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How do you interview, say, a software developer for your business when you don’t know the first thing about, well, anything that has to do with that job? The stakes are high, especially for your first few hires.
Back by popular demand, Infusionsoft hiring partner Lauren Borgeson talks with Clate and Scott about exactly how to evaluate candidates who have skillsets completely different from your own. Here are her suggestions:
Do you have a question that you want us or an expert to answer? If you have questions about your small business submit them at smallbusinesssuccess.com/questions.
Scott Martineau: Hello everybody. Welcome to this episode of the Small Business Success podcast. I'm Scott Martineau.
Clate Mask: I'm Clate Mask, we're co-founders of Infusionsoft, and today we've got an expert with us. This is an ask the expert episode of the podcast. We've got a hiring expert. So, Lauren why don't you tell us who you are.
Lauren Borgeson: Yeah. My name is Lauren Borgeson, and I am a hiring partner here at Infusionsoft.
Scott Martineau: So, are listeners have heard a lot of conversation around finding the right talent, the importance of getting the right people to lead the most important projects in the company.
Clate Mask: It only comes up on almost every podcast episode.
Scott Martineau: But, as Clate and I thought about going back to the beginning of our company, we didn't have the amazing talent that we have today.
So, Lauren is part of a team, and she leads the team who basically does all of our recruiting to find this amazing talent.
Clate Mask: The way you said that, when you said we didn't have the amazing talent we had today, it sounded like we really sucked back then. We personally got _____, which was probably also true. But… [Laughter]
Scott Martineau: That's what I meant. So, we just thought it would be good to have a conversation today about hiring, and how do you think about – what are the tools and resources that you can use as a business owner to make sure that you're getting the right talent. So, Lauren, so glad to have you here today, and maybe the first thing that we could talk about is just where do I go found the talent? If I don't know where to go look what are some tips and advice you can give to people?
Lauren Borgeson: Thanks so much for having me, and it's a good question. It's one that we get as well. So, there are quite a few places that you can go find good talent, and we're actually going to share a few of those in the show for you.
But, a few of my favorites that are very valuable, and fairly inexpensive I wanted to share with you guys here. Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups, I think are really awesome, because they are great places that you can share you job openings to specific targeted talent markets. The best part is it's free, you just need to ask for membership to join those groups. If you want to share out your job posting with a small business community, you can join the small business network group on LinkedIn and share that opening out with that community. If you're looking for something specific like maybe somebody who can do copywriting for you there are SCO copywriting groups that you can share that LinkedIn with – that job posting with on LinkedIn. That gives you a great opportunity to really share a post to a targeted market for free.
Scott Martineau: Let's – what would you say is maybe the category of the business like maybe sales or accounting; where do you see the most active Facebook group attributing the most success or is it good across the board?
Lauren Borgeson: Yeah. It's really pretty good across the board. I think the more specific that you can be into the group that you're looking for, and also the more active that you can be personally on that group. So, no one wants to see a bunch of we're seeking this, we're looking for this, and just take, take, take. So, where can you give? Where can you add value? Where could you connect others to other people in your network that might be great fits for them, and really cultivating that community online through LinkedIn and Facebook groups.
Scott Martineau: If I'm looking for a – let's say I'm looking for somebody to do bookkeeping, for example, what type of group would I go look? Is it a group of people who are bookkeepers? What's the – how do you think about targeting the group based on the role?
Lauren Borgeson: Great question. You can search LinkedIn or Facebook for bookkeepers in Phoenix, and you can come with that group that you could specifically ask to join and share more about your
company, about the opening that you have available, and what are the perks with working for you.
Clate Mask: That's awesome. Those are a couple free resources with LinkedIn and Facebook groups. I think a lot of times what happens with business owners they get started, and they're really looking for employees in their circle of friends and family. That's usually what happens, we see it over and over and over again. They get to a point where they…
Scott Martineau: They realize it's cheap, but ineffective.
Clate Mask: It has other expenses, yes. There are other costs involved. But, once they get past that they start looking beyond their circle. These are a couple of great free resources, but you talked about getting your job posting out there, and I think there's a really critical part, because you're really doing marketing. So, just like trying to acquire customers, you're trying to acquire the right talent, the right employees. So, do you – before we go to some of the other page resources that I know you're going to share.
Do you have any tips or advice on how to be really effective and clear in your job postings so that you attract the right kinds of prospects?
Lauren Borgeson: Yeah. Great question, and I think that also comes to using your network as well. I think you have to be very clear in what it is that you're searching for, and what type of person that you're looking for, and really putting that out there so that people understand this is the candidate that I should refer to you or this is the candidate that should apply to this posting. You want to have that clarity there, and sometimes it's hard in a small business, because you're sometimes the Jack of all trades. But really trying to hone in on what types of skillsets do I need to make this role successful or to make this person successful.
Clate Mask: Great. Then you said something just at the tail end as you're talking about how you'd go in and put your post in. You said – you talked about why it would be so great to work for us. So, I think that there's some things about not just I'm looking for a bookkeeper, but any suggestions you have of how people can really tailor it so
they're calling out just like in your marketing you want to really get after your target. Any suggestions about how they can round that out better or really call out the right prospect?
Lauren Borgeson: Yeah, that's a great question. We – actually this time last year I put together a blog post that will also be in the resources, and the show notes for you guys. That's about how to attract, sell, wow your talents similar to our lifecycle marketing. There's actually a whole worksheet there on how you can sell yourself as an employer, and how you can set yourself apart as a small business owner. What types of questions could you ask yourself? Like why would someone want to come work for me the same way you ask why would someone want to buy my product or use my service, and really starting to hone in on those things. So, you can include them in the job posting and appeal to the right audience.
Clate Mask: Okay that is awesome. So, listeners, please go do this. Go to the show notes, get really – get this resource, because what Scott and I see over and over and over is the pain of mis-hires, because the
business owner wasn't clear in who they're after, what type – what type of person is going to fit really well, and that attracts _____ wow concept and applying that to your job posting it will save you so much heartache. So, please go take advantage of this resource in the show notes that Lauren's put together…
Scott Martineau: Smallbusinesssuccess.com. Awesome, let's keep going down your list. We've got other resources there.
Lauren Borgeson: Yeah, I got other resources. I think one of the other things that people forget about is there are job seekers that want to find new opportunities. So, with websites like Monster and Indeed there are resumes on there of job seekers that want to find a new role. Those are fairly minimal in cost, and you can actually search their resume database for someone with the skillset that you're looking for. I think it's a great opportunity to find someone, and talk to them about your business if they might not – have never heard of you.
Scott Martineau: Do you – are you concerned about when you'd prefer somebody to be maybe in a role that you can woo away?
Are you concerned about job seeker – do you rate that better or worse than any other platform?
Lauren Borgeson: I think it depends a little bit on the role that you're looking for. But I think sometimes actually we do see people that are putting their resume out on Monster and Indeed that are still employed. Maybe their company's going through a shift or they know that something might be changing for their position, and so there's an expiration on that, and want to make sure they're ahead of the curve of finding a new opportunity.
Scott Martineau: Great, and the cost?
Lauren Borgeson: For Indeed it's I think about $100, and then for Monster, it's a little bit more expense around $300 or so to become a member there. Another really great…
Scott Martineau: Do you have a – is it worth the investment in Monster?
Lauren Borgeson: I think Monster's been around a little bit longer than Indeed. Indeed is a little bit newer, but I think used more frequently. That's actually what we use as our platform on Infusionsoft. So, I prefer Indeed, but I think also there's good candidates on Monster too.
The other really cool resource is actually called Startuphire.com. That's only about $100 to post your job, which is very inexpensive in comparison to LinkedIn and things like that are thousands. That's really a cool opportunity because they are specifically targeting candidates that are interested in working for a small business, and a startup. When you post your role on Monster and Indeed sometimes you're lost within those bigger companies, and they already have an established brand, and employment brand.
Clate Mask: You can't pay as much, and it's like…
Lauren Borgeson: Right, so this is really looking at those candidates that want to work for a small business, and want to be a part of building that out, and a part of a startup.
Clate Mask: Which resource is that? [Overlapping conversation]
Scott Martineau: Where is that?
Lauren Borgeson: It is called startuphire.com.
Clate Mask: Nice.
Scott Martineau: Startuphire.com
Lauren Borgeson: Yeah.
Scott Martineau: I was listening, I knew what it was called. I didn't know the web address.
Lauren Borgeson: [Laughter] There were a lot of resources there. Okay.
Scott Martineau: No, I think that's fantastic, especially for our listeners who are –they want to find people who are aligned to working at small company, which is great.
Clate Mask: It's – you get – it's frustrating when you're trying to recruit a software developer, but that developer's looking at offers from big companies. It's so difficult to compete with it, and so if you've – the only way you can really win that kind of talent if they're predisposed to work for a smaller company, and some of the perks that go along with that. So, to be able to find people that have always called themselves out as being predisposed to that at startuphire. I have to research the name on that one. Anyway, that's great. Thanks Lauren.
Lauren Borgeson: Yeah.
Scott Martineau: Sorry you have to be caught in the middle of this, Lauren. Great. Any other ideas on where to find people?
Lauren Borgeson: Yeah. We'll include a full list in the show notes on where you can go, different resources. Also, as I mentioned on that hiring kit through our blogpost on learn.infusionsoft.com.
The other thing I think that's really important is really just starting to – if you don't have one, create a LinkedIn profile. Create a LinkedIn profile for your company. Start to join those groups, start to be more of an active participant in that, and that way when you are looking for talent you've already started to build up a little bit of that community. Same with there's a meetup.com where you can also join different groups. You could join your city's small business networking group, and be able to meet others that might share similar challenges, and finding the right hires, and be able to bounce ideas off of them. So, really just think about starting to build up that network, and start to build up your community.
Scott Martineau: How long would it take me as a business owner to set up my LinkedIn profile?
Lauren Borgeson: Maybe 10 minutes.
Scott Martineau: Okay, a quick thing to do, but doing in advance is much better than when you're going to out to look.
Lauren Borgeson: Yes, absolutely.
Scott Martineau: Great. Lauren, thanks, this has been awesome. I think we're going to keep this one short and sweet and on point. These are great resources for our listeners to know where to go find people. I've heard this question a lot.
So, we appreciate you being here to share this with us.
Clate Mask: Yes, and if you've got the – if you've ever experienced the pain of a mis-hire, which is for almost everybody who's ever hired anybody. Make sure you go get the resource and the show notes, because that's a great resource, and it'll spare you that pain.
Lauren Borgeson: Awesome, thanks guys.
Scott Martineau: Thanks, everybody for listening today. We're going to call this a wrap for this episode of the Small Business Success podcast.
Clate Mask: Thanks for listening. Don't forget to rate us, write a review and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. If you're looking for more ways to grow your business, check out our knowledge center at learn.infusionsoft.com.