CEO Uses Authentic ‘Beer and BBQ Test’ to Hire Brand New Staff

The founder and CEO of the wildly successful junk-removal business 1-800-GOT-JUNK has an interesting way of hiring only the best people for his company. When he began the rehiring process — after firing his entire 11-person company in 1994 and starting anew — CEO Brian Scudamore asked himself during interviews, “Would I have a beer with this person? Would I have them over for a barbecue?”

In a profile with CNBC, Scudamore said there’s a clean connection between finding great employees and finding great friends.

“You don’t sit there and make a checklist and go ask interview questions [when finding friends]. You just get to know someone in a casual environment like you would over maybe a beer, and you trust your gut,” he said.

Today, 1-800-GOT-JUNK includes more than 400 employees operating in 180 metro areas and makes more than $200 million annually, but Scudamore’s sense for finding quality people remains the same.

“Could you see yourself sitting down and enjoying a beer or coffee with this person? And, if we had a company barbecue, how would they fit in?”

In other words, Scudamore said,

“What we’re looking for [in the hiring process] is, ‘Does our community make sense?’ Are we all guided by that same principal of us building something much bigger together?’ And the beer and barbecue filter seems to work like magic for people because it’s such a simple, easy to grasp concept and forces people to do a gut check.”

That’s one job interview I’d be glad to line up for.