How We Automated Our Hiring Process in 3 Hours

When I started my virtual assistant company a few years ago, I knew the most important thing we had to do after assisting our clients, was hiring as many talented people as we could find.

Most businesses have to deal with hiring, and most have parts of their process that need improvement. We had a team of over 100 people in 14 different time zones. We tried a dozen different recruiting platforms, applicant tracking systems, and hiring apps and none of them ever completely met our needs. So we did what we always did in those situations, we built it ourselves with TrelloZapier, and Wufoo. And we did it for free.

Our Hiring System (Your Hiring System on Steroids)

The Application

Interested candidates visited our application page where they could learn a bit about the job and apply. The main thing we asked was that they give a response to a real task; say a client needed help mailing some envelopes. It’s what we called a “one and done” task, meaning a VA could pick it up, provide a single and complete answer, and the task was done. This particular question didn’t seem tricky but it was very telling when we saw how people responded. In addition we asked them to submit a Youtube video of themselves, with very little direction, to get a sense of how they presented themselves.

When they submitted the Wufoo form, Zapier automated the process of creating a new “card” in our Personnel Trello board for the candidate.

Zapier to go from Wufoo to Trello and Slack

The same automation also posted the person’s name, task response, and their Youtube video to a special Slack channel so we could review easily.

The Test

If we thought the candidate looked good, we just dragged the card from the New Applicant list on the Trello Board to the HireSelect Offered list. Another Zapier automation would then email them a link to take our personality profiling and skills assessment test, provided by HireSelect.

Card Moved to List in Trello Triggered Email to Candidate

We really liked HireSelect because it does a specific assessment for the type of work and mindset we needed. It tested candidate’s problem solving ability, willingness to work in a team and take direction from others, even their level of competitiveness. Here’s a sample report:

Basic Skills Assessment

Personality Profiler

If they met our baseline of 60% or better on both batteries they moved forward to a live, 10 minute interview. By dragging their card to the Interview Offered list, Zapier generated an email to them with a Calendly link allowing them to schedule the interview at their convenience with one of our three team members who did interviews.

The Interview

Our interviews were 10 minutes, we conducted them using our favorite video conference software, Zoom. All calls were recorded and shared with our team for approval and improvement. We asked only four questions, two softballs, and two hardballs.

That’s ME!

How did you hear about us and what interested you in working for the company?

Tell me about your past relevant experience?

Tell me about a time you messed up at work, and how you handled it?

If we don’t hire you, why do you think that will be?

That last one knocks out the most confident interviewer and I have no problem sharing it with everyone here because no amount of prep will help you answer that question, in the moment, under pressure, with clarity. I love that question. My favorite answer so far… “because I’m pretty weird and maybe that threw you off.” We hired that person.

The Background Check

The people who worked for us may end up handling sensitive information for a multi-national corporation so thorough background checks were a must. For this we used a service called Onfido which can automate background checks in any country in the world. Once again, dragging a candidate’s card to the Background Check list calls on the API for Onfido to generate the request for a check.

A Clean Background Check

Signing Documents

Everyone who worked for us was an independant contractor. So once they passed their background check, their card was moved to the Documents Sent list. Zapier sent an email to the candidate with a link to sign documents on RightSignature. With RightSignature we took our Contractor Agreement, Non-Disclosure Agreement, and Tax Forms and created a form whereby the user HAD to sign all required parts otherwise they couldn’t complete the form.

Once they signed that, Zapier saved the file to Dropbox for our bookkeeper to keep as a record. It also moved their card to the next list on the Trello board, Documents Sent — Onboarded. At this point they were hired and could begin their training.


We sent an email with instructions on how to get setup on all of our software platforms and it directed them to another Trello Board with all of our training material. They were placed in a training channel on Slack where they got to work on real tasks and interact with the team. The goal was that after two weeks in training we’d know if the candidate was ready to be a full team member or if it was not a good fit for them. The whole process resulted in a team that worked cohesively, at a very high level, and accomplished unprecedented results.


If at any point in the process we decided not to move forward with the applicant we could archive their Trello card, which triggered an email to them through Zapier, informing them that it was not a good fit and we wished them luck. In addition, if a VA decided to leave the company or they got fired, we simply moved their card to the Former Worker list, which generated a card for a manager to remove them from our systems, then a day later it emailed the candidate to inform them of the decision.

I built what I needed to solve my own problem, the whole process took me about 3 hours and this system was and is completely flexible and applicable to any business. You can add, remove, or even shift around any phase of the hiring process and you’ll be able to take candidate through a hiring, onboarding, and training process in a way that is congruent with your team values, efficient for the candidate, and effective for your needs.

We’re Here To Help

Since I started talking about this process with our mastermind and bootcamp programs, and in our podcasts, there’s been significant interest in having this setup for various clients. I believe I’ve given you enough information in this article to set this up for yourself, but if you need a little help, the Less Doing team can do it for you.

Whenever you are ready…here are 4 ways I can help you become more replaceable and grow your business:

1) Join our FREE Facebook Group — The Replaceable Founder

2) Get our FREE Replaceable Founder Mini-Course

3) Come to our next One-Day Intensive “Becoming Replaceable Workshop” in NYC

4) Want to work with us privately? Just answer a few questions and find out if you’re a good fit. Apply Now

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