Episode # 32 - Hiring Tips From the Trenches
In the last few weeks I’ve been hiring for both ReynoldsOBM and for some of my client companies. We’re largely hiring outside contractors. This episode is a few “do’s and don’ts” for both sides involved in this process.
Here are the things we cover:
- The value in a job description (it isn’t what you think)
- Why you aren’t looking for a resume
- Narrowing down the field
- Showing professionalism
- Ways to show you care about the opportunity
- And much more
Hello, everyone, and welcome to Episode 32. So in the last couple of weeks, month or so, I have been working on hiring for both the Reynolds OBM team, as well as for one of my clients, there have been a lot of things I've kind of seen over and over again, that I thought I would share with you as part of the hiring process, both on the hiring side and on the Getting Hired side. So today we are talking about hiring as a certified Director of OPS, that is a big chunk of your training is really seriously knowing how to hire and hire well. So for a lot of us who weren't in HR, or weren't in a position of management somewhere in our corporate careers, we didn't hire a lot. Maybe once in a while, we would like do something, but we didn't have to the whole process, usually HR brought people to us, and then we kind of did an interview. And that was it, we did have to handle most of it. If we did any hiring at all I never did when you come out into your own business, and then you have to go try to find help. It's a very different world. Even if you had experience hiring, this world is different, right? When we are trying to figure out how to do everything on our own, it always gets a little scary. And it's also different if you have independent contractors versus employees, lots of different rules, lots of different ways to go. So I figured I'd kind of go over some of the things today that I've seen come up in the last month or so. And give you some insight here, if you are either trying to hire for your business or for a client, and then also the people out there that are trying to maybe get hired as an independent contractor with a different company. Now you're trying to get clients and you need to know how to act. The first thing is when you're trying to hire someone, I think a lot of people think they know what they want, until they have to write it down or explain it. And then they have no idea. That confusion of thinking you know what you want, but not really being that clear about it is, I think a big big factor in why things fail. Do you think you know what you want? Sometimes the word unicorn comes up in these postings I say you want the world it's not realistic, or you're not really sure you want to hire someone and they don't do the job that you wanted, but you don't know what you want. So are they really wrong? So when you're hiring, you need to know what you want this person to do.
This goes for being an employee or an independent contractor or whatever. I'm not going to walk the plumber into my bathroom and say I kind of think I need this. But I kind of think I might need a new toilet or a new, a new sink or whatever, knowing that you want these things to be done. And then you can tell if they've been done right. So this sounds real nerdy. And you're like, I don't need to do this. But you do create a job description. It doesn't have to be some crazy formal thing that you would see an HR with, you know, pay grades and all that kind of stuff. Because that doesn't really apply here, usually. But what will apply is knowing exactly what you want. This person will do the following 10 things, they will be responsible for these things, they won't have to do these things. Maybe they're a social media person, and they're just posting things, but they're not in charge of content creation, which is a whole different job. That's a copywriter. So maybe this person is just posting things. Or maybe they are doing the writing. But you have to figure it out. You can't just say I had need someone for social media, figure out what they're actually going to be working on. And that way, they also know what is happening. And then they can decide if they want the job. Not knowing what you're doing before you get there. It sucks, right? You never know if you're doing a good job without knowing the job description and then trying to set up metrics around that to see if they're doing a good job. That's how you can really get focused and get the right person and not take a look at that job. And see if it makes sense. Because a lot of people put like everything in the kitchen sink in one job, and you're not going to get like high-level strategy, with data entry in the same person. That there are two different jobs. So trying to figure out is this an implementation job? Is this a management job? Is it a strategy of visionary like where are you in that? Where are you in that structure, so that you can figure out what they're doing? And if this job is really five jobs in one I hate the word unicorn or Rockstar because I understand people just want somebody awesome But most of the time when those words are used, it means they want them to do everything. And no one can do everything and be good at it. So once you have taken the time to really figure out what you want, when you are putting that out there in the world, a lot of times incorporate, you'll use something like zip recruiter, or indeed or things like that. I don't tend to use them here because I have much more of a networking thing, either with Facebook groups or LinkedIn. But I see a lot of people will post a job in a Facebook group. And then they'll say comment below. This is the most inefficient way to get the information, going through emails, or Facebook messages to pull information on people is Rudel, it takes so much time and we don't have that kind of time to mess around. My suggestion is use something like a Google Form or a type form. You've set up the form, set up the questions on it that you want to ask them. Like, let's say you might need someone at a certain time or a certain time zone because you need somebody to be compatible with something else. Or you might need them to know certain software, whatever the questions are, put those questions out there. So they can say yes, I know, these things are Yes, or no I don't. They put all of the information in. And there are places I know at least on Google form that you can upload, let's say a resume or portfolio or something like that. And then all of that data goes on to a spreadsheet. So all you have to do is look at a spreadsheet. And you can go down one single column that's really important. Like you need someone to know this software. And everyone that doesn't know that software, you eliminate them done. It's so simple.
On the last job posting, I did for my own business. I had 100 people put in for the job. Submit on that Google Form. I only had it open in two groups in Facebook for four days. I had to shut it off after four days, because I had so many it was just overwhelming. That was when I could go through that list. All of that just fed to a spreadsheet, like people who didn't know a certain thing, I could eliminate them easily it narrowed it down so much. And then on that spreadsheet, you can also make notes. Oh, this person sounds great. This person sounds awful. Like whatever the thing is, right? That's where you can kind of start helping to document it and narrowing it down. Now, there's another part of this, and I've mentioned this before in passing, but you need to decide whether you're going to hire an independent contractor or an employee. And I'm not going to give you advice here because there's a lot of legal things here. And everyone's different and states are different. California is very, very strict on this more than other states could Caroline's independent contractors have a certain thing that you have to go through definitely for the IRS, if that is not adhere to it is the hiring person's responsibility to pay the back taxes if they are trying to skate around it, just so you know, independent contractors, they have to invoice they have to have autonomy around their schedule, they basically are experts your hiring. So they are going to do the job their way you cannot tell them what to do and when to do it specifically. There's a lot of different rules there. A lot of times people that are independent contractors really should be classified as employees, this is a whole thing. There are rules and things like that. So that is something just to be aware of and check out where you are. Look up the IRS standards on that. Just as an aside. Now, if you are hiring a contractor, they are a business owner, do not expect a resume. I see even so many higher-level jobs. So many, six, seven-figure businesses looking for Director of Operations Chief Operating Officer like all those kind of things, and they're asking for a resume. If you were hiring for an independent contractor, you can ask for their website, examples of their work. LinkedIn, that's very helpful. It kind of bridges the gap there. But I haven't had a resume in years. And I refuse to even give one because you wouldn't ask your plumber for a resume. It's an independent contractor is a business owner. And I feel like that differentiation comes. A lot of us get real touchy about this. Because most of the time if people are asking for a resume, they don't understand that that is a very employee mindset thing to do. We are experts that you're hiring to come in and do something we are not your employee. And I know a lot of business owners just don't understand the difference. But on our side of it as a service provider, we get a little touchy about that. So if someone says to you that they're not going to give you a resume, that is the norm. So after you've gone through your stuff you have clearly doing your job description, you put your form out there, you've collected all this data, you've decided all these things, right? I go through next and pick my three best people. You can interview as many people as you want. But that is only going to make it number one harder to pick. And to, it's gonna take a ton of time, we want to make this as easy and efficient as possible. So having that form, get all the data while you're not even standing there, you don't have to try to pull things from somewhere, type things up, all goes into one place, you go through it, you pick out your best three, which ones grab Yeah. Then you invite them to interview on, I do it on zoom, do it on phone coffee, like I like I like being able to see people and then do your interview. And we could go on for days about interview tactics here. But I'm just trying to give you some basics of what I'm seeing. After the call. Write down your impressions immediately. I'm old school, I like paper, especially when I'm trying to pay attention to someone I can write easier than I could type over there. They're talking. I have a sheet with me when I interview with a whole bunch of questions that I want to ask or things that I remember from their their application, things like that. And as soon as I get off my call, I write down every impression I have of them. Were they professional? Did they show up on time? Do they answer my questions, all those kind of things that goes on that sheet. Because if you have something else to do, and you come back, you may not remember which person said what. So getting those first impressions out is really, really important. And then go with your gut on this. On both sides of either being hired or hiring others. My gut usually is right when I come in, and I'm like, Wolf, I don't know about this guy. Listen to that gut. I've been in interviews on wall street with brokers. And I remember thinking, yeah, this guy's a pain. But I mean, it'll be fine. Every time I convinced myself, it will be fine. It was not fun. It was not fun at all. And I ended up miserable. If you are in an interview on either side of this, and you think there's something up, listen to your gut, that is my biggest piece of advice for today.
Okay, so this is for the hiring side. So let's let's talk about on the Getting Hired side because a lot of us are trying to either start businesses get clients or just continue to get clients, right, this is gonna apply to a lot of us. And I don't mean hired as an employee, I mean, hired for that gig, when you are applying for an open position, wherever that is. And they ask you for some kind of information if you have to upload something like if you want to include a resume or a portfolio or something like there's a Google Drive link, sheet Doc, whatever. Make sure that they can see it. Out of those 100 people, I don't know, 70% probably put some kind of attachment on the form some kind of Google Drive, resume portfolio, whatever. And, you know, I could access, I'd say 80% of them, click on it and say, Would you want to request access? No, I'm not going to request access from 80 people, or 80% of these people, you know what I mean? Like, that's an enormous waste. And I can't keep track, I literally sat down for a couple of hours and gave every application it's due. I went through everything, they gave me a website, I looked at it, if they gave me a like a link to something, I looked at it, I wanted to give everyone a chance. And some people won't, they'll just skim through it. That's just I that's just how I work. I couldn't get in to see any of their stuff. I'm not gonna go and try to follow up with them. This is a detail-oriented position. If they can't even give me a resume, or a portfolio without me having access to it. Oh, you know, as a caveat here, when I say that they were giving me resumes on my job form, I give a space that you can upload anything you'd like there if you have a portfolio or a one-sheet or something like that. Because a lot of times, especially when you're just starting out, you don't have a website built out and your LinkedIn might not be up. So I kind of give everyone like if you are just starting out like this is your first VA gig, virtual assistant gig. I want you to be able to give me whatever you can. So if all you've got is a resume, then there we go. But I wouldn't require it. Okay, so if you have been called in and you're going to go interview with some company about getting them as a client, show up on time and be professional. This is why I like zoom calls for interviews. I want to see those people I want to see what they're doing and if they've shown up on time and professional for me, this is fancies they're ever gonna look. This is the most show up, they're ever going to look. So if they show up five minutes late and in PJs - out, I'm running a company. I have clients, they're running companies, if you are not going to show up to an interview dressed and on time, and I don't need a suit, I just not PJ's. And you would be amazed how many people show up for interviews in PJs, or like dirty t shirts with their hair not combed. These are simple things to show your professional. And if you're not professional on the interview, you're definitely not going to be professional after that. That means I going to want to put you in front of my clients on some calls. What if your client-facing I don't want my clients to see you show up in PJs like that's, that's a big thing for me. We work from home, we can be casual, most days, and probably a buttoned-down flannel and a pair of jeans. But I show up and I'm on time and I'm showered, my hair is combed, I want to show that we are professional. So I'm going to expect that from you as well. Sorry for that little rant. But it's really important.
I've heard it from other people too hiring that people like I had one person show up once in the middle of a school run, like she got to pick the time for the interview, showed up late and then was like on camera, but might like the phone was in our pocket as she was walking or like the kid's lunch to school or something like I was not the most important thing at that moment. Like this job didn't mean that much to her. That kind of stuff, showing up being professional being ready, knowing what's going on. Like that's showing me that you're ready to do the job that you are taking this seriously. So on that Google form or wherever else, if you are asked questions about like, Is there any other things that I should know? Why do you want this thing? Whatever that is that more information question. Give them the information. This is your chance to stand out for the 99 other people that I had on that form, I have to narrow down from 100 people down to one person, I'm going to start looking for why that person is the best. Some people barely answered any of the questions. Some people didn't answer, they like literally only clicked off the required things and didn't provide anything. I know nothing about them. There were other people that gave information, but then gave me something about them. There was one person that just said, I love dogs. And I don't know why but that I laughed so hard of that like that was her thing that she wanted me to know. And I loved it because I love dogs like it gives a human side of it. I loved it, I loved it. I don't want you to be gimmicky here. Let's be clear. But having those opportunities to show off, take them, don't leave that blank. And then when you're in your interview, where at any time you have the opportunity to have questions ready to go, if you are really interested in this gig, you're going to have questions, if I have explained what's going on in and you're like, Okay, yeah, but what time is this? And when do we do that? And am I gonna have to do this that shows that you're paying attention. And you have boundaries, you have respect for yourself, you're going to take care of things. When I say hey, here's the basics of this job. Do you have any questions? And they say no. Like, I don't think that I've explained everything so perfectly that you wouldn't have questions. You're gonna have a question. And I know when you're trying to interview and it's so nerve-racking your whole mind goes blank. totally understand, because I've done the same thing here before. But as a person who's hiring, having that person be really engaged and asking questions about what's going to happen. That was great. And then I guess, on both sides, letting if you're hiring and letting the people know that they haven't gotten the job, so they're not just hanging around. Definitely the ones you've interviewed, and then whatever else you can do, I mean, I had 100 that was a little rough but trying to let them know. Hey, thanks. But no thanks. And then on the other side, I had people send me notes saying thank you for the interview. Like that's a pretty classic corporate thing, but it carries nicely. Thank you for your time. Thank you for the opportunity. That was nice. Those emails were nice, too. And I know that if other people are hiring, they're gonna have a different impression. And I know that my corporate background definitely I'm sure influences how I see this. Some people may not care if you're in your PJs, but I would air on the side of not being in PJs. We are all kind of figuring out how to do this. And trying to be as professional as possible. is the key. There are going to be times where I look back down like oh, I never said thank you to anybody. I never said this but I never sent the thank you note or I didn't do this thing or oh I should have done that and I've never done that before and you Live and you learn, and then you do better. But I hope today has been a couple different points so that I can help you guys both on both sides, present yourselves well and get a great match without a completely awful experience. We want this to be efficient and great and exciting instead of drudgery.
So if you're hiring, good luck out there, it's going to be great. I'm so excited to have any person on my team. She's fantastic. I feel like I'm already being able to do new things. So good luck to you guys. I'll talk to you next week. Thanks for joining me this week on the Sink Handle Podcast. I can't wait to do all of this again next week. Make sure to visit us and reynoldsobm.com for the show notes on anything we talked about today. If you love or you mostly like the show, please subscribe and rate us on iTunes so we can help more people avoid the Sink Handle.