Scaling Your Pay Per Call Business Hiring and Outsourcing


Staff member
Learn how to free up your time and scale your efforts by hiring professionals to help run your business.

Lesson Transcript

Hey Pay Per Callers, let's talk about growing your business through Hiring and Outsourcing.

Determining Your Hiring Goals

Now the first thing you need to do when you're going to hire or outsource new employees is determine your goals. What do you want to actually accomplish and what type of person do you want to hire? Are they going to be full time, part time, temporary, permanent, remote, or in house, in your actual office? Or are they going to be remote but local so that you can have meetings with them on an occasional basis? Okay?

And the reason you want to determine this is different people are going to be looking for different opportunities and in my opinion, it's very important that you're very specific about the type of person you want to hire, the position that you're offering, what it encompasses and what's important to you and what's important to the person that you're going to be looking for. I don't think it's appropriate to be wishy washy about this type of information because you're looking for someone to actually come focus and help you, and if you don't know what you're looking for, it's going to be extremely complicated to find someone who can actually fill the role that you want to fill.

Think about that, if you're unsure whether someone should be full time or part time or what you want to do, you're not setting that relationship up for success. So you want to know exactly what type of person you're looking for, what type of position you want to feel, and all the requirements of that position. Now, first hires are extremely important to your business, even if it's a virtual assistant or a business development person or a part time developer, it doesn't really matter what the position is, if they're your first or second employee or even your third, it is absolutely critical that you get this right.

And the reason for that is you're going to have to invest in training them, getting them up and running, teaching them everything they need to know about what you want to accomplish, and if you choose the wrong person, you're going to end up investing a lot of your time and then have to go through this process again. So if you're a new business owner or you're a new leader, it's even worse when you have to fire your first person and you may not pull the trigger on firing them if they're not the right fit with one of your first employees, because maybe you're not as confident about this process as you could be, and so that's why it's really important that you take your time, interview a lot of candidates, figure out the right person who has not only the right skill set that you need, but the right attitude, the right hustle and the right mentality and also meshes with you on a personal level.

You guys should be able to communicate really well and enjoy working together, otherwise you can create a toxic environment from the get go and you absolutely do not want to do that. So I've been really lucky in that I've found amazing people to work on our team and one of the ways I've done that is finding a way to work with people before making long-term commitments.

For instance, the CTO and partner of Ringba, Peter, is an amazing leader, an amazing technologist and I'm super grateful that he runs our tech team. And the way we actually work together first was I had him over at my house, he was an introduction from a longtime friend and we actually worked on a small side project together before we decided to tackle Ringba. And that was an amazing way to do it because I got to understand how this person works, who they are as a person, what their core values are, and then before deciding to be their partner, I was able to really figure out if we were going to be a good fit for the long term. And the same with Harrison, right? I lived with Harrison for a period of time, we've known each other for over 10 years, we've worked together before on small side projects and just helped each other out in general.

So we understood how we work together intimately before we actually became partners and started working together for the long term. And that has been extremely valuable in our partnership at Ringba and we've been able to create an amazing team because the rest of our team members see how well we work together and that we have consistent values and understand the same vision and are all focused in the same direction, and so people are just naturally attracted to that.And in some other businesses I've owned and currently own, I've worked with people on Upwork, which has been fantastic, and then just end up poaching them off of the Upwork platform. If they don't work out, it's super easy to fire them at that point, it's just a click and hey, sorry this isn't working out. But when they do work out, you can create some amazing long-term relationships with figuring out how you guys are going to work together upfront.

So for instance, one of the other companies that Harrison and I own, the VP of technology is a gentleman named Mandeep and he's amazing, and we actually met working on Upwork. We worked on a few projects, he taught me about some infrastructure that I needed to learn about, and at some point I think like three or four months in, I just said, "You know what, I really love working with you, this is a great fit. Why don't you come on board full time and let's build something together?" And so he's been with us for like five years now or something and is an amazing asset to the team. And so by working together before you actually make that long-term commitment, you get to decide if they're really the right fit for your team and that's a great way to do it, especially if they're your first hire and they're already a contractor, and so you can feel each other out before you make the long-term commitment.

Next, you need to know how much you're going to pay somebody or what you're willing to pay them before you start looking for somebody. And you can't be wishy washy about this. I see this so much when entrepreneurs are like, "Hey, hiring business development representative, let me know what you need to be paid." No, no, no, no, no, no, no. You are offering a person a position, you need to know what you're going to pay them, what you're willing to pay them, what their opportunity is, why they should come work with you. And it should not be a confusing situation, it shouldn't be much of a negotiation either. I find that if you get into a heated negotiation about compensation with team members when they first start, they leave that process feeling not great about it. And that's not good for morale, that doesn't set you up long-term for success. So in my experience, your goal should be to transparently say what you're willing to pay regardless of what it's going to be, so when that person comes in and you find the right person, the expectations are already set.

They know what you're going to pay for the job, it's not much of a negotiation, it's more of a discussion around what you're going to pay, what the terms of that pay are going to be and how it's going to work out for both parties. For instance, when I directly hire someone, we don't really talk a whole lot about pay, we talk about what maybe benefits are, is it going to be monthly or biweekly or really what they're going to expect working on our team and how we can help them and teach them and access to the best of what they have to offer and the best of what we have to offer and really start the relationship off as partners as opposed to adversarial in a negotiation. And that all comes from being transparent about what you're going to pay. And some entrepreneurs see that maybe as a downside because you're like, well, if I just write in the job posts that we're paying $60,000 plus commission and someone was willing to work for 40 I just overpaid.

And I think it's important to realize that in that situation you didn't overpay, okay? You get what you pay for in everything, all right? If you're going to go buy a Ferrari, you know what you're going to get, you know it's going to be awesome, all right? And you're buying something that's going to be amazing and you're definitely paying for it, okay? You're never going to get a Ferrari for a Honda price, okay? That just doesn't exist. You're never going to get an extremely competent high level person in any position for a small amount of money. Those diamond in the rough scenarios just simply don't exist, they don't happen. And if you're waiting around looking to find this amazing employee that you can get on the super cheap and not have to take care of them, your decision making and your plan is just fundamentally flawed, because just like anything else, people want to be fairly compensated for the work they put in, and if they're high level people, they're going to expect a higher level of compensation and maybe that's commission based or milestone based or whatever it is.

But you need to be willing to pay people what their actual value is. And when you fairly pay people, in my experience, what you get is 110% in absolute commitment to your cause and a huge amount of return on that investment because effectively what you're paying an employee is an investment in your business's future and you want to make the right investment. And so I'm not suggesting that you overpay people either, I think you should understand what the market is and then if possible, pay top of market to get the highest talent, the best talent that you possibly can.

And so we do that at Ringba. We pay top of market for every single position and we take care of our team members in a way that most companies aren't willing to do. For instance, at Ringba, it's a remote position for everyone on our team, engineering, sales, support, whatever. They can live wherever they want, we don't police their vacation time, we don't police their hours that they work, we don't really pay attention to any of those things and we pay them top of market and a lot of positions significantly above market, and then what we get is we get a highly motivated, highly dedicated team of exceptionally talented people that can do what our competitors can't do with 10 times the funding and 10 times the staff. And so the only way to do that, the only way to get really high level people on your team is to properly compensate them for it. So if you need quality assurance or something simple and you hire a virtual assistant, you pay them an extra dollar an hour than market, you're going to get a really dedicated employee, it doesn't cost you much more. And for me, I just truly believe in investing in your people and for me that's a fundamental part of my business plan and I'm very open about it and I have yet to have any regrets about it.

I've had to fire people, I feel like I pay people really well and when they don't deliver, we just fire them. And so I like to hire them slow whenever possible, like I said, find ways to work with them before the long-term commitment or find people by referral and then, if they don't work out, just immediately fire them. No questions asked to in a respectful, polite way, but if someone's not succeeding on your team and you don't think they're going to succeed, you're doing them a disservice by letting them flounder around and suffer, right? Every human gets fulfillment by being successful at what they're doing, and if someone on your team is not successful and you don't see a path where they could be successful, you're actually hurting them by not putting them on a path with another opportunity where they can actually thrive, okay? And so next, we're going to want to talk about time frames.

If you are in dire need of a business development person and you want that person in the next 30 days and that will free up a ton of your time, you need to set a timeline. I need to hire someone in the next 30 days, what do I need to do to do that? I need to get on my job posts, I need to interview a ton of people, I need to treat my hiring like a marketing campaign, look at it and run it by the numbers. Figure out how many job posts? Get how many applications? Get how many interviews? And out of the first round of interviews, how many people move on to the second round? And in our case at Ringba, it's first round, second round, third round of interviews with the team, and then finally I will interview them. And so it's four interviewing rounds. And so we look at it by the numbers, how many people do we have to find to actually drill down into that?

And I'll run you in a little bit deeper into that process of how we do it so you can understand, but it's not easy to find great people and so when you want to find them, it takes a lot of energy and you have to invest in that energy. But man, when you find them, it's like rocket fuel for your business if you do it correctly, all right? Next you want to look at, do you know anyone who can refer me good people? And by good people, I mean people with the right skill set, with the right ... So let's talk about what I mean by good people, first and foremost. I mean, they need to be made of the right stuff. They need to be high quality, intelligent, surprise you with their skill sets, they need to be highly motivated, they need to ask you a lot of questions. An interview should be a two way street, they need to be on time, punctual, loyal, they need to be super motivated, they need to be excited about your project and how they can fit into it, they want to be excited about their own future, they should be goal oriented, goal driven people who want to achieve something. And then secondary to that, we also look at the organization of the person and how their life is.

Do they exercise in some way, shape or form? Do they care about their appearance and how they live? What's their work environment look like? Are they organized? Are they neat people? Do they care about how they communicate? Do they proofread their responses? Do they use proper punctuation and grammar? Do they just hold themselves to a high level in every facet of their life? Okay? And that's what we're really looking for when we talk about good people, because usually it's about top 5% of anyone out there that I ever want to think about hiring, and so if you're looking for someone who's really good at what they do, and you think about that for a minute, that means out of 100 applications, you might have five real candidates that have good stuff.

And that's why referrals are really, really important. And so you want to ask your current team members, they are an amazing source of referrals. At Ringba, we have multiple people on our team that are referrals, and when we hire new people, after putting them through our rigorous process, we ask them, "Hey, is anyone from your current position really, really great?" Like, "Would you love to continue to work with anyone at your current position?" And we find that they make immediate referrals. Our last engineering team hire was like, "Hey, I'm coming, but I really need to bring this other guy with me, he's amazing, he's super dedicated and he'd love working on this project." And so we ended up hiring that guy too, okay? And so you really need to think about who you can ask, and this can be family, friends, previous coworkers, in Pay Per Call, it can be publishers or your networks that you're working with or anyone else, who do they have that could possibly fill a position? And when you ask for a referral, you need to have all your details in a row, how much are you paying? What's your time frame? What are the responsibilities? What are your goals? You need to have that information put together.

So when you say, "Hey, do you know someone?" That person if they're a good contact, you're going to say, "Well, give me the details," and they're going to think about their network and who they can refer you. I get asked a lot, "Hey Adam, can you refer me a great business development person?" Or, "Can you refer me a great tech person?" Because they see us and they go, wow, that's an amazing team, I wonder if he knows anybody? And I think that's funny because if I did know someone that was amazingly high level, I would be going after them first and foremost, and I have yet to have someone come to me with all their information and be like, "Hey Adam, I'm looking for this type of person, I'm willing to pay this much, here are the requirements of the job, here's the time frame I'm looking forward to hire that person, here are the other details. Can you help me out?" Because if I actually had all that information, I could just hop on LinkedIn and look through my network of a couple thousand connections and be like, "Yeah, sure, here are three people, do you want intros?" But no one has yet to do that.

And when you ask someone for a referral, you're asking them to invest time into helping you, you should have your details available so you're not wasting that person's time with an arbitrary question like, "Hey, do you know any good business development people?" Like, okay, yeah, I do. I know hundreds of them, so what kind are you looking for, right? And next, have you practiced your interviewing skills? So I thought this was really interesting, when I was young and I was like, I think 10 years old, my dad, and my whole family were moving across the state for a new opportunity and he was living with a guy temporarily while my family was looking for a house so he could be in the area and conduct his house search and this guy he was living with was unemployed and couldn't get a job anywhere. And so my dad being a national sales manager of a sales organization was like, "Okay, well, let's go practice your interview skills." And this guy was like, "What do you mean practice practice? Practice?" And so here I am playing with a computer, a 386, I believe, it was way back in the day, and my dad is sitting downstairs with a video camera that actually takes a tape cassette in it, recording this young guy going over and over and over again, just hitting him with interview after interview after interview.

And they practiced interviewing for six or eight hours on a Saturday to the point the guy was exhausted and went to bed. And then lo and behold, the next week he gets a job at one of the first places he interviews. Now this is for both sides and you need to role play this. You need to get your friends, your family, your wife, your coworker or whatever and you need to practice telling your story, practice interviewing your candidates, practice your set up, practice everything involved with the process so that when an interviewee comes to you and a high level person comes to you and you interview them, you are on your game. Because high level people are not going to just take whatever job comes across their desk. They're going to be looking for someone that inspires them, someone that has their shit together, someone who's good at interviewing, someone who's great at communicating. And so you need to be really good at this, you need to practice your interview, you need to have all your questions written out.

You need to understand what your story is, you need to understand where this person fits into your organization and you need to be able to communicate that even if they're the wrong person, okay? You need to nail your interviews, otherwise when you do have that high level person you're excited about come in or do a video call or just do a call and you're not prepared, you're not ready, they're not going to come work for you even if you'll pay them because high level people don't work for the money they work for the leadership, okay? And that's something you need to understand and step one is the interview and high level people are interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them. So practice it, I'm talking literally sit down, role-play it, record it, get feedback from your friends. You should be able to do it on demand without a cheat sheet and have all your questions memorized, and it should be second nature to you on how you give an interview and how you communicate with these people, otherwise you're going to lose your diamond in the rough when they come along, all right?

Next you need to have an environment suitable for an interview. And what I mean by that is if you're going to take a video interview, like I'm giving you this lesson right now, all right, let's take a look at this and dissect what's going on here. First and foremost, my work environment is spotless, okay? There's nothing on my desk, there's never anything on my desk, okay? I work in a very organized, controlled work environment and I do that on purpose so that everything is organized, I know where everything is. All my folders on my computer are organized, all my email accounts are organized. Everything I have is organized because it allows me to move in context [inaudible 00:20:55] very quickly, but when I hop on an interview with someone, they're going to judge me, they're judging me by how I look, how I dress, my environment and everything around me. So if you're going to do this on video, you need to make sure that the environment is surprising and also clean and organized. And so when I hop on an interview with somebody, the first thing they see is me and then my setup, and then the first thing that goes through their mind, whether they realize it or not, is wow, this guy works in a very interesting environment, and that's kind of a cool place.

Wow, this is very different and I'm interested in that, this person is clearly an interesting person and I'm excited about communicating with him. And so I do this on purpose, okay? This is not just randomly done, this is on purpose because if I'm talking to a guy that has 20 job offers that can go get hired at Google, right? I have to present things in a way that is exciting to them and that is different, okay? And that's what you want to do with your work environment. If you're going to be a remote employee, you don't want to interview someone relaxing on the couch, okay? With your headphones in and your laptop wobbling and they can see that you haven't done your dishes in three weeks or whatever the case is, okay? You want to have a very clean controlled environment and that's how you're going to be the most successful working, but that's how you're going to be the most successful interviewing as well.

It matters, okay? People judge you by the simplest things, when you enter a relationship with them and the first thing they do as judge the appearance of where that relationship's going to go. And so if you're going to be high tech, this is a great way to do it. When people see me, they're like, all right, that guy is super computer nerd, all right? And they're right, okay? I don't go outside very much, the Internet's inside and so that's where I'm at, okay? I'm in California right now and I am super white. I don't go outside in the sun, all right? There's no fiber optic outside in the sun. And so if you're interviewing a developer and you're like me and you want to find really high level developers that could go do their own startup or work at Google, you have to be really nerd yourself. And so I want you to think about that, think about how you're going to present to your interviewees, okay? If you don't have a good work environment or you're not comfortable with that, don't do video, do call. But if you're going to do call make sure that it's quiet, that no one's going to be interrupting you.

Don't do interviews in a coffee shop, okay? That's the douchiest thing ever when you got people running around buzzing and all that noise and you're trying to interview a candidate, okay? It should be quiet, it should be focused because you need to listen and communicate with this person on a very high level, all right? There's no excuses for any of this. This is one on one stuff, but the vast majority of people like more than 50% don't do a good job with it, and you can hire people just by cleaning up this process a little bit, it takes almost no work, all right?

Things to Reflect on Before Hiring

So next, what's really important about hiring people is reflecting on why they should work for you, right? What an interesting question? I don't know if many people and business owners and entrepreneurs or affiliates really tackle the question of why people should work for them. Because it's like, oh, I'm going to pay you, you should come work for me. And that's how you get shitty employees, okay? If it's like, well, I'm paying you, you need to work for me, and that's all you have to offer, well, I have some important information for you. That means you're at the bottom of the ladder of people that anyone good wants to work for.

Anyone who can do a great job, I'm talking about great, so significantly above average doesn't need you as an employer either, okay? So let's just be clear for a minute that just because you want to offer someone money doesn't mean that people are going to show up at your doorstep and be like, "Oh me," all right? The US economy is the best, it's been in a long time right now. Tech employment is crazy, there's way more positions than there are people to fill them. And so you're going to really have to think about what do you have to offer besides money? What are people going to get out of working with you? And the number one thing you should think about is not like free beer on Fridays, we're going to put foosball tables in our office, okay? We're going to give people all these stupid Silicon Valley benefits because honestly the high level people don't care about any of that, they don't.

What they care about is what are they going to learn? Are they going to be challenged? Are they working for great leaders? And are those leaders going to stretch who they are as a person? And are they going to see personal growth? And are they excited about working with your team of great people to accomplish something together so that they can achieve a high level of personal fulfillment? Okay? Because that's what high level people actually want. They don't care about your ping pong tables and your beer tap in the office, all right? Honestly, they don't. I haven't met a single high level person that's like, "Well I really would like to go work somewhere else, but these guys have craft beer on tap." All right? So what all that bullshit is, is just a distraction away from not paying people properly or not giving people flexibility for what they want to do or trying to trap them in an office so they'll work more hours. All that's just nonsense, okay? And there's nothing wrong with it, if you have an office and you want to provide those types of benefits to people, that's fine, but it should be entirely secondary to your mission here.

Your real mission should be, how can I offer these people something that will help grow them as a person that will give them some sort of boost for the rest of their life? What do you really have to offer people? Okay? Next, what is it a story you're trying to tell? And so I ask people on a regular basis, what's the vision of your company? And if they can't answer that in two or three sentences at the drop of a hat, well they don't actually know what their own story is. And so how are they going to communicate to other people what their story is and get people excited about working on their team if they don't even know what their own mission is, if they don't even know what the purpose is for why everyone's coming in the office every day. And so for Ringba, it's easy, we will dominate the performance marketing space. That's it. Anyone that plays in that space, we're coming for you openly and we're focused on this space and we're going to own it, there's no question in my mind.

And so our entire team is laser focused on this and they all know what they're doing because our vision is simple, okay? And so you need to be able to explain your vision in a simple way that people can understand and you're going to have to tell it in a story because people are more likely to work for other people that they believe in over anything else, all right? And so that brings you to my next question, how can someone believe in what you're trying to accomplish? You need to have an understanding of what you want the future to be. And that cannot be like I need a business development person right now because I'm really busy and I need to take some things off my plate, no one will ... what is that? Right? I'm really busy, I'll hire you and pay you hurry, hurry, hurry, find me someone that's just decent and let's get this thing done. Do you know what that does? That builds mediocre companies that stagnate or fail over a long period of time.

That doesn't build a rocket ship, okay? Let's take the Elon Musk's mission for Space X, "We're going to send humans to Mars." It's one sentence and it is really compelling, right? That's the story he's telling. And you know what, look what they're doing, they're landing rockets on boats, it's ridiculous, they're building a spaceship for Christ sakes. We are going to put a human on Mars. And all he had to do to do that fundamentally is make sure everybody understands the purpose and believes in it. And so if you're in lead generation or Pay Per Call, I understand how this can be hard, you're like, I'm an affiliate and I need someone to come help me, how do I make them believe in, hey, we're building an affiliate company or something? And so how do you frame that to tell a story? Well, you frame it like a story. Hey, it's an army of one right now I'm looking for really motivated people to come help me, we're going to build a very big business and lead generation, I believe that there are no real players and lead generation and that leads us to a huge opportunity where our entire team to work together, take over the market and then everyone can prosper together, right? That's the vision of the future.

I think that we can be up to 10 people in the next calendar year and following that, maybe up to 30 and I want to move into these verticals and I want to do X, Y and Z. You need to have this long term plan and vision for what you see the company as. And then you let people know you're getting in early. That means there's no glass ceiling, there's a ton of opportunity for advancement. I want to hire smart, great people and then promote from within, and so we're going to build this together. And you got to know where you're going because if you don't know where you're going and you're leading people, they aren't going to follow you or they're just going to show up for the paycheck, and that's how you get people who've come to work and Facebook all day and don't do anything, right? That's how you get toxic employees when your employees don't see the vision, you get toxic employees. Now when everyone on your team sees the vision and you make a bad hire that's toxic, ooh, your organization will police them for you, they will force that toxicity right out like it's a virus, okay?

And so I don't fear hiring people on our team because if we hire the wrong person, ooh, my people will just squeeze them right out of the organization because they won't tolerate that shit because we're all focused on a vision, okay? And so next, once you have a story that someone can believe in, something of the future where they can envision themselves growing into new positions and having new opportunities, you need to think about how you will actually provide them those opportunities for growth. Okay, for the virtual assistant, this isn't that complicated, you're going to get a virtual assistant you're like as we grow, maybe we need to add more, maybe you'll be the virtual assistant team leader. That's much easier for lower level people, it's easier to paint this picture. For higher level people, maybe you want to recruit someone who has a network or is really good at sales and come on your team, you need to understand what their goals are and most people are going to want to build their own team, learn how to lead and grow and have opportunities. And so you need to be able to communicate those opportunities for growth.

For instance, on our sales team, we do not hire anybody that doesn't have the desire to run their own sales team, okay? And we do that during the interview process, we tell them this, "If you don't want to run your own team, if you don't want to grow into a leader, that's fine, but you're not going to work out here because we're only interested in hiring people that want to become leaders." And then we help coach and train them and put them on this process. And so I can assert right now at time of recording that 100% of our sales team is leadership material and excited about growing a team and all their goals are around how they can help each other succeed so we can add more people to the team.

And I don't even need to talk to these guys, they're just on it, on it, on it, they want to grow their teams and build a big business and take over the space. And so by fundamentally hiring someone into the growth mindset, they start to grow your business for you, but you need to be able to have opportunities for that growth and then to be able to paint a picture so that people can see what their future will be like with you. They need to be able to actually visualize it or you're not going to get the high level people because if they can't see where they are with you in the future, okay? They're not thinking about the future and if people aren't thinking about the future, they're probably not high level people, okay?

And next, why should someone want to work with you? Now this is an interesting question because it's going to force you to look inside yourself and think about who you are as a person, what your habits and behaviors may be that are holding you back from success. Because realistically speaking, I have the same 24 hours a day as you do, the same 24 hours a day as Bill Gates does, and so why is he there? Why am I here? And why are you wherever you're at? It has nothing to do with any extraneous circumstance or anything in your life, okay? Those are just excuses. It has everything to do with yourself, okay? And so you are where you are in life because of you and only you and you will get to where you want to go because of how you act in situations.

And that's it, that's the whole thing, okay? And so you need to think about why someone should want to work with you. Now, if this is your first time hiring someone or your first time leading someone, you need to take a long look at who you are, who you want to be, and what who you want to be does on a daily basis, okay? And so if you want to be a really big business owner and have a really big team and make a ton of money, you need to think about all the habits and things that you're doing now that are holding you back from that, right? If you're going out three days a week and partying, well, are high level people really doing that? Maybe. Were they doing it when they were getting started? Probably not, okay? And so while a lot of people are out drinking, I'm at home in the lab thinking because you can say, "Oh work smarter than other people," all you want, but there are a lot of really smart people out there who are not only working super smart, they're working their asses off too and that's the person you need to be if you want to build a successful business because you want your people to work really hard and the only way to lead is by example.

And so if there's other people on your team working harder than you, your team will fail because you're the leader of that team. And so if you got guys putting in 10 to 15 hours and you're doing six, five days a week and they're doing seven, those people are going to leave you because they know you're not putting in the effort. Why would they put in all that effort for a leader that doesn't work as as they do? Okay? So you need to think about why someone would want to work with you, what an example you are for them because they want to grow and if you're not on a growth trajectory, high level people are not going to be okay with that. And the best thing about this is if you're reflecting right now and you're like, "Man, maybe I do have a lot of habits that aren't good and I need to change," that's okay, all right? None of us are perfect, we all start somewhere, okay? The key here is actually making those changes and putting yourself on the growth path, all right? And so that's why you get to the next question, are you ready to be a leader? Are you ready? Not everyone is ready, okay? It's a complicated process to be a leader.

It requires you giving 100% at all times, no excuses, no nonsense, you take responsibility for everything and you lead by example. And that's a really hard thing to do, to take responsibility for your mistakes or your mistakes in leadership. Did I hire the right people? Did I plan the right way? Did I do all of this? It requires you to be hypercritical on yourself and to realize that you are fallible and you have a lot of growth that needs to happen, okay? And that's the key to the whole thing is taking responsibility, taking responsibility for where you are today, taking responsibility for where you want to be and then acting on it so that you can actually get there. And then leading by example, not making excuses, being there for your people, putting in more time and effort than them. Leaders eat last, right? So taking care of your people before you take care of yourself, that's what being a leader is.

And the most successful people are great leaders that are willing to die by the sword for their people, right? If you think about great battles in world history, back in the day, the leaders are not hiding out in the back, the great ones anyways, they're upfront on the front of the lines where they're most vulnerable, right? Motivating their team and leading by example, I'm here with you, okay? And that's what this is about, that's what being a leader is about. And there's a lot of amazing materials all over the place about leadership, but it's something you should start focusing on, you need to read about it, you need to make changes, you need to reflect, okay? You need to become a different person than who you are right now. Even if you're already a leader, to be a better leader, you have to change and then change and then change and then change, it is a never ending process.

And lastly, right? You need to be ready to make mistakes leading and hiring and firing, okay? No one builds a great organization without making human resources mistakes. You should be prepared to fire people. If it makes you nervous, that's okay, that's going to stretch you, but if you see something wrong and you know someone's not the right fit, do not let it fester because you're concerned or you don't want to hurt that person or maybe you've developed a personal relationship and they have a bunch of obligations in life and if you fire them, those obligations are going to be a problem. Well, you have to do what's right for your organization. And if you have a team of people and something is not right with one of those people and you don't address it, if you have great people on your team, they're going to start to lose respect for you because you need to lead by example. You need to show them that you are there for the tough decisions and that you'll make them.

And if you won't make the tough decisions, you can't expect your people to make those tough decisions and then the whole thing becomes a house of cards that starts to fall over, okay? And lastly, to be a leader, you need to ask yourself, are you currently focused on personal growth? Because I don't know a single leader in any industry that's really successful that isn't focused on personal growth. That's what the whole thing is, you want to grow as much as you can as a person so that you can affect the people around you and help them grow so that they can get to their goals, okay? And so are you focused on your health? Are you focused on your wealth and your finances? Are you making good decisions, right? Are you paying off debt instead of going to the bar? Are you making smart decisions about your relationship with your significant other? Right? Are you making smart decisions about your education? Are you reading regularly? Are you taking courses? Are you learning as much as you possibly can? All these things are never ending processes, they don't go away.

You need to focus on your wealth, your health, your relationships and your education constantly and permanently for the rest of your life and that's what being a leader is so that you can influence the other people around you to also focus on these areas and improve them every single day of the week, step by step. It's not an easy process, but I will tell you it's the most fulfilling process I have ever been involved in as a person, and it means a lot to me. It means more to me that my people are successful than my own personal success, that's secondary. As long as my people are super successful, I will be okay and I want to invest in their future, and if I can do a great job helping them get to their goals by proxy, I will get to my own, okay?

Creating a Job Description

So what's the first thing we do when we hire someone? We create a job description. And so you want to do a lot of research into this, all right? And we're going to cover that step by step.

So again, back to the beginning, we determine the market rate, all right? What are people paying for the description of the person we need to hire, all right? You need to understand that first so that you can communicate and be transparent about it to make the process a lot easier. And you're going to want to try and exceed the market rate if possible. And as a startup, that's tough, you're like, "Man, you want me to pay more than market?" I'm like, yeah, because if you're a startup and you can hire the guy or the girl who's just the shit, right? And you got to pay a little bit more for that, you're going to get like 10X than the mediocre guy that you get a deal on, okay? That's how it works. You get what you pay for, all right? Because people who are really good, they know their value and they know what their value is worth in monetary terms and they're not going to give you a discount just because you would like a discount, okay? They're not going to feel good about it. And so whenever possible, hire the highest level people and to do that you're going to have to try and exceed the market rate or giving them some type of equity or some type of [inaudible 00:42:12] plan with commission that gets them to where they want to be and you need to have an open conversation about it.

If you can't openly talk freely and transparently with your people about money, you're going to have a real hard time working with a high level group of people, okay? Because you need to be confident about it and it's probably the part that people make mistakes with most, okay? And people are just people. If you can have an open conversation with someone about their compensation and ask them, "Do you feel good about this?" And the answer is yes, great. If the answer's no, you got a problem. I don't see a lot of people actually asking that question and that's why a lot of teams get built on mediocre people and then businesses don't go anywhere, okay? So once we understand how much we're willing to pay and what the market rates are, you need to go read at least 10 job postings so you can try and be different, all right? And so I have up here on the right hand side of this screen, a job posting that we use to hire our last engineer, and we got kicked off of the platform with this post, we got access back, but they took our job posts down, and they said we violated their rules, whatever. But in a matter of a couple hours, we got 300 ultra high level job interview requests or applications from this job post.

Because I went through, it was stack overflow, I went through stack overflow and I read like 50 job posts and I realized there was a trend of super long, super boring, super crappy ultra corporate job posts that weren't interesting, didn't inspire people and what everyone was doing was reading everyone's job post and posting the exact same thing. And so one of our team members wrote an uninspired job post, it's not his fault, he's an engineer, and we posted, and we got like three or four applications it didn't go very well. So a couple of days later I wrote this, "Seeking fucking engineer," right? That's what I'm doing, that's what I'm looking for, all right? Experience level, senior lead. I want someone who can lead a team, even if they don't have to, right? That's the highest level person you're going to get. And so if you're a fucking amazing developer who wants to be well paid for solving the most challenging problems you can find, please keep reading. Ringba's team of entirely senior people are searching for a new member who will help us rapidly improve the inbound sales industry through technology.

We don't care if you're local to San Diego or live in Katmandu as long as you love to learn and bang amazing code, okay? This opportunity has room to grow both personally and professionally comes with autonomy and a complete lack of corporate bullshit. You'll also have a chance to work with ad tech veterans and world class marketing experts to expand on our already successful product line. That's it, that's the whole thing, right? I want someone who's amazing, and so if someone doesn't consider themselves amazing, they probably won't apply if they're self conscious, that's great, I just weeded out anyone who sucks, all right? We're going to pay you well, we give you freedom, we're not going to be up your ass, you get to work on great stuff with an awesome team and do it on your own terms and we'll make sure that you grow personally and professionally, right? That's it, two paragraphs covers everything a high level person wants in their life.

So what you'll do, you'll design technical solutions to solve practical business applications, implement redundant and scalable architecture, own the full development cycle, okay? Which means if you're not a developer, you're responsible for the entire project you're working on. You need to make sure it gets done and done correctly, so autonomy and trust. And then work independently with little or no supervision. Honestly, I only like ... my people need to come to me when they need something or they have a problem. I mean, we communicate regularly, but I do not bother them. I am not concerned about what a single team member is doing right now, honestly, I don't care. They're all working on something towards our vision, they know what needs to get done, I don't have to babysit anybody. And that's what you get when you get really high level people, you don't have to put in any of the extra work.

I can literally disappear off the face of the earth for two weeks and I come back and everything that would have to get done will get done. In fact, I did this, I went to North Korea in literally disappeared off the face of the earth for a week, and when I came back, everything was chill. We made progress, problems were solved, people took the initiative and just handle what needed to be handled. It's almost like they don't even need me, which is a scary thing, right? If you think about it, but it's what you want if you're going to run a business, okay? And so what do you need? Real simple job requirements, okay? If you look at some people's job requirements, they're bit out there, they're this long, this education, this whatever, this experience, all these things, blah, blah, blah. None of that matters. If you can find a kickass person with great motivation and attitude that has the skills to do close to the job you need, the rest doesn't matter. It does not matter if they have a college degree, it does not matter if they have eight years' experience, right? What matters is they can do what you need done and they'll do it with a good attitude, and if something comes across their way that's a problem that they'll communicate it and they know when something's wrong and they take action. That's what matters.

The rest totally doesn't matter. And if you read a bunch of other job postings, you'll start to realize that everyone posts all sorts of shit that doesn't actually matter. I mean, I see this stuff all over the place. All right, so would you hire the best sales guy you possibly ever could if you saw him and he was incredible, but he had two years experience instead of five, hadn't worked at a corporate environment, and didn't have a college degree? Does any of that matter? Does a college degree actually mean anything? Yeah, it means that they showed up and went through some classes maybe, okay? And so I really dislike when people approach it from that corporate way. Because if you want to build a company and you want to build it quickly, you need people who think outside the box. And when you use a standard job description, you're getting everything inside the box. And that's not what you want, okay? You need to assess people on who they are and their attitude and how they communicate and are they excited way more than you needed to assess them of whether they've had three to five years as a sales development representative and have a bachelor's degree of some kind, okay? And that's why it's hard to hire people because people aren't looking in the right places to find great talent, they're doing it like everyone else.

And when you do it like everyone else, you're stuck in everyone else's rules. And so you need to create your own rules, your own opportunities and your own way of doing things so that people see that you think differently and are inspired by, all right? And so you want to keep all this stuff in your job descriptions relevant and reasonable, okay? They don't need to be super long, you don't have to put everything in there, all the details and all the shit, they'll figure it out if they're the right person. You can tell them when the time is right. What you want to do at the front of your funnel though, is qualify are you going to get the interesting, excited, motivated people that you need? And then the rest is all just nonsense that you can cover later and actually doesn't matter a whole lot, all right? And so again, simple and then communicate clearly, all right? I read this job description out loud to you, well guess what? That's because I read it out loud four or five times to myself like a crazy person before I actually submitted it. All right? It tells a story. Here's the description, here's what you'll do, here's what you need.

It tells you everything you need to know about us, we think differently and we're a little bit out there and so you need to be with that or you're not going to work on our team, and it's super short. So this job description was about a half or a third on average of the length of all the other ones that people were sifting through. And because it was different, people read it, and like I said, we got 300 job applications overnight, which was incredible, all right? And it was a lot to sift through, our entire team spent a lot of time. We ended up giving out 50 replies with code tests in them, 30 people were willing to take the code test because it's not an easy one, it's complicated it takes them a day or two to actually do it, it requires hours of their free time. And so out of the 50, 30 we're willing to do it.

I think we got 12 back that actually were able to think they completed it. They didn't. Out of the 12 that thought they completed it, we had seven that actually completed it, and then out of the seven that actually completed it, we conducted another interview with which whittled that down to three people that we thought had the potential to join our team, and then out of those three people, we put them on a three hour interview with three of our senior engineers, and those three people grilled the shit out of this person, both personally and professionally for three hours. Now, out of that, one guy at the end of the interview said, "You guys are the smartest people that I've ever had to deal with and I don't think that I can hang with your crew. So this was amazing, I have a lot to think about, but I'm just going to go ahead and say that I appreciate your time, this was incredible and I don't think I can handle this." And you know what? That was awesome. He decided for us that he couldn't handle it. And you know what? We weren't going to hire him. And so it just wasn't going to work out. Guy is awesome, maybe he comes back in the future, I would totally interview that guy again and I got nothing bad to say except he wasn't ready yet.

And so out of the two people that were done, we thought one was a good culture fit and had the right nuts and bolts to be on our team and the other one wasn't a good culture fit, he just handled things in a way that didn't work for our team. We're very super open on our team about feedback and growth and this person was not interested in feedback or growth, it was just ... it was more of an ego situation, okay? And so out of 300 applications and hundreds of interviews and replies and almost a thousand emails, we found one dude. And then that one dude I gave an interview to, I spent an hour talking to him over video, we didn't talk about anything related to code, just about life and what our goals are and where we're going and I love the guy. And so right there on the video interview, I said, "Look, I'll make you this offer." He said, "Hey, you know what? I really appreciate that offer, my goal was X," and it was reasonable. It was only a little bit more and it wasn't even really a negotiation. He literally said something like, "And if that's not okay, I'm in." And I said, "You know what? I'm cool with your goal. Let's do it together.

I'm going to think long term, not short term, I'll give you what you want, let's party, when can you start?" It was Saturday and he said, "Now Monday, let's do it, I'm ready." And so he came on our team right away and it was an immense amount of effort that we put into finding that person but what we got out of it is an amazing team member that I can trust with our clients' business and I don't ever have to supervise and whatever. And there's speed bumps, right? No one's ever perfect, you got to work with people, you got to teach them and grow with them. No one is perfect, that person's not, none of our team members are, but we go in knowing that and then we get great people who love what they do and you build yourself an amazing team. And so what I find is I have yet to see another entrepreneur anywhere that describes to me their process, that it's anywhere near that rigorous or they ask any amount of questions about who a person actually is or what they want to accomplish, and then I noticed people build shitty teams, okay? And so if you want to hire someone for your team, the amount of effort you put into finding that person is directly correlated with the type of person you're going to get on your team.

Now, sometimes you get lucky, we have too, but for the most part it's effort in effort out. And if you always view things as effort in effort out, you don't have to worry about getting lucky, when you get lucky, it's just bonus, okay? So when we get lucky or I get lucky, I'm like sweet and we just keep putting effort in, okay? So I create my own future with this and you should too. Don't be lazy about anything. Everything worth something takes time, all right? That's part of the game. We're all playing a game, this is part of it, all right? And then when you want to distribute your job ad, I mean you just put it where the people are. If it's a tech ad, you can use stack overflow and you've got to pay to post, it's just part of the game, do Craigslist, Reddit, we have Pay Per Callers hiring section on our forums, do it in industry groups, if you type up an amazing job ad and you drop it in the Facebook or Skype groups, you'll get a reply.

I see people say they're hiring but they never do a good job with their description or anything. They put up some shitty job description with no time or effort put into it and then they wonder why they don't get replies, all right? So know your audience, know what you're looking for, set up a process, communicate clearly and have everything ready before you make that first job post and you'll find success, okay?

Conducting an Interview

So how exactly do you conduct your interview? That's an interesting question. If you have no experience conducting interviews, I want you to know that it's not complicated. You just need a plan like anything else and you don't need to be nervous, all right? When I started back in the day doing job interviews, I literally would go into the job interview with a plan on paper, like the guy in the picture, like bullet points, right? And I would just go down that plan. They could even see me with the plan in front of me and I don't care.

And I don't think they did either because I actually ended up hiring some great people, I think what they saw was, okay, this guy's trying here to figure out how to do a great job, they're not judging me by this. And if you're nervous, you can tell them, "Hey, I just want you to know, you're my first interview ever, I got some notes here, so if you see me looking at them, I just want to do a really great job in this interview." There you go. Now you're not nervous anymore, you were just honest with someone. And what do you get? You get a great environment. Maybe that person is nervous too and they're like, whew. All right, great. Well Hey, we'll figure it out together, okay? And so honesty is a really powerful thing, if you're just honest with people, they're going to cut you some slack because most people aren't honest and so when they find someone honest, they're like, "Oh, I appreciate that." Okay? And so you want to keep in mind that your interview is also a sales pitch.

You are selling, all right? Why should they work for you? Why should they work for your company and do you have a vision for the future? If you don't tell them who you are, what you're doing and where you're going in a job interview, you're not going to close people, all right? It's not about just them and asking about them and oh, they need a job, so it's about me figuring out if they can come work with us. No, it's about do you want to go on a journey together with this person? They got to want it, you got to want it. You both got to be super excited about it, right? If you guys high five at the end of an interview, you got yourself a great person, okay? It should be like that, you should leave an interview with someone that you're going to hire excited. They should be excited and you should be excited. If both parties don't seem excited at the end of an interview, don't hire that person and go think about how you're interviewing.

If you really like them and they don't seem excited, well that's your fault, okay? And so again, you need to determine what you need, what type of person am I looking for? If it's sales, are they extroverted, are they introverted? Are they sharp, are they smart? Do they know what language we need to code if it's development? Is their portfolio, good if it's creative? Okay? And then what do they need to accomplish? What are the goals that you need them to accomplish? And so you need to tell them what needs to be accomplished in this role during the interview. And well, you are selling yourself and you're talking about the goals of the position, what you're doing is finding out if they're concerned whether or not they can meet those goals. Because if you interview someone and you tell him what you want to accomplish and they think you got visions too big, they're going to self select and that's what you want, okay? And so more important than asking them about their experience at Florida State is telling them what the goals are that you have for their role potentially at the company and seeing if they squirm or they get excited and if they're like, yeah, that sounds great, I can totally do that, here are my ideas for how to accomplish those goals, then you're having a conversation and you probably got the right kind of person, okay?

And then you also need to talk about timelines, what you want to accomplish over what timeline. It can't be like, yeah, we want to build a $20 million a year business and I need you to spearhead sales. That is stupid because it doesn't tell the person anything. Now if you're like, we're at $8 million a year in sales, I need you to come in and be the VP of sales and I need you to bring us to a point where we're at $15 million in sales in 24 months, can you do that? Now the person will go, oh, okay, I got to do this over 24 months. Okay, I've done these things before, yeah, I'm excited. It's going to be a challenge, but I'm excited, then you know you have a good fit. You're setting yourself up for success by setting the guidelines appropriately. Then you also need to determine how much training you need to do and do you have the resources to do the training. So I like to hire people for sales, for instance, or even engineering that have worked in complimentary industries, maybe not exactly what we're doing.

I'm not running around looking for other platforms salespeople in call tracking or other company's engineers in call tracking, okay? I don't want to hire another company's bad habits. What I want to do is I want to find people who have similar experience doing similar things that I can bring into this space, teach them about what we need to accomplish and then let them use their experience and skills from the other industry to compliment what they're doing with us. That's going to be the best way to find people specifically is do they have complimentary experience? That way, they're not going to be tainted by bad habits and other corporate culture in this space. And so the last thing you want to do is hire a competitor's employees where you think the competitor is crappy and doesn't have the culture that you're looking for because you're essentially hiring their culture over to you and you're probably going to get a lot of their bad habits. So that's not something you want to do.

And so I highly recommend that you create a cheat sheet for your interview and included with this I'll put a couple of my cheat sheets that I use. And so to give you an example of how I do interviews in this setup is what you're looking at here I think it's like a 70 ish something TV on a rolling mount with a webcam, and on my screen I do the video interviews like 66% of the screen. And then on the right hand side I have a word doc open with all my questions, all right? I don't want to miss anything. I want to make sure I get all my questions answered and then if we digress, I want to make sure where I'm at in the process, so I do it in order. And most people don't notice this and I don't think there's anything wrong with the cheat sheet. You should be prepared for your interview, just like your interviewees should be prepared. In fact, when you show that you're prepared and you have all this stuff ready to go, it says a lot about you, okay? Says that you're a high level person and so you should absolutely do that, okay?

Preparing for Your Interview

And so in my interviews I stick to this format. The first, and this is in order, okay? I start with a story.

Who we are, okay? We're Ringba, we're the most innovative player in the call tracking space, we're growing extremely rapidly, we only hire senior, high level people, we do everything differently than all of our competitors, we don't do contracts, we don't do commitments, minimum support fees, none of that stuff. We provide on demand support while most of our competitors do not so that our people can get the answers that they need when they need it. And we're hyper focused on the performance marketing space and we're going to dominate it, there's no question about it, okay? That's what we're doing and that's where we're going. And here's where we're at today, we've taken a large amount of market share, our technology has caught up to be industry leading and we're starting to pave the way of the future of this space.

So we're designing how everyone in the call space is going to function in the future and we're releasing that now and we're going to change the whole game for everybody and we're going to make people that work with us millions of dollars in profit, okay? That's our goal, that's what we're doing right now, all right? And the future of this is we will be the incumbent, we'll be the number one in our space for call tracking, we'll dominate that space, we'll reinvent it for everyone involved, and then we'll take that knowledge of what we've done and we'll expand it out into other spaces in verticals so that we can continue to grow as an organization, all right? Then what I'm going to do is talk about the opportunity that I'm hiring for and I'm going to let them know that we don't believe in glass ceilings at Ringba, we hire people and we expect them to want to be leaders and to run a team because as we grow as an organization, we need leaders in every department to lead everything. And if someone wants to grow and be a great leader, they do not have to wait, there's no seniority, we're a flat organization and the opportunity is there.

And so if someone, for instance comes on our sales team and they want to run a team and they're put on someone else's team and they outperform their leader and they become a greater leader, we're not going to hold them back. They're going to be able to recruit their team and grow their team and everyone wins, okay? And so we're about success as a team, like a professional sports team, and that's it that's how we run it. And so then I'm going to ask that person about their experiences, I'm going to ask them about their experience at other companies to see how they talk about them. If someone trash talks the previous employer, that concerns me a lot, it's toxic behavior. Now, if they say that the experience was negative and that they're looking for new opportunities, well that's a professional person. I listen to how they're communicating, what words they're using, and I let them talk so that I can just see how they think, okay?

I ask them a lot of open ended questions, what are your goals for the future? Not where you see yourself in five years, that's a silly question, they don't know our organization, but what are your personal goals? What do you do in your free time? What hobbies do you have? I want someone who's dynamic, I want someone that has culture, I want someone that likes to learn. When someone tells me in their hobbies that they work out a lot and they love to read and they do things that are creative, they paint or they do pottery or they do whatever, that's exciting to me, that's a dynamic person, okay? And that's what you're looking for. If they don't have any hobbies and they don't tell you that they like to read and learn, you know what they do in their free time, they watch TV. That's not an exciting person, okay. And so you want to ask open ended questions about who they are as a person. Ask them about their family and what's important to them. Do they have kids? What motivates them? Why do they want to work hard and create something for their future? All right?

We want to get into that and see who they are as a person and know what motivates them and see if even they know what motivates them. And so if someone doesn't know what their goals are for the future, someone doesn't have a general idea of what they want their life to be and they don't know why they're getting up in the morning to do things, that's not an A player, that's a problem, okay, and you want to avoid that. I then ask industry vocabulary questions like I'll just ask them, what's an abandoned call? Can you describe to me what average handle time is? How do you calculate the conversion rate of a phone call? Things like that. If we're talking about Pay Per Call, I'm going to ask them affiliate and Pay Per Call related questions to see how much about our industry they actually know, did they even Google it? Did they do any research to find out beforehand? All right? If they didn't, maybe it's okay if they did, that's interesting because not a lot of people do it, okay? So that's a green light in my opinion, I like when people do that, okay? And I ask them a lot of questions. I'll have like 15 in a row and I just go, go, go, go, go, and I see how they handle pressure, but not interview pressure, knowledge pressure, right?

How do they handle when someone who knows answers to questions that they may not just hits them over and over and over and over again, do they crack? Do they giggle? Do they laugh? I've had people laugh like, holy crap, man, you do this to people? And then I just tell them the truth, "Well, I want to see how you handle pressure and because you stopped and laughed and then redirected the situation to a place where we both laughed together, now I know that you can handle tough situations with people in a really great way." Okay? So I want to give them a little bit of a tough situation so I can see how they navigate it. Some people shut down, they clam up, they go quiet, they don't know how to handle it, they don't let their personality out. That's not a good salesperson, that's potentially a problem, right? So I hit them with like 15 of these and they're different, I don't do the same type of questions which are just all over the place. It throws people off and that's what I want. I want to see what happens when they're thrown off because that's really important. Then I ask them problem solving questions.

If it's engineering, we ask them engineering problem solving questions, if it's business development, I ask them leadership problem solving questions like, if an employee did this, how would you handle it? Okay? If a team member did that, what would you do? Then I them emotional intelligence questions, okay? Questions around their emotional stability, all right? Things like, yeah, what happens when you get angry? Do you fight a lot with your significant other? And by that point, they're so used to answering questions so they just answer them, all right? Which may seem inappropriate, I guess, but we want to know what the emotional intelligence is of the person that we're talking to. And you can Google emotional intelligence questions and things about emotional intelligence if you want to do some research on your own, but quality people have extremely high emotional intelligence. In fact, I have an emotional intelligence test, we'll go ahead and it's open source, I didn't write it, we'll go ahead and link it at the bottom of this and you can see and take the test for yourself to see what your emotional intelligence score actually is, and then you'll understand a little bit more about what that means.

But it's basically how people operate and think and handle tough situations. You want someone with a great deal of emotional intelligence. And then I like to ask people math questions mostly for fun because they're not prepared for it, and obviously I have the answers to those math questions. I like to ask them funny ones, division is always funny. And some people are good at them, some people aren't, but again, it's a pressure question so I get to see how they handle pressure. And so I interviewed a girl that's on our sales team and at one point I asked her math questions and she was like, "Oh my God, math questions?" And then she made a joke about being Asian and that her parents would be upset and we had a great laugh about it and she literally turned the conversation from a stressful situation on her to a fun experience for both of us. And she's on our team now, she's awesome. So these type of situations are what you want to do in an interview so you can understand who people are and how they think and what their emotional intelligence and security levels are so that you can try and draw out toxic behavior before ever considering someone for your team, okay?

And again, potential employees are also interviewing you, so if you're ultra prepared like I am, they leave that experience like, whoa, that was a different experience, no one interviews like this, who's that guy? Okay? And maybe they don't work for me, but I can hit them up in the future, we develop a relationship, especially if they're good, but maybe not the right fit or what we're looking for and I can always reach out to them and they can always reach out to me, right? It creates a relationship. At the end of an interview done well, whether they work for you or not, you should have created a relationship, okay? And so you want a clean interview environment, you want to be ultra prepared, have all your questions, all your story, bullet point [inaudible 01:11:45] to go on a one page cheat sheet so you were just on it. And then the tough part, you need to practice it. You need to interview your wife, your friends, your family, whatever you got, you need to do it so that you are prepared and this process is second nature for you so that you seem very confident

How to Hire for Business Development

So how are you going to hire a business development specifically? All right, the people on our biz dev team, they're easily recognizable, all right? They take initiative, they communicate really well, they're really smart, they're ultra hard workers, okay? They go above and beyond by default, right? Those are the people you're looking for. The people you don't have to worry about, you don't have to babysit, and if you don't train them or teach them they're like, "All right, fine, challenge accepted, I'll go do it myself." All right. And for biz dev, do they have previous experience? And I don't necessarily mean in your space. So if you're doing lead gen or you're doing paper call in a specific vertical, they don't need experience as sales in that vertical, they just need some type of previous experience for a similar position, okay? So one of our other sales people used to do recruiting for the medical field, which is just cubicle cold, call constant grind all day long. And if you can take someone who can get through the grind as a salesperson and be successful, you can put them in an environment where they can succeed and it's not a terrible grind and then that person just becomes a monster, okay?

And so that's what you're really looking for is the salesperson, it doesn't matter what their education is, it doesn't matter what their background is and may not even matter what their experience is. What matters is, are they also dedicated? Will they go above and beyond? Are they super motivated, super excited, all right? About what they have to do. And are they generally that way about life? And so a good way to look at that is, are they in great shape? Do they work out regularly? Do they play sports? Are they competitive? Have they played sports before?

Salespeople who are good are like people who have been in competitive environments before and have succeeded. So you're looking for people that have done really well, that have been in activities where they've lost and won and understand what competition is, all right? And they become that person at their core. And so all of our salespeople are really competitive, maybe not with each other, but just in life in general, and they take themselves very seriously and they want more out of life.

And that's a key driver of finding a good biz dev person is on a personal level, they want more out of life, okay? And they should be excited about growth, they should seem passionate about learning new things, they should seem excited about what they're talking about, about what they're doing. If they don't, if they're dull and just [inaudible 01:14:46] and not excited, well, they should not be on your biz dev team no matter how desperate you actually are, okay? And then how's their personal appearance? They don't need to look like this guy in the suit over here though if someone shows up to an interview like that, I like it because they're on it, okay? But they should be clean cuts, they should be prepared for the interview and they should look to the part because when other people, if they're doing sales, see them, they're going to get judged, and then if their appearance is sloppy and they don't take care of themselves, other people are going to judge them by that, okay? And so salespeople, that's part of the job.They got to look good, they got to make sure they're on it, they got to understand that they're going to get judged and they need to take care of themselves, okay? That's bare minimum for sales. All right? And then do they follow up with you first after the interview?

Give them time to do it, but I have yet to hire a salesperson that hasn't followed up with me first after an interview. In fact, I don't follow up unless they follow up with me because the salesperson's job is going to require a lot of followup and if they don't have the gusto to follow up with me on an interview, it means one of two things, they don't want to work with me, which is fine, they did my work for me. Or two, they're not thorough and they're not assertive and they don't take initiative and if that's the case, they can work for someone else's sales team, all right? So I just, whatever, if they don't follow up with me in the first 24 to 48 hours, they're done basically. If they hit me up a week later, sorry, okay? I want people who are aggressive, who are hungry, who are on it and passionate, all right? And they know that by the end of my interview because I just tell them.

And so if they don't get the vibe that they should reach out to me in a specific period of time to follow up, well they made their bed, okay? And if they follow up, I like to ask them a bunch of followup questions that are complicated and have personal reflective components to them. And then I judge them by how quickly and thoroughly do they communicate, right? And I do it in writing. So I do a back and forth with them in writing, I see how they communicate, do they proofread their messages? Because if they don't proofread them with you, they're not going to proofread them with your potential clients or the people they're working with. And so I care very much about how their written communication skills are, that's what's important. College degree is not important, their written communication skills are hugely important in biz dev, okay? And then I also like to speak to them on the phone if I didn't do the video interview or it wasn't in person, just so I can hear how they communicate on the phone because they're going to be on the phone a lot, okay? And then I highly recommend if they're not in person to do a video one, I won't hire a biz dev person that I don't interview in person or via video chat, okay?

I simply will not do it because I need to see them, I need to see how they communicate, I need to see if they smile, if they have fun, if they enjoy talking to humans and communicating. If your salespeople aren't having fun in an interview, just move on, okay? They should be enjoying talking to you because if they're not good at communicating, they're not going to be a good salesperson, okay? And that's in person with voice or video and over text of some kind. And are they generally upbeat and happy? If the answer to that question is no, they can work somewhere else, all right?

How to Hire Developers

So next one is really complicated for people and that's how you hire developers. Maybe you're getting started in paper call and you want to do some SMS or you want to do some other stuff, and so you want to create an application that integrates with Ringba's API, but you're not a developer and so you're like, well, I need to hire a developer, okay? A lot of people are scared of hiring developers when they're not developers because they don't know how to critique the work or proof the work or anything like that.

So what we want to do, if you're not a developer and you need to hire a developer is run them through the same process, but you need to look for warning signs essentially, but how they communicate, who they are as people and all that good stuff. Now, if you're looking for a developer, you need to ask them how long they've been developing. If they've been part time developing for six months, you'll probably going to run into a problem. The likelihood that you're going to find the next whiz kid genius is a very, very low and then also that should just be concerning to you in general, okay? And so if they've been developing a long time, that's a good thing. If they've had a career in it, that's even better. I look at developers and I go, how old are they? Okay? I'm not saying that you can't be an amazing developer in your 20s all right? Or even your thirties but what I will assert is that the older people get the wiser they get and the less they freak out about problems and typically the more thorough they are.

And depending on what type of development you want to do, you want to be cognizant of the fact that thoroughness is important. Now, if you're Ringba and people rely on you for their entire business, you need to be exceptionally thorough, no if, ands, or buts about it, okay? You need to be on top of everything. And so that's why the average age in our development team is like 41 or something, right? We need really thorough skill developers. Now if you're just doing a quick API integration or something like that, having someone that has a few bugs in isn't very thorough but can go back and fix them and it's a bit of a process that's not that big of a deal and it's not necessarily a downside. So you should just understand that most developers are not going to get the code right the first time, you're going to have to coach them and test their work and make changes and requests changes. It's a process, it's not like, "Hey, I want this, here's your deliverable," and it works perfect 100% of the time. More often than not, it's going to be like, "Hey, here's your deliverable. Oh, it doesn't work, here's why I need you to change those, please update that."

Then you should expect that, okay? And the quality of their work I find is usually correlated to how quickly and thoroughly they communicate. And so if you send them a message and they don't get back to you for a day or two and it doesn't have the details you asked for in it, that's going to be a problem because if they don't take the time to communicate well and type to you, they're probably not taking the time to comment their code really well and type the code, right? Because it's all just typing, and so a really thorough developer is really good at communicating thoroughly about their development in an email for instance, okay? And then if you're going to outsource, is there a language barrier and are they near your time zone? So a lot of people are like, yeah, I'll just outsource it overseas, it's cool, I'll get it cheap, yeah. Okay, well are you prepared to work during that time zone? Because if you're a developer doesn't work during your business hours, you're going to have to communicate with them either with a massive delay and they're not going to get the information they need to work their shift potentially, which is a problem.

If they need something and they ask you at the beginning of their shift and you can't answer them for 24 hours, you just burnt a whole day, okay? So you need overlap with your time zone. The significant amount, the better, like Pacific Time to Eastern is not a big deal or something close to that is not a big deal, if you're a hustler like me, it doesn't matter, you'll just stay up all night. You'll make sure your developers get what they need, but you need to decide how you want to handle it, what's convenient for you. So if you're going to outsource overseas, you really got to look at the time zones or you got to set rules with the developer that they have to work a certain number of hours in your time zone or you don't want to work with them, okay? And then a language barrier is obvious. If they can't spell or communicate clearly in English and you speak English, you're going to run into a problem, okay?

I always ask developers if I'm contracting for three references to previous clients and then I actually contact them all, and then I ask them about the communication of the developer or the work product and more importantly, were there any problems? And then I tell the reference, especially over the phone that I'm not asking if there were problems because I'm concerned about problems, what would like to know is how do they handle it when there is a problem? And if their references are like, "Oh yeah, we had a couple of problems and he did a great job. He was communicative, we solved the problems and he worked with us from start to finish until it was good," I'm like, great because developers are problem solvers for a living and so they need to be able to do a really nice job solving problems, and if they don't do well with problem solving when you have a problem, oh that's a really big red flag and you want to be careful. Now when you're interviewing a developer, you want to explain to them everything that you want made and you should have it written out beforehand in a clearly defined high level overview. And then you should tell them what you want and then ask them to describe the project back to you in detail, okay?

And so I like to get on again, video chat or a call and I tell them what I want to do, and then I ask them to describe it back to me in detail in their own words. And then that way I at least know whether they understand what I need done. Because if they don't, that's a problem, it's a big problem. And if they do, I'll probably get what I want, at least in some sort of semblance of usable format. We may have ironed out some bugs and do a little testing or some QA and fix a few things, but I'll probably get what I want, okay? And I don't think a lot of people do this. And that's making sure they describe it back to you.

Now if a developer's like, "Hold on Adam, thank you for that description, that was awesome. I think I understand, let me describe this back to you so we're on the same page." Just hire that guy because it's rare and when you find them they're great, okay? And so we want to understand, do they actually understand? And then I'm going to ask them, how do you plan to solve and implement this problem? What tools are you going to use? How do you envision this working? And then they tell me their process, and I'm an engineer by trade, I've been doing it a long time, I don't usually tell the engineers this when I interview them, the contractor's anyways, I just see how they would implement the project and then I can very easily decide whether I think that's the right approach or not. But for you, I think what's important is can they clearly understand and then articulate to you how they plan to solve that problem in detail? And if they can, then it's a good sign. And then they should be brainstorming with you.

You should ask them, what do you think about this project? How do you think we could do better? And if they're like, "Oh, I have a bunch of ideas, I like that you want to accomplish that, but what if we do this and change this feature that way," it should be a collaborative process during the interview, and if they're unwilling to give you their suggestions or brainstorm with you because they're like, "No, that's what you're paying for," well you're going to have problems with that person. They should be open minded and transparent. You're telling them what you need, they should try and show you that they'll add value, and if they don't do that, then they don't really believe in value adds and you should be careful about that. So it should be a bit of a brainstorming session, but you need to know what they need to build in concept and have that ready to go.

It should not be you interviewing them so they can tell you everything about what you need done, okay? And then they should suggest without you asking ways to improve and build upon your ideas in a constructive way. And if they do that, they're probably going to be a pretty good contract, all right? Next, we want to look for a noticeable ego. One of the biggest problems you can run into with developers is the hero developer. The one that's like, I can solve all the problems I can program in any language. I'm super fast, I'm awesome. I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm, okay? Developers with ego are your Trojan Horse, okay? They may be good developers, but they're not easy to lead, they're not fun to work with. And if you don't want to do something their way and you want it done a different way, they're going to fight you on it, okay? They need to be collaborative, it needs to be a team. And I guess in any team, ego is very dangerous. You should look for people in general that don't have them, but in my personal experience and the feedback I have to give you is that I've had to fire CTOs that have ego problems and it doesn't go well and so you need to make sure that the person is going to be good to work with and watch for that, okay?

And then do they take feedback well? You want to try and give them some feedback during the interview process on something on a project they did on some sort of reference material they gave you to see what they think about it and how they take feedback. If they take feedback well, awesome. If they don't, that's a problem, all right? And then you want to break the project down in so lots of tiny milestones and then schedule them out on a calendar. If you don't know how to run a dev team or an engineer, what you need to do is just a bunch of milestones, like every day there's a milestone or every other day, and then you need to put them on a calendar and schedule them and then review them with your developer just to monitor their progress and make sure they're hitting their milestones, okay? And then you want to communicate with them daily to make sure they're hitting those milestones and so that you know when your project is going to be on time. What you don't want to do, is be like, "Hey, here's my project." They're like, "Great, it'll be done in three weeks." And you're like, "Cool, talk to you then."

And then three weeks come around and you're like, "Hey, is it done?" And they're like, "Ah, no, I ran into some problems." Okay? So you want to communicate every day so that you can get an idea of when you're going to actually get the work product. Because in development, especially if you're building apps that work with other people's APIs and software, there are going to be speed bumps along the way and it's going to change your schedule and that's why you need to communicate with your developers so that you can understand your schedule and then plan accordingly, okay? And then you need to test their work thoroughly. If you don't have a QA person, you need to test everything over and over and over again and make sure it works. And then if it doesn't, take screenshots, tell them exactly step by step what happened so they can reproduce the bug. And then once they can reproduce the bug, you give them screenshots, you walk them through where the bug is, they can find it in the code and fix it.

And it's really important that you can clearly describe where the bug is and how to go see it in the software so that they can go see it and when they see it, then it's very easy for them to find and fix it. If you're like, "Oh, it doesn't work, it just doesn't work," and you can't tell them how to replicate the bug, then you're sending them on a wild goose chase, it gets expensive and frustrating, okay? And that is how you hire a contractor or contractor / developer or a full time team member, whatever, it all applies across the board.

How to Hire Creatives

Now, creatives, creatives same process, we've been through the human portion of this, it all applies. What you want to see with creatives is their previous portfolio, if it's robust and really well organized and it looks good, that's a great way to judge them.

If someone sends you their portfolio and it's not well put together or it looks kind of crappy or it doesn't really tell a story, that person's not going to be a thorough creative, all right? How fast and thorough is their communication? That's really important because some people creatives, they're artists, they're like off in artists land, whatever, and so if they don't communicate well and thoroughly and promptly, you're going to run into issues and you're probably going to have deliverable delays with your contractors and creatives.

And so that's why you should judge them immediately by how fast and thoroughly they communicate any employee really, but again, with these guys it's going to directly affect your deliverable time, I'm going to want to get three references from previous clients if they're going to be a full-time or an expensive contractor and I'm going to want to talk to those clients about problem solving and how working with this person is and I'm going to actually call all of them, okay? So the worst thing you can ever do is ask for references and then not call them. It makes you look like a jackass. If the person is thorough, they're going to give you three references and they're going to tell the references that you're going to be contacting them and then if you don't contact them, well, you just failed their interview, all right?

Then I'm going to ask a creative what they look for in a client and so then they're going to tell you how they like to work. It's easier with a creative if you work how they like to work because their creative process is their creative process, okay? And you want to find creatives that like freedom, but deliver on time. And so if you look at the Ringba website, it's wild, it's like really well done. Our designers are incredible artists, they communicate really well, they usually deliver on time and if don't they tell us first. And for that I reward them with essentially creative freedom. And what I get is this completely different out of this world work that just says that we as a company think differently and do things differently and that's the exciting proposition that we want to get across and so that's how I like to work with the designers, okay? Then I'm always going to ask them what are their ideas for our project and are they excited about those ideas? The last thing I want is a creative person that's not excited about those ideas.

And I'll give you an example, we're working on a secret project right now and the artists that we wanted to work on it, I don't think he fully understand it how we work and what that process was, and so what ended up happening was he told us, "No, you know what, I don't really want to work on this. I don't think it's going to work for me." And I was like, "Wow, I love this guy." And so I emailed him back and I said, "Hey look, I really respect that. I respect the honesty, we're going to keep the door open, but I want to communicate a little bit more about this project and make sure you understand it. Maybe I didn't do a good enough job explaining our goals and then letting you know that I'm okay with you running with it." And so it took seven days of back and forth and then finally at the end he was like, "Dude, I am super excited about this project now that I understand your goals and that I can just take it and run with it. I'm into it."

And so he's working on that project now. We got the first proof back and we were like, yes, when we got it back. And that's the type of experience that you want to have with a creative, okay? And so you should ask them, do you deliver on time? Do you generally deliver on time? Please tell me the truth, okay? And then you want to give them deadlines that you believe and they believe and you agreed to together that they can deliver on or you're going to have problems, okay? And then you're going to want to break the projects up for a creative, if it's a set of banners or it's a website or something like that, give them one project at a time so they can focus on it and really get into their zone, all right? And then you want to track the delivery of whatever they're giving you versus the quote and the timeline and then if lateness is an issue, okay?

And if you really like their work, it's your job then to pad your schedule so that if they say it's in two weeks and you know it's going to be four that you know it's a four week project so you're not going to get upset about it. Because here's the thing, some creatives are amazing artists so they just don't understand how to quote and they think that quoting a shorter timeline that you're going to be more excited about working with them and then when they over deliver, if their work is great, you'll forgive them. I don't understand this process, it happens a lot. Some of them are just ... they're just artists and I can't explain it any further than that, but when you find one you really like, don't get mad when they don't deliver on time, just know they're not going to and then mathematically look at their patterns and then be like, "Oh, okay, two weeks, great. All right, team, it's going to be four weeks," right? Because when you find a great artists, they're great and you need to work with them.

How to Hire a Call Center or BPO

All right, and then lastly, how to hire a call center or a BPO, all right? This is when you want to take your business to the next level and you want to maybe do some warm transfers or you want to do callbacks on your data or you want them to do something related to your phone calls, but you don't want to open your own call center, you hire a business process outsourcing company. So a company that has a ton of people already and will run your campaign for you and manage everything, all right? Now, a lot of these are overseas, so again, the same process as I've already told you apply and first and foremost, how quickly and thoroughly do they communicate? If they're super responsive and they communicate thoroughly whenever you have an issue or you need something, they're going to be super responsive and communicate thoroughly.

If they don't get back to you quickly during the setup process or the sales cycle or anything like that, expect when you need something that it's going to suck, okay? And so you also want to know how well your contact at the center speaks English and what the quality of English is and you should ask them if you can call in and speak to some of their reps first to see the quality of English of the people that work at the center if they're overseas. And if they won't let you talk to some of the people that are actual agents at the center, that's a warning sign, all right? Also, you want to look at the overall size of the BPO's operation in the number of seats they have. So you just ask them, how many seats do you guys have? If they say they have 50 seats, they're really small BPO and they may not do a great job for your campaign, they may not have been able to expand, all right? Or maybe they're super amazing and they're at 50 but they're growing. It's up for you to decide. Now if they have 500 to a 1000 or hundreds of people, you at least know that they're a multimillion dollar operation and they have to have some sort of management expertise.

Otherwise, you cannot run a call center with 500 to 1000 people, it's just doesn't work, it'll go out of business, okay? BPO margins aren't huge, all right? So they're going to be anywhere from 15 to 35% on average, and so they need to be good at operations if they have hundreds of people or they'll fail. I like to ask them how many campaigns they're currently running, if they say two, I'm concerned, if they say 25 I'm less concerned, all right? Because that just means they're good at bringing on new campaigns and they do it regularly and so if they do it regularly, they probably won't screw mine up. And then I ask them what their training process is for new campaigns and I ask them to walk me through how they train all their agents in detail and do their onboarding process. And if that seems like a thorough process and they know exactly what it is, that's a good sign. I want to know how long they've been in business, I want to work with a BPO that's been around for a few years, because if they've only been around a year or less, that could be a problem. And I ask them for their employee turnover statistics because every time someone quits that works on your campaign, they got to train a new one.

And so if they have really low turnover and they take good care of their employees, those employees are going to get better at my campaign and then I'm going to be more successful, all right? And then I'm going to ask them their average hold time statistics because it's really important for me to know that, and then when they give those to me, I'm going to judge them based on whether they're lower or higher, and I don't want my people on hold if it's inbound, I want them answer, right? And so that's the original guideline we go by. If I'm okay with their AHT from the get go, I'm going to judge them by that, and if they exceed it, they're awesome, if they're worse, then we got work to do.

And then I'm going to ask what percentage of sales versus service do they maintain on their floor? Because I want to know because I'm focused on sales, you're going to be focused on sales, if they have sales experience, do they have sales leaders? Do they have people who are great at sales that can teach other people how to do that? If they're an entirely service based organization and I want them to do sales, that means I need to fly a trainer out to their facility to train their trainers on how to be experts on our campaign and that's a lot of work, okay? And then lastly, how do you find these? Simple, you Google it, hey, BPO in the Philippines, all right? You referrals, that's a great way to go. If you need help with this, hit up your Ringba rep, we can show you where to find some of them, message boards and then contact center trade shows, a lot of BPOs exhibit there. And you want to work with the big ones, the big ones exhibit and that's how you find them.


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