How to ‘Hire Different’

How to ‘Hire Different’

Why are manhole covers round? How many gas stations are there in the United States? Talk to me about a project that really went sideways on you; what would you do differently today? These are certainly useful interview questions for assessing logical IQ but what are we really trying to learn? What is the core piece of information we want to discover in the recruitment process? Intellect? Sure. Emotional intellect? Even better. Ideally you want to discover the balance between the two, what we at SHP playfully call, “The Ego to Talent Ratio”, or ‘E:T’. Making sure this critical relationship is balanced is the central service we provide to our clients and the primary reason we are uniquely able to place new hires that ‘fit’ easily into their new team and are productive over the long term.

At SHP we recruit for intellectual breadth. A PhD in Math is great but not necessarily sufficient. How well does that PhD communicate? Do they draw people of lesser, or just different, backgrounds into the conversation? Are they aware of and interested in the making sure they gain and act on the perspective of other people in the room? And can they step outside their current view and ask themselves if they are on the right track. After all, how many times have we watched someone with a reputation for ‘getting things done’ just beat their heads into a wall? Rock star employees get the right things done. Like Drucker reminds us, being efficient at the wrong thing is not particularly helpful.

So effective (instead of efficient) interviewing requires balance. Ask the pertinent, typical questions we love. Give them a riddle, see how they approach it. The examples above are classics for discovering the adaptability of a candidates IQ. Sure, if the role has particularly technical requirements then you need to ask them to walk you through applicable coding samples, or have someone on your interviewing loop perform this task. But you also need to unsettle them, ask questions that draw them off their script. What went wrong? Fine. What did you learn? Better. What examples can you offer for how you’ve grown from this? Better still. What are some of our favorites?

  • How would you motivate our cleaning crew?
  • In your toughest professional moment, how did you reach out for the support you needed?
  • Describe an, “I’m beating my head against the wall” moment. What influenced your realization? How did you adapt to your new perspective?

With a work force evolving towards free agency recruiting must ensure that candidates are both capable and a strong cultural fit. Developing your version of the ‘Ego to Talent Ratio’ is critical for hiring success.

StellarHire Recruits for Intellect and Emotional Intelligence

In a brief call from a recruiter anyone can talk about past successes and how they could help a new venture. Some are comfortable discussing failures or shortcomings. With StellarHire’s uniquely disciplined approach, candidates reveal their skills and their emotional IQ. Only individuals with the qualifications your business requires and the emotional intellect your teams deserve are presented to you as prospective candidates.

Contact me at when you’re ready to build the intellectually capable, emotionally competent team your entrepreneurial adventure deserves.

And your tweet looks like this:

Breakthrough teams hire intellectual adaptability. SHP recruits candidates with emotional intelligence and raw intellect you deserve {insert tinyurl link to your blog here}