01:18 – From music to recruiting
03:27 – Stuck in old ways
06:06 – Enriching, harnessing and sustaining
10:13 – The Swiss army knife
13:06 – An unconventional system
18:25 – Reporting and rewards systems
20:23 – How do I keep my job?
24:48 – A quick recap
26:34 – When it’s time to let go
32:49 – In closing
James: James Schramko here. Welcome to SuperFastBusiness.com. Today, we’re talking about hiring and to do that, I’ve brought along a special guest, Scott Wintrip from highvelocityhiring.com. Welcome Scott.Scott: Hello James. Glad to be with you.
James: So I got a hold of your book, High Velocity Hiring, and it’s kind of like the title is a giveaway really to the key message there. What do you think is the big discovery that will shock my listeners when it comes to hiring?
Scott: So there’s been a mindset in hiring, even a mantra that goes with it. And the way it goes is you should be slow to hire and quick to fire. I certainly kind of agree with moving on, letting somebody go when it’s clear they’re not a fit. It’s the ‘slow to hire’ part that I have a problem with. Lots of leaders equate spending time and effort on hiring, and the more time and effort you spend, the better the hire they think will be. That’s increased the rounds of interviews from two to three to four, I’ve heard five and even six rounds of interviews before they’ll offer somebody a job.
“The longer the process, the worse the hire.”
What I’ve discovered in my work is the longer the process takes, the worse the hire usually turns out. And the opposite is true. The faster you hire, if you have a process that allows you to fill jobs after just one interview, those end up being the best hires with the very best people.
James: So what sort of process did you use to discover this? How do you do that kind of research?
Scott: Well, the research was my own beating my head against the wall early in my career. I started up my career as a recruiter and I didn’t know much about recruiting. I was a music major in college. Of course you see the immediate connection there, James, I’m sure, between music and recruiting, there is none. So I had to learn how to do it from scratch.
“Businesses always need somebody today.”
When I started out, what I found was, the businesses always needed somebody today. Every time they had a need, it was today or yesterday. So because I had so little knowledge, I had to rely on common sense. My common sense idea is, if they always need people today, I better cultivate people before they need them. So I did that, and it made me very successful very quickly as I learned how to be a recruiter.
What I’ve discovered over the years was this was a very novel approach. People engage in the old way of hiring. They keep a job open until the right person shows up. They’re not cultivating talent ahead of time. So I realized I was onto something, so I developed this approach over time. I learned some things. I did research, as you mentioned, on the causes of a slow hiring and why make people poor choices and how emotions get in the way, and dug into this and developed a six-step process that I could then teach to other people because I couldn’t do it all myself. I started teaching that to people, and as a consultant. I have been rolling this out to companies around the globe in my consultancy since 1999.
James: Wow. So I do like the musician-recruitment transition. I often talk about being the conductor of the orchestra. A lot of people are trying to master instruments in their business, like they want to play the violin, then learn the piano. It’s really hard to make some good music doing that. It’s a bit easier to wave that little stick up the front, right?
Scott: Yes. I’ve done a little stick waving. I would agree it’s a little easier than sitting in those seats, blowing in a tuba.
James: It looks pretty easy from where I’m sitting. And then you can hire someone to hold the stick while you sit back and enjoy the music. It’s taken me years to get my team where it’s at, but I must agree, I’ve just cultivated people before we needed the work. In fact, we’ve kind of reversed the process in some cases. I’ve built this amazing talented team and then we find jobs that we’re a perfect fit for to just dive into them and we can get huge traction quickly because we have the right people there.
I imagine that someone hearing that the ‘slow to hire’ mantra is wrong would be questioning like, why do so many people perpetuate that myth?
Stuck in old ways
Scott: I’ll give you a very simple answer on that one. People continue to do the same things not because they’re right but because that’s how they’ve always been done. In fact, I’ll just tell you a quick story. Favorite story of mine of a hiring manager I was talking to last year. The client that hired me to work with the different hiring managers and roll out this faster process, warned me, “She’s going to be difficult. She’s stuck in her old ways.” Boy was that true.
I asked her why does she hire slowly. She said, “Well, it works.” I said, “Well, describe for me why this works.” She said, “Well, I always start with 20 candidates.” I said, “20 candidates for one role?” “Yes.” “Why do you do that?” “Because it works.” I said, “OK. What if the second candidate is a really good fit? Do you still look at 18 more?” “Absolutely, because it works.” And then I said, “Well heck, if you get to the 18th or 19th or even 20th candidate and they don’t fit, it’s still the second one that’s the fit, is that second one still available usually?” “Oh no. They’re usually gone.” “But you do this because it works.” “Oh yeah. This works for me.”
She just couldn’t get it, James. She was so stuck on this old way that she thought was right because it’s how it’s always been done. A lot of this is also driven by fear. So if we’re comfortable with doing something an old way, even when it doesn’t work for us, that comfort tends to increase our likelihood we’ll do it because it’s familiar, not because it works or it’s right.
James: Yeah. That’s a great story. I’m reflecting back on the time when I used to run the Mercedes-Benz dealership and I did a lot of hiring then. I remember that the best candidates, the ones who you get the most excited about, were often the most difficult to hire because they had a lot of other options as well. Sometimes you have to switch at some point in the process from them selling you on working there to you making sure that they come and work for you and not someone else.
The type of leader top talents want to work for
Scott: This is a really important point. It’s true in sales. It’s true in all kinds of professions, from healthcare to IT, to creative. You pretty much name the profession. And there are a top group of talented people who have no patience for a long hiring process. In fact, in interviewing thousands of these top talented people, they all said a similar thing. They said the longer the hiring process, the more indecisive the leader looks, and that’s not who I want to work for. They want to work for people who are confident. And confidence isn’t in just what you say, it’s what you do.
If somebody is slow to hire, they look like they’re fearful. Fearful leaders are not who top talented people are attracted to work for. So fast hiring has a lot of benefits. It’s not just that we’re getting the right person in the right seat right when we need them. It’s also the best attractor for people who have no patience for a long hiring process, and that’s the truth about top talent. When they want a job, they don’t want to go through a Survivor-esque kind of interviewing process to get there.
James: So let’s say we’re converted to this idea. We want to start hiring quickly. We know that the best candidates will be attracted to a faster process. We have a blank piece of paper here. What would you write down as the process to educate someone from scratch on this high velocity hiring process?
The hiring process
Scott: So as I said before, it’s a six-step process. I’m going to actually boil it down for the sake of this conversation for time to three simple steps, because there’s really three phases to this process. So the first phase is the enrich phase. We’re going to enrich the flow of talent. The second phase is we’re going to harness that flow through better interviewing methods. And then we’re going to sustain that flow. We’re going to build an inventory or pipeline of people so we’re ready to hire in an instant.
The enrich phase
So let me just take those one at a time to give some very simple details for listeners so they can start acting on this now. So in the enrich step, what I found is that most organizations have a weak or inconsistent flow of talent. What they don’t realize is that there are eight streams of talent that compose what I call candidate gravity. It’s the force that draws in people to your organization. So for example, one of the most popular streams these days is automation. That’s the job boards, all of the posting sites, your applicant tracking system, if you have one. It is one of the most frequently used and overused. And so if we have somebody overusing that stream and ignoring the seven others, they’re going to be missing out on pools of talent.
Another popular stream, although it’s not as well used as it used to be, are referrals. Each of these streams draws in different people. No one stream can draw in everybody. So if we maximize all eight, it actually takes less time to leverage eight streams of talent than it does one or two. Because if you try and fish from just one or two streams, you’re not going to get a lot of talent. You’re going to be overfishing those limited streams. It takes more time versus more is actually less. The more of them you use, the less time it takes.
Harnessing the talent
So if we enrich the flow of talent, then we harness it. We have to do better interviews. Interviews are typically conceptual where people sit down and talk about doing work. It’s no wonder, it shouldn’t be a wonder that people don’t end up making a good fit or a good hire because they’re talking conceptually about the job. I believe in a hands-on interview where you see people do see sample work. So if we enrich the flow of talent, we harness it through better interview methods, now we can build what I call talent inventories.
This is just a small inventory of people who are ready to hire. And James, I think you did this. Although you probably didn’t call it a talent inventory, you clearly in your business cultivated people and either found roles for them, created roles for them, or you stayed in touch until you needed them. That’s the beauty. A lot of people have done what I call accidental instantaneous hire and they happen to have somebody available when they needed them. I talk about making these happy accidents happen intentionally all the time and that’s because we’ve enriched the flow, harnessed it, and we’ve lined up at least a couple people who are ready to hire right when we need them.
James: Yeah. It’s something that I was surprised with actually in our business, because I was reading The 4-Hour Workweek and I saw this part where Tim’s hiring someone from India to get some help. And I went on to one of their websites and they had this huge waiting list. It’s like the 4-Hour Workweek effect where it just clogged up the resource. And I mentioned this to a friend of mine, and he had a little team in the Philippines and he said, “Well, you know, we can get someone to find you a candidate.” And I said, “OK, that’d be great.” I said, “I don’t even know if I’ll have enough work to keep this person busy.” So he found me two candidates, I chatted with two people, I hired one of them straight away and I didn’t even know what I was going to have her do. But from there, we actually scaled out to 65 people in the next few years, so I found things for them to do.
I still have a core team of eight, after selling off my SEO business and selling off my website development business. These people are incredibly talented. But I’ve come to this idea where I view them as this powerful resource that we call team. They’re not little machines or cogs like other people seem to think about people in other countries. They’re our team, it’s our core, it’s our resource of energy that we can direct anywhere we want. Even our side projects are powerful. But I’ve come to this idea that I’m not looking for roles. I just think a role is ultimately a collection of tasks.
Hiring a Swiss Army knife
And the fascinating thing in our business is when we map out each of the people in our business, I found out that of the eight people there’s usually five or six people who can cover most of the tasks in our business and they’re so multi-skilled that I would call this type of person now a Swiss Army knife.
And I see people trying to recruit a Swiss Army knife, but they’re dreaming, because it takes years to build up all of those skills and to interact and cross train. But once you get them, they’re not going anywhere. If you have a great environment to retain them. But when I look at the tasks they’re doing, they just, there’s no role out there on a jobs board that would describe the sort of things that any one of these people are doing.
Some of them are doing bookkeeping and illustrations, for example, or podcast editing and setting up YouTube channels and then at the same time they’re doing research for content for a completely unrelated website. But once you build up this task inventory, then you’ve got this little deployable army that can swarm onto anything, kind of like a good blood cell that goes looking for bad blood in the system and wiping them out.
Scott: Yeah, I love this metaphor. I love both your metaphors of the blood cell and the Swiss Army knife, and I’m going to play with your Swiss Army knife one. When you use a hiring profile, which is part of that enriched stage, so we enrich the flow of talent by increasing the flow, we have a blueprint. We know who we’re looking for. We’re looking for somebody who fits the job. Not the perfect candidate, not the ideal candidate, because you said it well, James. You go searching for the perfect Swiss Army knife candidate who can do all kinds of things, you’ll probably be searching forever.
Now, we just need somebody who fits the role. Once we get them in the door, though, we’re going to find some people, a handful, not only fit the role, but they have other components to them, those other parts of the Swiss Army knife where we can leverage those. And this is how we keep the team, like you talked about, those five to eight core people, happy over time. Because we get to know our people, we discover their strengths, their abilities, their areas of interest, the hidden skill that we didn’t know they had.
And this is the beauty of cultivating, then talent ahead of time is, we’re not only looking for people who fit, but when we find some who then go beyond that, we can either create a role on the spot or they’re our very next hire the moment something opens up because we know that they have so much more to them than just this one role they’re going to be able to do for us.
And I bet you these these people that you describe, James, are going to be with you for a very long time, because you’re giving them the opportunity to leverage the best parts of themselves. And that’s very interesting. Employees feel valued, they feel like they’re contributing, the workday is more interesting. When we talk about engaging a workforce and retaining people, that’s one of the best ways to do it, is make sure they fit and then leverage all their additional abilities if they have them.
An unusual system
James: Well that’s the thing. The most recent person on my team started five years ago, and the others are coming up to their eighth year. And when we have new tasks in the business, I literally put them up for auction in our Slack channel. So I might come across some information or a resource or want to try a tool. See, we get offered things all the time by suppliers. They might say, “Hey, would you like to use this tool or platform?” And an example of that is one of our strategies is to have a waiting list and we’re using some software that manages that automatically. So I’ll get this software and then I’ll say, “OK, who’d like to learn about this? Who wants to be involved with this?” People will put their hand up and say “Oh, yes, I’d be interested in that.”
So I don’t mind, we don’t have names of roles of what they’re doing in a business. They just have a collection of tasks that they’re responsible for and then cross-train and everyone knows everyone else’s job to a large extent. But the other thing that’s interesting is no one in my team is doing the same thing they were hired for, and we never really even hired for specific tasks. In the beginning, we often just found great people and we wanted to do something with them and support them, and we really expanded quickly by using a word of mouth system where we employed people who were in the same previous company or who were in the same social network, or often the case, in the family network.
And we’ve ended up using that strategy is our prime strategy. So to this day, which is kind of crazy, we’ve never used a jobs board. We’ve been completely outside of the traditional job system. And I’ve never sat down and written out a job role that we’re looking for, because not one of the people in our business had any prior knowledge of the type of thing they’re doing now, especially because we’re online. None of them knew what WordPress is or Ontraport or hosting or any of that stuff. They’ve come from outside roles, but they’ve had great attitudes and a great approach. And we’ve really pushed the barrier in terms of being self-organized and reducing the amount of bureaucracy in the company.
So I do agree with you, I don’t think they’re going to leave in a hurry, because they are doing the jobs that they enjoy. We don’t do lame stuff anymore, like tracking days off or annual leave or any of that. They can have whatever time off they need. They just got to make sure that someone else is covering for them in whatever tasks that they do.
And it’s just self-organized. I’m not involved in those decisions. And I’ve tried to remove all the things that I think used to suck when I worked for other people. And there’s such a long list. That is such a long list of things that employers do to negatively motivate employees. Everything from carrot and stick through to not appreciating good effort, or even in some cases, it happened to me a lot, where they steal the credit for your work and push themselves up the ladder while they’re stepping on your face on the way down.
Blurring the lines
Scott: Right. Well, hey, James, there’s an important lesson in what you’re sharing, and I want to draw this out from my experience, because I think your listeners could benefit greatly from what you just said. And in particular, there may be some listeners who may not be as – well, they may be a little risk-adverse. You are not risk-adverse. You would have never left Mercedes-Benz dealership and taken the path you did had you been risk-adverse. And one of the things that I love about what you do and I bet it fits your personality, is there’s a free-flowing nature to your business with very blurry lines when it comes to roles. And there are probably some listeners who are listening to that, thinking, I can’t do that, I need things a little more buttoned-up than that.
And you know what, that’s OK, because that’s not wrong and neither are you. If we have listeners today who like more delineated, defined roles because that’s the structure you’re used to, I say go for that. But I would borrow from you, and I would blur the lines a little bit. And how you do that is what you said, is when you put jobs out to auction or bid, or you give people who’ve completed their core work opportunities to do additional work, they’re trying on different things. This is how you can have a more regimented organization with a little bit of a blurry line between the roles that keeps it interesting, engaging and gives those cross-training opportunities.
And I’ve watched organizations who have leaders who like more delineated roles, and then in the same organization were leaders who like free-flowing roles. Yet both leaders succeed, because they borrow from each other, and they learn from each other. So I think all of your listeners would benefit from either a less-defined structure or, if you like a defined structure, to borrow your idea of allowing people to take on additional tasks when it makes sense, and blur those lines a little bit, because what happens? You get longevity in your people because work suddenly becomes more interesting.
James: Yeah, and I think that the interesting thing is, things will get done in the business that you wouldn’t have even thought to ask for, if you’re doing it down to the microscopic detail. For example, earlier today, someone asked me about our Instagram account, and they asked me what tools I’m using for that. And I said, “Hey listen, I don’t know.” And they said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Well, I don’t do the Instagram account.” They said, “So how did you teach them?” I said, “Well, you don’t have to know something for your team to be able to do it. I just got them a course that they asked for and they just grab it and go and do stuff. And they do great work and I’m super appreciative of it, but I don’t know on even a tiny level what they actually do, how they do it, but it’s not important.”
Reports and rewards
So I’m interested what you think about reporting and rewards systems, because these are things that do drive our business. We have a daily report that gets published to everyone in the team, and we’re really only focused on a couple of key metrics, and they’re mostly lead measures, they’re not even a financial report. It’s a lead measure that indicates where we’re heading, and it compares to a previous period so that we can get a trend line. And we’ve agreed that this is the purpose of our business, is to focus on that lead metric and that everything that we do should at some point contribute to that lead metric, and that lead metric will make sure that the company’s healthy, and financial, and that everyone here is on a long-term winner.
So what sort of things come up when you’re going through that interviewing process and setting up systems for a new hire, like how tight do you keep them on a rein, or accountable to certain reports? Do you still have things like three-month trials and review systems that you would recommend?
Scott: It is a great question, and we’re dealing with lots of different roles here, with your listener base, I’m sure. So I’m going to take this more to 20,000 foot viewpoint, and give people a system that works for virtually any role.
I like to start before somebody’s even hired, and make sure I’m getting what I need and they’re getting what they need. So one of the things I know they need is they need a very clear set of expectations. What’s going to be expected when they walk in the door on day one? What I need is to know, are they able to and willing to live up to those expectations? So I love to hand people, or have my clients hand people an expectations letter that talks about how you keep your seat in the organization.
“People need a clear set of expectations.”
And that language is pretty specific. It came from many employees who’ve asked a question, and the question has been, “How do I keep my job? I want to know how to keep my job, how I succeed.” So out of that came the language of keeping my seat. Here’s how you keep your seat, here’s how you succeed. Because every seat in every organization has value. It costs the company money. And it makes the company money either directly or indirectly.
So we start there. You know, simple expectations. The rules of engagement: how are you going to work together? If there are any metrics, or sales calls, or sales meetings, or production quotas. So we sign off on that before anybody walks in the door. Once somebody walks in the door, those simple expectations, and we should KISS (Keep It Short and Simple), that letter, make sure it’s brief but to the point.
“Look for daily and weekly incremental improvements.”
And when they walk in the door then, we ask them to live up to those metrics. And what I say to new leaders, especially before some of those key indicators kick in, you talked about the three-month indicator, you know in a lot of sales roles, for example, people have to have made their first sale, or their pipeline has to be a certain amount full. Until you get to that point, because it takes people time to ramp up, what I tell all leaders during those first three months is look for daily and weekly incremental improvement. Now that’s going to mean different things in different roles, so you have to sit down and give this one some thought.
Let’s take that sales role again. Incremental improvement might look like, they start to make some phone calls. And for a little while, phone calls aren’t returned, but after a few days, a few get returned. And then a few more. And then some of those turn into conversations. And then some of those conversations turn into appointments. And then eventually some of those appointments turn into second meetings and so forth. And before we know it, we’re seeing this incremental improvement. We can see things moving through the business pipeline.
We step back from sales now. We can apply this to any role, whether it’s a production role, a scheduling role, an administrative role, a leadership role. There’s a process for all of this, and if we think ahead about what those expectations are, what incremental improvement looks like when somebody comes on board, we can start to track that through the initial months, see them moving towards meeting their expectations versus what happens in a lot of organizations is, it’s now three months, we weren’t clear on our expectations, we weren’t looking at incremental improvement, and suddenly they’re not where we want them to be. Well, why did that happen? We didn’t tell them how to keep their seat, we didn’t watch for incremental improvement and help them achieve that. So as leaders, we’re actually culpable for their demise along with them.
So I find this very simple approach that starts very, very early, bakes in incremental improvement and helps people meet clear and reasonable expectations, fits virtually any kind of role in any kind of business.
James: Very important, yes. An expectations document actually was the key foundation of the sales roles that we hired. Because selling is a very performance-based role in the automotive trade, for certain, because the output can be so variable. So we had a minimum expectations that were required. And I like your languaging around that. It seems to cater for an employee’s overriding sense of security and requirement to plug in that umbilical cord and feel nurtured.
Scott: Yeah, well said.
James: Yeah, well I guess whatever you can do to reduce the risk or the fear for an employee is good. In my case, I visited my team many times, maybe 16 times, and lowered the barriers and created a more risk-free environment. You would have to steal from me or do something horrendously irresponsible to lose your job in our company, because we are a little bit of risk-friendly. I don’t mind them taking risks. They do sometimes blow up a server or send out an accidental broadcast, and that’s OK, because I’ve done all of those things and worse. I’d rather they do it than me do it, because they can feel bad about it and I don’t have to worry so much.
Covered so far
If we just have a little recap here, where we’ve gotten so far is that with high-velocity hiring, we’re not just waiting till someone leaves to just think, oh, goodness, I need to hire, I’d better do up the big job spec, start putting people through a gruelling six-part hiring process and get the person who is really good at surviving conceptual job interviews. Instead, we’re thinking about developing talent so that it’s on demand when we want it. In my case, I always bring them on before I even need them, and then I grow the business around it, because I just find it so much easier to have a marketing challenge than a capacity challenge.
And to have hands-on interviews, I think that was a good clue, where you are trialling people more in the type of role that you would expect them to be actually performing in rather than… Like, let’s face it, how often are we hiring someone to be good sitting there in a conceptual interview? That’s rarely the role that they’ll be doing, isn’t it? If anything, we want them to be kind of bad at that so they’re not going to go work somewhere else, and just really good at the job.
James: Like, it really is constructed against the outcome that we’re seeking. So I think that was a good takeaway, and I liked how you broke it down into the three phases there, that rich phase and that harnessing the flow and then sustaining the flow.
Letting people go
So maybe a controversial episode here, that perhaps hiring faster will get you better results. You’re still OK to let someone go if they’re not a good fit. Just on that, do you have any kind of system or reflection around when it’s time to let someone go? I was certainly taught the three Ts, which was to make sure that you’ve done the right training, that perhaps transfer if they’re not suited to the role, and then if not, terminate. But I do often hear employers saying that their people never work out, they have to go and they’re sick of constantly hiring and then going. And I think often, there might be a leadership challenge there rather than an employee challenge.
“We have to look to ourselves first.”
Scott: It’s so funny you completed with that thought. It often is a leadership challenge. We have to look to ourselves first. And I love what you started with, train – did we train them properly? And I’m going to assume as part of that that that’s setting clear expectations and supporting people to meet those expectations. So your three Ts, the train, the transfer, terminate, I certainly can stand behind.
I’m a big believer of tying this back to the hiring system in the first place. Because if we built a good blueprint, we use that blueprint to enrich the flow of talent, we further use that blueprint, that hiring profile, to guide us in the hiring process to pick people who fit, and then we cultivate a pipeline of talent of more people who fit that blueprint, we should keep using the blueprint. So when somebody takes the job, the blueprint for hiring them becomes the blueprint of what they’re doing in the job, or the blueprint’s wrong.
So let’s assume it’s right, and if somebody’s not doing the job, I look back at that hiring profile, that blueprint. What parts of the job are they not doing? I communicate that to them. I remind them of the expectations. And to me, that’s the key here, is I stay ahead of this. I’m constantly watching for incremental improvement. Once we’re past that phase, I’m looking: are they doing what’s expected, when it’s expected, and how we expect them to do it, or how their boss expects it? And if that’s not happening, that’s communicated very quickly.
And I like your Ts again. I may need to retrain, I may need to boost their skills. Maybe the business has changed a bit, and their skills haven’t changed with it. You know, after a couple of iterations of that, I believe in performance improvement plans and giving people a couple of opportunities. And I’m re-communicating what’s expected, referring back to that hiring profile blueprint, and then we set another appointment in the future to gauge progress. And if they’re still not making it, we’re going to do that one more time.
But if it isn’t better then, they already know what’s coming. And the beauty of this is I know of no one who’s a nice person who likes to fire people. And that’s true of me as well. I hated this part. The only thing that was worse than firing people was when there was a death in one of my employees’ families or one of them died. That was the ultimate worst thing. Firing somebody was the second-worst.
And with that said, if I’ve done all this and I’ve done my part – again, to your point of, this is about leadership, when I get to the firing, my experience has been that people have thanked me, which blew my mind at first. But what it helped me realize is, they knew I did my part. I gave them every opportunity, I supported them, I reminded them of the expectations, and for whatever reason, the role went beyond them, they outgrew the role, they just didn’t step up. It was on them. And yes, there were exceptions to this, not everyone said thank you, but almost all of the time it was pleasant. And in some cases, I got hugs, I got thank yous, I even got thank you cards in a few cases, for firing people with such compassion.
But it really wasn’t the firing that was compassionate, it was the leading by example and leading by specifics and expectations. And in sharing this with thousands of leaders around the world, I’ve heard the same thing over and over, James, that many of them have received thank yous and pats on the back and just kudos for how they chose to handle the performance improvement process and then the ultimate firing. I think everybody wins. You can hold your head high because you know you did your part and you gave the employee every chance. And when it doesn’t work out, you let them move on with their life and you move on with your company.
James: Have you ever had an employee arrested and taken out of the office with handcuffs?
Scott: Yes. [Laughs]
James: I’ve had that twice. Always fun.
Scott: Yes, yes, yes. That’s one of those firings, those are the exceptions. And of course, that was because of theft and crimes committed.
James: Didn’t get a thank you card for that one.
But I think the key point here is that really, if you’ve got good systems and you’re a good leader, then it should never be a surprise if someone gets to that point where there’s no more runway. And perhaps it’s time to free them up to go and do whatever it is that they’re designed to do, but just not within your organization. And it happens occasionally.
And if you’ve been honest with yourself and responsible about the opportunity that you provided, that you were a responsible employer and you met your end of the bargain – and I’m talking about basic stuff, like paying people on time, which is just a cardinal sin of employment, if you don’t pay people on time. If you’ve done your end of the bargain, if you’ve provided training, and I would just, I’ll cast a little bit of a shadow out here and say, I don’t think most people train anywhere near enough in their business, if you’ve done the training, if you’ve been a responsible employer, and if you’ve had clear expectations and someone’s not working out, then you’re just, you’re actually helping them by moving them onto the next stage. They’ll take some lesson from it and learning and the evidence here is obviously, you’ve been getting people acknowledging that.
They must have felt a tremendous sense of relief when you’ve acknowledged what everyone already knows and they can stop perpetuating. Because I don’t think people are in a hurry to say, “Listen, can you just get rid of me now? Because I really want to come up short for my next rent payment.” They’re not going to race in there and ask to be dismissed, so… Some people end up having such sabotaging behavior that that’s what they’re trying to have happen, but they just can’t do it themselves.
But it’s been a fun discussion, Scott. I really appreciate your take on hiring. It’s something I’ve been involved with for many years, and it’s one of the four pillars of what we talk about in SuperFastBusiness, because you don’t get beyond a few hundred thousand dollars a year without doing some kind of hiring or building of team. And our sweet spot here is taking people from multi-hundred thousands to multi-millions, and that invariable involves bringing on a team.
So I’m sure there’s been some constructive ideas here that will help us think about the elements of the process. We’ve looked at the starting from scratch viewpoint, we’ve looked at a more mature scenario where people like I’m at with my team, that you can’t get to from day one but you can certainly start doing the right things early and getting there faster.
And so with SuperFast and High Velocity, a lot of fast acronyms there. Scott Wintrip, from highvelocityhiring.com, it’s been a pleasure having you on this show and I want to thank you for sharing and contributing so generously.
Scott: Oh James, it’s been an absolute pleasure. We have so much in common, not just in the words SuperFast and HighVelocity, a lot more. It’s been an absolute pleasure. I can see why you’ve been so successful. We have been reading from the same hymnal, so to speak.
James: Yeah, and playing on the field for a few decades never hurts.
Scott: That’s right. Well, you’ve just called both of us old, and I’m OK with that.
James: Alright, Scott, take care.
Scott: Thanks, James.
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