7-Step Process To Finding And Hiring A-Level Talent

Great people are the key to building an amazing business and culture.

Great people are also the hottest commodity in a competitive marketplace and finding them can be a draining process.

Ever put an ad out on Indeed or Linkedin only to get inundated with hundreds of resumes?

Who has time to look through all of those? Much less look through them without pulling your hair out? Then you have to weed through the list of people applying for a sales job whose only sales experience is working behind the counter at a fast-food restaurant.

Yeah, not helpful…

I set out to make a substantial difference in our hiring process and in return, hopefully, retain and attract A players to be part of our crash long term.

See that’s another thing, I ONLY hire A-level talent to work for me.

I’m looking for passionate individuals who take initiative, solve problems, and value teamwork.

I’m looking for people who never settle for mediocrity, who work to be 1% every day and who challenge the status quo.

You may be thinking, “Ok Dave, you are looking to only hire Unicorns. Good luck finding them.”

Damn straight I want to hire Unicorns, I want needle movers. I want to hear about a problem, at the same time be told they have already come up with a solution.

So I set out and found a way to only hire Unicorns.

Below is my 7-step process to finding and hiring A-Level talent.

Before I implemented this process finding these Unicorns was harder than finding that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Until I changed the way I looked at what I was actually trying to accomplish.

See the old way of hiring was putting out an ad or contacting a recruiter having to look at hundreds of Resumes then bringing people into the office, interviewing, wasting time, bringing them back for second interviews, and wasting more time. All this only to accomplish absolutely nothing except throwing something at the wall (the new hire) and seeing what sticks.

I couldn’t handle it anymore so here’s what I did…

I broke our hiring process into 7 distinct steps NEVER having to look at a Resume if I didn’t want to.


Step 1

The ad. 

The ad is the first critical step in this process. Here is an example of my ad:


Reputation Rhino is looking for an Assistant Project Manager to join our Crash!

**Please Read This ENTIRE post for instructions on how to apply**

We are looking for a candidate who loves customer support, has experience in the field, and is willing to help with multiple tasks within our company.

The majority of your work will be replying to online reviews on behalf of our clients. The review replies should be well thought out, written with attention to detail, and align with the tone of our clients. You will also be asked to help with daily and monthly basic online tasks to help our team when time is available.

Someone who can stay ahead of deadlines, be aware of and responsive to industry trends, seek new and creative ways to solve problems, demonstrate attention to detail, bring creativity, and a positive “I can do it!” attitude.


  • No babysitter required. You are a “go getter” that gets the job done.
  • Empathy is your middle name. You have an uncanny ability to relate to people’s emotions and know just how to de-escalate a tense situation.
  • You’ve never met a problem that couldn’t be solved.
  • You’re ready for anything that comes your way. You’re comfortable with a little chaos and are always up for the challenge.
  • You get it right, down to the last detail. You believe the difference between mediocrity and excellence is attention to detail.
  • You are a learning animal. You’re always ready to devour resources to learn about new ways of doing things. There’s always a better way.
  • Helping people energizes you. You know that everyone has trouble sometimes, and seek to inject quality and care into every interaction.
  • You’ve mastered the art of communication. You can gracefully break down, solve, and explain, even the most complex problems.


Sound like you? Keep Reading!


Reputation Rhino is an industry-leading Online Reputation Management company.

We live by the credo of F.I.T.P.C. – which stands for or Fun, Integrity, Teamwork, Positivity and Customer Service.

We work hard, play hard, take initiative, and are passionate about our teammates and customers! We believe in celebrating our successes, owning our failures, and learning from both.

Our team is made up of A players who take initiative, solve problems and get stuff done. You will be empowered to make decisions and mistakes. You will get high 5s when they go right and we will work with you when they go wrong.

We have helped thousands of individuals and businesses with their online reputation over the years including some of the largest brands in the world. We advise high-profile individuals including Hollywood celebrities, members of Congress and C-suite executives and entrepreneurs.

We’ve been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Time, Forbes, Fox Business, Huffington Post, U.S. News, International Business Times and more.

Reputation Rhino is led by an extraordinary team of experienced legal, marketing, technology and public relations experts who use our award-winning strategies to remove or suppress negative search results and help you look your very best online.

So if you are a self-motivated, smart, creative go-getter who is also multi-talented, colorful, team-oriented and can get behind our F.I.T.P.C credo plus you meet the criteria below; we’d like to speak with you!

Roles and Responsibilities:

Our expectation is that you will take the necessary steps to do what you say you’re going to do and hold yourself accountable for your actions. We understand that not every person is ready for this performance and we appreciate the honesty of those who decide this is not the right place for them.

On the other hand, you’d make an ideal candidate to join this company if you’re willing to commit to following above-the-line principles.

  • Accountability – see it, own it, solve it, do it
  • Respect for others
  • Act now
  • Ask questions
  • Personal ownership and pride
  • Never settle for mediocre
  • Show others you care

Below is a list of daily responsibilities you would be expected to perform.


  • Use our platform to reply to all reviews daily.
  • Keep administrators up to date on the success of the clients’ review management campaign
  • Delight customers and vendors with amazing review replies as often and creatively as possible
  • Support the team by coming up with innovative solutions to problems, sharing ideas, reporting trends and challenging yourself and the people around you to improve every single day.
  • Compiling monthly reports with insights and valuable information to WOW the client
  • Publish press releases on behalf of our clients using one of several of our press release distribution platforms
  • Set up, install, and verify google analytics accounts on newly developed websites for clients
  • Set up, install, and verify google search console on newly developed websites for clients
  • Be a SWISS ARMY KNIFE! Help us with daily and monthly tasks when needed. Whether it is learning something new, or leveraging your skills, help us get things done.
  • Posting blogs on WordPress
  • Develop and schedule content for client social media accounts.



  • 2 years experience in customer service
  • Strong grammar and communication skills
  • Strong and reliable internet connection
  • Positive problem-solving Attitude – Enjoy coming to work, helping and working with team members, meeting deadlines, and always finding ways to look at the bright side of things
  • Strong work ethic and business acumen
  • Experience with or ability to quickly learn project management software, such as Slack, Wrike, etc.
  • Ability to manage many projects with various deadlines and meet those deadlines.
  • Maintain a strict level of client confidentiality.
  • Ability to work independently and collaborate effectively with others.
  • Experience working in a fast-paced, results-oriented environment.
  • Creativity
  • Ability to quickly understand the client’s online goals and develop a strategy to create high value content that meets high standards.
  • Ability to manage and regularly surpass client expectations.
  • Organizational Ability – Demonstrates a systematic approach in carrying out assignments
  • Intellectual Ability – Accurately and consistently follows instructions, both verbal and written.
  • Computer Skills – Comfortably and confidently uses a computer, the internet and specialized software (Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, etc.)
  • Team Player – like really a team player!


Not Required but a PLUS

  • Experience in online reputation management and
  • Experience in Remote / Work from home environment
  • Basic understanding of Google Analytics
  • Basic understanding of Google Search Console
  • General knowledge of WordPress



We can offer you: 

  • Meaningful work.
  • Remote / Work from home position
  • Competitive pay with opportunities for advancement.
  • A fun, come-as-you-are environment. Our team never stops pushing you to be the best that you can be and still makes time to have some fun.
  • Flexible scheduling. We can work around your schedule, whether you’re going to school, being a parent, or just living life to the fullest.
  • Full benefits, including optional Health, Dental & Vision Insurance. Flexible Spending Account and Paid Time Off
  • To be part of an awesome team with an amazing culture


If you think you have what it takes to join our crash, please follow the instructions below:


Step 1 – visit www.Joinourcrash.com and apply there


**NOTE Do not just apply here or just send over a resume**.

All applicants who want to be considered need to go to www.joinourcrash.com.and complete the steps there. No phone calls, please.

Thanks for your time – we really look forward to meeting you!

If you don’t complete the steps above, your application and resume will be discarded.

Reputation Rhino is an Equal Employment Opportunity Company. We do not discriminate based on age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or veteran status.


Three Things To Notice

  1. The ad goes deep into the type of person we are looking for and even asks them to self-identify early on. Sound like you? Keep Reading
  2. We also go deep into About Us, our company, and our culture. CULTURE IS KEY to attracting and keeping Top Talent long term. But that is a whole other article.
  3. The final statement: “**NOTE Do not just apply here or just send over a Resume** All applicants who want to be considered need to go to www.joinourcrash.com and complete the steps there.”

# 3 in particular is excellent in weeding out those who actually read the article and who didn’t. With hundreds of applicants each time we post a job opening I would say roughly 10-20% actually read the ad and do what is expected of them. Thus eliminating 80-90% of the NON-A-Level talent.

If you can’t take the time to read a job posting from a company, you really want to work for and complete some simple tasks on where and how to apply. YOU ARE NOT A-LEVEL TALENT. You can work anywhere you want, just not here.

So that’s enough about the ad. Go ahead and use it. It helps me find Unicorns, I’m sure it can help you too.

Plug your info in and play.

Where did I place the ad?



Step 2

The lander

There’s a few things to notice here:

  1. I gave them a short video from me, the CEO. They get to put a face with a name and it’s not just another boring application to fill out.
  2. There are 3 simple steps laid out for them to know what to expect.
  3. “Join our Crash” – This goes back to the culture thing. We don’t call ourselves a team. We call ourselves a crash. I know what you may be thinking… Crash?
  4. A Crash is the group identification name for rhinos, much like a group of birds are called a flock.

    You see, a rhino can run up to 30 miles per hour, but can only see 30 feet ahead of them. So when they run, they run together, in confidence, moving forward at full speed, even if they’re not sure exactly what is in front of them.

    Rhinos are intense, passionate and focused. Rhinos see where they want to go and start charging, knocking down anything that gets in their way. Rhinos get things done!

    Well, that’s us. We, as a team, run together in confidence and we always move forward at full speed, knocking down anything that gets in our way.

  5. Also included on this page. We have our Mission, Purpose and Core Values. My experience has been people want to be part of something bigger than themselves.

Step 3

The Application and next steps

I ask them to dig deep and complete a questionnaire.

What I can tell you about the questionnaire is there are a lot of personality and character-type questions.

This application will eliminate 2/3 of the “potential hires” right off the bat

  1. Did they even complete it
  2. Their responses are Gold into who they are and if they will be a good fit.

Questions we ask:

  • Why do you think you will be a good fit for this position?
  • What interests you most about Reputation Rhino?
  • What Position are you applying for?
  • What are the 3 words that describe you?
  • Describe Yourself as a Product.
  • What are 3 things that will separate you from other applicants.
  • How long are you willing to fail at this job before you succeed?
  • Is it better to be perfect and late, or good and on time?
  • What parts of work drive you nuts?

Then lastly they are given their first assignment and which is to email me directly with their resume.

At the end of the questionnaire, this Thank You Page comes up.

Again, telling them to email me directly and then wait to hear from us.

Step 4

The QUICK review

This is the First time in this whole process we will actually look at a candidate.

If they just applied via Indeed or LinkedIn (Or wherever the job posting is placed) Those are just discarded and never looked at.

If they fill out the application on Joinourcrash.com but never complete their first assignment of personally emailing me their resume those are just discarded and never looked at.

If and when they actually email me their resume My Executive Assistant will take those Resumes and link them up with their application. At which time she will review them. We have set internal “bumpers” on what we are looking for. If a candidate does not meet those bumpers they will get an email turning them down.

If a candidate meets those bumpers and has completed the necessary steps they will get an email invite to schedule an interview.


Step 5

The initial interview(s)

As you can see in the email, we send them a calendar link to book their own interview.

We do this for a few reasons, They get to pick the time and date they want the call. There is zero reason they should miss it if they get to pick it.

Also, it’s one more step for them to complete. How serious are they.

Lastly, we tell them to come prepared and to have reviewed our website and info about the company before the call.

The initial interviews are held with the people they will be working directly with or for. More often than not there will be two initial interviews with people from that department.

After they complete their first two initial interviews, each member from our company involved in interviewing them will rate them from 1-10 in a series of different areas based on the needs of that specific role.

If the aggregate total of the ratings is 7 or below. We send them the turn-down email above.

Again, We are ONLY interested in A-Level talent.

If the total is 8 or higher. My EA will reach back out to them, requesting to set up an interview with the CEO.


Step 6

The CEO interview

Once they get to me, I am looking at more of a Cultural and Company fit.

They have already spoken to multiple people in the company who have assessed their technical ability and feel they are qualified otherwise I would never be speaking to them.

I will pull up their resume to ask historical questions but mostly what I am interested in is the answers they provided on the questionnaire they completed for us.

I am looking at how much time, thought, and creativity went into their answers. Did they answer with 1-2 words or with a thoughtful paragraph? When asked to describe themselves as a product, what level of creativity did they give. ETC…

Examples of questions I ask:

  • What’s going on, tell me a little bit about yourself – very general and continues to open up dialogue
  • Why do you think Rep Rhino would be a good place to work for you?
  • In what kind of work environment do you do your best work?
  • Tell me 5 things you need from a company in order to do your job
  • What was your favorite job/company to work at and why?
    • Who was your manager or boss there?
    • If I called them what would they tell me you were awesome at?
    • What would they tell me you sucked at?
  • Why should I hire you?
    • If a generic response
    • The last 3 people I interviewed said almost the same thing, why should I hire you over them?
  • Fill in the blanks for me, tell me about what is not on your Resume

I finish with –

  • What questions do you have for me?

I really like it when someone engages me with questions about the culture, growth strategies, how soon can they start or my all-time favorite is when they ask me if I have any reservations or questions about their qualifications.

If they only ask about time off, perks and pay this is also a red flag they are not fully bought into the company and culture.


Step 7

The Final Evaluation and Offer

Just as my team did, for anyone I interview, I will also go back and rate them.

Below a 7 no thank you, turn down email sent.

8 or above they will then be considered for the position.

Then for the first time in this process, I will get together with my team and we will review the remaining candidates. We will have an open discussion and ultimately decide if any are qualified to receive an offer.

Sometimes the answer is no. Not everybody that makes it all 7 steps in an A player that is also a good fit. So it might be back to the drawing board and try again.

I can’t stress this enough. If at the end of these 7 steps, if you are not looking at a candidate and screaming HELL YES, then you need to look at them and say HELL NO.

This far into the process, if you are not ecstatic to provide them with a job offer DON’T.

If you are, then send the offer. I personally like to send out written offers that are official. Not just an email. Feels more professional and sets the tone for your new employee.


Step 8 (Bonus Step)

Celebrate your New Hires.

Check out How Do you Celebrate Your New Hires



I implemented this in my businesses, and it’s truly been one of the best things I’ve ever done. I didn’t look at a single resume, I didn’t pay headhunters a ridiculous rate, and I ended up developing a process to find unicorns who are not only A-Level talent but a cultural fit that can plug right into our crash

Before I was just hiring wrong. Now I know that, and I’ll never make the same mistake again.

I hope you’re able to implement or use, some of these strategies in your hiring process and that you only hire A-Level talent for your organization moving forward!

“Keep Trying, Keep Failing, But Keep Moving Forward!”  – Dave Fulk

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