How Companies Identify Talent with Tricia Sciortino & Kage Spatz

HR Strategy Series, Real Human Resources

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BELAY Human Resources Hiring Strategies

We spend half of our lives working, so finding work that is fulfilling, has a purpose and brings you joy is paramount for overall mental health and a fulfilled life.

As a part of my HR Strategy Series, I’m talking to top experts in the field to teach prospects what hiring managers are actually looking for, while also supporting business leaders in their hiring and retention strategies. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Tricia Sciortino.

Tricia Sciortino is the CEO of BELAY. As CEO, Tricia strives to lead and inspire her team to provide extraordinary services while finding great talent along the way. As a leader, she’s passionate about helping her team forge their own paths, careers, and professional development, putting each of the company’s valued employees and contractors in the driver seat to cultivate the balance of work and life that best suits them.

Thank you for doing this! Please share what brought you to this specific career path.

Throughout my personal and professional life, I’ve always strived to make sure I am using my skills, abilities, and experience to be of service to others. I’ve always enjoyed helping people reach their goals. My post-college experience led me into the world of retail which eventually evolved into more leadership opportunities. It was here I discovered I had a profound affinity for driving organizational change through hiring, training, and growing my team of employees. That period of self-discovery would bring me to BELAY where I started as an assistant to the owner of the company. After being with the company, for almost a decade I continue to honor this calling now as CEO.

Can you share the most interesting or funny story that happened to you since you started this career and what lesson you learned from that?

Back in 2016, one of BELAY’s founders, Bryan Miles asked what my BHAG — ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ — was, I said I wanted to be CEO one day. And Bryan said no, explaining that he would always be the CEO. At this time I had worked my way up to Chief Operating Officer and always knew there would come a time when I’d want more than being the COO of BELAY.

I also believed one day — even if it took 10 years — Bryan would not want to be CEO.

From that moment, I began to take on more responsibility, which over time, allowed Bryan and his wife, Shannon, to take their first sabbatical in the summer of 2019. I exemplified what it meant to be a leader and it showed. I believed in my future as CEO of BELAY early on and this mindset dictated how I made decisions and how I skilled up, all to be ready for when they’d want me to lead as CEO.

What did I learn? Never say never and always avoid always, right? Well yes, and to also, be ready now, not when the next opportunity presents itself.

Wonderful. Now let’s jump into the main focus of our series. Hiring can be very time consuming and difficult. Can you share 5 techniques that you use to identify the talent that would be best suited for the job you want to fill? Please share an example of each idea.

a. Prioritize fit and culture. I ask myself: ‘Will they align with our core values, mission, and vision at BELAY?’

To answer that, we have team members complete our BELAY 10, a survey of 10 questions around leadership principles and core values as part of our interview process.

b. Referrals first. Our first choice for hiring is always a referral. We value and trust our internal team implicitly so we solicit their help in recruiting for every position, from a virtual assistant to an executive.

To accomplish this, we always post our jobs internally first because we want our team to refer their friends to work at BELAY. We also have a referral payout program, wherein employees and team members are paid a bonus if we hire one of their referrals.

c. Multi-layered interview and vetting process. We require a minimum of two interviews with different team members for multiple evaluations. We also incorporate assessments for both hard and soft skills and personality, like DISC, Enneagram, and more.

Initially, we do a minimum of two interviews. The first is based more on soft skills, culture fit, communication styles, leadership styles. The second is based on hard skills. Do they have the proven track record necessary to do the job?

For a corporate team hire, we conduct at least three to four interviews and, whenever possible, an in-person interview to evaluate that they’re the right fit.

d. Video conferencing. As a remote workforce company, using video conferencing to hire has been critical to reading body language and discerning instincts in an interview.

Video conferencing is a requisite for us so if a prospective hire doesn’t have a WebCam or can’t interview via video, we can’t — and won’t — interview them. We’ve made it mandatory because without it, we can’t — as we mentioned — read body language, make eye contact or forge any sort of a real connection.

e. Establishing pass/fail questions. In creating these, we’ve created ‘hard no’ parameters to eliminate candidates early on in the process to save everyone time and energy.

An example includes asking candidates if they realize that we have a Monday-through-Friday normal-business-hours employment opportunity — we don’t employ night shifts and weekends. We want people to know that this is a career so if someone were to answer that they weren’t available during normal business hours, they would be automatically disqualified.

With so much noise and competition out there, what are your top ways to attract and engage the best talent in an industry when they haven’t already reached out to you?

With the unemployment rate at historic lows and competition fierce, we have found success in continuously listening to the team we have been able to build. By maintaining exceptional flexibility and offering a competitive and rewarding compensation and benefits package — we recognize that our cultural currency often attracts the best talent more than just about anything else!

Additionally, we ask our team of rockstars for referrals. Which is a great compliment for BELAY. If our employees and contractors believe in what we do and want to tell others about our company, then it stands as a testament to the work that we do day in and day out. Beyond always soliciting and prioritizing referrals, we also rely on job boards, such as Indeed, Flex Jobs, and others.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I’m a huge proponent of people rising up, speaking up, and being heard. Having a voice is so imperative in life and business. There are so many quiet bystanders in life and I would love to see people go after what they want to fulfill their lives, whether it be personally, professionally or even philanthropically. This starts simply, by speaking up.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and how that was relevant to you in your life?

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” — Steve Jobs.

We spend half of our lives working, so finding work that is fulfilling, has a purpose and brings you joy is paramount for overall mental health and a fulfilled life.

My guiding tenet is that the day I no longer want to go to work on Monday is the day I need to leave.

Finding the right team, the right organization, and the right role for you can be life-enhancing. Life-altering, even.

We are blessed to have some of the biggest names in Business, VC, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private lunch with, and why?

First, Oprah. And this goes without explanation, right? She is the intention, light, and warmth personified, and lives — and leads — with so much purpose.

Next, I’d choose Gary Vaynerchuk. We’re nearly polar opposites but I think that’s exactly why I admire him so much. I love his simple, direct candor and no BS approach to advising and coaching. I find him so relevant, refreshing and very cool!

Pumped you included Gary! He is at the top of my list as well. Thank you so much for these fantastic insights, Tricia!

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