Marketing Podcast

Unlocking Business Success: Mastering the Art of Hiring Slow and Firing Fast

17 Minute Read
Tune into the "Your Concrete Success" podcast as we dive into the intricacies of building a successful business.

In this episode, we discuss into the challenges of hiring the right people for the right roles, sharing personal experiences and valuable insights. We believe it is crucial to hire slow and fire fast. We  also explore key elements crucial for every business and offer practical tips on recruiting top performers.

We'll share personal experiences, including the complexities of hiring friends or family members. Emphasizing the EOS model – Right People, Right Seats – we underscore the importance of employees aligning with our company's mission and values. Our discussion also explores the critical role of culture in creating a positive work environment and the continuous refinement of our hiring and onboarding processes.

Tune in to this episode for actionable insights, practical tips, and real-world stories that unveil the secrets to strategic hiring and building a thriving company culture. Whether you're a business owner, manager, or aspiring entrepreneur, this podcast provides a roadmap for success in crafting a winning team and achieving business and marketing success as a home improvement contractor.


Topics Discussed

  1. Introduction and Office Dynamics:

    • The hosts share their positive experiences from working together in the office.
    • Emphasis on the significance of people in the business.
  2. Navigating Hiring Challenges:

    • Personal experiences and challenges in the hiring process.
    • Caution against hiring friends or family without careful consideration.
  3. Gary Vee's Advice: Hire Slow, Fire Fast:

    • Exploration of Gary Vee's perspective on strategic employee management.
  4. Recruiting Top Performers:

    • Prioritizing quality over cost-cutting in recruiting.
    • Creating a comprehensive onboarding and training process.
  5. The Role of Culture in Employee Retention:

    • Defining company culture's impact on employee experience.
    • Importance of clear expectations, training, and a positive work environment.

Audio Transcription

Hey there, my friends, welcome to another episode of your concrete success podcast. I'm your host, Danny Barrera here with our amazing crew, my beautiful wife, Mady, and our marketing manager, Andrea. Oh man, it's been good. We've been in the office together today. A lot of visionary things and it was lovely.

I don't know about you guys, but I really like office days together. I, even though we're remote, it's nice to agree. It's good. It's good It's all about the people at the end of the day. It's all about the people. So what do we have in store for this podcast episode? Alright, so we're gonna have, we're gonna have a very a spicy episode today.

I like spicy episodes. We're gonna talk about hiring the right people. Right people, right seats, what that looks like. We're gonna give, you know, we're gonna talk about experiences that we've had in this situation. Both us and people that we work with. And I think that's gonna be a very fun topic. Because there are a lot of people that are struggling in this particular situation.

I think everybody that owns a business has struggled with this at one point or another. I'm sure everyone has their horror stories. Yes. Or like wanting to hire just your best friend and not going well. Oh yeah. Friends, hiring friends, family members, family, family members, look at us all guys. We're doing it just for the record.

Some of you might know my brother, Benjamin. Big shout out to you, my brother. I love you. But I had to fire my own brother. Like he was just not a good fit and it was hard, but he was also real with. Like the role and everything, you know, we have an onboarding process for our employees and coming in, I set the expectation, hey, this is the way it's going to go.

We're based on, on how you perform in the role and we're giving this a shot and see where it goes. No hard feelings if we have to release you. But he came to the conclusion like, hey, this is just not a good fit for me. But it was a good, yeah, but it was still hard. It was very hard. It sucked. It pretty much sucked, right?

Yeah, it did because you, you, we hired him like, and we gave him like, you know, hey, livelihood here. And then we're like, you're going to have to find livelihood somewhere else. Yeah. So where do we begin? Where do we begin? Okay. So I, this is, I don't know how this is going to come across, but Gary Vee, the other day, he posted something on social media that says that the key to a good employees is to hire slow and fire fast.

Yes. What do you think about that? Oh, that's so hiring slow is an interesting thing because as you're growing and scaling your company, you almost have to always keep an eye on the profits so that you know, when your next hire should be done, when your next crew should be evolving. Is it when you're booked out four weeks?

Consistently over two month period, six weeks out. And not only that, but the hiring doesn't start when you hit six weeks booked out in your crew. You, because there's a training phase and do you even have a training portal, or do you have a training process for your employees so that. They can come in and they can understand what you're all about.

So if we go back, like there's four key things in every business, doesn't matter what you do, who you are, what business industry, et cetera, systems, processes, numbers, and people. And the people are always on the top. And I always like to draw this like pyramid systems, process numbers and people, but ultimately the people are the ones that are going to run the whole thing, unless you're in technology and AI can replace humans.

But people are the ones that are the drivers. Of the specific roles. And you're the one that's providing the systems tools mechanics. And how is it that you're going to ensure they're going to perform? So it starts out by understanding specifically who you're looking for. What kind of background do you want them to have?

But all I can tell you is if you're looking to hire for cheap, You're going to get cheap results, which oftentimes end up costing you a lot more. So it's always great to learn how to recruit instead of being on the backside, looking for cheap labor. And I've done, we've done it both ways. We've done it both ways and need does not pay.

For you to settle for the cheapest labor available and reasons being is you have to constantly go back like you're going to have a ton of cleanups, cleanups, expenses just very dumb mistakes if you were to, to qualify them. So that's one key thing. And look, if you're looking to recruit people that are top performers.

They're, they're going to want to come into a place where, where there's some structure. Like if they're going to have to reinvent the wheel, then you have to set that right out of the gates and set that expectation. And is there going to be some sort of compensation and bonus? Are they going to help you build a thing or do you have a structure in place?

And we're making such a big deal about that in master lab, in our coaching academy. Because that's the foundation without mission, without a vision of where you're taking the company. What, how are you going to give you know, your team a clear expectation in where you want to be in the future? Yeah, you hire someone, you're like, welcome to the team.

We don't even know what this is. Like, I don't know how to trade you. Like they're showing up day one and they're like, what are we doing today? You're like, I don't know. Just grab that grinder over there, pass it to me. We're in big trouble. They don't even know what the name is. So this is where I believe like, there's so much opportunity for you to build your own training center where think of this, you're training your employees to know and understand how is it that you're organizing your trucks?

How is it that you're unpacking every truck? How is it that you're cleaning up your, your trailer trucks, et cetera. And give them a walkthrough process of your application process and all of that. Like, it doesn't take a lot for you to put that together. If you don't have something, you can have it in printed format.

I've seen it in multiple formats where some people have just a membership style curriculum when someone comes in, they know, and they have consumed some sort of video information on knowing who's who's who in the company, what's their role, the expectation, how, how are they supposed to perform the job?

And what does a KPI for them look like? Is it specifics on installation process, et cetera. So that's just to give you guys a little bit of an idea when, when we're looking at key hires and top performance, they want to be told and given expectations that they can perform under. Yeah. What are your thoughts on that conversation?

Yeah, I heard you talking about incentives and I think when you're hiring people who are motivated to have something that they could be going towards is a big deal. If you're not wanting them just to be grunt labor, then you do want them to be growing and hopefully the longer they're with you, they'll have more opportunities to train other people [00:07:00] and to manage and to lead their own crews.

And if you're building that relationship. But from the start, I think that's highly valuable. Yeah. I agree with that. We've over the, the span of Concrete Marketing Crew, it's been close to 200 employees and the majority of them are not with us. And there's a lot of things, like some of them were here for a season, like in the beginning, we didn't know what we were doing.

I didn't know what I was doing when it came to hiring. I knew what I was doing from a fulfillment perspective. I was a technician. I was in the weeds. Performing and selling and doing all these roles, but as you grow and scale, you, you realize, Hey, this is actually something that I must learn how to master as a business owner.

Cause otherwise I can't scale. You've been through our through our entire hiring process. Tell me a little bit about that experience and then speak to how that would apply to the contractor space. Yeah, so I started with a link to a web, our website, and there was a portal where there were questions and video responses, but I, all along the way, I was getting almost face to face time with Danny without him having to be on a call with me.

So it would be an intro video about who we are, a little bit about, And then they would ask a question of me and I would actually have to record a video response back and you could edit it if you needed to. It was nice because we are basically having an in person interview. Meanwhile, Danny could have been dealing with something else in the business.

So I think that could be really valuable for our. Like to recommend to other people. So tell us about that tool and how you set up that structure. So there's, there's quite a few tools, but video ask is great. Setting up a video ask process and it's, it's owned by type form, which is a great form system.

But the process is the following is the first step is an introduction to your company and. Our, the core values, who we serve, who we're all about. Like think about creating something like that. Mike Mike, one of our mentors, he talks about creating an impact video where you're highlighting your culture, you're highlighting everything that's happening in your organization.

And that is the first visual, like almost like people are getting the feel of walking in, in, in your doors. Now we're fully virtual. Yes, we have an in, you know, in person sessions, but we're fully virtual. We work fully remotely with our team. It's harder to create that environment. So what I had to do is like literally walk people through the process, say, this is what you're getting into.

Hey, this, this is who we serve. This is our client base. This is what we're passionate about. This is what we expect. These are the benefits that you get working with us. And if you don't want to get too complicated, like you don't need to have this fancy system and process. So what we do is just. Give them that introduction and if they're interested, have them click on the button below, which takes them to a second page, which is the video ask the video interview process.

The video interview process is to gauge in their personality, communication, the style, the questions that are important for us to understand. And the third one is an assessment to see how they type because as a business owner, depending on the role, if you need an admin assistant, you need someone that knows how to type.

You got to give them scenario. If you're looking for a salesperson, they better sound good when they're in video. Why? Because I want to make sure my salesperson knows how to take a selfie video. I want to make sure they're good with technology. Why? Because the CRM is technology. And you're wanting them to maybe record some stuff on social media.

You're wanting them to interface with prospective like customers. That's right. You need to know that you want to see how they sound. You want to see how they look like you get a look. And. This is not to discriminate like, you know, you, your brand is being represented out there and who do you want representing your brand?

Like, do you want any surprises? And this is not, again, not to discriminate because there are so many legal factors, depending who's listening to this on what state and I get it, but at the end of the day, you're the owner and this system helps you filter out and weed out a lot of individuals that you, you just don't get the feel for like, okay, how is this going to work?

So there's that piece. There's a type form piece, which is a questionnaire. And in this case for contractors, this is where you ask them to tell you about their experience references. And this is where now that's the first stage in a pipeline. So hiring is about building a funnel, which we have the hiring funnels here.

We're deploying for all of our clients. It's like anyone needs needs perspective employees to fill up their pipeline. Guess what? You can run ads, run them right to the landing page through the entire sequence. It's through the same CRM that we provide to our clients, except that we create. A hiring CRM that's completely separate.

And that is pretty much it.  It's the same process. There's like three to four different phases where you want to take someone that's coming into your hiring funnel. The first one is they give you all the information, you vet them. Second one, you schedule a phone. Interview conversation, you have pretty much 15, 20 minutes.

It's the same script, the same process. And then based off of that, you start vetting them based on the references, background checks, and all of that. You don't want any surprises. And then you go into the in person interview. And then there might be some other assessments depending on the position. So every position is different.

So the model that we follow is the EOS model, which is right people, right seats, right people, right seats. And then within the right people, right seats, they must have three things that are extremely crucial. The first one is they must get the role and you must define how soon they should get what they're doing before you release them.

Is it going to be a week? Is it going to be two weeks? Is it going to be the first day? Like if they don't get it the first day, like fire, fast, high or slow. So it'll be more painful if it's, if it's lengthy and drawn out and dramatic. I mean, obviously if, if it's someone that you're able to take from a process of the slow, higher, hopefully they're a good fit, but then it's a lot easier to let someone go early on in a sense, right?

Absolutely. It's a little bit more painful once. It's now they're building this rapport with everyone. And of course, hiring is more fun than firing, but, right. Oh, well, imagine the time you invest and pour into someone. And like, there are things that you learn along the way when it comes to the maturity and understanding people and personalities that like, that's you building your leadership skills is understanding people's personalities, et cetera, the higher up that you hire.

In your company is the more that you have to rely on personality traits. Why? Because you can't teach leadership to someone that does not have the leadership skills. It's like Mady and myself, we don't play the same roles in our agency. Like I, you know, if I was to play an operations manager in the company, like things would not move as fast.

Why? Because I'm, I can create the architecture and the flow. But as far as being diligent and moving teams together and communicating effectively so that there's execution, man, that is something that I don't roll. And on the other side, you want to speak a little bit about that leadership? Absolutely.

It's like we were talking to him in the meeting, in the meeting we had in person. You, I can see far, but I can't see as far as you can in terms of vision, but I can walk the steps to get to the vision. And you have a harder time taking those steps because you're not, you see the vision. So we can't, I can't play your role.

You can't play my role. But you and I need each other's role in order to move forward. So that's, that's something you, if you, you take all my assessment tests, my assessment tests, never come out as like, I am the number one. You're not a quick starter. I'm not a quick starter, not a pioneer. I am a fact finder.

I am a slow and steady wins the race kind of person. And if you put me to be in, in that, that quick starting leader, I will fail. And you don't need to hire a carbon copy of yourself. A lot of people try to do that, but then it's dangerous almost because they should be running their own. If it's you, then they'll probably want to start and steal all your ideas and make a new company.

I also think that what you were saying, which is really interesting, that I, I think we need to, we do have sales and processes for hiring and everybody that's, that hires people has to have processes for, for hiring, but I think I said sales. I just meant to say processes. But what I'm trying to say is that those processes always need to be like, revisited, revisited and revamped.

And, and it's not like, Oh, I have a process. That's just the end. You have to go back and when you're hiring someone else, you have to go back and relook at the process and be like, okay, what can I, how can I make this process better? Yes. And I've learned that with the training in my department. Every time I train a new account manager, it's just easier and faster because I keep going back and asking, Hey, what could be better in terms of this training and this process?

So you're, it's not perfect the first time. No. In other words. So you're improving your onboarding employee onboarding process as well as improving the employee hiring process and setting the expectations. Like it's, it's, it's been like the best it's ever been. Yeah. Let's finish up the conversation of the right people, right seats.

They must get it, define what get it means for that role. Is it the first day? Like if they don't get it the first day and maybe the longest you'll do is a week and that's it. And learn how to cut that string because if they don't have that one component. We've had people where we've wanted to transform them and does it work Maddy?

Absolutely not. No, it doesn't work at all. Like you, it's an uphill battle. It doesn't work. You're fighting against your own self there. Second one they must want it. So oftentimes this one, it is, they must want to work with your organization, your vision. They must want to work with your vision. We talk about having someone in our company this year, last year, excuse me, 2023, who was very toxic, very taxis because they wanted to bring in their own.

World and implement their own way into our agency. And that created a whole, it started to create a division almost as it may seem. And you know, where there was collision, there was no alignment. Like we just have to cut ends and say, you know what, this is it. So the one piece is when it comes to your world, your company, your vision.

And then last one is the capacity to do it. So if you're hiring someone that has, in my, in my case, I always like to say capacity slash capabilities because that's going to shortcut the process. Capacity is the bandwidth that they have. Are they working somewhere else? Do they have multiple jobs? Is, is, is this the main thing, the main gig that they're looking for?

How's it going to look? What does the transition process need to look like for them? And then, capabilities is the skill set, what is their work history. So if you look at those things and you start there, you will be better off than 80 percent of individuals, contractors that are struggling out there.

And the last piece is you must know your laws and always declare them inside of your, your payroll. Because if you're trying to cut corners and you're thinking you're doing yourself a favor, it's only going to set you up with a big nightmare down the line. Someone gets injured at job sites, you're, you're done.

That's it. You just need one injury for you to get a lawsuit and you're pretty much out of the game. So that is pretty much what I have for you in this specific conversation here. Any other questions? No, that's great. Right people, right seats. Yeah, I agree. Yep. Very good. Give me one key thing about culture.

And then we'll wrap it up here. What's, why is culture so important and define culture? What makes up a culture and why is it so important? Well, culture is basically what the experience is going to be like for the employees in your company. And if they don't like the culture that the company is, they're spending, honestly, the majority of their day in the company culture.

And so if it's not a good fit. Then that should be noticed and called out from the start. And if you want to build a strong company culture, those mission and values and the vision that you have has to be communicated on a regular basis because once you start communicating it, it'll finally sink in, but you have to communicate it very often.

I think you communicated every Monday after our huddle. It's a newsletter reminding people what our crew values are. Say it, say it again, say it in another way. We've got the next level momentum, which is amazing. So how do people together get them together? Culture. I mean, culture is very important in terms of retention.

So that's, very good. Yes. Oh, that's good. But it's also it could be a little bit. Tricky because you could have the culture but then you have to also marry culture with right people right seeds So of course if you don't have like both it could be a little bit like skewed in terms of Level, but culture is very important for retention.

It's very important also for the buy in of The employee into your company. Mm-Hmm. so that they can also perform at a higher level. It, it's something that you, you definitely need to always keep in mind even if it's you're doing something like a service, it's totally, you can have a beautiful culture like doing in the service industry, like beautiful.

Absolutely. I have, you know, clients, it's all about the culture. I have people who just. They have this internal culture within themselves where they, they reward each other for great pictures being taken. They, they have barbecues on Fridays after work in, in, in the shop. So cultures They compete for [00:21:00] reviews.

They compete for reviews to see who gets the best reviews. So that's a culture of performance. Yeah. Yeah. So you, you get to define what that is. And the beautiful thing is like, number one, understand your team will never perform better than you are. So they're looking up to you. And if you're slacking or if you're, you don't have it together, man, the top performers would not want to work for an underperformer.

So if you're not constantly growing and reinvesting in yourself and your ability to become a better leader for your team, like it's, it's in your best interest to become a better leader and discover what that is. Discover your gifts, your talents, your abilities. So that you can pour yourself into that world, hire people that are amazing at the stuff that you suck at, define what that is, the stuff that you hate to do, et cetera, and then start defining the culture, your values.

How is it that we're going to convey that to our customers? How do I want our customers to feel us as well as potential prospective employees? Your visual, your appearance on social media, it's extremely important for your potential employees. That's part of your culture. Like, can someone just look from the outside, outside the window and look inside?

And see how are you guys having fun operating? Why should I consider submitting an application like people are checking out your reviews when you're posting a job site online So have you considered that that's part of also how you are embodying the culture But anyways it's been a great show. I want to say This guy's right here.

It's all about the team. It's all about the crew and we have a crew culture. What do you think about our crew culture working with us now for some time? I love the the trust that we have with each other the commitment and the call to a higher standard So I just it's not a slacker culture whatsoever, which makes me feel like yeah, I can achieve I'm an achiever personality So it makes me feel like we're all in it together.

It attracts achievers. Beautiful Mady. Exactly. Culture. The culture in our company. Our crew culture. Yes. Our crew culture is, I think it's awesome. It's exactly what Andrew said. I mean, we do attract people that like to achieve. You don't like to achieve. It's just not, you know, the place for you. And I love our culture.

I think it's, it just, it brings me joy today to be sitting in our conference room and have my team really want to have like merch that has our company on it. Yes. Yeah. That was the big thing. Biggest, most happiest thing ever. Ready to represent. When they take pride. That's awesome. That's it. When they take pride in working for you, you, you know you've got something special.

And work, work at it because it's going to pay off and it's going to give you the freedom that you're looking for. In your company. Thank you very much for listening in and tuning into your concrete success podcast. Make sure you follow us on YouTube. Subscribe, hit that subscribe, let us know how you're enjoying this episodes.

Go to Apple, Spotify. We're there for you to bring you value. Ask us any questions. We're here to provide value this year. Thanks for listening.

Danny Barrera

Danny Barrera

Founder of Concrete Marketing Crew. Author of the up-and-coming book, "Sell More Garage Floors". Contributor to the Concrete Decor Magazine. Host of Your Concrete Success Podcast. We're on a mission to elevate the concrete coating & decorative concrete industry.

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