Bill Huseby web


SIGMADESIGN has been experiencing explosive growth since about 2009. Folks have asked me, “How do you do it Bill?”  Simple. Our philosophy is to “Grow by hiring, developing and recognizing the best.” The rest will take care of itself – with a large dose of hard work of course.

Getting the right people on board is crucial. Getting them on board quickly is critical in a fast paced environment like ours. Since 1997 when I joined John, I have always believed in hiring top notch people. Finding the right people and exercising an efficient hiring process is crucial to the success of a growing company.

At SIGMADESIGN, we have put a lot of energy into developing and refining the hiring process to ensure we hire the best as quickly as possible without crippling the organization.

At SIGMADESIGN, we use a 4 step hiring process:

1 Recruiting

SIGMADESIGN hires using referrals with great success. With our current employee count at 255, we have a broad network that is ever-expanding. According to a survey put out by The Adler Group, 85% of all jobs are filled via networking. At SIGMADESIGN, we provide incentives to employees for referring candidates that end up being hired. For Quarter 2 2017, SIGMADESIGN hired 46% of new employees from referrals. A well-written job description will also help to attract the right candidates to apply for a specific position. We use interdisciplinary teams to ensure that job descriptions are comprehensive and exact for the specific position.

2 Qualifying phase

A proficient qualifying phase can reduce hiring time (and a whole lot of organizational energy). At SIGMADESIGN, we use a combination of assessments that help evaluate various technical capabilities and experience as well as a candidate’s skills and aptitudes, problem solving abilities and clues about their personality.

We complement the assessment screens with two levels of phone conversations. The “initial phone screens” are conducted by our recruiters to ascertain information about the candidate’s overall communication skills, sense of humor, ability to listen, attitude and professionalism. Once the recruiter gives them a “green light,” depending on the position, there may be a “technical phone screen” as well. This is performed by someone very familiar with the tasks and duties of the position. When the candidate is local, this screen is best done as a 1-on-1 in-office interview. The phone interview process is a quick, low-cost alternative to conducting first-round, in-person interviews and provides needed insights prior to moving forward with a candidate.

3 Efficient screening process

Once the qualifying phase is complete, we move very quickly through the next phase of interviewing. We invite the candidate to the office. The in-office interview is comprised of four different interviewers spending about 30 minutes each with the candidate to gauge various attributes. Each person is given a specific area to assess: Curiosity and Confidence, Technical Capability, Job Fit, and Core Values.

Including the screeners, six different SIGMADESIGN employees interact with or interview the same candidate. This provides us with six unique perspectives which helps to objectively assess a candidate’s fit to not only the job but our company.

4 Decision-making procedures

The decision-making process should be fast and simple if the previous steps have been completed carefully. At SIGMADESIGN, we hold a decision meeting directly after the final interviews are completed. In this meeting, everyone who has interacted with the candidate throughout the process meets to discuss the candidate.

Team members discuss candidate at a hiring decision meeting

They each give feedback regarding the candidate and discussion is encouraged. A poll is taken at the conclusion where everyone, on the count of three, gives their opinion: a “thumbs up or thumbs down.” The hiring manager uses the results of the poll to make the final decision. Once a hiring decision is made an offer is extended within hours.

I cannot emphasis enough how important the hiring process is. Making a bad hiring decision can cripple an organization. No hiring process is perfect, but being quick and thorough can give an organization a competitive advantage. And always remember, it is all about the people.