I’ve been going though the process of picking an employee the past couple weeks. I’ve been roughly following the Topgrading method as described in the book Ask (though that book seems more focused on hiring a CEO).

My top candidates came through both my personal network and through Craigslist.

Roughly, the process in Ask is as follows:

1. Recruit with emphasis on business and personal contact networks.

2. Phone screen with emphasis on motivational fit for job, rather than skills.

3. In person interview with more skill based questions.

4. Use the “thread of reference check” in the screening and interviews, then follow that up with real reference checks with people who have actually worked with the candidate.

Something I got out of Ask as well as The Hard Thing about Hard Things  was that somebody might make a GREAT employee, but might be COMPLETELY WRONG for the role you’re trying to fill.