How to Hire a Great Team ft. Podge Thomas

What’s the process to hire a great team? We’ll walk step-by-step through what you need to know to hire a strong team with Podge Thomas of Small Business Copilot.

We’ll talk through common human resource questions small business owners might have like:

– What do I need to do to hire a new employee? (Seriously, what’s the process step-by-step?)

– What does a thorough hiring workflow entail? (Is hiring an employee really as scary as it seems?)

– How do I choose the right job candidate? (And ensure I’m hiring in line with my values?)

– How to build a strong company culture? (To, in turn, build a strong company!)

Related Resources

Podge Thomas’ “The Small Business Copilot”

The ClickUp Blueprint Webinar

Video Blog Post

What follows is an AI-generated transcript from this video. Please be mindful that this transcript may not be 100% accurate.

Hello, hello, welcome back to another live stream on the channel today, we are going to be talking all about hiring a strong, great, amazing culture driven team. And with me today in order to help us through this process is going to be the wonderful Podge. So welcome. Thank you so much for joining us on the channel. Hi, Layla.

Thanks for having me. I guess a stodgy. Right. Thanks for having me. How are you today? Do you mind introducing yourself for folks who don’t already know about small business copilot? Absolutely so. But is Podge Thomas. I’m the founder of Small Business Copilot and small business copilot is a coaching business that helps women owned businesses grow strong teams. So I focus on these four different areas of the employee lifecycle, if you will. So we start with hiring and recruiting and then we go to onboarding and orienting. And then we go to engagement and training, which is like really the meat and potatoes of of of the work that you and your staff do and then exiting and letting go.

So I cover everything in that spectrum and I really focus on helping women business leaders.


And so what do you view as the main challenge? Because we’re talking about the process to hire great team and we talk about a lot of process stuff on this channel. And as you and I were talking about before we started, we’re with a group of very process oriented people. Everyone in here in this community is trying to think of the best way to accomplish something.

But because there’s so many fears and challenges around hiring, it makes me think that it’s not as simple as just saying do this, that and the other. And why do you think that is?

Yeah, so I think this is a this is the question. Like the answer to this question is why I do the work that I do.

So it has been my experience because I used to be just a regular employee and then eventually I left all that behind and I became a small business owner. So I like to use this analogy right. If I’m a small business owner or I’m an artist and I love to make doilies and I’m really, really good at making doilies and I go great I want to start a business making doilies, making and selling doilies. So I get my business going. I figure out how to get a business structured, LLC or EZCORP, and then I figure out how to figure out the finances.

I get a bank account. I understand how shipping works, how the supply chain works. Right. And then I go to market. Right. I go to market. I figure out how should I sell my doilies and everything is great. I understand now the operations of my business and the last thing that I do is I hire. Because it’s just you, it’s a big expense to hire, so it’s always the last thing that you want to do.

You can do almost everything until you’re at capacity right on your own. So. What happens to small business owners when we go to hire is we we fall back on whatever crappy corporate management training we had, and it’s so and it was it was it probably occurred in a windowless room.

It probably included a slide of an iceberg. Right. And it was probably right. Like, who has. No, I can speak. I can smell it.

I can taste the terrible coffee. I’m there.

Yes, exactly. Exactly. And it’s stressful because we we. You know, we start our businesses and we’re so excited about this thing that we’re doing right, this thing that we’re taking to market, whether it’s a service or a product, but that management piece, there’s such a disconnect.

Some people are just sort of quite naturally good at being managers. But that’s not the case for everybody. And so I work with business owners over and over and over again who really feel like they have a good handle on marketing, on finances, on operations. The iceberg is famous. It is famous, but then but they don’t know how to manage. And it’s sometimes next to finances is the sole stressor of that business. That’s what they’re lying awake about at night going, oh my gosh, I just hired Jim and he’s not working and I just don’t know how to fire him.

But he has to go and it’s too stressful to think about. So, you know, let me just take a look an Ativan and see if I can figure out tomorrow.


So it is super stressful. So I think that’s hopefully an answer to your question.

I mean, it’s a big question. And I think many of the people in the comments like feel free guys who are watching this, let us know in the comments. Do you feel this way? How are you approaching the hiring conversation? Because I was listening to what you were describing of leaning on what little corporate experience you have. I can relate. I’m sure many people can relate. And one of the things that we talk about on this channel when it comes to process stuff, which I feel like is right aligned with where you’re heading, is that your process is an opportunity to stand out its internal branding.

It’s making a statement about how you want to be and project into the world.

Is that kind of what culture is? Because I want to get to the some of the main questions we got to which I’ll just share this kind of slide deck, not slide presentation. And one of the main questions, I feel like to really answer any of these is what the heck this whole culture thing means because it feels like it ties into everything you just talked about. Yeah, I think culture and if you’re a solo business owner, don’t think that you don’t have culture because you do, the culture is really sort of an external expression of.

How you sort of branch out of your values and put those into action in your business, right.

So that might be engaging with your employees. It might be how you talk to your clients. It might be how you put your processes together. Right. It’s really about like how you think of what you believe in and how that then expresses itself. So I think for.

For instance, in thinking about like I talk about what’s going on inside of your business, right. What’s going on outside of your finances and your market stuff, other people do that stuff really well. I’m looking at that health of the business, and I strongly believe that the health of your business is very much going to be reflected in how well your team is operating. Right. And how well your team is operating is very much dependent on how you bring them in, how you engage them while you’re there, and then how you let them go at the end of the day.

Yeah, and I don’t even think you didn’t even know that we set you up this perfectly for this answer. But we just did a presentation called The Blueprint. And some of the people watching this probably watched it talking about how to set up ClickUp. And we use a hiring metaphor for the entire presentation, pretty much the job description, hiring, training and making it a part of the routine. But I think what we often miss is how to actually just do this right at all.

And that’s why I’m really excited to have you on here, because people may not realize I attended one of your managers Huddles, which actually do you mind telling people what that is, first of all, because I think that’ll tie into what we’re going to head into next.

Yes, absolutely. So every month at the end of the month, last Thursday at about 2:00 p.m. Eastern, I host a group called the Managers Huddle, and it’s available to any woman business owner, any woman manager who is managing other people, trying to hire other people.

Any questions that have anything to do with with management you can bring to that hour. It’s free, sort of. I do get your I do get your email address and exchange and then you get my weekly newsletter, which is super fun. You can unsubscribe to it any time. And in exchange for your email address, you can come to the monthly huddle.

You can bring your most burning questions to that group and maybe you don’t even have a question, but you kind of want to get a sense of what other people are talking about, maybe participate in that conversation or maybe learn from other people. It’s such a wonderful like it’s very laid back. It’s really easy going, but it’s a wonderful group of women that come together with me every month. And we just talk about management stuff.

And that’s actually why one of the reasons why I want to have you on the channel is because I attended one of those with a question which you already hit on, which is around can you have culture when you’re a really small, distributed team and you already touched on the fact that, yes, it’s inevitable, kind of like process. You have it whether you think you do or not. It just may not be what you want it to be.

If you don’t mind, I’d like to talk a little bit more about how we go about developing that, because I can actually just show you this is kind of one of my takeaways from when I attended your huddle was something around this where if I can zoom in culture and team composition is like this feedback loop of chicken and egg, you know, overwhelm for some of us. So I know some of the questions we had come in before we even started today were around things like how do I hire a new employee?

How do I define that job description? Do you think you could get into some of the tactics of how we know where to start with this? If we’re someone who’s sitting there, I’m a female identifying business owner. I need help stat no automation is going to help me here. What the heck do I do? Yeah.

Yeah, because you’re absolutely right. OK, and I’m just looking over at my the screen here because I want to pull up, I want to pull something up so I have something to refer it to.

Sure. And there is a guide if you go to my website at the top, there is a really, really tiny sign that Layla just pointed out to me I should make bigger. But if you click on it, you can access a guide that is will help you write a great job description. It’s got text, it’s got video. And it’s just a really nice way to sort of figure out how to plan and execute on the job description.

So. But do you start like if I if I’m like, I need help, do I start with the job description? Is that what you recommend? Like, honest question? I don’t know. Like, do I start with the job description or do I start with, like browsing Facebook for who seems to be in my circle that’s hiring.

How do you go about even beginning this, even beginning the very, very, very first question that I recommend business owners or hiring managers ask themselves is what problem I solving by hiring? Right. Why am I posting this position? What’s this going to do for me? Is it going to free my time up? If it’s going to free my time up? What am I doing with that time? Am I sitting making doilies with that time? Am I creating table runners?

Right. Am I catching up on sleep and by spending more time with family? It doesn’t matter. There’s no wrong answer here. But it’s important to think through the purpose because as you go through the process of hiring an onboarding somebody. Knowing the answer to that question is always going to anchor you back to is this working? Is this is this is this is this is this person somebody want to bring onto my team to solve this problem? Right.

Because it’s going to be more than just like I want to get this work off of my plate or I don’t want to do social media. I want to hire somebody else to do it instead.

It is more than that. It’s solving a business problem and it’s probably solving a personal problem. So that’s where I start, because if you can’t get past that, if you can’t come up with an answer that feels really solid, it’s not the right time. And that’s OK. Right. What? I can’t hear you. I had said I was just going to say, can I ask a question and clarify, you said I hate doing social media is not a good reason.

So I was wondering if you give us some examples of what are examples of good problems or good way, like how do we know if our problem is. Almost topical or if it’s a good problem to try to solve with this, I don’t know. There is one answer you can give, but it’s it’s very subjective, right?

I’m not it’s like if you’re watching this, I’m not inside of your business, so I don’t know what’s really important to you. What’s really important to your business. I could tell you what comes up for me over and over and over again is I need more time to create and I need more time to generate more revenue. Huh? Those so good benchmarks. Yeah, but that might not be the case for you, right? What might be the case for you is like I need to stop working 60 hours a week because my because, you know, my spouse is threatening to divorce me.

Right. I must make it right. I need to stop working 60 hours a week because I forgot to go to my kid’s school play. Right, so it’s really it’s really about what’s important to you. If if the answer is well, it can free up more time because I really want to sleep in in the morning. Is that super important? You know, you sleep in in the morning, get you to 10 hours of sleep. Is it to sort of get you to like seven or eight?

Like, I think people sort of have to use their own judgment about what it is that makes sense. Right? Really, when you ask yourself these questions, answer honestly and then answer is, that is not a good enough reason because imagine how much money is going to go is now going to be added to the cost of running your business. So it has to be worth it for that. Right. Not to quote you back to you, but I’m going to you, you told me early on when I was you talked at some point about hiring and you suggested asking the question of what will you do with that extra time, which is very similar to this question here.

But I think to me that really that clicked in a strange way where I was realizing, oh, I will use that time to generate revenue, which will then make the cost of the employee net positive, which I think many of us don’t think about the fact that, you know, we’re going to do other things rather than just pay the money and have another human. We’re actually getting more time revenue something. It’s like, what are you getting?

I thought that was a really interesting way of phrasing it before.

Yeah, because I think you might be in a position. To where you can afford to. Pay forty thousand dollars a year or sixty thousand dollars, you have to hire somebody full time, but it’s not going to affect your bottom line or it’s not not going to massively affect your bottom line if that’s the case. That’s great. But chances are when you hire somebody, you’ll you know, it’s going to significantly impact your profit for a period of time.

So part of this, I don’t like to be too prescriptive because I just don’t know. Some people do have a business because they’re trying to make money. That’s not the case for everybody. So I sort of want to make room for that. I think, though, for a lot of people and I think this is getting your point for a lot of people, you’re going to expect your your profit to increase sorry, your profit to decrease for a period of time.

And then hopefully what happens is that the the new job that you have filled, plus the time that you have been able to free up to create or bring in more business, will create more revenue streams or whatever it is. There’s a period of time where, you know, financially it’s going to be a little bit tight. But then hopefully what you then see is an increase in revenue and an increase in profit, and hopefully that profit then exceeds the profit prior to hiring that person.

So basically, by hiring somebody, it’s a long game, which I think is kind of what Nathan’s getting at here with the whole HR lifecycle. I mean, we have to expect that it’s not like it’s going to fix tomorrow. Like hiring when you’re frantically overworked is not going to fix it by next week.

I know it’s kind of obvious, but it’s kind of sounds like where you’re heading. One hundred percent.

It is a long game, but I think being in business for yourself is a long game. Hmm.

So what do you think about Nathan’s comment here with the whole H.R. lifecycle? So when we think about, you know, hiring and firing and all this other stuff, I mean, how do you think that life cycle fits into the overall, like you just said, the business long term growth? I think generally speaking, this is when I work with my clients, where I’m trying to the place I’m trying to get them to is using the approach to building a really good, really strong, very, very functional team as a way to become financially sustainable.

Hmm, yeah. That’s actually that’s actually kind of the bottom line, right, because if if your team is working really efficiently. And efficiency comes from from just a good, well oiled machine of a team, it impacts profit, it really does. OK, well, let’s let me jump back, because I totally derailed you as I promised I would. Let’s dive into a little bit more of what happens once we identify that problem that we’re solving, because like we talked about already, this system is what guides what you build in ClickUp or build a Notion we’re building out the workflow that you then turn in to a template like what Nathan’s talking about in the chat.

What comes after I have a good problem trying to solve. I need to generate more revenue and spending too much time on things that I’m not great at. What happens next?

What happens next is up is the question that you ask yourself, because a lot of planning right now.

I’m going to use the iceberg analogy, do all the stuff underneath the water so that the bit on top of the water, which is actually hiring and onboarding somebody, is a lot easier. So and one caveat, what I what I really do, I know we’re talking about hiring this morning, but here’s what I really, really do want. Somebody has is decided, yes, I’m ready to hire. We talk about how to let go of an employee and we actually put those systems in place because if you hire somebody and they don’t work after a week and you don’t have a system in place, believe it or not, even having somebody on board for a week causes enough of a mess that you want to have a process in place in order to let them go effectively and efficiently and humanely and with dignity and in a way that doesn’t disrupt your business more that it needs to.

So that’s actually where we go. So we answer the question, what problem am I solving? And then we go, OK, how are we letting go? And then we ask ourselves, do I have time? Right, so you should expect to add about five to 10 hours of work to your week for about three months for every new employee.

If you do not have the bandwidth to just add it, you need to think about what you can let go right. You need to think about that project that you just started. And you need to ask yourself, is this a good time to start this project or do I need to put it off? It’s good to think about hiring as a project that takes about three months.

And it’s going to take about it’s going to take about five hours a week for a couple of months before you hire, and then once you’ve hired, it’s going to take you about another three months where you’re going to be working an extra five to 10 hours. So that’s what I really ask. Do you have time? Is this a good time? If now is not a good time? That’s OK. But let’s look ahead, could I do it next quarter?

Do I need to do it in the new year? Is this something that needs to happen a year from now? Because I just don’t have it. I just committed to this, that and the other. Right. So once we’ve gotten to that place, OK, we’ve just we’ve we’ve asked ourselves these questions.

We’ve greenlit everything. Now. The next question is, is there opportunity for this role to grow and the reason this is an important question to ask is because when somebody comes into our company or our business or organization, they have an agenda. And that relationship between us and our employees is more than just I give you money and you do work for me.

It’s actually about I’m a business owner, I have an agenda for my business and I want to hire you. You have an agenda for your career. So I want to understand what your agenda is, because I want to see how these two things can overlap. Right, like I think about my dad, my dad had one job for his entire career and then he retired, but my dad was born in 1940.

Right. But probably since the 90s, people haven’t had one job for the whole careers, not even two. And in fact, until you start to see people hit maybe 40s, you’re going to see on someone’s resume a three year job, a five year position, maybe another four years, maybe another three years.

Right. As we get later into our career and we get deeper in our mastery of whatever it is that we do, we tend to stay at places for longer. So it’s good to think about, especially if you’re hiring somebody who’s on the younger side.

If you’re hiring somebody in their 20s and 30s, they are in career transition. So imagine that they’re going to be with you for probably three to five years and see if you can figure out how you can help them grow so that when they leave because it’s inevitable. But when they leave, you leave them better than you found them. So understanding this role, let’s say you’re hiring an assistant. Great. Is this a role? Could this assistant eventually turn into a director position, an operational position?

Think about where that.

Where that role might grow into in a good way to do that is to actually put together an org chart for your future business, love it and say I was saying before you even like I mean, all this stuff, those maps that the steps that we were just mapping out, this is all just writing that description.

But you’re saying before they even walk in the door, you’re planning what they’re going to do for you, what you’re going to do if things don’t work out, like if you need to get rid of them, you have a firing plan in place even before you hire. And you also have a promotion plan in place before you even list the job. Yes. Wow.

Yeah, it’s uber radical. I think that that’s really helpful.

So the other thing I’m just going to squeeze in that really quickly. Is it just in terms of that Org chart piece is you should know who your next hire is, even if it’s a year down the road, you’re hiring an assistant now and a year from now, who is your next hire? Right. So it might be your job. If you think about your org chart, maybe you’ve got five to seven people in your future org chart, maybe like five years from now.

Your org chart is five to seven people. But right now it’s just you and your hiring that first person. Right, that org chart out and what you’re planning on hiring the first person line up the second one, know where things are going. You know, plans will change. It may not work out that way, but it’s good to be thinking about that. Right. If you own a business, you probably are quite good at strategy. Your organizational strategy should be a part of that.

I love it and guys, if you’ve been watching our content, you know, we preach about a process org chart, these two things go hand in hand. Defining the growth of the offers are the things that you’re committing to do should correspond with the humans you have helping you do it. Actually, a question on that, which might be a simple softball one, but I want to at least ask when people are thinking about future org charts, I feel like the whole idea of an org chart tends to be not super helpful when we’re at a tiny scale because people say.

Org chart Layla owner, how do you get over that level of overwhelm? And, you know, I don’t want to think about being a five person company that feels so far away. How do you how do you make that bite size? So it’s not quite so intimidating. It could be helpful to sort of breakdown. That’s a good question. I mean, a lot of what some of these questions are difficult, difficult to answer, have to do with mindset, huh?

Right. Like, sometimes I talk to people like I had somebody in a group that I presented to yesterday and she was like, oh, I’m never hiring, never going to hire anybody, OK.

But I’ve had clients come in and say, well, I don’t want to hire anyone. And I’m like, OK, that’s fine. And then they end up hiring people. Because what we what I help them do is figure out it’s not so scary and you don’t have to be perfect and it’s OK to make mistakes because you will. So part of that, like, OK, if I’m one if I’m a solo dollo entrepreneur and and and you’re asking me to think about the five people I want to see in my organization in three years from now, that’s too overwhelming.

First of all, a little bit get over it. But second of all, I’m just going to be honest about that. Right. Like you, if you want your business to grow and you want to make more money. Think about people. Think about them now before they’re walking into your door right now.

Technology can only do so much. Yeah, right.

So you can break it into pieces. You can think about, you know, operational or administrative work. You can think about client facing people. You can think about finance people. Right. So you can sort of break things apart. All of these things you’re already doing, you’re already doing your sales and marketing. You’re already doing all of your finances right. You’re already running all of your operations. So think about all of those those areas that you’re responsible for.

Think about those as roles.

Mm hmm. Yeah. Just on a bigger scale with more people. Yeah. And right now you’re just wearing all of the roles but the roles exist. Yes, exactly.

OK, so I’d derailed you again, I promise you. I would add to that expectation.

I mean, it it’s it’s great. OK, good, good. So we talked about this hiring.

We are just to take for people who may be jumped in a little bit late. Podge, already walked us through kind of the main pillars of the hiring process, kind of what that looks like from the deciding the job description, hiring and so on and so forth. And we’re digging into that initial hiring or pre hire, I guess you’d call it stage of deciding how to get that person and define who that person is. So would you mind taking us a little bit further, where do we go after this point that we’re seeing on the screen?

Whereas, can this role grow, these are our core four questions. Where do we where do we head after this?

So after this, it goes pretty quickly. Right after you’ve this is this is the bulk of the planning. So now you’re actually ready to write the job description. So the first thing to do is just to write a position summary. You have to state the job title. You’re going to briefly describe what your business does. Do not write a do not write an essay about your business, just literally a paragraph three to five sentences. No more. My pet peeve.

One hundred percent. My pet peeve is a job description that goes on for pages and pages and pages. And then I like the position. The hiring for is like a part time admin assistant. I’m just like, what are you doing? It’s like, no, it’s not that deep.

It doesn’t need to be a whole essay. It really it really it just doesn’t need to be long. Right. There’s a lot I think people I think what people do when they write a job description is they want to include everything in it so so that somebody’s looking for a job and seeing that job description understands everything that’s going on based on that job description. But the reality is, is they’re not going to I mean, think about think back to the last time that you worked and then think about the job description that you read and that you applied for you responded to.

Was the job description anything like the company that you worked for? It wasn’t so like save, save, save yourself the time. Write, write the summary how they’d be pretty brief and explain why you are hiring.

And you already know, because that was the first honest question that you answered. I’m hiring this position because I’ve been doing this work for the last three years. I want to free up some some of my time so that I can be more creative and I can generate more revenue and just put that out there up front because then somebody can go. This job looks really interesting and I would love to help that person attain that goal. That’s an interesting I never heard of that before.

I mean, I do a lot of research about random stuff, you know, that I’ve actually never heard of this concept before. The idea of telling someone the human reason as to why they’re needed or like almost like what mission they’re serving or how they’re helping another person. So I don’t know. It’s such a soft skills, emotional intelligence kind of thing to include that. It’s like foreign language, but I’m loving it, so.

Here’s a tip for you as well, just to kind of let you in on a little secret, that’s where you start to build culture. OK, tell me about it. OK.

Far you’ve even applied for the job, you have a sense of who I am and how I work. Right, that it’s important to me that I connect the things that I do to the reason why I’m doing them and and how it impacts me personally and how it impacts my business, that’s part of my culture at my business, which tells you the values almost like I’m trying the right time to spend with my family.

That’s something that you want to be up front with because it’s giving people a sneak peek into how you’re rationalizing, I guess how you’re right.

Yes, absolutely. Yeah. So my core values are choice and freedom. And so when I’m making decisions or communicating or engaging, I’m always looking through that lens. Is this a way that I’m able to express these core values of choice and freedom and that and this is true for me here, if I’m going to if I’m going to explain to you. Why I’m hiring this position. This definitely leans into my core value of freedom because I started my business because I wanted more freedom, not just freedom to work in my pajamas all day.

Right, but freedom to do what’s right, but the freedom to make decisions about how I run my business, about how I provide service to my clients. Right. That’s super important to me. And so if I’m if that’s the very first thing I’m seeing when I’m when I’m reading a job description, if I’m looking for a job, it’s either going to draw me in. Or it’s maybe not right, so it’s another way to allow people to sort of self select, she’s a little too touchy feely for me, no thank like you, you know, like that.

Yeah, right.

I mean, these are the things I don’t think we think of unless we’re in a position like yourself where you’ve seen hundreds of these hundreds of descriptions and what works and what doesn’t work. And ultimately, none of us want to waste time like we don’t want to we don’t attract all the candidates when only this subset is who we want to work with. So I like the idea of just being up front 100 percent.

Right. The last time I posted a job description for a client, I got 250 applications.

Wow. Wow. So, yeah, OK. Are you ready for the next phase? Yes, absolutely. OK. Job duties and again, think about think about this job description is being short, short, short, like maybe a page and a half, you can drip out more information about the job and about the business once you get into doing a phone screen and the job, the interview is like maybe you do two rounds of interviews. You can drip out more of the information later.

We’re going to keep this really brief. So in your job description, what I want for you is to write and list the top three to five areas of responsibility that this person will have. It should not be a laundry list of every single dingle thing that they’re going to do, right. Do not put in your job description email. You’ll be emailing with twenty twenty one. We’re emailing. OK, we don’t need to say typing, that’s kind of a it’s just it just doesn’t make any sense, right?

It’s so traditional to write these long, detailed job descriptions that attempt to explain, like every aspect of your job and your company. But the truth is. Regardless of where you are in a company, whether you’re in a company with thousands of employees or whether you’re in a micro business of two or three people, everybody has three to five areas of responsibility that they’re in charge for. That’s what you go that’s what should go into your job description. You can describe them, but it shouldn’t be more than that and never please for all that is good in this world, do not add at the end.

And anything else as assigned. You don’t think that’s a good cover your butt kind of. No, why would you? Yeah, why? Why are you trying to cover your butt? What are you worried about? Right. If you’re worried and you’re trying to cover your butt, so much so that you want to put that into your job description, go back to those first questions and ask yourself, why am I doing this? You know, so you said areas of responsibility, and I want to just dig into that a little bit because I know I mean, we have a subset of the audience who are very mature businesses.

They got this down. This video is not for them. The rest of us, many of us are hiring those first people and some people are even just hiring their very first anyone very first assistant period. And the idea of areas of responsibility, I mean, if I’m thinking about I’m delegating to my very first VA, I want to hire somebody to help me with social media. Is that person really responsible for anything? How do I. You know what I mean, how do we really break it down when I’m not quite sure how much that person can handle or do you just have faith?

No, I mean, I have faith for sure, just as a just as like a like life of. Yeah. Yeah. Do you have an assistant? I do, yeah. What does your assistant do?

Mostly support tickets and billing, billing clients billing issues yet credit card payments, invoice changes, admin stuff. Who are on the hot seat now? OK, and what was the first thing you said that they do are customer support inquiries. So like, how do I log in? Where is that thing? That kind of stuff. They work for you part time or full time, very part time, great, those it if it’s three to five if it’s full time.

OK, that’s interesting. OK, sorry, I should have made that clear. No worries.

Well that’s just wondering about how do we focus that down for people. But you’re saying kind of just scale it up and down depending with the amount of time that they’re in the business and how much they can really commit to owning. Yes, and thank you for using the word owning, because this is what I want you to convey in your job description by describing the areas of responsibility, I don’t care if you’re paying someone 18 dollars an hour. Fifteen dollars an hour.

I don’t care if you’re paying someone one hundred dollars an hour. Give them the respect, the dignity that they surely deserve in life and let them know what their areas of responsibility are. Right, what is the title of assistant is not the most prestigious title in your organization. But that doesn’t mean to say that your assistant doesn’t have areas that they are responsible for, right.

That they should take pride in like a an email comes in for a customer, because that is because they have a question about X, Y and Z. That’s your responsibility, your area of responsibility. Sure. If you have questions and you’re not sure, you can come to me. But that’s yours, right? That’s the area of my business that you are in charge of. I know we’re supposed to talk about the job description. OK, I derail you.

Yeah, I’m listening to this. And just from the ClickUp and process work that we do, because all of the stuff would end up in ClickUp, it would be embodied in your process and systems, especially for client onboarding or team onboarding.

I have heard again and again I have tried to hire somebody to own X, Y, Z, but then I constantly have to go in there or I constantly feel like I have to do it for them. You know, there’s there’s one thing to say you own this. And then I think there’s a different thing to actually demonstrate that they own it. So what is demonstrating that look like or how do people often fail to do that?

Because I yeah, I feel like it’s something we all say we’re doing, but then we don’t if you keep going in and redoing somebody’s work because they’re not doing it the way that you need them to do it, it’s probably more you you the problem, it’s probably you. It’s probably not the person who’s doing the job for you. You kind of need to let go a little bit. What are those behaviors, not a jumping off screen, but like what are those like?

What are some things that we can practice as managers to do a better job of letting people feel in charge of something, you know?

OK, so if somebody has come back to you repeatedly. Oh, how do you do that thing again? How do you do that thing again? Wait, somebody call and ask me this question and you know that they’ve had that question before. They’ve handled this before, but they keep coming to you and asking you, hey, Jimmy, can you help me? I feel like we have an S.O.P for this and we’ve done some training around this and we’ve even had a conversation around the same problem before.

Help me understand where the disconnect is. Because this is a thing that. This is a this is your area of responsibility. I want for you to be able to do these things on your own, but you keep coming to me. Help me understand what’s going on. Do we need more training? Is this not the right job for you? Here’s a great example. I’m not a details person. I’m so not a details person. Sometimes I like buy the wrong laundry detergent at the store because I can’t even sit there for long enough to read what’s on the thing.

Right. So it’s possible that you just mishired somebody, you put them in the wrong place, you’ve given them the wrong job. Right. So I think setting the expectation from the beginning, this is this this job billing is your area of responsibility. I want you to take full ownership of this. And by the time we get to two weeks into the job, a month into the job, three months into the job, this is where I expect you to be.

I expect you to be doing these kinds of things on your own. Right. So you can you can hit those goalposts. And now we’re getting into onboarding. This is like really onboarding territory. But I. So your first three. So just to jump ahead, I’ll try to make this quick to jump ahead. When you on board, somebody made the decision.

You’ve hired them those first. And again, this is if it’s like a regular employee, if it’s a part time person or a contractor, this is going to be slightly different. But if you’re hiring a full time person, the first month of them being on the job should be scheduled out pretty much every minute of the day, should be scheduled out a part of that process. Part of that onboarding process is your Orient. Orienting them to the job is to let them know what success looks like at different levels.

OK, month in I expect you to have I expect you to be answering all of the customer support questions. At three months I expect to not be cc’d on anything anymore, like whatever those goal posts are, those benchmarks are set, those expectations, so that when you’re checking in and you’re going, OK, I thought it was going to take about a month. Jimmy seems to be about more about a week behind. Let’s give it another week and see how we do and have that conversation with Jimmy.

Hey, Jimmy, I was hoping you would be here. It could be that I didn’t predict this quite right. Let’s give it another week and see how you get on that check in again. So do you have kind of a ritual I know we’re derailing the whole framework of hiring versus onboarding process or whatever, but there’s kind of like a ritual you have then for when you’re onboarding. That’s part of your whole sequence of steps, is making sure you have those check ins pretty regularly.

I guess there was a statement, but it was really more of a let me answer that. Well, it’s a project.

OK, so I have a template for my projects. A part of my project template is the goal posts that I hope to meet. It’s the same thing, it’s just a project getting somebody on board and getting them used to that job, knowing what they’re doing and then feeling confident enough to do it on their own.

And for ClickUp users, milestones could be helpful, hear the sounds and this sounds really sounds like something will be very applicable to build out. And I think Matthew has a comment on this. We schedule at least two to three hours per day for the first three weeks for VAs and overseas contractors. The time difference is a factor, but we make it work. Yes, so your instinct, Matthew, is is right on the other tip I like to give as well.

And again, this kind of goes into sort of regular full time employees, but make that first week a short week. Right. So you’re dumping a lot of information onto somebody, have them start on like a Tuesday or Wednesday or let them go early on a Friday. I’ll give them half days or three quarter days and schedule plenty of downtime. Right. So check in with them for two or three hours where you’re sort of like discussing the job and what they’re going to be doing, but then give them a couple hours to, like, sit and read the employee handbook.

Right. So it can be exhausting, absorbing a lot of new information on a new job.

Yeah. And I’m assuming all of that doesn’t end up in the job description. Right. Or does it? You don’t advertise that level of detail in this description, right?

No. OK, so what do we add after the job duties in here to really fill out or are we done? Yeah, no, we’re not done.

So we’re now we’re going to go to job requirements. And these are the non negotiables. Right, so if you need this position to have an MBA, if you need them to have a degree in economics, if you need them to have to be licensed, OBM, like whatever those non-negotiables are, that’s what goes into your requirements. And that’s going to be just very specific. Like you might want them to have had three years experience. You might want them to know how to use ClickUp.


So if those are just the non negotiable, you can add the sort of like sometimes you’ll see speaking Spanish, speaking a plus, like you can add those things that are a bonus. I try not to do that too much because it’s a gender thing, actually. So it’s sort of proven that most men only consider themselves needing to be about 60 percent qualified for a job in order for them to apply.

Women think that they need to be at least one hundred percent qualified in order to apply. So when you add those Spanish speaking a plus or adobe suite plus you add those things in, you tend to alienate women who might apply for your jobs. If that matters to you, it matters to me.

So if that matters to you, just consider that I would just put in those basic requirements that so only the things that are truly, truly like must haves. I mean, even three years experience might not be as important as knowing one thing that you would learn in those three years. You mean basically simplifying this as much as possible to not discriminate unintentionally? Yeah, yep. Interesting. So what else do we have here, are we or do we do we put salary here as well?

You can put salary in I have all kinds of opinions about salary. Typically what and again, this goes to gender, men are more likely to negotiate salary. You can put it in here. So some people like to have a salary range and then hire based on experience or education or something. The thing I like to do is I like to determine how much I can actually afford. And then that’s what I offer and I will let people know I realize it’s common to negotiate salary, but actually this is what I determined I could afford.

And so this is what this is what I’m offering. And I’m not leaving room for negotiation.

And that is not some kind of selfish, you know, Tight-Fisted money capitalis thing. That’s actually because of what you talked about before with the negotiation based on personality type and gender and other things, I’m assuming as well that would make you biased towards who’s going to put up a fight and who’s not.

Yes, absolutely. And then the thing I do and I don’t currently have any employees, but when I work with clients, this is what I highly recommend. And I would say probably 90 percent of my clients do. This is I build in an automatic annual increase that’s not based on merit. So, yeah, so cost of living adjustment, which is usually just called a COLA. The federal government sets it every year if you need a benchmark, but it doesn’t you know, you can sort of pick whatever that is.

It’s usually somewhere between one and a half and two percent. So I do that one year and then the following year I do something like a three or four percent increase. And again, it’s not based on merit because the idea is if you’re not doing your job well, we have a conversation about it, but it’s not working, then we find a way to separate. But if you’re working, then you deserve the increase. So you just get the increase.

Again, to try to mitigate the power of persona or personality, so that way the most brave, for lack of a better word, doesn’t get more than someone who’s just doing the work and not worried about, you know, moving up or any of that kind of stuff.

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. Like fairness. How many times do you see, like, the cool guy in the office who everybody likes, he just gets the increase and he gets it because he’s cool with and everybody likes him and he’s kind of cute too. So, you know, it kind of just like it cuts all of that stuff out.

Yeah, I love it. I love it. So it decreases some of the bias and also the pressure because we talked about how scary for the owner. That’s a scary thing when someone comes to you is like I need more money or not like that. That also can raise a lot of feelings, at least for me. Yeah.

Yeah. Here we have a question from Matthew. And I know we have to wrap up here shortly, but do you intentionally give pay increases when your team members reach certain milestones or do you let them come to you, which I think we kind of touched on?

Yeah, I mean, for me, I don’t I don’t I think it’s unfair to put the responsibility of that onto an employee.

Let’s see, based on certifications. So I actually never thought about this, so thank you for bringing up this question. My instinct tells me that if the certification. Is so impactful that the job kind of that the job kind of changes or that they’re able to function better, more efficiently with that certification, then I would probably consider an increase, although I’m not sure what I would what I would what that would actually look like in terms of numbers. But I think that’s a really good question.

Yeah, I guess especially if it fundamentally changes the job, because it sounded like your progression sounded like you’re assuming you’re doing what you’re doing and you keep getting better at it. We should compensate you. But if someone jumps up to being the manager, I’m assuming that’s kind of some certifications might warrant that kind of stuff. Absolutely.

And I think if some if you know, if somebody has taken the initiative to go and get certification somewhere because they think it’s going to make them better, it’s going to potentially give them an increase or give them a new position, then you have to think if you’ve got multiple employees, you have to think about, OK, how does this affect everybody else? Because if you come to me and you say, hey, I want to get certified in this thing because actually I want to move from being a manager to a director and I’d like to get a pay increase.

And what is that an option for me? I think that’s a discussion to have with the owner, right. If the owner is who you report to, I think that that’s definitely a conversation that needs to happen there. And then as the owner, you go, OK, Gary wanted to do that. I should probably talk to Susie as well, to Susie, want to up her game, like what’s going on here.

So, again, being transparent in what opportunities or roadmaps exist and almost sounds like and forgive me if I’m just guessing here, but that future org chart, should that be shared with the team, your current team?

Yes, you have. I think everything should be shared with the team.

So transparency so that they know where they can go and that anyone could move up to that next empty face that you have, that kind of thing.

Yes, absolutely. Yeah. Why not. Right. I like I like this phrase better the devil you know than the devil you don’t right.

So if you’re thinking about your org chart of the future, then if you could train the staff that you have today to be in those to be in those roles, that’s that’s something that you can bank on. Those are people you already know.

So something to think about training. Exactly.

You have to spend three months training and maybe it doesn’t work out because it could be expensive to replace somebody if they don’t work out. OK, do you want to move on to the next piece? I want to make sure that we get a chance to finish this out so that your folks can go away with an actual roadmap here.

Absolutely. OK, so here’s what I do next is I put in the character traits. And again, this is super subjective, right? This is really about what it is that you’re looking for.

I certainly want people who are going to be honest and who have integrity, but it might be phrases, it might be things like. Aptitude. It might be someone who is a quick study, somebody who’s who is teachable or who’s willing to learn, right.

But you’re looking for sort of some of those more specific character traits that you might be looking for, for somebody to fit in culturally to your organization or business, but also. For. Again, sort of looking at how that job might grow if somebody comes in and they don’t understand, let’s say let’s use you as an example, because your business is all about ClickUp, right? You want to hire another assistant and the aptitude is actually more important to you than them actually knowing how to use ClickUp.

Right then I think that that’s a super important piece to include.

Yeah. And I think the one that told me this, I’m just going to quote you back to you, that the character traits should repel as well as entice, which I think is something I didn’t think about when I first you know, my first job description was like all positive attributes that anyone would want to have.

I think you were the one that told me it should also turn away a lot of people. Otherwise you’ve got a lot of noise coming in.

The more specific, the more specific you can be in what you’re looking for, the easier it’s going to be for people to sort of either self select or for you to be able to determine during the interview process. This person really, really is like I don’t think they carry this quality of aptitude. Right. I don’t think that they are a quick study or whatever it might be.

Mm hmm. Awesome. So the last piece, this is my favorite thing, this is the brown M&M and do you know the brown M&M? I don’t think so, but I appreciate the metaphor. OK, so this is a reference to the story about Van Halen’s frontman Dave Lee Roth, who included a bowl of brown M&Ms and in his dressing room to the band’s contract. And it was a way to indicate whether or not the contract had been read properly.

If he showed up and that was a bowl of Brown M&Ms in his dressing room, so. Usually the brown M&M, the at the end of my job postings, is a request to email applications with a cover letter and resume as attachments. Right. So lots of job boards have their own dashboard where everything could be uploaded. But I personally like to keep all my applications in a Google Workspace that’s just my preference. And believe it or not, this simple request gets overlooked probably 90 percent of the time.

But it doesn’t matter what it is, but you just put it in there somewhere is a request. Just to make sure because I mean, it depends on the job and it depends on where you live, although less so now because of the pandemic, I work with people in most of the people I work with are in big cities like San Francisco, New York City, Atlanta. So when they drop a job description, they get two hundred, three hundred plus applications.

And so the very first thing I do is I just go through and I look for the Brown M&M. If it’s not that it’s out. And sometimes I feel badly because sometimes I see things on there and I’m like, oh man, this person could have been good. But if you can’t properly read through the instruction, it’s it’s probably not off to a good start. I love that.

Especially if the job is detail oriented.

Yes, exactly. See, I’m unhirable at this point because I would miss something like that.

But I think that’s so good because you’re basically not just asking someone to self identify as detail oriented, which everyone most people who are not as self-aware would say, yes, of course I’m detail oriented. But instead of that, you’re basically saying prove it, prove it before you even come through the door. Prove it, which is. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Awesome.

Well, are those the main steps of our job description here? I know we just have a lot of information out of your head. That’s it.

So once you’ve done all the planning or the pre planning, asking yourself those soul questions, what’s my purpose? What problem am I my serving? Sorry, what problem I my solving, how can I let how am I ready to let go of somebody? Do I have time and can this role grow once you once you’ve answered all those questions and you sort of have a sense of what you have at you and you have a good sense of like this is the right thing to do, the job description will probably write itself at that point.

It’s pretty quick. I love this, and I know there’s so much more you could share with us, I’m sorry we only have a limited time today because I’m like, oh yeah. And then what happens? And then what happens? I know you dragged me into the onboarding stuff. I know I tried anyway.

So what we went through to got through guys today was just that very important, I think. First step. So if you went through the Blueprint webinar that we we talked about on the channel last week, you talked we talked about the process org chart both for today and where you’re heading. Use that to start Podge’s process that she’s already described here. That would be such a great kind of step two to this, which as we’ve seen some comments in the chat to build in ClickUp Podge, you nicely offered.

You’re like, do you want to build it in ClickUp today? And I resisted. So for those of you who are salty that we didn’t see ClickUp today, I think it’s more important that we understand the ideas and the concepts and building it in ClickUp. That’s just like writing the job description. Yeah, creates itself.

So Page, I know there was a question in the chat about whether you have a YouTube channel, which I have been pressuring Podge to do, but she has not really done yet.

But do you mind telling people where they can find out more about you and all the other features that we might have talked about at some point during today? Yeah, I do not have a YouTube channel, Stephanie, but I’m a little bit flattered that you went looking for one, so maybe I should have one. I do have a newsletter that you can sign up for on my website at Small Businesscopilot.Com. You can also sign up to come to the next huddle if you have questions about management.

And then you can also get my look. It’s actually I mean, I call it a guide on how to write a great job description. But to be perfectly honest with you, it’s actually a mini course. I’ve got videos in there and you can get that from my website, from the tiny, tiny writing that’s at the top. And all of these things can be yours in exchange for your email address. That’s the deal. I think so.

And I’m not annoying at all with my email.

So I think your newsletters are very helpful. And I will just personally attest, like one of the reasons why I wanted you on here was because the experience I had at your manager’s huddle, the one that I went to, was just I. I had to even come late and I got so much value out of it that I feel like anyone here who just wants to talk through, especially the culture conversation and some of the points we already made about the implicit bias that we may not be aware of in the way that we’re I mean, I just feel like you have a really fresh perspective.

So guys take advantage of this this free opportunity. I mean, it’s a no brainer. So, you know that go see like Page is getting your YouTube practice.

We’ll see your channel.

I would love to subscribe to Podge’s channels, as Chad Matthew wants with you and take time to drop some knowledge bombs.

Now, I’m not a tiktok at all. Maybe I should try that. Looks like you’ve got some homework.

I love it, Podge. All right, guys, thank you so much for joining us.

And we will see you guys next time on the channel.

Thank you, Layla. Thanks, everybody. Bye. Thanks for.

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