Get Good At Hiring

The Inventive Journey
Episode #326
Get Good At Hiring
w/ Rick Girard
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What This Episode Talks About:

Get Good At Hiring

"Get really good at hiring. Your team is going to determine whether or not you are going to be successful. All your business problems are people problems in disguise. You can tail everything back to your people. There are some of us who are entrepreneurs who people are drawn to, and they want to work with us for whatever reason. That's great, but if you don't have those skills or that muscle that's something you really need to build upon. You need to do it from the standpoint of who you are as you build your business. what are the values of the organization? People who align with the organizational values are going to make a greater impact, and going to be a better hire."


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What Is The Inventive Journey?

Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.

ai generated transcription

 get really good at hiring right because your team is going to determine really whether or not you're going to be successful and it's about the people um all your business problems are people problems in disguise right so you can tail everything back to your people so you know there are some of us that are entrepreneurs that are natural like people are drawn to us and you know they want to work with us for whatever reason those it's great but if you don't have those skills with that muscle that's something that you really need to to build upon and you need to do it from the standpoint of who you are as you're building your business and what the values of the organization are because people who align with the organizational values are going to make a greater impact they're going to be better hires [Music] everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur that's grown several startups into seven and eight figure businesses as well as the founder and ceo of miller i p law where he helps startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks you ever need help with yours just go to and grab some time with us to chat now today we've got another uh great guest on the podcast rick gerard and uh just a quick introduction to rick so he went to uh art school wanted to be a photographer and then decided that that lifestyle wouldn't provide that wouldn't provide the lifestyle that he wanted um so uh recruited into a business by i think a cousin's husband if i remember right um went for the opportunity because it was in the location that he can go snowboarding or skiing and otherwise play in the airplane the snow so first six months were brutally hard not a lot of training but uh then uh continued to go for it got good at it grinded through and figured out how to do sales and became a top performer got promoted to a manager um left the business and decided to move to california and started a business with a co-founder and did that for about three years before exiting the business and moving to hawaii and then went to hawaii for 10 years i did a whole bunch of surfing and maybe a little bit of work and then met his wife got married had kids and then moved back to california and started his business that he's doing now so with that much as an introduction welcome on the podcast rick hey well thanks for having me devin man that's a lot that's a you took really good notes because i know we had a conversation about it but yeah hey i always try and capture the essence of the journey but i always it's always fun to unpack that a bit so i just condensed a much longer journey into 30 seconds or so so take us a little bit back in time and unpack it how did your journey get started in art school well you know yeah i just i kind of was one of those kids i was really big into surfing and snowboarding and i wasn't really that great at it i was i was good but not like you know where i could make a living at it um and that's where i was kind of that's what i was passionate about and um so you know i started thinking about things that you know i like to do and i got into photography and just kind of went to college for it and started you know started working for a professional photographer and doing a system work and got into that world and then quickly noticed that you know making 125 a day for a 12 hour day is not going to get me where i want to be and probably not where you want to be not at all not at all i mean i felt like i was just kind of a glorified construction worker slash film loader like back in the day when they had film right so that's all i did and um and so you know my my my cousin's husband came to me and said hey we're moving up to sun valley idaho and if you want to come up um you know you can have a job and i'm like sweet i'll do it i'm like is there snowboarding there yeah absolutely so i uh i didn't even know what i was getting myself into i just knew that he had a business and that guy was doing amazingly well and so thank you rick parzik for you know setting me on this journey um but um but yeah i um i i kind of got into it i had no idea what i was doing i was probably the worst cold caller in the world for the first six months and that's all that's all you know the recruiting business is it's cold calling pretty much and uh and uh you know i got lucky on a few things and then uh you know just kind of progressed through the organization became a manager that's always a fun thing when you become a manager because you're a high performer and they teach you nothing and they go okay make it work you know everybody's like you figure it out so now figure out how to make other people do it exactly exactly i remember i remember having a conversation with my my my um mentor at one point and he's like i'm like well look i don't know what i'm doing you know help me out he goes well just just do what you think i would do and i go i don't know what you would do you know so we'll just pick up some books and read him you know like so he he recommended like the one minute manager and something else and i'm like i mean i read them i still i i don't know what to do in situations because i haven't haven't encountered any of them so in a little bit it's a trial by fire or baptism by fire that uh hey figure it out and uh hey if you succeed then it'll be great for you and if not then you won't succeed and you'll move on so before we dive into the or one one question i didn't want to circle back on so one of the things that you said that did draw you to there is hey i can go snowboard snowboarding and that sounds like a fun adventure and a good way to have my free time did you get it with all the work and learning and doing all the business did you get out on the slopes quite a bit or was it a dream that never came true no i did i did my goal was to get a season pass and um i think i moved there in like june and i had to buy it by october so like i worked my butt off to be able to afford to buy my season pass and then i bought my season pass and i would snowboard pretty much every day um i got i was getting like over 100 days a year in snowboarding but it was like i'd go snowboard for lunch i'd be the first one in the office and the last one to leave and then i'd take two hour lunches and so we had that flexibility so i'd go ride for two hours it was great because the the office like looked out at the ski lift i could actually walk down to it it was pretty nice actually my house i could walk to the to the lift on right off the bird drive so it's kind of nice that sounds like a great office location and a great uh flexibility as far as what you're able to do so now i'm just curious because it wasn't necessarily essential to your journey but that was one of the reasons you moved there so now you're saying okay moving up to manager i kind of had to figure out how to do the sales thing i get better at it and that's usually what happens now they move to manager and yeah you know you kind of take on the responsibility of training others and so how did your where did your story go from there yeah i um i i really had a hard time with being a leader and a manager like i like i i struggle with that a lot because i i was either like the one doing all the work and then getting frustrated with everybody else because they weren't producing and then i'm feeding everybody and then i was just kind of feeling really resentful about it or i wasn't doing enough work and i was handing stuff off it was just like this weird balancing act so you know i i didn't really like i said i didn't get a lot of help but i decided hey look you know what i'm gonna just go learn something so i actually enrolled in a community college like management course just so i can kind of get an idea of what i'm doing i did get a little bit of flack for that but you know it was kind of like it was worth it you know it's something i had to do no and i think i mean you know and what's interesting is you kind of hit on but what i've found here you know in my experience and watching others is sometimes you can be an awesome sales person you excel at it you can figure out what that is and then they move into manager and sales people just hate it because now you're going from sales and calls and and meeting people and they'll be able to talk to now you have to try and manage people and deal with their problems and train them and do be it meetings and it's just a much different shift and some people love it move over to it some people say i just want to go back to what i enjoyed and what gave me the freedom and the flexibility plus sometimes you make more sales people because you're able to get out and close a lot of deals and get commission so definitely make sense on how that might not have been the desirable position that it sounded like it may have been so i think it or as your journey there continued you left that business and then moved to california and started another business with the co-founder is that right yeah actually with the with uh my same mentor like he actually moved back we moved back to california started up another business we grew that during the whole dot-com boom it was a recruiting firm i mean it was it was a fun journey because in three years i think um we we exploded and during that whole dot-com boom i remember like people were just hiring crazy you know we worked with and i think we we built them an ungodly amount of money like in six months and what was interesting about it is like they were just hiring anybody i remember the hiring manager saying you know as long as somebody has java on their resume like we'll hire them like we have all we have half an office it's empty and we need to fill all these seats it was just it was crazy and um and then yeah that was all like right before kind of like that whole 9 11 thing happened and then we decided to i i decided to go a different direction um my my partner wanted to go into biotech in some other areas and i wanted to stay in tech and um and i wanted one question we didn't answer which is what made you so was it did you guys kind of both decide you're going to make an exit together and you're going to move to california he had the idea started the business i thought you'd be great for it or kind of how did you move from that manager position to decide hey we're going to pick up go with the my mentor and go to california kind of what was that transition or how did that occur yeah they decided like actually it was kind of a so i was up in idaho for i think five years and then um i i was kind of get i loved living up there but it was just kind of like i missed the ocean i missed some of the other things and um and so he decided he was going to move back we talked about it and like he's like we'll just start up a new company and grow it vertically and we'll grow a really big like well-oiled recruiting firm i'm like great let's do it so it wasn't uh there wasn't a whole lot of in-depth like lengthy conversations about it was kind of like yeah let's go hey sounds like a great adventure another great place to go play for the two-hour lunches why not let's do it yeah so now you do that okay okay i'm gonna you know i go out there and it sounds like you know you guys got going and then as you know as the business continued to grow you guys wanted to take it in different directions and so you guys decided to you know it sounds like you know at least as i read between the lines amicably part ways and then you say well you know california is nice but really where i should go is hawaii because hawaii sounds even better for for playing in the on the beach is that about the thought or how did you kind of decide you're going to go to hawaii for a while that that was it that was it like it was decided over breakfast on a saturday morning where i was just like you know what i really don't want to go start up another biotech group or anything like that like i i don't want to i want to grow either up or out and uh and you know and that wasn't really the option on his end so i'm like well you know what let's just let's just part ways i'm going to pack up and move to hawaii and then like i had wanted to move to hawaii so it just gave me that opportunity to be able to do that so that's awesome and so now i may missed it but did you have a job lined up or did you know what you're going to do in hawaii you just said hawaii's a destination that sounds fun and that's where i'm going to go figure out a job yeah i mean i basically exited my interest and then decided hey i'm going to um i'm going to go ahead and figure it out i was going to start up a company in building hawaii that was the plan um i'll go ahead sorry about that no i didn't say did you know what the company was going to be or did that come later yeah i was going to yeah i was starting up another recruiting firm but i took some time off i took at least well uh my plan was to take a year off and then then start building but i incorporated right away when i got there and i got the company kind of up and running and then i met somebody who was doing recruiting in japan from hawaii and he needed some help so i i actually joined up with him and helped him kind of get his organization streamlined and get things built out for himself no that sounds like and it sounds like it was a fun time you know so and you were there you i i think if i remember right you said that you didn't intend there to be there quite as long maybe six months or a year and then you end up staying 10 years no no i had planned on like that i was gonna stay there for a while yeah you're gonna retire in hawaii and just have a business and have some fun i was somewhat retired i mean i i don't think i would ever kind of retire because i have to have something going on but um yeah hawaii's like a really interesting place to try and build a business especially a business that's doing business on the mainland you know so it was it was uh it was challenging but um you know i i kind of knew at some point i would probably move back just because you know this is where you build things and i'm a builder and by nature for a long time i wasn't really building anything substantial so and that that definitely makes sense and yeah i think along the way as you were doing it you also met your wife and that was part of the the journey while you're in hawaii is that right yeah yeah i met my wife um we got married and then we had my daughter and then we started getting pressure from the in-laws right like and then my my parents like when am going to see our granddaughter why don't you move that so that kind of forced the issue a little bit more um you should have just told them hey we live in hawaii it's a great vacation you can come here it's free board we'll probably give you some food and it'll be a great time that you can come and take some time off every year that would have been my pitch yeah well what it kind of was and then you know we we actually talked about it quite a bit and um i was itching to kind of get back and build something again and so that was the i you know i do i do really well with with partners and and so um you know i had a partner that i kind of joined up with and and so that was that was kind of the plan and then you know since we've been here we we parted ways but but uh it's been it's been good so hey that that definitely makes sense so so you say okay coming here in law pressure want to go back to where i can build something i want to continue to you know or cultivate something california's a place for me because it's a nice place to live you know a little expensive for my taste but otherwise a nice place and uh yeah you come back and yeah and you come build something and you say okay now did again kind of as you're moving back to the you know there's a the lower 48 or upper 48 whichever direction it is from hawaii um you know as you're coming back did you have an idea of what you wanted to build as you got back to california or was it kind of more of all get back get settled and then start something or how did you kind of transition to that next phase yeah so the transition was you know basically to build another recruiting firm i think i realized a few years in um i actually didn't want to build another like large firm um because i i found there's some inherent like some really really systemic challenges and things about the business that um that weren't really working for me you know we were doing contingency search which means you know basically it's free unless you hire one of my guys and then you pay me a big lump sum and um and so we shifted i shifted the model around and then we started really doing um value value-driven search for companies from the perspective of being retained and also being in a position where like we really help solve their problems as opposed to just kind of slinging resumes over and hoping they hire one of our people now and i'm just curious more than anything because i i've got i've seen both sides and you know predominantly what i've seen in the industry is more of hey we'll hire you you know you'll have a you'll get a percentage of their first year's payer you'll have maybe a flat fee that's pretty steep that you say okay i'll do that so how did you kind of shift that model or what did you do to kind of set that up to be a bit different to where it's providing more of hey we're actually providing as opposed to finding going out finding a whole bunch of resumes throwing them over and if they happen to hire one then you get the payment how did you kind of shift that value model yeah you know so one of the things i realized back when i had hair um was that um hiring managers and nobody likes to admit this but like a lot of people in the interview process don't know how to interview people and so there's a there's a big kind of area where when two people go into a room and they do conduct an interview you have no visibility to what happens there and you know there's there's kind of questions you can't ask that get asked sometimes one and then number two uh it's usually just like it's like a speed date you know tell me about this okay great okay and tell me about that okay great it's just like this really surpassy uh not going deep under the hood conversation it gives you really um a whole interview is basically just run off of bias i mean that's really like what it what it breaks down to so i set out to tackle that problem with a lot of the clients that i was working with so the way we packaged it was hey look at we do we do what we call engaged search and if we work with you if we choose to work together one of the things we bring is an interview process and so we're gonna we're gonna we're gonna put together an interview process for you that you're gonna lead this search with and um that way it's gonna ensure that you're gonna find the strongest person for your organization and it's it worked out it started to like it was uh it was a lot of kind of fine-tuning the method but started working and then i started seeing clients that were coming back to me saying okay you know we hired our vp here through your process and we really loved it how do we roll this out into the rest of the organization and so i had some clients hire me to like you know come in and fix that problem and so we've just been evolving that with the search and it's not really anything that any other search firm really puts into play i mean they'll put in some interview strategy um but again i i feel like it's it's just kind of um it's slapping a band-aid on a gaping wound that that never gets solved right so so i made it my mission to solve that problem basically oh and i think it's a great one because i i you know learned by some hard experience and had some er you know some they're good they're hires and good success but it is one where a lot of times it does feel almost like an analogy of speed dating to where you know you'll have maybe one or a couple interviews at least early on before it figured out what better process it works at least for us but then you know you have a couple interviews the resume looks well you'll hire them on and then it's 50 50 if they work out well you know i don't know the exact odds but you know you're taking a bit of a gamble because it's hard to really figure out is a good or a good fit and so solving that problem and making it more valuable higher i think definitely makes sense and provides a much more of that value so hey that's a definitely a great model yeah and i feel like i feel like you know as leaders we should be really good at hiring but we're not you know we should make it our mission that like hey look at in order for this organization to succeed i got to get good at hiring and um you know and still at best a lot most companies have like a 50 50 chance they're going to make the right decision so you know some companies should just go in flip a coin and and say okay you're hired or you're up you know it's tails you're out so maybe you'll weed out the resumes and they say okay we've got these two and you just turn around to do a blindfold and pick one so no but i think that there's definitely a better way to do that than just kind of that blind hiring and work or hoping it works out then you put all that time and effort both into the hiring process and onboarding and training people only to you know a lot of the time having to redo that process yet again so i think that there's definitely a much better way it sounds like you've solved that so now as we've kind of got to you know present day so we've come or come through your journey there's always two questions i ask at the end of each podcast so why don't we jump to those now so the first question i always ask is along your journey what was the worst business decision you ever made and what'd you learn from it um you know i've been one of these people that i always make the wrong choice first and but i learned from it right so i i do everything wrong and you know i i endure that pain i don't know if that's just my my cross i'm bearing i don't know but for some reason i usually and and i've been making a mental shift to actually like okay i'm inclined go this way so maybe i should go that way so i i've um i've taken a very kind of opposite approach right like george costanza in seinfeld right um he started doing the opposite of what he would normally do and then as a result he ended up like getting a job with yankees moving out of his parents house got a girlfriend you know everything worked out um so uh when i did uh move down here to orange county i actually kind of got really excited about working with a friend of mine and um we just kind of came together without a whole lot of conversation and started working together and then found out very quickly that the expectations were completely misaligned and we were not a good mesh for each other and so um that was the that was probably one of the biggest um misfires that i did on my end like i did no do no diligence at all and uh as a matter of fact i probably you know we again it was like probably a 30-minute conversation before we made the decision to to um to do that one of the things that i learned from that was if you're going to have conversations with people then you really need to set expectations up front and so i created an expectations document that i do with people when when we're talking about working together where hey this is this is kind of really laying out my plans for the business and what my roles and responsibility are in in and you laying out what your you know pain desire and impact is that you want to have for the organization and you can roll into it and if we're in alignment then great we can work together if we're not then we shouldn't no i think that i think that there's a lot to impact it but i think a lot of times it is interesting sometimes we make the wrong decisions or we have to we're continuing learning and say i'm going to do the opposite or i'm going to try something outside the box or different or we're going to break the mold so to speak and a lot of times that's where the success arises so i think that that's both an interesting you know worse business decision but also something that great to learn from it second question is if you're talking to somebody that's just getting into a startup or a small business would be the one piece of advice you'd give them get really good at hiring right because your team is going to determine really whether or not you're going to be successful and it's about the people um all your business problems are people problems in disguise right so you can tell everything back to your people so you know there are some of us that are entrepreneurs that are natural like people are drawn to us and you know they want to work with us for whatever reason those it's great but if you don't have those skills or that muscle that's something that you really need to to build upon and you need to do it from the standpoint of who you are as you're building your business and what the values of the organization are because people who align with the organizational values are going to make a greater impact they're going to be better hires and so take the time to sit down you know even on a on a napkin with a crayon and write out what your values are and really like put those into motion and put those out there oh and i think that is that's definitely great advice and defining what the values are and putting it i like you know whether it's a napkin it doesn't have to be arduous doesn't have to be long i think some people have in their mind they have to have a big meeting and everybody give their input and you go through it and pick apart every word and a lot of times it's like you know what are your values what are you trying to accomplish let's write it down let's put it somewhere and make sure we have that well defined and then let's get to work and so i think that that that's a great uh great takeaway well if you're a startup or an entrepreneur like there's probably one to two maybe three of you right like so sit in a room for a half a day and do it and it's not that much work right oh and i think that i think that that's a great point and it kind of i think also helps to get everybody aligned you're on the same page so you know this is what everybody has in mind and maybe you know two people have something different but then you can look to see how we're going to accomplish those or incorporate it and it tends to better align things and if people are just kind of having different missions in mind so i think that's a great piece of advice yeah every startup needs a north star exactly well as we as we wrap up and if people want to reach out to they want to be a customer they want to be a client they want to use your service to hire their next employee they want to be an employee of yours they want to be an investor or they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to reach out to you and contact you and find out more i'll take them all well i'm pretty active on linkedin it's rick gerard g-i-r-a-r-d um if you are a entrepreneur and you want help with putting a system in place for interviewing i did release a book called healing career wounds in may and it's an entrepreneurial guide to win winning the strongest hires for your startup and it even goes down into giving you scripts of what to say and how to say it and why to say it um and i i too have a podcast like you know like you devin it's called higher power radio it's hiri power radio it's not a religious show but um you know you can you can find me pretty much there i'm i'm pretty visible everywhere awesome well i definitely encourage people to connect up any or all the the ways provided uh it sounds like both a great book to check out great resources and you're looking to make better hires definitely a resource to keep in mind well thank you again for uh coming on the podcast it's been fun it's been a pleasure now for all of you that are listeners you have your own journey to tell and you'd like to be a guest on the podcast we'd love to have you just go to fly to be on the show a couple more things as listeners make sure to click subscribe make sure to click share make sure to leave us a review because we want to make sure that everyone finds out about all these awesome episodes and last but not least if you ever need help with your uh business with patents trademarks or anything else just feel free to reach out to us go to grab some time with us at chad well thank you again rick for coming on the podcast and wish the next leg of your journey even better than the last thank you so much for having me devon absolutely you

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