In addition to the hiring criteria, it is important that every person hired should have at least one Strong Yes Champion (ideally more than one).
A Strong Yes Champion is an interviewer who believes so strongly in a candidate that they’re willing to say that they are a “must hire.” This is someone who will fight aggressively against passing on the individual and believes that it is a “huge mistake not to hire this person.”
The champion must see something extraordinary in the candidate. A special “sparkle”. This means there’s something that makes them believe this person will not only be a strong contributor, but level up the team around them and bring 10X ideas to the fold.
Note that this doesn’t mean:
- They’re “perfect” – it could be someone who has mixed scores, but for some reason the interviewer sees something special.
- They’re charismatic – this is a common pitfall. Someone purely being very social doesn’t mean that they’re a Strong Yes Champion hire.
- They fit in – this is another common pitfall. Someone who fits in with your team or culture isn’t adding anything. In fact, creating a mono culture is generally a bad thing.
This is important because it adds weight to the hiring decision for your team, and forces you to commit 100% to every person you extend an offer to.
If there are no Strong Yes Champions in the interview panel - even if everyone is a yes vote - then you should pass.