By Walter Sabo
NEW YORK — Since the start of my career as a C suite executive and consultant, I have hired or recommended over 1000 people. I’ve hired them at huge corporations like ABC, NBC and Sirius. I’ve hired them at smaller, successful companies such as Press Communications. Plus, I’ve launched angel funded startups and populated them with sharpies.
Modestly, I have a strong reputation for spotting talented hard workers. Really hard workers. People of vision and passion. It is actually difficult to deconstruct how I have been so successful at the hiring process but here are some components of the process:
1. Never check a reference. I review the names of the references and the companies. Anyone on the list, is going to say good things. The names, titles and companies on the reference list reveals the pedigree, that’s all I have to see.
2. To receptionist: Did you like him/her? Candidates are kept waiting in the lobby on purpose to be “interviewed” by the receptionist. How a candidate treats the receptionist is a strong indicator of how they behave. The receptionist’s feedback is very important.
3. Let’s go for a walk. Honestly I can’t interview people in my office. I invite them to go for a walk. Let’s get ice cream, go to a mall, sit in a park. This minor disruption surprisingly throws people off. That’s not the intent. The actual purpose is to prevent us from being interrupted in the office. Years after the walk, I still hear from candidates who say they have never experienced an “out-of-office” on an interview.
4. Do they know the company? Look for candidates that show superior knowledge of the company and the job. All interviewers have an ego. They look for profound knowledge of their company and their problems. Even if a candidate is wrong about the problems and solutions, the fact that they make an effort to know the company is rare and appreciated.
5. Do they want to know about benefits and vacation time? That’s okay, after they’ve been hired. If they ask before they’re hired, it most likely won’t work out.
Walter Sabo is CEO of Sabo Media, a New York City-based media consulting firm. He can be phoned at 347-380-1581 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.