Simple secrets for better hiring - Better Growth session with Brad Owens

If you're eager to innovate in your role and get better results than what you're currently achieving, one of the best choices you can make is to look at strategies and tactics outside your domain. When you're only learning from people in your industry and your field, it can be incredibly easy to get stuck in a rut. 

Without a doubt, one of the biggest boons to my career was getting to work closely with product teams - product managers, designers, and engineers. Their approach to project management, strategy, and development was illuminating.

I learned first hand how design thinking workshops could unlock the creativity and insight of even the most reluctant groups. 

I started applying agile methodology to developing and iterating on marketing campaigns, making it easier for me to move quickly and continuously improve. 

Because I am such a huge advocate for going outside your domain of expertise to find that spark of innovation and creativity, I was ridiculously excited to hear my friend and colleague, Brad Owens explain how he coaches HR teams to leverage sales and marketing methodology to straight up revolutionize the hiring and onboarding experience. 

Brad is a bonafide expert in the field of recruiting, HR, and culture. He spent over a decade recruiting for Fortune 100 businesses - we're talking big-time logos here, folks - and now spends his days dropping knowledge on his Small Business Hiring podcast and coaching teams on how to dramatically improve their hiring, onboarding, and retention process. 

Brad joined me yesterday on Better Growth Coaching to give us a slew of practical tips, tricks, and methods to seriously improve your hiring process. 

A few gems of genius from Brad: 

  • The 6 Attributes you need to be evaluating candidates for 
  • How to craft your employer brand so that you attract the right candidates (and a lot of them). Note: he even created a free Employer Branding guide just for the Better Growth audience. Get it here. 
  • The 6 things job candidates care about most
  • How to create a candidate funnel, so you have a pipeline of excited talent before that job ad even goes live

Watch the video, read the transcript, and get in touch with Brad to get the coaching your team needs to dramatically improve the candidate experience and results of your recruiting.

 

If it's easier, feel free to skim through the transcript of our conversation: 

- Okay, I think we are live. So welcome everybody to better growth session with our genius, our HR and pretty genius Brad Owens.

- Thought you talking about someone else there for a second.

- So Brad and I met actually at the Culture First Conference. Which is Culture Amps conference in San Francisco. Now a really, really cool conference. The content for me because it was super, super HR related. It was a little bit over my head and a little bit too specific, but the connections made were amazing, and the whole dynamic that I think in how they put on the conference was really impressive. Where you saw their culture reflected in all these little things. They're all about empowering and engaging individual employees, and it was the same thing with attendees. So normally you go to a conference you get that swag bag full of crap, and there's a buffet full of food you don't want. But instead they did this thing where they had these little tickets where you got to choose what kind of swag you want. I got some really killer swag. I wish I actually have it with me 'cause I always use those water bottle thing.

- That's cute.

- And they did this even with food and food carts, and it was just amazing. And what was awesome is all the connections I made and Brad was one of my favorites because one, he's got this ridiculous energy. Super, super positive and two, you had one of the coolest mobile podcast recording. I didn't even know that was possible and we're sitting in this big conference hall. And five minutes later, we've got like massive headphones on with the mic and the sound is incredible, and is like such a ridiculously cool experience. So I am so excited to have you on this webinar and talking about what you do. And so tell us a little bit more about you and your background and how you got started on the consulting and coaching side, and also share a little bit about the podcast because it's ridiculous.

- Yeah perfect, well I start there. So thanks for being on the podcast in the first place and for setting this whole thing up. I hope I can bring out a lot of value to you guys. So the podcast, it's called Small Business Hiring and it's almost exactly a year ago, August 1, 2017 I've launched it. 111 episodes ago, 10,000 plus downloads kinda thing. What I've been doing is been on a mission to figure out what companies that is voted the best place to work are doing to build their teams. That's what I wanted to focus on. So that all started because I spent a decade helping the Fortune 500 acquire talent. I helped all the big companies you can think of. Everything is sitting in your fridge and around your house Those are the people that I helped hire the people that do that job and I focus on one small niche. So it allowed me to see from people straight out of school all the way through C level exes, and all these big companies how they approach hiring these people. And after about eight or nine years of doing that. The exact same job, the exact same way. I started realizing there's a lot that they could do to fix how they hire.

- Yeah.

- These big companies, they really take for granted the resources they have and they have this huge chip on their shoulder of we're a Fortune 500, they should want to work with us no matter. That doesn't fly anymore. It doesn't work, you can't attract people to your company just based off of a clout. That's not how it works.

- To your point, the anymore. That might have worked 20 or 30 years ago. It does not work anymore.

- No, not even a little bit and people are attracted to different organizations for different reason. But there are these basic reasons of why people are attracted to the organizations, and what's really helping companies thrive and get talent right now. And mostly when I talk to people they say, "Well I don't have the time to do that. "I don't have the resources to be able to that." The things that I tell people to do don't take a lot of time. Most of them are free using resources you already have and it allows you to hire better talent than all these big companies because they're still focusing on the wrong things. In my consulting business, I go out and help small businesses and medium size businesses as well with their hiring strategies. I help them come up with candidates funnels and make sure they have, people starting just become aware of the business, and all the way up through onboarding like help them through this entire process and it's amazing to see what tiny little changes make huge impacts on these tinier companies. So it's been a lot of fun for me.

- I think you make such a good point and actually before I keep talking just wanna say to everyone in the audience, please let us know if you have any questions. Engage, really let us know. The whole point is to answer your question and add some values, so don't hesitate. I love that you just use the term funnel because this is something that I'm seeing. Companies are finally starting to get that you should actually be applying some of the principles that digital marketers use to recruiting. So actually, I work with a really interesting UX agency in Seattle and they are actually starting to for big companies that are recognizing that some of them will start filling out a job application on their website and then stop. And it's like 80% of people that starts a process, drop off. They're starting to come in and applying all of these UX principles to the recruiting process. And not even just for the recruiting process but employment application process online. And something that I think is really critical is thinking about your recruiting and your hiring the way you would like reading file or your user experience or your customer experience. I'm starting to see more and more the term EX, Employee Experience and that being from the recruiting process all the way through. That is starting to be its own discipline which I think is full of shit.

- Yeah, employee experience is incredibly important because that helps you retain the people that you already have. You're taking it to the even deeper level and thinking about candidate experience.

- Yeah.

- Is something I think a lot of people aren't putting a whole lot of thought into and that's how you win the talent market. You focus on that candidate experience and it's stuff that doesn't take money. It doesn't, it just take you being a person. And we can dig into what those things are 'cause that's the easiest stuff to do.

- Yeah, okay so lets start there.

- Okay.

- What are those easy simple things that people could do to really start to view their candidates the way they view their buyers. 'Cause I think about this a lot. I'll run workshops where marketing teams use sales teams around like empathy mapping. How do you get in the minds of your target buyer? How do you indulge in what they care about? What their goals are, all of these other things that can explain your value. But I've been thinking a ton of, especially with technical, white guy founders that know they wanna have a diverse team but have no idea of how to build a culture that anybody is gonna not just wanna work at but actually thrive at. And you use some of those design thinking and really product development and product strategy principles of buyer personas but like candidate personas.

- Yeah, yeah, so when you're thinking about this, the big term out there right now is old white guy syndrome. All of these mid companies, these big Fortune 500 companies look at all their boards, they're all old middle aged white dudes. And that's stems back to one of the tiredest, hiring practices ever of well I'm just gonna and duplicate myself.

- Yeah.

- I'm just gonna find someone who's exactly like me and do the exact same things. That's the fastest way to end up with no diversity whatsoever.

- Because you're just gonna keep hiring the same thing and you won't grow if you hire the exact same thing. What are you gaining? So in my rule to hire someone new is you have to hire someone smarter than yourself.

- Yeah.

- Always, you have to be self reflective. Think where do I shine here? Where do I do awesome things for this company, but where do I also fall off.

- That's what you need to hire. That's the first thing and when you start thinking about what's going to attract people to a new job, there's six things. There's impact, first and foremost, people right now want to be apart of something that will change whether it's your company, the world, somebody's job. They want to impact something.

- Yeah.

- They wanna have autonomy. They wanna make sure that you're not gonna breath down their neck all the time. You're gonna tell them here's your task go for it, and along those same lines they want some challenge. That's the reason that the average tenure now for millennials is 1.8 years in a job because they're not challenge anymore, they move onto something else. So challenge, they all want challenge in a job and then there's gotta be growth.

- Yep.

- I'm one of the very few people that can keep the exact same title doing the exact same job for a decade. I had growth because I was basically my own entrepreneur within this organization.

- Free to do things how I wanted, but people need growth. They gotta know there's something else in there if they're gonna be whatever five years from now, you gonna have a hard time keeping them around. So they need some growth. So what we've talked about? We've talked about impacts, autonomy, flexibility, challenge, growth

- You've talked about flexibility, you talked about challenging and growth

- Flexibility.

- I'm making notes, I'm writing it down, these little nuggets of wisdom.

- There you go, all right, let's talk flexibility then. I don't mean work, life balance flexibility. That's good, yeah Amy. If you need more let me know. I'll get you some more. So flexibility, I don't mean just work-life balance right now. That's a good one if you can design a way to get someone more work-life balance working from home whatever. It's flexibility in how they do their work. So it ties really closely to with autonomy. It doesn't necessarily have to be in the office. It doesn't necessarily have to be your way. It doesn't necessarily have to be this kind of thing, you need to make sure that you allow them to have some flexibility in how they do the work. Whether it's they wanna do things this way or they like to put this up on this web app for us to use. Yeah sure go for it, let's find it out, let's figure it out.

- Yeah.

- Allow them that flexibility and then the sixth one. The very very tiny one, money. People need to get paid for it. We hate saying that everyone does jobs for money but sorry they do sometimes. So at least gotta be in the ballfield of what people are paying. You can't be so far off. I mean people try to use AC sometimes. If I'm a non-profit, I can't pay all that much. You're not gonna get the talent. Sorry it's just what happens. People have to be really driven by your mission to wanna take a big pay cut for that.

- They'll get worked out way faster.

- Yep, 100%.

- If they feel like they're not getting the respect and the recognition that they deserve. And the other thing that I would say. I'm starting to see this more and more. We were just talking about this before we went live is I'm seeing that there's a big disparities between your goal and how much you're respected and valued and paid.

- And so what I'm starting to I say I'm starting, it's more that I'm just I'm talking to more people in this position. I been realizing how big of a problem this is. Where it's you see engineers and account executives making well into the six figures, and then HR, marketing, operations, customer success, customer support. They're nowhere close to that and now people are starting to share that information a lot more with their colleagues. And let me tell you, when your marketing director finds out that she's making half of what a sales person with one or two years experience is making. That does not make somebody super motivated and feel really passionate about their work environment. And so you also have to figure out what kind of, I don't know how you structure those things in a way that is genuinely fair, and is going to make people excited to continue working for you.

- Yeah and let's tie these things in too. We're here to help people build teams, right? So let's tie these into how you use that to build a better team. Those six things, what I tell my clients to do is literally list them out on a piece of paper when you're coming up with this job of what this thing is gonna be. Because everyone is like, "Oh, a job description, "do I have to create one of those pieces of crap?" No you do have to, for HR purposes, you probably have some goals written down so they know what they're going to do and can get judge on but that can come later. When I think of what should go out on these job sites. What should go out on the top three. Indeed, LinkedIn and Monster. If you're putting something out on those top three, put those six things and answer them for this position for your company. What impact will it have? What flexibility? What autonomy? That kind of thing because that's what people really wanna know. They can see the title and know they'll be sales director of whatever but they want to know what impact does this thing have, what autonomy will they have. What's it gonna pay, just put those stuff out there.

- Well I love this because again these are marketing principles. These are marketing principles. When you say, "Okay how do you write great copy?" You think about what your buyer cares about and you put it all in their language. You focus on the value and the impact that it's gonna have on them not on like the features and the nuts and bolts. They don't really care that much. I don't know the minute specifics. They might further down the line before they make that final decision. But the thing that's gonna engage them is the impact that it's gonna have on their life.

- Yeah, yeah 100% and that's it. And Amy, you said what are your thoughts on being transparent with salaries? So they are companies that do it. If you look up company that's fully transparent with salary. I can't come up with the name, is it Medium? I can't remember.

- I think it is Medium.

- Buffer that might be it. Buffer and Medium.

- Yes so they're transparent with those. That's it, yeah thanks Amy. Buffer, they are transparent with it and it workouts okay and that's part of their culture. It's transparency. And honestly I think transparency as a whole will build trust and trust builds loyalty so if you can be more transparent with more things, be transparent. If your gutsy enough to do it with salaries, well go for it. I think honestly when it comes to salary, you should be getting paid what your worth to the organization and if you're not that's when you feel like you should hide it. When companies feel like they're not paying people what they should be then they feel like they need to hide it at that point. But what do you have to hide if you're paying people the right way?

- Yeah.

- So just go for it. I think transparency is key in building trust so why not?

- Yeah, we got another question from Juliet, that I think is a really good one, and one that we really get a lot of submissions, upon registration, along these lines. How do you develop the career path to keep employee engaged and part of the process? And so it not like just you were saying that employee experience close up has to begin with the candidate. Once they're an actual employee, how do you structure things so that career development and that growth is a define part of the experience as an employee?

- So when you think about engagement, engagement I think has a lot of different things as a part of it. Development is one big part but if you don't recognition, you won't have developments 'cause they won't know what they're advancing on and how good that was and what path they were on. So whenever someone brings up the topic of engagement, I always say, make sure you work on recognition first then you can start working engagement. But when you think engagements and how you build these kind of career paths and things. That's not something you can define for someone. You don't know what they want out of their career. It takes a good manager to sits someone down and ask them the tough questions of you came here to do this, what attracted you to this company? Where do you want to go in this company? We don't want you to do the same thing for next 12 years unless it it's something that you absolutely thrilled about but if you want to grow, where would you want to grow? What do you wanna learn? What don't you know that you want to? Where do you wanna be in this company in five years? And it comes with the, it's a culture of development. It can't just be one person that's the development zar and they go and,"Here's what you gonna be doing," That's gonna be a culture of this and the managers who take time during their weekly one on ones. If you're not doing those, do them. Their monthly reviews. Their 90 day reviews. Their one year anniversary review things. If you're not asking them, okay, you know how to do these things. Let's set you a stretch goal. How can we challenge you? What can be your big tasks for the next year? And then you spend time helping them develop that, that's how you get people who wanna stay and stay engaged and be there forever. When most people think, I wanna keep those people engaged so I need to promote them a whole bunch, that's not it. There's a lot of different ways to grow within an organization that doesn't involve taking on a new title.

- That's a really, really good point and you something that really helped me earlier on in my career, and I've now started this practice with my first employee is we did the StrengthsFinder test. And it's a really, really simple thing but for me early on in my career, it was the first time that I could actually explain to somebody what I'm good at. 'Cause I didn't, I kind of knew but I had a really hard time putting that into words and then also thinking about it when I was looking at career opportunities. And so for me and it also been very interesting because that evolves overtime. What your strength is when you're in your 20s. When you got a bunch of other experience, it shifts but that was my late 20s. I took the StrengthsFinder that said I was what are they called? The arranger I think, where it's like you're really good at complex problems and finding the solution that makes the most people happy and is most efficient. I had no idea how to explain that and as soon as I took that I was like, oh. And so then when I had job opportunities, I was like, oh that's a complex problem solving job and that's gonna be good for me. Oh that's one that I have to introduce myself to a lot strangers in events, I'm gonna suck at that. And it helped me really figure out and so I think some of these things of helping your employees. The people that you manage better understand who they are and what they wanna do can be really helpful. And it was also actually very helpful from a team perspective of figuring out, oh we don't have anybody that is really good at details on our team. That's our next hire and can help you figure out like to your first point. Who is that smarter person that we need to hire?

- Yeah, yeah, I'm with you, I like it. That's good and let's see Matt. So Matthew says, "How do you communicate a positive, internal culture change to your potential applicants? Okay, so you've got a problem and you're working on it going forward I think is what you mean. So that's actually a lot of fun for me to be able to go into these companies that are making these kind of changes. If you've got this bad mojo out there like you're getting trashed on Glassdoor, trashed on Indeed. The worse thing you can do is act like it doesn't exist. As soon as you start talking about the elephant and taking away its power because if all of these people just start trashing you and you don't do anything, they have the power still. When you go out there and you do something. Like on Glassdoor, I always tell my companies to do something like that's a really good point. We're really sorry you had kind of experience with us but just know after reading this, we had a meeting in a round table where talked about this specific thing, and we're working on it going forward. That immediately, everyone else who reads that going forward, that comment just got all its power taken away 'cause they see, "Oh they actually went to work on that? "They're actually gonna listen?" That's unheard of.

- Use more positive instead of a negative. I think when you're working at a company where the culture isn't good and they're not addressing it. What winds up happening is instead they get a bunch of Glassdoor reviews. I've been at the and then right afterwards, it's obvious that the HR team just wrote a bunch of fake reviews. And you're like come on,

- Right, exactly.

- It wouldn't fix that or...

- They just trying to change the value.

- So they just try to make it so that all the new recent ones are like positive and it starts to drown out the like genuine and honest ones. And everybody picks up on it, and everybody rolls their eyes is annoyed.

- Everyone knows who was paid to do the Amazon review. You know, so how would I approach it? When I'm putting out a job ad and notice I didn't call it a job description. When I'm putting out a job ad because this is advertising we're doing. When I'm putting that out, I'll call it out. At the bottom it says, we're very focused on changing X,Y and Z, t his person is gonna be a key part of that because of this and we're working on all these different things Come be apart of the change. That gets people excited that there's a problem they get to solve. I don't want my company to have it all figured out 'cause that doesn't leave any challenge for me. It's honestly, it's a thing you can play into and lean into it, it will help you.

- I think that's a really, really good take on this. We gotta another question that I think is interesting, and one that I hear a lot from sales teams. And frankly sales teams and also I hear similar things from engineering teams as they tend to be the ones that scale the fastest and have a lot burnout and attrition. And Gustavo asks, "Attrition is a big deal when it hits the sales force, and companies tend to accelerate the recruiting process due to its detrimental impact on sales goals. What would a balanced recommendation be?" How do you speed it up and accelerate but now continue to take the time or find the right person for that job?

- I'll say it's all down to the funnel we talked about, right? So this is building up your employee pipeline that's a legit thing that people are doing right now. If you know that there's a specific position on your team or going to be on your team that's gonna be a hard thing fill and that is like so important to your business going forward. You gotta think about it before it's a problem. If it's already a problem, you're little bit behind but there ways you can come up on that and this is all around to me awareness and branding, and employer branding. So if I were in a spot where I needed a sales team. I needed a sales team to grow fast. What I would start with doing is create specific page on my website or a specific social media profile on Instagram whatever it might be. Wherever these people are hang out and I would call it something like life as a sales person at my company or whatever you wanna call it.

- I love that.

- That whole space to be dedicated to why it's awesome working here as sales person. Let's say I have four or five salespeople. I would turn over my Instagram profile for a week and let this person just literally document a day in their life. And they could start sharing out with everyone and then you start getting this culture of oh this is what it's like. Oh this is pretty cool to work as a sales person there. You got the awareness piece and then you got have this part on your website where you start getting people into your funnel. You say, "You wanna be notified the next time there's a sales position here? Go ahead and click on this." And now you've got these people in your email marketing funnel where you can start sending them. Oh look at this cool post we just had of these sales people. Look at what we just accomplish now. We've got a position coming up. I need plans on moving to a new position and you just start moving them through this funnel and when someone does leave your company, you've got this whole pool of resources siting right here ready to take that spot. So it's all of marketing, it's all of the funnel.

- It's so, so genius and really what you're talking about. This landing page where it's a day in the life and all that. This social group, it's customer space. It's the same thing except in employees. This is so cool. I knew that there was an increasing connection and overlap between marketing and especially also what I'm seeing. And I'm hearing from some recruiters that are using sales development methodology to fill their talent pipeline. This is taking you us to this whole other level of this entire pipeline from start to finish, and that's so freaking cool.

- Yeah, well think about it this way. Let me, I'll give you a story about a company that I helped and it'll kind of bring to fruition all these things. There was this company here locally, it's a smaller company, they just happened to do this one thing for a certain set of government organizations, and they are the best and the go to resource for this. They don't really have to sell. They don't have anything they need to sell or push out but oh my gosh, they have so many openings they have to fill. But no one knows about them, so how in the world are they gonna fill all these positions? So their whole website now, what we have changed it to be is completely candidate focused. It is all about what it's like to work here. How awesome we are because they don't really care if someone goes to their website and learns about their product. So you have these marketing materials available to you. You have all of this website real estate that now if you look at all of these companies is dedicated to telling people what you do and being a sales function for you. But if you can't do any of that, if you don't have good employees, why don't you focus it on employees, and attracting those? The same tactics work just focus on getting people to work for you instead of getting people to buy from you. It's pretty easy switch.

- It is an easy switch, and here's the thing. Well let's say you really do need to have apart of your website talking about your product. Great, but most consumers these days are gonna be swayed by at least partially by company culture. Right, so we wanna buy, any company out there if you think that your product is completely unique and you have no actual competitors, you're living in La La Land. That is not the case. You have a whole host of competitors, and what differentiates you from your competitors. It's not really like a little itty bitty feature here and a feature there. That may be part of it, but it's genuinely the customer experience.

- Yep.

- And part of that customer experience, how they engage with your team. And so it may seem like what your culture looks like, and what you're about, and what your values are. If it aligns with theirs, they are gonna be a lot more likely to buy from you, and not just buying from you but be evangelists. And be talking about how great you are and also be more patient when you screw up.

- Yeah.

- And so we had another question from Mooney who I happen to know him, and he is a founder of a brand new start up that is out to launch. I don't think it's launched quite yet, but it's in the HR recruiting space, so this is a particularly interesting question from him cause he has his own unique perspective. So he said, "With so much information and data on candidates out there. And with so many candidates to look at, how does the level of administrative work associated with recruiting impact the speed and quality of hires in today's day and age?" My guess also is you'll have some insight on, okay, given that it is a lot, what are some of the strategies of how you can move through those challenges a little bit faster?

- Yeah, so it all depends on the different company and what their struggling with. If they're struggling with, if they do these things we've been talking about so far. Well they're gonna be inundated with resumes. Whether or not they have openings or not. So for those types of companies that have this big administrative task, and originally what all of these recruiters do is they basically just filter through all the submissions try and find the good ones. Get on the phone with them, figure out they actually are a good one and then pass them along and then have some sort of interview. Where everyone asks the same kinds of questions and it doesn't really work. So the big thing that I like to focus on is when you are creating a new position, give someone a little tiny bit of homework to do before they can apply to your position. Right now the reason that you earlier said that 80% of people who start the application process, don't follow through with it because it's so freaking difficult right now to go through these huge applicant tracking system application systems, and you're just doing that to save the HR person time. Sorry, you're gonna need to do some actually work, that's an applicant tracking system selling feature that you got sold on that they can do all your work for you but it's turning off all these candidates. Don't do that. So what I tell people to do is if they're inundated with these resumes, you just need to keep adding layers of homework on top of this. So for one of my companies, here I'll use an example. So they were getting flooded with resumes, and they only had one recruiter on staff. She just couldn't keep up with all the work, so what I tell them to do is I said, you guys live and breath by your core values. Those are things you ask people during the first interview to make sure they've actually done some homework. Why not give them to them before you even look at the resume? Say look, we are not accepting resumes. We will not take your application for this position. What we want you to do is go out and write us two paragraphs on your favorite core value and how it applies to you. Once we get that then we'll reach out and talk to you.

- That's awesome.

- All of a sudden, you've dropped your 100 resumes for this one position down to 10, but you know those 10 people who have done their homework on you are gonna be such good possible fits for you. You can spend every single second you've got responding to those people and that's the big part of it.

- That is.

- Yeah, remember it's a person. Respond to them immediately. They're putting this time and effort into it, and it becomes more and more important the more you ask them to do. So all of these companies that spend all of this time asking their candidates to go to the applicant tracking system, and then follow up this and write a cover letter, and put down your references. And also call them to make sure they know we're gonna call them. And then send then a pre-packaged ATS canned email, oh my goodness, are you kidding me? They put so much time and effort into that. You owe them more than that. You owe them more.

- Yeah, and I think we've all seen a million of memes on Instagram and Twitter making jokes about the fact that they ask for your resume, and then they ask you to repeat literally everything that you put in your resume in another form. You're looking at them and you're like, are you kidding? Why would I do that? And it immediately makes people roll their eyes, and it makes them think less of you as an employer I think.

- Candidate experience.

- Totally.

- It's starts from the very first time they interact with your brand and if that's how they interact by having to go through and murder your resume like Matthew says. Yeah, it's not gonna work.

- Oh and it's so annoying too. They're gonna judge you by that resume, and you've done a ton of work to make it beautiful and perfect and all these other things and then they immediately want you to ruin all the work that you did, and it feels, I don't know, it feels disrespectful and so very frustrating but I love that idea of 'cause I think a lot about. So on the sales and marketing side, and I recommend this for teams frequently. If you wanna have people are gonna be writing emails to prospects so meet them, go through some samples of writing these emails and things like that and the same thing with marketing. They're gonna be writing content copy. Give them a couple of projects to work on so that you can vet them in that way. But this idea of also maybe an oral of that. Vetting them in terms of values and culture fit. I don't know why that is so rare or why that is so novel. It really is genius but it also shouldn't be, it shouldn't

- No, let's think about the things that lead to a long term employee. Not a single time did I say the skill set they have. Not a single time and it's because if you are a start up, if you're a fast moving company that's going to keep bringing people all the time because you have to be on the cutting edge of everything, and that's the only way you're gonna survive. Why in the world would you care about skill set? You need someone who can be adaptable, and who has the aptitude to come up to speed quickly on some new things. That's what makes a good employee, so let's go down a different rabbit hole. When I think about interviewing an employee or what I'm really gonna look for for someone to make sure they're a good fit for my team. I'm gonna use what's called attributional interviewing. I need to know the attributes of this person and I'm gonna pull in. There's gonna be a guaranteed long term fit for my company. So there's a couple of them. There's attitude. That comes down to how well do they fit in with what I need someone to do in this company. Do they have they right attitude? Are they upbeat? Are they out going? Your attitude is gonna be different if you're hiring a bodyguard verses a daycare worker right? But the fact of you letting them know that you have to hire someone with that attitude to go about that, looking for that attitude. Ask questions around that. You need to have aptitude. So they need to have some learning curve to be able to come to speed quickly on new things. If they can't you're gonna get a stagnant employee, and they're gonna think that's your fault but you're not doing them the best service if you can't give them things that they come speak quickly on. So you need to know what their learning curve is, and what they can take on. You need someone who is adaptable. Raise your hand if your job is the exact same as it was even two months ago? It's not. You're gonna need people who are adaptable. Ask them stories about how they were adaptable before. That's what have they come up against. It doesn't have to be work related or anything. Ask them what they've come up against. Then you've got accomplishments. A skill set is good, but what have they done with it.

- They've done.

- I can go to school to be the best possible doctor ever, if I've never once done a surgery, you're not gonna want me doing the surgery. So you need some accomplishments there at some point. You're gonna want someone who's appreciative, humble, make sure they understand that they didn't get here just on their own. They realized that they worked through a team that they appreciate everything that's been given to them. That they've done the best with all these opportunities that they've had. They're appreciative, and then the easiest one, but the one that's just a gut check; amiable. Can you get along with them? Are they well liked? Can you check their reference and make sure that what you feel is actually what you're going to get from this person? So if you bring in those six things, scan for those six attributes when you're asking people interview questions, or again even write your job description listing those out and saying this is what we really need from this person. That's how you find these long term fits. It's never skill set.

- And its' so interesting. I don't know, this is just blowing my mind of how many points of overlap there are between exactly what you're talking about and what I do in marketing. And one of the things that I talk about a lot, and I see this all the time particularly on early stage marketing teams. They're really, really busy. They're really, really productive but they're just not seeing the results that they're looking for. And it's tactics without strategy. And so usually when they're in that mode, it's like okay, we need to take a step back and actually evaluate what we're doing and why we're doing it, and who we're doing it for. And this is exactly what you're talking about. It's like, yeah you can get into the nuts and bolts of posting a job description, having all of the list of skills that you need. All of these other things that are just tactics. The strategy, who we are actually looking for, and what is going to be the ideal person, that is the part that I think a lot of people are missing.

- Yeah, 100%, and for those of you who are listening and to think, oh my gosh, I need to find those types of things. I actually wrote a guide on this. I didn't plan on promoting this but if you go to yourinterviewguide.com,i t actually list out all these different attributes. Yeah, so yourinterviewguide.com. It is everything related to attributional interviewing and you can go ahead and find that didn't plan on doing that one. So you can pick that up, and there is another one that we'll get to as well.

- I just made the button live for this brand guide as well, and I'm sure that if you click through and get the branding guide, Brad will make sure that he directs you to the attribute guide as well so that you could get all of these things.

- I'll give you everything you need to know for sure.

- I'll put it in the episode notes and transcript and stuff which I will send out to everybody as well.

- Perfect, love it. Let's see, so Matthew. When you balance someone's aspirations with their experience. Plenty people have been looked over for, if they can't get the experience. So they get continually passed over. Yeah, so this comes down to the company you're applying to. You need to make sure that the company you're going into understands that people need to develop in something. The way that I approach things as an employer. If I am posting out something, I like to think of that as my ideal but if I find someone who is perfect for this job, who can do all the things already. Who's going to be hitting the ground running day one. Unless this is a contract position, I'm not gonna have that person for very long. There's not growth or challenge in that. So if I am the right kind of company that is approaching this way that I feel they should. I want to approach this position as aspirational. I want to say, you've got the building blocks of someone who's gonna be fantastic in this. If this is what you wanna do, let's help you grow into this and just absolutely crush it. 'Cause they're gonna be better than someone who's got the skills already.

- Yeah, and just a similar potential question to that. I'm obviously super passionate about diversity in the workplace and there's been a ton of research done on the fact that if a man looks at a job description, and there's 10 requirements in terms of skills or background or whatever. And he's got three or four of them, he'll apply. A woman will have eight and will not apply because she thinks that it's not for her. So I'm wondering, I know there's been a lot of discussion about how employers need to write job descriptions in a different way so that women are more likely to apply. And how would you recommend navigating that because it's challenging. I don't think we have a really well defined program. We know it's an issue but I'm not sure that the solution to that problem or even suggestions to that problem have been really well publicized.

- Yeah, I think when it comes to attracting a diverse crowd, it all comes down to the sales, right? If you're selling this in the right way, and making it appealing to anyone of any background with any sexual orientation, anything. If you're making this appealing to anyone, anyone will apply. So the more you try and limit this thing, the less people are going to apply to your job but putting something out there of saying, here's the impact you're gonna have. Here's the flexibility, here's the autonomy, here's the growth, here's the challenge. Everyone will get exited about that. And if you have your little homework piece of as long as you identify with this core value, go for it, and tell us why you apply to that. I don't feel like how that's gonna limit anyone as long as they are driven by the same things regardless of any one of those characteristics whatsoever that falls into diversity crowd. I feel like this is the best way to get around that. If you're listing out a list of demands, you're asking people not to apply.

- Yeah, that's a really, really great point. So tell us a little bit more about this idea of how you, from a recruiting perspective tell the brand story in a way that engages candidates.

- Right now, if you were to go out and just type in something simple about your company and you're gonna type in what it's like to work at and enter your company name, what's gonna come up? Right now, I got a feeling like everyone who's watching this right now is like, oh no. And they're go in and type it in right now because it's scary. People who are good candidates who are truly interested in your brand and your company are gonna spend about 30 minutes researching your company before they will apply. That's what they want to do. They wanna make sure they're going somewhere that they really truly want to be. So right now, if you go type that into Google, the people who own the SEO for that are Glassdoor, Indeed and LinkedIn. If you haven't done anything on your own website, which Google will give preference to because you probably have better information that is out on these other websites. If you haven't done anything on your own website, start there, cause they already own the space for your company.

- Yeah.

- So if you're going out and not putting on Glassdoor what it's like to work there, if you type this in about your company, the search result will say find out what it's like to work at your company on Glassdoor. Find out what people have to say about working at bu on LinkedIn. And then 9 times out of 10 when I clicked through on that link for a company I'm working with, they put nothing there. It's a blank page. So they've shown that they haven't actually put in this effort. So low hanging fruit for everyone out there. If you haven't done it yet, go fill in some information and just answer the question. Why would someone wanna work for you? Think about those little things we talked about of autonomy, flexibility, growth, challenge. Those things we talked about earlier. Put those on that page, answer those questions, but that's the easiest low hanging fruit for how you start telling that story and getting people engaged with that. And then I would start talking to, if I were in a company of even modest size. Maybe we only have five or 10 managers or something like that. I would go out and ask each and everyone of them to define their best employee. Start figuring out what are those attributes that come around. Where do those people hang out? What did they do? Where can we meet them? How can we go and find those people to duplicate those efforts? And then I'd go right to those channels and I'd start posting everything I possibly could about why someone like that would wanna work here. I would just continually tell that story, and it's all about the awareness at this point.

- That's a great suggestion.

- Hopefully it works I mean these are little things that again, we're talking about this from the sales side. It's stuff they've been doing already. They figured this stuff out, but no one is thinking about selling their jobs, and we're in a talent short market. Why wouldn't you sell your jobs?

- And it is to me, it is really fascinating because I'm just seeing more and more that the sales and marketing methodologies being applied to a lot more disciplines, and to everybody's benefit. You want to create your candidates and your employees like your customers. It's something that's overlooked and people are starting to get on this wave. You are obviously a vanguard in this, and produce a ridiculous amount of super helpful information to help people navigate this cause it's new for a lot of folks on HR. And so having a guide of how they can approach this and how they can make these practical consistent improvements is super, super helpful.

- Well there's your transition right there. So I know the low hanging fruits that you could go out and start attacking right now to improve your employer branding and start telling a better story. So the link below will actually get you to my employer branding guide that I wrote specifically that will show you guys the six ways all for free that you can actually start improving on your employer branding because that's the number one trick right now that companies are just absolutely cleaning up in the talent game. They focus on their employer branding so it will show you the six places you have to have something to show what it's like to work and how you should go about updating that, questions you should try and answer on that. And then if you go through that and realize, oh man, I'm so far off, and need more help. It has a link in there for you to get me and my team to literally go through and ask on your resources. Like we're someone who's trying to apply. We'll send you a video that will show you here are the things we would attack if we were you and just let you go off and try it. So if you feel like that's gonna be valuable, go try it out. So if you need to get to it, it's hrcoaching.com/branding or just click the link that we have here, it'll show you all the low hanging fruit you can do. And if you feel like oh my goodness where do I even start, there's a way to get us to go through and show you what we do for you.

- That's absolutely genius and definitely everybody click the link and download it, I will also share that link again after when I send the transcript and the recording of all of this so that if you miss it you'll get it again. So what else? Is there any other negative wisdom or any other question that should be answered before we wrap up.

- Let's talk about candidate experience a little bit more. One of the things that I think most companies are falling down on is timing right now. Let's talk about what happens in someone's brain. I will tell you that they are not going to be more interested in your job than the second after they click the apply button, the second they give their resume, the second they fill out that huge application, they're gonna feel like a weight's off their shoulders and then they're gonna start getting a little bit nervous about oh sure hope they like me. But they're gonna be so excited. That's your point of having a ton of impact. And if you get back to them with some sort of personalized, do not send a canned message, I will reach through and slap you on the wrist. If you send a personalized; wow really appreciate you applying to this, I saw you wen tot school at this, I would love to spend more time with your resume before I respond again, just wanna let you know I saw it. Jut that right there will set you above 99% of everyone else out there getting resumes. Just a little thing like that. But again you're gonna have a lot.

- Again this is a sales principle, there was a ton of research done years ago about how, if you follow up with an inbound lead within the first five minutes. You connection rate and your engagement rate is 90% after five minutes it drops precipitously over the next hour and if its 24 hours or later it's like that person's never gonna follow back up with you. It's a little bit different with a candidate because they want you but wholly moly but if you follow up with something custom that would make a huge difference.

- So let's add another layer on top of this, let's add the psychology layer to that. That's where I started, I had my start in psychology. So when you are getting a candidate that has submitted their resume, they're immediately gonna say, I sure hope they like me. There's a mechanism in your brain that the longer that takes you're gonna start saying to yourself; okay I guess they don't like me, that's okay I can probably stand to improve a couple things. And then later down the road, it's gonna be, oh they don't like me well then I don't like them either. Now you've turned the candidate off, now all of a sudden you're never gonna get them back, you're like T-rex reaching for the balloon they just lost, it's not gonna happen. You're just never gonna get that person back. So it's all about timing. If you're a company that's sitting on resumes for two weeks until you get enough to evaluate, lost, you absolutely lost. You have to get in front of people.

- That's such a good point and that's my new favorite analogy.

- T-rex trying to catch a balloon, such little tiny arms what a joke.

- So Amy mentioned also sending a video message. She just asked

- Make sure I have but yeah.

- She's mentioning Loom which I think is really cool and there's a coupe of these other tools; Loom and Vidyard has a free one.

- Bonjouro

- And they're great and again it's really interesting they were initially designed for sales people. I think the more recruiting can start to use these same kind of sales tools and sales methodologies, they're just gonna be light years beyond all their competition.

- And it doesn't take much right now, it really doesn't.

- And I genuinely think the stuff that we're talking about is fun. That would be way more fun, of like building funnels and creating landing pages of what it's like to work there and recording videos to candidates. That sounds like so much more fun than flipping through a giant stack of resumes and being really worried and frustrated about the not great candidates that are coming through, it just sounds so much more enjoyable from a recruiter's work experience.

- You design inexperience. And the more you design inexperience, if you're the kind of person that gets excited about that, you're creating your own experience adding growth and challenge to your own job, hint hint all those people who ever recruit is working for you. This is the stuff that gets people excited and pumped up.

- Yeah I do love that it is the cycle of mutual experience where you're delivering a better, and again this is true when you deliver a better experience to your customer, whether it's a candidate, whether that's a buyer, whether that's a user, whatever the case may be, whether your customers. When you get the satisfaction of delivering a standout experience that feels so frikking good and it's so much more motivating and it's so much more enjoyable.

- People talk about it, employee branding.

- Yeah this is great. So are you feeling we go a lot of questions, we've answered a lot. Is there anything else that people have before we close off?

- Yeah what else do you have guys, I'm here to answer questions, that's why I jumped on I wanted to help. I'm going through all the stuff that I wrote down to make sure I wanted to tell you guys. I promised that when I was jumping on here that I'd make sure that I'd shared all, so I wanna make sure that I actually did.

- You have shared so many incredibly impactful tips. So I know that even if you add more, the impact so far has been tremendous.

- Oh here you go! Timing, let's talk about timing a little bit more. Your interview process and how to shorten it down. This is something I didn't even touch on. I think, now I'm gonna shock a whole bunch of people who I have recruited right now, I think, that you should have an entire hiring process done in eight calendar days.

- What?

- I know, now here's how. The only way that you can do this is if you have everyone on board in the start. So when were talking about, defining the kind of person who's gonna fit in, making sure you get the right attributes having all this stuff planned. When you're sitting down with everyone, coming up with this idea, the first thing I'm gonna do is say okay when are we interviewing people. And I would say, you're gonna take interview days on Monday, you're gonna take interview days on Tuesday, you're gonna take interview days on Wednesday. So will probably have about seven or less people in your hiring team. So you each take a week day and then when we get a candidate that comes in says, when's the next time your available? Oh Tuesday, you're going with Jim. Oh next day I'm available is Thursday, oh you're going with Sally. And you just know that that's your day to interview and you're gonna have people on your plate. So as soon as you have all this stuff planned out ahead of time, you can be faster, no other company is doing this, you will get the better talent.

- And I can definitely say from my personal experience right before I went into consulting, the company I was working for was about to get acquired and it was kind of a gray area, wasn't sure if I wanted to go with them. I applied for a job, would have been a great fit. They were so slow with the hiring process that by the time we got close to me doing a paid trial with them, I already had people that wanted to hire me for consulting and it was like the decision had already been made. And seriously if they had acted quickly, if we had moved faster and I'm not saying I would for sure have got it but if we had gotten further along in the process in two weeks instead of two and a half months, I would have been a lot more likely to make that decision and gone with them than saying no I wanna do my own thing.

- You have a project kicked off meeting every single time you have a new project, people come together and make deadlines. Why don't you do it with your recruiting process. If you have a new position that comes in. Say alright, what are our goals, what are our deliverables, when should they be done, boom and you've got it.

- Boom, that's genius, I frikking love that.

- Just applying principles that people do to their recruiting process. Again if you even do one of these things we've been talking about, you will come out ahead of all your competitors, I frikking guarantee it.

- Big time. And again the plan, that kind of project plan and kick off that will also make your team doing that feel more in control, they will have a better sense of what they need to get done. What I see, where you see productivity start to lag is when your team doesn't really know what they're suppose to be doing. It's all about having cohesive and unified plan and mission and everybody knows what their role is. Kind of a side note I'm just finishing listening to the audio book version of Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink, navy seal that went into leadership coaching and so he's relaying all of these stories of being a navy seal in Iraq and business. And one of the things that he really talks about though is you need to have this really clear cohesive plan for your team so everyone knows the role that they are playing and everyone is aligned with this mission. And it's such a simple thing but it makes a huge difference in getting your team motivated and all on the same page and working together and a lot more productive.

- Yeah. I completely agree. I really hope all this stuff helped all you guys, thank you so much to you Kasey for letting me have this platform and tell everyone, I love helping that's why I got into this so the more people I can help.

- Oh and there are some details about your podcast so everyone can know.

- So coming up on the podcast we've got companies like Zapier, we've got companies like Afamado just jumped on. Who else did we get? We've had Asana on Convert Kit on, we've had, they're still Convert Kit I guess, Convert Kit on. Who else would you guys know... I'll have to keep looking it up but anyway go to smallbusinesshiring.com. Yeah, Kasey was on. Go check out smallbusinesshiring.com it's the podcast and it's all about building better teams. I do Q and A's once a month, I make sure that I get to all these questions during the podcast. It's a whole lot of fun for me to talk to these high performing companies and industry leaders. So go check it out, smallbusinesshiring.com is where you can find it.

- Awesome. And I will also include that in the followup and show nuts and everything so everybody look for that. Thank you this was so fun. Also now I'll have a video and transcript, probably this afternoon might be tomorrow so everyone look out for it and send all of your questions to Brad who is like the most ridiculously helpful human and he just has a phenomenal attitude.

- Thank you I appreciate it.

- And you're wearing this super bright white shirt and you've got the whitest teeth you just looked sharp.

- Thank you. Not planned but alright. I'll Take it.

- Thank you so much.

- Thanks everybody.