Original Post January 1, 2009
When it comes to hiring I’m reminded of the philosophy:
How you do anything is how you do everything
As an OBM I’ve done my fair share of hiring virtual professionals over the years, and I’ve found that you can learn A LOT about someone from the very first moment you connect with them (which is usually by email). How people respond to you from day one can be a good reflection of how they would actually be on a project.
There are a few things you can pay attention to that may help filter out some potentially unsuitable people along the way:
- How quickly do they respond to your emails?
I expect a 24 hour turnaround time when I send someone an email (except on weekends/holidays of course). If I send someone an email saying ‘Hey, I’m interested in hiring you’ and I don’t hear from them for 3 days I will most likely not consider them further. Most of our projects require a 24-hour turnaround in communication, and if I don’t see that right away it is a red flag.
- Did they provide what you asked them for?
If you asked them for specific information, did they provide it in full detail? I’m actually surprised how often I will get¬†a response from a potential hire and they didn’t include half of the information I requested. If they have a lack of attention to details in these early stages it makes me wonder how much would be missed on the job.
- What is the tone of their response?
Are they casual or do they take a more professional approach to their writing? (depending on your needs you may prefer either one). How is their spelling & grammar? The actual tone¬†of their response can be very telling – for example, if you are hiring someone to respond to customer service emails and their spelling/grammar is poor that may not be a good fit.
- Do they follow up with you?
If you haven’t responded to someone in a day or so, do they follow up with you? I’ll admit that I sometimes do this on purpose – not respond to an email for a couple of days just to see if the person will follow up with me to check in. If someone is eager/excited about the opportunity they should send a follow-up email to check in with you (even just to ensure that you received their last message).