Charlotte & Kathryn of VPA discuss the difficulties of Hiring with Dr. Sabrina Starling

In the video you’ll receive the answers to the following questions:

  • (0:30) What are some of the challenges businesses face when hiring?
  • (2:05) What is the best way to find A-Players?
  • (4:37) When should a company consider outsourcing and going and looking for someone who has that experience and knowledge and can do the work for them?
  • (6:52) What is the largest costly mistake that employers can make with hiring or not firing when they don’t have an A-Player?



Charlotte: 00:00

Thank you, Sabrina for joining Kathyrn and I today to discuss a major challenge that our clients are having. We did a survey of all of our clients and one of the questions on the survey was “what’s the biggest challenge that you’re facing today”? And we were shocked by the results that unanimously, every single one of them, said that hiring was a major challenge of theirs. So can you talk about what are some of the challenges businesses face in hiring?

Sabrina: 00:36

There are so many challenges that businesses are facing when it comes to hiring. And I’m imagining that your clients are like a lot of the clients we deal with, you’re a growing team and you all, you are stretching your capacity and so when you need to hire you are desperate. It’s like you should have hired three months ago and so you really feel under the gun and you’re recognizing that the service that you’re providing to your clients is suffering because your team is stretched so thin. And one of the things that I think is so hard for business owners is knowing where to look to find great team members. You can certainly post an ad on Indeed and Craigslist and all these other places, but a lot of times I hear frustrations with the quality of the applicants that come through the door. I think that’s a big challenge. And another big challenge is someone who looks good on paper and they interview well if you think, “Oh, finally, I got that A-player that I’ve been looking for,” you bring them in, you spend the time training them and within a few weeks you’re banging your head against the wall because they are not what they appear to be. So figuring out how do you even determine through an application and through an interview what someone’s really going to be like once they’re in the office with you.

Kathyrn:  02:04

So what’s the best way to find A- Players?

Sabrina: 02:06

That’s a great question. I think one of the most important things is to recognize that A- Players are not looking for a job, they are employed elsewhere. And so figuring out how do I find them if they’re not out there looking, that can feel a little daunting. However, if you have a growing business, You’ve gotten really good at marketing, you know how to find clients and customers to bring them into your business. A lot of those same strategies apply when it comes to finding a players. Clearly defining the type of team member that you’re looking for and what is an A-Player in your business. There there are some common characteristics of a players: willingness to learn, being coachable, able to take in feedback and wanting to grow and improve that desire for constant improvement. Learning is a key quality as is resilience and problem solving, but beyond that, defining the core values, the immutable laws in your business that are deal breakers, like that’s just the way you guys do things and having those clearly articulated really helps you find those a players because then you’re looking for someone who has a similar set of values and I really recommend that’s what you want to use to guide the hiring process is to be able to describe those values and once you’re able to articulate what you’re looking for, then you start using all that good marketing that you already know how to do. You start networking and you start talking to people and saying, “Hey, our team is growing and we’re looking for someone who loves to learn and loves a challenge and they really love to take great care of clients and do the best work” and just whatever the descriptor is, that starts to conjure images in the other person’s mind saying..

Charlotte:  04:08

Like planting a seed or something?

Sabrina:  04:10

Yeah, and then following that up with who do you know who’s like that? Or could you put me in contact with that person? I think the worst thing to say though is who do you know who’s looking for work? Because again, we know those A-Players are not out there looking.

Charlotte:  04:28

Right. Right. So sometimes trying to find them may still proved to be difficult. When should a company consider outsourcing and just going and looking for someone who has that experience and knowledge and can do the work for them?

Sabrina:  04:50

Actually, I would recommend outsourcing first before hiring simply because in most growing companies, you need someone who has a skillset and who you can rely on and who’s competent. So when you outsource, you’re bringing in another company that has mastered that particular skillset that you’re looking for. So the learning curve and you’re not paying for the learning curve, right? That goes away. You can have confidence in the results that you get from the outsourced company and it really saves on the payroll. Payroll in a business is one of the biggest expenses, especially payroll taxes and the benefits that get added in when you outsource, you can find help for the role that you need without having to pay that extra person on a payroll or multiple people on payroll and it allows you to be able to expand your company because usually that outsourced team can be able to add more and more. It gives an entrepreneurial company that ability to expand and contact as they need to as they go through their own cash flow crisis.

Charlotte:  06:01

You touched a little bit about the hiring or interviewing process and that sometimes people just take that and run with it. I mean they just like, “oh, you look good on paper, you’re hired, you’re a warm body, sit here”. And then that causes more issues. In your book the thing that has always stuck out to me is that one A-Player is equal to nine C-Players. I mean, like I read that, I’m like, you know, the cost of nine people, nine people compared to one person? That is crazy! They talk about instant profitability or increase of your profitability and your bottom line, if you can have just A- Players on your payroll. Sabrina, what’s the largest, costly mistake that employers can make with hiring or not firing when they don’t have an A-Player?

Sabrina:  07:06

That’s exactly it right there. It is so difficult. Business owners experience it as being so difficult to hire a players that I’ve almost, I’ve coined a phrase hiring PTSD. So post-traumatic stress disorder. We actively avoid the hiring process and put it off as long as we have to. And then because of that, we also are hesitant to let go of team members who are not a good fit. They may be a warm body in our business simply because there’s a mismatch with the culture. If we let them go, they can be a great fit somewhere else. But because we don’t want to hire and go through all of that, we hire, we hang on to warm body employees. And if you think about what happens when you do that, if you have a team of several warm body employees and just a couple of A-Players and you’re trying to hire, you want to attract an A-Player keeping those warm bodies around is like spraying A-Player repellent all over the business because no A-Player wants to go to work in a business and pick up the slack for warm body employees. You know, we were just talking a minute ago about the cost of warm bodies in a business. It is a process to attract an A-Player and I actually recommend a very thorough interview process. At Tap The Potential we call our interview process “The gauntlet” and a lot of our clients have adopted that term. And so we prepare our applicants; If you want to work here, it’s a great place to work. It’s a gauntlet that you have to go through to get here.

Kathyrn: 08:45

Definitely agree with that. Most would!

Sabrina: 08:47

Yeah. And, and so understanding though, once you have that, A-Player on your payroll, one A-Player can do the work of nine to 12 warm bodies. So the cost of nine team members that you’re paying and you’re not getting full production out of them, full engagement and you consider all the benefits that go along with not just their paychecks, payroll taxes and health insurance and all the other things. You bring in a few A-Players to the team and you can really cut your payroll significantly and profitability can sky rocket from there.

Charlotte:  09:25

And as accountants, that is a big number!

Sabrina:  09:29

You see it all the time, don’t you?

Charlotte:  09:34

Well thank you so much. This was great. And I feel that with this kind of information we may be able to help our clients solve one of their major business challenges.

Sabrina:  09:49

Fantastic! Happy to help!



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