News > A Hire Power: How to find diamonds in The Talent Pool

A Hire Power: How to find diamonds in The Talent Pool

How to Find Diamonds in the Talent Pool?

Your guidance counselor probably drilled you well on the importance of first impressions, error-free resumes, and “where I see myself in 10 years.”

Whether you sit behind the desk or in front of it, today’s job market will convince you that hiring is about far more than pithy answers to canned questions and a “gut feeling” about someone.

Never underestimate the importance of hiring. Having the right people sets the tone for the entire corporate culture. At Dasher, we work hard to separate the diamonds in the rough from the glossy counterfeits.

There is no magic litmus test – only a fundamental rule: Look for those who reflect the values of your organization.

The perfect fit

Knowing your core company values is the first step in searching for a match. Do you value promptness, personality, self-direction, creativity, or something else?

When we hire people who are at the lower end of the wage scale and economically fragile, the interview process must be robust.  We do not operate on a “walk-ins welcome” basis, like a fast-food franchise.

Why? Because the downstream impact of a bad hire is dramatic and damaging.

The less turnover a business has, the stronger it will be at every juncture, so it is Job One to get it right from the first handshake.

We can’t find good teammates without a great deal of talking.  Talking uncovers both skills AND values, to make sure people fit like quarters in a banker’s coin-counter.

Talk, talk, talk

A successful interview process must be multi-step.  One nervous answer to a question is not a death knell for an applicant’s candidacy, nor can a smooth talker fool you when you spend enough time with them.

The Dasher engagement process begins with requesting candidates answer brief screening questions to submit along with resumes.  We pre-interview, then interview.  As part of the pre-screening, we search applicants on social media. Are they posting photos of wild parties, foul language and inflammatory political messages on Facebook?

Because we get so many resumes for jobs, our screening includes such questions as “Why are you interested in working for Dasher?” and “Why do you think you would fit in well here?”

When we get answers like, “I want this position because I need money and have bills to pay”– that’s not a fit.  We kindly communicate that message in a letter. It’s only good karma to be kind, without harshly criticizing or ignoring them.

When we like a resume, we conduct a telephone screen for every level job. We listen closely and have set questions in a script.  We recommend the Tom Foster book, Hiring Talent, for added insights into asking great interview questions.

Contrary to popular corporate custom, we do not ask hypothetical questions in our interviews. Instead, we ask about real-life experiences, on-site and face-to-face, such as:


  • “Tell me a time when you had an assignment and were stumped.” (Not “If you had an assignment that stumped you… We want real experiences, not made-up answers to manufactured scenarios.)


  • “Tell me about a time when you had too much to do.”


  • “Tell me about a time you made a mistake.” (If someone says, “I don’t make mistakes…” the caution light goes on. We are looking for accountability, one of our core values.)


  • Tell us about a time when you involved others.


  • Tell us about a recent change at work.


  • Talk about being given a task you didn’t know how to complete.


  • Tell me about a time when you helped someone (which shows both technical skills and values-alignment).


If we like that candidate, there is still another step.

Everyone at Dasher also takes a behavioral test. Depending on the level of the post, they may receive a cognitive test as well. If we think they are a good fit, we send an offer letter and then do a background check if they accept.

Prior to the first day of work, we prepare extensively for our new teammate’s arrival – so they feel like they are wanted and welcome.  On the first day of work, we provide a set program to integrate them into our culture.

Bottom line

Unlike some companies, we don’t require three or four candidates for each job opening before we decide to engage. We don’t need three or four.  We need the right one.

While the process is multi-step, we don’t let it drag on for long. Our process takes only seven days, from pre-screening on to hiring –or as I call it, “engaging.”

We must move swiftly in this highly competitive environment. Job-seekers don’t wait around.

Speed and accuracy are key.


Dasher is a data-driven, customer contact, services operation with a focus on communicating complex messages to diverse population. Specific capabilities include face-to-face communications provided by our field teams, customer engagement strategies provided by our call center and member engagement staff, and secure, complex variable mailing services provided by our production team. Dasher is an experienced minority woman disadvantaged business enterprise (MWDBE) with a bestselling book, “The Talent Pool” and is certified by AICPA with the SOC2SM Type2 data certification and validation.

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