Hiring tech talent a guide to effective hiring

Table of Contents

Summary

In this podcast episode, Joe, Jeff, and Robert Goodman, a software developer-turned-president of Technical Interviewers, dive into a conversation about hiring technical talent. With an extensive background in IT, Goodman recounts his unique journey into recruitment, identifying the disconnect between hirers and the desired IT talent.

He highlights the challenges MSPs face in identifying genuinely skilled candidates due to non-formal learning paths and the fallibility of certification exams. Sharing real-world experiences, Goodman emphasizes that effective recruitment remains a deeply human, time-consuming process.

Listen to understand the intricacies of tech hiring and learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff in the world of IT recruitment. Tune in for this insightful conversation on why MSPs struggle to hire and guidance on how to make the process less painful for both the MSP and the candidates.


Featuring

Robert Goodman, President of Technical Interviewers

Robert Goodman has been working as a President at Technical Interviewers for 8 years. Technical Interviewers is part of the Business Services industry and is located in District of Columbia, United States.

What is the problem you solve, and for whom?

Businesses often find it difficult and time-consuming to find IT personnel and software developers. Traditional recruiters rarely understand tech well enough to find good candidates. Furthermore, they haven’t done well at adapting to remote work and other changes in the workplace. I solve this problem by using an expert-driven tech-centric process to find IT personnel and software developers for MSPs and other businesses.

How do you help MSPs

MSPs depend on having the best staff as a differentiator, but good employees are harder and harder to find. Since I’m from an IT background myself, I’m able to present them with screened candidates so that they get the expertise they need.

Your Company Website/URL

What you are promoting:

http://www.techinterviewers.com/


Transcript

Introduction

Jeff Loehr: Happy Monday. I don’t know when this gets released, but today it’s Monday, sunny, and I don’t know; I always seem to go back to the weather, but anyway, today, Hiring. This is everybody’s favorite topic.

So we’re gonna chat with Robert Goodman, who does technical hiring for MSPs and for technical groups, which I think is really interesting.

But before we get there, Joe, hiring’s always been perfect for you, right?

Joe Rojas: It wasn’t always that way, Jeff.

Jeff Loehr: Oh, really? Do tell

Joe’s experience with hiring

Joe Rojas: This one time, I put together this whole hiring process, and it was like this entire convoluted, you had to take tests, and you had to do this whole thing.

And I had this guy go through the whole thing, and this guy had every certification known to man at the time. Every Microsoft certification, Cisco, blah, blah, blah, everything. And not only that amazing personality to boot, just friendly, awesome, right? So gets through our whole process. We hire him.

The first month is awesome, right? The second month started showing up late a couple of times here and there. The third month goes missing for a couple days.

Jeff Loehr: So it didn’t turn out well.

Joe Rojas: Oh my goodness. And so this happens for a few months, and I’m trying to rehabilitate him and do all this cause when he is there, he’s great. Clients love him, but then he’s gone for two days, and I can’t get my hands on the guy. And so it was just a nightmare because you now had a bunch of clients that liked the guy. Then he’d disappear, then he’d get everybody mad, almost lost some clients over it.

And so I let him go. That was 12 years ago. At least every three or four weeks, I still get a call from a recruiter, who always lists me as a reference no matter what happens. No terrible. Do not hire this person.

Jeff Loehr: He’s good at getting hired. Everybody has a strength.

Jeff’s experience with hiring with a consulting company

Jeff Loehr: I used to be really terrible at hiring, and I remember hiring for a consulting company, where you’re really looking for thinkers, and at first, I’d have these conversations with them, and I didn’t really know what I was asking, and then I would have the same sort of thing where I’d hire somebody, and they’d come in, and it was a disaster.

It seemed like a crapshoot. It would work fine. And sometimes, who knows what you get? I did discover a couple of things, though. I don’t know if it’s still like this; with LinkedIn, we’d get 400 applications for every LinkedIn job post that we put out there.

And it’s a lot to go through. But what we ended up doing was we put a random word in the body of the job description. And then we would ask for the random word, and I would tell people, I would tell people in black and white, I would say, if you put the random word in the subject line of the email, I will give you an interview.

And about 1% of people actually did that. And that is the best test, right? It’s just really simple. Can you read what I’m telling you to read, and then B, can you follow a super simple instruction?

Joe Rojas: Yeah. Yeah. And so that’s how we used to put out our job posts; these are the things you do to get interviewed.

And by the way, what’s your favorite ice cream? Put that in the subject line like that. And that’s what made a difference in filtering the people that were paying attention to detail or not.

Jeff Loehr: Or just paying attention. I don’t even think it’s paying attention to detail.

Just paying attention. The other one is that people make the full capabilities question really hard. They do a lot of work to assess capabilities, and we always say to test for values first and foremost. But capabilities matter at some level.

But what I have also discovered is that it’s not actually that hard to test for capabilities. I remember hiring for an accounting firm and not hiring for a bookkeeper, and we gave people really simple bookkeeping tests, a really simple bookkeeping test, and of the 1% that actually answered the ads, About 10% could actually do our simple bookkeeping test.

Joe’s advice about hiring for MSPs

Joe Rojas: But here’s the reality. If you’re a small MSP, the thing that you care about is that they can do the culture and that they can learn.

They are learners. I’d almost rather you try to teach them something and see if they can learn it during the interview. And if they can learn it, it doesn’t matter what they know or they don’t know; you can hire them because you can teach them. The thing is that they are fit for the culture because if they’re a fit for the culture, they’re in for life.

Yeah. And so you really focus on that, really focus on getting them in with the culture and then. You worry about that other stuff later because that stuff can be taught and can be learned. And as long as they’re okay that they’re coming in at an entry-level position, they’re gonna make a little bit less money.

But you give ’em a good, solid career path, and you say, look, if you can learn these things this fast, you’ll make this much money that fast, right? Then there are the things that you need to be able to do for me to be able to pay you that much money, and that for the people that are really out there, they’re go-givers and go-getters.

They’re gonna go, and they’re gonna give you everything they got, and they’re gonna get what they need to get for themselves.

Jeff Loehr: Good. So we’ll move on to having our conversation with Robert. I think it’s a good chat. It talks a bit about how to make these types of hiring decisions.

Some of his experience with it. And it’s a good thought to have somebody else help you with this process. I think, especially in this technical environment where it’s so hard to really find the right people. Yeah. So Robert’s got some great ideas, and why don’t we move to him?

Robert, welcome to the podcast.

Introduce yourself

Jeff Loehr: Why don’t you take a moment to just introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about who you are.

Robert Goodman: Hey, everyone. I’m Robert Goodman, and I’m the president of Technical Interviewers. I am a recruiter that specializes in IT positions. I got my start that way because I’m a software developer myself.

I’ve served as project manager, CTO, and developer. And got into it from that angle; I came into recruiting backward. I’m not an HR person who went into tech. I’m a tech person who went to HR. And I specialize in, basically, finding those people that you absolutely need.

Jeff Loehr: So you were a tech person, you decided, oh, I know what I’ll do. I’ll just go do HR and recruit people.

Robert Goodman: There were two sort of competing stories that sort of led to the whole thing.

Joe Rojas: I love that.

Jeff Loehr: We want to hear the stories.

How did you get into recruiting

Robert Goodman: I went to business school. And I met a lot of people who had either tech startups or, alternatively, had a need for cis admins, IT people of some sort.

And because they weren’t from technical backgrounds themselves or because they weren’t really that great at the recruiting side of it, they kept ending up hiring these awful people, and they didn’t know they were awful until they got ’em. It was something where I realized that I could do better and that I could help them while helping myself.

And the other half of it was I was the CTO of a small startup, and I was working with a development team that one of the founders, who’s not technical, had chosen for me before I even got there. And it was an adventure. You had developers that didn’t really know how to code. You had IT, people who didn’t know how to set up the servers.

And everyone else was oblivious to the fact that these people were awful. So I came to the realization there was a gap between the people who were hiring and the people that were out there that they actually wanted.

If you’re trying to find anyone in IT, whether you’re trying to develop a startup, whether you’ve got an MSP, you know whatever it is. It’s easy to find candidates. Very easy to find candidates. You don’t need me to find candidates, but the problem is for every 20 candidates, there’s one good one.

Joe Rojas: You’re being so generous.

Jeff Loehr: Joe, you never had any problems hiring, right?

Joe Rojas: It’s like, for every hundred candidates, there’s one good one. Yeah.

Jeff Loehr: Yeah. So how did that show up in your business, Joe?

How was your experience hiring Joe?

Joe Rojas: Oh goodness. It’s this countless hours of just. Interview after interview. Pre-interview. Pre-interview, pre-interview, just to realize, nope, wrong person. Nope, wrong person. Nope, wrong person. Nope, wrong person. And then you get one. And then you usually get ’em too late.

And by that, they have another offer already. So by the time you get them, you’re like, now you’re competing with somebody else for them because they sent you the thing. Three weeks ago, but you had to go through a hundred bad ones first. And I’ve tried it both ways. I’m like, I know what the problem is.

The good ones are always at the end of the list. So I start at the end, it doesn’t matter, and they’re at the beginning.

Jeff Loehr: You know what happens? You get to the end of the list, and you’re tired. I’m just gonna take whoever shows up at this point. Cause there are so many, I just can’t take the recruiting process anymore.

Robert Goodman: Just hire someone!

Jeff Loehr: As long as they have a beating heart. It takes energy. To go through the whole process of yeah. Interview after interview to get the right person to make sure that you’re engaging with the right person. And one of the big problems I see is that people don’t do it.

They’re like, have a conversation with somebody, and they’re like, ah, yeah, that’s pretty good. Or, I’ve been through the top of the list, and now I’m at the bottom of the list, and I don’t want to do this anymore, so why don’t you come on board and just see how it works? Yeah.

Joe Rojas: Yeah. And I’ll tell you, I’m a people person, so I would meet somebody who was like, oh, this guy sounds great, and then I just hire them. And then it was just a train wreck. And then, after 10 of those, I was like, I’m never doing that again. So I would like to have these values interviews. That’s how I really got started doing what I, what we do now, is that I had to put something together to be able to pre-screen people, to understand whether they’re fit for our culture or not. And then you gotta get so defensive about the culture that if you have to interview a hundred, you interview a hundred. You have to interview 150 doesn’t matter. It’d be nice to have somebody else to do it. That’s not me.

Robert Goodman: Yeah, exactly. When I got started, my epiphany was that I had people that were not technically knowledgeable enough to know what to do. But along the road, I discovered that even the people who are knowledgeable enough still need someone to help out because the workload is so awful.

And you just can’t run a business or run your IT department and do the hiring at the same time. It’s a mess. If you’re a giant company like Google, maybe you can handle it because you’ve got an enormous HR department, you’ve got enough spare developers. You can put together a bunch of ’em that aren’t doing anything in doing in the interim.

But if you’re, say, running a development shop or an MSP where everybody’s doing something and needs to continue doing something in their deadlines. Good luck spending all that time taking people off of the stuff that brings value to the company to talk with someone that may not even be worth pursuing.

Jeff Loehr: Actually, that’s so painful, right? So you’re so busy, and then you have to go talk to a bunch of people.

Robert Goodman: Yeah.

Jeff Loehr: I don’t really want to be doing this right now. I have deadlines, I have stuff that I need to get done.

Joe Rojas: I have sales I need to close.

Why do MSPs struggle to hire?

Jeff Loehr: So what do you see in terms of people like MSPs that struggle to hire?

Robert Goodman: It’s hard.

Jeff Loehr: Why?

Robert Goodman: There are a few things. First of all, a lot of the sort of people that end up doing the kinds of skills that an MSP needs often get it through a non-formal path. You see it sometimes in software developers too, where you have coders that got a CS degree from college, and then you have coders that learned themselves, but you see a much higher degree of self-learning, I find, with MSPs. Yeah. And the problem is that means that often some of your best candidates don’t have a big diploma where they can say, see, yay verily. I know this thing. There are credentials that people can study for. There are certs that you can get.

First of all, not all the good people have those certs. And even if you do have a cert, it doesn’t mean that you are actually good at doing the thing. It means you’re good at passing a test. Especially since a lot of these tests are being automated, and you’re dealing with people who are technical experts.

There are even bad actors that have figured out ways to cheat on the tests. Which there are people that try and keep you from doing that, but considering that, again, they’re technical experts, it’s like hiring your dog to guard a strip of bacon. It’s impossible to stop bad actors.

It’s impossible to stop people from doing something to jive the test. So at the end of the day, it still gets back to having to talk with people, which is time-consuming. There isn’t really any way to automate it. You can put stuff on your resume, and who’s gonna call you on it. I once had a guy who claimed to be a Linux system administrator, and when I got him on the phone, he had never heard of Red Hat.

And he didn’t know.

Jeff Loehr: I just want to be clear to everybody, I have never administered Linux in any way, shape, or form, and I know Red Hat is right. Just That seems like a pretty low bar, right?

What did he say? Did he come to you and say no. I do my own system. I just program it all from scratch or, yeah.

Robert Goodman: No, he just went blank. Is he just Red Hat? I don’t think I’ve ever, oh. I said, oh, it’s a Linux distribution. A distribution. Okay. Thank you very much for your time.

Joe Rojas: I got to go now

Jeff Loehr: it’s almost like at that point, you gotta take down the fourth wall and say, so what thing did you do that you’re like, yeah, I’m really great at this.

Robert Goodman: Yeah, you just want to ask.

But you have to wonder some of these people I’ve had that, I’ve had people try faking it six ways to Sunday. I’ve had people try to offer me bribes, you name it, and I’ve seen it.

Jeff Loehr: Clearly, you take bribes. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here talking to us.

But so I guess that, yeah,

Robert Goodman: I expect my brown package of cash and unmarked bills after the show.

Jeff Loehr: Yeah. No, It’s on its way. We like to do the cash and a courier delivery cause, yeah. When we send it bribes, it just gets lost.

Yeah, bribes. That’s funny. Hey, just pay me to take the job. Yeah. And what’s gonna happen if you pay somebody to help fake your credentials so that you get the job? It doesn’t seem like that’s going to end very well.

Robert Goodman: Let’s say you do get the job.

How long do you expect that you’re gonna keep it right? You don’t know what you’re doing,

Jeff Loehr: I guess you just figured out as you’re going along.

I think one of the problems that MSPs have is attracting talent and creating a position that attracts ’em. I’m wondering if you have any thoughts or ideas about that.

How do MSPs attract talent?

Robert Goodman: There are a few things.

First of all, Money. Yeah. I know people like to act like it isn’t a big thing, but it is a big thing. And there’s no use pretending it isn’t. And in the days of salary lookups, you can’t pretend that something is a good salary when it isn’t, and you can’t even conceal a salary anymore.

You try posting a job offer without a salary attached to it in public, and you might as well not have posted it at all, causing people to reply.

Jeff Loehr: There’s actually a salary transparency law

Robert Goodman: There is. But even in states where there isn’t one, I find that it’s pointless to not say it because people, if you don’t put the salary, people will assume that it’s bad, and they just won’t apply anymore.

Jeff Loehr: So that, you know what’s interesting about that, though? I want to just pause for a second. You know how we talk about MSPs as we talk about this idea of defining your product and being clear about your price for your product, right? And this is actually the other way around. It’s like saying, I’m gonna hire somebody.

And what we all want to do is lowball it and get the cheapest, but then you end up not getting the right one. And then, by hiding, you’re like turning off the wrong people. Like you are, it does seem I’m learning from you; better off to just say, all right, just like you do with your product when you define your price for your product, you say, this is the price I’m willing to pay.

For this service. Be clear about it in your own business. What’s it worth to you so that you know what you can pay and be clear about that.

Robert Goodman: Yeah. And that’s definitely a factor. Money’s a thing. Interesting work is also important. Talking up what you do.

Talking up the sort of things you can work on and the kinds of skills that you can learn that will help your career. And another part of it is making it an okay application process. Obviously, you need to find out whether the person is worth hiring or not, but by the same token, you don’t want to make it awful to go through the process; by the time you give them an offer, they already hate you.

Jeff Loehr: That’s an interesting one, like just making the process more employable, participatory.

Joe Rojas: I was guilty of that,

Robert Goodman: It’s tough. And the problem is that the more high-level person, You’re trying to hire, the harder it is to make those kinds of demands.

A good example, and I know it doesn’t apply as much to MSPs, but it’s such a good example. I’m gonna use it anyway. A good example is when people are hiring a software developer, one of the things that they may try and do is give ’em a coding test. It makes sense. You’re hiring a coder; you want to see ’em code.

But the problem is that. Yeah, maybe a junior’s gonna be willing to do that. But if you’ve got a high-level developer who’s currently at a job with a six-figure salary, asking them to code something on their own time isn’t gonna make ’em very happy. I knew of one company that actually made their senior developer candidates go through three separate coding challenges.

And they were full of things. And good luck because the problem is if you have tons of job offers out there, you can’t do a code coding challenge for all of them. And you’re not gonna want to try. And it’s often trying to find a happy medium cause, on the one hand, you want to make them do enough that you know that they’re the right person.

By the same token, you don’t want to make them go through so much work that by the time it’s all said and done, they’re just sick of it, and they’re just done with you. Part of that is doing a lot of conversations, keeping them interested finding ways to make it easier on them.

For example, going back to the coding challenge, ask them, do you have some stuff that you’ve coded in the past that you can show me, say on GitHub, that you can just show me to show your coding ability? Because that’s a way of checking to see if you know what you’re doing without making you do some work for free.

Jeff Loehr: If they come back and they say, what’s GitHub, then yeah.

Robert Goodman: That’s going right away. Yeah, exactly. Part of it also is, doing something where it’s conversational, which is a lot less painful. And a lot of it is just people skills, for example. Getting back to the candidates promptly, being honest about their chances, and telling them right away when you have news.

It’s all simple stuff, but it adds up,

Jeff Loehr: I think. One hiring process that I looked at and that I admire is a really long and complex hiring process. What they do is they stage it really nicely. So that you do one piece, and then they give you information, like they say, okay, you’re out, or you’re in, right?

Yeah. And this is why, and this is what the next piece is. And they tell you upfront, they say, look, this is a long process because we want to make this work. So they give you the information, they’re honest, they tell you why, and then they keep weeding people out as you go through the process.

Because I feel like one of the other problems I’ve seen with long processes is they want me to be the person being recruited, not that I’ve ever been recruited for anything, but yeah. But anyway, they want me to do a lot of work and fill out a lot of stuff front and reveal my entire life story, like at the very beginning.

And then it’s like sentence one. They’re like, no, he doesn’t know Red Hat. He’s out. Oh, but they could have just asked me that and then saved me all of the effort on the backend. So you come up against that a second time, and you’re like, no, I’m not gonna do that because of time.

Robert Goodman: And also, this is a tricky thing to say to a client because you’re trying to be, of course, nice to your clients.

But you have to look at your position in the industry. For example, if a hiring person says to you, Google makes you go through an umpteen-step process. Why can’t I, and the not very nice but honest answer is you’re not Google.

Their people put up with that stuff because, a, there’s a good salary, but basically, because it’s a career maker because it’s a prestigious position.

Jeff Loehr: it’s the brand; it’s different. They’re chasing the Google brand, right?

Robert Goodman: Yeah. Yeah. It’s going to MIT.

It’s something to put on your resume. And in fact, you see a lot of people who they’ll go to Google basically for long enough for it to look good on their resume, and then they’ll go move to somewhere else that actually has a work-life balance. And that’s not even an IT-specific thing.

Similar companies like that in the financial industry and the consulting industry. No. Where. They suck to work for. But people go there and put up with a bad hiring process just so that they can get their passports stamped.

Joe Rojas: Yep. AWS is like that. You get a lot of people that go to AWS.

They don’t want to be there, but they’re there for as long as they need to be there so that it’s relevant on their resume, and then they’re out.

Robert Goodman: Yeah. No one ever worked for Amazon for fun.

Joe Rojas: So, if you look at MSPs, right? So one of the things that you’re saying is to make it easy. How about benefits?

Are benefits important in hiring for MSPs?

Robert Goodman: Benefits are important. They’re always important now, health, obviously retirement stuff is great. Whatever you can offer. Again, some work-life balance can go there too.

Especially as you go up the experience level. You have to recognize the different people on different things, and those things change as they get further along in their careers. I think of it as the foosball principle. When you were hiring someone who’s very young, they’re interested in gee-whiz fund stuff. Hey, we’ve got a foosball table at work.

They offer free sodas. They give us pizza late at night. And it’s

Jeff Loehr: For my kids. If you offer them pizza, they’re in, right? They don’t need money. Just give them pizza and foosball, and they’re good to go.

Robert Goodman: Yeah. Yeah. And, when you’re going for someone who’s more experienced, foosball doesn’t pay the mortgage.

Foosball doesn’t pay for your kid’s braces. It goes back to different people wanting different things. And when you get more senior, you want things like the ability like to do work-life balance. You want health benefits, and you also start thinking about your career instead of just the now.

Is this something where I can take on some management responsibilities, for example? Is this something where I can get involved in the MSP’s clients’ line of business? So that I’m working with the client so that I’m not just some guy in the back room. You start to think about personal growth, you start thinking about Becoming more, and that’s a good way to attract people at any level, I think.

Joe Rojas: Yeah, and I like what you’re saying because what you’re saying speaks to something that MSPs sometimes fall down on. I know I did, in the beginning, a lot, and then it took me a while to get my arms wrapped around this, which is creating that career path. If you don’t create a career path for somebody where there’s growth, what happens is that they’re there for two, three years.

You spend all this time training them, and then they’re gone. So if you want them to stay, then you have to stay ahead of it. You have to see where they are cause the organization is moving as a whole. So as the organization starts to expand, because you’re adding more people and you’re doing that stuff, you have to keep expanding the career path for people and staying in front of them.

Robert Goodman: Exactly.

Joe Rojas: Because if you don’t stay far enough ahead in front of them, then they start looking around. They’re like, they’re calling you.

Robert Goodman: Yeah, pretty much.

Jeff Loehr: I think one of the challenges that small MSPs face is, like, it’s all well and good to say that you’re going to create a career path and you’re gonna make these things interesting and include benefits and, not whatnot, but a lot of ’em just come up against the fact that they don’t have the money or the business defined well enough to be able to hire people. Do you find that, Rob?

Robert Goodman: It’s about working with what you’ve got. For example, I had technical interviewers before I got into recruiting when I was a younger and much more naive developer. I worked for a company that had both developers and IT people who did many of these, the role similar to what you would see with the employees of an MSP. And we were a government contractor, but not like an SEIC. We were small little guys.

And we would bleed IT people like clockwork, a minimum of every two years. And the reason why was simple. They were maintaining the server room, they were dealing with database setup, and they were dealing with a lot of IT stuff that’s very similar to what an MSP staff would do.

But there was no room for growth. Now what a lot of them wanted, and I know this because I was friends with some of them, and I stayed in touch after they left. They wanted a lot of the kind of growth that really wasn’t dependent on the company’s growth. For example, they would’ve liked more contact with the customer and more getting involved with the business as a whole.

Understanding the profit drivers and things like that. Feeling like they’re more than just a guy in a back room. And that’s something that you can really do regardless of your size. And it’s something I think that a lot of people fail to see. They fail to see that you’ve gotta keep people engaged.

Joe Rojas: Yeah. They gotta feel like they’re an important part of the business, and the second they start feeling like they’re an insignificant part of the business, they’re gone.

Jeff Loehr: And I guess that’s my thinking as well with small MSPs, that part of that is also just defining what the business is and being clear around, this is the business, these are our roles, this is what we do.

I really like what you’re saying about just giving people this more exposure to clients, but if you’re making it up if you go along the whole time, then you can’t really give people that kind of experience. If everything is different every time you touch it

Robert Goodman: Sure.

Jeff Loehr: Then everybody’s in this sort of frantic state the whole time, and it’s impossible to give that trajectory. Whereas, as you said, it doesn’t always have to be about money at that point. Money matters, but we established that giving people opportunities can be opportunities in the business.

Robert Goodman: Yeah. And often, with a small MSP, their size can be an asset in the sense that when you’re a big company, the roles are very defined. You are doing this thing. That person is doing that thing. But when you are a small company, you can have people wearing a lot of hats, doing a lot of different things.

You can have them get involved in stuff. You can have them go to client meetings because it’s just in the office next door. You can have them get involved with putting together proposals. You can have them do all sorts of things, and that can be an asset because being flexible means letting people do things outside what they usually do.

And that can be an exciting thing.

Joe Rojas: I was gonna say one of our clients experienced that, like, one of their help desk guys got this big offer from this big company, and he went, and then three months later, he called him back. He’s like, I feel like a number over here. I know I’m getting like 30,000 more.

Can I come back? And they took the guy back. They were so happy for him cause he got all this extra money. It wasn’t about the money for him. And he came back, and it was like a big win for both of them. And they were able to give him a little bit more money.

Not what he was making, but they gave him a little bit more money because he made that choice. It was really good cause now you start to see who the leaders are also in your organization. If you build the right culture, they just want to be part of it.

What’s the hiring process with you like?

Jeff Loehr: Rob, how do you work? What’s your process?

Robert Goodman: The process usually starts out by having a fairly in-depth talk with the client. I found that very often, where recruiting goes wrong is that there’s a disconnect between what you think they want and what they actually do want.

You want to talk in-depth about what they need. In terms of skills, in terms of background, that kind of thing. Then, of course, I finalize and send that out for them to review so that we’re on the same page.

Then I do a search pretty much on my own. And once I’ve got candidates, I start showing the resumes to them, and I also give them a rundown of my own personal feelings about the pluses and minuses of the candidate because often a resume doesn’t do very much. I usually do at least a short interview with the candidate before I even send a resume to the client.

Because one of the things that I’m paid for is to weed out bullshit. And I can’t do that until I’ve talked to the candidate. So if I see Candidate A’s resume looks good, my procedure is I talk to the candidate a. Then I look at my notes, look at the resume, review the background material, and see if they’re really worth considering and really aligned with what the client wants.

And then, if they are, I send ’em a resume with, again, a very short summary of no more than, say, six sentences of what I feel their pulses and minuses are. And if they do like them, then I schedule a virtual interview.

Jeff Loehr: So, from an MSP’s perspective, basically, you have a conversation with us about what we need, right?

Yeah. And then you go out, you find them, you do some pre-screening, some interviewing, and then do you create that process for us that getting in-depth process, how do you make sure that they’re the right people with the right technical skills?

Robert Goodman: Usually, the way I go for it is I use my own process for screening. Acting as a filter to make sure that you don’t talk to anyone that isn’t worth talking to.

Then from there, I work with the client’s process if they have one. Which sometimes they don’t, depending on how experienced they’re with hiring. Basically, I start with my process as a filter before we get to your process.

And then come in the interviews, and usually, there’s an adjustment process. I’d like to be able to say that the first round of resumes that I send to the client it’s always perfect, and they always say, these are perfect. These are exactly what I want. But that would be an utter bald-faced lie.

Because there’s still gonna be some pluses and minuses when you start doing it. It’s an ongoing process. I send the resumes. They say I’d like to talk to this person. And then, based on the first round, I figure out, Here’s where I’m going wrong.

Here’s where these candidates aren’t good enough. Here’s where they’re too good because it’s something that the client doesn’t really care about. So I can adjust and adjust until I get candidates that are pretty much spot on. It’s a process, but it’s one where I try and take as much of the time and work away from the client as possible.

Jeff Loehr: So tell me, you worked with a lot of MSPs, right? You’ve been in the trenches with MSPs.

What is one thing MSPs can do better?

Jeff Loehr: If you were to say one thing to MSPs, what would you say?

Robert Goodman: They need to know how to sell themselves both to the client and to the candidates. Too often, MSPs act like they’re a collection of bullet points of what they do, but you’re never gonna win that way because there are a lot of other people who like bullet points.

You have to impress your candidates in terms of what makes you special, and you’ve gotta impress your clients in terms of quality.

Joe Rojas: Spot on

Robert Goodman: Hiring an MSP is an act of faith. It’s like that scene in Indiana Jones where you jump off into the bottomless cavern and hope that there’s really a plank that’s going to catch you before you fall into the cavern.

You need to persuade people that you can be relied upon. You’re a good employer for the candidate, and you’re a good partner for your clients.

Jeff Loehr: I like the way you said that. Actually, MSPs tend to think that they’re a bullet point list, right?

And the problem is that they all have the same bullet point list. And it’s not until you really think through that and say, all right, how is my bullet point list going to be different? That you can actually sell and recruit.

Joe Rojas: That’s a struggle that we see is that is on the client side.

And now, as you say it, if you look at it from both ways on the recruiting side as well, then you’re not that.

Jeff Loehr: So awesome. Robert, anything else to add? Anything that we need to know? Anything that we left out?

Robert Goodman: No. Can’t think of anything. Thanks for having me on.

Jeff Loehr: Yeah, Thanks for coming. It’s been fun chatting with you.

Robert Goodman: Bye, everyone.

Ending

Jeff Loehr: Hey, great chat with Robert, Joe. I think that there’s a lot that we can take away from this whole how to hire and how to recruit.

Joe Rojas: That was pretty awesome.

Jeff Loehr: Yeah. I think that’s it for today. Joe, you want to take us out?

Joe Rojas: Remember that You are loved, and we’ll see you around.

Jeff Loehr: Bye everybody.

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