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A picture tells a thousand words

17 April 2014
by Nick Washbourne

We pride ourselves on hiring and retaining great talent at Force24.

Having a great culture, strong market position and providing career development opportunities is key in attracting top talent.  To support this though, you need to ensure that you have a diligent recruitment process.

We believe attitude is more important than skill-sets.  We can train skill-sets.  Attitude you can’t train though.  I’ve concluded this is 100% futile!

Sample questions we ask to tease out attitude include:

How important is your career to you?

Can you give an example of where you have gone the extra mile?

What are you prepared to do to reach your goals?  (You get a real insight into how ambitious and often political a candidate is here)

We normally include some type of on-the-spot test too and have been known to do a written test.  It starts with our explaining what the role involves, then we leave the candidate for 10 minutes to write an email to us (on an iPad) explaining what we do as a company and why they believe the role is ideal for them.

This tests 4 things:

Research – have they researched our business prior to interview?

Listening ability – one of the Force24 values is “We listen twice as much as we speak”

Written work – ref Rework by Jason Fried of 37 signals – importance of recruiting people who can write well.

Ability to think on their feet and deal with something unexpected.

Regardless of the role the candidate has applied for, to be successful they must show they are commercially minded.  We often use the question from the guys at Innocent which asks:

“Can you explain how a cinema generates revenue?”  Good candidates include food and drink revenue in their answer.  The candidates that stand out from others include advertising revenue!

However, having said all that, with one of our candidates, we have to admit we weren’t as diligent in our process.  They got us at “Hi”.  We received an email on the evening before their interview explaining why they wanted to join Force24.  The email displayed their skill-set as it was excellent HTML. They proved they understood Force24 and our industry.  By showing a picture of themselves with their family, they made the process more emotive for us.  This person gave themselves a human backstory (ref Shane Snow). 

With all marketing, often, “A picture tells a thousand words”.

Photo of Nick Washbourne
Nick Washbourne
Commercial Director

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