While all potential outs, I have a much better option:
Implement the 20 minute Phone Screen.


There are 3 keys :
1. Consistency
2. Timing
3. Execution


In my last post, we discussed the use of the Career History Form instead of the typical resume. It levels the playing field and doesn’t turn interviewing into a resume writing contest. As I shared, many people will self-select out of the process due to the transparency required on the Career History Form.  The harder it is to get in, the more people want in. For those that actually make it through this first crucial step, the second is the timing of the phone screen.


The phone screen should always be done after the Career History Form and before any face to face interview. Why? Because time is your most precious asset. Why burn any unnecessary cycles on B or C candidates. A 20 minute phone screen up front saves you wasting an hour with candidates face to face. Our client work shows us that 62% of candidates are knocked out during the phone screen. Assume you have 8-10 candidates that make it past the Career History Form.  That is 4-5 hours in a week that you just got back to do something else. Multiply this by your hourly rate; that is real value for you and your organization


 The key is when you get on the phone with the candidate, explain that you want to “ask them a few questions specific to their role; the output will be a determination if they get to the next step.” This is not the time for the candidate to ask you questions. The key is to say a few vs. 11 questions. This way, if they bomb the first 3, you are not left wasting your time and theirs going through the motions. If they do well, you continue. Candidates will always spend more time than originally planned. The alternative: it is so much easier to end an interview via the phone than in person.


The phone screen has 11 questions. You want ‘A’ player answers to these questions. If you are unsure what an ‘A’ player answer is, interview your current ‘A’ players; they will show you. Until you have a very skilled HR team, the phone screen should be conducted by the hiring manager.


Having the right team on the street is 50% of the battle. Sales performance is equal parts talent and equal parts performance conditions. By executing the phone screen consistently at the right time with the right format, you will significantly improve your ‘A’ player hiring batting average and reduce the amount of time you spend with B’s and C’s.


Matt Sharrers

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by embracing emerging best practices to grow revenue faster than the industry and competitors. 

Matt Sharrers is the CEO of SBI, a management consulting firm specialized in sales and marketing that is dedicated to helping you Make Your Number. Forbes recognizes SBI as one of The Best Management Consulting Firms in 2017.


Over the course of nearly a decade at SBI, Matt Sharrers was an instrumental early partner guiding SBI as the Senior Partner. Matt’s functional responsibilities included acting as the head of sales where he led SBI’s double-digit revenue growth, and was responsible for the hiring function to build SBI’s team of revenue generation experts.


Prior to joining SBI in 2009, Matt spent eleven years leading sales and marketing teams as a Vice President of Sales. Matt has “lived in the field.” As a result, he is the foremost expert in the art of separating fact from fiction as it relates to revenue growth best practices. CEOs and Private equity investors turn to Matt’s team at SBI when they need to unlock trapped growth inside of their companies.



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