Wildflower Bread Company recruits what it calls "Breadheads." The 12-unit chain runs its own manufacturing plant where it takes three days to make each loaf of bread. Founder and owner Louis Basile says they only hire A+ or “A+ potential” recruits. Basile is a former VP of operations and, later, VP of international and domestic franchise development and VP of research and development at Au Bon Pain. Basile says he has been able to ensure hiring great talent with Wildflower’s “five core truths of hiring”:
1. A "maybe" is a "no."
“If you’re talking yourself into hiring someone, you shouldn’t hire him. It’s incredibly simple and incredibly powerful.”
2. Trust the tuning fork.
As you interview people you might get stuck on something they say, maybe it’s a positive or a negative, that unnecessarily colors your impression of the person. “You need to bring yourself back to center, to be objective.”
3. Hire A+ or A+ potential.
They need to be great or capable of learning how to be great.
4. Never answer a question until all your questions are answered.
If an interviewee tries to ask questions of their own before you’re done asking your own, tell them there will be time at the end for their questions. “You don’t want to give them answers to questions you’ll ask later.”
5. Ask the real question you’re thinking about.
“If you don’t like an answer they’ve given say, ‘That didn’t answer my question,’ or ‘That answer doesn’t seem to fit with our values, can you reconcile your answer with our values?’ It’s uncomfortable at first, but it leads to a more robust interview.