Rather than try to compare everyone, and by the end you've already forgotten what your first candidate looks like and acts like, we take one hour and have eight people in the same room together. It started as a way to save time, but the big benefit was we got to stack people up against each other. We don't look so much at their answers, but at their communication style, how they interact, how they think on their feet, how they problem-solve, their energy level, enthusiasm, knowledge.
For things like sales or the leadership team, we'll turn to everyone in the group and say, "I'd like to find out who, other than yourself, is the best candidate in this room." For a sales position you want to know someone's not scared to speak up.
If shyness doesn't matter in a role, we don't pay any attention to it. In financial or accounting, we're expecting that group's gonna be a little more introverted. There, we'll get people to write down the two candidates they would select and why.
There's a wisdom-of-crowds mentality. If eight people are saying "I think you should hire Linda," and we don't think Linda's the right candidate, they might point out something we haven't seen.
We might do another group interview and find two more candidates, then put the five together. By the third interview, it's a one-on-one or two-on-one. Last we measured, turnover was 1.4 percent for the 180 people in the head office.