Where do you find employees that are talented, reliable, and cost-efficient? In this episode, Ken Courtright reveals the places where he finds people that do the job. Discover how other entrepreneurs have been creative at onboarding and securing the talent that they need.
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Where To Find Employees
This is the show where I’m living life and have conversations here and there. If I see something where there’s a spark in the person’s eye as I’m giving an answer or describing something, I make sure I write it down and bring that to the podcast family. In an evening of our Digital Footprint event, somebody had heard a lot of our management speak from stage. They came up and said, “Where did you find these employees?” I quickly run through some of the people that spoke at the event, the people that worked the tables and essence, who this gentleman was asking about so I’m going to walk you through it.
Our COO spoke. His name is Allen Wilterdink. Allen has been with us for a number of years. I remember I was interviewing for a COO. The existing COO who was leaving heard some of the people I was interviewing, many of them outside of the company. She said, “Have you interviewed Allen?” I said, “Allen?” She said, “Allen Wilterdink.” I said, “No, I haven’t.” She goes, “You might want to give him a call.” The bottom line is I Skyped Allen who had received 3 or 4 raises in the previous couple of years. I had definitely not considered him for any high up management position, let alone COO. In under ten minutes, Allen absolutely blew me away on Skype. I knew five minutes in that this is definitely the guy I need to run that division. Allen Wilterdink was an internal hire.You know talent when you see it. Click To Tweet
Dave Conklin, our CMO, he spoke at the event. Dave is interesting and there are probably a lot of people that can relate to this one. Dave was a person that I hired originally as a consultant. I hired him for a quick one-day consulting. We flew him into Chicagoland. He spoke to our team. By the end of that first day, I knew, “How do I go about engaging Dave on more of a full-time basis?” One day was over $5,000. I knew I couldn’t afford $5,000 a day, but I knew there was something I could put together in some form of a joint venture, a JV. It took about 3 or 4 to 6 months to put it together, but we ended up doing a joint venture between Dave’s SEO marketing company and ours. That partnership lasted about 1.5 years. We took a few months off and then we ended up bringing in Dave on full time. That was Dave Conklin.
John Georgilis was scheduled to speak, but he got laryngitis. He’s our head of design. Dave Conklin, our chief marketing officer, walked into like a 1-800-Contacts or one of the major eyeglass companies. John was working behind the counter. Dave Conklin noticed instantly how sharp John was. Dave said something like, “You are way too sharp to be working at 1-800-Optics.” Dave knew he knew something was going on. He goes, “What do you do outside of this?” John said, “I’m a graphic designer.” Lo and behold, Dave struck up a conversation. A couple of short years later, John Georgilis is now on the advisory board of the WordPress design team as a consultant and he’s their head of design. John was plucked right out of 1-800 Contacts by a conversation by Dave Conklin.
I want to jump right down to Jonathan Hostetler. Jonathan was at the event. He was working one of the tech booths and he’s one of our marketers. He’s a real sharp gentleman. Similar to 1-800 Contacts with John Georgilis, Jonathan was an employee at Apple at an Apple store. Dave Conklin walked in saw Jonathan handled a definitely stressful situation. He walked right up to Jonathan and said, “How would you like to make twice as much as you make right now?” Dave did not have to hear exactly what Jonathan earned or what position he was in. Dave knew talent and new leadership skills when he saw it. Needless to say, Jonathan came to work for us immediately. Not only is he still with us, but his brother is also with us.
Josh Eberly was also at the event and he spoke briefly from the stage. He is an on-page optimization expert. This one’s a little interesting. Josh was living in Arizona and he was Googling tech companies in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, trying to move back home to get closer to his fiancé. He ended up reaching out to us through our helpline. He ended up talking to Dave Conklin of all people. It turns out he and Dave used to go to the same church together. It was a match made in heaven.
Outside of those key folks, we do a lot of hunting through Upwork. Upwork bought out Elance-oDesk. What we’ll do is we’ll do a lot of contract work. If we can have the same person working with us through one of those venues for 6 to 12 months and hear that they’ve left Upwork or oDesk, we might try to reach out to them. We’ll see if they’ve got full-time employment somewhere else or if they stopped with Upwork. We’ve built a couple of relationships that way. That’s worked out well.
I have a great friend named Ed Bogle. Ed Bogle is a consultant’s consultant. He’s consulting $1 billion company on a one-page business plan. Ed told me that he has a good friend of his, whose companies earning a net profit of close to $3 million a month. They have nine employees and 50 JV partnerships. We get asked this all the time, “Where do you find your incredible employees?” Six out of ten of our incredible employees came from somebody saying to our existing employees, “Who do you know?” “Who else do you know that as your skillset? You know your passion and your drive?” 60% of all people working for us came as a referral from somebody already working with us. I’d like you to try that one but what I like you to consider is the Ed Bogle analogy I gave you where a buddy of his has a company doing over $30 million a year net with nine employees and 50 joint venture partnerships.
Ask yourself, are there any consultants out there that you could bring on as a consultant and later you can later form a joint venture partnership with them? Do they get a split of the revenues? You’re not paying them directly, but you’re doing deals with them where you’re each benefiting from the net profit of a job. That keeps the employee payroll on that side of the house and not your side of the house. It keeps it in a state of faster growth. We do a lot of JVs. Dozens so I know how powerful it is. This is episode 143. Where do you find your employees? They are pretty much everywhere. You only have to ask. I hope this helps. Take care.