or two, you realize this is not the person for the job.

The saying,

“Hire slow, fire fast”

exists for a reason. A bad hire can wreck your culture, cost your business significant amounts of money, and waste everybody’s time. And no one wants that. 

To ensure you make the best decisions for your organization, use the following hiring process to identify the best candidates for your company.

1. Determine your avatar for the position. 

Be clear about who you’re looking to hire. What does your ideal seller look like? Assistant? Marketing Manager? Before you post the job, make sure you know what you are looking for.

Start by prioritizing your company’s core values. Our team uses the EOS People Analyzer to score potential hires based on our values, but you can also use the scorecard offered by Mark Roberge in his book The Sales Acceleration Formula. Resist the urge to sacrifice your values in an attempt to hire quickly, because when your values match, the relationship will more likely succeed.

Once you have core values in place, you can branch out to the specific skills and attributes that are needed for the open position.

2. Use a screening process.

If you advertise your job openings online, you’ll likely get hundreds of applications from people who are blindly applying to jobs. To prevent wasting time and energy on bad interviews, narrow the field to only the most likely candidates. 

We ask for a DISC profile and resume with the application. If those two requirements are not sent in, we don’t interview the candidate. The DISC profile gives us important information about the candidate as a person, but it also demonstrates an ability to follow through on a task and to deliver a necessary component of the hiring process. 

You can take the screening process one step further and set up a 10-minute phone or Zoom interview before having someone come into the office. 

With the right questions, you can narrow your applicant pool significantly. Here’s a couple we use:

  • Why did you choose real estate?
  • Are you opposed to following a daily schedule or using scripts and dialogues to set you up to be successful?

3. Build a multi-step interview process.

Any candidates who are left at this point are worth interviewing further. I suggest two interviews, with at least two different people from the company.

  • Interview 1: This interview covers many of the basic questions, including previous experience, skills acquired from those experiences, values, and mindset.
  • Interview 2: This interview is tougher and includes questions about their background growing up, highs and lows in life (along with lessons learned from them), and experience with accountability. We also have candidates complete a roleplay.

4. Check references from previous bosses.

This one is simple. The hiring process is full of dishonest claims by interviewees, and the best way to verify the claims is to contact previous bosses of your front-running candidates.

What you’ll find is that A-players exist in every industry. The A-players will find a way to provide references for you, even when the previous company has a policy against providing references.

5. Decide who will be involved in the decision. 

This decision will depend on the role you’re hiring for. For salespeople, our team includes the sales manager, growth manager, and team lead. On the operations side, it’s the growth manager, operations manager, and team lead.

The team lead should meet with everyone because it’s your opportunity to ensure that potential hires hit the right values. Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, shared in his Master of Scale podcast that one of his guests met with every one of the first 500 hires.

Why? Because they wanted to intentionally build a specific culture. The first 500 members of your organization will be your cultural co-founders. So, make sure you do everything in your control to find the best fit for your team.