How to Hire Top Talent with Elon Musk’s Two Hands Test

5 April 2022
Sales Process Sales Managers Hiring

How to Hire Top Talent with Elon Musk’s Two Hands Test | Telephones for business

How to Hire Top Talent with Elon Musk’s Two Hands Test

Recruitment is time-consuming and uncertain. Even when you’ve whittled down the candidate pool to a manageable size, it’s difficult to tell if the person you recruit will really be a good fit for the role or if they’re just great at interviews. Even education levels, qualifications, and degrees don’t shed a whole lot of light on the essential abilities or knowledge needed to ensure you hire top talent.

A wrong hire is costly and the traditional recruitment process is unreliable. A third of all employees who quit their jobs do so within the first 90 days. When you consider that the voluntary turnover cost to American businesses was around $617 billion in 2018 and has only increased with time, hiring the best candidate becomes even more important.

Two animated people, the hiring manager and the interviewee, wave to each other

An Efficient and Effective Recruitment and Selection Process

Fortunately, there is a more effective recruitment and selection process. Elon Musk has been using it with his companies Tesla and SpaceX for years. It has nothing to do with college degrees and everything to do with experience and ability. It all comes down to the two hands: first-hand experience and hands-on testing.

First-hand experience is pretty self-explanatory. Candidates with real-life, first-hand experience related to the role they’re being hired for pass the first hurdle. Experience is also a teacher, and some would argue it’s often a better teacher than universities and colleges. Elon Musk appears to be in that camp. Initial sifting and sorting of applications should be done with an eye to key skills and experiences. Current AI-enabled sorting techniques often leave businesses with a less reliable pool of applicants to choose from.

Hands-on testing, the second “hand” for ensuring you hire top talent, takes a little more preparation and thought. However, it is an excellent way to find out more about candidates and their capabilities. Applicants can inflate their skills and provide the impression they know more than they do. Practical tests related to the role give recruiters an excellent gauge of candidates’ skills and aptitudes. Common hiring practices rely more heavily on question and answer methods and don’t always include practical testing. Harvard recommends testing first before the interview ever takes place.

Animated graphic of a person beginning an online test

Reviewing your recruitment and selection process and reconfiguring it so interviews with candidates come after the ‘two hands’ steps of the recruitment process can save time and ensure only the best candidates are considered for a role.

Implementing the Two-Hands Technique to Hire Top Talent

If you’re wondering how to hire the best candidate with Elon Musk’s technique, you’ll need to review your recruitment process first. When sifting and sorting through the job applications and CVs, hiring managers should be looking for examples of candidates’ experience related to the role. Those that have it get through, those that don’t get the ‘“Thanks but no thanks” letter from your business. Don’t pay too much attention to university degrees or qualifications, instead look into hobbies, experiences, and examples of skills related to the role you’re hiring for.

Candidates who survive the first sifting should be contacted with details of a relevant task they’ll need to complete before the interview. Setting a practical test before the interview saves the recruiting manager time and provides them with better information about the applicants so they’re more able to choose the best candidate. When it does get around to interviewing, consider using Elon Musk’s question to spot the applicants who are toying with the truth.

Creating a practical test is possibly the hardest part of this process. You need to make sure it aligns with the role you’re hiring for. Consider the key skills that are crucial to the role. Consider using real examples or anonymizing customer data to create scenarios and tasks that are realistic and relevant. Once you have the key skills and data, get creative and create a practical test. This could be a presentation, mini-project, or creating a strategy for the business.

Why the Two Hands Technique Identifies Talent Faster

Traditional approaches to hiring top talent are difficult to quantify fairly. Some people are simply better in interview situations than others and the majority of the time, that has next to no importance for the role you’re trying to fill. What’s more, that uniquely effective interview question your hiring manager swears by can be easily googled for the best answers.

The two hand technique puts aside presumptions about university degrees and other qualifications to get to the heart of what really matters; does the applicant have the skills, deep knowledge, and aptitudes needed to take on the role with confidence and competence? Ascertaining this gives you the confidence needed to spot and hire top talent.

Doing away with tired traditional selection and recruitment processes can also improve your employment brand. Talented people are eager to work for leading businesses. Leading businesses are built on highly skilled and talented employees. Switching your approach to recruitment can lead to a snowball effect for your business’ recruitment capabilities.

A woman interviews in front of a panel of c-suite leaders

Whether you’re on the lookout for customer service operatives who genuinely like people, sales managers that can lead your business into the future and level up your revenue, or an astute and detail-oriented administrator, the two hands technique can help you identify, quantify and hire top talent for your company. Degrees and qualifications aren’t always the best indicators of talent. Experience speaks volumes and is a teacher in itself. The two hands technique allows you to cut to the chase and hire top talent faster and with more confidence.