The quick and easy Kanban guide to recruiting the right people

We’re presenting our favorite tips and tricks for hiring today. Why? Well, Kanban for WordPress started out as project management software, but many of our users have found it useful during the hiring process as well, helping them manage the tidal wave of applications. So we’ve picked up a few suggestions to make the process go a little more smoothly.

Hiring a new employee can be daunting, especially for small businesses. It seems like there’s so much to consider and put in place that many dread the experience.

That’s normal, but it doesn’t have to be the case. We’ve pulled together some quick tips that will help you make the right choices and streamline the whole hiring process.

Don’t list your email address.

This may seem like the quickest and easiest way, but trust me, you do not want your inbox flooded. Managing the applications will be a nightmare. Your inbox becomes unusable, real emails fall through the cracks, you can’t share applications with other people, and it looks unprofessional to applicants. There are plenty of other options here. You can set up a dedicated account, use a system like Workable, or customize Kanban with a form to accept applications.

Check their communication.

Got an applicant that looks good? Compare their application with the job posting, find something they didn’t address, and respond asking them about it. What’s the idea here? It’s not about poking holes in their application, it’s about evaluating how they communicate. How quickly do they reply? Do they reply during business hours or in the middle of the night? How do they address your question? Do they respond defensively or are they excited to learn new things? If you’re going to work together, you need to be able to understand each other, and these early exchanges will be a good measure of that.

Follow the 3 ‘Rules of 3’ for interviews.

This trio of tips makes sure that your interviews are rigorous, insightful, and unbiased. They are tried, tested, and as follows:

  • Interview at least 3 people,
  • interview the best candidate in 3 different places,
  • and get 3 opinions on them.

Why 3? Interviewing at least three people gets you a range of applicants—you might not know who you want until you meet them! Changing the scenery shows that they can handle different situations, and getting others involved tests how well they get on with a range of people. All business essentials of course!

Track them.

Having a plan for your own time during the hiring process is as important as keeping tabs on your applicants. Schedule time for interviews and make sure you can still fit your day-to-day work around them. Set aside dedicated time to review CVs and make sure to update the status of applications as you go, so everyone in the process knows when their input is needed. A Kanban calendar can help here, managing interview dates and storing both CVs and each person’s notes on them in one convenient location.

Surprise them.

Once you’ve got to the interview, it often pays to ask a few more unusual questions. You’re not looking to trip up or embarrass them, but you do want to see how well your candidate thinks on their feet. Corey, Kanban’s founder, was once asked “Which do you prefer: Star Wars or Star Trek?”” A few other suggestions:

  • What animal would you be?
  • Who was your hero growing up?
  • What’s your party trick?

Test them.

There’s nothing wrong with trying before you buy! Test drive your best applicants by having them perform a small bit of work. Ask for a writing sample, have them complete a code test, or write a sample proposal. Keep it short and sweet and use it not only to test their work but how they communicate!


Once you’ve followed those tips and have got the best applications in order, you should easily be able to spot the best performers. Go make them an offer, and good luck!