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Improve Your Hiring Strategy with Jamie Van Cuyk

Published by Summit Marketing Team on 22 Mar 2023

The Virtual CPA Success Show: Episode 76


In this episode, our host, Jamie Nau, Summit CPA's Director of Virtual CFO, and Jody Grunden, Partner at Anders CPAs + Advisors, discuss hiring strategies with Jamie Van Cuyk, owner and lead strategist of Growing Your Team. They take a deep dive in hiring strategies and how small business owners can level up their hiring process.



[00:00:00] Jamie Nau: Hello everybody. Welcome to today's podcast. I know this topic that we're gonna cover today is a really important one because as a CFO and as a consultant, it's something that we talk about with our clients every single day. So I'm really excited to get into this topic with Jamie Van Cuyk from growing your business or growing your team.

[00:00:19] Sorry about that. And so she's here to talk to us about hiring. So welcome to the show, Jamie. 

[00:00:24] Jamie Van Cuyk: Hi, Jamie. Thank you so much for having me today. 

[00:00:27] Jamie Nau: And then as always, we are joined by Jody Grunden. 

[00:00:31] Jody Grunden: Yeah, that is gonna be confusing. So I say Jamie , I'm referring to which one. Right. 

[00:00:37] Jamie Van Cuyk: I think this is one of the first podcasts I've done where one of the hosts also named Jamie. So


[00:00:43] Jamie Nau: this will be, and it's spelled the same way, so it makes it even more confusing. . All right, Jamie. So why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself your background and your company.

[00:00:51] Jamie Van Cuyk: Yeah, so as you mentioned, I am the owner of growing your team. At growing your team. We work with small business owners to guide them through the hiring process.

[00:01:02] Our aim is to help all business owners learn to hire like a pro. My backgrounds that helped me get here was I came from corporate leadership, so it's a surprise to a lot of people that I didn't come from the HR realm. I was in internal operations at a international marketing company. And one of the things that I got a lot of experience with was hiring because my team was entry level into the company and I had great team members, which meant they meant they were always getting poached to go elsewhere into the organization and grow their career.

[00:01:34] So I was always having to refill positions, and so I got a lot of experience with hiring. Also as I mentioned, I had a really good team, so I wasn't dealing with a lot of issues. Other managers were dealing with day to day, so when they needed help with hiring cuz they had open positions, I would jump in to help them because I had the time.

[00:01:52] So I learned a lot of what does it mean to help someone else hire, because even though the title was the same, from my position or their position, [00:02:00] Their team members worked on different accounts. They worked with different people internally, and there was different dynamics that would make someone successful in their role.

[00:02:07] I also then got tagged by HR to work on a huge hiring initiative where we hired 18 people in a matter, I think it was five weeks, and we wanted everyone to start on the same day, and so I got a lot of experience then with the HR side of hiring. So I loved that job. I loved the company I was working for, but I always knew I wanted to start my own business.

[00:02:26] So after my second daughter was born, I returned to work, then realized it's now or never. So I turned in my notice to start a software development company with my husband. Six months later, I realized how much I hated software development, . It was not for me at all, and I needed to figure out something else.

[00:02:44] So I took advantage of the chamber membership that we had. I went to a lot of networking events, and as I was talking to people, I found out that small businesses didn't know how to hire. They, I hear problems all the time. It was like, oh, it took me five years to get my first really good hire. I had to go through seven team members before I found one that was actually good for my business.

[00:03:06] And I learned that most small business owners never hired before doing it within their own business, or they were coming from corporate jobs where they had HR departments, senior leaderships, job postings already created. They were pretty much being given everything that they needed, and now that they needed to create it on their own, they were lost.

[00:03:24] They didn't know what they do, they didn't know the steps of the process. And I decided, Hey, I have all this hiring knowledge. Let me help you. So now it's been about four and a half years, almost five years that I've been helping small business owners through the hiring process. 

[00:03:41] Jody Grunden: That's pretty awesome.

[00:03:42] It's kind of funny cuz we we get on calls. I got tons of questions for you by the way. I'll start with the first one here. We get the, I was just on a conversation with about five owners of accounting firms and we were talking about different you know, issues that we've had in hiring lately.

[00:03:57] And one of the big things that they had mentioned is, [00:04:00] I got this employee that I probably should let go, but I can't find somebody to let go. What do you tell somebody like that? Cause it happens a lot, right? You know, we keep somebody bad thinking that there's no solution for that person and then they just kind of like tank the rest of the team, you know, cuz it, the team knows they're bad, they're doing not doing well or whatever.

[00:04:23] You know, obviously keeping 'em is not the right thing, but what, what in this type of environment, what, what, what should we do?

[00:04:28] Jamie Van Cuyk: Yeah, so the first thing I always tell them is you have to let that team member go. They are wasting your money, keeping them on your team. Not only cuz their poor performance means that they're not worth their paycheck in terms of what you're expecting out of a team member, they're taking your time.

[00:04:45] As you mentioned, they're kind of a drain on other team members and their resources. So this person is creating such a negative impact that in most cases you're better off without them even for a short period of time. I know it's hard, but you have to let bad team members go because you're wasting your time, money, and energy on them.

[00:05:04] And that time, money, huh?

[00:05:05] Jody Grunden: Do we wait and let 'em go before we identify this next person? Or what's the timing there? 

[00:05:15] Jamie Van Cuyk: I would honestly say the situation probably depends on how bad they are, what they're doing that is actually of value versus what they're doing that is making them a waste of money.

[00:05:26] You know, if there's someone that's producing enough value that you can keep them on and they're not overly hurting your business, then you can potentially keep them on until you find that next person. Otherwise, you've gotta let them go because like I said, they're taking your time, they're taking your money, they're taking your energy, and that can then be put into.

[00:05:45] That time, money, and energy into finding the right person. There are times when certain positions, hiring takes a while, and I always advise my clients, you wanna hold off for the right person and not jump to put a body into a seat. So hiring [00:06:00] can take time, especially if you're looking for something specific where it's not like this person has transferrable skills, but you're saying, this person actually needs experience in this thing.

[00:06:08] These people need these license, they need this education, they need these certifications, and that makes your pool really small. Good hires are out there, and if you're not able to find them, it's probably because your process is not set up to speak to the right people. It's kind of like marketing, you know, if you put out marketing that we target everybody.

[00:06:28] We really target nobody for our business, so we always say we need to speak to the right person with marketing, and it's the same with hiring. You need to make sure that what you're putting out there actually speaks to the person where someone reads that and says, Hey, I want to apply for this job. This is the top of my list of job opportunities.

[00:06:46] Jamie Nau: What about in, in the situation that Jodi described, I know we've tried this before and sometimes it's worked really well for us and sometimes it has worked terribly for us, but trying to end the relationship well and talking to an employee that's not doing a great job and saying, Hey, this is just a bad fit.

[00:07:02] We're gonna move on from you, but. Instead of, you know, most people give this two weeks, let's give it a month for you to, to kind of off board and hopefully you can find someone in that time or maybe two months or give you time to find, find a role. How often does that work and is that something you recommend?

[00:07:16] Jamie Van Cuyk: So once again, I'm gonna say that's a big, it depends because you have some people that. They're trying really hard. It's a bad fit because it's just not a match for skill. But you know, this is a person that is really putting their all into the position. They're a person that's probably still gonna act in high integrity in that situation and really help you to the end, but you're gonna have other people that are not the right fits.

[00:07:41] because there's other things going on. Okay? And then you put yourself at risk cuz you're keeping someone on your team that potentially is disgruntled because the fact that they know their position is ending and it might, it might mean they start doing things that are malicious to harm your business.

[00:07:56] They start saying things to your clients if they're external facing, [00:08:00] that harms your business and they can be doing a lot of things that simply can harm your business, and it's easier just to end that relationship and move on. So once again, it's gonna depend on who that person is. But in all these scenarios, it shouldn't be that all of a sudden this is the first conversation you're having about their performance, that you're exiting them from the organization, right?

[00:08:19] There should have been those conversations ahead of time about performance improvements and everything like that. So it shouldn't be a surprise that they're no longer a fit. And I'll, I can give you an example. Something that I've been through personally that kind of falls into this scenario is one of my, when I was very early in management, I had a team member that it was really not working out.

[00:08:43] We had gone through some performance improvement things. We had made some changes to the role, like with the dynamics between her and the other teams internally that she was working on to really help that relationship. And it still just really wasn't seeming like the best fit. And we were having a conversation one day and all of a sudden the conversation I blurted out, maybe this isn't the right role for you and you need to find something else.

[00:09:06] And then as a new manager, I was like, oh my God, did I just tell my employee that? Like, am I gonna get in trouble? Did I just tell my employee that they should quit? Pretty much? And that team member came back to me a few days later and said, I wanna thank you for that conversation, because it was the most honest conversation I ever had with a manager.

[00:09:24] And you're right, this is not the role for me. I am not happy here and I need to find something else. And she gave me about, I think it was about a month and a half to two month notice to say, this is my date. I'm leaving. I'm here. I'm gonna help you get the X person on, train them if we can find someone to replace me in that time.

[00:09:43] But then I'm exiting because I need to do something that's gonna make me happy. And so there are scenarios where, yes, people will stay on because they. Value you in your business and they see what you've done. But it is one of those situations, you got to tread carefully and see what's going on because you don't wanna keep someone in your business [00:10:00] that's not happy and is gonna cause harm.


[00:10:03] Jody Grunden:  For sure. So get rid of toxic people is what you're saying. So toxic people get rid of 'em really as quick as you can.

[00:10:10] Jamie Van Cuyk: Yes, Yeah. And it's one of those things, I've worked with a client before where some of their toxic employees were quitting. But they're like, oh my gosh, my employees are quitting.

[00:10:19] How do I keep these people, how do I change them around when they're a toxic employees? And I was just like, just be thankful that they're leaving. Like it takes so much energy to turn a toxic employee into a good employee that if they're deciding that, Hey, I need to get out of this situation, let them, it's better to hire someone who's going to be a positive impact from the start, than to keep someone on your team that's toxic.

[00:10:44] Jamie Nau: I definitely can agree with that. And I know we've experienced that at any job you've been at, you've experienced that toxic employee, both as a peer, as a supervisor, like it, someone you're supervising is in that role. And it's just, it makes it very hard place to work is when there's a toxic employee within the establishment.

[00:11:01] It's very, it can bring your company down pretty quickly. 

[00:11:04] Jamie Van Cuyk: Yes,  yes, it can. 

[00:11:06] Jody Grunden: With the way the job market is right now. You know, how quickly can we find really good employees? I mean, are they still out there? Are they, I mean, is it something that takes months?

[00:11:17] Should it be. Weeks, days, hours, minutes, 

[00:11:22] Jamie Van Cuyk: though. I think with the, it all depends on the position that you're hiring for. So if you are hiring for a position where someone doesn't necessarily have to been in that specific role before, and we're looking at a lot of transferable skills, you're most likely going to get a lot more applicants.

[00:11:37] If you're looking for something more junior, you're most likely gonna get a lot more applicants because that application pool is bigger. Like I said, when you're looking for something really specific, It becomes smaller and smaller. The higher up positions become smaller and smaller at that applicant pool.

[00:11:53] And the timing, it depends on a lot of factors. With all our positions that we're helping to hire are [00:12:00] helping our clients get through. We're getting applicants. But sometimes they'll post a job and get a hundred applicants in a weekend, and other times it's in that first week we might get three and they come in on a rolling basis.

[00:12:11] What you really need to look for is what's the quality of applicants coming in and are they the right fit for you? I would say most of our clients, it's taking between six to eight weeks to fill a position. One of the things you have to remember with that is it takes time to interview a lot of, sometimes that time is more so the time as the business owner, you are dedicating to the process than how the candidates are coming in.

[00:12:36] You need to post the job, you need to actually review the resumes that are coming in. You need to schedule interviews, and we always say you need, there needs to be at least two rounds of interviews. Cuz you need to have two connections with someone before you hire them. So you need to schedule, you need to move those candidates that move on to that final interview round.

[00:12:53] Then you need to make your decision and you need to present an offer and even when you move through quickly. So you're right on top of that next step. You're scheduling those next interviews. It can still take a few weeks to get through everything just based on coordinating schedules. So, The applicant pool out there changes constantly.

[00:13:14] You know, things look different right now than they did six months ago than they did two years ago. Things are always changing, but there's still good candidates out there. One of the things that you'll notice, you know, right now is there are some companies that are scaling back. You hear, we hear every day about a new tech company that's having massive layoffs, and that's not just tech positions, it's all positions for a lot of them.

[00:13:37] Which means there's a lot of people on the job market because they have to be cuz they're losing jobs or they're fearing that what's happened at some of these other companies is gonna happen in their company. Mm-hmm. . But then you have the people that are switching jobs just like at any time people that are saying,

[00:13:53] Hey, I'm just not happy here. I need something new. And so there's always, there's always people looking. Sometimes it [00:14:00] just fluctuates a little bit about how many people are on the job market at a time, but there's always people out there that are looking for a new opportunity. 

[00:14:10] Jamie Nau: I was gonna say, yeah, as we change into this, it sounds like the hiring environment's changing a little bit and I feel like.

[00:14:17] I did not love the previous hiring environment where it's taken me a long time to hire people. But I'd say on the flip side where there's a lot of candidates, there's a problem there as well where you wanna make sure you're getting a candidate who's the right fit. So if you're interviewing a lot of people for a role, if people are desperate for a job, oftentimes they'll make themselves fit into a role they might not fit for.

[00:14:36] So I always find that challenging when they're in a really strong hiring market. It's like, okay, I have five great candidates. How do I know which one of these is gonna be the best fit for the role, not just the one that can talk me into that they're the best fit for the role. How do you help with that problem? 

[00:14:49][00:14:50] Jamie Van Cuyk: That is a great question, and that's really where we specialize here at growing your team. It all starts with knowing who is the right fit for your role. So when we look at things, and let's just, let's just talk about like accountants for a second. It's a pretty basic standard role. You're doing the, basically the same things that every company you work for, there's slight variances depending on maybe cadence and meetings, how people want reports delivered.

[00:15:18] There's some variance there, but other than that, the standard of the role is pretty basic. However, what's gonna make you happy, Jamie, could be completely different than what makes Jodi happy. So when we look at things, we say, this is a role that's fitting into your organization. What are you gonna be happy with?

[00:15:37] What are your team dynamics? What do you want out of this person that's gonna make you say yes? Paying that paycheck is worth it cuz this is an amazing team member. And when we start with focusing on that, we can then develop an entire hiring process around uncovering these abilities. So there's, there's some positions we help hiring for that are kind [00:16:00] of like.

[00:16:00] Questions specific to like the technical abilities of the role are, are pretty slim because we know we can ask these questions, really gauge their area of expertise here and are they, can they do what is needed? But then the rest of the interview is focused around, okay, will they actually fit within our organization?

[00:16:17] Am I gonna like them? And so we developed questions that uncover things we need to know about that candidate to determine if they are a fit. And we a lot of. Like it, excuse me. Like I was saying, like we create bespoke hiring strategy. So every interview guide we create for our client is 100% unique to that position, and it's all focused around what do you need to uncover.

[00:16:40] And we love asking questions that are not your standard interview questions. But also not those like outside the box, like if you're a color crayon, what would you be? Not those type of questions, but they're really designed, they're specifically created to uncover what you want to know. And we love the follow up question.

[00:16:57] So we have an interview question that we ask, and then sometimes we have a bunch of follow up questions that say, okay, maybe that was your rehearsed answer. So now we're gonna dive deeper. We're gonna dive deeper, and deeper. Let's find out what you really did. How did you impact that scenario? You know, is this something that you're saying that you would do, but you really have no experience doing that?

[00:17:19] So it's really about creating those interview questions and creating a process that helps you uncover. Can they actually fit in your organization? Can they do the job the way you want it done? Because there are differences. You know, thinking about this is one of the examples I love to give is sales positions.

[00:17:36] You could sometimes have two different cultures in a sales organization. One being make the sale no matter what, and have it be the biggest sale possible, push everything so that invoice is as large as it can possibly be. And then you have other sales organizations where it's the customer comes first in their needs.

[00:17:57] We don't care if it's a smaller invoice, as long as the customer [00:18:00] is getting what they need and they're happy because it most likely means they'll then come back and spend more money with us. Don't push things on the clients that they don't need because that's not what we want. If you take someone from that, I'm gonna push for that bigger sale and push more and upsell and all these things and put 'em in environments where, It's okay that it's a small invoice.

[00:18:21] It's like, we don't care. What does the customer need? Don't oversell them. They're not gonna be happy. It's not same dynamic and vice versa. So both people could be great salespeople, but what's really right for you, what's gonna fit in your culture, and the interview process will really help you determine that when you ask the right questions.

[00:18:41] Jody Grunden: So, you'd mentioned that you had two layers of questioning, right? So you are two layers of interviews. I guess. Two touch points is that pretty common as two touchpoint? Cause we used to have, at one point we used to have like eight touch points and we had many people touching it. That's when the, you know, a few years back.

[00:18:59] But now in order to do that, you'd lose a candidate pretty quickly cuz they'd probably find a job within the, you know, before the second or third touchpoint there. So is two touch points a pretty standard or is that, is that what you have to do in today's environment? 

[00:19:12] Jamie Van Cuyk: So I would say a minimum of two.

[00:19:15] Typically we say no more than three, and if there is more than three, you better have a really good reason why that that fourth or fifth interview needs to be there. Mostly because you're asking a lot of a candidate. And like you said, typically you're not the only person interviewing that candidate and the more complicated you make your process.

[00:19:34] The more likely they're gonna be like, do I really wanna work with this company? Cuz it doesn't seem like they have things very well organized. You know, why am I talking to this person? So we always say the first touchpoint should be a quick virtual interview, whether it's phone over Zoom, something like that, where you're just asking basic questions to really determine, okay, I thought this from their resume, does it actually match what I think?

[00:19:59] And [00:20:00] so typically we say that interview is no more than 30 minutes, and then they get moved on to the next round of interviews where then you go into a lot more in depth questions. You talk about different things and everything from there. For a lot of companies we work with for a lot of positions, that's enough, but then sometimes they do want another interview.

[00:20:19] And that interview we typically say. Most of the time it ends up being a team interview, so there's more people there. It's more a panel style interview versus just one person interviewing them. And it's normally different people in the room. The same people might also be in the room, but it's adding additional people in the room a lot of times, so that way they, you can get that different dynamic and everything there.

[00:20:41] It's very taxing for the interviewee to have to go and have an interview with eight different people versus having one panel interview where those eight people are all in the room together. So you have to think about what is best for the position. Now, there's sometimes gonna be higher up positions where you really want to dive deeper into that.

[00:21:00] They really do need a lot of touchpoints in everything because you're making a huge investments. But for the most part, with small business, You're not at that level necessarily yet. So the, at least two, I would say no more than three, is what's gonna make you successful in the process. You can uncover what you need in those touchpoints, and it's not super taxing on the candidate.

[00:21:23] Jody Grunden: It's just a quick 30 minute interview. You're getting to know them, making sure that they're what's actually on their resume and then the second interview. You're saying is more of a panel interview or recommended a panel interview? 

[00:21:37] Jamie Van Cuyk: No. The third interview would be, the one would be more the panel, the second one, you can have a few people in there, but I know for a lot of my clients, it's typically just with the hiring manager.

[00:21:49] Jody Grunden: Okay. So it's the same person that had the first interview 

[00:21:51] Jamie Van Cuyk:  In most cases. So in most cases it is the same person that you know, obviously when we help with our full service [00:22:00] recruiting, we do that first interview. So our clients are not a part of that interview. They then do the second interview when our clients are doing the process on their own and we're guiding them through.

[00:22:09] It's typically that hiring manager, that CEO that's in that first interview, and then it's them in that second interview. Like I said, they might invite someone else into that second interview just to get another set of ears and eyes on the process. But typically, it is the same person if you are doing the entire process yourself from the first interview to the second interview.

[00:22:29] Jamie Nau:  So a question on panel interviews, and we do use panel interviews, and again, sometimes it's three people in a room, sometimes it's two. But my question when it comes to this is what if the people interviewing disagree on the candidate? Like how do you deal with moving those candidates forward? And I know there's different levels of disagreement.

[00:22:45] There's. One person hates the person. One person loves the person. There's one person's neutral. One person loves one person. Kind of likes one person is neutral. Like how do you kind of decide whether you move a candidate forward when the two people that are interviewing 'em disagree on whether they're the right person for the role?

[00:23:01] Jamie Van Cuyk: Good question. So once again, I think it depends on what they're disagreeing on. Who is actually going to be managing that new team member? So if one of the people in that panel interview is the person that's going to be the leader for this position, They have more of a say than really anybody else they should be taking in that, that feedback, because sometimes we just form A, we're human, we form emotional connections to people.

[00:23:27] Mm-hmm. . And so we might say, oh my God, this person is amazing. And that other person pulls up things that are actually valid reasons to not hire this person. That it's like, Wait, but they can't actually do the job that we need them to hire for. So those, that feedback needs to be listened to. But at the same time, at the end of the day, the hiring manager has the decision making ability.

[00:23:47] They decide who moves forward, they decide who gets the role. If it's. If it's something where, let's say it is that panel, it's people that they'll be working with. So it's maybe [00:24:00] this is a manager you're hiring and this is the team that they're gonna be managing, or it's a room of their peers. So it's a leader and these are other leaders in the organization.

[00:24:09] That's when things become a little bit different because you want to make sure that you're not entering. Them into a hostile situation where someone's like really adamant of, no, we should not be hiring this person. I do not wanna be working with this person. And then saying, too bad here. You're forced to work with this person.

[00:24:27] And in those situations, that might be one of those things where we say, okay, it wasn't a part of our initial process. We think we need to add an additional interview or additional conversation, even if it's then just a phone conversation or a virtual thing and not have them come back into the office where we ask additional questions that address the concerns that were brought up.

[00:24:48] So we say, okay, we want to either validate these concerns and say, this person is not the right person. Or we wanna say, okay, while we heard that in the other interview, now that we addressed it, it's actually something different. We're okay. We're comfortable with this candidate based on the new information we uncover.

[00:25:06] Jamie Nau: So one more question in this topic. So in addition to the concern about, not the concern but the differing personalities when it comes to hiring, the other problem that I've seen come across is where you mentioned this earlier, but the turning point for me in interviewing and hiring was when I stopped paying attention to personality.

[00:25:25] And I started listening to the words the person was saying, okay, what is this person actually telling me and their questions? And I loved how you said, you know, there's those. There's the first question, then there's follow up questions to try to get to the depth of it. So how do you train someone?

[00:25:38] That's job is to be a a manager. Their job is to be a manager. Their job is to manage people. Their job is to be a CFO. How do you train those people to actually be really good interviewers and, and look for the right things? 

[00:25:48] Jamie Van Cuyk: Yeah. Yeah. So the first thing is you should understand the why behind every question that you're asking.

[00:25:54] You know, we're not asking questions to waste people's time. We're asking questions because it's gonna uncover something we need to know about a [00:26:00] candidate. So when you really understand what you're trying to uncover, it helps you look back to say, okay, was that a good sounding answer, or was that something that shows they're actually good at the role?

[00:26:11] Okay, so you need to know the why. The other thing is you need to take notes. So that way you're not going off of your opinion and thoughts and stuff. You can actually look back to say, this is what they said. Now, does your notes have to be a complete transcript of the entire interview? No. But you should at least be writing down things that can jog your memory of what they actually shared for that answer.

[00:26:36] And the last thing is, and this is sometimes that I think it's a little bit harder for some people, and it's really one of those skills that you have to work on if it doesn't come naturally, is being the detective throughout it. It's saying, okay, well they told me in this, answer this, but then in this answer over here, they said something that completely went against that.

[00:26:57] Once they were given examples and seeing other themes that come up throughout that interview that either. That, yes, they're capable of this thing that they said or no, they're really not. When they put it to the test that they can say the right things when they are asked about it directly, but everything else says no.

[00:27:14] So it's kind of play and detective. It's reading between the lines, cuz you connect their answers. It's when we're looking, you know, for example, there's a lot of things that we look for on interviews that we don't necessarily have a question around. There's a lot of things, for example, communication.

[00:27:28] We ask some questions around communication. The other thing is we're just listening throughout the entire interview about communication. We might ask a question about team dynamics, but we're also figuring out for from other questions where they had to work with teams to succeed in that area.

[00:27:45] How do they actually work with that team? Do they mention things about their team? You know, how do they talk about people? So we're looking at sometimes those things where it's like we didn't directly ask it, but we're putting the puzzle pieces together to uncover what we need.[00:28:00]

[00:28:02] Jody Grunden: Very interesting. And so we've hired the person we got through the interviewing stage three interviews. We hired the person, and now we've got to onboard that person. Can you walk us through what your recommendations are for onboarding? 

[00:28:13] Jamie Van Cuyk: Yes. All right. So unless you're a company that has a whole training department, the reality is that you probably don't have time to be sitting with that team member every hour, their first day, their first week.

[00:28:26] So you need to set up a training plan that allows them to be able to do some things independently while also understanding that they're still in the learning process. Sometimes they'll say, but I'm hiring someone that's highly skilled. They should know what to do, which is true, but they don't yet know how to do it your way in your company access files that are needed or anything like that.

[00:28:49] So you need to teach them what it means to be successful in your organization, how to navigate things, who their counterparts are. There's all those things that are going on. So with your onboarding plan, It's gonna vary in time, depending on the position, depending on your company, depending on the skill of the person will last, the onboard plan will last a series of time, and you need to focus on what can I teach them, or then they can do something independently.

[00:29:15] Then what can I teach them next? Or then they can do something higher level or something different and keep going through that until you've trained them on everything that they need to know. Also, with onboarding, a lot of times we look at it as this multi-step approach where you show them. You do it together, they do it with you watching or reviewing the work after the fact, and then they do it independently.

[00:29:39] Or sometimes we add another step in there where they do it, and you just do random spot checks afterwards to see, okay, is this correct? So you're not checking everything, you're checking it randomly until they get to be independent. That process can sometimes move rather quickly, where it's one day and you've gone through all those steps and other processes, other things they're learning, it's gonna take a few [00:30:00] weeks till they get to that point.

[00:30:01] So for example, I was recently helping a client that brought on a new bookkeeper. Some of the tasks they only do once a month with, and some of their clients, it's a little bit more complex. They said, well, we can't expect them probably until like three months in for us to completely let go of the res because we need to show 'em one month.

[00:30:19] Then they need to do it the next month with us holding their hand or checking behind them or being really involved. And then we can trust them by month three to be able to do it independently. But it takes three months to get there because they don't have any option to do those tasks besides that once a month task that needs to get done.

[00:30:35] So the onboarding plan's gonna look differently, but it's really about teaching your expectations and helping them understand what you want. So you are happy as the boss. 

[00:30:47] Jody Grunden: So would you hire specific people to do that, or is that more the person that's gonna be managing or responsible for that, for that team member?

[00:30:56] Jamie Van Cuyk: So you mean when it comes to creating the plan or helping the train? 

[00:31:01] Jody Grunden: No, when it comes to executing the training. Yeah. Yeah, we're doing the training. Yeah. On the training side. 

[00:31:05] Jamie Van Cuyk: So for the training part of it, it's going to be whoever holds the knowledge right now whoever is, has the ability to train them for a lot of the stuff, especially if it's something that you are currently doing.

[00:31:16] You need to be involved in that training because you are teaching them your expectations. If you are the one who's been holding onto all those tasks, you are the one that's gonna determine are they doing it right or are they not? And someone else can't train on that if you're the one, only one who's been doing it before.

[00:31:33] When it comes to, so things like, let's say it's something really technical, like there's a system that they need to learn. You can look at other resources. Does that tool in system have like a training academy or something like that where you can say, all right, we need you to learn this system. Here's something you can go and do on your own or I've had clients where they have to do things in the vendor system and the vendors actually hold training for new people coming on, so they run the [00:32:00] training.

[00:32:00] So sometimes there are ways you can outsource the training or guide the person to do independent learning, but a lot of the times you're gonna have to train them. Or it could be another internal team member if that internal team member has the knowledge. 

[00:32:15] Jody Grunden: So then as you're training people you're either gonna have the knowledge person will be the person that's overseeing the training.

[00:32:22] How do you determine if the person's getting it or not? You know, cuz they're new to the system, you know, like for instance, like for us, you know, we work fully remote, have been doing it for 10 years. You know, so that's a train, that's a learning curve thing, you know? Mm-hmm. We do things differently.

[00:32:38] You know, we, it's just not accounting, it's consulting and forecasting. We do a lot of other things that typical accountant wouldn't do. So in coming into a position like that, how do you determine, or what, how do you determine they're getting it and what timeframe should we allow them to get?

[00:32:56] Jamie Van Cuyk: Yeah. Yeah. So the timeframe is gonna be one of those things where it depends, it makes a difference on what it is and how often they can practice that skill. And also, are they progressing? And that's one of the things you really wanna look for with are they getting it? Is are they getting better? Do they understand it?

[00:33:14] Do they take part of what you taught them and are they able to apply it? One of the things that really matters when it comes to, are they getting it? People have different point of views that come from different backgrounds. They have different experiences and sometimes they think they get it based on what you said, but what you're saying and what they're hearing and how they interpret it are two different things.

[00:33:36] So sometimes you need to say, okay, that's great, but it actually needs to be like this instead of this and that. Here is why. And that why is important cuz that why helps to shift their brain to say, Okay. This is a different scenario or this is why it's important to be that way. And it's not that my boss is just being picky and trying to micromanage my work, that it actually makes a difference.

[00:33:58] That why is important. When you see [00:34:00] that what they're doing and what you want don't align. And like I said, with that training, Are they progressing? If you give them feedback, is it better the next time around? If it's better, but not perfect? Okay. They improved, they took the feedback and they started applying it.

[00:34:17] Now let's talk and train on what they're still missing, and are we, are they progressing in that way that shows that they're learning? I love to get this, give this analogy when it comes to training is think of your favorite movie that you've watched a million times. You loved it so much after the first time that you watched it again, and what happened when you watched that movie again?

[00:34:39] You picked up on different things. You were able to make connections that you weren't able to make the time before because you, the first time you went in, you had no information about it. The second time you win, you had this baseline information. Sometimes it's cuz you already knew things were happening in the future that you're like, oh my gosh, they foreshadowed to that.

[00:34:57] And other things are like, oh, I didn't catch that. And if you watch it again and again, sometimes you catch on to more and more. The movie didn't change. It's the exact same thing you're watching every time, but because your base of knowledge keeps growing, you keep catching on to stuff that you didn't even realize you were missing the first time around.

[00:35:16] So it's a lot with training. They might think they got everything fully understand what you're telling them, but they didn't absorb it all yet because everything is new. So you sometimes have to train them again, even go through the exact same training because they need to now build on the knowledge that they gained the first time around.

[00:35:35] Jamie Nau: So I have to jump in here because I need to know, and I think this is probably a good ending point for this podcast anyways, but I need to know from all three of us. Okay, Jody, starting with Jody, what is the movie you've seen so many times that every time you watch it, you pick up something new? 

[00:35:52] Jody Grunden: Oh, geez, the movie.

[00:35:52] Probably The Accountant is probably like one of my favorite movies and has nothing to do with being an accountant. I just think, [00:36:00] and yeah, no, you're a hundred percent right. You pick things up the second time around that you would never have thought or it was just, you're just watching it the first time around.

[00:36:09] Yeah, it's definitely The Accountant.

[00:36:09] Jamie Nau: So Jody doesn't want to be just a normal account. He wants be an accountant with machine guns and detective work, so he's seen that a hundred times, right. Jamie, what is the movie you've seen so many times the other time you see it, you pick up something different?

[00:36:22] Jamie Van Cuyk: Yeah, so the first movie that comes to my mind is the movie Now And Then. I loved it as a kid and I've seen it multiple times and it. Now watching it as an adult and having kids that are coming into like that age and everything, it's, you just view it also from a different perspective and everything. Cuz I'm at a different point in my life, but I just, I love the story.

[00:36:44] Jamie Nau: Okay. I've not seen that one, so I'm gonna put it on my list to, to watch it. Who's in that? 

[00:36:49] Jamie Van Cuyk: Oh gosh. I know Christina Ricci. I'm trying to think who else. I'm writing it down. There we go. It's from the nineties, I believe. Well, yeah, it's from the nineties, so it's like a young girl coming of age movie, so I'm sure it probably wasn't on your list of things to watch.

[00:37:02] Jamie Nau: [00:37:03] I'll watch that with 15 year old daughter. Maybe she'll enjoy it. 

[00:37:06] Jamie Van Cuyk: It'd be a  good thing to watch with your daughter. 

[00:37:07] Jamie Nau: Okay. All right. So for me, that movie is Tombstone. Like I've probably seen Tombstone like 300 times, and every time I see it, like there's something else I pick up on. So, that's my movie.

[00:37:18] So we are at time. I appreciate the soft ending here. The soft landing. But I do want to give both you guys a chance for a final thought and we'll start with Jody, then we'll end with Jamie. So Jody, first, final thoughts on the hiring process. 

[00:37:31] Jody Grunden: Yeah. Yeah, this has been a great interview.

[00:37:33] Love the concepts, love the information that you've been sharing. It's kinda nice cuz we kinda reflect back and on our own processes and a lot of it we we're doing just like you're talking about, which is great, but there are few things that we can improve on, which I've definitely picked that up.

[00:37:48] For the folks that don't want to go through that initial process. Cause we have an internal person that does that. And they don't wanna spend the money on that internal person, you know? How do they reach out to [00:38:00] you to be that person and guide them through this process? 

[00:38:05] Jamie Van Cuyk: Yeah. So to connect with me, they can go over to growingyourteam.com and they can schedule a call or learn more about how we work with our clients.

[00:38:16]  Jamie Nau: Perfect. 

[00:38:17] Jody Grunden: And then what's your final thought? That can't be your final thought.

[00:38:22] Jamie Van Cuyk: Can't get out that easy. No. My final thought is I loved all the questions and I think for those that are listening, it really goes to show that there is a lot to learn about hiring no matter how many times that you've done it.

[00:38:33] And there's opportunities to do it better and just take the opportunity to learn, but also when you go to hire, the biggest thing is knowing who you need. Remember that your business is unique. It is different. Even if you're hiring the same position as someone else did for their business, you are gonna want something different.

[00:38:54] So focus the entire process on who you need, who you are going to be happy with. 

[00:39:01] Jamie Nau: Great. No, this is a great podcast and I can always tell it. It's a great podcast. Cause I have this little desk buddy board here who, they're not a sponsor of the show, but like, whenever it's full by the end of the podcast cause I'm taking notes of stuff I need to go back and work on.

[00:39:12] I'm like, okay, this is definitely a really good episode. So I have nowhere left to write on my little dry erase board that's right in front of me. So, great job Jamie. And I also really want to credit you. I think you know, I've worked with several. People in this space. And a lot of times what I find is when you work with someone, it's, here's our nine candidates for your role.

[00:39:29] And once they dry up, like they kind of go away. Where I think you really, you know, you work on the front side of developing the interviewing process, developing the role with them, and then help them find the role. I think that's pretty unique. It's something that's not a lot of companies are doing, so I wanna give you credit, but for definitely taking a different look at a space that's that's pretty crowded.

[00:39:46] So it's a great job there. 

[00:39:47] Jamie Van Cuyk: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. It is one of those things like, people always ask, well, what does your pool of candidates look like when, like, we get. First call and I was like, I don't have a pool of candidates yet, . And they're like, wait, why? Like most recruiters do. And I was like, because [00:40:00] I could have a pool of 1000 accountants, but if not one of them is who you need, who cares?

[00:40:05] Right. So it's like we approach everything fresh because we really focus on the right person for that position and that company. 

[00:40:13] Jamie Nau: Yeah, it sounds like you're working for the company instead of for the people trying to find jobs, which is, which is very unique, so Definitely. I appreciate that. Great.

[00:40:21] Well thanks again and thank you guys for joining the show. 

Jamie Van Cuyk: Thank you. 

Jody Grunden: Thank you. 


Improve Your Hiring Strategy with Jamie Van Cuyk


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Episode 76 - Improve Your Hiring Strategy with Jamie Van Cuyk

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