My 3 Dealbreakers When Screening Contractors (Analysts, Design, Devs, PM, Writers)

When considering someone for a 3-12 month contract, I have three immediate dealbreakers.

🔍 Poor Attention To Detail: I usually ask for two pieces of information (e.g., LinkedIn plus public portfolio, resume plus public GitHub profile) and add something like “please do not include a cover letter.” Anyone who doesn’t follow those simple rules is out. 30% of people are out just from this miss.

📝 Poor Writing: My projects use an async work process with remote teams. 1-2 page business narratives power the bulk of our communications. Anyone with grammatical, formatting, or sentence errors in their communications or resume is disqualified. This filters out another 20% of folks.

🔥 Zero Obsession: I don’t care what it is, but if an interview, portfolio, or resume doesn’t demonstrate that the candidate is obsessed with something, then I pass. Their obsession doesn’t have to be anything I care about or work-related. Their obsession is their energy. I lean into that. It’s surprising how many people don’t have an obsession or are afraid to share it. This filters out another 40% of candidates.

These filters have helped me screen faster, fire less often, and build longer-term professional relationships.

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