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How the Fuck Do I Hire: A Beginners Guide

Published or Updated On: 
June 16, 2023

If you’re a first-time entrepreneur, solopreneuer, or small business owner, you know how overwhelming it can be. There’s always more to do, and never enough time to do it. 

Long days, feeling like you’re always on your back foot, trying to play catchup with what needs to be done. It's hard to get to the important, needle-moving stuff because there’s always a fire, some urgent task that needs attending. 

You want to hire some help, but how do you find people who are as motivated as you are? People that will think like you, prioritize without needing to be told, and proactively improve the business? Maybe you’ve tried hiring. But it seemed like you spent all your time helping them, answering their questions. Now you’ve got even more work. And you’re frustrated because it would have been faster to just do it yourself.

Yep, been there. It sucks.

Hiring is essential to building yourself out of your business. Learning to utilize labor is a form of leverage and it is one of the most valuable skills you can develop. It will serve you for the rest of your life.

We haven’t hired successfully for any executive level roles, but we have hired successfully for amazing people who run key parts of the business, have freed up owner time, and unlocked new growth.

We’re still figuring the hiring game out, but we’ve gotten way better at it. In this post, I’ll walk through our approach. This is pulled from my company's internal wiki on hiring. My goal is to save you a couple of years of trying to figure this shit out yourself.

Main pieces to this post: when to hire, our hiring mindset, specific techniques we use, and our flow. I've also included links to templates, example assessments and all kinds of other goodies you can use. Let’s get into it.


A few principles guide us here:

  • If someone else can do it 80% as well as you, hire.

Then you can either find ways to grow the business, work on parts of the business you enjoy, or spend more time on the sidelines.

  • Hiring starts by creating more work, not less. 

You pay an initial cost upfront to find someone and teach them. Then you reap the benefits, if you hired well.

  • You need to be able to afford it.

Stating the obvious, but the hire must fit your budget. If you can’t afford to hire for a role, see if you can break the job up into smaller/cheaper parts and try hiring for those. Keep in mind though that if the hire could free your time up, which could then be used to generate more net profit, then it's a smart move (even if it doesn't feel like you can "afford it" yet in the traditional sense).


Remember that even the best recruiters only have a 70% success rate.

I got this stat from Marc Andreessen. It’s important for setting expectations about your odds of success with a candidate & the necessity of firing.


  • Decide what makes sense
    - Do you need a full time hire or part time?
    - Part time contractors are a great way to get your feet wet and learn. But you’ll get better buy-in from someone working full time.
  • When reviewing candidates, look at past experience & behavior, best predictor of what to expect from them
    - You can’t motivate people who fundamentally aren’t. Look for people who are already motivated.
    - Look for people who have history of making themselves linchpins, builders
    - Past history of solving issues no one has, see issues no one is seeing
    - Out-of-the-box thinkers, willing to disrupt things
    - Shown entrepreneurial spirit with side hustles, projects, systems creation
  • Jeffree Bezos method: Look for people who have proven they are conventionally smart
    - Technical degrees or certs, ACT/SAT scores, rapid promotions
  • Prioritize candidates who fit your target demo
    - Someone who would buy your product/service
  • Know the role & the work
    - It’s much harder to evaluate someone if you don’t have a decent baseline knowledge of the area they’ll be working in.
    - E.g. Can’t tell if an accountant is any good if you know 0 about accounting.
    - Best scenario is you’ve done the work yourself, so you can easily tell if they’re doing a good job.
  • Have a process to plug them into
    - Generally speaking, do not expect a new hire to build a process from scratch.
    - Expect them to own & improve that process.
    - The documents you pass them to train them are the first interaction with quality of work standards. If you do a shitty job explaining their job to them, they’ll think it’s OK to do a shitty job.


  • Share framing, vision, empowerment & grading criteria immediately upon hire
    - Here’s a stripped down version of one of our onboarding docs to get you started.
  • Know what it means to be someone’s boss.
    - You are not responsible for achieving your employee’s goals, they are.
    - You are responsible for putting the right person in the role.
  • Be skeptical & critical
    - Take yellow & red flags very seriously at any stage of employment
    Write them down in a central place.
    - TELL THEM right away. It’s uncomfortable but waiting is worse for both of you. Develop this skill.
    - Watch for halo effect - liking someone doesn’t mean they’re doing a good job.
    - Proofing the work of your hire is great way to teach, concentrated learning for them.
  • Hiring for revenue generation? Continued employment is contingent on revenue performance.
    - If revenue declines, they should be let go.


  • If you don’t think it’s going well, trust your gut
    - Fire fast
    - Seriously, fire fast. The first fire is painful so everyone avoids it and lets the person stay way too long.
  • Backfill the position first, whenever possible
    - Continuity should be a top priority


  • Ask existing staff members for referrals
    - Smart people know smart people, more trust than a stranger
  • Use a headhunter agency & hire in a LCOL country
    - Whenever possible, we flex our 100% remote status
    - There are multiple agencies that require no money down to get started searching for you, they can thin the herd a lot.
  • Write a practical, no fluff job description
    - Should describe what they’ll actually be doing on a day-to-day basis, and the specific results they’ll be expected to deliver
    - Share the pay range. This saves you and them time.
  • Auto filter applicants to save time
    - Have people email you proof that they can do the job, past work samples 
    - Plant easter eggs or “gotchas” that will thin the herd of people who don’t even read the description
    - E.g. DM me on Instagram to be considered
  • Do reference calls
    - These are a must. Need to talk to past supervisors, not colleagues or friends.
    - Reference Call Template
    Note: some agencies will do reference calls on your behalf & share transcripts
  • Use skills tests
    - Ask the candidate do a portion of the job they will actually be doing.
    - Provides insights for multiple things: quality of work, communication, competence, follow through.
    - Everyone we hire must be an excellent self-manager, you can test for that before hiring.
    - Here’s how we did skills testing for a CX hire:
  1. Written assessment - linked in the job description, asked them to include their responses with their application. Not included? Not considered.
  2. Digital fluency assessment - if they do well on the written assessment and look good overall, they get this test. This test is paid at an hourly rate.
  3. If they do well on that test, then I share the SOP and we connect to chat, answer some tickets together, see how they do in a final live assessment.
  • Use HireFlix 
    - Async video interviews
    - We’ve used this in the past but use it less now in favor of skills tests.
    - We’re 100% remote and async heavy, so this interview style fit with our culture. We’d still do live interviews after, these were just for screeners.


Here’s a chart of what our process has looked like for the past few hires. 


The upshot of this approach is that by the time I’m making an offer, I’ve de-risked the whole thing as much as I think you possibly can because the candidate has proven that they can do the work, you’ve seen it with your own eyes and actually tried working with them. 

When I shared this with an agency we’re working with, they praised it as “the ideal approach” — I was pretty excited to hear that since this was coming from people who hire professionally and have a financial interest in seeing their candidates stay with us long term.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we’re still figuring the hiring game out. If you’re new to hiring or looking to up your game, hopefully this guide saves you time, money and headache. And if you have any tips or tools that have served you for hiring, I’d love to hear about them. Drop me a line! Jeff [at]

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