Juro's Thomas Forstner on Effective Role Creation and Interviews

January 19, 2022
Liz Marchetti
Juro's Thomas Forstner on Effective Role Creation and Interviews

In August 2021, we spoke with Thomas Forstner, Head of People & Talent at contract automation platform Juro. Thomas shared his thoughts on effective hiring, namely the role creation process, identifying skill requirements, and the interview questions you need to ask.

Thomas’ insights originally appeared alongside those of 11 other talent acquisition experts in our eBook, Reimagining Recruitment. You can download your own copy of our 50-page guide for free here

Below is a summary of our conversation with Thomas, in four simple steps:

1. Start Role Creation with an Analysis

“The very first thing I do when we’re looking to hire for a role is run a discovery process to find out why we’re looking, what we need, and where we’re looking.

“It’s really important that we hire because we need a role, not because we’re trying to hire our way out of a problem. With each hire, I do a root cause analysis of the pain, why we’re seeing it, and how we can solve it.”

2. Base Skill Requirements on Expectations

“When we look for traits, we qualify them as criteria with specific expectations depending on what it means within a role. At Juro, we have a leveling framework in place, so I know how that skill translates at different levels of role. Then we look at the most important competencies to test and model that against the expectations when they’re at Juro, so we can see that skill in the interview process.

“Understanding how a skill fits into the buckets of a role helps me figure out the interview process, and what questions we’ll need to ask. That process has to be solid and repeatable — because you’re not trying on pairs of shoes, you’re deciding someone’s career.”

3. Ask Behavioral Interview Questions

“We prefer semi-structured questions that allow us to ask follow-up questions. Full structured questions are too rigid — and we found that it’s a robotic and inhuman approach. We have core questions, but there’s also an opportunity for follow-ups.

“Our questions are most effective when they’re behavioral. They must also be openly phrased. That’s why we don’t ask those brainteaser style questions that Google gained a reputation for. How do those relate to the competencies we write on our careers page?”

4. Define What Good Answers Look Like Beforehand

“It’s a massive red flag when a hiring manager asks a question and says to me, ‘I just wanted to see how they think’. This sets your candidate up to fail — not only do you not know what a good answer looks like, you only know what a bad answer looks like. That is not setting a candidate up for success, which is the whole point of an interview.

“Before managers ever do an interview, they undergo training. To help mitigate the risk of bias, we help hiring managers by defining what a good answer would look like for a question. Every interviewer is trained to look for a Situation, Task, Action, Response (STAR) answer, and how to follow-up if the candidate doesn’t give the full answer.

“We train people that hiring decisions break down to three criteria: can they do the job, do they want the job, and do we want them to do the job.” 

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