The Art of Hiring, Part II

In a tight labor market with rapid growth and the pressing need for the best talent, hiring is a capability that every great company needs to master. Earlier this month, we brought our CEOs together at Banyan’s headquarters in Orem to talk about how they hire, with Ken Davis of TaskEasy and Tom Clark of Banyan (formerly Social Dental) leading the conversation. 

This post is part two of two and includes some of the knowledge Tom shared with us, as well as his deck. You can find part one here.

Tom Clark (CEO of Banyan)

  • Culture fit is vital

“The top sales rep that causes the most chaos is not worth it to us. I’ve had top sales reps that are killing it—they’re generating $200,000 MRR a month for us. But they’re killing our team, because they’re not empowering others. Culture fit is the number one thing for us, and it’s answered in these questions. Do they want to be challenged? Do they want to be CEOs of their position? Do they believe everyone needs to be a leader? Are they able to mesh with and empower the team? Do they start their own engines? Can they operate without a map or a leader? “

“In Gavin’s blog post about Arctic exploration, Shackleton was going to Antarctica, doing crazy things that had never been done. He put out his first ad out to attract people to go with him, and the first one was like, ‘We need qualified people’ and ‘they need to be this’ and ‘they should be this.’ Very few people applied for it. And then he changed his approach. He said, ‘You’re almost guaranteed to die, it’s going to be the journey of a lifetime, and if we live, you’re going to be famous and have a story to tell.’ And he got tons of people to apply. Because when you do that, you’re attracting the right people.”

  • Money can’t be the primary motivator

“What I tell people at the end of the interview if we like them is, ‘I’m going to show you my cards. I like you. I don’t play games, I’m going to be honest. Now what you need to find out is if you like us, because we’re not going to sell you into this position. Go home and sleep on it, and if you can’t sleep because you’re so excited, you let us know and we’ll take you to stage two.'”

  • Always hire multipliers

“The idea of diminishers versus multipliers comes from Multipliers by Liz Wiseman. Diminishers think, ‘People won’t figure it out without me.’  They’re know-it-alls—they tell people what to do, instead of being debate-makers. People don’t feel safe to share ideas and be creative. People who work under or with diminishers are working at 48% of their capacity—they don’t feel comfortable giving their all.

Multipliers say, ‘People are smart and they’ll figure it out.’ They’re talent magnets, and they create space for the best thinking. They invest in people. They know that if you give people confidence and empower them, you get more effort out of them.

But there are also accidental diminishers. For example, there are sales reps who are great at sales so we make them leaders, but they lead like tyrants. And it’s accidental—they don’t want to be that way, it’s just all they know. They just know how to crank and how to crack the whip because it’s what they’ve been taught. Those people can be taught to be multipliers. Here, we do that through real and raw feedback. If you have a concern with somebody, you go to them. You sit down with them and say, ‘Hey, I know you’re probably not trying to come off this way, because I know you and you’re great in this position. But I want to share something with you that might be in your blind spots.’ And you get real and raw—don’t water it down.”


If you’re interested in part one of this post, you can find it here.