Jared ChungCareerVillage.org Team BACKER
1) I need to know exactly what kind of success I'm looking for from the role I'm trying to fill.
2) The candidate needs to demonstrate that they understand the role and want the role.
3) The candidate needs to demonstrate beyond doubt that they can succeed in the role.
4) We have to agree on compensation and other work arrangements. (This usually works out fine)
I follow a [specific process](https://www.amazon.com/Who-Geoff-Smart/dp/0345504194/) for every role we recruit for. It starts off by writing up a very firm description of what success in the role looks like (this is called the "Scorecard" and it is the same document I use to evaluate the person's performance during every performance review). Then I write up a job description that I believe will attract the right types of candidates and advertise that up online and through as many of our networks as I can. Then we evaluate all of the applicants and score them against their likelihood of being able to deliver the success (at early stages it's very brief, but once we move into interview stages then it gets really detailed). During the interview stage I ask multiple people on our team to interview each candidate and I direct each staff member to ask about specific things we need to learn about to get as close as possible to 100% confidence in the decision (this gets customized for each role and each person and I'm happy to share more about that if you think it would be helpful). We also interview their references to see if the references corroborate the self-assessments we heard from the candidate (and of course whether the references recommend the candidate). If we get to 100% confidence then we make an offer and try to convince the candidate to join our team.
### Why 100%?
If I'm only 75% or 85% sure that someone is going to deliver success in that specific role, then I really need to resist making an offer. I'll be forced to decline the candidate and keep searching. The reason is that the cost to everyone (the company and the employee) of a mismatch is very very high. In most cases, a mismatch is much worse than a good match is good.
For example if I make a mistake and hire someone for a designer role to deliver some set of really awesome features for the site, it could easily take a couple of months to find out that the role is not actually a fit for that person, which means that the awesome features we want to build are now delayed by several months, we have less money than we had before, and the time that I spent on coaching / guiding / recruiting the designer was forfeit. That's a big investment of time and money, whether you're in a small nonprofit org like CareerVillage.org or in a large multinational company. The costs of a "false positive" (incorrectly hiring someone who is not a fit for delivering success in the role) faaaaaar outweigh the costs of a "false negative" (rejecting someone who would have delivered success if given the opportunity). Honestly, I hate that this works this way because I think it's a hidden dynamic that must be changed if we want to really address social mobility. It's what contributes to this vicious cycle where job seekers need to apply to hundreds of jobs and employers need to interview hundreds of employees to find a match.
One of the ways I've been trying to tackle that problem is to be really specific about what types of success are absolutely required, and what types of success are nice to have but not necessarily required. That allows me to make sure that I can still take some calculated risks to employ people who we have 100% confidence can deliver the "must have" success criteria, even if we aren't sure if they can deliver the "nice to have" success criteria.
The hardest part is doing this without wasting the candidate's time. That means it all has to happen very very fast, which I believe is good for everyone. Interviewing with us usually takes a couple of hours, and we have to be very respectful of the investment the candidate is making to get to know us and try out for the position. It's a big deal so we try to use as little of their time as possible to make a good decision for everyone.
### Some specific things I look for when recruiting for CareerVillage.org
* All of the skill-will fit things above.
* Very passionate about our mission and our community. This matters for two reasons: (a) You'll be effective at spreading excitement about our work if your own excitement comes through clearly, (b) Passion for our mission and community makes us persistent in the face of challenges.
* Being comfortable with remote work tools and processes. (We used to prioritize being in the same location, but that's no longer a priority since we moved to a 100% remote team)
I'm sure there's more I could share. Your question sounds simple, but the challenge is significant so the answer is complex. As Blaise Pascal said [sorry this is such a long letter -- I didn't have time to write a shorter one](http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/04/28/shorter-letter/) :)
p.s. if you would like to see the roles we are recruiting for or apply for one of them you can [go here](angel.co/careervillage-org/jobs/).
SOURCE: I'm the Executive Director of CareerVillage.org so I'm involved in all hiring here.