A MasterClass Guide to Hiring Great People

A practical guide through every aspect of the hiring process from 20 years of commercial experience & hundreds of hires

Last updated 5/2023 English

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Hiring people. One of the most time consuming and painful processes that a people manager has to go through. But it doesn't have to be that way!

Over the last 20 years I've developed a killer process that has enabled me to transform the quality of the hires that I bring into my teams, and takes all the pain away from the process itself. In this course I'll show you how to make sure the people you hire have the right skills to do a great job, the enthusiasm and drive to keep developing as self-learners, and the diversity to not only fit into your culture, but to take it to another level.

And as well as making sure the hires are great, I'll also show you how you can work with the restrictions that your company may place on you regarding salaries, locations, ranks and much more. This course is based on 20 years of hiring people into massive companies and is guaranteed to take your ability to hire great people to great heights. 

The Job Interview is Broken!

We hear a lot about the interview process. But where does it come from? And why has it become so important? Let's explore the history of interviewing and why it needs to be improved.

Why is there so little guidance on how to conduct a good interview? I've never worked anywhere that has provided formal training or advice on how to structure your job interview process. The most I've seen is a feedback form that needs to be completed after the interview, but nothing on the questions to ask, the aspects to consider nor how to behave. And nothing on unconscious bias, which is one of the biggest killers to any process that needs to be fair. In truth, the job interview process is one of the most broken processes in the workplace.

In the interview process, should we turn to the machine? Should we utilise artificial intelligence or algorithms? There's an argument that algorithms are more efficient at producing the "correct" outcomes than people. And that's led to an explosion of data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence research and practical usage.

One of the biggest influences in any process, and especially the interview process is that of unconscious bias.

These are biases or preferences that we all have, and make without any conscious effort. Let's explore them here.

Hiring the Right Skills

One of the major issues with the job interview process is a lack of consistency, especially with processes that involve a lot of candidates. In terms of finding out the skills needed for a job it's a good idea to formulate a consistent set of questions, that you can use with each candidate. Assign points or a scoring system to the questions and then use some basic data visualisation to compare the candidates. If you're using data to inform your decisions then you can help to cut out a lot of the unconscious biases that might creep into the process.

We talked about the benefits of being data driven and employing a consistent, data driven approach to scoring skills. That's certainly a good idea. But even more effective is to combine that approach with a live demo of the key skills. If you can see a candidate in action in a controlled environment, using the tools or the software, showing the skills in action then that's a really good way of actually proving their capability.

As a hiring manager, you need to ensure that any questions you are asking candidates are relevant to the job role they're interviewing for. And there are a lot of subjects that you shouldn't go anywhere near. Including suspect and even illegal questions. We talked about the stupid questions that you shouldn’t ask. That's because you're just going to waste time, the answers won't be useful and the questions are pretty embarrassing. Well, there's another bracket of questions that you shouldn't ask. And that's the type of question that's actually illegal to ask in some countries, and at best downright rude.

Hiring the Right People

This is a really difficult one in today's workplace. There's absolutely no doubt that hiring a diverse workforce brings a richness to a company. A richness of not only backgrounds and cultures, but of thought, ideas, challenge and innovation. By diversity I mean hiring people that give your company variation in gender, age, religion, race, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, religion, languages, education and more. Let's take a look at why a diverse workforce is beneficial.

Diversity is good. In fact, it's great. But how do you do it? How do you hire a diverse population? Personally I've found this one of the biggest challenges in my 20 years as a hiring manager. I've worked predominantly in the technology sector in investment banks. Traditionally male dominated, populated by alpha or type 1 personalities.

I've been interviewing people for over 20 years. I've done hundreds of interviews. And over that time, what I look for has changed, based on experience of what actually works when candidates walk though the door and join the team. And I'm pretty confident that I have a good formula. So what am I looking for? Well for sure, 100% I'll take hunger and desire and a learning mentality over hard core skills. Someone can be the best in the business at the technical aspects of the job, but if they're not self-learners or interested in developing further then I'm not interested either.

Hiring the Right Fit

Most companies aren’t just looking for candidates with the right skills – they want someone that matches their company's DNA. The rationale is that these candidates will get better with the rest of the team, ramp faster and add more value as employees. Adding people with exactly the same values, ideas and approaches as your team can be dangerous. It's easy to create a "me-too" environment where everyone thinks and acts in the same way, not typically an environment where ideas and innovation flourish.

Hiring the Right Role

It's not all about the person or the skills. As a hiring manager it's your job to build a cohesive team of people that can get the job done. A team of people that can cover all of the things your team is expected to do, and often a few more. So as a manager, when you're bringing in someone new it can be for a number of reasons. 

Hiring the Right Rank

For permanent employees you've got to consider the rank that you bring people in at very carefully. Headcount is extremely valuable in today's organisations, and the slightest inefficiency in your ranking distribution can leave you at risk in a number of areas. Most organisations will push you managers to hire at the lowest possible grade for the role. That's usually to save money. Higher rank = higher salary & higher bonus (if you get one at all that is). And that makes sense. But as a hiring manager there are a number of other considerations you'll need to be aware of. 

Hiring the Right Location

Location is a very important aspect of hiring the right person. In many companies you'll have to adhere to a hiring or workforce strategy from senior management, especially if you're in a cost center function like IT. Another important consideration for the location of your new hire is that of the location of your existing team. As a manager you need to decide where the role should be. Where is the best location for a fit with the rest of your team.

Hiring the Right Timeframe

When bringing someone into your team, or making a replacement, it's really important to be aware of time. From the moment your management give you the ok to go for the hire, the clock is ticking. And for a hiring manager that's a really big deal. Can the hiring process contribute to the burnout of your existing team? Yes it can, and here's how you can avoid it happening. 

Every headcount is hugely precious. Getting a headcount means the business is willing to fund another person year on year. Guaranteed funding. That's a big deal. So if your team loses a person and then is seen to be coping just fine, well the more eagle eyed in senior management might, just might, question the need for the headcount.

Key Hiring Manager Responsibilities

At every interview I host, I open with the same question each and every time. I ask. Can you tell me, in your own words, what job you think you are applying for? Let's explore why that's such a great opening question for both the interviewer and the candidate. As a hiring manager there's something really important that you should do in every interview. And if you like the candidate then it's something you absolutely have to do. You HAVE to leave the candidate with a positive impression of you, your team and your company. In fact as positive as possible.

Something that I've seen occasionally in the interview process is that I've felt on occasion the vibe has been completely wrong. I've seen this from the perspective of a candidate and also that of a co-hiring manager, and that's a situation where the hiring manager seems to regard the interview as being all about them.

Critical Post-Offer Tasks

As a hiring manager, don't assume all is well. Make sure you're in touch with the point contact in the recruitment company, checking up on the status and any potential issues. Also make sure you're in touch with the candidate to check if they're experiencing issues with the recruitment and onboarding process. One thing I always do after offering a candidate a role is to make sure I get their details and give them a call or an email after a couple of weeks. There are a few key messages that I really want to get through to the candidate that I feel are really important.

Onboarding in the Right Way

When someone joins a new organisation they're full of excitement and energy. Especially if you've been making them feel wanted from interview time to the day they join. So it's up to you as a hiring manager to look as professional as possible. And the same for your organisation. Many companies provide a degree of assistance for each new person. That might be a partner in HR or in another team. I find it useful to assign a buddy from your team to stay close to the new hire and help with anything they need. 


As you can see there are a lot of things to consider. Hiring people is one of the most time-consuming and demanding, and difficult, tasks any manager needs to do.

Who this course is for

  1. Hiring managers
  2. Leaders and managers
  3. People managers
  4. Team leaders

What you'll learn

  1. A tried and tested methodology for hiring great people into your teams
  2. What's wrong with the interview process & how to fix it
  3. How to recognize the right people, attitudes & company culture fit


No course requirements.

Course Content

14 Sections 31 Lectures 1h 32m total length

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