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When to Swipe Right for Your Forever Hire

Download BELAY’s Job Description Template & Go-To Interview Questions outline today! This template will help you articulate who you need, what you need, and how you want them to show up in their role. This is the exact format BELAY has used to hire hundreds of employees and thousands of contractors over the last 10 years. This guide will help you plan your next role, attract the right people and repel everyone else.

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About This Episode

As leaders, we surprisingly struggle to pick the right people for our teams, which leaves us disappointed, frustrated and asking if we’ll ever get the help we need to grow our organization. In this episode, we’ll discuss this issue with Brooke Cecil, BELAY’s Director of Client Relations. 

 

Brooke and her team oversee our client experience. A large part of their role is matching more than one thousand executive assistants, bookkeepers, social media strategists and website specialists with business leaders all over the country with different needs and different situations. She knows how to help business leaders identify the right fit for their team.  And she’s here to share a few tips on how you can more effectively identify who’s right and who’s wrong for your organization. 

1. Don’t just hire for hard skills.

You can teach hard skills – things like how to learn a software, application or tool. While those are important, even more important is the culture fit and the soft skills. Will your team like this person? Are they easy to talk to? Do they care about your company and your mission? If those questions can be answered without issues, then you can check a lot of boxes in making sure someone is the right hire. 

2. Spend a lot of time on the job description.

This is so important. You want to make sure your job description fits the person you want to hire. Too many times, people think they need one thing, put it in the job description, then realize too late they needed something else. That’s why really thinking about what you need, what gaps you have, and what you can delegate is such an important part of the hiring process. If that step isn’t in place, then it will be really hard to find the right fit. 

3. Be slow to hire and quick to fire.

A lot of companies use this mantra, and it’s great advice. By taking your time in the hiring process, making sure you have talked to a diverse range of qualified candidates, and then intentionally weeding down the list, you’ll go a long way toward bringing in great team members. Then, when it’s time to let someone go, get it over with. That’s the best thing you can do for your organization and for the person you’re letting go. 

Talk about a time you made a good hire. Why was it such a good fit? And without naming names, talk about a time you made a bad hire. Why did it go wrong?
What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of your current interview process?
What are some of your go-to interview questions, and why do you use them?
How do you describe your company’s “why” to potential candidates?

People want their role to matter, to give a purpose and to have meaning.

Brooke Cecil

Anybody can be a yes-man, great leaders know when to say no.Identifying the biggest pain points within your organization, and hiring for those needs, allows you to do what you do best.

Brooke Cecil

Ensure you’re hiring for the right cultural fit.

Brooke Cecil

Leaders often focus their hiring efforts on hard skills while missing the important role that soft skills play within an organization.

Brooke Cecil

(03:09) “Why do I keep picking the wrong hire?” 

(05:49) What are some things you can do as a hiring manager to make sure you hire the right fit? 

(07:06) Brooke shares some tips on how to conduct good interviews.

(09:09) Brooke’s favorite interview questions to keep an interview going.

(10:41) Some great personality tests that BELAY and others use to get a feel for individuals they may hire. 

(12:19) What is one practical step someone can take to make sure they hire the right person?

(15:35) Red flags: The interviewee doesn’t have any questions for you as a hiring manager, or doesn’t know anything about the company!

(17:57) You want to be slow to hire and quick to fire. 

(19:11) This week’s one next step: Go download our job description template that will help you articulate who you need, what you need them to do, and how you want them to show up in their role.

Brooke Cecil:

So, just those soft skills of how they’re going to show up and represent our culture. So, it really boils down to ensuring they’re the right cultural fit. Maybe even determining what your culture is, what you want your culture to be as an organization. Then from that particular job, what is the job description that you need in order to make your organization better?

Speaker 2:

Welcome to One Next Step, the most practical business podcast in the world. Helping you get more done, grow your business, and lead your team with confidence with tips and tools you didn’t get in business school. Here are your hosts, Tricia Sciortino and Lisa Zeeveld.

Tricia Sciortino:

Welcome to One Next Step, the practical business podcast that helps you run your business and make it stop running you, so you can enjoy your work and your life. I’m Tricia Sciortino, the CEO of BELAY.

Lisa Zeeveld:

And I’m Lisa Zeeveld, the COO of BELAY. Together, we are T and LZ. We’ve known each other since 2005 and have worked together for a decade growing a 100% remote business from startup to being recognized on the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies list for six years running.

Tricia Sciortino:

LZ and I have learned a lot along the way and we have made some great friends. For One Next Step, we’re inviting them on the podcast to bring you episodes filled with excellent content delivered by some talented people.

Lisa Zeeveld:

As leaders, we surprisingly struggle to pick the right people for our teams which leaves us disappointed, frustrated, and asking if we’ll ever get the help we need to grow our organization. Today, we’re going to discuss the issue and share a few tips or ideas on how you can more effectively identify who’s right and who’s wrong for your organization.

Tricia Sciortino:

We are so excited to have a special guest with us today, Brooke Cecil. She is the Director Of Client Relations for BELAY and Brooke and her team of almost 30 people oversee, match, and coordinate efforts for hiring for all of our clients. So, Brooke is the guru of all things finding great talent for our clients, and she is going to bring a plethora of great knowledge in this conversation today as we talk about how to know when you are hiring the right person for your team. Welcome, Brooke.

Brooke Cecil:

Hi, thanks for having me.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Okay, Brooke, I was super excited when I saw that you were on the agenda today because not only are you a rock star, you’ve been with BELAY a long, long time, but you manage one of the largest departments in BELAY, and those people manage, I mean, a tremendous amount of leaders and people under them. So, if there’s anybody out there who knows how to hire and manage people, I’m pretty sure it’s you. I don’t think there’s anybody else who could do it better than you could.

Brooke Cecil:

Well, I appreciate that, but we do manage a lot of people and with that are a lot of personalities and a lot of needs.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yes. Well, so my question is, we get this all the time from our clients, I also know that a lot of business leaders just come to us, like networking, and always want to know this question, how do they end up picking the wrong people? I feel like we hear about people who pick the wrong individuals more often than we do about people picking the right people. So, how do we know how to pick the right people and what not to do?

Brooke Cecil:

Yeah. And you’re right, a lot of people look for the wrong things. I know many times when we are receiving clients here at BELAY, a lot of times we see people saying, “I’ve tried such and such,” or “I’ve outsourced here,” or “I’ve hired here,” and it just, It’s not working. And the biggest thing that we have found is that most of it has to do with people looking for hard skills. So whether it’s a background or a particular skill set, that’s where the miss is, because what we have found, and it is what we call here at BELAY, our secret sauce.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Goodness, are you going to actually give away the recipe?

Brooke Cecil:

Yes. So, a few ingredients that we felt like set us up for success here at BELAY, what we have found to be helpful is looking with the organization’s culture to ensure that this particular contract in our arena is the right fit for the team, but also the soft skills. That seems to be a big piece that our clients miss day in and day out and we see that also a lot out in just the business world in general.

Lisa Zeeveld:

I mean, it feels like you want to like the person, right, that you’re working with. So, they should be personable, right, and be able to hold a good conversation and really get even behind your mission and maybe your why.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah. And it’s like they say, you can teach a hard skill all day long. People can train themselves on hard skills. You can learn how to use the software. You can learn how to use an application or a tool. You can’t teach people culture and you can’t teach them character traits, or how people show up is how people show up.

Brooke Cecil:

Absolutely. And one thing that, as a millennial, I will say, dare I say, claim that I’m a millennial-

Lisa Zeeveld:

Are you throwing out age here? I don’t know that it’s like this.

Tricia Sciortino:

There’s no baby boomers on here, that I know.

Brooke Cecil:

But one thing I will say too, is that you often hear that people that are within the millennial age range, they want their role to matter. And they want it to be something far beyond just a nine to five job, which we saw many, many years ago. People just kind of going and punching a clock. They want their work to matter and give a purpose and have meaning in it.

Tricia Sciortino:

I love that. So that kind of leads to the next question. And how do we do that? Right. What are some key steps to improve the likelihood that as a hiring manager or business owner? What are some of the things you can do to ensure that the likelihood of hiring a great fit works? So I’d love to… I’d love you to share maybe some of the steps and tricks, you kind of walk through to make those great hires.

Brooke Cecil:

Really, I think the first thing is figuring out what exactly you need. Not just say, “okay, well we’re an organization, so we need an admin, we need a financial person. We need all this.” What do you really need? What are your biggest pain points in your organization that can help you do what you do best? So, this person can focus on maybe what they do best and you’re not so great at. So, really discovering a plan of what that description, a job description, a KRA, whatever you might call it, what that really needs to be, those true needs. And then just building out also just a timeline of when you anticipate that, from a financial perspective, you can even bring somebody on and trying to figure that out as well, I think are two initial steps that are essential.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah. So, you’ve done all those things. And you’ve got maybe a short list of people that you want to interview. What are some key takeaways that you could give our listeners today on how to interview. Because that is not one of the things that’s pretty clear in business school, right? I mean, they don’t hand you on a manual when you decide you want to…Start a business and go, “here’s how you interview people.” So, what are some key takeaways you could give our listeners today?

Brooke Cecil:

Yeah. Well, I think intentionality in your interviews. So for example, here at BELAY, we have quite a long process that we have for our corporate team members. And they meet several different people throughout the process, both from HR to potentially even their peers and even doing an in-person interview to see how they show up with people outside of the business, whether that’s how they’re interacting with a waitress, whatever it might be. But from a one-on-one interview, we always love to see body language. How are they showing up? How are they engaged? Another thing that I always love to know is that they’ve done their homework on our organization. Do they know that what our mission statement, maybe not exactly to the T of what it is, but what is the mission of our organization and the values that we have as a business and then just how they are interacting. Maybe the intentionality of being prepared with questions and not just, “No, I don’t have any questions. I think you’ve answered everything,” To me, that’s always a…”Do you want the job?” Or I’m not really sure.

Tricia Sciortino:

Right, are they passionate? Do they seem like really driven to…Do they desire the job or are they going to be a clock puncher?

Brooke Cecil:

Right, right.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Oh, I… It’s always one of those things when they’re not conversational either, right. We’ve all been on those interviews that are just like fall completely flat. You’re really leaning in like hoping like, “Oh, I’ve allotted 30 minutes and maybe it’ll go a little bit longer, like 15 minutes,” and you’re like, “Oh, are we done yet?”

Brooke Cecil:

What is the appropriate time that I can cut this off?

Tricia Sciortino:

Well, so that leads me to a great impromptu question. Do you have any favorite interview questions? Do you have any questions that you asked to tee up and get started on a great interview to kind of really dig to find the answers you’re looking for?

Brooke Cecil:

A lot of times I like to ask what a team member is passionate about and how they see that fitting into the role that we have here at BELAY. So for example, with my Department of Client Relations, I often deem it as the counselor. You know, I always tell people they have to have a couch in their office because you’re going to be coaching clients and contractors day in, day out and helping them along. But I want to ensure that they are truly people people, and that they have a passion to serve and to help others because if they are just say, either a numbers driven person, or whatever it might be, if they aren’t a people person, then in my particular realm, the role won’t work for them.

Tricia Sciortino:

It’s like fitting a square peg in a round hole. You might have a person that wants to take on a certain role and think they would like to try it. But at the end of the day, do they have the internal motivation and the internal character to really thrive in the role. So, if you’re an introvert who’s shy and doesn’t enjoy conflict, putting them in a client-facing role where you’re doing lots of coaching and having a lot of hard conversation, it would wear on them pretty hard, pretty quick.

Brooke Cecil:

Yes. Yes.

Lisa Zeeveld:

So some individuals, when they’re looking to hire, kind of lean on some personality tests, and I know at BELAY, we’ve done a couple. I think right now we’re using the Kolbe A, what are some great personality tests that you’ve maybe seen BELAY use over the last few years or just some that are your personal favorites?

Brooke Cecil:

That’s a great question. I think for us the one that seems to be a common baseline that we see a lot of our clients use is DISC. I mean, it’s been around forever, but it really gives a good gauge. And we have even seen how, I mean, even Enneagram, how it kind of falls and to kind of lap over some of those assessments. But that seems to be really the most common one that we’ve seen within our clients, but one thing that we consistently say from our perspective, because a lot of times we’ll have clients and they’ll say, “I have to have somebody that is a high D and this, this, and this,” when in reality it might be, they would butt heads because maybe they’re a high D and it just, it would not work out well, so just ensuring that we are using those appropriately and really assessing it and assessing what you work well with and what compliments you versus what will potentially be a breaker, a deal breaker for you as well.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. It’s almost like it’s a tool in your tool belt, but it’s not like the hard and fast rule. It’s just more information to help you make that decision.

Brooke Cecil:

Absolutely.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yes, yes. So, I know we talk all the time about going back to planning the hire, and as we wrap up and think about, if you could give advice on what’s someone’s One Next Step, when it comes to hiring the right person, what would you say that next step is today?

Brooke Cecil:

I would say developing that job description and making sure whatever at the top of that, especially even within BELAY, we have all the things that we need them to do day to day in terms of those hard skills that we kind of talked about earlier, but above that, and it, within our job description, it’s also just those soft skills of how they’re going to show up and represent our culture. So, it really boils down to ensuring they’re the right cultural fit. Maybe even determining what your culture is, what you want your culture to be as an organization, but then from that particular job, what is the job description that you need in order to make your organization better?

Lisa Zeeveld:

I love that. That’s such a great takeaway.

Tricia Sciortino:

Perfect. So the takeaway is if you’re looking to hire the next right person, the first step is make sure you have the right job description. You’re looking for the right person, because we’ve seen so many times where people think they needed one thing and it turns out they needed something else. So, get clear on who it is you need.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Well, they don’t call this the most practical business podcast in the world for no reason, right?

Tricia Sciortino:

Right, right, right. Brooke, thank you, thank you, thank you for being with us today. Thanks for sharing such great tips and advice. We hope that this has served the listeners well, and they can walk away with a good action item.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Thank you, Brooke.

Brooke Cecil:

Thanks, ladies.

Speaker 4:

BELAY provides staffing to help you grow your organization. Whether you need a virtual assistant, bookkeeper, website specialist, or a social media strategist. They have the right team member for the hours you need, ready to help you excel without the added stress of having to do everything on your own. Stop juggling, and start getting back to what only you can do, growing your organization. Getting started as the easiest thing you’ll do today to find out more, just go to belaysolutions.com/get-started.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Oh my gosh, wasn’t Brooke just absolutely fantastic? I love her energy. I’m still always amazed, all of the people that she manages and she does it so gracefully, right? Like we kind of joke around that she’s a little bit of like the velvet hammer.

Tricia Sciortino:

That’s her secret code name at BELAY, the velvet hammer.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah, I know. She’s just so great.

Tricia Sciortino:

All grace, all grit, all the time.

Lisa Zeeveld:

She just leaves such a big part of BELAY. Her team just absolutely loves her. She just cares so much about them and she’s got passion and drive. And I hope that came across to our listeners today. I hope they really felt that. For me, one of my takeaways was when we were specifically talking about those questions, “what do you ask somebody during the interview process?” And I like how she really focused on the fact that if she says, “hey, do you have any questions for me as the interviewer?”

Lisa Zeeveld:

If the person says, “no, I’m good, I think I know everything,” that’s so great, right? It really shows, did that person do their homework? They feel like they’re just a shoe in and they don’t even have to come prepared. Just felt like that was really cool.

Tricia Sciortino:

Right, or they lack passion, right? That they’re not so interested in the job, and that’s showing that interest. I also like how she mentioned the part about knowing about the organization, being prepared, that someone coming to the interview and if they don’t know anything about the organization or the company, they have not done their homework. That’s a no, no. It kind of shows a lack of interest. I think the people that come prepared with questions, knowledgeable about the companies, whether it’s not specifically, like she said, “mission or vision” or so important to really feel like somebody is vibing off your organization and really wants to be there.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. Well, and that goes back to the whole culture conversation we were talking about, right? I mean, you want someone to actually enjoy being a part of your team and be a good culture fit, you should like your team members.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah, we like to say people drink the Kool-Aid around here. So, we can tell when somebody comes here with passion and we say, “Oh, they’re drinking the BELAY Kool-Aid around here,” and we have disagreements on what color the Kool-Aid should be, because I believe the Kool-Aid needs to be blue or green because those are our brand colors. And you think what? Yellow? You said Red Kool-Aid because you like cherry.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah, I get where you’re coming from. Then I said, then it just has to be, maybe colored that. But the flavor shouldn’t be like a cherry. I think there’s a whole thing on the internet, what’s your favorite Kool-Aid flavor? I think it gets a little heated sometimes.

Tricia Sciortino:

We’re going to go with BELAY flavored Kool-Aid. No, but seriously you want somebody kind of really drinking your organizational Kool-Aid, somebody that’s going to come with passion. And those are just a couple of key indicators that she brought up that I thought were great points about not showing interest in the interview and that kind of being a good nod to a no for our candidates.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. Well, one of the things, we actually say here too is, “you want to be slow to hire and quick to fire,” Now, I know that’s not just for proprietary to BELAY. A lot of folks say that, but it is good to remember, right? So, take your time and a lot of intentionality before bringing people onto your team, it’s the most important decision you’re going to make.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah, we take a very long time. We take almost eight weeks to hire individuals here at BELAY.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. I think it’s funny, quite a few years ago, we hired someone for our marketing team and they said that when they finally got hired, they compared it to, “I’m getting the golden ticket from Willy Wonka,” at The Chocolate Factory.

Tricia Sciortino:

Like American Idol, you got to pass to go to Hollywood. You want your hires to feel like they are going to Hollywood. So bring in the passion, yes. I also love the part, she talked about some of her favorite interview questions. So, in the show notes, we’re going to kind of give you guys some of our favorite interview questions, but I love her recommendations on some of those things that she’s also asking that are so important to kind of filter out things we’re talking about. And so, we would love to give that secret sauce to you. We’ll give you some of our favorite interview questions out there, as well.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah, and we’re also going to give our listeners today a template on a job description. A lot of folks don’t even know where to start. Sometimes it gets way, way, way too long, or it’s just too succinct and there’s not enough meat there. So, I would love for us to put that in the show notes as well.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah, it’s kind of goes back to what she originally was speaking about, kind of at the top of the conversation about really having clarity, what is the role? What is the skill set? Hard skills? Soft skills? And building that into the job description. It being so clear because we’ve seen so many times where people think they want one thing, they hire somebody for that and then it turns out it was the wrong hire.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah, and the cool thing about creating a template is as you add more people to your team, you have that efficiency already built in. So, you need to…You might have a summary at the top that explains really how your organization wins, maybe what your vision is, and what your why. And then also, a kind of a closing paragraph. And then that just kind of gives you the middle as a guide on to fill in on what specific role you’re looking to fill.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yes, I agree. And we have like this unspoken silly little rule that we try and keep our job descriptions to one page. We try…We spend way too much time trying to net it out to fit on one page and capture all of the things. Because at the end of the day, you don’t want it to be overwhelming. It’s not supposed to be a list of things people are going to do in their day to day, but more like highlighted responsibilities. So, looking forward to kind of sharing that template with you guys, hopefully it will help guide you in setting up to really make your next hires integrate planned way.

Lisa Zeeveld:

That’s right. So that is the One Next Step, right? Go to the show notes, take a look at some great interview questions and then create that job description.

Tricia Sciortino:

And I hope that helps you guys, just feel a little sense of relief. Hiring is usually not most leader’s forte. A lot of people work with us because they don’t want to go through the hiring process. So, hopefully this takes a little bit of the burden off you sets you up to make it easier and that you can take that One Next Step and do it in a way that stress-free and frictionless.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of One Next Step. We hope you’ve enjoyed what you’re hearing from us. And now, we want to hear from you. Head on over to Apple podcast, Spotify, or wherever you listen and leave us a review.

Tricia Sciortino:

Until next time, own your journey. It’s your life and your business. It’s up to you to create the life and organization you want. Join us next week for more practical tips and actionable tools to advance your business one step at a time.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Start by making today count.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for listening to One Next Step. Be sure to subscribe on Apple podcasts or follow us on Spotify, then join us next time for more practical business tips and tools to help you get more done, grow your business and lead your team with confidence for more episodes, show notes and helpful resources. Visit onenextsteppodcast.com.

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