Wk27 (40.8k subs): My Entire Recruitment Playbook

steal what took me 1,000 interviews to learn

Wk27 (40.8k subs): My Entire Recruitment Playbook

The Comeback - Week 27 (40,800 Subs):

Read this online and subscribe: DavidtoGoliath.com

Listen to this week’s audio version here.

Follow me on LinkedIn for daily insights.

Please take 20 seconds to answer these 3 questions so we can make even better content that’s relevant to you!


Success in life and business is all about people.

The sooner you can learn to find and recruit talented people, the better.

Continuously trying to do everything myself, It took me way too long to realize this.

After conducting over 1,000 interviews and hiring countless people today I’m giving you my entire recruitment playbook you can plug and play.


  • Knowing when to hire people.

  • Knowing who to hire.

  • Knowing where to hire from.

  • Knowing how to hire with my 4-step process.

I may not have all the answers but I do believe this will offer you a helping hand in the right direction.

My Entire Recruitment Playbook

1- When to Hire

There are two indicators to analyze before hiring new team members:

The quantitive side (the metrics) and the qualitative side (feedback from your team).

First the qualitative triggers.

Quantitative Triggers

Capacity: How many more customers can you handle?

Forecasting: How many clients will you sign next 30/60/90 days?

Ramp-Up time: How long does it take to train a position in this position?

Pro Tip: Also take into consideration the amount of time it will take away from current team members to train the new ones.

Then the qualitative triggers, by speaking and getting feedback from your team.

Qualitative Triggers

Complaints: Are customers complaining about response times?

Team: Are they saying they’re overstretched?

Your Intuition: Are you never completing your projects on time?

Remember, qualitative triggers must be taken with a pinch of salt because often it’s a problem that can be solved with better systems or processes.

2- Who to hire

I always get asked: Who should I hire next Nigel?

Well unfortunately the answer is how long is a piece of string.

It depends on what company you’re running and what the current constraint is in your business that’s preventing it from growing.

But here are the functions of a business in order of impact - with the least impact first since it’s cheaper to hire for, and the highest impact last - the last thing you would hand off.

Admin tasks: Tasks that can be completed by following a rigid process.

For example: Clearing out an email inbox.

Client communication (text): Any client questions that can be handled over Slack messages or other text-based communication channels

For example: Telling a client when a project will be completed by.

Service delivery: Tasks that require some level of problem-solving that impact client results but aren’t the highest impact.

For example: Optimizing a website to increase conversion rate.

Client communication (calls): Communication that requires a team member to build rapport on a call and answer more in-depth questions.

For example: Explain why a campaign isn’t performing and how you’ll fix it.

Client Strategy: High-level planning for the other service delivery team members to follow.

For example: Putting together KPIs for the entire campaign for the next quarter.

Bookkeeping: Keeping track of the day-day numbers and ensuring financials are housed in the correct manner for cashflow and tax purposes.

For example: Getting the company statements ready for end-of-year review.

Sales: Getting on calls with potential customers and closing deals.

Marketing: Producing content or doing PR work that lets your service or product be known to more potential customers.

For example: Building a personal brand and writing posts that reach thousands of potential customers. 

Operations: Overseeing all activities that your company performs each day to grow and make more money.

For example: Ensuring people are efficiently resourced to deliver in line with KPIs set for clients.

Recruitment: Having the final say and who should be hired and how their role progresses in the company.

For example: Letting someone else do the applications/first round of interviews then jumping on the final interview and making the decision.

Leadership: The vision for the company and interaction between the other key managers of the organization.

For example: Putting together the year plan and setting quarterly KPIs the team must hit.

Capital Allocation: Deciding where the compani’s cash and/or investment is spent to stimulate growth whilst maintaining current performance.

For example: Deciding because of strong cashflow to invest into an expensive PR campaign to increase awareness in the market.

Please Note: Take this with a pinch of salt because these company functions intertwine and depending on what size your company is, there will be more rigidity or fluidity for certain team members to cover more than one function.

At the start, it will be all on you!

But if you hire people to cover the above company functions in that order I believe you’ll be ahead of most and should hopefully give a road map for your recruitment efforts.

3- Where to Hire

The world is now a global market place and you have the opportunity to hire anyone with a laptop and a WI-Fi connection which is incredible!

From my previous experience, these are the best countries to hire for certain roles and also the best places to find them:

Best Countries to Hire From:

For admin roles: Asia e.g. Philippines or Asia

For service delivery/product roles: Eastern Europe/South America/South Africa

For high-impact roles with more client facing: U.S./Western Europe/Canada


Again, there are great people in all countries and there are always anomalies. This is just what I’ve found on my journey thus far.


Where to Find Great People:

Referrals: By far the best source of recruitment but could be limited in volume.

Good people know good people from their experience and standards.

Pro Tip: Pay good people a referral fee for introducing you to great talent (when they sign on) because the amount you’d have to pay in cash/time will be much higher if you get it wrong.

LinkedIn: In my opinion (sure I have a bias!) the best platform by far is LinkedIn.

1 billion professionals on a business platform all looking to advance their careers - it’s perfect.

You can either:

  • Do an organic post

  • DM people with connections or InMails

  • Run a paid job ad

And let me just say: It’s absolutely fine to poach people from your competitions - as long as you have good intentions.

Here’s an example of a DM I might send to a potential candidate:

“Hey (firstName), as the CEO of (yourCompanyName) I’m on the lookout for a killer (insertJobTitle) and I was really impressed by your previous experience.

We’re a paid media agency that are growing extremely fast and judging by your profile I think this could be a great opportunity for you. It would be a very competitive salary with a ton of room for growth. If you’re interested let me know and I’ll send over the job description!”

I’ve included a personal touch being the CEO and also got them curious by the opportunity.

If they respond with no remember to always ask for a referral - ideally with an incentive!

4- How to Hire:

For extremely technical roles or leadership positions, you will most likely need a much longer recruitment process.

But for the vast majority of your hires, this simple 4-step process will work a treat.

Step 1: Job Application

Build an application in Google forms (or other similar software) and include the following questions:

  • Contact information

  • Previous job experience

  • Link to link Profile

  • CV attachment

Pro Tip: Ask them to record a 2 minute loom video introducing themselves, telling you why they’re a good fit and why they want to work for your company in this position.

This will quickly filter out poor candidates - so you save time before the next step.

Push to get at least 50 people to fill out the application form - ideally 100.

This is something I learned WAY too late and if you’re just hiring the first person you speak to there is a good chance they will be extremely average.

Filter out the bad people and move the remaining candidates onto step two of the process.

There isn’t a specific number of how many people you should filter out. If everyone is good (which won’t be the case) then you can always hire them for the same position further down the line. Another great reason to get more applications at the start.

Step 2: Task

Most people can tell you what you want to hear in an interview but in job roles where they need specific skillsets what’s more important is can they actually do the work.

A quick way to figure this out is set them a quick task.

For example: If you’re hiring a video editor - give them raw footage and ask them to edit it together whilst giving them a brief of what the outcome should look like.

Try to keep it open ended - the more opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their problem solving ability the better.

I’d recommend keeping the task short and even though some people do I personally would not compensate the candidates for the task, especially if you’re a bootstrapped start-up.

Once the tasks have been submitted, review and invite the successful candidates to the first interview.

Step 3: Interview 1 (15 mins)

You don’t want to spend too much time with candidates who aren’t a good fit - so the first interview is just for screening.

To check you have good chemistry, they have someone about them and you’re curious to learn more.

Here’s a list of some sample questions I’d ask:

  • How did you prepare for this interview?

  • Tell me what you know about (yourCompanyName)

  • Give me an example of when you solved (problem for that role) and exactly how you did it step by step

  • What makes you special?

  • What do you need to make per month to get by?

  • What do you want to make per month?

  • What questions do you have for me?

If they tick the boxes progress them to the second interview.

Step 4: Interview 2 (1 hour)

I personally prefer to focus on people’s character traits over their skills.

You’ve already got them to complete a task and provide youwith their job experience so you should have a good idea of their level.

This interview is about putting them on the spot and asking them those deep questions to figure out if they can really cut the mustard.

  • If you were me and hired you, what key KPIs should I judge you on for the 1 month trial and moving forward?

  • What do you think you should be doing day-day to exceed at (job role)?

  • Who was the best boss you ever worked under? And why?

  • What is your daily routine from start to finish?

  • What is your favourite movie and which character specifically do you see yourself as?

  • If I asked your best friend to describe you what would they tell me?

  • If I asked someone who doesn’t like you what would they say?

  • What are you weirdly obsessed about?

  • Teach me something

  • Why shouldn’t I hire you?

  • What questions do you have for me?

Once you have your final candidates put an offer forward and start the onboarding process.

To recap:

  1. Figure out when to hire in line with forecasting

  2. Figure out who to hire in order of impact

  3. Use referrals and LinkedIn to find applicants

  4. Conduct the 4-step hiring process and hire your candidate

Until next time.

-Nigel Thomas

If you enjoyed this Newsletter please share it with your friends and take 20 seconds to answer these 3 questions so we can make even better content that’s relevant to you!

And whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

#1: Not yet subscribed To David to Goliath? Subscribe Here so you don’t miss out on future emails!

#2: Prefer listening instead of reading? Listen to the Exclusive David to Goliath Podcast Here

#3: Follow me on LinkedIn. Everyday I post stories, frameworks and mindset tips on our charge to 100,000 subscribers