Hiring for Small Business with Realistic Expectations

You’re feeling strapped for time and need to hire some support for your business. This probably means your business is growing. Congratulations! Before you hire your BFF or post inside a Facebook group that you’re looking for someone to fill a role, you have some work to do.

Hiring isn’t something that anyone should take lightly, and it’s likely that it’s a much slower process than you expect. If you’ve hired before, you know there are a lot of moving parts and mistakes to be had.

This week on the podcast, Jamie Van Cuyk of Growing Your Team is sharing some insight into how to hire right the first time. She and I both share mistakes we’ve made along the way, and Jamie shares tips that are sure to help you bring on the right candidate the first time. Be sure to download her hiring checklist, which will serve as a great tool throughout this episode and your next hiring cycle.

About Jamie Van Cuyk:
Jamie Van Cuyk, the owner and lead strategist of Growing Your Team, is an expert in hiring and onboarding teams within small businesses.

Drawing from over 15 years of leadership experience, Jamie teaches her clients how to hire their early team members, including employees and long-term contractors. By learning the dynamics of each company and their specific needs, she helps them find their perfect, long-lasting team members and avoid the hiring and ring cycle.

On a personal side, Jamie lives in St Petersburg, FL, with her husband and two daughters, is a hobby winemaker, loves to travel, and enjoys exercise that takes her feet off the ground, including rock climbing and aerial dance.

Links & Resources:

Time Stamps:

[1:55] – It’s still challenging to hire, even as you’re more established
[3:22] – So many layers to a good team member
[4:15] – There’s too much holding onto people who aren’t a good fit, just so they don’t have to go back into the hiring pool
[5:26] – When you need someone for more time than what they’re giving you
[7:45] – You have to be able to make the hard decisions
[12:20] – It’s going to take more time to hire than it may have before
[13:10] – Job posting needs to reflect what it’s like to work with you vs. focusing on tasks
Incentive people to work with you
[14:28] – You want to repel the wrong fit applicants
[15:44] – Different personalities will be attracted to different roles and employers
[17:58] – Aligning values and mission with hiring
[19:36] – Make sure you’re communicating what matters to you in hiring process
[21:08] – Hiring is a lot like dating
[23:38] – So much value in weeding out all those people
[24:07] – “Someone is qualified because they’re qualified, they’re not qualified because you’re comparing them to someone else”
[25:40] – if you go through the hiring process first, you should be confident and not trying out other people
[27:57] – We need to spend time asking the right questions for interviews
[34:22] – Interviewing for personality vs. skillset – which is more important
[36:12] – The biggest mistake small business owners are making with hiring
[42:49] – Every position is essential in your business because if it wasn’t you wouldn’t have it


Amber Hawley 0:01
Business owners are increasingly being pulled in so many directions, feeling like they aren’t reaching their full potential in business and life despite their type aways. With my background as a therapist, entrepreneur, and as a.com dropout with ADHD, I interview and coach high achieving business owners like you who want to stop struggling for success by using psychological systems, strategies, and the occasional care for entation. This is the easily distracted entrepreneur, your place to slay, overwhelm perfectionism and shiny object syndrome so that you can get done what matters most to you. Hi, Jamie, welcome to the podcast.

Jamie Van Cyk 0:44
Hi, Amber, thank you so much for having me.

Amber Hawley 0:46
Yeah, I’m really excited. I mean, I think there’s nothing more timely than talking about hiring, retaining employees. Right now, for business owners. It’s, you know, probably one of the biggest struggles that I’m hearing about a lot. And that’s causing that causes a lot of business owners distress.

Jamie Van Cyk 1:07
It does. It’s a stressful topic, no matter what, because it involves trusting other people, it involves giving a lot of money to other people. And there’s always a lot of stress around it. But the current market just elevates all that it is completely different than anything that I’ve ever seen. And it takes a lot to navigate it to find the right team members.

Amber Hawley 1:31
Absolutely. And yeah, I agree. I think that’s something you know, that’s always the one part where people have either the most challenges or if they’ve been blessed, and they got lucky that it’s like the thing that makes their business just like, you know, per, but now, it feels like a whole different ballgame. And, and, you know, I’m thinking I was just having this conversation last week with somebody who is a almost million dollar business owner and in just complete distress about hiring because, you know, like, when somebody’s not working out, or it’s like, how do you somebody who’s holding a key position in your company, and you know, that you actually need to find somebody else. But then it’s like, so hard to think about putting yourself back out there. So I think sometimes we think like, oh, in the beginning is when it’s the hardest. And somehow when you’re bigger and more established, like it’s difference? And I’m like, No, it’s the same no matter what,

Jamie Van Cyk 2:28
no, the only difference is, as you get bigger, sometimes become more clear on what you really need. And sometimes you’ve built some of those hiring skills. So you know how to identify what you need, and you know how to put your positions out in the market and communicate things properly. But other than that, it’s like it’s hiring is hiring no matter how big you are, how small you are, what position it is. And it can be challenging, challenging at any moments.

Amber Hawley 2:54
Absolutely. And I think, you know, you make a good point that like sometimes well, as we get establish, hopefully, we’ve also learned some things about, yeah, we have a lot of clarity about who it is, I need to hire what I’m looking for what works for me. And yet again, I find a lot of people as they grow their business, like sometimes they take enough hits business wise, like just going just life, you know, like the shitty things that happen, and that it’s almost like they’re wanting to find those people that they trust. And sometimes the people that they feel they trust are not the people that actually do the job. Well, right, right.

Jamie Van Cyk 3:37
Yes, yeah. Because there’s so many different layers to what makes up a good team member. And trust is only one of the layers. You can trust someone you can love someone, you can have this great personal connection with them. But it doesn’t mean they can do what you actually want them to do. And so you need to do more than just trust someone on that kind of surface level, it’s can they do the job, because if they can’t do the job, you’re wasting your time and money bringing them into your team. And also like you made comment, like sometimes people have someone and they’re not quite working out well, and then they just they’re dreading going back into the hiring phase of things. They don’t want to do that. So what do a lot of business owners do is they keep those team members who aren’t performing well. And it doesn’t mean they’re a bad employee per se, but it just means they’re not performing what you need them to do. And they hold on to these people. And they’re paying people have money, to not do what’s needed to be done, or that don’t have the capability of doing exactly what’s needed to be done. Because you need something else that doesn’t match their skill sets, but they’re so afraid and so want to avoid hiring so bad that they’re willing to keep paying someone and wasting their dollars instead of reentering the higher end market.

Amber Hawley 4:49
Oh, totally. I mean, I’ve said before, like I feel like I’ve made all the mistakes that can be made in business. And that is one when it comes to hiring that I’ve kept people for too long that just like you said, weren’t performing in the way that that I needed them to, or that would be helpful for the company. And it can be such a relief when you finally take that step. But it’s so scary. It’s like, oh my gosh, like, what if I get, you know, what if what if I get somebody in there worse? It’s like the devil, you know, right? It is.

Jamie Van Cyk 5:23
Let me tell you about something that even happened to me. So I hired my very first employee back about a year ago, I started going through the hiring process. And she was working for me just 10 hours a week. So before that I had worked with contractors and everything. But this was my very first employee, and she was amazing. Produced everything very high quality, did everything I needed, except as my business kept growing. I needed someone more than 10 hours a week. And she had a full time job. So she couldn’t give me more time. Like I approached her. I said, Hey, before I make any decisions, this is what I need, would you be able to give me more, it’s okay, if you can’t, but I don’t want to make assumptions. And she thought about and came back and says, I can’t give you any more than 10 hours a week. It’s just it’ll be too much with my other job. So I sat there and said, Okay, I love her. I want to keep her. So I’m going to figure out how to bring someone else into my business and then have to maybe team members 10 hours a week, instead of increasing and having one person 20 hours a week. And I was really struggling of how do I split this into two roles. And I ended up thinking, I was like, wow, as much as I love her. I’m possibly doing my business a disservice by keeping her and not getting the team member that I need. And luckily, things ended up working out really well as she approached me one day, kind of getting close to the end of the year and said, I received a new job offer for a new full time job, that because of the structure of that job, it’s gonna be really difficult for me to give you what you need. And I’m willing to stay on with you. Because this is about early November that she was talking to me, I’m willing to stay on with you through the end of the year. So you can find someone to replace me and I can support you through all this. She goes, but I just won’t be able to continue giving you what you need. And I was like in the background, I eventually told her that sound like oh my god, I’m so thankful that she’s turning in her notice, because keeping her was not the right thing for my business. But also there was that thing where I didn’t want to let her go because she was a good employee. And now, but it gave me the opportunity for her leaving to actually get what I needed at my business. And now I have an employee that’s giving me 20 hours a week. And I can have one team member focusing on things instead of awkwardly splitting a role into two positions.

Amber Hawley 7:36
Yes, I have had that same thing happen. And, you know, often I will talk about like the horror stories or bad experiences. One because I’m trying to normalize for people that it happens, right? Like it happens to everybody. But yeah, it’s so hard when you have somebody who does so well. And you’re but they Yeah, they can’t, they either can’t give you more hours or, you know, whatever it is that they just can’t grow with you as you’re growing. And that is such a hard decision to make. And it makes it so much easier when they’re when it’s like you the synchronicity of both of you at the same time coming to that realization. But that’s a hard one. That’s a really hard one.

Jamie Van Cyk 8:15
It’s hard. But there’s decisions we have to make in our business that are hard decisions, but we have to do it for what’s best for our business. And it’s it’s playing that balancing act between being an employer that really cares about your people and being people centric, but not letting the people drown your business and making sure you’re making the right decisions that do have an impact on people. But I think when you’re a very people centric business, you can make those decisions that have a negative impact on people. And people respect you for them. They understand that you’re coming from a place where that’s the decision that had to be made that you’ve put a lot of thought and attention into making that decision instead of just being a split second decision, because you’re in fear mode or anything like that. And you make they trust that you’re making the right decisions, even if they’re going to be negatively impacted.

Amber Hawley 9:09
Absolutely. Yeah. I think it’s about how you have those conversations, right? Yes. And yeah, I mean, there’s never a guarantee, we know when talking to people, you can try your best, but I think it’s a really good point that I don’t think a lot of people talk about it’s Yeah, you think, you know, because I think I’ve heard people say this before, like, I want my business to be like a family like really connected and supportive. And so kind of saying like people like my employees first or, you know, putting them first but they’re like you said there’s that balance of having that culturally but then understanding that, that doesn’t mean even in families we need to have healthy boundaries. Right, right. Exactly. No, that’s so good. Yeah. And I think I’ve had the experience to where I had somebody like that who I just to this day I love and adore her. She’s a good friend. She was working in my business and she was so great. But as time went on, then she needed to transition and all I could think is like, no, like, how can I make this work? How can I keep you. And you know, there wasn’t an option she was she was moving on to a different type of role. And I ended up having to go and find somebody. And it was a really hard hiring process, like 97% of the people eliminated themselves just in the application like that’s because they didn’t follow directions. And so it was like, all those kinds of things. But at the end of it, I ended up with somebody who was even, I don’t mean better, like, like a better. She, she had the skill set to take it to the next level, and to help me in a way that the other person couldn’t. And at the time, I was so happy with what that person could give me because she was so great at so many things. So it’s kind of like that, where it’s like, if there’s an hour limitation, that’s ultimately not going to work for you, because that means you would have to still be doing the work.

Jamie Van Cyk 10:55
Right. Right, exactly. And that was the biggest thing, when I realized I needed someone for more hours was I was looking at what I was doing, and what I needed to get off my plate as the business owner to elevate my business. And I realized that I was doing all the stuff that needed to get done. It was non negotiable items. But to do that, it meant I didn’t have time to network and meet new potential clients, I didn’t have time for sales calls, I didn’t have time for kickoff calls to bring on those new clients. I didn’t have time to even do podcast interviews like this, because I was in so much of the client work that I didn’t need to be in, but it needed to get done. And that’s what I realized, like, I need to hire someone so I can get out of that work. And step into the roles where I need to be to run my business the way it needs to be ran.

Amber Hawley 11:47
Absolutely. So we’re talking about, okay, there’s the how, how do we make those decisions when, when we’re, you know, kind of in this fear spot, or we’re kind of exhausted and not wanting to do the hiring. But in this market, like you said, let’s say we’re open to doing the hiring, we’re putting out the roles where we’re trying to attract those people. Do you have advice for people about like, what are those first steps? Like what does? What is the what is the thing that’s going to make the difference because it is a really competitive market?

Jamie Van Cyk 12:22
Yeah, so the first thing understand that hiring is probably going to take a little bit more time now than it ever has before. And time not necessarily meaning your time like you’re going to have to interview more people and stuff like that is if you look at the entire timeline from when you post that job to when your new hire starts, it’s probably going to take more time. And the reason being is there’s a lot of competition out there, especially for the really good talented team members. If you’re looking for something that has highly specialized, there’s a lot of competition for those candidates. So sometimes you’re gonna get fewer candidates over a longer period of time than you would before. There’s been times with clients in the past where you could post a job. And in the first weekend, you get 100 applicants where now you could post a job. And in the first week, you might have 10. And so just realize that your your hiring cycle is most likely going to take longer. So Have patience. Don’t just jump in to hire someone because you’re like, well, they’re the best of what we got. Wait until you make sure you have the right person. The other thing is making sure you’re writing a job posting that very clearly gives people an insight into what the opportunity is, what it’s like to work for you. The tasks that you’re hiring for, chances are those tasks are going to be very similar for somebody else hiring for that type of role. There are going to be some things where you do things, you’re going to ask this team member to do stuff. That’s not on a different job posting. But typically, if you’re hiring for a set title, the tasks are very similar. You need to write your job posting in a way that incentivizes the right candidate to apply for your position. So what does that role actually mean? Who is the idea candidates? What makes up your company? How is your company different than another company where they could be doing this task, these tasks? So when they read that job posting, it’s not just like, Yes, I can do that. It’s Yes, I can do that. And this is where I want to be forming those tasks. This job posting was written for me, which also when you write a job posting like that, it does sometimes mean that you get fewer applicants because of the fact that people read that and say, Nope, not the job for me. But that’s what we want. We want to turn away the applicants that aren’t the right fit just as much as we want to attract the applicants that are because you don’t want to waste your time interviewing someone that’s going to come in work a week for you and then be like, Wow, I really don’t want to work here. Exactly. Except no matter how great you are, there’s people who don’t want to work for you because it’s not the right fit.

Amber Hawley 14:55
Yeah, absolutely. In fact, I don’t know if this is kind of what you mean, but I used to ask a question in interviews that are like talking about something, but I actually put it on my job posting for the first time ever. So at the end, I think it says something like, must be comfortable with swearing and ADHD or something like that. I mean, I don’t remember the exact words. But I basically am like, letting them know, like, look, this is what you’re going to be getting here. So clearly, I’m also looking for someone who has a little bit of a sense of humor, because I have had that before where they come in, and you’re like, Whoa, like, you really are very literal in a way that this is not comfortable.

Jamie Van Cyk 15:36
Yeah, I think that’s such a perfect example. Because let’s just take like the swearing part out of it for a second and focus on the ADHD, you’re gonna have, like, let’s even look at like type a type people, you’re gonna have some people that are Type A that say, oh my gosh, there’s no way I’m going to be able to deal with that, that is going to drive me crazy. I’m gonna feel like I’m like, trying to herd cats every day. I am going to be there for a week a month, and I’m going to be out of my mind stressed because it goes against every grain in my body. But then you’re also going to have a for just looking at sometimes those type A personalities, you’re gonna there gonna be other people that say, that is what I want. I like being able to organize that chaos, I like being able to keep people on top of things. I that is where I thrive. And that is where I want to be. Because if it was just boring, same things every day, you’re kind of like checking the box. Okay, yes, I got this neat stack of stuff. And now I’m gonna go process it. And then I’m gonna move on to the next 30 seconds stuff like that type of like, organization might drive them crazy, where you have people that thrive and be able to organize the craziness that like being able to be be feeling like they are even if they’re not in a lead manager position, but being able to lead the operation of whatever they’re doing and making it so they feel like they have like that additional voice that’s helping you get across the finish line, versus just complete the task. So it’s like that that one line, just that ADHD part of it is going to help people say yes or no. And it’s so important, because it’s how your business operates. It’s how they’re going to interact with you. It’s an important thing about you. And then the things that some of the clients and stuff that you work with that this is the environment that they’re coming into. And that’s something people want to know what is the environments they’re coming into?

Amber Hawley 17:24
Absolutely. And it’s not going to change, like that’s not something I can, as a leader or a person running a business is going to be changing, saying that it is what it is right? Yeah, yeah. So those, when you say like, when you’re saying, like, put things in the job description, so people get a sense of that. So there’s that stuff about you as the leader and like how you work? Are there other things like examples of how people can infuse? Is it like their mission? Or what are the things that people can infuse in those job descriptions, things

Jamie Van Cyk 17:57
about the mission, especially if your mission is very, very driven for you. So for example, I was speaking to a friend of mine, and she owns a hair salon, and she is very Christian focused in our values. And she goes, Okay, I’m very open. I don’t mind people working for me that are not Christian focus. She goes, but we’re probably going to have Bible verses because there’s building out their spine at that point, she goes, we’re probably going to have bible verses on the wall. We might get together and have a team prayer to kick off the day. And she goes, I’m okay if people aren’t Christian working for me. But I don’t want someone coming into that and feeling uncomfortable. She goes, but how do I talk about that during the hiring process? Because I don’t want people feeling like I’m not hiring you because you’re not Christian. Because she goes, I don’t want to discriminate, but to me, it’s more communicating it so they’re aware. And I was like, Well, that’s what we put in the job posting. We make comment. Well, when we’re talking about your company, you’re Christian, that your business is built on Christian values. And some people are gonna read that and say, Okay, I don’t identify as Christian, but I can work in an environment like that I am okay with it. And other people are going to read that and say, That is 100%. Me, yes, Sign me up. And then other people are gonna read that and say, No, I don’t identify with that. I am not okay. I’m working in an environment where there’s bible quotes on the wall, because that is not that doesn’t make me feel comfortable. And so that’s one thing there and you’re talking about, like the values even if they’re not religious focus values there. There’s the values and the mission and everything of your company. Are you very eco friendly and things like that using those words that really help people figure out who you are. Another example is I was helping with someone who was bringing on people to help with their sales. They are 100% client focused where they will take the lower sale because it’s right for the clients. And focusing on that to kind of like for people that are like, no matter what, we’re going to close that sale, we’re going to close it for the highest number no matter what the client needs, like that’s a completely different environments. So it’s like kind of explaining like what are What’s their? What’s their focus what really matters to them at the end of the day, if you’re someone who doesn’t fit this you might not fit in, let’s see some of the other things is with the type of clients they work with. So it could be that it seems pretty straightforward. But you work with clients in different matters. So for example, you might work with financial advising, I’ve done a lot of work with lately. And some of them they’re working with business owners and other ones are working with the everyday individual. So it’s like talking about who are those different clients that you work with this, especially if they’re going to be client focused? Who did they want to work with? Who are they comfortable with? Who did they have experience with?

Amber Hawley 20:41
Oh, that’s great. Yeah, that’s really helpful. And I can see where, you know, I think in the past, that was never something that I saw included, like thinking, thinking back like 11 years ago, when I first started, like, I don’t know, maybe there were, but I don’t really remember seeing that. And so I think that’s so helpful, though, that even in that application process, like you said, you want to weed those people out, because you’re just gonna make each other miserable.

Jamie Van Cyk 21:06
Yes. It’s one of these things like I kind of got onto this analogy a little while ago about how the hiring process is a lot like dating and going up towards marriage and everything. And I started talking about it, because I feel like sometimes business owners require too much of their candidates at first. And I always say, you wouldn’t go into a first dates and ask for someone’s wedding plans. So stop asking for all this stuff from a candidate before you ever have a conversation with them. Because you haven’t made any connection there yet, you’re still trying to figure things out. So but if you think about it with that dating analogy, the job posting is like the online dating profile, you include things in your profile of what you’re looking for, and who you’re going to connect with. Because you don’t want to waste your time talking to someone, if they’re complete opposites and aren’t going to do that. Like if you’re an adventurer, person who loves hiking on the weekends, you’re not going to want to be hooked up with the person that doesn’t want to step outside their house ever and things hiking is is such a train and would never want to do it and be miserable the entire time, if that’s something that’s really important to you. And yes, it’s sometimes it’s things like opposites attract, but you need to make sure that those base things that you’re going to be compatible, and using your job posting to say, This is who we are, are you compatible with us?

Amber Hawley 22:24
Yes, I will. And I think that’s one of the benefits of online dating versus meeting people in a bar is, you do get to give them enough data where where, you know, you, you usually will choose somebody where there’s some kind of like, similarity or something that you’re enjoying. And it made me think like, so basically, if a dude posts a picture with a car, you’re like, I don’t even know is it swipe left to say, No. I don’t know. I think it’s swipe left. Yeah, cuz right is good, right? Like, yes, and swipe left. So yeah, you want to be you want to be the guy with a car and your picture, just like laying it out there for people. So they know. And then they can either swipe left or swipe right. I like. I’m sure somebody will notify me if I get it wrong. I feel like I feel intuitively swipe right. Should be a yes. That’s how I feel. Because it’s right. I don’t know.

Jamie Van Cyk 23:19
Right? That would make sense. But I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s lucky or not like I never had to deal with online dating.

Amber Hawley 23:26
I never really know. Yes, I know. I was like, I’ve been with my husband for 25 years. I mean, that barely an internet, let alone online dating. That’s so good. Okay, so that’s really helpful. So you’re, and I do think, you know, there is so much value in weeding out all those people. And like you said, I think it can be anxiety provoking to like, only get a few applicants. But I guess if if it’s like the quality of those applicants, like matching your values matching, what you’re looking for, is better than that’s actually, that’s way more positive than getting 100 people that you have to weed through that really are inappropriate for you.

Jamie Van Cyk 24:05
Right, exactly. I was working with a client recently where one person made it all the way to like their last round. And they’re like, but we only have one person that made it there. And they’re like, We need more people to compare him to I’m like, why does this person snatching everything, we set up a process to weed out everybody else. This isn’t like we’re just inviting everybody. It’s, you know, this person is the right person because they they’ve matched everything you’re looking for. You don’t is one of those things like I like to remind my clients is someone is qualified because they’re qualified. They’re not qualified because you compare them to somebody else. It’s like looking at each individual person and are they the right person? Not are they the best out of the pool that you have?

Amber Hawley 24:48
Ah, that’s so funny. To me. That would be that’s the hard part. I would want just one like I want one to stand. Because I remember having that where I had two people for an inch Take role. And I really had a hard time because of the ways the things that were like the best parts of them were so very different from each other. And I also did not have you helping me like, construct the criteria. To be honest, I think you would have naturally waited this one person out. So I ended up hiring both. And then very shortly, it became clear that the one was not a good fit. So yeah, it was one of those things. But yeah, I think that’s a good point. It’s like, I guess I would find that so lucky. Like, oh, I got one great person.

Jamie Van Cyk 25:31
Yeah, it is like, that’s why I want it, I want it to be that person. At the end, you’re like, yes, like, no doubt, in my mind, this is the person. And you bring up a really good point I want to talk about real quick, because there’s a lot of people it’s like, well, I’ll just bring people on for a trial period, because I’m still not sure. And I’m like, Well, if you go through the hiring process, right, you ask the right questions, you weed out the right candidates, you should be very confident with who you’re hiring. So you don’t need to put them through this trial period, where then you’re testing out different people. It’s no, like, when you’re hiring someone, it should be the person that you want to hire, especially if you’re hiring for a full time employee. Because just think about it, someone has to typically if they’re a full time employee, they have a job elsewhere, they’re gonna leave that job to come work for you. The last thing you want to do is for that person thinking about being people centric, this feeling, yeah, no, now that I got you in for a few days, you’re not the right person. So now you’re without a job. After you turn to your notice you left to come work for me, it’s like, you got to think about the person on the other side of that job offer, and what it is for them to come start working for you to get that job offer and you’re impacting people’s lives. So you want to do your due diligence before you hire someone. So that way, you don’t have to quickly fire. Now there are times when things come up that you’re like, Oh, I could not predict for that. But 99.9% of the time, you should be confident and that person that you hire should be a long term team member.

Amber Hawley 26:57
Right? Exactly. No, I, I would never do that somebody because I think I’m one of those people that goes that other way where I’ll hold on to people, I literally did the thing. You said I split the job. Like I said, they’re both so great. And then I was like, oh, and I’ll have a backup person. You know, like, I thought it was gonna be so wonderful. And then it just turned out like personality wise, and just kind of how things shut. I was like, Yeah, this was not good. And luckily, she came to that conclusion that it didn’t work as well. So it made it easy for me. I’m always grateful for that. But it’s that’s the parts where it’s like, yeah, it would have been good to have more clarity. Like you’re saying, I think I think if there was, I think if I had an I feel like I have a pretty good process because I used to have to hire when I was in the.com world. I felt like I had this good process. But I clearly there were things I was not asking or trying to discern for in the interviewing process. That would have probably made it clear, right?

Jamie Van Cyk 27:54
Yes, yes. And that’s one thing that we try to do a lot is we focus a lot of time, and not only on writing the job postings we get the right people into the process, but asking the right questions to uncover what is really needed to be successful in the role. And we would we develop hiring strategies for our clients, we spend majority of our time around those interview guides, and creating questions that really uncover like I said, What is importance? You know, so it’s not just these generic questions we put out there to get to know the candidate, it’s really finding out, okay, this client told us that this is importance, we need develop questions to uncover does the candidate have the ability to do this? Okay, here’s the success measure for the role. Can this candidate achieve that success measure? Do they have a track record for achieving success records that are similar to it? So it’s not always exactly the same? Because no, sometimes roles are unique? Or you’re looking at people who are coming from different industries. But do they have the ability? So we focus a lot of time on? What should we be asking a candidate to uncover the right information? So that way, you can say, yes, they are very likely to be able to do this, because we have uncovered that they have done X, Y, and Z. And not Do they think they have the ability to do it, can they? Can they go and tell us some hypothetical answer to a question where it’s like, ooh, in the perfect scenario, I would do this is like, no, what have they actually done? Do they actually have examples to back up what they’re telling you? And stuff like that to really uncover the right information. And then the other thing I like to tell people as if you’re really having a hard time deciding between candidates, so for your example, where you came up with these top two, have another conversation, think of other questions to ask them like, what would help you decide who is the right person or sometimes figuring out what is it that you want in your, in your business beyond this position? Fair? No, I had to do that. For one of my positions. It was I was getting candidates that were on pretty much two different spectrums. And I was like, Ooh, they’re all amazing, but what is really going to fit better with my business. What who, what is it going to be that makes up my ideal team member, not just right now for this hire, but where I want my business to grow. And once I was able to think about that, I was able to say no to this whole one category of applicants that I was getting and focus on the other category of applicants. And then within there, I had two front runners, this is for both of my positions, I had two front runners, after I finished my first run of interviews for I was like, it’s gonna come down to these two, I had a few other people, I invited both times to the final interview, but I had in my mind, it was coming down to these two candidates. And I was like, how am I going to select which one of these two candidates is going to be both times? With that additional conversation that additional round of interviews? One immediately went to it is her this is the person I’m hiring. And the other one was? No, they’re actually not the right fit. And now that I asked this additional round of questions,

Amber Hawley 30:57
I think the questions are kind of the secret sauce, right? Because I think that’s where I can imagine a lot of business owners struggling not having that clarity of, like, what is it exactly that I’m looking for? You know, when I think about those two front runners, the purse, one of the people was, turns out, I didn’t even realize like one was seemed like talk to the game of organization. And that was like so appealing, you know, especially for my squirrel brain. I love organization. Actually, I’m a little I’m way organized, however, also chaos. But the other person what ended up being the trait that stuck out for everyone, because I had like on our second interviews, we include team members. And what stuck out for everybody was just like how warm and inviting she was. And it didn’t, it wasn’t even until after we hired her that I realized, like how important that characteristic was in the role of intake, right? Like she’s answering the phones with clients who are calling in this is for my therapy practice. So you need somebody who’s super warm and compassionate. And that was so so important. And I think it’s one of those things like I didn’t consciously think about it, because I probably didn’t give enough time thinking about the hiring process. All together. Right?

Jamie Van Cyk 32:13
Right. Yeah, it was probably one of those things, like if I brought you through my process, and it’s like, what are the skills that are really important about it? And I, and a lot of times, I don’t simply ask that question of like, what are the skills that are important for this role? We start asking questions and other ways to get that start pulling out what is really important with this role? What are they going to be doing? What? What is essential in order to be able to do that task? Well, in your business? And, and putting it all together to say, Okay, well, you said this, this and this, guess what, that person is just going to have that amazing customer service that warm and inviting personality is what’s going to be really successful in the role. Now, how do we find that? How do we measure for that? And some things you can able you can measure by asking a question and gauging what they’ve done in their past some of those things for those like personality things and how they’re going to interact. You’re gauging that off of how did they interact with you during the process? How do they interact with your team is sometimes adding that additional layer of, well, I don’t always have a team interview. But for this position, it’s important because I want to see how do they interact with other people. So sometimes you add those additional layers to some hiring processes to get that additional information. Like you said, it could be a team interview, sometimes it’s adding an assessment or a case study, something additional to kind of test out those those other things that are hard to simply gauge off of a q&a style interview.

Amber Hawley 33:41
Yeah. And I think you you may, you were talking earlier, and I think you were kind of alluding to this, like, we can’t just ask direct questions, because often, either like you’re saying people are giving a theoretical answer that sounds really wonderful, which, you know, I always like to gauge for smartness, but or intelligence. But at the same time, sometimes it’s like, well, we’re all trained to give the right answers, right. Like, I mean, I’ve had clients talk about prepping for interviews. And so like, that’s one thing, but being able to give examples, and then there’s that intangible stuff like the personality stuff. So I guess if you were to say one, which was more important, interviewing for personality fit or interviewing for skill set fit, what would you say?

Jamie Van Cyk 34:28
skill set 100%. Because, yes, you need to hire someone that you’re going to want to work with. But as we talked about before, it’s like the very beginning, they need to be able to do the job. So just because you trust them, just because you get along with them, doesn’t mean they can do the job. So personality is important. It’s just, it just comes in slightly second after skill set, you need to ensure they can do the job. So that’s always another thing if you’re trying to decide between two candidates and you’ve proven that both of them can do the job. Who do you want to work with more It’s okay to bring personality into the decision. Yeah, just shouldn’t be the only factor in the decision.

Amber Hawley 35:07
Yes. And like I said, I think for a lot of small business owners, especially because it’s like, this is their, this is their baby, this is their, their business is like so important to them. And, you know, obviously it should be. And so there’s that feeling of wanting to be protective of it. And I think we do lean more towards personality, but I think it’s helpful to hear that it should be. Let’s focus on skill set first, and then that part next, right,

Jamie Van Cyk 35:33
right, because if you just wanted to give your money to someone, because you get along with them, I’m sure you have lots of families and family and friends that will take that paycheck. But you’re hiring someone because you need things done in your business. So that skill is super important.

Amber Hawley 35:46
Oh, gosh, that’s a good one. Because yes, there are so many people, that would be a better fit, right? That’s awesome. Okay, well, I want to I know, I want to be thoughtful about time here. But I guess, if you could share, I know you have such a wealth of knowledge and like hiring, the whole hiring thing is such a, there’s so much so many layers and parts to it. I mean, we just talked about the first like two little parts, right? But is there a one mistake you’re seeing most small business owners making right now that you would like to kind of give a little cautionary support to?

Jamie Van Cyk 36:24
Yeah, so I think there’s so much with what we talked about before, rushing to make decisions, not having Interview Questions planned out. So just kind of like going off the top of their head, going out the personality over being able to actually do the job. But one of the things that I think I see people making a lot is kind of going into, and I’m gonna explain it a little bit more asking candidates for their wedding plans on the first state is expecting all this stuff to get done before you ever have a conversation. So there’s a lot of new platforms out there a lot of different things you can do where you can have people take assessments, or do little one sided video interviews before you ever meet with someone and people are like, this is great. It’s going to help me weed out candidates. But all that stuff takes time on the candidates part. And I think it’s completely disrespectful of candidates time to make them do let’s say, for example of video or an audio recording of them answering interview questions, when you haven’t even decided yet, if they’re from their resume are worthy of giving you an interview. So a lot of times, like so far, for example, in indeed, I know I’ve seen it on this platform you can set up like, here are some of these basic screener questions with the candidate goes and records their answer. But they’re doing that before you’ve even reviewed their resume. And there’s going to be candidates that apply that you’re never going to say yes to their resume. So then answering those questions means once you review the resume, you’re never even gonna go listen to those answers. And so I always say, don’t take a candidate’s time, if you’re not willing to give them some of your time. And when you look at the right things on a resume, you’ll be able to have a small pool of candidates that you’re bringing in for interviews. And then after you bring in that interview, you can maybe ask them to do more or take certain assessments or, or stuff like that, that takes more of their time. But at least give a candidate some of your time at least do your due diligence to review someone’s resume before you ask them to give you a lot of time during the hiring process. Because here’s also the thing about that is the candidates that are great candidates that are out there getting a lot of job offers that you really want on your team, they’re not going to take that time to do a lot of those additional steps before the first interview, because they have other companies coming at them as well. So they don’t know you yet. They don’t know outside of looking at your website and what’s on the job posting if they really want to work for you. So they’re going to be judging your company based on what you ask of them. And if they’re gonna say, well, they’re going to ask me of all this stuff and complete all this stuff before that first conversation. What are they going to be like, as a boss? Are they always just gonna be throwing work on my desk, and expecting all this stuff out of me that when they haven’t even given me directions yet, or I don’t understand the value behind what we’re doing, but they’re just like, Do do do do do? Those people are gonna be more likely to say, No, I’m not even going to apply, I’m going to go elsewhere. So make sure it’s, it’s okay to put little things in there that will help gauge attention to detail and maybe weed things out and little questions that they take the answer to. But make sure you’re not making it such a complicated process for people to apply that you weed out the good candidates, and you’re only left with the candidates that can’t get a job elsewhere.

Amber Hawley 39:41
That’s a great point. I love that. You will and now it has me thinking because I have I have a few questions although I feel they’re like you’re saying to me they’re the they’re the questions that helped me discern like whether or not somebody’s a good fit. And one of them is like one of the it’s not technically a question but you It’s the, you know, put when you apply for this job put amazing assistant in the title of the subject line. That’s for attention to detail, right? Like, I’m asking them to do that. But I do have other I did actually add one just to kind of gauge personality. And maybe you’re going to tell me, I should take it out. And it was, if you were an office supply, what would you be and why? Because I wanted to, I was gauging for like, I’m looking for, like somebody who’s like playful. And again, a little bit of sense of humor, but maybe you’re telling me like no Ambra that’s too soon.

Jamie Van Cyk 40:35
I would say it’s probably too soon at that, because they haven’t had a conversation with you yet. As I can guarantee remember, they’re on a conversation with you, they’re in an interview with you, you’re you’re eluding your, your, your personalities, like seeping out of you. You’re, you’re having this great rapport. So if all of a sudden you threw out that out there during an interview, you’re gonna great get this great report answer back from the right candidates, and some candidates are going to look at you like a deer in the headlights and you’re going to be like, Okay, no, no, no. Can we can we Jive or can we not? When it’s just you’re setting them this question, and they’re typing in the answer. There’s none of that report building yet. There’s no they don’t know your personality. They don’t know what your what you’re expecting. So even though some of those people who could have those fun personalities, they might be too afraid to let that out at that point in time. Because they might be like, well, this is early on, I need to be really formal, because they don’t know who they’re talking to yet. They don’t know how to base their answer off of what you are giving them.

Amber Hawley 41:33
Right. Okay. Well, thank you. That is wonderful. And yeah, I think some of us, you know, in our efforts to try to think we’re, we’re making the process easier, maybe are making it harder. So I appreciate that feedback. And I will be changing that one to include in my first round interview. I love it. I love it. Well, that it’s really, really helpful. Because as we said, hiring is such, it’s such an important part of growing our businesses. And I think they’re, you know, I see a lot of people in burnout, who are just feeling like, Oh, my God, it’s too hard. I’ll just keep doing it myself. And that’s not sustainable. Right. Right. I think we need to hire people beyond just assistants to we’re talking about hiring experts in these different areas to grow our business. So I think hiring is one of the most important things as we go on in our in our business development. And, yeah, so clearly from this interview, even with all of my years of interviewing and feeling like I had my processes down, I can see the value of an expert yet again.

Jamie Van Cyk 42:47
And I think he did say one thing that I really want to stress upon is, I feel like especially as businesses grow, they people get into this thing of like, well, it’s only an assistant position, because then you have like higher level positions in the company and stuff like that. And I just want to stress that every position is essential in your business, because if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t have it. So every hiring process, you need to put the focus and define the right person, everything from your CEO, to your Director of Operations, your financial people, your salespeople, they are all essential, or they wouldn’t be there.

Amber Hawley 43:24
Right. And frankly, in my experience, from my corporate days, where the administration staff or will who keep the business running, so it is so I didn’t mean to say it wasn’t important. I just meant like, sometimes we only think about things as like, four. Yeah, we don’t think about all of the roles in which we’re trying to attract people. So that’s so helpful. Well, obviously, people need to hear more from you than we could give in this one little short interview. But where can they go to find out more information?

Jamie Van Cyk 43:56
Yes, so you can go to my website, at growing your team.com. And there you’ll find out all the information, you can schedule a call if you’re like, Okay, I need help, you can schedule a quick consulting call and we can figure out what your next step should be with the hiring process. Or I do have a download that you can get your hands on. It is my hiring process, or excuse me, my hiring checklist, how to find the right team for your growing business. And it walks you through the eight essential steps that you should go through every time you’re hiring. So you find the right person, that person that you’re happy to give a paycheck to every time that pay period ends. So you can go and get that at growingyourteam.com/distracted

Amber Hawley 44:44
nice, wonderful Well, I too will be heading over to get that downloadable. So I encourage all you listeners out there to do the same. Thank you so much, Jamie for coming on. And I feel like I might need to have you back as we go through there. So So many things around hiring that I feel people struggle with so that thank you for sharing your expertise

Jamie Van Cyk 45:05
Yes Thank you Amber for having me

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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