How to Hire an Employee in Seven Days or Less

Could you make a hire in Seven Days or Less? If the answer is no, you’re taking way too long.

How long does it take to fill a position in your organization? If it’s more than seven days, it’s taking you too long.

If you’re interested in dramatically increasing profitability and your peace of mind, then follow these 10 steps to hiring people in seven days or less.

Step One: Pick a target date for filling jobs. 

Start by establishing how long it should take for you to make a hire. According to a recent article on Forbes, Paul English, the cofounder of eight companies, including Kayak, which he sold to Priceline in 2012 for $1.8B, starts the clock ticking when he first hears someone’s name.

English says he has seven days to make this person an offer.

There is a race for talent, so if you’re taking too long to score the people you need, you will fall behind fast. The key to fast hiring is having a recruitment and hiring process in place that has no slack.

You can go fast if you’re disciplined, and everyone knows their role.

In case you’re wondering, recruiting does not start when you first post a job. The process starts when you begin thinking about the traits you’d ideally like to hire for.

Step Two: Go out and find the person you’re seeking.

Next, you have to go out and find this person. Those who are exceptionally good at acquiring talent are constantly combing their network and identifying people they’d like to meet. They’ll ask employees and friends who they know, they’ll search LinkedIn, and sometimes they’ll even chat up someone they meet in an unexpected place like the cosmetics counter at a department store or their local Starbucks.

Sometimes the person you’re talking with says they’re not interested in the position or the company. Rather than simply moving on, the follow-up question to ask is, “Who do you know that might be interested in exploring this kind of opportunity?” Nine times out of ten, the person will throw out a name, which allows you to then go onto LinkedIn to check them out.

Step Three: Take action.

Once you get your sights on someone, you must move fast. Do like English does. Send them an email that gets right to the point. “I’ve heard incredible things about you and want to talk with you. Can we meet today? I’ll come to meet you at the closest coffee shop near your work or wherever. You pick the place.”

Don’t like this script? Write your own.

Step Four: Establish a date for the candidate to meet with your hiring team.

If the first meeting goes according to plan, get them into the office as soon as possible for a second interview. Do this while you’re still together. Say something like, “I’d like to continue this conversation. How about you?” If they agree, follow up by saying, “Let’s take our calendars out and find a time this week to have you meet the team. How’s tomorrow look?”

Step Five: Make sure your team knows how to make people feel welcome.

People get excited when they walk into an environment that feels friendly and vibrant. It’s up to you to ensure that your entire team knows their job is to make applicants feel welcome and to impress them.

Here’s where training and practice come in. Make it a rule in your organization that people greet one another in the halls. This way, when a guest is in the office, this practice feels authentic.

The interview is equally important. Instead of starting the session by hammering the candidate with a list of questions, have the lead on your hiring team begin the conversation by saying, “I’m delighted to meet you!” Then have them choose something to talk about from the candidate’s resume that shows their genuinely interested in them, like, “I see you’re from the West Coast. So am I.” or “It’s so cool that you did an internship at Facebook. That must have been an amazing experience!” Demonstrating to the other person that you’re interested in them is a great way to kick off the conversation.

Step Six: Only include people on the interviewing team who are trained on how to Select for Success and excel in storytelling.

Ensure everyone on the interview team is trained on Selecting for Success. Throwing team members into a room to interview, who haven’t been trained on how to do so, will do more harm than good. Make sure each interviewer has set questions to ask the interviewee so as not endlessly repeat questions.

Train all interviewers on how to be storytellers, as you are relying on them to showcase your company’s story to everyone that comes through the door.

It’s also essential to have interviewers practice listening deeply. The temptation to speak over a candidate or to be thinking of your next question while someone is speaking is too great. You want to demonstrate to the candidate that you’re fully engaged in what they have to say.

Step Seven: Ask references my million-dollar question.

My favorite part of English’s process is when he talks to references. He uses a similar version to my million-dollar reference checking question: “On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being high, how would you rate the overall performance of this person?” Any response below 10 requires this follow-up question: “What would it take to make them a 10?”

Now we’re talking! You now know exactly what kind of support you’ll need to provide for this person, should you decide to make an offer.

Step Eight: Be bold and start recruiting the person providing the reference check.

The next step separates those going through the motions of hiring from those who are hiring evangelists. If the person giving the reference impresses you, go for the kill. Try to recruit them as well!

Step Nine: Put together an irresistible offer. You’ve gone through all the steps to find the perfect candidate. Don’t blow it now.

Put together an offer that no one can resist. Sure, you may be paying a bit more than your competitors. However, you’ll save money in the long run by hiring someone fully committed to giving their all. And chances are pretty good that they’ll remain with you way longer than a few months.

If you cannot squeeze more money out of the budget, offer something that will likely help you get to a yes. Offer this person the opportunity to work a four-day week. For many, this option is priceless. Other ways to sweeten the deal include work-from-home options and additional paid time off.

Step Ten: Make the offer today.

Finally, get the offer out as soon as you’ve completed your reference checks. Don’t wait until tomorrow or next week. Do it today or tonight!

Your assignment:

  1. Commit to a certain number of days from the start of the hiring process to the offer.
  2. Push yourself to hire quickly.
  3. Write back to me and let me know if you’ve noticed a difference in the number of offers you’re now having accepted.

Good luck! Now get going…

© Matuson Consulting, 2022

Frequently Quoted In

Finding the right talent is hard. Finding the right talent that will prosper and stay is even harder when you do it alone.

Subscribe to Roberta's Talent Maximizer® and receive weekly insights to help you hire and retain top performers. PLUS receive The Evergreen Talent® Workbook for free - a guide to help you hire and cultivate a sustainable workforce.

Finding the right talent is hard. Finding the right talent that will prosper and stay is even harder when you do it alone.

Subscribe to Roberta's Talent Maximizer® and receive weekly insights to help you hire and retain top performers. PLUS receive The Evergreen Talent® Workbook for free - a guide to help you hire and cultivate a sustainable workforce.

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