How to manage new office hires

Unless you work in a huge company, the Office Manager is the one to handle most HR duties. We put together the tactics we love to use when trying to bring a new team member in.

Hiring someone new is a stressful (albeit fun) experience for a company. You want someone who can handle the tasks spilling over from your current staff, bolster an existing department or create their own. High-level hires tend to be more complicated than average, but you can still use our tips below to run a successful interview with people looking to fill in managerial positions.

We rely on 3 hiring pillars. Any new staff member must:

  • Be a good cultural fit
  • Be appropriately skilled for the position
  • Share some of our work principles

Before diving into the nitty-gritty, here’s the most important piece of advice we can give - don’t make it all about you. Remember, job-seekers are probably looking for something that closely matches their needs and wants too, so share as much as you ask. If possible, pick one of your colleagues that best fits your ideal staffer profile and have them join the interview. From the get-go. Another thing to keep in mind is that interview-behaviour isn’t necessarily the same as work-behaviour. DISC-profiles are a useful tool to have, as are IQ tests - and don’t bother with recommendation letters. Call their referrers and ask what you need to know.

Now, on to the pillars.

Cultural Fit

A quick Google search will reveal lots of listicles on this subject. Articles like The 7 Best[...],13 Questions to Screen[...] and 18 Interview Questions [...] may indeed tell you what other companies are doing - and they are useful, but not in the direct way. Think about it - everyone is probably asking those questions. Your potential hire is sick and tired of them. If you want to see if someone would fit, ask them to come in for 1 day and work with you as if they were hired (don’t forget to pay them for their efforts). You will learn more from this experiment than from 12345 articles and interview sessions.


Build on the experiment above and ask them about a project they worked on in the past 3 months. Have them explain what decisions they had to make, what other options they had and why they chose the way they did. A skilled individual should be able to justify their actions rather easily.

Work Philosophy

“Describe yourself in 3 words” has nothing on Lego. Get someone to join you and give the new hire a simple task - build a toy car with their partner. And only give them 3 wheels. You’ll see if they take charge (leader material), if they ask for help, if they come up with a smart way of building a 3-wheel car and if they object to your rigging the game by withholding the fourth wheel.

If you can afford it, follow in Zappos’ footsteps and offer to pay your potential hire NOT to work with you. See what they say and how they react.

Adrian, MO, YArooms

Written on Friday, 27 Jan 2017



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