How We Measure Candidates at risk3sixty

Business boils down to one thing: People

People are the most challenging (and rewarding) part of a successful business. And I mean the full lifecycle of employee experience. You have to do a great job recruiting, making hiring decisions, then training people better than anyone else, creating a culture where people want to stay, and if people leave – helping them succeed in their next venture. You have to get every step right or your business is destined for trouble. You could literally write a book on this topic (and many people have), but in this post I’d like to share a few insights into how we at risk3sixty recruit and hire amazing people.

Where do you find people?

We do a couple of key things when it comes to finding people. The most important thing is that our leadership team takes personal responsibility for finding people. We don’t outsource it and we don’t leverage a recruiter. As result, every candidate was hand selected by a member of our core team, each of which has a good eye for who will make a great “strange renegade” (as we call ourselves). This type of recruiting probably isn’t feasible for most companies, but it has worked well for us and helped us recruit top notch people.

The second thing we do to find people is ask our teammates. I often ask the question: “Who is the best person you’ve ever worked with?” and if that person is a viable candidate we explore the opportunity. Happy employees want to bring in their best colleagues and I can think of no better reference. Again, that probably isn’t feasible for companies hiring dozens or hundreds of employees, but it is a great place to start.

One a side note, I’ve seen many companies with bonus programs for recruiting. This is a great idea, but people are almost always to busy to act on it. Instead, have the CEO walk the halls and gather names and contact information and see how many candidates shake out.

How do you measure candidates?

One of the things I think we do pretty well at risk3sixty is making hiring decisions. Our “special sauce” isn’t so much that we have no problem finding good people (It’s always tough to find great people – who are available – and want to work with you!) – it’s that we are really good at identifying if people are going to be a great fit – more importantly – a great fit for risk3sixty.

We have a three step vetting process:

1) A rigorous team interview process that involves a case study, behavioral questions, and technical questions.
2) Topgrading-Lite. If you haven’t read the book Topgrading it may be worth your time. The part we often utilize is having the candidate help schedule reference calls.
3) The G/W/C/Core Values Method – This is our special sauce and merits discussion.

The G/W/C/Core Values Method

This is probably the part that I’m most proud (barrowed from the book Traction, which I highly recommend). The G/W/C/Core Values method provides a way to quantify if a candidate is a great fit for risk3sixty (note, they may be great, but they have to be great for risk3sixty).

The method involves scoring a candidate from 0 – 3 across 8 metrics (described below). At risk3sixty, our minimum score is 16 and a candidate can’t have any zeros.


G – Do they “Get it”
W – Do they “Want it”
C – Do they have the “Capacity” to do the job

Core Values

How does the candidate match against our core values? (Craftsmanship, Grit, Team, Steadfast, Freedom)

The G/W/C/Core Values method isn’t perfect, but it has helped us keep the  bar high and avoid “gut feelings” to make hiring decisions. It’s also especially helpful if we are unsure about a candidate, but having trouble articulating our rationale. It also provides a meaningful way for the team to discuss the core values and how we’re living up to them.

How do I become a Strange Renegade?

This might be the point where you’re shouting: “I’d like to join risk3sixty!” or “I’d really like to work with this group of security and compliance craftsmen!” If that’s you, we want to hear from you. Reach out here.

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