Hiring for Retention: On Purpose

Do you have trouble hiring accountable team members? How do you ensure that the applicants you hire will fit in your business? At Nick’s Pizza & Pub we place our Purpose and Values on the cover sheet of our application. When an applicant seeks a position at Nick’s our hosts hand them an application and say:

“Please take a minute to read the cover page – these are our company’s Purpose & Values and we take them very seriously. If this sounds like a place you’d like to work, then complete the second page and let us know when you’re finished.”

This simple process of being upfront and explicit with our applicants weeds out about 10% of those who are just looking for a job. The next step of our interview process is having one of our interview certified team members speak to the applicant. This portion involves evaluating the applicant based on a few questions to determine whether or not to sign them up for an interview. Asking a question regarding one thing that stood out to them on the cover sheet of the application will determine whether or not they followed direction. Tracking these little nuances during the couple minutes in discussion with the applicant will show you their true characteristics. After this less than five minute discussion, if the applicant is a yes they are walked over to our host desk to sign up for an interview. There an interview binder lists all available interview times and the applicant chooses their time slot for their first interview. Again, subtly we are sending a message of accountability here. By having the applicant choose their own date and time it eliminates excuses for being late and puts the responsibility on the applicant – All we have to do is track behavior.

Every interview starts with an activity done by the applicant – before they even have a chance to sit down! Once they are done, we ask them to rate their own performance and provide feedback of how we would rate their performance as well. What we are looking for here is to get a sense of how our level of A+ matches up to their level of A+. Whether our ratings are the same or different, we now have data to use to guide us towards the questions we ask. From there we just peel back the onion! Direct open-ended questions are what take us to the deepest, most organic answer.

Each question that we ask will either be a “Yes” or a “No” in terms of whether or not their answer aligned with what we were looking for. If all the questions feel like “Yes,” we will dig deeper to try and uncover the “No.” After every question, our interviewers return to “center” and judge each question independently from the previous one. If there aren’t any “No’s” our decision is clear!  One thing we have found to be true, time and time again is that a “Maybe” is a No.

Our interview process allows us to witness key characteristics of each applicant and determine whether they fit with our Purpose and Values centered culture. THIS is how we hire for Purpose and Values alignment!