27: 3 Hiring Secrets (And Why You Need To Rely More On Your Senses)

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This is a podcast episode titled, 27: 3 Hiring Secrets (And Why You Need To Rely More On Your Senses). The summary for this episode is: If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. --- Hiring is hard. Luckily I was able to get David to go behind the scenes and share some of his hiring secrets on this episode of Seeking Wisdom. It's all about relying on your senses -- not on a resume. Join the community of Seeking Wisdom listeners at seekingwisdom.io and on Twitter @seekingwisdomio. Make sure you subscribe to Seeking Wisdom on your favorite podcast app so you never miss a new episode. Follow David (twitter.com/dcancel) and Dave (twitter.com/davegerhardt) on Twitter.

David: Let's go. Let's go. Let's go.

Speaker 2: We're recording. We're recording. We're recording.

Dave: All right. We're going to talk about hiring today.

David: Boom!

Dave: We got to do an intro, though. You do it. Today on Seeking Wisdom, we're talking about...

David: Today on Seeking Wisdom, we are talking about three secrets of hiring that you're not aware of today.

Dave: Ooh, that's pretty good.

Dave: All right. We're talking hiring. We haven't... I think we've touched on hiring, but we haven't had a full discussion about it. This is one of those where we had an episode we were going to do, but then you sent me a note and had some good thoughts on hiring, and so I figured let's do it.

David: Let's do it. Come on.

Dave: Let's give the people what they want. Let's talk about hiring. Three secrets. We probably could do an episode on each one of these.

David: Yes. I think in the future, we can, and do blog posts on them.

Dave: Yeah.

David: I hate the secrets thing, but that's crosstalk

Dave: Yeah, but no. Secrets is just a nice title.

David: Sexy.

Dave: It's a good title. All right. We won't even call it secrets. We're just... talk about hiring. Three things that you talk about a lot, started to impart on us here at Drift, and we do them. I'll outline the three points, and then we'll go into each one of them. Just three different things to think about when hiring. The first one is finding their purpose. What does that mean? Explain how this fits in hiring.

David: Yeah. This is almost like the starting with why. Start with why. One thing that I've found in trying to find... This is not just about hiring, but this is trying to hire the most high- performance people that you can. High- performance, a lot of people say that. What does it actually mean? For me, it means hiring someone that is going to surprise, going to wow you, that has this hidden potential in them, this fire that's burning inside them, that they haven't fulfilled yet. You're trying to find that unknown. You're trying to find that... It's almost like when sports scouts try to find that unknown, the next great pitcher, the next great batter. Whatever the position is, you're trying to find the next great player.

Dave: We actually just talked about this yesterday. We were talking about just how hiring is hard, because you're looking for this perfect LinkedIn profile and resume. It's like worked at this company, has done this. I asked you, and I was like," How do you know how to take a chance on someone when it's never going to be presented on a platter, like here's the perfect resume?" This probably relates to that.

David: crosstalk

Dave: How do you see through that and find this person has the potential to be special?

David: Yeah. On that perfect background idea, what I've found is that, over the years, I can now look back at all the high performance [10X-ers 00:03:11] that I've ever worked with, and I can tell you one consistent thing in all of them. All of them, from a background or resume, CV standpoint, all looked bad. They all looked... Something looked off. Either they had some of that experience, but there was still some question marks in their background, or they had nothing. They were totally unknown. You were taking that chance. But maybe that is the point. Because if someone has already been there and done that already, they probably don't have that big growth potential. You're looking for someone who has not been given that chance before, and you're giving them the opportunity to explode.

Dave: How does that come through in an interview? You said," Find their purpose."

David: Yeah.

Dave: What do you try to do to find their purpose?

David: It's interesting. This is what I do mostly. Most of my time, when I'm interviewing someone, this is where I spend the majority of that time on. That is trying to figure out what is it that they are trying to prove for themselves. You can say it in different ways. You could say what is their goal, either short- term, long- term, mid- term. What is the thing that... But most people can't articulate that well. You can say," What are you trying to learn at this job?" So if all things were successful a year from now, what would you have learned here, or five years from now, 10 years from now. Some people can get through that. A lot of people can. What I find is that I actually have to spend a lot of time just talking about and testing different subjects. These subjects are totally random. I start with personal subjects. An example could be talking about," Hey, Dave. Do you like skiing?"

Dave: Yeah. I like skiing. My family grew up skiing. Yeah. crosstalk

David: That's not a good one. His eyes didn't line up for skiing. Dave, you ever work out?

Dave: I love... Every morning. Yeah, yeah.

David: His eyes are twinkling now. Okay. Hit on something. See. This is an example. I'm going around asking questions like this that are all over the map. I start with personal, because personal is easier. People let their guard down. I can see," Oh, when I talked about working out, Dave's eyes lit up. When I talked about skiing, he looked the other way. His eyes glazed over a little. I could tell he was not that interested."

Dave: So you're seeing this is something that... Does the actual answer tell you, depending on the topic.

David: No. It's the eyes. I'm looking for body language here. This is the qualitative stuff. I'm looking for body language. I'm looking for his eyes lit up. Was he happy? Was he laughing? What I'm trying to do by starting with the personal questions is to set a bar. Just like when you're doing an experiment, you have to have some control variables. This is my first control. I'm seeing, okay, this is what he looks like when he is amped up. I begin there. Once I've found two or three of these things that he's really excited about, I move on to professional things. If we were talking about a development position, I'll start to talk about different patterns, different programming languages, different projects that I've seen out there. I'm doing the same thing. I'm trying to see when does Dave's eyes light up.

Dave: This is some science shit. I didn't...

David: I'm dropping science, bro.

Dave: This is awesome. Okay. I'm excited. I didn't know it was going to be like this.

David: Yeah. So when we talk about marketing stuff, I could be talking to Dave about different marketing ideas." Hey, have you checked out this blog? Have you looked at this? Have you ever done that? What do you think of this guy, that girl, whatever?" All I'm trying to see is when he lights up.

Dave: You're trying to elicit that same response.

David: The same response.

Dave: All right. Right now, say we're hiring a marketer to focus on social and PR.

David: Yeah, mm- hmm(affirmative).

Dave: Would you ask a bunch of different marketing questions, and then work in something about social, and see if they light up when you talk about that topic?

David: Exactly that. First, remember, I'd start with the personal.

Dave: Right.

David: You need to understand what they look like, because everyone looks a little different.

Dave: Right.

David: What do they look like and how do they communicate when you found something that resonates with them? Once you've found two or three of those items, you need more than one, now... This is some science.

Dave: This is crosstalk

David: I'm dropping science.

Dave: This crosstalk, man.

David: crosstalk

Dave: This is awesome. Okay.

David: Now I'm going to creep out everyone that I interview.

Dave: I'm never going to be able to have a real conversation with you ever again.

David: Because it's like," He's testing me. He's testing." Then, once you have those, then I'll move over, like in your example, this hiring someone on the social side. I'll start talking about different marketing things." Hey, do you read this blog? Have you checked out this thing? What are you into?"

Dave: Right.

David: Just a bunch of random marketing related things, slowly start to circle in on social." What tools do you use for social?"" Well, I don't use anything right now." Okay. Bad sign.

Dave: Or if they light up more about writing.

David: Yes.

Dave: Then you're like," Ooh, are they just faking, thinking that they want to own social here?"

David: Bingo. Bingo.

Dave: Okay.

David: You start talking about what tools do you use, because a lot of, especially in marketing, this is marketing specific and dev specific, I'd say for marketers and developers, they really geek out on the tools that they use every day, or the little tricks or workarounds that they have. So you want to talk about like," What do you use for this? Do you use Buffer? Do you use that? Do you use this tool? When do you use Zapier? Have you heard of Zapier? Have you used any kind of tool? Do you use Google Analytics?" See what's going on, then talk about social, talk about content, but start to talk about all different things in marketing to see if they get the one thing that they... Anyone can talk to you about anything, can fake it for a while, but now that you have a control, and you see what they look like when they're excited, they can't fake their eyes. You can't fake excitement in someone's eyes and in their body language. So now you have a way... You've calibrated for that.

Dave: I like that because you might not always... You might walk out of that interview, might be like," Okay. This person, not a great fit for social, but they really got fired up when we started talking about this other topic."

David: Totally.

Dave: So you start to see other different crosstalk

David: Yeah. You saw them... Oh, wow. They got really fired up about, I don't know, whatever it is.

Dave: Yeah writing or something.

David: Writing. Let's say it's just writing. They really geeked out on writing. Then you could say," Hey, you know what? We're actually looking for another writer. Maybe we'll..." Even though they came in on the social stuff, maybe we'll think about them on the writing side, if you have an overlap there, and if during that whole process, you feel like," Wow." We'll get into one of my other trick. If they pass all three of these methods for hiring someone.

Dave: Okay. But that wasn't even... Is that finding your purpose? That's a little test to find out what they get excited about.

David: Mm- hmm( affirmative). It is finding it. Let me go into that, how it's finding your purpose. Once you've circled in on the stuff that professionally excites them, there's something... The reason that it excites them goes beyond the brand that they may be using, or maybe the day to day. There's something inherent in that process, or that thing that you've talked about, that excites them that probably has to do... overlaps with their longterm goals.

Dave: Right.

David: Right? If they geeked out on some social media tool, let's say, that doesn't mean that they want to be a social media marketer is their purpose in life, but there's something about that tool, the way they use it, the way it makes them feel, the way that it gives them maybe, let's say, connection to an audience that may overlap a lot with what they want to do in terms of purpose.

Dave: Right.

David: Right? The more structured the type of person that you're talking to, the more that they'll probably be better at articulating their long- term goal and their purpose. Marketers are pretty good at this usually. Sometimes salespeople, although their answer's always the same. The closer you are on the business and process side of things, the more those personalities tend to be very well- structured about their long- term goals. The further that you go towards the maker, and that can be a designer, that can be an engineer, that can be any kind of person who actually makes things, the more that they're obsessed with the craft itself. So they care about the day- to- day. They care about the craft. They care about the purity of it. The less they're really thinking about," Okay, here's my 10- year goal."

Dave: Right. This is what," I want to be a VP of X in 10 years."

David: Exactly. With those people, designers, developers and makers, you have to spend a lot more time in this purpose area to figure out how this links with their purpose long term.

Dave: Cool. All right. That was a good one. All right. So find your purpose. Well, find their purpose. I'll recap all of these in the show notes. That was the first one. Second one. This has become my go to, my favorite.

David: Tell me.

Dave: The morning after test.

David: Yes. This is the key. This is, let's say you've had that interview, and you felt good about the interview. You left. You found their purpose. You're like," Yep. Good. I'm fired up." One thing that we're good at, all of us are good at, is rationalizing. Because you had a good experience with, and this is back to the cognitive biases, you had these reinforcing biases that then lead you to say," We should hire this person. They're smart. I found their purpose. It overlaps with... We need someone in that position," et cetera, et cetera. This is where the morning after test comes in. The morning after test is basically a way for you to tap into your gut, into that voice inside of you. We have two sides of our brain. We have the logical side, and then we have this more emotional and more instinctual side of thinking. This is a way that you can tap into your instincts. The more data that we have access to, the worse that we get at tapping into the instinctual side, because the more data we have, the more that we can rationalize anything, convince ourselves into any argument. So what you want to do is, after you've met with someone and you feel good, they pass all the tests, wait until the next day before really forming your opinion on that person. I call this the morning after test. This is like the morning after test in dating. crosstalk You meet someone. How do you feel about that person the next day? The sign that you have to look for is when that person inevitably reaches back out, say," Hey, thanks for having me in for the interview. I'm excited," whatever the communication is, or you're thinking about reaching back out to them, how do you feel? Split second. Don't think about it. Think," How do I feel? Do I want to answer this email, this phone call from this person? Do I want to reach out to this person? Do I want to send an email? Do I want to have a conversation right now? Do I want to stop everything that I'm doing today and talk to them?" If the answer is," No. Oh, I'll talk to them later. I'm busy right now, and talk to them later," that's the answer you're looking for. The answer there is no.

Dave: Remember this happened to me, couple weeks ago?

David: Absolutely.

Dave: You were like... We had been talking to a bunch of people. Felt really great after an interview and was all fired up. I went to talk to you about it. You're like," Sleep on it, man. Sleep on it."

David: Sleep on it.

Dave: I was like,"I want to tell you now." You're like," Sleep on it. Sleep on it."

David: Yeah.

Dave: Sure enough, next morning, I come into work, text you, and said," Yo. Can we go for a walk, get a coffee?" You're like," Yeah. What's up?" I was like," I don't know. Last night, I felt great. I fell all fired up. But today, I just..." You stopped me right there. You're like," Yep. That's your answer. That's your answer."

David: That's it. Don't rationalize. Stop right there. That's the morning after test. The person just passed the morning after test. When I tell people this technique, they think I'm crazy, because they're like," What? No. It was a good person." They want to rationalize their way. What I tell them is think about how many people you meet every day. You just met someone. You a good experience. How many people do you want to continue to talk to, do you want to spend time with after meeting them the first time, first, second, third time? The answer is not many. In a given month, you may meet lots of people socially, professionally, whatever. There are very few people that you are going to meet in a given month, year, decade that you want to spend a lot of time with. That is the highest test that you can put someone through. You should put that person that you're interviewing through that test, because you're going to spend most of your time with this person.

Dave: Yeah. Especially at the earlier stage of a company, right?

David: Yeah.

Dave: Where this is... Every new person we add to our team has a huge impact on our culture. That's the stage of the company that we're at.

David: Yeah, exactly. Everyone knows that you spend more time with these people than you do with your family and other folks, because you're around them so much. But the thing that no one talks about is not only do you spend a lot of time with them, but you spend a lot of time with them in high stress situations. You just went through a process where it was a honeymoon phase, you were interviewing them, and in some ways, this is the best case scenario. This is everyone at their happiest. And this is both of you, not only that person, but both of you in a no stress situation. You're only going to be put through a lot of stressful situations working together. So you want to make sure that this is someone that you want to spend time with. Lean into the morning after test.

Dave: I love that one. Honestly, I think if you take... That's going to be the easiest. That's the easiest one to implement.

David: Yeah.

Dave: To take away...

David: You don't have to change anything.

Dave: Yeah.

David: Mm-hmm(affirmative).

Dave: So really think about that. All right. Cool. So find their purpose. The morning after test. This is the last one. This is one that you have opened me up to. Didn't really think about this a lot. This is something that you and Ilias talk about a lot, which is using personalities to match the team. Personality types based on the current composition of the team and the current stage of the company.

David: Yeah. This is one that we probably spend the most time all the time here at Drift talking about and thinking about and revisiting. It is the hardest of the three that I've mentioned so far to implement, because it involves a lot of training, retraining, examination. It involves the most change to your workflow. But I think it's also the most powerful of the three. This will not only change the way that you hire, but changes how you manage, and how you think about putting teams together. Years ago, I took my first personality test. In that case, it was a Meyer- Briggs test. I'm INTJ. Dave, is it...

Dave: ESTJ.

David: ESTJ? I thought it was the weakest, most corporate nonsense that I've ever... I actually refused to take it. I was the last person at my own company...

Dave: I'm only laughing, and because you think it's corporate, but I'm laughing because of how much I know you love this now.

David: Oh, I love it.

Dave: So It's funny to think about you, at one time, rolled your eyes at it.

David: Yeah. I hated it. I was like,"Oh, man. What is this corporate nonsense?" I was the last person out of 150.

Dave: What turned you around? Why'd you turn around?

David: Oh, because... 149 of the team had taken it. I was 150. I was the last person to probably take it. I just did it on a whim. It was one of those things, and we talk about getting uncomfortable all the time here, where I was uncomfortable doing it. Then I had kind of a breakthrough after. I was like," Wow. This is probably the most useful thing," and the thing that I use the most day- to- day of anything that I stumbled upon in my time, which crosstalk

Dave: And you came out as INTJ, which is the rarest person, the 1%.

David: Yeah. The 1% type.

Dave: Look. If you're listening to this podcast, and you know anything about David, just do yourself a favor and Google INTJ. All right? When you read it, it is basically his bio.

David: It's 100%. I am a robot and I follow all rules crosstalk

Dave: No. It's true. I sent you... We shared an article the other day... Elise, on our team, shared article about personality types. They broke down ESTJ and how ESTJs deal with stress and conflict. It was like ...

David: It could not be more Dave. Yeah.

Dave: It was like," Must make a list to, first, organize conflict."

David: "Give them alone time."

Dave: Yeah." Give them alone time. Doesn't like lazy people."

David: Yeah, yeah. Everything. It could not be more right. Anyway...

Dave: How do you apply this to work?

David: I found I was INTJ. What it opened up for me was thinking about not only myself, because I knew some of these things already, but more importantly, how to communicate to different people, and that different people needed different styles of communication, and related differently to different people. No duh. We all think we know that. We think," Yeah. No shit. I know that people are different." But in practice, what I find, for all of us, myself included, is that we forget that. We treat everyone the way that we expect to be treated and the way that we expect to be communicated. Then when we don't get the results that we want, then we don't understand it. So we use this as a tool. There's all sorts of personality types testing tools. Meyer- Briggs is what we use, but you can use StrengthFinders. You can use DiSC assessments. There's a million different crosstalk

Dave: If you don't know yours, you can take it... There's a free one that a bunch of us have done here at Drift. If you just go to 16personalities. com.

David: Yep. That's the number 16, 1-6, personalities. It's totally free. We use it here. Even when we interview people, we send them a link and ask them to take it. How do I use this in terms of hiring? When we're hiring to build a team, we use personality types a lot, because we're looking for, depending on the role, we're looking at the personality type. Depending on the team that they're going to work with in the company, we're also looking at personality types to understand is this person a good complement for the people that may exist already on a team, or has a good personality type for a certain type of role. INTJ, like myself, probably not the person you want as a BDR or a salesperson, where you want a more extroverted person, a different type of person than myself, that is more reserved, more quiet. That's an overgeneralization, but that just gives you an idea. But it's more important once you actually have a team up and running, and you're looking at that team and saying," All right. Which personalities are going to work well?" When we're hiring, we're looking at personality types. Of course, we're looking at a lot of other dimensions. This is just one dimension. We're thinking about how is that personality type going to work with the people in that team. Then if that person does join that team, then we're using the personality type to inform the rest of the team so they understand how this person likes to work, how they like to be communicated to, and give them at least some sort of framework. Because in most environments, when you hire someone, and someone gets added to your team, you don't know anything about that person. You don't know how they like to be communicated to. You don't know anything about their work style if you've never worked with them. You're starting from scratch on all of those dimensions. At least with, obviously it's not perfect, but starting with personality types gives you at least one tool, from a team perspective, to understand how you should relate to this new team member.

Dave: Yeah. If anything, it just reinforces... It just is a reminder for you. It reinforces the fact that not everybody is a equal part.

David: Yes.

Dave: Well, they are... I mean, everybody's a equal part, but not everybody is the same puzzle piece.

David: Exactly, different puzzle pieces. I was talking to Matt, who's our PM here at Drift, this morning. We have two designers... Amanda, Elise, what up? We looked at that same personality types under stress thing that Dave mentioned before. I sent it to him this morning, because I said," Look at the two designers that we have. They're totally opposite from crosstalk"

Dave: Yeah. Amanda's I. Elise is E.

David: Yeah. They're different in all sorts of ways. So just use this as a reminder, when working with them every day, that they actually need totally opposite approaches to the way that they like to work. One might like structure, sequence, no surprises. The other might like talking out loud, and running through ideas, no structure. Could not be more opposite. And likes everything to be undefined so that they can define it with you, while the other person thrives when things are defined and there is no ambiguity.

Dave: Yeah. It's the same thing that we talk about a lot with sports, for example, where coaches know... You have to know how to get the most out of people by getting them to react. There's some people that... If your style is just a screamer, and you're always cursing people out, sometimes that's going to get the right person to be like," Yeah. All right. I'm fired up."

David: crosstalk

Dave: Or it could just send the wrong person, just tuck their tail between their legs and completely go the other direction, and shut down.

David: Mm-hmm(affirmative). It's a perfect way to end this episode, bringing it back to sports. Because the reason that I think these three approaches are super useful, and have been great for us, is that, at the end of the day, we're trying to do exactly what Dave was saying on the sports side, which is we're trying to set up an environment where everyone can reach their full potential, where everyone has the opportunity to be the highest performance version of themselves. It's not just hiring. It's not just hiring people. It's hiring people who can have the highest impact and meet their potential. That's all we're trying to do. We're striving to be the best possible team. So we need everyone to try to be able to hit their highest potential.

Dave: Love it. All right. That's how you do it. Those are your three little hiring tips. Holler at us. Let us know if you try one of these, even if it's just the morning after test. Tweet at us. Let us know that you did it. Then also, if you have it in you and you haven't done it yet, a five- star review, just to join the hundred plus other five- star reviews that there already...

David: What's that? Hundred plus?

Dave: There's a hundred plus. Yeah.

David: What? What?

Dave: There's a couple other rival podcasts out there that don't have any ratings or reviews.

David: Not even one?

Dave: crosstalk real weird to me.

David: That's weird.

Dave: So we appreciate that.

David: Come on. Five stars. Hit us up. Show us that you love us. Help us spread the word to the world. We're building this community.

Dave: Oh, yeah. Also, the other thing I forgot to do is that we're trying to get into this whole Snapchat game a little bit.

David: What's that, Dave? crosstalk

Dave: crosstalk Hold on. I'm opening it up right now. We're going to do a little Snapchat. We're on Snapchat. It's drift_hq. Every now and then on Snapchat, we might actually give away a couple books. So if you're there, holler at us.

David: crosstalk free book.

Dave: All right. We'll talk to you on the next episode.

David: See ya.


If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. --- Hiring is hard. Luckily I was able to get David to go behind the scenes and share some of his hiring secrets on this episode of Seeking Wisdom. It's all about relying on your senses -- not on a resume. Join the community of Seeking Wisdom listeners at seekingwisdom.io and on Twitter @seekingwisdomio. Make sure you subscribe to Seeking Wisdom on your favorite podcast app so you never miss a new episode. Follow David (twitter.com/dcancel) and Dave (twitter.com/davegerhardt) on Twitter.