Hiring Tips! – transcript – Jim Geier with Kurt Baker
Written by Kurtis Baker on September 30, 2018
00:00 Kurt Baker: You’re listening to a podcast to Master Your Finances with me, Kurt Baker, a certified financial planner professional, Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM on 1077thebronc.com.
00:09 Announcer: Another day, another dollar, and our certified financial planner professional, Kurt Baker, will give you the tips you need to turn that single into a sea of green with Master Your Finances. Whether you have enough to get by or too much in your pockets, Kurt Baker and his weekly guests are here to show you how to manage it all. Master Your Finances is underwritten by Certified Wealth Management and Investment, LLC. Now, listen up, because it’s time to get ahold of those money matters and Master Your Finances.
00:36 Kurt Baker: Good morning and welcome back to another edition of Master Your Finances, presented by Certified Wealth Management and Investment. I am Kurt Baker, a certified financial planner professional. I’m hosting your show today. My office is here in Princeton, New Jersey, and I can be reached through our website, which is at www.cwmi.us. Or you can call me directly at 609-716-4700.
01:02 Kurt Baker: This week we are very pleased to have with us Jim Geier, the founder of Human Capital Consulting Partners. And as a trusted advisor, executive coach, and talent evaluator, Jim partners with business leaders to put the right people, processes and programs in place to support the business. Prior to founding Human Capital Consulting Partners in 2004, Jim was the top HR executive at leading life sciences and manufacturing companies, including Quaker Chemical and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, now Sanofi. Right? Sorry. [laughter] And Jim works with senior management teams, boards of director, and HR executives to identify their most pressing needs, and then develops practical, results-oriented solutions that best fit the company. HCC Partners services include executive search, leadership development, organizational assessments, and compensation. Jim, we really appreciate you coming on here today. And as anybody who’s successful in business will tell you, it’s all about the people and the process. Right?
02:10 Jim Geier: That’s right.
02:11 Kurt Baker: So, if you get that figured out, the rest is easy. Of course, that’s not so easy, either. Necessarily so… [laughter]
02:15 Jim Geier: No, it definitely is not.
02:18 Kurt Baker: In fact, that’s what they say. Like, if a company or a small business builds itself up, you got to document your process. Right?
02:23 Jim Geier: Right.
02:23 Kurt Baker: You wanna put the right people in the right place, and then… Right? You oversee it, you work on your businesses, and let your employees and your processes run everything, right? Isn’t that what you hear?
02:32 Jim Geier: Well, that’s what it’s all about. When you think about business today and owners or executive management team, it is. It’s all about trying to attain whatever that particular goal might be. And then when it comes to business processes, it’s making sure you got the processes in place, you have them documented, but then you really can’t get the processes done unless you have the people. Then that’s the other challenge they have, is trying to find the right people, or as they say, putting and making sure you got the right people in the seats who are gonna help you grow your business and attain the goals and objectives you wanna get.
03:11 Kurt Baker: This is interesting in business, frankly. How did you first start getting interested in this type of thing, really getting involved with the people and the process and all of this? I think it’s a fascinating business ’cause you’re combining technical and not so technical. You got to understand people. It’s very much a people business. Right?
03:27 Jim Geier: It is. And the funny thing is, it takes me back all the way to my college days.
03:34 Kurt Baker: Okay. I guess the frat parties? Is that what it was? [laughter]
03:35 Jim Geier: No. I don’t think so, but… No, I mean, what it came down to is I went to is I went to La Salle University, and I ended up going in as a finance major. But after about two years, I was saying, “Did I really wanna be a finance major?” And I had an opportunity to meet a professor, who was a labor attorney, who had done negotiations in that. And I was talking to him because, at the same time I was working full-time in the evening at what was Girard Bank, today Mellon Bank, and I was thinking, “Okay, do I wanna give up school? Do I wanna work full time? What do I wanna do?” And so as a result of meeting him, and even though back then it was personnel and labor relations, as opposed to human resources today or human capital today, he really got me interested, because La Salle had a very small curriculum on HR. But as a result of taking his courses, meeting him, etcetera, it really was the person that I owe the most to by getting an opportunity to get into the HR field.
04:50 Kurt Baker: Well, that’s pretty cool. Teachers really do change lives, so to speak. Right?
04:55 Jim Geier: That’s exactly right.
04:55 Kurt Baker: It’s amazing. A good teacher can really be extremely helpful, and I think… Kudos to all the great teachers out there, ’cause I know I’ve had a few of those in my life. Really you could just put them on one hand pretty much, but there’s ones that really just stood out and really cared about what the students were doing. Obviously you had a good relationship with this teacher. They must have been pretty passionate about the subject matter and conveyed it in a way that inspires you a little bit, I’m assuming. Right?
05:17 Jim Geier: Yeah, it was. And then what worked out for me was having worked at Girard Bank during my college career, like any college student goes through. Chris and I were just talking about this a couple of minutes ago, is that what was I gonna do? I must have sent out a couple of hundred resumes at the time. Girard had a job posting program, and that’s how I applied for a job. There was an employment interview, I think, back then, and that’s how my first HR job started. The bank gave me that opportunity, and as I look back on that and the various different companies and industries I’ve worked in since, that was really the start of something big, so they say.
06:03 Kurt Baker: Right. So, you worked up through the ranks, and then you ultimately decided to start to go out on your own. What was that transition like when you’re working for a company, a large company in the HR department, and said, “Hey, look, I’m gonna go do this on my own?” What triggered that, like, “Hey, I like doing it here, but maybe I can do it better as a consultant,” really deal with lots of businesses, right? Different size businesses?
06:22 Jim Geier: People ask me all the time, “Did you really always think you wanted to go into consulting?” For me, the answer would have been “no.” I had a great opportunity to work in a lot of different industries. I worked in the banking industry or financial services, as it’s called today, for Girard Bank. Had a chance to be recruited away to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital at the time, so that’s the Jefferson Health System today, and got to spend a couple of years with them and that time when healthcare was really successful. And what was interesting and what attracted me to them was different industry, they had unions which I had never been experienced to before, and had a chance to be assistant director of an HR function of an organization at that time that was probably double the size of what the bank was. But then, for me, what ended up happening there was that it was a great experience, but everything was made, decisions were made through committees, and you never got decisions made, and so forth. And I was going, like, “Do I really wanna be part of this process where nobody makes up their mind?”
07:34 Jim Geier: And so, one day, I got a call from a headhunter for a pharmaceutical company called Rorer Pharmaceuticals, that was in Fort Washington. Another industry, and what attracted me was people always said, “Well, once you were in the banking industry, you could never leave any other industry.” Well, I went into healthcare, and then people said, “Well, once you got into healthcare, you couldn’t really go into another industry.” Well, guess what, I got this call one day from this pharmaceutical company that was growing, and they were the makers of Maalox, which is about the only thing I knew about them, and… But it was an opportunity to move into a global international company. And so I had a chance of really spending 11 and a half years with them. And for me, what I tell people is that, “That was the best learning I had from an education and business, as well as culture, as well as HR stuff than I think most people get in a 30-year career.” I was there about 11 and a half years. And when I joined the company, it was about 600 million in revenue, and when I left at that time, through the end of the ’90s or so, it was about five billion in revenue, and it had grown from about 8000 employees to 34,000 employees. And I had a chance to travel the world, Europe, Asia, Latin America, for a kid that grew up in Northeast Philadelphia, the farthest they went was the shore. [chuckle]
09:03 Jim Geier: The point is that I learned all different ways to operate from a business perspective. The mentor I had there was a guy by the name of Randy Thurman, who had had experiences in Pepsi and Exxon, and other places. And what he taught me, as an HR professional, was you think about the business first, you think about what goals and objectives you’re trying to accomplish, and then how do you mold the right HR systems and processes into play, and for me the opportunity to have as much impact as I did in that organization, but then we got acquired in the early ’90s by a French organization, which was interesting trying to understand the cultural differences in that during that period of time, which was good, and then by traveling as much as I did and so forth, but I always had this vision that I wanted to be the head HR person for a corporation. And one day, another headhunter called and said, “Okay, we have this company, Quaker Chemical, in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, that has a new CEO, a gentleman by the name of Ron Naples, who was trying to hire a new HR person as part of his management team.” And I always wanted to be, at that point in time, head of HR for a publicly traded company.
10:26 Jim Geier: Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals, or today, Sanofi, because it was a French company, I knew that wasn’t gonna happen culturally, and I understood it. And so here was this opportunity at Quaker, which was this global company that was starting over in the sense of a new CEO, and it was an opportunity for me to get in on the ground floor and really gave me a real learning on how a company, especially a public company, looks towards growth and what’s important to the Street, the Wall Street, as it relates to how they grow and the importance of stock price, but also the importance of having a business strategy, having a sound management team, delivering value to your customers, and so forth, because in their case, it was the steel industry and automotive industry. And I had a chance to build the processes. We talked a little bit of this earlier, about processes, and when it comes to the HR kinds of things, the importance was I was able to build along with a lot of other people, but to help lead the whole strategy the company had about the type of talent they wanted to bring in place, the compensation systems, worked with the management team and CEO about culture and environment, had the chance there to work with the board of directors, which I had never done before, and trying to understand how that whole process works, and so forth.
11:51 Jim Geier: So, it was a great learning experience for me in the seven or so years I was there. But I got to a point of saying, “Okay, when I look at corporate America is it really the thing I want to do for the next 20 years?”
12:06 Kurt Baker: Right. And we’re gonna pick up on that when we come back here for just a few minutes, about a great education building up to that corporate ladder, learned quite a bit. And we’re gonna hear what happened next in just a few minutes.
12:15 Announcer: It’s all about how you manage your money. Now, let’s get back to learning how from Kurt Baker, of Certified Wealth Management and Investment, with Master Your Finances.
12:30 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. I’m Kurt Baker, here with Jim Geier, the founder of Human Capital Consulting Partners, and he’s got a really interesting career. First, to start off, he had a great professor who got him interested in personnel labor relations back in college. And then he had some great employment opportunities, and he kept building up, going from a smaller company, up to larger companies. And in the end there, you were really getting involved in the processes and talking to the board, and getting in really well entrenched. But at some point, you decided, “Hey, maybe I wanna go ahead and do this on my own.” Even though it sounds like you had a great career, you still decided, it sounds like, to move out on your own, which you obviously did. So, what was that… How did that process go as far as thinking about that, saying, “Well, I’ve got this great career obviously, a good path,” and you said, “I guess I’m gonna go out and do this on my own now.”
13:17 Jim Geier: Yeah. I think, for me, I was always a corporate guy. I had a great corporate career, knew how that worked, etcetera, but at the same time, I said, “Do I really wanna do corporate life for the next 20 years?” For me, I always wanted to do consulting. I had actually interviewed with some large HR consulting practices, but what happened is pretty much they said, “Well, we’re gonna have to pay you too much money, you don’t have a book of business, etcetera.” I had always wanted to do consulting, so made a decision to leave my job at Quaker, gave my boss a year’s notice and…
13:56 Kurt Baker: That’s a pretty good notice. [chuckle]
13:58 Jim Geier: Yeah. Well, they had been good to me in a good situation, and I think, for me, that’s kinda… When I think about the core values that I try to have as an individual, and companies have, etcetera, it was something I just felt like I wanted to do. And starting the business, for me, it was trying to figure out, “Okay, number one, what are the services that are gonna be provided? Number two, what type businesses are we going to market to and try to do consulting for, etcetera?” The transition was tough, but I will say to you, I spent a lot of time doing some market research up front, trying to talk to people to see, “Okay, was the concept of a boutique HR consulting practice going to be successful or not,” in sort of that’s what I call the small to mid-sized marketplace. And it would tell you the outcome of it is that I think people thought it was, but there were some skeptics to see whether it would work or not.
15:06 Jim Geier: And I think, if I look at the last 14 years I’ve been in business, those first three years were really tough. My marketing person would say to me, “Jim, you gotta meet five new people a week, you gotta get the message out about what you’re doing.” That’s number one. My sales training guy… ‘Cause I went into a sales training program mainly due to the fact that… I was used to selling up inside of an organization, and good at it, but when it came to selling really myself and the intellectual capital that I had, it was, “Never done this before.” So, I went through a whole Sandler process to help me figure out what to get done. But those first three years, it was really about meeting as many people as I possibly could, and network about what it is we do, how we’re gonna do it, and what’s gonna work. And for me, it was more… I’ve come to the conclusion that we do the best work in small to mid-sized businesses, so how I define that is by revenue, so that’s somewhere between five million in revenue and 75 million in revenue.
16:07 Jim Geier: And even though we have clients below and above that, for me, I felt that that was the best place for me to work, that I could bring the skill sets and abilities, and knowledge that I learned in my corporate career to business owners that are struggling with, “Okay, should I have a business strategy, and how important is that to my success? Should we have goals and objectives as far as to what we need to do? Should I go about hiring the right team? Okay. But that first means what’s the right organization structure and how you get that set up, what are the right boxes, and what type of skill sets and abilities do I need?” And then it’s about, “Okay, well, how do I hire the right people?” When I think back to my corporate career, I hired thousands of people in my lifetime from both domestically and internationally at all levels. And the fact is, if you think about a small business, he or she may only hire one or two or three people a year, and especially at a professional level, it’s like, “How do I do it? How do I find them? How do I interview them?” Etcetera.
17:12 Jim Geier: And when it comes to compensation, it’s hard. Today especially, it’s important in the sense of figuring out how you pay people the right dollars from a standpoint of base salary and incentives and other things like that. And most small business owners don’t necessarily know how to do that the right way. And then when I think about the time of the transition, it was about, “Okay, how do I build a brand, and how do I build value, and how do I make sure that what we’re doing as a firm really makes sense and can help that business owner grow?” Because what I… From an HR perspective, it’s an interesting field, as we all know, but for me, it was all about, first, the business, make sure, I understand the business and then help them put in the right solutions based on what’s gonna grow their business.
18:06 Jim Geier: Yes, there’s things that need to be done legally, and in compliance with all the laws, state and city and federal, and all that. But the most important thing is if you’re designing an organization structure you’re designing one that’s gonna work for the company. If you had certain skill sets, you’re gonna divide set that up and for that specific company as opposed to saying, “Well, I did work for a manufacturing company and we put the same organization structure in place that we put in for a professional service firm that has nothing to do with each other”, but no, you just can’t do it that way, you can’t put in the same sales incentive system for a life science company that you’re gonna put in for a not for profit type of organization. So it was really all about as we said earlier about the right processes and the right approach from the standpoint of the people side.
19:03 Kurt Baker: Well, that’s pretty fascinating. So you covered a lot of ground there. So I guess I’m thinking as a small business, here I am, a small business, I’m running my company and it seems to be going okay. And I’m thinking, “Okay, how do I measure my… How do you convince me to… ” I’ve got somebody, I’ve got an organization. So you coming in, I’ve got an organization. Most likely, it’s functioning at some level that’s at least paying me, right? In most cases, I’m assuming. So somebody comes in and says “Hey, by the way, I’m gonna fix your company” and they’ll be like, I could just use in a small business, and they’re saying, “what do you mean, you’re gonna fix my… What do you mean you’re gonna help me? I think I’m doing just fine. I know my business better than anybody, right? I’ve been doing it for two generations” or whatever the case may be.
19:40 Jim Geier: Right.
19:40 Kurt Baker: So I’m just curious like how that process goes, where somebody understands that maybe what you’re doing can be improved, right? How do you convince them without insulting them, so to speak? How do you tell them that “Hey, there are some things that maybe can be done, and we’ll walk through that”, and I guess we’re running up against the break, but we’ll pick that up when we get back in just a few minutes, think about it, we’ll be back in just a few minutes.
20:05 Jim Geier: Okay.
20:05 Announcer: It’s all about how you manage your money. Now, let’s get back to learning how, from Kirk Baker, of Certified Wealth Management and Investment with Master Your Finances.
20:19 Kurt Baker: Welcome back, you’re listening to Master Your Finances. I am Kirk Baker, a certified financial planner professionally with Jim, the guy or the founder of human capital consulting partners. And he had a very nice corporate career going, decided that, “Hey I’m gonna go out on my own and maybe do this with smaller to medium sized businesses, which he kind of figured what his niche was. I think it was really great. He did market research, which is… Which you almost never hear about from a small business going out they just kinda go… A lot of just go do things and then kind of do the market research as they go. But he was smart. And he actually did it ahead of time. Determined kind of the range he wanted to be in the five to 75 million revenue. And what skill sets, and help people with their process and so forth. But one thing I’m hearing is, all these great ideas, but as I said before the break, how do you convince a business owner or how do you communicate to a business owner that it’s a good idea to have somebody come in and maybe take a look at the process and the hiring and having the right people in the right places, and so forth, why that’s a good thing to try to do occasionally and really make sure you’re doing the best that you can, as a business?
21:20 Jim Geier: Yeah, it is a challenge. I’ve been doing this now for 14 years. And what I have found during this period of time is that the first and most important thing is, is that a business owner regardless of size has to see how important the people are to the success of their business, because if you think about the people side, whether it’s hiring people or people talk about building a culture and so forth, I mean a lot of people feel with regard to the sized business, “well, I can handle this myself”, but I have found that it’s important that an owner, again, or management team, look at it, as though I need people in order to do what I need to accomplish, regardless whether it’s a manufacturing company or a marketing company or whatever. The point is, is that, for me, I mean what’s helped me too is usually we sell through trusted advisors, so we get recommended into organizations by that advisor, whether that be a financial advisor or an attorney, etcetera.
22:26 Jim Geier: But the point is they sort of know what the problem or pain may be and then they say, “Hey we know Jim Geier, we know human capital consulting, partners, and they can help you.” I think the biggest challenge, and then give you a couple of examples how does this work domain. Number one, recently, we did a project for a manufacturing company, it’s a manufacturing company’s been around 67 years, second generation family and a couple hundred employees. And the issue for them was, “Look, we’ve just done a new business strategy and what we’re trying to figure out is, do we have the right organization structure for the future?” So what I mean by that is, do you have the right boxes, and are the… And to get me to where I wanna get? Secondly, is we said, “Okay well, do I have the right management team with the right skill sets and ability to get me to where I wanna get?” And they had very aggressive business goals, both top line sales as well as profits. And so, the important thing there was, one, they understood what their goal was.
23:41 Jim Geier: Number one, number two, they were concerned about the people side whether they had the right people in place, and number three, they were okay about hiring a consultant like myself, and hiring me for that project, so that I was able to say, “Okay here is a client that wanted to do something different. He wasn’t afraid to pay money to get an additional thought process out of, “Okay, do I have the right horses in essence to be able to obtain my goal?” So, that’s one example. Second example is, I’ve done a lot of work with a marketing agency in the King of Prussia area, probably over the last seven years or so, and the owner had started his marketing business and had it for about 20 years. And about seven years ago, he said to me, “Jim, I’m just tired of working so much in the business. I’m tired at two, three o’clock in the morning, sending my staff an email saying, okay, have you done one through 10 things that I know at the back of my mind and what I need to do.” So for him, we worked through a whole process, everything from looking at the strategy and goal, and I know everybody talks about strategic plan and nobody wants to do a strategic plan because they put it on the table, or in bookcase or whatever, but in his case, he just had a simple goal, “I wanna double the size of my business over the next five years.” That was his goal.
25:10 Jim Geier: And secondly then, he wanted to find out, “Okay, what do my people think about me?” So we did a whole organizational assessment where we talked to his employees. At that time, he was probably about 12 or 15 employees. Try to get an understanding of what the culture and environment was like. As a result of those recommendations and discussions, I was able to help him put together a whole new organization structure where he hired a number two. So we went out and recruited for him that number two person. He wanted to change the whole compensation system and play. He wanted to make sure he was competitive in base salary. We put a new bonus program in place. He put job descriptions in place, he put policy and procedure and all those things, to the point of where you come fast forward, seven years, he only has maybe two people left on his employees who were with him seven years ago because he’s changed the whole profile of the type persons that he’s wanted on board.
26:13 Jim Geier: In addition to that, he’s grown his business substantially during that period of time and is really set up for the future so that if in the next five years or so he wants to sell his business, he’s got a real solid rationale as to why he did what he did. And now has a team of people that are helping him grow and needs what they need.
26:39 Kurt Baker: Yeah, you just mentioned a really important thing that we’d actually talked about it on the show a lot, is that you really need to document why does your company actually make money? What do you do… Why does it work? What’s the process to place the people in place? And really, you just described all of that, you aligned the compensation to incentivize people, you got the right people in the right place, the right attitudes, you got all the job descriptions in place, you can track it, you can see what’s happening, you see why the process works and that helps you as well as a potential buyer.
27:10 Jim Geier: That’s right. Yeah. Right. Right.
27:10 Kurt Baker: If somebody comes in to buy the company, they can see by all the documentation and what’s actually been happening by the books, so to speak, but all this other… These ancillary things which are important to help the company run, they can read through all this, say, “Oh, okay, I understand exactly how this company works.” So they know what they’re buying, so to speak. So you’re really gonna get top dollar. And I think another thing that was really important is you met the goal here where I’m assuming this number two person was a pretty qualified person to take a little of that load off him a little bit, is what it sounds like.
27:40 Jim Geier: Yeah, it was, but what was interesting is, since this was his first number two, I would tell you it lasted maybe about a year and a half, and then the cultural fit wasn’t right, and then we had to go back out and recruit somebody else. And that person now has been there for a couple of years, and it has worked. So I think the story there really is, and I have this conversation with owners all the time, “Okay, you have to stop working in the business and hands on in that business. You need to think a little bit bigger about working on the business and then okay, if you’re gonna hire somebody you’re gonna have to… Which we do for people. The point is, you gotta hire a person who’s got skill set a little different than your own and realize you’ve got a set up of certain type of accountability and responsibility and authority for that person”.
28:33 Jim Geier: But at the same time, sometimes in the beginning, as in this particular case, it’s not always gonna work out the right way, but it means that, okay, just because it didn’t work out once doesn’t mean you go back to your same old way of being in the business all the time, you just go back out and hire the right person with the right skill set who brings the right type of help and assistance and other things to bear that you need in order to grow that business.
29:03 Kurt Baker: Yeah, I think you’ve responded on a really good point and we’ll talk a little more after the break, but how it’s great when a third party comes in and just looks at everything. Sometimes you’re too close to issues and sometimes, especially there’s the second person here, I think the fact that there was a third party coming in and saying, “Hey, the process is good, you just need the right person in there.” It’s kind of what you were telling him. And I think that really helps because that’s a little scary, especially for a small business when you’re letting go of some things that are sometimes pretty close to you, that you feel like you need to control, but you don’t necessarily need to control them as you just stated. So, that’s great, when we come back from the break, we’ll talk more about this. A lot of great information. Be right back.
29:43 Announcer: It’s all about how you manage your money. Now, let’s get back to learning how from Kurt Baker of Certified Wealth Management and Investment, with Master Your Finances.
29:53 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finances, I am Kurt Baker, a certified financial planner professional here with Jim Geier, founder of Human Capital Consulting Partners that we’ve been talking about, why it’s important to really have your process, and people in place and why it’s good to have a third party sometimes, come in and take a look at this whole thing, to help really kinda tweak it and maybe revamp it in some case. He gave us some good examples of manufacturing business been around a long time, and they went back in and they relooked at things and improved all the process, and get the right people in the right positions and so even… No matter how big or small your company is, it’s really important to do that. Then you talked about the marketing agency that really, he wanted to step back a little bit so he could work on his business than in the business.
30:39 Kurt Baker: And you did a lot of things there. And it’s even harder to smaller business. You had about 12 to 15 people, I think in that one and really put together some of the basic things the bigger companies always have, your policies, your procedures. You work the compensation and meet each of the businesses because each business is different in the way you compensate people. It has to be a little bit different. So now, we’ve got our our process in place and we know what to do, and you mentioned that number two person, that first one didn’t work out. So, the hiring process is obviously an important piece of this. You can set up a nice beautiful structure, but unless you fill it with the right people, and consistently make sure they’re there, it’s not gonna necessarily work out the way you wanted it to. So can you tell us a little bit about how you go through this hiring process and how you find these people to help to implement the strategy that you come up with?
31:29 Jim Geier: Sure, and I do think for that small business owner, I think it is hard to figure out, “Okay, how do I go about attracting, hiring, interviewing, etcetera, the right person?” And what I’ve told most of our clients is, I think it’s important to do the following steps. Number one, be sure you know what you want. So, let’s use an example, let’s say you’re trying to hire a marketing person. Okay, well then, you need to make sure that you have at least a job profile, job description, what that duties and responsibilities are. You need to decide what type of background and experience you’re going to need. So that includes industry type experience, number of years experience, etcetera. Once you have that done, and the second point is trying to understand how much you’re supposed to pay that people, a person. And then once you have all that done, then it says, “Okay well, who’s gonna be involved in the interview price and that, in my company, once I begin to getting candidates in the door to talk to?” So what I call that is the putting in place the foundation. You must have a foundation in place before you go out to start the hiring process, then the real question is, well, do you hire a firm like ours to do the recruiting for you, or you do it on your own?
32:55 Jim Geier: The point is, today, I will say most of work is done through social media, technology, so if you look at professional positions such as engineers, HR director, financial manager, CIO, other type of jobs, today you find sources like LinkedIn and others that are really, really key towards looking to attract and find the right type of talent, that’s number one. Number two, it’s your network. I can give you example today recruiting for a CIO position for one of my clients, and I’ve been able to identify probably 50 potential candidates, just through my network alone, that are people who are quality candidates. So you would use your network as a way to do that as well. Also, when it comes to the interviewing, you need to understand what you’re going to interview people about, so what type questions are you going to ask people? Be prepared in advance, you might decide on a committee of people to interview as well. And then it’s important to make sure that you are going through a process of where you’re then comparing all the candidates together.
34:20 Jim Geier: So some people talk about putting together a checklist and other type of things as part of the interview process, and then making a decision, also, to who’s gonna be the best cultural fit. Because I would tell you, in my career, most people have the technical skills, but it really comes down to, does the person fit the culture and environment that you have? Because that will ensure that an individual is going to be successful in their job. And then when it comes to the final offer, you’re trying to negotiate a process of saying, “Okay, who’s gonna do the negotiation?” A firms like ours do the negotiation for our clients with candidates so that people don’t get in the middle of the process, but it’s trying to figure out then what’s the right offer? And how it gets done, and making sure at the end result, yeah, if something in writing a letter in that, that outlines all the details and includes what that offer is gonna be as well as if you have to have a non-disclosure agreement or other type of legalese that you wanna have in that particular offer. So that’s the process.
35:26 Kurt Baker: Wow, it’s pretty involved and I can see a lot of these pieces, most smaller businesses, probably don’t have a lot of this in place, as I’m gonna guess.
35:36 Jim Geier: No…
35:36 Kurt Baker: To the extent that you’re describing. Right?
35:39 Jim Geier: No, they don’t. And I think, again, getting back to what I said earlier about that enlightened owner, about the importance of people, that’s why you’ll find those type of owners will talk to people like us who can help them on the recruiting side. Because I can give you examples of lots of my clients who say, “Look, when I started my business 25 years ago I knew how to do this stuff, but today I don’t, and I really need professional help, to help me figure out what’s the right process, how do I attract people”. Because for me it’s all about the hook. Everytime I talk to my clients about trying to call you, lets say I’m trying to call you, Kurt, on the phone and try to say, “Okay, well do you wanna come work for so and so company?” I need to know what is the hook, what’s gonna make somebody be excited about the fact they should leave their current situation and come work from one of my clients?
36:32 Kurt Baker: Well, you bring up an interesting thing because you hear this debate back and forth between, “I wanna work for a really big company or I wanna work for a really small company.” So what are some of the… If I’m a… Well, like you said, as a public smaller company, I’m assuming you’re of that list of 50 people, some of them work for larger companies.
36:47 Jim Geier: Right.
36:48 Kurt Baker: So how do you convince somebody to go from a large, relatively secure corporate environment to maybe somebody that’s growing aggressively, might be smaller, has a little more risk involved, at least from an employee standpoint, “Why would I leave this, the big Fortune 500 company, come down and work for a small company? Right?
37:06 Jim Geier: Right.
37:07 Kurt Baker: And what are some of the things that you can tell people?
37:09 Jim Geier: And I think that is a challenge because most small companies are looking for people with a different skill set, meaning they’re coming out of a larger organization. So for me, as in our recruiting process what I try to… I sorta call it the discovery phase. It’s… What I wanna make sure if we haven’t been working with a client for a long period of time, that we understand the business, we understand the culture, we understand what are the goals and objectives going to be for the company but also for this individual, so that I can really be their sales person, because that’s what I am, when you think about it. So it’s important to have those types of things figured out as to what that is, and then when it goes to talking to those candidates in a larger company, like I’m doing today for the CIO position, it’s really about talking to them about the opportunity that they’re gonna have to impact the business. Most people, I would tell you at a professional level, regardless whether it’s an industrial engineer, HR person, CFO, marketing person, CIO, in coming from these larger organizations, they wanna know, “Am I gonna be able to have impact? Am I gonna be able to help the company grow in some way, shape or form?”
38:24 Jim Geier: So that’s one of the most important things where the challenge is really, becomes not as much in the base compensation, but it’s in the benefit programs, right? Because in these larger companies, they have very competitive benefit programs, and the challenge we find is, is that in smaller businesses, they just can’t afford it, and everybody gets it, the candidate gets it, I get it, etcetera. But that becomes a challenge and how we get around usually that challenge, which most owners probably aren’t gonna wanna hear, but it means we end up having to pay people a little more money in base salary to make sure that that kinda works, or, in some other cases, we look at people who are covered in their significant other or spouse’s benefit programs, so that when it comes to that differential which you usually find more in the health insurance or medical insurance perspective, they don’t really need the medical. But as any client would, and I would, and I’m sure you would as well, you want the best talent you can get and you want people that have the various tools in their tool kit. But the real bottom line point is you have to have a hook. And what is that hook that’s gonna help me or help themselves when they’re talking to candidates, as to why you should come work for me.
39:45 Kurt Baker: Great, great, I’m sure, yeah, yeah. ‘Cause I have heard that were some people, they leave larger companies, they wanna make a difference, quote unquote. They’re kinda tired, like you just did. You’re little tired of the corporate structure, hard to get a decision through, a smaller company, much quicker decision right? But now you gotta own it.
40:00 Jim Geier: That’s right. That’s right. [chuckle]
40:00 Kurt Baker: Right, so… There may be fewer people involved, but it’s your decision.
40:05 Jim Geier: Yeah.
40:07 Kurt Baker: So, yeah, so what… So is it often they move, I guess, for the smaller away? Do you ever work with companies that maybe you’re working to get acquired? You know what I mean, ’cause you mentioned that that happens sometimes as well, right?
40:18 Jim Geier: Yeah, I mean I do, especially its organizations trying to figure out. It’s usually a private company who maybe doesn’t have any family that can take over that business and they’re trying to figure out, “Okay, well what do I do?” And so in a lot of cases, and we’ve had situations where we’ve had kind of a distribution business came to us a few years ago where the owner said, “I wanna sell this company in five or 10 years. I know I need a different management team. I need to make sure that I can get a management team of a certain set of skills and abilities. You’re gonna help me grow so that I can sell this business.” They all wanna sell it for 10 times EBITDA, right? I’m sure you hear that all the time, I hear that all the time. But the point is, is what our role in that is is trying to make sure they got the right people, the right compensation systems, the right processes in place, and then we’ll introduce people to the right type of broker that might be a business broker to help them, or attorney, or accounting firm, etcetera, in that process. But we’re really… In that case, we helped him figure out what the culture should be like in his company, what the type management team he should have. What type of compensation systems, etcetera, similar to what we did in that marketing agency that I had talked about before.
41:39 Kurt Baker: No, it’s all good, it’s all important and it makes the job of the planning side much easier. If you have something that’s documentable and you can understand it, it’s easy to evaluate, it’s much easier for a state planning purposes, if you have an exit strategy ’cause now the second generation, the next generation doesn’t always wanna take over. So it’s always… So now you have your options open. So either they take over or they don’t take over, at least you can sell it. So this is fantastic. You kinda took us down a great trip there and you’re doing a wonderful service here. I know it helps a lot of small business owners where you’re bringing in a skill set that they didn’t always have. This consulting, I think is really nice that you can help out. Again, this is Kurt Baker, you’ve been listening to Master Your Finances, I’m here with Jim Geier, the founder of Human Capital Consulting Partners. And we went through a lot of great information about why it’s important to hire the right people, and the right processes in place. And you can reach us through our website which is www.cwmi.us, the Facebook page is, facebook.com/masteryourfinances. And remember, together we can master your finances so you can enjoy financial peace of mind.
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