Welcome back to the Growing Your Firm podcast and welcome back to Chuck Bauer. This is our second interview with him and we are grateful that he’s come back to talk more about how you can take your firm to the next level.
In this interview, we talk about a program that he uses to teach firms how to build recruiting systems so you can find top talent and stop wasting time with low performers. We can only scratch the surface here. His full program takes 18 hours to teach and we only have about 18 minutes! But he did share some wonderful tips with us. Take a listen or read the summary below, then reach out to him for further questions.
- Why companies are poor at hiring
- Why setting up evaluation systems drives the best talent to you
- Why a clean car may be a sign of a great candidate
- A bonus tip on leadership that you’ll have to listen to the podcast to discover!
Chuck’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips For Building A Recruiting Workflow
Every growing firm reaches a point where they need to hire someone to pick up some of the load and to share expertise. This gives firm owners the space to scale their businesses while still taking care of business. Not so easy to do in the middle of tax season!
Chuck recommends that firms set up a system that lets them bring in new talent and evaluate it far before the time it’s necessary to hire someone. Most firms don’t even think about recruiting until there is an immediate need. When the need is immediate, firm owners can feel pushed into making bad hiring decisions.
However, a recruiting system saves you time and improves effectiveness just like implementing workflows does for the rest of your business.
Why Do We Fail At Hiring?
Mr. Bauer says that there are three main reasons why firms fail at hiring:
- Inefficiencies and a focus on non-urgent tasks make firms too busy to hire.
- Firms don’t know how to attract top-performing talent.
- Firms don’t fire poor performers. (The worst problem in his eyes)
A lack of time to hire is easy to grasp, but how do you start addressing the second problem? The first thing Chuck recommends is to ensure that you’re aligning the type of people you hire with your firm’s outlook. If you’re an entrepreneur, hire people with that mindset. If you’ve grown to a corporate level, look for people with that mindset. This can prevent a lot of conflicts.
Another tip is to build a behavioral profile for your positions using something like the DiSC profile, then put that profile information into your recruiting fliers so that candidates are aware of the sort of person you’re looking for. Furthermore, Chuck asks his recruiter to put candidates through tests to measure different aptitudes. This weeds out people who don’t fit the profile. Much of the course that Chuck teaches is on how to build these personality profiles for different roles.
Also, Chuck asks candidates to send a 30-second video cover letter with their resumes to see how they talk on camera and how confident they are. For positions that are client-facing, having a good presence is quite an asset.
It is this pre-evaluation system that most firms lack. There must be a way for your firm to process a potential candidate all the way up to the interview without getting tangled in the process. Done right, there will always be a pool of talent ready for interviews when you need it.
Finding Poor Performers Early
If the candidate passes the initial hurdles, the next step is to put them through a battery of interviews to dig deeper. The idea is to get as much information about the candidate that you can that isn’t visible on a resume. It is better to hire slowly and get the best candidate than blow through a bunch of bad ones.
There is also an interviewing tactic that Chuck sometimes uses during the final interview. In the middle of the interview, excuse yourself and ask your candidate where their car is. He’ll examine the car for signs of a candidate’s discipline and work ethic. Is it dinged up? Is it filthy? These are signs that your candidate isn’t disciplined or detail-oriented.
Very few people are perfect with their cars, but there’s a difference between needing a wash and outright neglect. In the interview, Chuck shares a story about a client who had a worker he wanted to fire and was struggling with finding good workers. He asked the client to show him the vehicle of the bad worker. There were a lot of dings, dirt had turned it from white to brown, and there were two dirty spare tires in the back seat.
This may seem a little extreme but think about it. Most interviewers only get a resume and a first impression from a candidate’s clothes and personality. While these are good things, you need to do what you can to dig a little deeper. Frankly, anyone can dress up well once and resumes can be faked. But it’s hard to fake discipline. This is why achievements like being a student athlete, or military experience, or even Scouting experience can make or break an interview. These are signs of discipline.
Think of the resume and all the basic interviewing protocol as a starting point, but then find all the ways you can to dig below these surface details to get the information you need to get the optimum hire.
In a nutshell, the way to get the best employees or contractors is to slow down and take your time so you can gather as much information as you can about a candidate before hiring. The only way to do this is to set up systems to gather that information in advance, whether through behavioral profiles, or video cover letters, or whatever you feel gives you the information you need.
And even if a candidate passes those first systems, use interviews to dig even further to verify that information. It can be something as simple as looking at their car. It can even be asking them to sit at a computer and go through basic Excel tasks while you watch.
When you have the confidence that your recruiting system is delivering awesome candidates, it’s much easier to fire employees that haven’t performed up to par.