How to Hire A-Players Like a Recruiting Professional with Fletcher Wimbush

Synopsis

Consistently hiring A-players is one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. Far too often, our hiring process is either non-existent or hasn’t been given a lot of thought. Fletcher Wimbush from The Hire Talent is here to help us change that.

In this interview, Fletcher shows us (with over 30 years of experience) how hire and recruit top talent. We talked for nearly an hour, and discussed dozens of amazing insights any business owner can use consistently hire A-players. Use these tips to begin getting the right people on the bus and build a team that gets results.  

Insights

Not even half-way through the interview and Fletcher Wimbush gives us these key insights (and many more):

“It doesn’t matter how talented that person is. They can have all the skills and be super bright, and even highly effective at doing their job, but when they bring kind of a negative attitude or a disruptive attitude to the team, it brings down the rest of the people that they are around, it drives away A players.”
“Interviewing and selecting people, none of us get a lot of exposure to that. None of us get a lot of training on it. None of us get a lot of practice on it and, so a tool like an assessment definitely helps create an objective measure in that process.”
“Too often we go into interviews and lunches and selection activities with not a ton of intention or guidelines on how we're going to evaluate that person…”
Make it objective. Make it measurable.
“From the very first interview, you want to cut straight to the chase on the meat of what makes someonesuccessful.”

Resources

Website: The Hire Talent

Book: Hiring Talent Team Players: A Guide to Getting It Right

Resource: Power Interview Guide

About the Author

Fletcher Wimbush CEO, The Hire Talent

Fletcher Wimbush
CEO, The Hire Talent

As the CEO of The Hire Talent | A Talent Assessment Company and Wimbush & Associates, Inc. | A Talent Search Firm, Fletcher Wimbush interviews over 1,500 applicants annually, assessing and analyzing thousands more for clients across the country.

In addition to talent assessment and search work Fletcher has co-authored a book with his late father “Hiring Talent Team Players: a guide to getting it right”, created the “Power Interview Guide”, the most effective 30-minute interview ever, also he and his team have published numerous article on ERE.net, Recruiter.com, Monster.com and hundreds of articles on Preemploymentassessments.com/blog thought leadership websites.

Fletcher’s lifelong passion and study of best recruitment practice has led him to coach business leaders on best recruiting practices using self-established resources such as the Power Interview Guide, eBook, and hundreds of hiring topic articles.

After opening over 25 small businesses right out of college, Fletcher moved into a more traditional corporate environment. In a multi business unit leader role he developed a specific expertise in turning around underperforming business units, reporting top revenue and profit numbers during the recession years and in his own businesses we have seen 600% growth within a span of 3 years.

Fletcher has spoken and presented at a multitude of business events and online platforms, including Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), small business groups, Chambers of Commerce, Bright Talk, and CollegeRecruiter.com.

Listen to the Podcast

Transcript

Mike: What’s up guys, this is Mike with Modern da Vinci and welcome to another Small Business Connected podcast. I’m very excited today to welcome Fletcher Wimbush, CEO of The Hire Talent, who has just an amazing background he’s co-authored a book called “Hiring Talent Team Players: A Guide to Getting It Right. He’s created the Power Interview Guide, and he’s published hundreds of hiring and recruiting articles as a thought leader for websites like monster.com, recruiter.com, and more. His website is thehiretalent.com, and on there they have a complete hiring and recruiting platform for businesses of all sizes, and their goal really is to increase retention, make hiring easy and improve productivity which are things I think we can all get behind as small business owners. He’s got things like EQ and IP abilities in assessment tests, skills tests, work personality assessments, sales aptitude and skills testing and so much more and I’m going on and on here so, Fletcher lemme just say, hi, thanks for taking the time to talk with me today and welcome to modern da Vinci.



Fletcher: Yeah, thanks so much Mike, I’m really, I’m really excited to be here, and I’m looking forward to the conversation.

Mike: Yeah, great, so, so first of all, did I get that all right and can you correct where I got it wrong? And tell us all a little bit more about your business

Fletcher: I think you did a great job. So, no you really nailed it, you know, in summary, the core of our business, our pre-employment assessment tests. So, we provide these tools for hiring managers, owners, recruiters to use in their selection process in order to help predict on the job’s success when they’re hiring. So, we’ve been doing this for an awfully long time, business has been in place since 1980, and the assessments really began to take off in the early 90’s, technology allowed us to crunch the data and that continues to this day so.

Mike: That’s incredible, since 1980 I was gonna ask how long you’d been in business, have you been collecting, recruiting information and sort of refining your recruiting process over all that period of time?

Fletcher: Yeah, we have so it’s been an interesting path, so this is a legacy business, my father started back then, and he’s the technical genius behind it and I you know got the bug I guess through being his son and being influenced by him and some kids you know maybe run from their parents’ livelihood and I kind of gravitated to it like a magnet, you know? And I’ve always loved it.so

Mike: You got your training early I mean hiring and recruiting is such a big deal for so many people, and I can say that from personal experience I mean just, I’ve spent an enormous amount of time trying to figure out how to do it right. I’ve always sort of equated hiring and recruiting as kind of a team building activity and in fact we’ve had some team building experts on before, recently James Bennet who you know from Firefly Events, and they kinda say the same things; their goal is to increase retention, improve productivity all the same goals I used to worry about. Can you tell us how what you do is different from traditional team building like Firefly would describe it?

Fletcher: Sure, yeah, so I know James Bennet personally, and he’s a great guy and what he does is amazing you know it really helps unlock the interpersonal relationships folks have on their teams and that you know ultimately improves communication, and that kind of buy in that folks have to an organization. You know ultimately what our focus is, is on getting the right people on the bus so you know we’re really passionate about that component of it and we believe strongly that if you get folks that are you know enthusiastic, great team players, positive attitudes, who have the right core competencies, that’s where the emotional intelligence, the cognitive thinking kind of abilities are sure core abilities not attached to that specific skill set or experience necessarily, if you’re able to kinda get those two things right it really improves the quality of folks on the team, ultimately strengthening the retention of everybody when you have A players on a team and a team that’s mostly made up of A players that really can create a dynamic working environment that is inviting and keeps people around, and ultimately makes them more productive, drives business outcomes whether it be in sales or in innovation or efficiencies, right?

Mike: Yeah, I think that’s the unicorn we’re all looking for is getting all those A players on board, just a team of A players is a phenomenal thing once you get it going. What kinds of companies have you worked with in the past, is it only small businesses? Is it businesses of all sizes?

Fletcher: Yeah, so we definitely have a focus on small businesses, our spectrum does range from very large businesses all the way down to the small ones, since the vast majority of businesses in the United States are considered small, maybe small to medium sized businesses. We definitely do the majority of our work with those types of companies. The spectrum is wide I mean anything from professional services to manufacturing, especially nowadays it's mostly vamp manufacturing, aerospace medical device, marketing companies, car dealerships, service companies, the list kinda goes on and on where we get involved.

Mike: There’s some commonality it sounds like between what you do regardless of the industry that you’re working in.

Fletcher: Yeah, no, definitely, you know for us everything continues to go back. You know, the core of what we do and our products and services really, number one focuses on getting good quality team players on the bus and really focusing on that attitude, integrity aspect of it. I think probably all of us have experience having somebody on our team who’s become a problem generator, or toxic or maybe that lacks personal responsibility, you know?

Mike: That’s the worst. We’ve written articles on that because it is such a common problem.

Fletcher: Yeah, it really is, it’s amazing. And it doesn’t matter how talented that person is. They can have all the skills and be super bright, and even highly effective at doing their job, but when they bring kind of a negative attitude or a disruptive attitude to the team, it brings down the rest of the people that they are around, it drives away A players. So, you know your A players don’t want to be on a team with somebody who’s toxic. They don’t want to deal with it, they don’t want to come into work and being in that environment, right? And also discourages other folks from being themselves ultimately, which then prevents them from being effective.

Mike: So, is this, is this. I was gonna ask you about common challenges you see across different types of businesses, is this one of them and are there others that you help people solve?

Fletcher: Yeah, so that’s kind of our number one focus, the tools we provide are multi-measure. So that’s the first thing on the list that we’re measuring, the second area falls into those core, what we consider core competencies, in that area we’re looking at emotional intelligence. So, we really want to find folks that have a good understanding both of their own self, so emotional competence and IQ really begins with that self-awareness aspect. Do I kind of understand how I think and feel and operate and can I be honest with myself? And then can I take that to the next level and do I understand how other people think and feel and react to me and others? And then ultimately using all that information to help communicate and work with others more effectively to get things done at the end of the day. So, a lot of it revolves around communication and awareness and attitude so that all fully encompasses that emotional intelligence and then one of the really – the next big areas is that critical thinking, logic, being able to think dynamically about problems and so that’s a huge predictor of success as well. So, when you really combine those 3 things, the ability to predict on the job’s success gets so much higher.

Mike: That and – this is really interesting because I’ve lived through many interviews, I’ve given many interviews to potential candidates, I’ve seen many recruiting processes, and one thing is - as I was thinking about this and our discussion here is that they all seem very traditional, right? You interview a candidate –

Fletcher: Yeah

Mike: Yeah you take them out to lunch, you have the show their portfolio of work whatever that may be and, you kind of just compare them to everybody else that you’ve interviewed along the way. You’ve got some more detail that you just went into there. So what’s wrong with that traditional model, or if I flip the question on its head, how can we improve that model to really hire outstanding employees? Is it following those 3 aspects of hiring that you just went over?

Fletcher: Yeah well definitely we believe so. You know, we really come from a standpoint, and of course, there are certain businesses and industries and jobs that you have to have special skills and experience for we definitely don’t dismiss that. But we also believe that if you have those core attributes and those are strong then with the right training and the right experiences then that person will be a lot more successful. I think you bring up a really interesting point about you know kind of what's wrong with the traditional interviewer selection model. You know I guess one way I suppose one way to think about it is – for you Mike I mean I saw your profile you’ve been in leadership roles and very successful throughout your career. How many people do you think you’ve actually interviewed throughout your professional career so far?

Mike: Oh jeez… Dozens, I’m wondering if maybe over a hundred. It’s possible but certainly dozens.

Fletcher: Yeah, yeah, so and that’s you know, that’s a pretty significant number, and you’re a guy that has had a long successful career, and you’re in dozens maybe up to a hundred people. One of the challenges I think for most hiring managers, business owners, is if you think about that over the span of our career that’s not actually that big of a number. It's maybe 5, 10 people a year probably, right?

Mike: That’s true, yeah.

Fletcher: So where do hiring managers and interviewers get the practice to become experts at assessing candidates?

Mike: On those first candidates, they interview.

Fletcher: Yeah, those poor candidates.

Mike: Exactly. Unfortunately for them.

Fletcher: Unfortunately for them or somebody, maybe, no. You know, I think it really revolves around that, that in business and all the things that we do in our business lives as professionals. Interviewing and selecting people, none of us get a lot of exposure to that, none of us get a lot of training on it, none of us get a lot of practice on it and, so a tool like an assessment definitely helps create an objective measure in that process. And I’m not just here to evangelize the use of assessments, and as you noted we publish hundreds and hundreds of articles and tools and thought pieces in relation to that general selection process, and the common theme there is when we go into a selection process we need to be intentional, and we need to be objective, and everything we do should be geared towards measuring the candidate in the most object manner, and looking for evidence that supports potential success in whatever world that we’re looking for. So too often we go into interviews and lunches and selection activities with not a ton of intention or guidelines on how we're gonna evaluate the person, it’s sort of a feel, a touch. I like the person there’s not a lot of objectivity going on, right?

Mike: Yeah, I can say over time we originally started doing interviews with that sort of subjective feel to it, just, do I like this person, did they seem to know what they were talking about and the more and more that we quantified it, the more we saw good results down the road, the more that we saw people that stuck around and people that really produced for us and people that got along with other employees in the organization and it just made for a better work environment. Now that all took ten years to figure out but we were getting there.

Fletcher: Yeah, no, no, I mean that is it and I think folks like you, you know have gone through that life cycle of kind of ups and downs, and successes and failures with making hires and I think most people come to that conclusion eventually, so we can accelerate the learning process for future readers by you know, sharing this information with them, then you know that’s great. You know again I love this question, I’d like to touch on it, because I think the process is not necessarily broken, it’s the execution, right?

Mike: Ok. How so?

Fletcher: Well it goes back to the making it objective and measurable, it is my ultimate hiring process which is what we review in the power interview guide in pretty good detail but we want to, we want to have a structured process, and we want to move through it intentionally, and ultimately, we want it to be multi-stepped and multi-faceted. So really what I would like to encourage people to do is to have some sort of a short introduction interview, where right away you cut to the chase and start to look for that, those measurable experiences, the measurable successes that that person has had, we also right of the bat we begin to collect references from past direct supervisors and that’s a topic if you want to get into is something that I am very, very passionate about and then.

Mike: That’d be fascinating, I was just going to say of all the objectification that we did over the years one thing that we could never put a finger on was how to ask references those right questions but we can come back to that.

Fletcher: Yeah, yeah, no and we should, but from the very first interview, you want to cut straight to the chase in terms of the meat of what makes somebody successful. So right off the bat, I want to be asking about what’s made them successful and evaluating their answers carefully and asking a lot of good follow-up questions, and I want to collect those references. Then of course I encourage using an assessment tool early in the process, so that way when we get into the later stages we have that information to help evaluate the person as opposed to the very last step and then I’m trying to reconcile my experiences with the person with the assessment results, but I am not intending to meet with the person again, right?

Mike: Mhm.

Fletcher: So, so a really powerful first interview I think is super important. So I think we miss the boat on that a lot of times, a lot of times that first interview is very light, it’s very sort of fluffy, we’re just beginning to feel each other out, I don’t see any reason why we can’t dig deeper right off the bat, right? And then

Mike: Kind of a screening process almost, why move to a second interview if the first one didn’t have any need to it?

Fletcher: Yeah, cause usually, the first one is like; “well I like this person, you know their background seems good, but we didn’t get into a lot of detail. The resume is good, they communicated well enough that I feel like I should move them on to the next step”, so there’s really so often the first interview people don’t walk away with a lot of evidence of why this person really has a high potential for being successful right?

Mike: (Agrees) Mhm, how many interviews would you suggest a company go through? You were referring to a first interview, which kind of leads me to believe that there ought to be a second, maybe third? You know? How much is too much or what is that right balance, to get it right?

Fletcher: Yeah, so depending on the level of the position that can vary a little bit, but let’s say a more traditional professional style role or key person, I mean even if you are hiring an admin, and they’re going to be a key person in the organization, that is the case in a lot of small businesses. But when having an initial screening interview, I like to do an assessment of some sort or skill testing, after that and then I’m doing either one to two in-depth interviews, so the higher the level of the role the more of an impact it’s going to make in the business, I am definitely going to lean towards two of those interviews. The second interview, maybe some of you guys are familiar with “top grading,” it’s a very, very in-depth style of interviewing, so I like to follow a general career history interview style that they talk about in top grading there and then

Mike: And “top grading,” you said top grading? Can you just describe that a little I am not familiar with that kind of stuff?

Fletcher: Ok, yeah. So, let’s see, it's Brad Smart, and they’ve written a book called top grading, and this is pretty, it’s pretty old school style of interviewing. You know for me you know I study these things so much and what is old is new to me, you know in this world, but basically, but the basic principle is they want to take people from the very first job that person has ever had and then let them tell their life story, step-by-step, and what that does is creates a natural flow to a conversation. You know if you start skipping around my career history it’s easy for me just to naturally omit things because I am trying to address whatever specific question that you have asked.

Mike: Sure.

Fletcher: If instead, you said, “Hey, tell me your story. What was the first job that you ever had?”, I would begin, I washed cars, and then I went to college and here’s some experiences I had and at any point, you can stop me and dig deeper to find relevance, and you can interject. You know really, one of my favorite interview questions is “what was your most significant achievement in that role?” and then that can open up a whole Pandora’s Box of just of information about that person of how they achieved what they did, what made them successful, and experiences and how they interacted with other people on the team and I can do that at every stage of their career depending on how in-depth I want to get them at that point.

Mike: Yeah this style worries me a little bit because mine would start off with my first career being in Chucky Cheese, but that is for a different day.

Fletcher: Yeah, exactly. You generally don’t dwell on the early stuff too much, but you know the path that our lives take tells us a lot about the individual, you know, what’s important to them and what motivates them.

Mike: That’s interesting.

Fletcher: And it asked in a way where I am not asking directly, I am not asking “well, what do you like to do?” well then you can sort of make up an answer in relation to something that sounds good. If it is a little bit more open-ended like “tell me about yourself and tell me about how you got to where you are today” and then you keep them focused on that conversation, it gets pretty interesting.

Mike: Yeah this is really neat because in the beginning we were talking about you know quantifying and creating an objective set of tests for somebody and yet now we’re talking a very human part of the interview process right, the story, the back story of the person, the motivations of the person. Is it, is it your goal as a recruiter, as somebody who would advise somebody in hiring, to get them to quantify everything or, you know, what role do these kinds of human questions and motivations play in the recruiting process?

Fletcher: Yeah so, that’s a good question. So, we want it to be human, right? I can’t sit here and pound you with a bunch of questions, that’s not really needed, right?

Mike: (Agrees) Mhm.

Fletcher: We want to make it natural, we want to make it comfortable this [UNINTELLIGIBLE 25:24 – 25:28] making somebody comfortable so they and tell their story. Now the challenge is again where we had to practice this, is we do have to keep them on task, we got to stay focused and I’ve always said there’s no necessarily wrong interview question, the best interview question is one that comes with three to five follow-up questions right? So, that’s how we take this kind of natural human story, and as we’re going along we dig deep into the areas that are most relevant to what we’re dealing with, and so that’s where you can sort of bridge this human conversation and then begin to make it more quantifiable, because I am going to dig into the nitty-gritty and look for evidence and facts in that conversation that supports what I’m looking for. If I am looking for an engineer, I want to hear the story about the guy who you know built his own soap box car when he was a kid and how he beat all the other kids you know? And in college how he was part of the engineering society and they made a robot, you know? And so forth, right? So now I’m starting to gain evidence, so taking that human story and picking out the evidence that supports what I’m looking for or doesn’t support what I’m looking for. If he starts telling me a story about how he was a great candy bar salesman, but he’s applying for an engineering job, well maybe, maybe engineering’s not really the right personality fit for this guy, you know? Maybe probably better apt to doing something that requires working with people more, right?

Mike: Right, right, there’s some dots that haven’t been connected there that you can either press them out in the interview or say this isn’t the right fit.

Fletcher: Yeah, so keep it human, to keep it natural to get the truth as well as not to ask leading questions as well, so really opens it up, I want the person to share with me openly about their experiences without guiding them or asking a leading question you know? I ask a question like tell me about a time you dealt with an upset customer? Any of us can make up a story about how we dealt with an upset customer, we can just pick the story, right?

Mike: I’ve got a bunch of those, yeah.

Fletcher: Right? And we can make it great, right? But if instead of while you’re telling your life story, your career story, mainly. Personal tends to get in there, without even asking, right? So, you know obviously we’ve given some gray areas, you can’t ask any of those discriminating questions, but if you’re asking somebody to talk about their career history story, inevitably your life story gets intertwined with that. You know. They move to whatever city for relationships or family, and gives you some insight, generally people will tell you without you even asking, right?

Mike: Absolutely.

Fletcher: So, it gives you so much more of a backstory of who this person really is and what’s motivating them.

Mike: This is interesting, and these are all questions that are kind of hard to put a finger on and then also questions that may come up with other employees in the organization. I’ve been meaning to ask how many of these questions you know do you reserve for yourself as a business owner or a manager, and how does your staff play a role in bringing on new employees. And I can give you an example of where this question is coming from.

Fletcher: Sure, sure

Mike: We had a process where we had some engineers screen folks first and then the second interview after the screening would be an in person one, where they’d come in and a few other engineers would talk to those, talk to that candidate, and then I as the manager would try and get to the bottom of their motivations a little bit, and then if it was necessary to dig any deeper we’d have a follow-up interview. But we tried to vary who was asking these questions and ultimately found that so many times we're all asking the same questions or on the flip side we are all asking completely different questions and find it hard to compare notes. So how do you split this up amongst your staff should you? And what role should each person play in bringing on the new employee?

Fletcher: Yeah, definitely. I think it's definitely good to get other people involved in the process. It's good for the candidate as well, so if I’m a candidate going into a company and I can only meet with one person, the hiring manager maybe two maybe it’s a recruiter or maybe it's just a handful of one or two people meeting with, to get to know those individuals. I don't really, I'm not going to get a good sense of who the organization is? What are the other people like, so that's one aspect as to why it's good to involve as many people as possible. You touched on an interesting point, you had this person interviewed with three or four or five or six different people and not necessarily all at the same time, well that's like 6 hours of interviews.

Mike: It was long, it was a long day for them. 

Fletcher: Yeah, that's a really long day. So, the punch line is, a really simple solution is group interviews and panel interviews are fantastic. You can even move people in and out of those. Having really long interviews for key hires really should happen. Think about hiring as like dating, who gets married on a first date?

Mike: Not often unless you're in Vegas Right?

Fletcher: Yes, Exactly and usually you're under the influence. So most of us are drunk when we're hiring basically.

Mike: That's a great analogy.

Fletcher: You know you really have to learn to take our time and let's go on a few dates before we get married to these people. So we have to spend enough time with people to really get to know them before we make that offer. But doing it together as a group makes it a lot easier for everybody to share the same experience in preparing notes. So there's five of us, 3 individuals, a manager and maybe an executive in the room. All five of these people are going to maybe have five different perspectives of the way they see the world or how they're evaluating the candidate. And we can all have our own questions, that way we're asking unique questions throughout the interview, we're not duplicating the same questions over and over again. Right?

Mike: And yet everybody can hear the answer to all the different questions all at once and put their own perspective on it.

Fletcher: Exactly. So all do this in that first in-depth interview, so we going through phone, it may be a phone interview or a pre-screening interview, it's usually shorter assessment and then that second interview would either be this panel or it'll be just with the hiring manager so you can flip flop and then they be then the second interview would be a panel or just with the manager

Mike: Got you. Let me switch gears you real quick most of our listeners as you know are business owners and I've heard small business owners specifically so it's hard to compete with large corporations when it comes to hiring they just don't have the resources that are Microsoft or Google or a Proctor and Gamble or whatever it maybe you just don't have those resources when it comes to hiring to offer a huge compensation packages and hiring bonuses and long vacations or whatever it is. How can a business owner that might be listening in play up the advantage or what advantage do they have to get the best employees on board?

Fletcher: So I can relate to that but a bit obviously. At the end of the day, I'd like to see small business owners are entrepreneurs. The beauty of an entrepreneur is they're creating a vision, a dream of what they are doing and how it's going to in the world and others and the benefit that's going to bring to everybody around them that they interact with and that's story could be very compelling. So I think one of the biggest advantages is to really take advantage of that story, use that to inspire others, you see a lot of stuff on leadership, people follow leaders they're not chained to them, they follow leaders will because they're inspired by them. As a small business owner and as an entrepreneur you have to create that inspiration for folks you have to paint that picture for them, the vision and get them excited about it. I think a lot of people are excited about it and the downfall come sooner just don't do a very good job of selling or presenting.

Mike: Sure, I can see that, and so many times that I said I'm tired, but I'm OK, excitement is what pulls me continuously into working what small businesses and starting my own small business just, you know there's no better way to say it, just being able to have how much more direct influence on people than you would have it into a larger corporations or at least a feeling of a larger influence whether that's true or not.

Fletcher: And most small businesses too I guess some others have natural selling advantages in a small business, every role tends to be multi-dimensional, so you're not stuck in the customer service department, or your admin is not just an admin they’re everything. They’re sales support  there's engineering so for this customer service they touch all areas of the business.

Fletcher: Absolutely.

Mike: they influence also in the decision-making all the time, like if you have a key Salesperson or a key engineer or a key technical person in the business, they're going to get a say in where the business is going ultimately.

Fletcher: Yeah I can relate very directly to what's your saying because it was kind of trial by fire when I joined my first small business and found myself in engineering and marketing positions on the same day and then flipping and being a sales person the next. And a trial by fire was how it was run.

Mike: To a lot of people that's exciting.

Fletcher: that's very exciting, yeah, absolutely. Hiring people that have a great attitude and are willing to do whatever it takes to the team successful and have great emotional intelligent and communication skills who are bright and critical thinkers and who have the right opened personality for the position and interesting activities related to the job. Looking for those folks and focusing on them not worried so much about skills and experiences because with small businesses you probably can't hire a person who has a Ph.D. mechanic engineering or has built rocket ships.

Mike: just too expensive.

Fletcher: Just too expensive, we will not be able to trust that person because they are up with these actions and those Rockets. So we have to change or litigator expectations or whoever we're going to get  to be a little more flexible than that. but focusing on the core actually use that will allow that person to be successful over time with us and create an opportunity for somebody as opposed to trying to catch something that we can't probably realistically attain.

Mike: Got it. so along those lines how much, this is kind of a double question in one, how much do you feel a business owner should invest in hiring versus all of the other expenses that they have to deal with and then ride along the lines that, what's the one thing that you think if they could only do one thing or they could only invest in one thing in their hiring process or the recruiting process what's the one thing they could do to improve their team makeup and get those A players?

Fletcher: Well I definitely, obviously I believe that investing in hiring and recruiting is probably the number one thing to do. Not that those other things aren't super important, but I definitely come from the school of thought, I get the right players on the bus, and the bus will be better than everybody else's. So then kind of to answer that question is what is the one thing that I can do?  I come on dilemma is small businesses and entrepreneurs is we feel like we don't have enough time invest in this process so please slow it down take the time and effort and energy there's no particular shortcut that you can take, how much you practice interviewing and the only way you're going to do with that is by interviewing a lot of people, so we can practice in your search. I find that too often people only interview 1 2 3 people for a job, how do you call the herd of resumes and applications and people? Mike, you are a part of a very successful company, what was your experience how many engineers would you interview for a position for hire.

Mike: more than 3 for sure, I can't remember things looking at 50 resumes and filter and it down to five an interview in all five of those people and decided that we needed to go back to the drawing board and get 50 more resumes and start over so yes sometimes 10 15 20 people.

Fletcher: Yes, and that's what's you have to do at the end of the day. So don't run of a funnel style interview for this when you get 50 resumes, interview 325 of those people and select the Last Man Standing. Practice interviewing other people the borderline candidate talk to a lot of people it’s a very educational process for business and what we do, the executive Search work. I'm not an expert in every industry I only have limited experiences in certain areas of the business world from a functional standpoint. But just by interviewing a lot of candidates like a lot of engineers I know a lot about manufacturing engineer, but I've never manufactured anything in my entire life.

Mike: that's your trial by fire

Fletcher: Exactly what I think with business do you can learn a lot from these people that we interview and then we can also practice for interview skills.

Mike: it makes a lot of sense, and it is a big time investment if you're just interviewing a few people, then the time investment isn't that big but then you also kind of get what you put into it. and you don't want to rely on the look you don't want to have a look at shot fired will you get the one really great person out of 3 but the next time you don't because the B players are going to drag the team down and the worst thing that I've ever seen, I'd love to ask your opinion on Nancy many times where the B players will end up part of the interview process in the future, and they hire C players and that's when things kind of spiral out of control.

Fletcher: I don't know what to say about that then just that you have to avoid doing that come on sometimes we do end up with the players and see play definitely worst sometimes deeply as inevitably they end up on our teams and we definitely do not want to promote them and make them or put them into roles where they're making the key decisions on our behalf.

Mike: now back to the recruiting process I’m kind of recruiting by the numbers, we were pulling as I said 40-50 resumes down and we were using tools like LinkedIn and monster.com and some of the places where you published articles like recruiter.com. Although I see a huge value in the service that you provide, are they complimentary type websites? And how does one utilize those effectively versus utilizing the aptitude and the objective testing that you're suggesting? 

Fletcher: Obviously when we go out to hire we have to market the opportunity, at the end of the day the number one way to find more A players is to interview other A players to refer in more A players. So sometimes with the drawing board is necessary medium but it's kind of a lazy way of doing it And we advertise aggressively and there's right ways to do it, knowledge beneficial ways to Market jobs number one start by tapping in the network of your A players and getting them to recommend 10 other great A players that they have worked with in the past and giving them getting them to recruit those people in. History, statistics all the evidence points to that being by far the best way of finding people, finding more A players that is.

Mike: Getting your A players to recruit the players that they know because they're likely surrounding themselves with other A players, is that the theory?

Fletcher: yeah, exactly.

Mike: make a lot of sense.

Fletcher: the draw board questions that those are all things that you definitely can utilize and you should if you need to. 

Mike: well as you've been extensively and I'll probably use them inappropriately, and maybe occasionally I've gotten lucky and said something interesting, and now we have to wrap up here for a time but kind of one final tactical question of recruiting. You mentioned that there are good ways of doing it and bad ways of doing it good with of markets in your job and bad ways. Just give us one example a good way to do it and may the contract that was something that you see a lot of people do that sits poorly executed.

Fletcher: Sure. So we're going to stick with marketing a role. Go on in LinkedIn or monster and look up whatever role you are hiring for and read three or four or five of the job descriptions that are similar to the one that you are hiring for and my guess is you're probably going to have a hard time telling the difference between one company and the next. and most job descriptions or return fairly Ambiguously then again there's nothing qualifiable or measurable in the drug descriptions that are asking people to accomplish, and we're giving more often than not an extremely boring summary of who we are as a company. 

Mike: Guilty. I'm laughing because I've been guilty of that.

Fletcher: job ideas for job advertising and advertisement is a marketing piece for those of us were marketers , nobody is going to respond to a boring marketing piece or a marketing piece that doesn't inspire a positive emotional reaction.

Mike: I can see that you want to hook them and not just tell them what the job is about hook them with what the job is about and why they would benefit coming in to work for you and why things would be fun and exciting. Is that what you're getting at?

Fletcher: yeah so if you're like me I'm not super creative, I'm sorry, I have people on my team that are. And if I didn't I would go to my marketing people and have them write my job add for me.

Mike: oh wow, okay. great tip actually and even if you have 1 already written Maybe  just passed by your marketing guy or gal and see what they say

Fletcher: exactly.

Mike: fascinating, wow thanks, I feel like I need to wrap up here just for the sake of time but I have to ask one last question, and it's not about recruiting if that you've been in business for an extremely long time, by small business measure sake. Over 30 years?

Fletcher: yeah, over 30 years the business has been around.

Mike: so this is just incredible because I spend a lot of time scoring small business side and looking at marketing information and I find over and over again. So many in fact over how is over 50% of small businesses fail in the first 5 years so for anybody that's in that critical time what non-recruiting business advice could you give somebody listening in out there to make a lasting business, a lasting and successful businesses like yours ?

Fletcher: well I'd say the one thing the reason why this business has been around for so long is because it reinvented itself, I’d say at least three times. So I think for us that was the success that we would see that's in a large businesses come on I think apple is a fantastic example of  right, where they had these great computers back in the days I'm a little too young to really know about I remember playing Oregon Trail. 

Mike: Great game.

Fletcher: and then Apple disappeared from my life and all of the sudden the iPhone is here now 

Mike. Yeah. That's true.

Fletcher: I own like 4 of them. 

Mike: so you've reinvented yourself a few times to keep with the time or to keep following the Market trend and that what's kept you guys going trucking along.

Fletcher: yeah, we haven’t stayed stagnant, right? We're always trying to advance and innovate what we are doing and evolve. 

Mike: for anybody who knows Oregon Trail out there, that’s so you don't die of dysentery.

Fletcher: yeah, exactly the downer path.

Mike: that's right the downer path. This is super awesome thank you so much for your time and for all the great insights you've given us into recruiting and hiring and just running a business for 30 years. Again I'm amazed by it. That's fantastic. So if you are interested in contacting you and in reading your blog, what's the best way to get in touch? 

Fletcher: The best way to reach us you can call us directly area code (714) 582 2730. Website is www.thehiretalent.com. So that's a good way, or if you Google me, you can look me up. You can find us on LinkedIn you can find me pretty readily there. So any one one of those message is always a great way to connect with us we're always happy to chat about hiring and recruiting, very passionate about it.

Mike: That's really great, thanks so much again this was also for everybody listening, and you're going to make sure that we post any links or books or tools that we talked about and have the link to thehiretalent.com and the phone number as well. So it's very easy for people to get to you, thanks again.

Fletcher: Cool awesome Mike thanks have a good one.

Mike: That's all, for now, thanks for listening in we hope this interview on hiring and recruiting give you some ideas to help grow a healthy thriving business that you’ve always envisioned with purpose and speed. If you just found a podcast and are listening in, come join us at www.moderndavinci.net and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Not only will you receive free weekly coaching tips, tools, and resources but we will also put the full transcript to this interview as well as links to thehiretalent.com and any other resources that we referenced during the show. Until next time, thanks again, take care and stay in touch.