Episode 124 – Rick Girard: Transforming Hiring: From Gut Feelings to Evidence-Based Decisions

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In Episode 124, we are joined by Rick Girard, a pioneer in transforming the landscape of recruitment. Journey with us as Rick talks about his intriguing path from an ambitious photographer to an innovative force in the hiring industry. His transition was sparked by an unplanned twist of fate during a snowboarding trip, leading him to challenge conventional wisdom and shift from relying on gut feelings to using evidence-based practices in hiring.

Dive into this insightful conversation as Rick unravels the shortcomings of traditional hiring practices. He makes a compelling case for why settling for mediocrity in recruitment is detrimental and introduces an evidence-based approach that emphasizes core value alignment.

Discover Rick's unique methodologies for distinguishing ‘builders,' ‘improvers,' and ‘maintainers' during the hiring process, and learn about the potential pitfalls of ‘vanity hires'. Rick also outlines his transformative interview process, highlighting the role of initial phone screens, value alignment interviews, and team interactions in creating a robust selection framework.

Rick's company has revolutionized the hiring process by seamlessly integrating AI. This groundbreaking tool streamlines the recruitment process, accurately identifying whether a candidate is a builder, improver or maintainer, and assessing their alignment with company values. Tune in to learn from Rick Girard on how you can transform your hiring process and bring the best talent onboard.

Rick Girard - Industry leader.

Rick Girard is the Founder and CEO of Stride Search Inc, an Engaged Search Firm.
He is extremely passionate about helping startup founders win-win the strongest hires to fuel unprecedented company growth!

Rick is the Author of “Healing Career Wounds”. Invented and systematized the Hiring Operating System (HireOS). The solution for leaders to win the strongest hires by blowing up “best practices” with a humanistic, evidence-driven, non-biased, and time-efficient experience.

When not running a school for Gifted Mutants as Professor X, Rick hosts the Hire Power Radio Show & Podcast, a weekly series on LinkedIn Live, which serves as a business leader’s resource to solve their most difficult hiring challenges.

He competes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has an affinity for any adrenaline-pumping activity such as surfing, snowboarding, rock climbing and running with scissors.


  • Introduction and Background
    • Starting out with ambitions to become a Professional Photographer.
    • Unexpected career detour into recruiting after a snowboarding trip.
  • Evolution of the Business
    • How the business transformed over time.
  • The Art of Hiring: Problem Identification and Solutions
    • Initial struggles with hiring and identifying the need for a better process.
    • Realization: even smart people struggle with interviewing.
    • Development of a new interview process focusing on evidence over gut feelings, assumptions, biases, or personal motives.
    • Challenges with existing hiring tools and the pursuit of a solution.
  • The Philosophy of Hiring
    • The unacceptable nature of mediocrity in hiring.
    • Overcoming self-imposed limitations in recruitment.
  • The Hiring Process: Lessons from Trial and Error
    • Importance of core value alignment and personality compatibility over skills.
    • Dangers of relying on gut feelings and social compatibility.
    • Pitfalls of practiced interviewees who know how to say what you want to hear.
  • Behavioral Interviewing
    • The benefits of detailed problem-solving discussions.
    • Insights from industry leaders like Elon Musk and Amazon.
  • Identifying Candidate Types: Builders, Improvers, and Maintainers
    • How to identify and hire for what the business needs.
    • Potential issues with vanity hires and recruiting from other companies.
  • The Phone Screen or Discovery Call
    • Importance and benefits of the discovery call before the interview.
  • The Comprehensive Hiring Process
    • Stages: Discovery call, value alignment interview, team meeting, working sessions, hiring manager interview, offer, and onboarding.
  • Role of AI in Recruitment
    • How AI is used to analyze interview data and identify builder types.
  • What the Company Offers
    • Providing assistance with search and improving the hiring process.
    • The transition to digitizing the process with AI.
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Matt Levenhagen
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