When is the right time to hire? How do I find the right person to work for my business? What if I hire someone who doesn’t meet my super-duper high standards? Will anyone ever care as much about my work as I do? One more question for you – Does that sound like your inner dialog right now? If so, this conversation all about hiring and onboarding is the perfect fit for you.
Emily McIntyre is a CEO in the coffee industry, and her story is next-level interesting. She’s a cult survivor, a former piano teacher, an ex-journalist, she trains martial arts in her spare time, and now leads Catalyst Trade, the Ethiopian importing company changing the way coffee is traded. Emily is also a bonafide expert in hiring the right people.
In this conversation, you’ll hear all about her proprietary hiring process from step one to onboarding and beyond. She’s even got a spreadsheet for weighing the intangible aspects of a potential hire. If a hiring system is what you want, Emily is sharing her secrets.
Hiring as a Tool for Scaling
Emily McIntyre knew that scaling her coffee company, Catalyst, she needed to hire more people to help her with that growth. For Emily, hiring means finding people who adhere to the core values of the company. Emily shared, “A lot of what I do right now is focusing on creating systems around bringing that vision to other people, team members, producers, partners, or farmers in Ethiopia, my customers.”
Hiring to scale your business sure sounds great, but do you have fear and pain when it comes to hiring? Emily can relate. She explained, “We’re not large enough where we need an HR department and frankly, I’m not interested in handing over hiring right now to someone else, but to do so, I have had to tackle that fear and that pain of hiring.”
After several attempts over the years to hire the right people for her company (and failures along the way), Emily spent the summer of 2020 digging into her hiring process, talking to experts, reading books, creating a systemized approach to learning how to hire. “What emerged was a framework that I have been able to build my company with since,” Emily explained.
The Hiring System: The First Interview
“I’ve created a working system that takes intuition, adds in the mix of skills, personality, and other aspects that are necessary to assess, and then puts a numerical value on each of those assets,” Emily shared. “If the proper work is put in, it just spits out the right answer.”
“It’s always backed up by intuition. Almost every single time we have ended up hiring the person who felt right to us first, but we never make that call until we finished the entire hiring process so that we can be confident,” Emily explained.
The process is actually relatively simple. The first interview is 15 minutes used to learn what people are looking for in a future employer, what interested them in the job, and favorite and most hated past job or boss. “I get some very revealing answers there,” Emily told me. She also asks about values and what they look for in a job.
The Second Interview & Rubric
During the second interview, a second person sits in on the session. Together, they ask the interviewee questions that help gauge their personalities and values and note discrepancies between their personal values and the values of the company.
“We really try to ask questions that will allow people to share, if possible, as vulnerable as they can. Now, vulnerability is a value of Catalyst. And so that is something I look for, but I also look for people who don’t beat up their past employers, but have a meaningful answer when they’re asked about their history.”
After the second interview, Emily turns to their incredibly detailed rubric for decision-making. This spreadsheet includes different metrics weighted with numerical values in areas such as overall energy, how trainable and teachable they seem, how loyal they appear, if that loyalty is healthy, how do they already demonstrate core values, are they proactive, and beyond.
The rubric, which she explains in more detail in the episode (so press play!) then calculates the top 3 candidates who are invited to a paid skills test. After that, Emily checks references and the final decision is made from there.
More from Emily McIntyre
This conversation about hiring systems is super robust and I want you to hear every word of it! Press play on the episode wherever you get your podcasts.