Daniel Miller discussed Recruiting Top Talent Strategies.
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Daniel Miller discussed Recruiting Top Talent Strategies.
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How to Reflect on and Learn from Rejection
It doesn't matter if you run a startup or an established business with many years of success under your belt. Rejection is never easy. It is how you deal with it, learn and grow that matters.
One of the easier types rejection to face is from someone who you have never worked with before. This isn't really a loss, it's just not a gain. Of course, it would be great to bring on every potential client with whom you have a conversation, but that is a little unrealistic. Focus on the yes's and signed deals you get, rather than fixating on the nos.
A type of rejection that is a little harder to stomach is when you get a referral but the client decides not to use your product/service at the end of the conversation. You know they have a need but you still couldn't close. Reflecting and learning after the interaction will help you overcome similar challenges during future conversations with potential new clients.
The hardest and most emotionally draining type of rejection in business is when a longstanding client decides to cut the relationship. Sometimes there was nothing you could have done to save the relationship, but if you made a mistake, ensure it is not repeated with your remaining clients.
Below, I would like to share a couple of my own experiences with rejection where reflection led to future success:
1. My partner and I started our firm in 2011, and this past year we lost a client because their feelings were hurt when I was giving feedback. In this scenario, it was the way I delivered the feedback that led to the rejection. In retrospect, I should have been aware that if I am giving a client harsher feedback, I should be more empathetic and deliver it in person instead of doing it over the phone. It still hurts when I think about it. It is especially difficult when you truly care and invest so much time into the client and their business. I know I had the best intentions, but it was not viewed the same way on my client's side.
2. I was referred to a big-time investor at a private equity firm many years ago, but I was unprepared for the questions he threw at me and the specifics he wanted. In retrospect, I realized that PE firms are looking for how you can directly contribute to the success of the company they are investing in and your process to get there. You must have your pitch down pat and show them you can help, consult and, most importantly, drive and directly contribute to their goals for success. It is not easy to work with those types of companies, but the reward when you are successful is the best feeling. My first call was a miss, but reflecting and perfecting my position helped with future opportunities. We now work with quite a few investment companies helping them build up businesses they back.
At the end of the day, rejection is never easy. Some types of rejection are harder to face than others, but it is always important to take the time to understand why something did not go the way you wanted, seek advice, learn and grow from it. Here are my top tips for turning rejection into a learning opportunity:
Take the time to reflect and understand.
Taking time to reflect is important because that is what leads to improvement. Reflect on the situation when you have a clear head and are in a calmer state, which is usually the day after the rejection. When you are first rejected, you are probably a little frantic and it is hard to think clearly. If you can relax, take a step back and reflect. After a little bit of time, you will be less emotional and better able to deal with the situation productively. Sometimes you can even come up with a great plan to turn things around. Focus on being proactive, not reactive, to move forward.
Seek advice from a mentor.
Most, if not all, business leaders have dealt with rejection at some point in time. So, seek advice from someone you look up to and trust, whether they are a LinkedIn connection or from a networking group. After your personal reflection, go over the situation with them and pick their brain on how they would have gone about the situation. This might give you a fresh perspective and will help with your personal and professional growth. Being vulnerable and able to discuss your challenges with other business leaders is not looked down upon; in fact, it shows that you are a motivated individual who is mature enough to realize when you have made a mistake and would like constructive feedback to grow.
Grow from it so the mistake is not repeated.
After the realization kicks in and you know how to better handle this type of situation in the future, share your knowledge with your team. After I experienced a loss, I reflected, got advice and then shared my findings. This was a big learning lesson for me and for my team because the best way to learn is from real-life experiences. My team really appreciated the fact that I shared the situation with them and they learned a lot from the outcome and from the alternative ways I could have dealt with the situation for a better outcome.
Although my big losses hit me hard, I believe the time I spent learning from those situations got me to where I am today. The main lesson on loss that I tell my team is that it will happen. I will never be disappointed as long as they can reflect, learn and grow from those situations.
What Business Owners Need To Know About Hiring An Effective Marketing Team
This article was written by our Co-Founder, Sarah Yeverovich & also published on Forbes.com
Some of our success at Empowered Staffing is due to operating in the SaaS/tech, digital marketing and e-commerce/retail industries, where most of our clients have a revenue stream that stems from an online platform. Because online sales and properly marketing your business online is so important, we have been able to help a lot of companies that want to start investing in their marketing efforts by growing their marketing teams.
I have worked with a lot of small to midsize businesses seeking marketing managers, directors of channel marketing, PPC/SEM specialists, email and CRM marketing leaders, analysts and more. The one major thing in common for all these companies is that they experienced a tremendous amount of growth once they had the right marketing team in place.
Step One: A Qualified Marketing Lead
A clear lesson we've seen proven time and time again is that it is extremely important to hire an expert in marketing who can learn the specifics of your company and help choose and deploy the best marketing strategies to get you the best ROI. The right recruit will also be able to help with identifying out which roles to hire internally and which roles to outsource to an agency.
It can be difficult to figure out what that first hire or role should look like when you are eager to start building an in-house marketing team. I see a lot of companies combining two or three separate roles into one when making early hires, which can turn off potential good candidates. Start by identifying the three must-have skill sets and create the job description around those key areas. First-timers can also search the title or key responsibilities of the position you are looking to fill and find similar openings online to get an idea of what your role should look like.
When vetting a lead marketing candidate, add these helpful questions to your interview process:
Step Two: Mapping The Marketing Team
The first hire of an internal marketing department is usually the hardest, and there are so many factors that differ from company to company. This is why it's a good idea to confer with other departments and leadership to define the role based on your specific needs and company goals. After you onboard a marketing lead, it is much easier to make future hires, as this lead should be able to define the supporting roles and design a starting point. It is also a good idea to create a sample organizational chart of what you would like your marketing team to eventually look like to map out marketing leadership and staff.
When you are growing your marketing team, remember that one of the biggest challenges could be the pace of hiring and attracting the best talent.
If you find a candidate you love, do not wait to move forward in your interview process with that individual. In a perfect world, it is always nice to have a choice of candidates to compare before moving forward with a hire, but many marketing positions are hot right now. With this, the unemployment being low and the need for internal marketing teams on the rise, you should be quick to hire if you find a great fit. These candidates are being approached daily — even if they are not actively looking for a new opportunity. If they are interviewing with you, chances are they are interviewing with other companies as well and could get snatched up in a matter of days.
To attract the best talent, be sure include some information on your job description about why someone would want to work at your company. Share details of the culture, benefits and in general why your company is a great place to work. Some recruiters or hiring managers get scared by this, afraid to hire someone who is "all about the money" or benefits. But remember, that is not what is going on in most candidates' minds. When you sell your company by sharing this information, you attract individuals who are passively job-hunting. The more enticing and excited about the culture of your company you are, the more you can attract top talent.
Just like in school, a student with straight As will not necessarily be accepted into the top colleges — the student needs to set themselves above the other fierce competition. So too must a company put its best foot forward in attracting talent by creating — and promoting — a great culture and workplace.
eCommerce & SaaS Hypergrowth - Roles you need to hire in-house ASAP!
After working in eCommerce/SAAS environments both as an in house recruiter and agency recruiter, I have seen a lot. I have seen failure and success, and I attribute it 100% to hiring strategies. So you have an amazing technology or products for sale…now it’s time to hire the infrastructure to make your organization grow and scale to that next level!
#1 is MARKETING: At one eCommerce company, I saw tremendous growth when I hired an ex-President of one of the stronger ad agencies to come on board as a CMO. We obviously, as a startup, could not afford a typical CMO salary, so we were able to put together an equity, bonus and compensation package that intrigued the move. This CMO changed the nature of our marketing strategy which enabled crazy growth. A Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is a crucial hire and needs to be focused on almost immediately. Allow the CMO to invest in PPC, eMail & CRM, SEO & Social strategies. This is very important.
*Trick to hire these people: Taking them out of ad agency settings is always ideal. They are usually paid less then brand side at the agency and really have a desire to get to brand side too. A lot of agency candidates are highly motivated to get into a start up too!
#2 is SALES: First start by hiring a very strong Sales Manager that has a mentor type personality. Someone who understands KPI’s, CRM, sales strategy and is very hands on. Someone who is not afraid to jump on calls and can teach the “close”. Do not hire the aggressive intense, red face sales guru - the decline in morale and culture is soon to come when these guys are on board.
Everyone wants a cold calling inside sales team. Especially in the beginning, to draw in revenue ASAP. We target people willing to make next to nothing with a crazy strong commission program and promises of grandeur to increase output. This model creates high turnover and sometimes can hurt the culture of your company almost immediately. The most ideal situation to make this work is to turn on lead generation marketing efforts and get your sales reps to start closing on leads vs making 100% cold calls. Make sure to have a CRM in place, goals, scripts and contact data. Without this, Sales Reps will not be efficient or successful.
*Trick to hire: Hire Sales reps by doing college campus recruiting. It’s a great place to find amazing talent that is not discovered yet. Save on recruiting fees and just hire a mentor type manager who will teach grads to do sales. Don’t just hire someone that was already in sales, paid a $28k/$30K base salary and is looking to leave due to XY&Z or else they will be looking to leave you too.
#3 TECHNOLOGY: I sometimes think of this as #1, since without the right tech in place, your company probably cannot even exist. I list it as #3 since most companies founders in eCommerce start by hiring a company to create the technology, application or website and then focus on building a company around it. I think hiring an in house CTO who has a strong hands on development background is crucial for any SAAS or eCommerce organization. You need someone that understands the code and really can figure out if your development and tech teams are doing it right. Too many times CTO’s are hired without a coding and development background, which can be a huge problem if you don’t have a strong internal development and coding team already in place. A lot of co-founders are the technology backbone of the company, so make sure to build a team of developers and analysts under you to ensure your scaling your company’s technology. Hire individuals coming from big companies who are looking for a more entrepreneurial setting, I find these tech gurus to be the best and most motivated.
*Tech candidates make a lot of money. Before you go and hire a developer, figure out exactly the experience you need and understand that anyone working at a big company in a development role will probably be looking for $80K-$100K+ to move. If this is out of budget, hire someone 1-2 years out of college, with 6 months or so of eCommerce/SAAS experience… they will be closer to the $60K-$70K salary range.
#4 OPERATIONS: A Strong Admin or Operations Manager can make your life so much easier. You have to do payroll, pay invoices, inventory, clean the office, get food for the sales floor, plan events, etc. etc. etc. There are too many odd ball things to do in a day, and without a solid operations team, you will go insane. Make sure to start off with a right hand “man” so to speak. Hire a high level Admin who can really handle an operations type job. These people will make your office run very smooth.
*Hire individuals that are coming from very stressful, fast paced situations. They will be able to handle the crazy growth that happens in a start up office and not get freaked out when the work load doubles as your company grows. Candidates coming from light industrial, distribution, logistics, law firms and the like are great to hire. They can handle crazy insane situations as if it were an everyday normal occasion. Do not be afraid to hire older operational people – I personally think they are the best, both in admin and operation management roles.
#5 PRODUCT MANAGEMENT: This is my favorite hire. I love hiring individuals who are in charge of merchandise (in settings of eCommerce merchandising) or technology (SAAS environment). These people are smart, operationally savvy, understand marketing, sales, technology, software and systems and is able to tie all the layers together. They are great with customers, understand strategy and really are the people that make your client and customer support team look good.
*The Trick to hire: Make sure to hire individuals who are already working with a product or technology similar to yours, so the learning curve is minimal. These roles need to be individuals who understand your product or technology so well that they are the smartest person in the room when it comes to your product. These hires take time, but are well worth it.
All of the above hires are crucial, and yes there are other roles, but focusing on these 5 areas can take your company to a whole new level. Make sure to you have someone in place that can focus on interviewing and dedicating time to recruitment. Without Human Capital, companies would not exist. For any hard to find hire, make sure to use a contingency recruiting firm. If you want to hire the best or compare the applications you have to others, it is ideal to have a recruiter making cold calls and presenting your company and opportunity to the best talent already in a job doing exactly what you need to be done. Posting a job ad and hoping to god that applicants will flood in, just isn’t smart. We need to be proactive in every element of building a company - recruiting needs to be a focus at all times.
The Perfect Interview Process Timeline - 5 TIPS
The perfect interview process really depends on the role and the complexity of the position. In the eCommerce, SaaS & Digital Marketing world, among many other industries, the interview process is crucial for success! I like to base the timeline to hire off of salary/level of role. For roles that pay under $40,000 per year, hiring processes should be about 1-2 weeks. For roles that are $40K-100K, ideally 2-3 weeks. $100K+ roles, typically 3-6 weeks. Here are 5 tips:
Some candidates who are more passive in the job search, make sure not to scare them off with trying to interview and hire within a week. This can be a huge red flag in the candidate’s mind.
Make sure to check references after the first in person interview if there is interest. Reference checking can clear many of our concerns fairly quickly.
“A strong candidate that has the desirable skill set is like an ice sculpture in 90 degree weather”, Brian Binke, one of the largest managers in construction recruitment nationwide. If you wait too long, they will melt away- because another company will hire them or they will lose interest in a company that is stalling when they know how solid their experience is.
Make sure to understand salary expectations and figure out where the candidate is in the interview process with other companies. You may lose out on a candidate if they get hired before you finish your process. Candidate transparency is key.
Make sure Managers allow time throughout the week to interview. The biggest pain is scheduling! We need managers to really work around the candidates schedule, since most top candidates are currently employed and really need managers to be flexible so they can actually interview without the candidate's current employer being suspicious.
4 tricks for Recruiting the non-job-jumpers!
We need to constantly hire the best talent, and usually these talented individuals are not the most active job seekers, which makes it tricky to “hunt” them for your open position. If an employee is doing a kick butt job, and is compensated well for it, why would they ever leave? Here are four key things to consider when going after the stable professional, those who have been with their company for 7,8,9 or 10+ years….
Understand who they are: They get recruiter calls all the time, so if you are preparing to email or call a potential candidate, make sure you really look into their resume and profile, see what they have done and get a feel for their career path. These individuals will only switch jobs if it makes 110% sense to do so. They need to feel confident you understand the industry, their resume and what the right next step in a job would be.
Pay Increases: These individuals who have been stable are usually people that are paid very well or on the rare occasion severely underpaid but unbeknownst to them since they are so out of touch with the job market and what others are paid due to them being happy and not actively interviewing in years. Pay will play a big role in defining a job jump for them. If a candidate is making $100K now and you offer $120K, that extra $20K + the potential bonus you are offering, can really be enticing. Do not offer these individuals roles at the same level with the same pay they are at now…who wants to leave a stable situation for an unknown at the same pay!
Sell the Opportunity: Do not hold back…once these individuals are on the phone, they need to feel like everything aligns. You need to sell the opportunity…. Differentiators about your company, your success stories, the ability to grow, the benefits, work/life balance, culture, executive team, management style, etc. You need to make it seem like it would be insane not to interview for this potential role. Have this spiel planned out and ready to go. Do not forgot what message you are trying to create about the company. Type it out and bullet point it – this will be crucial, as we only have one chance to sell a candidate on the opportunity. Although you will have screening questions to ask to really make sure they fit what you are looking to hire, there needs to be a balance throughout the whole interview process of screening and selling the candidate on the job.
Take it SLOW! These candidates are not in a rush and if they feel rushed to make a decision they will back out. Make sure to check in with the candidates throughout the process and make sure they are comfortable and excited to move forward. Take time and do not rush the interview process where they need to make a decision within 1 week of the first interview. Allow the interview process to take about 2.5-3 weeks, so the candidates feel like they have time to really come to a decision. If you make them feel rushed, they will think the opportunity is either unstable or being forced upon them. Really act as their hand holding HR partner throughout the process so they feel taken care of.