Rick Girard | Learning To Hire Better With Lessons From the Worlds of Beverly Hills, Used Car Sales, and Silicon Valley
Smart Business Revolution

Rick Girard is the Founder and CEO of Intertru, a platform that helps entrepreneurs and startup founders eliminate bad interviews by building a value-driven interview process that produces concrete evidence to support every hiring decision. He is also the Creator of HireOS, a hiring operating system, and the Founder and CEO of Stride Search, an engaged search firm.

Rick has over 20 years of experience in the hiring and recruiting industry. He is the author of Healing Career Wounds: Your Start-up’s Secret Weapon to Attract, Hire, and Retain Ridiculously Successful People, and the host of Hire Power Radio.

In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran is joined by Rick Girard, the Founder and CEO of Intertru, to talk about value-based hiring. They discuss strategies for recruiting top performers, how to integrate core values in the hiring process, and how Rick’s AI-powered hiring platform works. Stay tuned.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Rick Girard’s entrepreneurial background and how the idea for Intertru came about 
  • Why and how to integrate core values in the hiring process
  • Rick talks about his book, tips for hiring top performers, and how he got Gino Wickman to write his book’s foreword
  • The entrepreneurial lessons Rick learned from his father
  • Rick’s AI-powered hiring platform
  • The difference between hiring based on core values versus skills
  • The people who have had a major impact on Rick’s career

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Sponsor: Rise25

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Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:14

Welcome to the revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.

John Corcoran 0:40

All right, welcome, everyone. John Corcoran here. I’m the host of this show. And for those of you who are new, go check out our archives. We’ve got all kinds of great interviews with CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs. Particularly recently, we’ve had some great ones we’ve had Quicken, we’ve had GrubHub, we’ve had Redfin, in the past, we’ve had Netflix, Kinkos’, YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard, LendingTree, and I’m personally, also the Co-founder of Rise25, where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. My guest here today, Rick Girard, helps entrepreneurs and startup founders to eliminate bad interviewing by building a value-driven interview process that produces concrete evidence to support each and every hiring decision. What does that mean? It helps you to hire better people with a better process. He’s also got a new, interesting software-based startup that implements some of these principles, which sounds really powerful. I’m excited to see where it goes. He’s also the Founder and CEO of Stride Search, which is an engaged search firm and has 20-plus years of experience with hiring and recruiting. So I’m excited to talk to him here. He also is the author of the book Healing Career Wounds. And he’s also the host of the Hire Power Radio show and podcast, which you can check out as well. 

And of course, this episode is brought to you by Rise25, where we help b2b businesses to get clients, referrals, and strategic partnerships with done-for-you podcasts and content marketing. And if you want to learn more about how to do it, start a podcast like Rick and I both do big fans, go to rise25.com. Lots of resources up there for you to check out. Alright, Rick. So let’s start at the beginning. I asked you, this is hilarious. You must be a real open book, because I’ve interviewed so many entrepreneurs and ask them about, you know, what were you like, as a kid? Did you, you know, have a lemonade stand or something like that? And I swear to God, about 50% of them say, Well, you know, yeah, I did. Then I also sold weed in high school, but I don’t want to talk about that. And you said, well, one point I sold weed, and I was like, Can I talk to you about that? And he was like, and you’re like, yeah, it’s legal now?

Rick Girard 2:42

Yeah, why not? I mean it for a short stint. I had a crazy end who like apparently had really good weed. I didn’t even smoke weed at the time, really. But all my friends wanted to buy it. And so I was like, there’s a money making opportunity here. So why not?

John Corcoran 2:58

I didn’t expect that it was gonna come from a family member. So you had an aunt that was your

Rick Girard 3:03

dealer? Wow. No, no, she wasn’t really that’s the thing. She was like a dealer or anything. She just grew like her backyard. Yeah. I don’t know where she grew up. I don’t know. Like, I just, she just had crazy good weed back in the day.

John Corcoran 3:17

Yeah. On her 400 acres in Sonoma County?

Rick Girard 3:21

I don’t know. Allegedly.

John Corcoran 3:25

Did you learn any entrepreneurial lessons from selling weed?

Rick Girard 3:29

I mean, you know, I think I learned a lot of entrepreneurial lessons. I mean, like, supply and demand is the first thing I mean, you know, I don’t have very much. And by the way, like, it was funny, because I would sell it in like, I get other people to sell it for me because I wasn’t really comfortable taking the risk. So for me, it was kind of like, well, okay, I’ll buy it. And then I’ll sell it to you. And you can you can disperse it, like, you know, but and or like what I was doing was just hooking them up and then like taking my piece off it my cut. So like I was kind of, you know, and and you said

John Corcoran 4:04

you actually were inspired by Tom Sawyer, who? Famously Keller who was Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn famously got someone else. I forget who it was. It was a fence for them. Right? Yeah.

Rick Girard 4:16

Yeah. So kids do and they paid him to do it, too. Right.

John Corcoran 4:19

Right. So it sounds like Mark Twain, you know, icon of American literature was your inspiration for how you sold weed.

Rick Girard 4:28

I mean, honestly, I didn’t realize it at the time. But thinking back then I probably

John Corcoran 4:32

Yeah, that’s great. So tell me a little bit about this, where the AHA came from, for this idea that we don’t hire well enough. And we don’t integrate our core values. So companies have core values. And, you know, famously, so many hires don’t work out. We don’t hire the right types of people that don’t, you know, embrace our core values. And for you, it was actually there was an interview Were one of your clients spent 45 minutes talking with an applicant about baseball. Sounds like didn’t do a great job of asking any other questions, and then wanted to hire that

Rick Girard 5:09

person. Yeah, that was one of my aha moments that really made me realize that this is a problem that needs to be fixed that nobody’s tackling me the answer has always been more people in the funnel, and hopefully somebody comes out the bottom. But I mean, you got to ask yourself, what’s coming out of the bottom of that? It’s not the top performers. And as a recruiter, it always comes back at me when a bad hires made, and I just got tired of that. So you know, I did have a candidate, it was like a VP level position of all things, talking to the CEO of the company, and I said, Hey, look at tell me about the interview. How did it go? And just, oh, wait, great. We talked about 45 minutes about the Oakland A’s. His favorite player is my favorite player. And it was fantastic. And I’m like, Whoa, hold on. Let me back up here. Did you talk anything about the roll? Yeah, yeah, we talked a little bit, most of the conversation was about baseball. And I just, I was dumbfounded. I did not know what to do. I’m like, You know what, this is the problem that needs to be solved. And then I realized that, like, we’ve never been trained how to interview people. I mean, we basically, if you’re new, you just google how to interview and like, people bring up these basic questions that really don’t give you any light in who the person is. They’re just kind of generic, like speed dating questions in a way. And so fast forward. You know, you mentioned core values of companies, everybody’s got them, well, like a lot of people don’t have them. And the ones that do a lot of the core values tend to be aspirational. They’re not really how the company operates. And so it

John Corcoran 6:47

sounds like it’s not as though first of all, a lot of these companies you’re working with don’t have core values. So that’s, it’s hard to do an interview based on core values you don’t own to your core values are. And even if you do, if they’re aspirational, it’s not like you can just say like, you know, amazing client service, go answer how you’re gonna provide amazing client service, it doesn’t sound like that would be the best question to ask in an interview.

Rick Girard 7:08

Yeah, I mean, we can’t ask direct questions around like, that are aimed at what you’re trying to get, you kind of have to ask roundabout questions. But but but yeah, you know, again, if you don’t have core values, honestly, like somebody said, core values that are not inaction, are hallucinations. Right. So I heard that the other day from, I don’t know where I got it. Sounds accurate. Yeah, so whoever said a great credit, but it’s true. But it’s, it’s like, it’s one of those things is really so important, because you’re giving people a decision making tool, you’re enabling your people to make the correct decisions within your organization. So they hire the right people. So they make the right choices in regards to customers and everything else. What I found is that a lot of times the core values are just not deep enough, or they’re not specific enough. You know, there should be kind of like, like, we have one, it’s you first, right? And so it’s about understanding you as a human first before me, you know, and we have kind of a saying that, you know, prescription before diagnosis is malpractice. Right? So it’s really about, and we’ve got kind of like a paragraph about what that means and how you’re evaluated. Now, when we come into a meeting, and we’re talking about making decisions on things, people in our organization are questioning, is this era? Are we really looking at them first? Is it about them first? Or is it about us first. And so it does help shape the way in which decisions are made, and how we’re going to be successful as a company because we’re adhering to our values. So

John Corcoran 8:53

give me an example. So you know, a company has a particular core value, how do they use that in an interview in a way that extracts a meaningful answer that gives them a you know, some concrete knowledge that helps them decide whether this person is going to fit within their organization?

Rick Girard 9:10

Yeah, totally. I learned this from I interviewed at Amazon years ago, I had a friend who was trying to get me to come to work there and head up some recruiting for him and and they brought me in and you know, behavioral interviewing questions are by far the most accurate way to extract data that’s going to support whether or not somebody should be hired

John Corcoran 9:33

two questions around like, here’s a circumstance what

Rick Girard 9:36

No, those are, those are situational, okay? Those situational can be fudged in light, you know, people can be intuitive and go, Oh, I probably handle the situation this way. Right. Yes, walk me through a time in which you had to deal with this issue. Okay. And what ends up happening is now you’re going into the weeds of how somebody operates. This is fun. far more important than, you know, how would you handle a situation like this? Because again, somebody can kind of read your cues, and they can lie, and they can totally work their way through it. But what they can’t fake is exactly the work that they’ve done and how they did it. And what I found is that eight players, like people who are really strong performers can tell you step by step exactly how they do things. You know, I’ve, so first I saw this problem over here. And then I brought in X, Y, and Z, and we were able to tackle that problem. But then another problem rose up, and we were able to like, did it, and they’ll walk you through how they actually solved that problem, and created value for the company. That doesn’t happen with with really any other type of interview. And that’s the most valuable content, you can make decisions on, when you walk out of an interview, you should be able to say, thumbs up or thumbs down, that, you know, based on that interview, every person should be able to do that. If you can’t do that, you’re asking the wrong questions. You know, too many times I’ve been sitting in debriefs really go I don’t know. I mean, I kind of liked the person’s vibe, they have great skills, let’s just give them a shot. You’re better off just walking into the interview flipping a coin and going head, you’re hired tails, you’re not.

John Corcoran 11:23

Right, so So let me ask. So if you have a company that has a core value of, you know, constant learning, I’ll use one of our core values. So one of our core values is how to continue learning. Yeah. So then, is what you advise that each interview question for each of those core values should be a behavioral question around that. So tell me about a time when you didn’t know how to do something within your last role. And you had to learn how to do it. Like, that’d be a good example.