law firm recruiting and hiring“This resume is totally unqualified, why are you sending me this candidate?” In our 20+ years in the legal recruiting and staffing industry, we’ve heard this question a lot—most recently about a week ago. The attorney we were working with wanted to hire a paralegal with estate planning and probate experience. Loads of it, to be exact. And trying to get this particular attorney to look beyond the words and qualifications listed on a resume was a bit of a challenge. But, we are hired to help law firms hire the right person for their open position, and so our response—as it always is—was, “Trust us. We are the experts. That’s why you hired us. Show up for the 1-hour interview, and if you’re not seeing what you want, let the candidate know you’ve seen everything you need to see and end the interview. We’ll take it from there.” The attorney begrudgingly agreed.

Part of our legal recruiting and hiring process is that we ask all candidates to call us immediately after their 1-hour interview. 3-hours after the interview was scheduled to end, she phoned. Our recruiter’s first response was, “You failed the test. You were supposed to call us as soon as the interview was over. You’ve lost some points…”

And the candidate excitedly interrupted to say that she had just left the interview. “It went amazing! We already started taking tasks off of his to-do list and putting them on mine. I have my top priorities all sorted out…I start tomorrow!”

Attorneys—and most business owners, really—are easily seduced by a rocking resume. We get emails from entrepreneurs all the time. What About This Resume? the subject line reads, and attached is a resume chock full of fascinating skill sets and experience that jumps off the page. Intrigued by our own process, we’ll give these candidates a spot test, jumping on a call with them for some simple research and development. Within four minutes, we’ll know if a candidate is all wrong. If they’re too arrogant, not vibrant enough, lacking empathy or compassion. If they have a mindset of victimization.

Yes, we can tell all of this within just four minutes. And we can determine if the candidate is a poor fit, without knowing what position they are being considered for, or the details of the job description.

Another recent example, we placed an absolute superstar candidate into a position at a boutique law firm in Maine. But initially, when we sent the resume to the attorney, the response was, “I don’t want to waste my time meeting with this candidate, her resume isn’t impressive and I have no idea how she even made the cut to get in front of me.”

“Trust the process,” we reassured.

After the interview, I received a phone call from the attorney. “I have no idea how this candidate made your cut, or why you would even call her solely based on her resume, but I must have her.” Our process had clearly worked. “She is now the standard for every employee I will ever hire going forward.”

It is now this candidate’s third year at the firm, and I still get emails from the attorney saying things like, “I still don’t know why you called her, but thank you. She is amazing! I finally feel like someone has my back, and I can let go and just focus on billable work and growing my firm!”

The point of all this is simple: the skills that are listed out on paper are irrelevant until you get clear on the human side of hiring.

Hiring your first employee is a huge leap of faith and one of the scariest things that an entrepreneur can do. You want a guarantee that this new hire will be a profitable asset and not a financially-draining liability. The problem is that new hires don’t come in a box with a guarantee on it. And what’s worse, more often than not, entrepreneurs don’t get the superstar employees they need, which pushes them to the mindset that “good people are hard to find.”

But you don’t want good people. You want GREAT people. Superstars. Rockstars. People who come “batteries included.” And there are hundreds…maybe even thousands…of really, really great people out there. And they’re waiting to work very, very intentionally for you. And the promising news is that these really, really great people are being overlooked by recruiters because their resumes aren’t flashy…

So, how do you find these people? If you are truly curious and want to learn:

1. How to write a compelling ad that attracts healthy candidates with the mindset, core values, and emotional intelligence you need—all while weeding out the weak;

2. What to look for in a resume that indicates that a candidate knows exactly how to do what you need them to, and eliminates the “I need a job and will be asking you for a raise before the end of the year” candidates;

3. How to conduct empowering face-to-face interviews that create the kind of dialogue that gets to the fundamentals of their motivating factors, mindset, missions and values…

Email info@hiringandempowering.com today. Let’s connect and discuss your firm’s recruiting and hiring challenges. Our process works—we’ve got it dialed in, and have been using it to help solopreneurs and boutique firms hire amazing people for over 20 years now. Your people should be your most profitable asset. We help make that happen.

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