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The Pareto Talent System (Our Super Secret Hiring Process)

You’re getting consistent business growth with customers and clients queuing up to have your business. 

You know you’re going to scale big time except for one thing—you don’t have enough employees to help you deliver results.

In today’s day and age, most business owners find it hard to find people who are qualified for positions they’re trying to fill. Let alone finding peak performers.

How and where do you advertise the job?

And more importantly, how do you convince exceptional talent to work for you?

In this post, you’re going to discover Kasim’s super secret hiring process. 

So you can easily attract and hire the best remote talent in the world! 

Let’s dive in!

Want to attract and hire the best remote talent in the world?

Get our Hiring SOP: The Pareto Talent System.

The Pareto Talent System (Our Super Secret Hiring Process) YouTube | Solutions 8

Pay at least 10% more than the industry’s high water mark

I know what most people are thinking…”Why pay more if I can get away with a lower cost?”

Charlie Munger, the billionaire investor and vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, said in his 2007 commencement speech, “Deliver to the world what you would buy if you were on the other end.”

Put in a hiring context, you want to pay them what you want someone to pay you if you were doing the same job. And here’s why.

It’s difficult to find someone who would settle for less incentive yet still execute like a pro. And if you ever find that person, it won’t take too long before you lose them to other employers.

If you want to attract and hire the best talent in the world, you’ll have to go above and beyond what other companies can offer

See, top performers are those who’ll jump through an insane number of hoops to solve your problems. 

And if money is an issue, they’ll spend their time worrying about their income instead of finding more opportunities and growth for your business. 

Now, I’m not saying you hire people in Silicon Valley and pay them 10% more. Obviously, that might not be a practical solution and most people can’t afford it. 

The good news is you don’t have to stick to your local area. There are tons of people outside your city or country who can do just as well, if not better.

One of the best ways to find top performers is to hire remotely. We’re talking about people working from home (because that’s really what you want to target). 

Here’s what’s more interesting. Because of the cost of living based on where those talents are located, paying 10% more is not going to be a lot of money

In fact, we’re able to pay three times the “standard rates” in some of our roles because of that. 

Plus, people will actually accept less money if it means they get to work from home. Not only do they save money, they also get more freedom and autonomy. 

If you want this system to work, pay at least 10% more than the industry’s high water mark. I promise you, you’ll get even more in return.

Hire according to your values

Hiring Process Tip - hire according to your values

Whether you believe it or not, we attract what we are. 

So if you want to attract the right people, then those people should resonate with who and what you are—both on a personal and professional level. 

And there’s no better way to do that than to market yourself and your company through your job post

In most cases, your job post is the first (and sometimes only) impression people will have of you. Give them a sense of your personality, your company’s culture, and your values. 

Let them know what’s awesome about you, but don’t do it in an above-ivory tower manner. You’re only going to attract superficial people.

You probably know what I’m talking about. 

Those who care about status rather than progress. Those who are more concerned about what their title is going to be rather than what their responsibilities are. 

I’m not saying those are bad attributes to have. If that’s what motivates them, go for it. 

What I’m saying is that most peak performers look for the right environment and culture where people are valued and honored. 

People who are aligned with your values can outperform those who aren’t—even if they are more capable and experienced. 

And they’re more interested about how they can help you grow than how cool your logo is.

Solutions 8 company description

Peak performers want to work for the best. If your company is the best, show them. Get them excited to work for you. 

Show them what your values are, what’s important to you, and why it matters to them.  

Show them you’re collaborative and protective, and you’re going to help them grow. 

Remember, your staff is the most important asset in your business — you have to make sure that your company is a place where somebody would want to work.

Don’t hire for 50 roles

Hiring Process Tip - don't hire for 50 roles

There’s a common reason why successful athletes, artists, and entrepreneurs become the best at what they do. 

If you study them, you’ll notice that almost all of them are extremely good at one or a couple of things, but mediocre at a bunch of other stuff. 

Why am I saying this? 

Because for some reason, we built this story of the unicorn VA (virtual assistant) who can do everything—graphic design, video editing, copywriting, and paid ads (on top of managing calendars and setting appointments).

What’s more, we expect them to execute at the highest level. 

Here’s the truth—nobody can do that. Those people don’t exist. And if they do, they’re going to be extremely expensive and you’re not going to have them for a very long time.  

Have a specific job for the person you’re hiring. Don’t hire for 50 roles. 

Granted. There might be some other roles you want that person to fill in. For example, our graphic designer also does video editing. 

As long as the roles are closely aligned with each other and your needs are broad enough to where that works, it’s totally fine. 

The thing is, we don’t need hardcore video editing. So, that task isn’t too much for our graphic designer.

 But if we were to sell graphic design, we’d probably want one resource for graphic design and another one strictly for video editing. 

It allows us to be super productive without sacrificing quality work. It would also give our graphic designer the opportunity to grow—to become an expert. 

It’s win-win. 

If you want to attract peak performers, be clear on who your ideal candidate is and what they need to do. Don’t hire one person to do 50 roles.

Be upfront about your offer

If you’re familiar with how  effective marketing works, you know that before your prospects pull up their wallet and buy, they usually go through what we call “the customer journey” first.

They become aware of your product. You show them your offer. Then, you ask them to buy. Not the other way around. 

Without knowing who you are and what your offer is, it’s hard to make someone buy.

It’s the same with marketing through your job post. 

I see a lot of posts where the company includes the requirements for the job and the tasks involved but not the offer. 

They’re kind of saying, “This is what we need from you. These are all the things you should be good at. We expect you to perform. Can you do that? Then apply now.”

No wonder these jobs don’t get a lot of applicants, let alone great talent. 

To attract great talent, you need to craft an irresistible offer. Then, talk about what they need to do to get it.

A few things you might want to include in your offer:

  1. Compensation. Avoid salary ranges. Certain cultures aren’t comfortable with negotiation. Giving them a range might put them in a position of discomfort, which might work against your favor. Just post the exact amount and its appropriate currency.

  2. Benefits. Some people are more attracted to benefits than compensation. These could be things like training, personal and professional development, physical and mental wellness, bonuses and time offs. If you’re offering any of these, be sure to include them upfront.

  3. Growth opportunities and career pathways.  Though not necessary, showing them what growth looks like helps increase their desire to work for you. Talking about opportunities they can get is a powerful motivating factor that can influence their decision to work for you.

    For example, you might want to talk about what it will look like once they’re hired:

    What should they expect before, during, and after onboarding? 

    What are the things they’re going to learn?

    What career growth opportunities are available?

Being upfront about your offer sets your hiring process up for success.

Be clear about your needs and expectations

Hiring Process Tip - be clear about your needs and expectations

Working remotely is different from working in an office. You don’t get to see your employees in person every day.

And if you’re like us who hire talent from different parts of the world, everybody’s working in different time zones. 

That’s why it’s important to be open about your needs and expectations. What are all the reasons why somebody would or wouldn’t want to work at your company? Spell them out. 

Do you require them to have a high-speed internet connection and a back-up power source?

Do they need to be working in a specific time zone? Let them know. 

You don’t need to write all this in the job post. But make sure you clarify these things sometime before or during the interview. 

Before hiring, we always tell our applicants they’ll start on a 60-day trial period. This allows us to work with each other and really see if we’re the right fit. 

The last thing we want is to make someone walk away from a 10-year career to replace a job they’re not aligned with. 

If you aren’t clear about what you need and how you expect them to work, there’ll be a lot of misunderstanding and confusion. 

Talking about all things that could potentially go wrong eliminates that. Ultimately, this will help protect yourself, protect them, and save time.

Offer freedom and accountability

Hiring Process Tip - offer freedom and accountability

Earlier, I said that people love to work from home because it gives them more freedom. 

For example, work-from-home moms have the freedom to take care of their children or finish household chores without worrying about getting help from someone else. 

This helps them save time and money, and build better relationships with their family members. 

While it’s good to keep your employees happy, some employers find that giving freedom without any limits is counterproductive. 

After all, you never know whether they are working or watching Netflix

That’s why some employers require people to use a time-tracking application. 

These apps can track how many hours someone worked or even take screenshots of the user’s desktop at certain times.

But we don’t use it.

We know that people can watch Netflix or take a long lunch, and that’s totally fine. As long as they’re doing their job and providing results, it’s not a problem.

And that’s why we attract peak performers. We don’t put anyone in a position where they feel like they’re a cog on a wheel. 

We’re giving them autonomy and accountability for their actions, which always make them more fulfilled in working with us.

Provide specific instructions on how to apply

Hiring Process Tip - provide clear instructions

You’re going to receive tons of applications from people who didn’t even read your job post.

You can’t stop them from applying, but you can create a filter that separates the wheat from the chaff. (Think Captcha but for applicants😉)

All you have to do is ask them to do one simple step before they apply. That is, to use a specific title in the subject line of their application. 

We ask them to write “I actually read the instructions” in the subject line. I’ve seen job posts indicating “banana pancakes” or “I’m a rockstar.”  

The actual words don’t really matter. But following the instructions does.

Aside from the subject line title, they have to send a link to their resume in PDF format with this naming convention: [Lastname.Firstname.Position] 

Lastly, we ask them to answer two questions: 

  1. If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
  2. What does this quote mean to you personally? “Work is love made visible.” – Khalil Gibran

We designed these questions to check how much effort they’re willing to put in their application. And how serious they are.

It also gives us a sneak peek of their personality, creativity, and thinking patterns.

Now, here’s what’s really important. 

No matter how good their answers are, if they didn’t follow the previous instructions, they won’t be considered. Meaning, they’re automatically excluded from our list. 

That’s non-negotiable. And here’s why.

In a remote work environment, attention to detail is a prerequisite. 

Should you ask them the same questions in your job post? Definitely not. 

Your job post is unique to you and to your company. What matters to us might be irrelevant to you and the employees you’re looking to hire. 

Pick your own questions or quotes, something that you really resonate with. They will help you find out how they feel about the things that matter to you

Offer a paid test project

Hiring Process Tip - offer a paid test project

So, you’ve decided to pick a few applicants who look promising. But how do you gauge their skills or choose among the best applicants?

Not everyone is going to have their own portfolio. 

But even if they do, you may still want to test their skills. Give them a little project to complete—something they’re actually going to do on the job.

It not only puts skin in the game, it also increases trust and makes people take their job application seriously. 

Plus, you’ll get insights on how they work when a project is given, things like:

  • How fast they complete the project
  • How they prioritize their tasks
  • How much supervision they need
  • How well they manage expectations

💡 Pro tip: Don’t give them a due date. Let them decide. This allows you to see how long they take to finish a project. It also keeps some accountability right off the bat.

Since you’re working with somebody in a remote environment, you need to know if they can actually deliver what they promised. 

Knowing how they manage themselves and how they communicate with you (e.g. giving you updates) is a great way to find out if they’re the right fit. 

Depending on the project, you might pay them $20 – $100 (or more). Now, if you think that’s a lot of money for a paid project, think again. 

According to this statistics by TeamStage, employers lose $5,000 each time an employee walks out on the job. Meaning, if you hire the wrong person, you’ll lose more money in the long run.

By offering a paid test project, you’re saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars because it helps you make a sound hiring decision—at a fraction of the cost.

Set up an interview

Hiring Process Tip - set up an interview

Once they passed the initial steps (i.e. submitting the application, finishing the trial projects), we proceed to the interview. 

We usually ask applicants to choose a video conferencing tool and send us instructions on how to use it. It helps us know how well they manage client interactions and how quickly they can make decisions.

Someone who can’t decide which video conferencing tool to use will most likely become a very difficult employee to manage. 

If they lack the ability to make simple decisions or practice good judgment, they will probably become more of a burden than a support.

As Naval Ravikant, co-founder of AngelList, puts it:

Now, if you’ve already found the right person, you probably don’t need to do an interview. 

But doing face-to-face interviews makes things more real and human. It gives you an opportunity to connect with the person you’re about to hire. 

What should you ask or say in the interview? 

Here are a few guidelines that can help: 

  1. Introduce yourself and your company. Talk about yourself or your company, what it does, how this person can help your business and how this person fits your organization.

  2. Find out what they’re like (as a person and a professional)
  • What are their interests? 
  • What were they doing before applying at your company? 
  • What would they be doing 5 years from now?
  • Why did they join your company? 
  • Why is this position right for them?
  1. Give them feedback. 
  • What did you like about their trial project? 
  • What should they improve on (and how can you help them?)
  1. Set expectations. Reiterate your offer, needs, and expectations. This ensures all those lingering questions in their head get addressed so they can focus on doing their job on their first day.

Post the job where your ideal candidates are

We’ve talked about a lot of things but we haven’t touched on where to look for talents yet. 

Interestingly, knowing where to post the job is as important (if not more) as the post itself. 

As stereotypical as this sounds, there are certain countries where you can find better talent. For example, in some countries you can find amazing developers but not creatives. 

I’m not saying you won’t find excellent client managers in India or Google Ads assassins in Canada. Like I said earlier, great talent is everywhere! 

For example, based on our experience, there are tons of Google Ads experts in India. Could we have looked somewhere else? Absolutely. 

But since we’ve already found people in India, we didn’t need to.

Narrow down your hiring based on what it is that you’re looking for. You’re going to see common denominators behind where some of the successful talents are.

(If you want to find the best job boards you can post in to hire great talent, download our Pareto Talent System below.)

Develop a system for hiring

Hiring Process Tip - develop a system for hiring

Don’t filter the application yourself. It’s going to be tedious and time consuming. If possible, get someone else to filter them for you. 

Develop a system for hiring. This is extremely important especially if you’re hiring at scale. 

Realize that hiring is not exactly a revenue-generating activity. 

Spending 80% of your time writing emails, browsing through hundreds of applicants, and responding to each one can be counterproductive. 

That’s exactly why we created The Pareto Talent System. It’s the system that our founder and CEO Kasim Aslam uses to attract, filter, and hire remote talent anywhere in the world! 

With the Pareto Talent System, you’ll get:

  • A list of the best practices in hiring remotely
  • A short list of job boards where you can find talent
  • Our hiring process 
  • The Perfect Remote Job Description
  • A sample email response template 

Hiring employees can sometimes feel daunting, especially if you don’t have a system to follow. Fortunately, you don’t need to look elsewhere. 

By following the Pareto Talent System, you’ll be able to find and attract only the best talent for your business.

Want to attract and hire the best remote talent in the world?

Get our Hiring SOP: The Pareto Talent System.

Author

Bryan is the marketing manager at Solutions 8, and has been on digital marketing since 2018. When he’s not working, you’ll find him working out at a local gym, reading personal development books, or playing music at home. He feels weird writing about himself in third person.

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