How to source, vet and hire talent

Episode 46 July 29, 2022 00:52:39
How to source, vet and hire talent
The Agency Hour
How to source, vet and hire talent
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Hosted By

Troy Dean Pete Perry

Show Notes

If you're looking for a new tech team, Emily Hunkler from GoWP joins us LIVE on The Agency Hour to give you the lowdown on everything from sourcing to vetting to final interviews when hiring technical and creative talent.

If you need to grow your team, book a call and let's get the ball rolling: https://www.agencymavericks.com/clarity-call

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 When it comes to hiring and embedding designers, um, it's, it's important to have a subject matter expert. Um, imagine hiring a developer when you know nothing about coding, <laugh> like you, you would have no idea, right? Speaker 1 00:00:14 If you have a vision for the agency you want to build, then we want to help you build it. Welcome to the agency hour podcast brought to you by agency Mavericks. Speaker 2 00:00:24 Ah, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of the agency hour live here in the digital Mavericks Facebook group. You might be asking yourself, what is that music that Troy's playing? Well, it is the standard music bed track that comes with built into the roader pro two that's right ladies and gentlemen, we have new toys as max has been saying here, all the gear, no idea that pretty much sums up my career to date. Uh, I'm really good at buying all the gear. Dunno how to use it. Don't really care. Just gonna have some fun in the process. That is the music bed that comes with a roader pro. And I can promise you we'll never use it again, cuz it's not very good. Hey, I am super excited today because yes, we have a new set. That's right. We have a brick wall. We have some new lights. Speaker 2 00:01:14 We have a new bookcase. It's really starting to take shape. If you are listening to this podcast and you are not in the digital Mavericks Facebook group, then I strongly urge you to stop what you're doing right now. Open Facebook on whatever device you are on. And if you've deleted it off your app, then reinstall it. I'm encouraging you to reinstall it on your phone. If you've deleted the app off your phone, reinstall it just so that you can join the digital Mavericks Facebook group and be a part of the fun leave comments and come and check out the video because this podcast is actually a video live stream into our digital Mavericks Facebook group. So come and check out the video, have a look at what we're doing and uh, leave some comments and get involved in the conversation. And if you are listening to this, uh, podcast, please like, and subscribe wherever you are consuming your podcasts. Speaker 2 00:02:01 These days, uh, today we are talking about it is ridiculously difficult at the moment to find good talent. We're we are hiring a couple of new people here bringing, expanding our team and it is, and I talk to agencies every day. And one of the hardest things that agencies are going through at the moment is finding good staff. So today we are going to be talking about how to find, how to vet, how to recruit, how to onboard, how to hire, how to manage good talent, and to help me have this conversation all the way from the United States of America from go WP, please. Welcome Emily. Hunkler Emily, come on down. How are you? Speaker 0 00:02:45 Hi, I'm good. How are you, Troy? Speaker 2 00:02:47 I'm awesome. Thank you so much for doing this. For those that have been living under a rock for the last 10 years, just explain what go WP is, what you guys do and, and what your role is at go WP. Speaker 0 00:02:59 Yeah. So go WP. Um, we like to say we're on a mission to create happiness, uh, for agency owners and help them grow with the services that we provide. So, um, our main services that we have are, are our dedicated services and that's placing developers, copywriters designers, and virtual assistance on, on the teams with agencies, um, to work directly with them. So we, we find, we vet everything we're gonna talk about today. We do all of that. So the agencies don't have to, and basically they just, you know, meet with us and say, this is what I'm looking for. We match them with someone in our network and, and they're off to the races. Um, and aside from the dedicated services, we have, um, some managed services as well. Things like maintenance, um, white label maintenance, content edits, uh, some content services as well, blog writing, case studies, all of that also. Speaker 2 00:03:50 Hmm. So the, the model is, uh, so there, there's basically two parts to this, right? The model is that I can come to go WP and say, Hey, I need a developer. I don't need to know who they are. I just want this stuff done. And you guys will get it done or I can come to you and say, Hey, I want a developer. And I want them to be part of my team. And you guys will go and find someone who we then onboard and actually works with our team. Right? Speaker 0 00:04:15 Yeah, exactly. So for those of us who know, go to, for those of you, those of you watching your no go to VP, um, a lot of people know us because of our white label, our white label services, maintenance and content edits that we started with, um, years ago. And these dedicated services really grew from that because how our content edits and maintenance works, it's, it's a productized service. So it really has to be in a bit of a box, you know, so we have 30 minute content edits. You can request your clients can request and our developers handle it for you. And you don't have to worry about it. You're really out of the loop as much as you want to be. Um, but our, our partners, our agency partners were still coming to us and saying, you know, it'd be great if the developers could help me with this, or if I could have a developer to do that and do more than just what content edits was offering. Um, and for a long time we said, you know, content edits is content edits. But then we said, you know, we know, we know developers. We know how to find them. We know how to hire them. Um, we know how to vet them. Why don't we, why don't we ex explore this in a couple of years, we started doing that and, and it's just grown from there. Speaker 2 00:05:17 So there's lots to unpack here because finding talent is finding, finding good talent has always been difficult, but now it's even harder than ever. So when you are looking for, um, when you are looking for a developer or any role, what's the first thing that you do before you go out to market and advertise for a role? Speaker 0 00:05:37 The first thing is always the job description. So we, we make sure we have a really tight, well defined job description. Um, when it comes to whether it's a developer, a copywriter designer, VA, whatever it is, we make sure that we have a job description that not only explains the tasks and the skill, the tasks that they'll be doing, the skills that we're looking for, but also is appealing and, and communicates the, uh, what we're trying to build at go WP and the, the network and the, the community and the type of professional we want representing us to our, our agency partners. So it really comes down to a well crafted job description because that's the first thing, um, applicants, applicants. See. Speaker 2 00:06:25 So what I'm hearing here is that you're not only right out, you're not only describe the job that they're gonna be responsible for, but you actually describe the kind of mission that you guys are on the, the, the, sort of the, the why behind what it is you're doing. And a little bit about the culture of what it's like to work at, go WP. Speaker 0 00:06:44 Yeah, exactly. Um, I think anybody who's tried hiring in the past couple years knows that it's difficult. It's difficult to, to attract good talent. It's difficult to get good talent to stay if you have them on your team. So it starts from the foundation that you build, right? You want the, the company that you have, you want people to want to work with. You. You want people who are working with you to stay with you. Um, and you also want that culture that you create to attract new talent and, and good talent. That's going to stay and add to that. And, and hopefully even make it better. Speaker 2 00:07:22 I, well, we talk about this a lot with our agency owners and I always use the word woo, woo. Right? That, that, you know, like you have to give reason, you have to give people a reason to wanna come and work with you. And a lot of agency owners shy away from this, right? A lot of agency, a lot of the feedback I get is, oh, well, you know, I'm paying them a fair market salary. They can work from home. Hours are flexible. That's enough. They can just come and work here. I know that that's not enough, but I think the other reason that agency owners find this really difficult is because they haven't, they don't know why people should come work with them. And we, and small agencies, we can't compete on salary. We can't compete on, you know, perks. We don't have it's, there's no free lunch. Speaker 2 00:08:04 There's no foosball tables. There's no golf simulators. There's like we can't compete with the larger agencies on that level, but I've seen, and we've, I've had a lot of agency owners in our programs who have attracted staff, who've taken a pay cut, who've left the large agency, taken a pay cut to come and work with a smaller firm because it's more that they can work from home. It's a remote role. Um, and also they feel like they're more valued. They're gonna be more valued and that their ideas and their input is gonna be more valued. And they're not just gonna be another cog in the machine. They're not just gonna get lost as a number in the system. What do you say to agency owners who, who can, and, and at what point did you guys realize that it's really important that we talk about what we are trying to build here and why in order order to attract the right talent, I, I'm making an assumption that you spend a bit of time attracting the wrong people before you got this dialed in. Speaker 0 00:09:03 Yeah, well, we definitely, and I think what you said is right on, because I'm an example of that. Also, I used to work in the, the startup bubble, um, prior to working with go WP. And I was working in a place where everyone was playing, you know, Nintendo during lunch and, and ping pong and, and all of that stuff. And there was beer in the fridge, you know, and, and that sort of thing. Um, but I, I came to go WP because it, because meeting with Brad for my first interview and talking with him and, and meeting the team, I knew it was a place that was going places. I knew it was a company that had strong virtues and a strong identity. And I knew that if I were welcomed onto the team, I could make an impact. You know? And that's something that you don't feel when you're, when you're kind of a cog in the machine and one of 500 hires within the first six months or something like that. Speaker 0 00:09:52 Um, I think, I think being able to lean into that and, and know what benefits you're offering to your team, um, things like having an impact fast moving, uh, um, having your voice heard and, and being cared about. And tho those sorts of things are important to a lot of people and good people, too, right. People that are the kind of people that are gonna stay with you for a while. Probably. Um, so I think leaning into that and also identifying, uh, what the mission of your business is, what the core values of your business are, is really important too, because we, um, we come back to that a lot and we talk about those core values a lot, because when we are faced with a problem, we say, you know, well, one of our core values is simple, is better. So how can we simplify this? Or, or, um, pursue your passions, things like that. We're always leaning on our core values to guide us in decisions, um, and to guide things like this as well. So identifying those is really important. And if you can't identify those yourself, there are, um, there are ways there are companies out there that do, you know, workshops with you to kind of help you find those also. So that's something that GOP did a few years ago, and, and we're still, we're still using those. Speaker 2 00:11:06 I resisted this for years because I thought it was baloney and on reflection, I didn't know how to do it. Right. And I don't like doing things. I don't know how to do, because I don't like feeling like a duck out of water. I like to do things that I'm good at, and that I'm confident at because it makes me feel better about myself, right? So I resisted this kind of, for want of a better term vision values, mission, right. I resisted this four years because I thought it was corporate baloney. I didn't know how to do it. I didn't see the value in it. I didn't see how it was gonna change revenue. I didn't see how it was gonna change anything in the business. And I got to a point where I said to my business partner at the time, so many people have told me that this is the key. Speaker 2 00:11:57 They can't all be wrong. Like there are, you know, there are hundreds of books written about it, right? There are entire institutes around, I mean, Simon Sinek. I start with why there are Ted talk. There are, there are conferences, there are entire postcodes now devoted to finding your why it is a and on a personal level as well, not just a business level, but a personal level. It's a multibillion dollar a year business is discovering your true identity and your true purpose in life. Right. Um, so eventually I got to a point where I thought, well, they can't all be wrong. So, and this is the one, this is one of the things that we haven't tried. We've tried everything else and it hasn't worked. So let's try this. And it took a while. It felt really awkward to begin with because we didn't know what we were doing, and we didn't have a facilitator. Speaker 2 00:12:46 And, but over time it gradually got more. I gradually got more comfortable doing it. I gradually it it's. I started to see the impact and what I think, where it, where the rubber really hit the road for me is that I started to see other people in the organization making almost the same decisions that I would make if I was in that situation. And that is where I realized the way to, you know, clone yourself and live the dream and build an agency that runs without you is, and to be really happy with the quality of the output is to have other people basically make the same decision and the same choice that you would make in that situation. And the way to do that, I believe is to have a shared vision and a common set of values and super be super clear about what it is you're trying to achieve, why and how we operate and the values that govern our behavior. Um, so okay, now that, now that we've kind of had that conversation and we've got this job description and we've kind of filtered in the why, what do we do with this job description then, like, where do we, what, where do we place a job ad to try and put, get people to put their hand up and express interest in working with us? Speaker 0 00:14:06 Yeah. So what we we've tried a lot of things, um, and, and what we have been doing most recent, um, for, for a little while now, anyways, we, we work with recruiters. We have some recruiters that we have found that we we've seen success with. So we have some recruiters, um, based in different places that find applicants for us and have them apply. Um, they don't handle the entire hiring pipeline, but they do bring applicants to us, um, that are interest in the position and understand, understand what it is. Um, so that's, that's one major way that, that we bring in applicants. And in LinkedIn, we post the job descriptions on LinkedIn. Um, and we, we run, we put some money behind them and, and run ads to them and, and do that as well. Well, and that's, those are the two main ways that we, we bring applicants in. Speaker 2 00:14:55 Interesting. The recruitment stuff is not cheap. I, so, you know, kudos for you for investing in local talent, who can go and find talent. Um, and it's funny, you mentioned LinkedIn because that's the most successful channel that we've had. I know a lot of people talk about, I don't know what it's like in the states, but a lot of people talk about seek or indeed as, as mm-hmm <affirmative> as, uh, basically job boards. Uh, but we've had way more like with LinkedIn as well. Um, do you do any, do you, do, do you kind of do any identify the person that you want and cold outreach to them, even if, because the problem I find at the moment is that good talent. I'm not sitting around looking for opportunity. They're usually engaged with another employer they're usually working. So do you do any kind of identifying someone that you like and then reaching out to them and saying, Hey, do you know anyone who's looking for an opportunity? This is this thing that we've got going on, or do you just run the ad and let the ad do the work? Speaker 0 00:15:44 Um, we've, we've definitely done direct outreach in the past. Yeah, absolutely. When we, um, when we have positions that we have a very clear idea of kind of what we're looking for and, and who we're looking for for that, um, we've, we've done direct outreach and said, Hey, and, you know, sometimes it's a little, uh, less direct maybe, Hey, we're hiring for this position. If you know of anyone, could you share, could you help us spread the word? Um, and, and let them know about it that way, sort of, um, to not ruffle any feathers sometimes. Um, yeah, yeah, yeah. But for the most part, when it comes to hiring like the, the developers and the copywriters and the designers, it's really more of a general, uh, profile we're looking for, because we, it's not really one to one recruiting we're doing, we don't, we don't have an agency say, Hey, I need someone that looks like this and this and this. And then we go find that we, we already have this network of, of kind of a variety of skills and, and levels and that sort of thing. And then we'll match them with someone within the network. So really we're just trying to get as many well qualified, good talent in to our network as we can, because we've, we've got agency owners waiting to, to be placed with them. Speaker 2 00:16:51 Hmm. And once you get people to put their hand up, how do you then what's the next part of that process? How do you kind of figure out the, the, the, the, um, this is a family time slot. I'm not allowed to say that. How do you figure out the good from the bad or the wheat from the shaft, so to speak? Speaker 0 00:17:10 Yeah. So it's, it's involved, um, and it's a lengthy process for sure. Uh, it starts with the, the application. So everybody has to apply. Um, from there, we, we do several interviews, we do several skills assessments, we do a trial project, um, and it's, it's a process that we are constantly tweaking and addressing to make sure we get it right. Um, the, a lot of the adjustments come in, the messaging that we're doing within that, um, within that pipeline. So making sure everyone understands what they're applying for, what, what go WP is and, and how it works, how we, they, you know, because they're applying for a position with go WP, but they're gonna be working with another agency. So we want to make sure that everybody understands this from step one. Um, and, and there's no surprises and, and, and nothing like that. So, so we, we go through this, we, we have several interviews to make sure everyone's on the same page. Speaker 0 00:18:07 We all understand each other, we all know what's happening. Um, and then we, we get to the skills assessment so that those are, uh, depending on the position they look different. But, uh, when it's a developer, it's technical skills assessment, so they're doing tests and things like that, um, that we have subject matter experts review and, and say, you know, yeah, this is good or no, no way. Um, and, and we've just been doing it for a few years now. So we've gotten it down to, we trust me, we have had some in the past that we said, how did this person ever get in the network? Um, <laugh> luckily that's not happening as much anymore. Um, it's I can't remember the last time that happened. That was more at the beginning. Um, but every time that happens, we say, okay, where was the, where was the leak? Speaker 0 00:18:52 You know, what, what happened? Let's identify it and, and patch that up. And, and we're, we're constantly doing that. And even when it comes to, um, maybe it's not a skills, uh, where they're lacking in skills, but maybe they're lacking in, in, or in technical skills, but maybe in soft skills, we say, okay, could we, how can we identify that soft skill better in the hiring process? And a lot of times it just comes down to, um, talking to them a bit more, um, having a few more questions and the video interviews that we do with them, uh, to really get to know them, or, or maybe it's, you know, scheduling something and making sure that they show up on time and folks that don't show up on time that we know, you know, every time that's happened in the past, we've had that issue also down the road. So we need to watch out for that. Um, so it's things like that when we do it hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times, um, we've learned the red flags that we need to listen to and the ones that we can say, okay, let's keep an eye on that. Um, so yeah, Speaker 2 00:19:49 I'm cur I'm curious, what percentage of people make it through that initial phase? Speaker 0 00:19:55 We, I had, um, I had the team look this up and it's, it's like one point, well, through the initial phase, I'm not, I'm not sure how many make it through the initial phase, but how many go from our pool of applicants and finally get accepted into the network? It was, I think it was like 1.3% of applicants. Wow. Um, end up at the, the final <laugh> as, as, uh, pros in our, in our network. Speaker 2 00:20:22 Wow. That's remarkable. Yeah. And if I'm, if I'm not mistaken, when you hire someone, you are, you initially hire them to work with, go WP on go WP projects. Right. So the, the test project that you put them through will be like an internal project. And then once they're part of your team and that you are confident with their abilities and their communication, and they're, they're a good fit, then you start making them available to your clients. Is that the way it works? Speaker 0 00:20:51 Yeah. That, so that is the way it works with some, it depends. Um, we have some folks on our team who are, um, employees, we have some who are contractors and it, it depends. We ha we've gotten it to a point now that we are confident in who was making it through that process. And we are not having the issues we had at the beginning. So we did that in the first year, probably because we, we couldn't risk our reputation as go WP with, you know, just letting someone work with our customers and having it be a complete failure. And, and that's, you know, can be very bad, obviously, mm-hmm <affirmative>. So that is how we were doing it for a while, but we've gotten our hiring process so tight and so successful now that we're, we're not having those issues anymore. So we're able to have someone go through the hiring process, be welcomed into our network, um, and start right away with, with one of our, with one of our agency partners and it's, and it's great. It's been, it's been successful. We haven't, we don't have the issues we were having before. Um, that caused us to do that initially. Um, and, and yes, it's, it's working out really well. Speaker 2 00:22:00 Wow. So we've, we've, uh, we've vetted them. We've identified the 1.3% of people who are, are gonna be welcome into the network. How do you then do you hire everyone? Full-time initially Speaker 0 00:22:15 We don't, no, there are some that we do. There are some that we have as, um, full-time employees. Um, and there are a lot that we have as, as contractors. So it, it depends. It's not really, we don't have hard rules on that really, but we do have, uh, some members who are, who are team members and when they're not assigned agencies, they're working for go go WP. And, and we have some that, that aren't Speaker 2 00:22:37 Got it. And your international staff, are they contractors, or do you actually employ them internationally? Speaker 0 00:22:43 Yeah, so we have same thing. So we have some that are employees and, and we have a lot that are not, that are contractors. So it's the international as well. It, it, it works that way. Speaker 2 00:22:54 Got it. Uh, and, and so then how do you, what's the process for onboarding a team member to make sure that, because I've made this mistake in the past where someone turns up and they're fabulous and they're great, and they're awesome at interviewing. And they say all the right things, and they've got an incredible history and they've got great. We had guy, once I said, oh, can you gimme a couple of references? He sent me nine references. We rang three or four of them, glowing reviews, just this guy's a complete unicorn. It's Santa Claus has appeared out of nowhere. We hired him two weeks later. He just completely ghosted us. And didn't it just said, oh, thanks for the opportunity. But it's not for me. And I was left, I really damaged my confidence. I was left, scratching my head going, what the hell did I do wrong? Speaker 2 00:23:34 Turns out, uh, I think what had happened is that he got to know our team who are, uh, very lovely our team. And, um, we value, we do the wooooo thing big time, and I don't think he did the Woow thing. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, I think he might have, uh, he might have lent a different way, uh, in terms of what he valued. And, uh, so <laugh>, uh, I think he kind of thought we were a bunch of hippies and, uh, he said, look, this isn't gonna work for me. I'm outta here, which I had, I had this, that we didn't pick that up during the interview process. We gelled, I thought we were best mates during the interview process. So what I realized is that the mistake that I've made in the past is someone we hire someone and then I've advocated the onboarding process altogether. Right. Which is why I'm not the boss of the company anymore, because I'm not very good at these things. So how do you onboard someone to make sure that they are actually who they said they were and that you set them up for success in the first couple of weeks? Speaker 0 00:24:32 Yeah. So onboarding for us really starts during the hiring process and, um, kind of what I was talking about before with the, the messaging that we do in that. Um, and the interviews that we do in that, where we are representing during that process, who go WP is, and who they're going to be working with. And we make it painfully obvious through that entire process, what what's, who we are and who they're the team that they're joining essentially. Um, so onboarding really starts from, from, from the application stage. Um, we're, we're constantly talking about our community of, of pros. We're constantly talking about our community of agency partners. We're we are showing them what we do for agencies. So we have our, our community of, of agency owners and the webinars that we do and all those sorts of things. So we're making it clear to them who we are, who our customer base, who our audiences, um, so that they know who they'll be working with. Speaker 0 00:25:29 And, and, and that they're looking forward to that. Um, and then when they join the, the network, um, we, we try to engage them as much as possible. We have a slack community for them as well. We're, we're talking in there, we're doing activities. We do act, um, events for our network of pros all the time, too. We have someone on, on the go WP kind of core team who is dedicated all her entire, uh, position is dedicated to, to building that community, hiring, vetting, all of that and, and making sure that they're engaged and that we've got the right people in there. And she's so in tune with, um, with the community and the type of people that we're looking for, that when she hears something, you know, Hey, I heard this from a client, um, she'll reach out to them immediately and, and address it and say, Hey, they haven't, you know, you didn't give an update or something yesterday, what's, what's going on and, and NPS it in the bud. Speaker 0 00:26:28 And, and, and part of, part of the benefit. And this is something we communicate to them during the process of, um, of joining the go WP network of pros is, is that there is that community and that there is, um, some coaching and some growth, personal growth career growth that's available. Um, more so than if you, you know, were just listing your services on five or Upwork or something like that. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, um, you have a community of peers and you also have the, the go WP team to lean on and say, Hey, this is going to help you be more successful. This is going to get you further. Um, these are good ways to do this, right? So, so we, we do that as well. We coach, and, and we, we help people to be successful. Speaker 2 00:27:14 Mm. You know, it's interesting. One of the, I, I was sitting at the cafe not too long ago, and there were these two girls there sitting, having breakfast. They were good friends and they were talking about their careers. And, uh, from what I gathered, one of the girls worked at a large firm. I don't know what industry they were in, but she worked at a large firm, but she was looking to move. And her friend was like, what are you nuts? Like, this is the dream job. And she's like, no, it's not because there's no opportunity for me to develop. Like, I'm just, they've got me in the box. Theyre really happy with me. I'm doing a great job. There is no development pathway. I can't get a promotion. I'm not gonna upscale. I'm just gonna sit here. And, and, um, and, and, uh, what's the, what's the opposite of evolve. Speaker 2 00:27:53 I'm I revolve, she said, I'm just gonna sit here and revolve for the next 10 years. If I don't do something and I wanna stretch myself, I wanna learn. I want to get better. I want to develop. And I was in there listening, realizing when I first started out as a freelancer, uh, I was really comfortable sitting at home in the dark, in front of my computer, learning how to code. And I did that for a couple of years. And then I started to realize, I, I wanted to be part of a team. I and my wife at the time was going off to it. She was, uh, she'd just finished studying psychology. She was going off to work at a big hospital and a multidisciplinary team. She'd come home and tell me all these stories about her colleagues. And I'm like, I modern colleagues. Speaker 2 00:28:33 And I really missed that camaraderie. And I think that's, you don't get that on Upwork or fiber, right? That's you might get clients, but you don't get that comradery. And I think that sense of community is a big, in fact, when we hire agencies or VAs or freelancers or whatever, we typically look for someone who has access to that community. So we've just hired a, someone else in our, we are hiring someone else in our sales department at the moment, and they come from a community that place sales reps, they train them, they coach them, they have them in a community. So they'll have our team as camaraderie, but they also have their own sales community for camaraderie as well. And that's super important. I, you know, I don't like the idea of someone working on our team and then being in a dark room and not having access to other people and not having any colleagues to bounce off. I think it's really important to have that interaction. Speaker 0 00:29:26 Yeah, it is. It's and that's what we have found is that is one of the reasons that these people come, that they join go WP, because, because of that, because we're committed to that, we've identified, it's it? What it's, what fits into our values is go WP. Yeah. And our mission. Um, and, and that's really, you know, kind of the, the, like the special sauce that, that we offer to bring, to bring good talent and, and talent that stays with us. We have very low churn when it comes to our talent. They come and they stay, they, they work with us. We have people who have been with us for going on two years now in this, you know, it's a, since, since the service started, I should say, um, and they're still with us. And maybe some of them working with the same client, some of them working with other clients, you know, that have, you know, it's changed over the years, but, but we have found that the talent, the, the pros that come and join our network, they, they stick around. Um, and they, they make friends and they, they talk to each other, you know, we have open communication and, and we have fun in the, in our, in our community there too. So it's really, it's really cool. It's really fun to see. And it's, it's really reassuring to see that they value that as well. Speaker 2 00:30:37 How have you found the last sort of three to six months with, has your recruitment pipeline been impacted by what's been happening in the world? Have you found it more difficult to get talent over the last three to six months? Speaker 0 00:30:50 Um, it's a good question. Not, not noticeably. No. Um, it's we we've been using the recruiter a bit more, maybe so, so I guess it has been a little bit more challenging in terms of just organically bringing in applicants. So we have leaned a bit more on, on our recruiters. Um, but that's been the case off and on that, there's kind of a ebb and flow to that as well. Um, so it hasn't been a huge, it hasn't, it hasn't been a huge impact on us, I guess I'll say. Speaker 2 00:31:22 Uh, and what sort of roles are you, what's the sort of the percentage split amongst your team? Is it predominantly, uh, developers and then, and you've got rights. Just, just kind of walk me through the different types of roles that you are hiring apart from the obvious sort of developer and, and content writer. Speaker 0 00:31:38 Yeah. We've got developer, copywriter, designers and VAs, and I would say we developers, we have the most developers. Um, and that was our first dedicated service that we launched. Uh, so we we've been building that a bit more. Um, we have quite a few copywriters though, and we're, we're always bringing new copywriters in, and that, that service has also been really, really successful, um, as well, designers, uh, after that, I would say, and, and we have some great designers we're really <laugh>, I, I will say we're designers was the pipeline that really took us time to get perfected, really being able to find designers that we were confident in, um, in their skills and, and all of that. Um, because it's just such a, in so many ways it's so subjective. Right. So totally tired. So that was, that was a tricky one. Um, but we, we've got quite a few very talented, uh, designers in the network and, um, and that's growing as well, but yeah. Speaker 2 00:32:40 How do you test them? How do you test designers? Speaker 0 00:32:43 Yeah, so we do, we, we have them, uh, we have them do a trial project and it's, you know, designing out a landing page. Uh, we'll look at that first. And if, you know, if they knock it out of the park, there have been a couple where we're just like, wow, okay. Like, yes, they're, they're great. They're fantastic. Um, if, if not, which is normally the case, um, if it's just a complete flunk, then, you know, we'll just say, no, it's not a match, uh, good luck in your search. Uh, but if we say, okay, let's explore this a bit more. We'll give them another project and we'll say, Hey, can you, um, can you design out, uh, some, some ad campaigns or something like that. And then we'll, we'll see that. And if that's not quite right, we might come up with something else. So it's, it's really, and sometimes fair enough. Maybe they'll say, you know, this is too much, this is, this is too much for me. I'm, I'm gonna go find another job elsewhere, which that's fine too. Um, that's they can totally do that. Um, and, but we, with the designers, we, we will sometimes have them do several projects just to make sure we're getting, getting the right folks in there. Speaker 2 00:33:46 Design is so hard and it's, so we go through a process at the moment of hiring a bunch of people. One is a, a designer, and one is a video editor, and I'm talking to a couple of video editors at the moment, and couple of them are asking, oh, and this is classic. I did this all the time when I was building websites as well. Can you show me something that you like and what I've learned over the years? And this is just a personal preference of mine, but what I've learned over the years is that, and I learned this from doing voiceovers. When you, when you it's really common, when people don't know how to brief a creative person, and I'm not saying, please don't think I'm saying developers. Aren't creative, right? Design is so subjective that it's, it's really difficult. Same with video editing. Speaker 2 00:34:30 It's really difficult to give someone a brief, without the easy way to show them something you really like. And then what they do is they end up just copying what you really like, but making it your colors and your font, which is fine, but it removes any opportunity for them to bring their creative flare to the project. Because they're basically now just mimicking something. You've showed them, which is really common with voiceovers. If you're sitting in the booth and a director doesn't really know what they want, but they kind of hear it in their head. They might read the line the way that they want you to read it. It's called a line read. If you're directing an actor on set, it would be like the director playing the scene for the actor. And the actor's like, oh, great. So you want me just to copy what you did? Speaker 2 00:35:14 So all my instinct is now gone. I'm not gonna use any of my instinct because you've basically shown me what you want me to do. So with, with design, what I did this, I'm doing this at the moment I gave this video editor, the worst brief in the world, because I just wanna see what they come up with. I basically just said, we're gonna give you some raw footage and you need to make it epic right now. If I was, if, if someone said that to me, be like, what the hell does that even mean? I'm like, that's all I'm gonna give you. And he, and he keeps going, can you show me other videos that you like? I'm like, no, I just want, I just wanna see what you come up with, but it's gotta be epic. It's the Crapp brief ever. And I'm doing it deliberately because I wanna know what he thinks is epic. Speaker 2 00:35:55 And I wanna see it we're on the same page if he gets, even if there's even like 30% of it that I like, I'm like, all right, this is worth having a conversation. So it's a really loose brief now with design, unless you are a designer and I'm not someone gives me a design. I know if it's not good. And I know if I like it, but I find it really hard to go back and say, well, I really like it, but can you just make this bit here, less crap, cuz this bit here looks a bit crap. If I dive in and go look, I think you need to increase the padding. I think the font size is too small. I think your line hides wrong. If I give that kind of detail, a couple of things, one, I feel like I'm doing your job. And two, I feel like I'm micromanaging you and removing your creative instinct. So how do you give feedback to people around really subjective things like design without kind of micromanaging their pixels? Speaker 0 00:36:55 Yeah. That's so that's such a good question. And, and I will say, you know, when it comes to hiring and vetting designers, um, it's, it's important to have a subject matter expert. Um, imagine hiring a developer when you know nothing about coding, <laugh> you, you would have no idea, right? Um, say the same thing for design. And I think that a subject matter expert on design can look at a trial project and say, this is a crap design. And I'll because of 1, 2, 3, you know, they're ignoring the basic fundamentals of, of design. Agreed. So, so that's big. Um, and in terms of giving feedback, yeah. That's, that's a great question. <laugh> uh, and I, I work with work with our team and designers a lot, um, coming up with new landing pages and things like that. And I don't, I don't know that I necessarily know the answer to that because I say things like, Hey, can you, this looks really floaty to me. Let's make it not so floaty. Uh, so <laugh>, so I don't know that I'm, I'm the best, the best source on giving feedback to designers. Um, but that's why you get a subject matter expert that can, that can see those things and, and knows the right thing to say <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:38:04 Yeah. I love floaty by the way. Like, yeah. I don't like, I don't just what it's worth ladies and gentlemen, I don't like boxy. I understand the grid. I just don't wanna see it at play. Right? Like give me organic, give me floaty, make it flow. Right. I'm all about the kumbaya. I don't wanna see a grid. I don't like straight lines. I don't like straight dividers, uh, just for what it's worth. Um, but I'm also really bad at giving feedback. And I kind of feel, I get to a point where I'm like, if I have to give you this much feedback, chances are this just isn't gonna work out long term. Like I'm really, I'm really keen. And this is what I keep saying to our agency clients like, well, I had this conversation yesterday on a coaching call with our agency clients and they were saying, well, a couple of clients are like, well, I'm not ready to hire it because my processes aren't ready. Speaker 2 00:38:54 Um, and so my approach to this is if you are waiting to hire someone because you haven't got your processes ready, I kind of think you're doing it. Ask about face. I have learned over the years, first of all, let's make an assumption that you are the best person to write the process, right? If you are a great project manager and you've written the world's best project management process, and you gotta hire a project manager to come in and follow your process, you're basically hiring data entry people to come in and just like tick a box. And like you are gonna, you're gonna, again, you're gonna remove any opportunity for them to bring something unique and creative to the role. So what I like to do is design an outcome and say, right, you are responsible for delivering these outcomes. Show me how to do it, teach me how you do project management. Speaker 2 00:39:42 I don't really care anymore. Like I don't want to know all the details, but if you, but teach me something and I'm curious, and I I'm really keen to learn from people who are better at it than me, cuz frankly, most people are better at most things than me. I do a couple of things really well. And that's about it. The rest of it, I, I'm kind of a four outta 10. I'm great at starting things. I'm terrible at finishing. My other people are really good at finishing things and seeing things through. And I've got really great processes. I'm really keen to learn what those processes are. I'm not the best person to write those processes. I have no idea why we're talking about this. I think I've got distracted, but the point I'm trying to make is, uh, it's really difficult. I don't want to, I don't wanna be in a position where I'm giving lots and lots of feedback to someone because then I feel like I'm not learning from you. Speaker 2 00:40:25 I want you to be telling me why you've made these decisions. That's kind of what I'm looking for. When I hire someone is someone to come in and say, here's the game plan. Here's how I do what I do. Here's why I do it this way. And this is why it works. And that level of kind of, uh, of domain knowledge, if you like and kind of personal power, that's the kind of, that's the level of candidate that I'm always looking for. And I think it's really difficult to find people who are that confident and who. And so I think part of the, part of the challenge is also providing a safe space for people to express themselves rather than coming in and, and going, yes, sir. No, sir. Three bags full, sir. That's not what I want. I'm not interested in that at all. I'm, I'm interested in someone coming in and adding value, telling me to get outta the bloody way, cuz I'm a dinosaur and I dunno what I'm doing and then just going forth and knocking it outta the park and, and me just watching it going. Yay. You, you are awesome. Speaker 0 00:41:21 Yeah, absolutely. And, and that's something, um, we always try to have our, our finger on the pulse there when it comes to how the dynamic between one of our pros and, and an agency, how it's going, because, because we know that, I mean, if you've, if you've ever hired anyone or brought someone onto your team, um, you know, when it's not working right. And you only have so much patience until you say, okay, I've, I've tried, it's not this, isn't it. Um, and that's, that's another part of it too. And, and so we do these, um, we'll do check-ins with, you know, our, our customers, our clients who are, who are working with our pros and, and they'll say, you know, they might say something like, yeah, they they're really great. Um, you know, we, we have to meet a lot, I have to give, um, feedback or guidance or something like that. Speaker 0 00:42:10 And, and that, you know, that's like a ding, ding, ding. Okay. Um, let's dig in, let's unpack that. Um, and say we have another, you know, if it's a developer or designer, whatever, we have another developer that has the exact same skills you're looking for, that're really a great match as well. Um, you might wanna try them out. You might wanna try a different one. And, and because we have this network and we've got so many great talent, um, available, uh, we're able to do that and say, Hey, we would rather get the right person on your team than have you frustrated and, and, and not being as productive as you wanna be with the wrong person, even though they're great person. Um, we have seen many times that one developer, um, didn't jive well with one client, but then they get with another one and they've been with them for a year. And it's amazing, you know, and, and that's just personality matches and that, Speaker 2 00:43:00 That sort of thing that's right. Sometimes it's like, it's, sometimes it's not a skillset. Sometimes it's just a, a cultural fit. Right? Yep. Um, what are you, what are you most frustrated currently in your role? I promise Brad, won't listen to this. What are you most <laugh>? What are you most two questions? What are you most frustrated by currently in your role at O WP or, you know, just in industry at large and what are you most excited about over the next 90 days apart from Mav con in San Diego? Of course, which I believe you guys have come to Speaker 0 00:43:31 Right. I'm nav. Yeah. I think that would definitely my answer for my most excite Mav con uh, word camp, all of those things coming up in a couple months. That's really looking forward to that. Um, yeah, Speaker 2 00:43:40 Me too. Speaker 0 00:43:42 Most frustrated. That's a, I, I wasn't prepared for this question. I'm not sure I'm honestly. Um, and I'm not trying to just suck up or be a brown note here, but I, I don't have many, I'm pretty hard to frustrate. Um, I try to stay pretty even keeled. Uh, and Brad does know a couple times that I have been frustrated and when I am frustrated, I make it known uh <laugh> but, but I it's, it's, it's hard to, to frustrate me. And, and I think that's also kind of the, the culture that we have at go WP where we embrace adversity. So I see challenges as a good thing as a growth opportunity and they don't, they don't make me angry, um, or frustrated. And, and that being said, we don't have a ton of challenges right now. Things are, um, are going really well. Speaker 0 00:44:29 And, and we're, we're mostly just excited about what we're doing here, because we're, we're growing our network of pros. We're getting better at, um, at creating the community for them. So we've really honed in on how important community for, for the, the, our, our network is mm-hmm <affirmative>. Um, for those of us, for those agency owners who know go WP and the, the community that we've built for agency owners there, um, we're learning from that and applying it to the, the network of talent that we have now. So, you know, webinars and, and happiness, our calls and things like that, that we do with agency owners. We're seeing if that works for our designers and our developers, if people are interested in getting on a call together, um, they're all over the world. So it's a little bit more complicated. Um, but trying to find the things that excite them, um, that get people engaged that get people talking, uh, that's something we're really focused and honed in on right now and, and trying to figure out, um, and that's, I think that's, what's got me most excited is devoting time and effort to, uh, like we've done before creating happiness. Speaker 0 00:45:36 And now it's a little bit kind of trying to create happiness for our network of pros. Um, we're still doing it on the agency owner side as well, obviously. Um, but the new challenge is, is figuring out what works, um, on this side of the coin. Speaker 2 00:45:49 How does, um, I wanna talk about Mav on a second, cuz you guys are coming out to, to MACOM. We'll give the details for that in a moment. How do, do you guys do any work outside of WordPress? Like you've got content you've got designers. Is, is WordPress still the core of the kind of tech stack platform that you guys use? Speaker 0 00:46:07 Yeah, when it, I mean, when it comes to our developers, our developers are WordPress developers. Um, some of them, you know, have skills outside of that as well. Um, but they're, they're strong WordPress developers. Um, now obviously when it comes to design content, writing, that sort of thing, um, WordPress is not, we're not testing their WordPress skills, uh, or knowledge when, when it comes to that. Uh, so we are, you know, stepping a bit outside of WordPress when it comes to those sorts of things. Yeah, absolutely. Speaker 2 00:46:37 Hmm. Awesome. Uh, for those of you who are gonna be anywhere near San Diego in September, there's two events that are happening that are very, very exciting. One is word camp us September nine, 10 and 11, I believe Friday, Saturday, Sunday in San Diego, you can just Google word camp us to get the details. Cuz I have no idea where it is. I'm gonna be there, but I still dunno where it is, but it's in San Diego. I'm led to believe. I hope it is cuz that's where my accommodation's booked. And then the Monday 12, 13, 14, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, we're running Mav con, which is our conference for our Mavericks club members. Uh, they get that as part of their membership. If you are not in Maverick club, we should fix that immediately. You should come along to Mav con and check it out. Uh, email [email protected] for all the details. I think there are some tickets left where you can come along, check out our, uh, Mav con to help you grow your revenue, grow your team, grow your profits and go WP are going to be there as one of our sponsors. Thank you very much by the way, for being there and for helping us make the event possible. Uh, and are you, I believe you are gonna be there Emily representing. Speaker 0 00:47:41 Yeah, I'll be there. Yeah, absolutely. And we might have someone else from the team too. Yeah. Ooh. Speaker 2 00:47:45 Very, very exciting. Yeah. We're Speaker 0 00:47:47 Super excited. I was pumped when I got that email saying, Hey, we're doing it. We're like, yes. All right, let's Speaker 2 00:47:51 Go. Yes. We've got a great venue too. Our, the venue is the, uh, spring hill suites at the Marriott, which is downtown Bayside. It's right. Opposite the water. It's like Florida ceiling windows. It's an amazing venue. Uh, the food is great. It's a great location. I cannot wait San. Diego's one of my favorite places in the world and it's actually blowing my mind that I'm gonna get on a plane and fly out of Australia for the first time in two and a half years. Speaker 0 00:48:16 Oh, it's crazy. Wow. Yeah, I know. Speaker 2 00:48:18 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:48:19 It's was the last one. Was that word camp Speaker 2 00:48:21 Phoenix. The last one was February. Well, yes, that's right. So we did word camp, Phoenix, that same trip. And then from Phoenix, we went straight to San Diego and did ma yeah, February, 2020. And that was the last physical word camp before the pandemic word camp Phoenix, which was massive. It was awesome word camp. Oh, so great. Went into lockdown. I went to, uh, San Diego did, uh, Mav, February, 2020 came home was kind of hearing whispers about this coronavirus thing while I was on a plane from Phoenix back to San Diego. And I was like, yeah, I dunno if this thing's a thing or if people are just beating it up, I don't know what's going on. Came back to Australia, moved house. The weekend that the world went into lockdown, I was like, oh my God, this, this just happened so quickly. And I've basically been living under, you know, in a dark room for the last two and a half years. So I'm really looking forward to getting out and getting to some, I hope I'm I still have my social skills. I dunno what Speaker 0 00:49:15 It's gonna be like. We, we all hope we all hope we all do. I know <laugh>, it's something we're all rediscovering. Yeah. <laugh> Speaker 2 00:49:21 Yeah. So that's gonna be super fun. Awesome. Hey, thank you so much for joining us on the agency. I thank you for all the good work you do at go WP and I'm really looking forward to hanging out in a couple of months in San Diego. Speaker 0 00:49:32 Yes. Thank you so much, Troy. This is great. Thank you so much for having me. Speaker 2 00:49:35 Where can people get in touch and learn more about what you guys Speaker 0 00:49:37 [email protected]? Speaker 2 00:49:41 Awesome. You guys also have a great Facebook group, which is the, what is it? The what's it called? Speaker 0 00:49:46 Digital agency owners. Facebook group. Yep. We've got the it's. Um, I think if you just search digital agency owners go WP digital agency owners. Um, Facebook group, you'll find us there. And we are, there is a, we do a weekly call there, happiness hour on Friday afternoons at 3:00 PM. Um, we took the month of July off for summer vacations and things like that, but we're back this week. So we'll be live Friday 3:00 PM. Eastern United States time. So yeah, join us. Join us there. It's a great time. Speaker 2 00:50:13 Good stuff. I did get up at six o'clock in the morning, one Saturday morning to join in that call. I remember it was a lot Speaker 0 00:50:19 Of fun. Remember? Yeah. People were, people were thrilled to have you there too. <laugh> Speaker 2 00:50:23 Awesome. All right. Thank you so much again. And, uh, look forward to seeing you in a couple of months at San Diego. Thank you, Troy. See you there. Thanks Emily. All right, ladies and gentlemen, that is another episode of the agency. Our live here in the digital Mavericks Facebook group. Hey, I hope you're enjoying the set. It's looking pretty good. Isn't it? It's a, I think we need a bit more light up here. I reckon it's a bit dark around here. Uh, but you know, we get, we'll get some more books up on the bookcase. Max, by the way, has been working his ass off this week to get this set, uh, sorted out for today's show. Uh, we've got some clients coming in today to do some work in the audio studio and some voiceover work, which is gonna be super exciting. This brick wall is new. Speaker 2 00:51:02 Ooh, don't worry. We'll do a full studio tour and show you how we made a brick wall. Uh, and, uh, <laugh>, we're gonna do a full studio tour soon and show you all the bits and pieces we've got here. And this is an evolution. It's a work in progress, ladies and gentlemen. So if you've got any feedback, if you think I'm too dark, if you think I'm too loud, if you think anything at all, please let us know in the comments. And, uh, all feedback is, uh, welcome because we are trying to improve this and make it as engaging as possible for you guys. We wanna make it entertaining and we wanna make it educational and a cool place where you guys can come and hang out and learn from us and from each other. All right, uh, like, and subscribe on wherever you're watching this. If you're watching it on YouTube or in the digital Mavericks Facebook group, if you are listening on your air pods or your Samsung galaxy buds, then give us a like, and a subscribe and a share wherever you're listening to this. And again, if you're interested in coming out and hanging out at our live event in San Diego in September, then email [email protected] and they'll get you all the details. I look forward to speaking with you again next week on the agency hour until then have a great week. I'm Troy Dean bye for now. Speaker 1 00:52:08 Thanks for listening to the agency hour podcast, subscribe at apple podcasts, Spotify pocket, audible, and wherever you like to listen, you can catch all of the agency hour episodes on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/agency Mavericks. Or you can get involved, check out our free digital Mavericks Facebook group, where we broadcast these episodes live for our community every week, along with a ton of free training. We'll see you there.

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