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ZENGERS Three-Step Hiring Process

Author: Jason Zenger

ZENGERS three-step hiring process

What does your hiring process look like? We have a great three-step process in place at ZENGERS that helps us hire the right people. What does it look like? 

Step #1: It’s all about the setup

I created a document called “My Position, Definition, and Career Page” to spell out exactly what a position is responsible for. It outlines the job, lets the person know what’s expected of them, how they’ll be evaluated, and what’s important. It allows me to train them effectively as well. After someone fills out that they want to apply for a job, this document is what they see next. 

What does it contain?

  • An overview of our company
  • A one-sentence overview of the position i.e. the “critical mission”
  • The details of the responsibilities and key results we’re looking for (i.e. resolving high-level issues, managing calendar and emails, CNC setup and operation, fundamental machine skills, etc.)
  • Proficiencies and qualifications required for the position (hard and soft skills). 
  • Core values and things that are important to us as a company
  • Degree, experience, and labor required
  • Benefits offered with the position
  • The five major roles they’ll be doing
  • Expectations for the first 90 and 180 days
  • Quantifiable performance metrics to hit

I want every candidate to take the time to read and understand this document so we aren’t wasting each other’s time with an interview. It will scare off people who aren’t fully qualified for the position and help us hire the right people. 

Step #2: Build out a “Careers” page on your website

I’m currently building out a careers page for ZENGERS. Jim points out that a careers page should reflect a little bit about the company and what you do, your core values, what jobs are available, the benefits, and a video that demonstrates the company culture. That video can help persuade job candidates that your business is a place where they actually want to work. 

You should also add a listing for open positions and a call to action to apply to them. It should go to a page that can manage the backend processes to apply for a job. Jim’s links to Indeed. Mine will go to a proprietary software package that we have that manages people submitting their resume(s).

Step #3: Screen your candidates 

You need a process to screen your candidates to find the best fit.

The first thing we do is review resumes. We may accept the first 100 applications. Of those, maybe 20 are a good fit. My wife handles the whole screening process. She sends an email to the candidates asking them questions about themselves and the position they’re applying for. She evaluates whether or not they make it to the next step based on the answers she gets. 

Then we move to a virtual interview. Depending on the position, we have them complete a Strengths Finder or Kolbe test. Then we will move to an in-person interview with various people from our team. If it’s entry-level and they’re a good fit we will make an offer on the spot. 

If it’s a leadership position, we will take them out for a meal (i.e. the “knife and fork test”). We want to see how they interact with us and the wait staff. I will ask them for a reference and actually check it if they’re serious about bringing them on board. We retain the right to rescind any offer we make if we don’t like what comes back from the reference. We do a background check before we make an offer as well.

Jim is looking for entry level and skilled CNC machinists (who are in short supply). It’s important for Jim to meet candidates in person as soon as possible. If someone slightly meets the criteria, he brings them in to see their potential surroundings immediately. He evaluates if they line up with the core values of the company. Carr Machine & Tool looks for those soft skills that can’t be taught. If someone doesn't align with the core values of your business, it’s never going to work. 

Nick’s first outreach is typically through LinkedIn Recruiter. He chooses his favorites from the talent pool who get moved into the pipeline. Nick’s HR rep will then contact his favorites and set up an interview. He’ll ask some qualifying questions, share what their benefits are, and what they can expect to make. Nick will bring in the other VP and COOs for a further conversation. Then they’ll send the interviewee some hypothetical questions to answer to show if they can think on their feet. 

What are your tips and tricks for the hiring process? Let us know! 


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