February 23rd, 2021
With Erin Longmoon, whose mission in life is to eradicate toxic workplaces. She believes that everyone deserves to love their job and feel like they are contributing to a greater purpose. As the owner of Zephyr Recruiting LLC, she accomplishes this mission by matching great small businesses with their RIGHT FIT™ employees. Erin has more than two decades of experience helping small businesses and has owned five businesses herself.
The passion to eradicate toxic workplaces comes from a place a lot of us can resonate with. When Erin was an employee at a company with a toxic workplace, she saw firsthand how the culture impacted everyone on a deep level. The toxic workplace reduced morale and productivity, followed her home, and led good employees to quit. She dreams of changing people’s lives by helping them realize that they are deeply worthy. She also dreams about being the next Stevie Nicks and being friends with the Dalai Lama. Her magic powers are empathy, ability to read people, coming up with new and awesome ideas, and making a perfectly cooked filet mignon. As the owner of Zephyr Recruiting she oversees an amazing work-at-home team who shares her passion for supporting great places to work.
Biggest takeaways (or quotes) you don’t want to miss:
- Erin believes everyone should love their job and feel like they are contributing to a higher purpose.
- The importance of creating a thriving and supportive business.
- “We’re not taught how to be great recruiters as business owners.”
Check out these highlights:
1:55 Erin’s mission in life.
13:03 The multiple layers of toxicity in the workplace.
24:36 How Erin helps businesses find the right employees.
29:00 The “hiring slow and firing fast methodology.”
38:41 Some of the most common hiring mistakes small businesses to make.
How to get in touch with Erin
On social media:
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Erin Longmoon’s mission in life is to eradicate toxic workplaces. She believes that everyone deserves to love their job and feel like they are contributing to a greater purpose. As the owner of Zephyr Recruiting LLC, she accomplishes this mission by matching great small businesses with their RIGHT FIT™ employees.
Erin has more than two decades of experience helping small businesses and has owned five businesses herself. The passion to eradicate toxic workplaces comes from a place a lot of us can resonate with. When Erin was an employee at a company with a toxic workplace, she saw firsthand how the culture impacted everyone on a deep level. The toxic workplace reduced morale and productivity, followed her home, and led good employees to quit.
She dreams of changing people’s lives by helping them realize that they are deeply worthy. She also dreams about being the next Stevie Nicks and being friends with the Dalai Lama. Her magic powers are empathy, ability to read people, coming up with new and awesome ideas, and making a perfectly cooked filet mignon. As the owner of Zephyr Recruiting she oversees an amazing work-at-home team who shares her passion for supporting great places to work.
Learn more about Erin here.
Imperfect Show Notes
We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below.
GGGB Intro 0:00
Coming up today on Guts, Grit and Great Business.
Erin Longmoon 0:02
And if that’s the kind of person you need, then great. I mean, if the job is hard, and they’re gonna be put to the test every day, then do that. Right? Like, put them through a process that tests their resilience, right? But the interview process is the impression that you’re giving them of your company as well. So there is a statistic I can’t quit, but I think it’s 41% of employees will leave if they don’t like if the recruiting process doesn’t feel safe. Yeah, because like, I don’t want to work for a company who’s doing that, to me.
GGGB Intro 0:39
The adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of guts, grit and great business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the Guts, Grit and Great Business podcast where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, The Legal Website Warrior®, Heather Pearce Campbell.
Heather Pearce Campbell 1:14
Okay, welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. I am an attorney and legal coach based here in Seattle, Washington. Welcome to another episode of Guts, Grit, and Great Business. I’m super excited to share my guest today. She was a former Seattle light I, you know, wishing that she was still here. So I could call her my neighbor. But we’ve got this yellow connection. Welcome to Erin Longmoon. Hi, Erin.
Erin Longmoon 1:46
Hi, so good to be here. Thank you.
Heather Pearce Campbell 1:50
Absolutely. So good to see you today.
Erin Longmoon 1:53
Good to talk to a fellow Seattlelite.
Heather Pearce Campbell 1:55
That’s right. Well, and I love it. We’re sharing like the gray walls and we’re losing our life. We’re feeling it. We’re feeling it. Okay for listeners. For those of you that don’t know, Erin, Erin’s mission and Erin Longmoon, and I loved your last name, it sounds like I’m sure there’s a story there. But maybe that will come later. Yes, so Erin Longmoon’s mission in life is to eradicate toxic workplaces. She believes that everyone deserves to love their job and feel like they’re contributing to a greater purpose. As the owner of Zephyr recruiting LLC, she accomplishes this mission by matching great small businesses with their right fit employees. And I’m really excited about this concept of right fit. Erin has more than two decades of experience helping small businesses and has owned five businesses herself. The passion to eradicate toxic workplaces comes from a place a lot of us can resonate with. When Erin was an employee at a company with a toxic workplace. She saw firsthand how the culture impacted everyone on a deep level. The toxic workplace reduced morale and productivity followed her home and led good employees to quit. She dreams of changing people’s lives by helping them realize that they are deeply worthy. She also dreams about being the next Stevie Nicks and being friends with the Dalai Lama. I love that. Yes. Put me in the same like whatever boat you’re writing on put me in that boat. Yeah, you got it. Yeah, so her magic powers or empathy, ability to read people coming up with new and awesome ideas and making a perfectly cooked filet mignon. As the owner of Zephyr recruiting, she oversees an amazing work at home team who shares her passion for supporting great places to work. I love it. Erin, this is so fun. I feel like we’re gonna have lots of great stuff to talk about.
Erin Longmoon 3:55
Well, thank you so much. I’m really excited to be here.
Heather Pearce Campbell 3:59
Yes, absolutely. So share with us how you got started in the in this world, the recruiting world fitting employees to the companies like we talked to us a little bit about your path.
Erin Longmoon 4:13
Yeah, it’s you know, it’s one of those stories where I didn’t really realize how connected my whole story was until I arrived right like so I had been an employee a number of times as most people have and I’m very honored I have an entrepreneurial spirit so you know, I wasn’t always the best employee truth be told, you know, I often have my own ideas of how to do things but for some reason, the truth is I I seemed to attract myself to toxic workplaces. They just over and over again I just seem to have this you know, I could have blamed I did for a long time blamed it outside the stream of bad luck. bosses are terrible. You know, I had all the excuses. But over time, my path in life took me here and I will tell you a little bit more about how I got to Zephyr specifically. But once it Like once I really got to that place of realizing this is what I needed to do this was part of my mission was that big aha moment of oh life has been giving me all of these toxic workplaces and owning my own business and needing to be the leader myself, to bring me to this place like this. And this is very intentional in my, you know, woo-woo way of being, which I know you can resonate with but you know, the universe brought me here on purpose. So, how I pivoted or how I ended up with Zephyr, in particular, is prior to Zephyr, I was a business coach, and I worked with small business cut, you know, small business owners. And the primary function that I would help them figure out is how to scale how to systematize how to, you know, take the next step how to get out of being stuck and take the next step. And oftentimes, that would result through our work to where they needed to bring on team members, whether it was their first hire, or their 15th hire, it didn’t matter, but it always meant we needed to bring on more people in order to realize the growth we want to realize, but they were already working 60 hours a week, you know, and just had no bandwidth to be able to recruit. And then or it was either that and or they had made a lot of bad hires in the past, they are not taught how to be a recruiter, that’s the one thing small business owners are never taught how to do, or taught how to you know, get a lawyer for your great contract, how to read your books, how to read a p&l, you know, all these things, but it’s never how to recruit and find the kind of talent that you need. So they would make terrible hiring mistakes, often have hiring PTSD. And in my history, as an employee, I had done a lot of recruiting. So I had the skill. And so I would just start doing it for my clients, like, you know, clearly, let me just help you take this off your plate. And after a number of years of seeing that part of my business grow organically. And just seeing over and over again, this deep need for small business employers to have this support. I just decided in 2017 that this was my calling, like I said, like everything just pulled together. And the universe is like banging me on the head going Ding, ding, ding, right, exactly what you need to be doing with your life. And there you have it, Zephyr was born.
Heather Pearce Campbell 7:19
Awesome. Well, there’s a couple of points in there that I love. One is the whole idea of like, looking backwards things connect, and like that point where you’re like, Oh, this does make sense, right? All of these things have brought me exactly to this place. And I think people who’ve been there and had that experience, know exactly what you’re talking about. And people on the other side of that, like, hopefully provide some comfort that you’re if you’re on a path where you’re like, how does this Connect? There’ll be a point where it does right. There’ll be a point, hopefully, where that becomes clear. So I love that. And then the other question I had, because when you were talking about you know, toxic workplace after toxic workplace, my first question is, was it a line of work? Like, was it a particular industry? Was it a particular area? Or just you know, the nature? No, it wasn’t so right.
Erin Longmoon 8:11
Oh, I’ll tell you my real I’ll tell you tell you my theory about that. Actually, no, it was not I actually, I bounced around. I was very nomadic when I was in my early 20s, and into my early 30s. So for about a good decade of my like, you know, start to adulthood. And so I tried different careers, I tried different roles, different industries, a number of things. And so I cannot say I wish I could just say well, it was just one, one industry that needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, it’s not the case, what I’ve realized in my greater elder years, I’m not elderly. But yeah, I’m older, I am a little older. And what I’ve realized in being truthfully honest with myself is that I was really the, you know, like the common denominator. And so in looking back and trying to figure out making sense of this, why did I in particular, and I know other people have this similar story, but what is it about me that was attracted to these types of toxic workplaces? Or was it just dumb luck, and the truth that I’ve really come to realize is that it was a reflection of how I felt about myself. So I was drawn to these types of places to work even completely subconsciously, you know, it’s not like they big banners and said, I’m a toxic workplace I’m writing, right, you know, they sound just as great. An employer as the employee that right?
Heather Pearce Campbell 9:29
They came with those warnings.
Erin Longmoon 9:31
That would be so good if we all had that, but clearly, we don’t and so, you know, you kind of it’s easy to just blame dumb luck or just to say, wow, you know, like, why didn’t you know, it’s other people’s fault or whatever. But the truth is, is that isn’t the case. And I really think that that’s actually the heart of toxic workplaces is that, you know, when we have either, you know, whatever it is, it could be a traumatic history, it could be just a belief system. That was instilled in us as kids, whatever it is, we go out into our adult world with preconceived ideas of work preconceived ideas about ourselves and our own self-worth. And your work is going to reflect that the type of places you work are going to reflect that in the same way that your personal relationships reflect that. Right or just about anything, your health will reflect that. So work is no different. So I hate to say it, but if you find yourself in a lot of toxic workplaces, the truth is, it’s probably time to take do some deep soul searching and try to figure out, you know, why am I being drawn to these places? What is that really about? And only with that? awareness? Right? Can you shift it?
Heather Pearce Campbell 10:43
Yeah. Yeah, well, it’s, uh, you know, it’s a really interesting topic. Because, you know, I care, one of the things I care a lot, even though my legal work is about business leadership, right? And people, whatever size business, even if it’s a small solo entrepreneurial shop, like you still have to lead your business, and presumably, you’re going to be working with independent contractors, if you don’t, at some point, hire employees, like, you’re still going to have to figure out the pieces and really make that business work if you’re gonna do it for any length of time. And, you know, and so I love leadership, generally, I love understanding the way that businesses and organizations work. And, you know, from like, I had a few years of experience in employment law, right. And I never, I never blame a victim when there’s been something atrocious because you see all kinds of things that happen in the workplace that were not the victim’s fault. And yet there is this portion of the conversation. And I think it’s really touchy to talk about but, you know, the question I have is like, how can we empower people? How can we be more empowered, particularly as women, right, so this conversation as it applies to women, I think is really, really important? And this idea of like, what can we be in charge of what can we take control of and really, and even in observing my sister in her career, because she went from a place of having very little experience to now being very good at what she’s doing, to Ben in direct relationship to the clarity of her boundaries?
Erin Longmoon 12:25
Interesting. Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me.
Heather Pearce Campbell 12:28
Her ability to stand up for herself and yeah, even to bosses to colleagues right years and say, no, that’s not happening, or here’s, you know, and redirect something that could have been a potentially problematic scenario, right? Not only has given her more freedom in her own career, but I think is actually what has helped lead her to the next step. And the next step, and the next step. And I just, I really think that conversation around boundaries around self empower is just it’s so important. So I love this, I love this book.
Erin Longmoon 13:03
I think you touched too, about how there’s many layers of toxicity in the workplace as well, right? Like, there’s the ones that we all hear about the really, but you know, the harassment and the things are very, very challenging and traumatic, and you know, that that’s almost in some ways, its own conversation. But there’s all these other layers, and all these shades of grey of Texas v. And one of them that you just touched on with your sister is boundaries and respecting boundaries and their power relationships and the power dynamics between leadership and, and, you know, employees. And, you know, the questions that I’m sure your sister had to grapple with was, what are what do I have a right to have boundaries around? And you know, and so, those are the conversations about toxicity in a workplace and getting down to even this small, there’s even little ways that that that workplaces can be toxic, that, you know, you kind of can’t put finger on but you know, you go home every day feeling relieved when you leave and a stomach ache when you arrive. But you know, and it’s because those power dynamics can be very insidious, unfortunately. And they stem from really deep places for all of us, both the receivers, you know, whether you’re the, you know, no matter what, whether you’re the leadership or whether you’re the employee, you know, you both can be dealing with very deep-seated stuff that is playing out.
Heather Pearce Campbell 14:26
Yes. Well, and I think there’s Yes, and there’s this huge potential anytime. And I just believe this is the case, there are always going to be people who are willing to take advantage of others, right? There’s just a percentage of people like that in our population and whether you chalk it up to, you know, personality disorders or whatever else, you have a certain percentage of those people inside of organizations and, and particularly inside of leadership sometimes right and in positions of power and when you pair Somebody like that in the same, you know, work setting with somebody who maybe is really empathetic or really, you know, kind of an open book when it comes to feeling and supporting and not super clear on boundaries yet. I think there’s really a big potential for things to go wrong.
Erin Longmoon 15:18
Right. Right. There is. And I think that’s why we hear a lot of those stories, because there is something about that dynamic that actually. I mean, it’s again, my theory, you know, and I wish her researcher so I could really research this deeply. But is there is a, there is a drawing together of those to have that dynamic, you know, because we’re, I mean, I don’t know if anybody out there, you know, you see here, the whole thing in psychology, where we’re constantly replaying things so that we can fix them or to promote them out. Yes. And again, work work relationships are no different than that. So it’s often no real mistake, that you get a dynamic like you just painted, you know, the leadership, maybe taking advantage. And, and, and probably subconsciously, like bringing in employees who are more empathetic, more vulnerable, more open book, because it’s easier for that dynamic play out, right.
Heather Pearce Campbell 16:11
Yeah. That’s right. And we tend to attract and draw in, like, the next thing we need to learn right? And right, we learn it. Yeah, we’re not gonna repeat this experience.
Erin Longmoon 16:21
Exactly. Exactly. And no happens, you know, for me, you know, because like I said, My being drawn to different toxic workplaces was a lot about self-worth, and being treated the way that I deserve. But I didn’t, you know, I, without going into a story, I’ve got my story as to why I didn’t feel I was worthy of that country meant, but once I did the work, and I did the internal work and you know, healed that. I literally, I have not worked another toxic workplace sense, right? Like it just done it. Yeah. Because it’s no longer a reflection that I need to work through. So it can be that powerful, if you’re willing to do the internal work, right? Like, that’s, well if you really want to turn it around you have to do your internal work.
Heather Pearce Campbell 17:01
Yes, it’s, you know, it’s just, and there’s a lot of nuance to this conversation, let’s be clear that we’re not going to be able to cover in our time together, right, all of the layers and the contributing factors and the things that, you know, get people in trouble. But it is interesting to observe how when some amount of toxicity comes in the door, because I think for people listening, right, the question is like, How do I know if it’s toxic? Like, how do I have like actually saying out loud, it’s toxic and labeling it, I think, is a challenge for some people, right? Because our brain wants to rationalize things, and we want to, like, figure it out and not always go to the most extreme.
Erin Longmoon 17:42
Right, right. Yeah. Right.
Heather Pearce Campbell 17:44
And, you know, we tend to come up with reasons why and all of this. And also, we get to know people in our workplaces, and they often become friends or acquaintances, or colleagues and just like can happen in a family scenario where, you know, maybe somebody even becomes a friend, even if they are on the other side of a toxic dynamic, right? There can be struggles that play out, we’re still the group works to keep that person safe, or keep them in that position of power or whatever. Right? Right. But it’s not always somebody in a position of power, right? There are teams where a toxic person is just on the team. Yeah, dynamic around, you know, other people not feeling good about going to work, having physical symptoms, you know, reducing more rounds, making team meetings harder, right? Talk to us about the ways that it shows up so that people can recognize like, Oh,
Erin Longmoon 18:35
Yeah, well, and like you said, I mean, we can’t cover every single thing, but I do think you hit the nail on the head. First is start with yourself, you know, you had an issue, I remember, you know, you had a podcast about your intuition. And there is an element of that, trust your gut, trust your intuition, if you really aren’t feeling happy to go to work, you may need to stop for a moment and unpack that, you know, start with how you’re feeling? Because you’re feeling or is often the window into that something’s not right. Correct. So, you know, start there. And then, you know, the truth is, is that you may not, you may never truly understand exactly the toxic diet, you know, if and we’re using the word toxic kind of thrown it around. But, you know, in a negative workplace, it doesn’t fill you up, that doesn’t make you feel good, that doesn’t excite you, you know, you may never really fully understand why or what the dynamic is, because like I said before, they can be very subtle, you know, there can be very subtle group dynamics going on where maybe you feel slightly like you’re outside the group, but you know, the meetings, they talk to you, but do they ever invite you to lunch? I mean, these are kind of saying like, I’m trying to pull simple ones out just to make it relatable, but, you know, you might kind of always Kakashi like, why, why am I never invited to the happy hour or what’s going on here? Well, it could just be that there is sort of a click dynamic. It’s just, we’re human and that’s sort of how we are but so, start with your feelings, and then give yourself permission to also just trust your gut. And you may never fully understand how it’s toxic. But you know, other ways that they show up, you know, four ways for me are things like, one that happened to me a lot, for some reasons this is the thing, you know, that I have to unpack is, you know, coming up with ideas coming up with solutions to problems, and just kind of getting the pat on the head. Oh, aren’t you cute, you know, thanks for your idea, haha. But then having someone else come with a similar idea or something and getting all the accolades, and, you know, all the like, wow, brilliant idea. Love that. Let’s do that and run with it. And, you know, so in that, for me, I’m a, I’m a woman, and it was often the male who got the accolades. And it was, the female didn’t, so that male-female dynamic happens a lot. And I would sit there and go, like, dude, like, Are my ideas really not that great? Like, I don’t get it, I’m the one who’s in it. Well, I feel like I really can solve this problem we’re having and, you know, so after a while, I was internalizing it thinking that I just wasn’t smart enough, or I just wasn’t, you know, didn’t have good enough idea, whatever, you know, all those stories. So it could be as simple as that, where, you know, my boss treated me just fine. On the surface. He was kind, he was nice. He, you know, nobody around would say, Wow, he’s, you know, being he’s not dealing with the power dynamic in any big struggle way. There was no harassment, but he just subtly would never listen to my solutions, even though they were good. I mean, now that I’m older, they were great solution, right? He just had it, you know, he has his own issues. With me, a woman, I think it’s such as one example, you know, well, and I know many ways, it can show up so
Heather Pearce Campbell 21:43
So many ways. But that I mean, I think you raise a particularly poignant one, especially for women listening, like even, you know, I grew up in a male-dominated industry, it’s still heavily, heavily male-dominated, like there’s been, unfortunately, very little progress in the legal world towards more equalization. And like most firms, and most of the larger organizations within law do not have, you know, equal representation, or even close to it at the time, their management structures, and so, but you know, even like what you said, Does now really hit home, like, everything else seems fine. Like I was working with a gentleman who was a mentor in a lot of ways. Like, I really love him, he was a quality person, a quality attorney. And this point that you make about like, who gets recognition or which ideas listen to right, I was a workhorse, and I could do a ton of work. And he still would like, put the other person’s name on the briefing or unit, I mean, some of this, like, who actually got the acknowledgment for doing the work. And that was a painful thing. And I think sometimes it’s only in looking backward, that we’re able to really look at those experiences and assimilate them and deal with them moving forward. Right? in it, you’re like, yeah, it can be really hard to know how to address that specifically, like, well, is it just because, you know, the senior partner gets to choose whose name goes on what and, you know, I mean, it’s looking backward, it’s really, really clear it was because I was female, right? I mean, I got some other comments, because I was female. And there, there was one at one point that had to do with my looks that I had. And that by that point in my life, I already had a clear boundary around that because I dealt with that issue as a child growing up like my entire growing up the experience so that when I was able to look him in the face and say, You’re not entitled to comment on my looks, like it’s irrelevant to my work and I and I literally just looked at him and said, I don’t want to hear another thing about my looks right off-limits done and a story he never commented again, that never came up. It didn’t affect our work.
Erin Longmoon 24:01
I know many women who are commented on their looks. And my mother used to work in an industry where you Oh, the female had to wear a skirt and it had to be right above the knee and she had to wear heels or pumps or something with the heel like. I, you know, it’s astonishing to me that she put up with that, but because I grew up in a different era, but you know, they just didn’t even question that like, Okay. How am I supposed to look in a male-dominated industry?
Heather Pearce Campbell 24:36
Oh, yeah. really true. It’s really yeah. And, yeah, you know, anyways, I’m sure there’s a gazillion examples we could get into, but probably most people listening who have ever been an employee somewhere, face this probably in some regard, right, because I think it comes up in a lot of different ways. there’s ample opportunities in the marketplace to see how this plays out. Yes, yes. So talk to us about this shift that you have made them? Yeah. Transitioning from that being part of your background experience into really helping businesses organizations find the right fit employees talk to us about this concept of right fit.
Erin Longmoon 25:17
Okay, thank you. Yes. So, you know, in, in trying to eradicate toxic workplaces, we do this by creating, it’s kind of like matchmaking, like our concept or idea is that we’re trying to find the right employee for that company, and vice versa, like it is a two way street. And when you do find it, and it works, it is a beautiful thing, like for both the employer and the employee. And you know, we work only with small businesses. So we see the evidence pretty clearly, it’s pretty powerful. When you’re in a smaller team. Yeah, then when you get the match, right, but so, we had seen, you know, a lot of our clients, a lot of clients that I’ve worked with, over the years kind of come to me and saying, you like I want that a player, I want that, you know, top talent, I want, you know, all these things that you see out in the world. And, and, you know, as I started working with them more and more, I started realizing that this is a really limiting way of looking at employees, because, and in small business, in particular, I think it’s a miss, it’s a mismatch of what they really need. Because what is an A player to, you know, one, let’s say accounting firm, is a completely different kind of a player than what would be for a different accounting firm, literally down the street. You know, one might need a problem solver, who’s constantly thinking outside the box for solutions. And another one might be no, you just need to tick all the boxes, because we’ve got our process. So dialed in, I need someone who follows rules. Those are both a players, right? So we change the language to be the right fit employee, and it’s your right fit based on not just your skills, and you know, like aptitudes and the experience you need the candidate to have. But you also, especially in small business, you really need someone who fits the culture, who’s in alignment with your core values, whose goals aren’t in opposition to your goals, they don’t need to be the same, but you know, you need were their goals and your goals, you can help each other achieve the goals, like the employer helps the employee achieve their goals, and vice versa. So the goals have to have some kind of an alignment, where the personality of the person fits really well with the team, the mindset, you know, if you need people who are very growth mindset oriented, versus people who not that fixed is bad, but like, like I said, being able to follow the rules and go, I trust the process. I don’t need to have a growth mindset in this job, you know, so being able to really understand what that right for them, please, for you, is critical in finding the right match, you know, finding that right employee, so you have to go beyond the skill set. So that’s what we came up with the idea of right fit.
Heather Pearce Campbell 27:55
Well, this, you know, this process of recruiting, I think you you know, you, like you said in the beginning, it’s really hard for a lot of businesses to get it right, right. And even like, you know, I follow Gary Vee, which millions of other people do too. But even his thoughts on this topic about like, you know, we all get it wrong, like you hire quickly, or you hire slow and fire fast, right? Yes. You just get used to recognizing that you’ve made a mistake, and you respectfully let somebody go, what are your thoughts on advice like that, like, just expect that it’s gonna be hard, and you’re gonna screw it up? And you’re gonna have to try a few times?
Erin Longmoon 28:33
I mean, to some degree, yes. Because, again, we don’t learn. We’re not taught how to be great recruiters as business owners. So if you’re doing it yourself, then yes, I mean, it just is the truth. And even as entrepreneurs, we’re making mistakes all the time, right? So I mean, until you learn how to read your read your balance sheet, you probably don’t even look at it, you probably don’t even know what story it’s telling you. But once you do, you’re like, Oh, my gosh, look at all the things that I was missing, and that I should have been paying attention to. So really, until you learn, of course, you know, that’s, we’re gonna make mistakes. So there is an element of Yes, except and even in the recruiting industry. We do. I mean, you know, we have misfires every once in a while as well, because we’re dealing with human beings. I mean, this isn’t, you know, artificial intelligence. We’re not dealing with black and white widgets. We’re not dealing with robotics or things, we’re dealing with human beings. And, you know, we have a very thorough process to try to uncover who that person really is at their core, in our interview process. But even with that, you know, people can be guarded, they can misrepresent their skills, you know, you can only do so much in the recruiting process to assess out who they are and what the skills are that they have. So yes, I think it’s okay and forgive yourself. And I fully 100 percent believe in the, in the hiring slow and firing fast methodology because especially in small business, it can be excruciating and devastating to hear To the wrong employee, I mean, you can truly devastate your business.
Heather Pearce Campbell 30:03
Oh, I, yes, I agree. And I think you know, even being upfront because my experience and not that I’ve hired a ton, even in my own business, I do a lot of project based hires. And I’ve got a VA who’s been with me for a little while now, had a VA before that, but it’s like, as a people person, like, it’s so easy to get attached to the person, it’s so easy to, you know, just like internalize all the feelings of like, Oh, my gosh, I don’t want to have to let this person go or you know, cause them any pain, and especially for somebody that has a lot of empathy like that I find really challenging. The other thing, and last year, I spent a huge portion of my time actually leading a team for a firm downtown Seattle, it was 15 people. And there was one individual on there that I would describe as problematic. Yeah. And if it had been my team, where I had done all the hires, from the start, I would have let this individual go. I didn’t, I couldn’t do that, because I was stepping into the project. And you know, the firm was responsible for the team. But it made work for other people so much more challenging. Yeah. I mean, there were times there were weeks, literally, where, you know, 70% of my time managing the project, involved this person or complications from this person, where I needed to be spending my time managing other things, right. And this is, like, I got to see firsthand how challenging that was, and what the, you know, what comes in the door, when you leave somebody who’s the wrong fit on the team?
Erin Longmoon 31:41
Yes. And it has a huge ripple effect, you know, huge ripple effect. And I’m sure you know, you’re talking about a team of 15. And then in a probably a semi, you know, I don’t know the size of the organization, but I’m sure it was felt for quite a ways out, it sounds like and when you’re in a small business, that ripple effect can affect your clients, you can lose clients over it, it can affect your reputation, it you know, clearly you can lose some of your best employees if you let that problematic employee stick around for too long. I mean, that’s what I mean, by devastating, it can have a huge ripple effect. And yeah, it’s good that you I mean, you know, that that I want you to have that experience was very eye-opening, isn’t it? It’s, it’s very, really how powerful it can be?
Heather Pearce Campbell 32:23
Yes, well, we’re just gonna be very direct, and I’m gonna come talk to you about it, I’m going to respectfully let us part ways so that you can find your best work, and we can find the best fit bakley.
Erin Longmoon 32:31
That’s the other side of it, it doesn’t do anybody favors, because really, if you look at it from that matchmaking point of view, it’s like, oh, and I really do liken it to dating, it really is so similar. So you’re right, treated like dating, you’re gonna have 90 days worth of dates, and then we’re gonna kind of decide or maybe 30 days with the dates. And if you know, your, your, if I just can’t tolerate your words earlier than we might have to part ways. But it’s so it’s really no different. And it shouldn’t, in some ways be treated any differently than that process, either. Because you’re talking about working with these people for most of your weeks, right? Like, if you’re working full time anyway, you’re spending most of your waking hours with these people. So it’s a huge investment to get it right and to take the time. And when you mentioned the like being honest, truly, the only way to find your right fit is to be honest and be authentic. So, you know, a lot of people, I think it’s unfortunately, you know, because institutional knowledge just seems to span generations, we have this idea that you want a job post that is very professional, well, if you’re a fun, quirky place to work, let your job posts be fun and quirky. Otherwise, you are going to draw in people who don’t fit your culture. So there’s all these different steps in the recruiting process that you want to take. But above all, be authentic, and be honest about who your company is, including your awards, because it’s important for the candidate to see those things to, you know, in order for them to discern if it’s the right fit for them.
Heather Pearce Campbell 34:02
No, I love I love hearing that. Because I’ve seen even in you know, I’ve talked to regularly on the podcast about the topics I love to read about our either personal development or business, right? Like, yeah, that’s my job. Right? I live in books in either side. And I have like, you know, hundreds that drive my husband crazy. But the fascinating thing is that you read about the ways that companies hire, right, and they all develop their own systems, and some go to great length to really create, for lack of a better word, like a quirky process that really fits the company so that by the time somebody walked all the way through that process, if they’ve stuck with them, and they’ve done like some of the like, I’ve seen ones, where tech companies like will embed a particular kind of problem into the application and like somebody has to be able to solve that or even know what it means to get to Don’t you know, right, like language or skills or something that would be unique to somebody who is exactly the right fit and that other person just, wouldn’t get or wouldn’t be willing to do or whatever, right.
Erin Longmoon 35:05
Won’t stick through, you know, great story. We have a client who is an accounting firm, I bring up accounting, it’s not our niche, but we do we do work with accounting firms. And this particular accounting firm is definitely different. They wear shorts and T shirts to work. They go skiing on the weekends. And one of the things that they do is they love improv comedy. And they use it for team building. Well, they actually bring it into their interview process. So they will put their finalist candidate so the one who’s been through all the interviews to the very last thing is a team interview. And they give them unbeknownst to them, they give them an improv comedy challenge. And they’re like, you need to get up and you need to, like, do this and you need to, I don’t know, act like you’re mothered. I don’t even know improv comedy myself, but they will give them this challenge. And it’s the same thing. It’s like the ones that will rise to the challenge. They made bomb. It’s not about whether they’re good, but do they embrace it? Do they laugh along? Do they rise up? Do they show the courage, because that’s their culture, that’s what they demand out of them in their culture and in the kind of work that they do. So, you know, think outside the box and do quirky things. If you are a quirky group, you know, be authentic in your process. And you will, you will really find the ones that are the right fit for you the diamonds in the haystack, because they’ll just, they’ll shine through the process.
Heather Pearce Campbell 36:22
Yeah, that’s a great, that’s a great example of that. Yeah, the other thing I’ve heard, and I have a friend who lives in the Gosh, what is his world? I don’t think it’s numerology but it’s something like that his personality assessment based on certain factors. And he says that companies all the time will come to him to run their people through these personality tests that, that analyze certain things like communication styles, and you know, whether you’re fiscally conservative or whether you have an abundance mindset, and, you know, different, different qualities before they will even do the hire. Right? Yeah. I wonder like, do you see that in your industry where companies are really trying to, because his philosophy is like, if you have a mismatch, like let’s say you have a CEO or somebody who needs to work very closely, day in and day out with, for example, like a virtual assistant or an administrative assistant that’s going to be right behind the scenes person, and they’re talking all the time. They have different communication styles, right, really cause a breakdown and an inability for business to get done. Right. Yeah, I was like, Oh, the line? Yeah, no, go to right.
Erin Longmoon 37:30
Yeah. Right. Yes. And, you know, we’ve got clients who use those kinds of assessments, and some who don’t, I mean, my only word of caution is you have to make sure that it’s benchmarks make sure it has research behind it, because they can Well, I don’t know you’re the lawyer, but I’ve seen it open up people to potential discrimination lawsuits, so you do have to be slightly careful. So just do your due diligence, but they can be very powerful, they can reveal a lot about a candidate. They also can be used really, to help you understand how to best support that person if you hire them, what kind of leadership you know, style do they need to thrive or how their communication styles like the ways you need to adjust your communication to help them thrive. So there they have a place they definitely have a place but do your due diligence before you write.
Heather Pearce Campbell 38:20
Oh, sure. There’s a gazillion, some of which are probably not great for this. No,
Erin Longmoon 38:24
They’re definitely not. Yeah.
Heather Pearce Campbell 38:27
So talk to us for a few minutes just about what some of the most common hiring mistakes are, when people are trying to go through this process even when they put like a bunch of time into it, what do you see as some of the biggest errors that people are?
Erin Longmoon 38:41
So big companies or small both focusing too much on skills and just looking at the resume is one you know, really hiring for skill set is going to get you in trouble? I think using personally we do not use artificial intelligence even to parse our resumes because, and I see people great people can fall through the cracks when you rely on artificial intelligence. Because, you know, really, it’s just if they just didn’t put the one key word on their resume, you’ve now lost somebody who could have been terrific. So you know, we use human eyes to help assess human beings I think that’s the best way. The other thing is focusing on skills. Oh, and if you’re a small business owner, oh, I just lost my train of thought Heather. I hate it when that happens.
Heather Pearce Campbell 39:25
Oh, that’s okay.
Erin Longmoon 39:27
Like how these all these different ideas but oh, I know it especially in small businesses is like you say the emotional hire like oh, you and I just really hit it off and I can see myself working with you all day long because you’re just cool. You know, and that really is a lot of the time what we see our clients that’s what they’re hiring on is the world that I liked them they seemed.
Heather Pearce Campbell 39:50
Yeah, the like factor totally.
Erin Longmoon 39:54
So that’s like rose tinted glasses, right that you were even again, going back to the dating analogy. Like, oh, they were so pretty, you know, and then you find out, they’re, you know, not at all a good match for you. So, you know, and then the other one we see a lot is like hiring your friend, you know, oh, my friend needs a job. And I really have got something you can do like, I’ll hire you. Yeah. And you know, they there’s a great intention behind that. But we don’t evaluate our friends when we hire them the same way you do when it’s a stranger. So if you’re going to put them through the objective process, just like you would anybody else that’s important. So those are some really big ones that create the sort of Miss hire right out of the gates. And then, you know, the other one that we see is not checking references, which there’s a lot of theories that you know, people say they’re a waste of time. But if you do it, right, and if you call the correct people, it can tell you a lot. And it’s almost always, you know, when somebody didn’t present their skillset properly or something, I will say, Well, did you check the references? Oh, well, I didn’t check the references. I didn’t get that full picture of who that candidate was. So taking the time to put them through an intentional process.
Heather Pearce Campbell 41:09
Yeah. Oh, no, it’s well, it’s really interesting to think about, I mean, I appreciate those examples. They’re really clear examples. And I never would have thought of using AI for this process. But it totally makes sense that some companies are using this to crunch data. But the thought of replacing judgment with AI, like, yeah, that’s a little scary to me. Like, I could see how it might supplement like, it might supplement the process, but not replace, you know, human judgment. So that’s really, bigger companies tend to use it. And recruiters To be honest, traditional recruiters use it all the time. That is a big part of how they narrow the pool, because they’re looking at so many people.
Erin Longmoon 41:50
Yeah, yeah, exactly. But yeah, you know, there’s, there’s some of us who do it differently.
Heather Pearce Campbell 41:55
Right. Well, and this point about checking references, I read an interesting thing one time about companies that build into the actual interview process with a candidate questions around like directly asking them, what would so and so who you’ve worked with for five years, say your weaknesses are, if I called them right now, what would they say? are, you know, some areas where you fall short and see and right, because they say that that will get a lot more honesty out of folks, if they know you’re going to call that person and asked that question, you might get a direct answer before you even have to do.
Erin Longmoon 42:29
Yeah, yeah, you know, it’s so interesting, you’re actually bringing up a really great point. Because one of the things that if you’re really trying to find the right match, one of the things that we should talk about is making people feel safe in the interview process. So oftentimes, you know, we’re taught and the book that really touts that process actually is very similar to this, we’re taught to interrogate people in interviews. And if you interrogate people, and you make them feel put on the spot and challenge, they are never going to open up and show you who they are, in order to really sets out the right fit person, which is going deeper than their resume and their experience. You want to know who they are as a person, how do they think what it matters to them, you know, all those cultural pieces that are important, then you have to set up a foundation of safety from the moment you meet. And so when you do interview questions like there is a way to ask the question that you just put out there that feels safe. And there’s a way to ask that question that is going to make someone go oh my gosh, all right, what’s going on? Now all of a sudden, I don’t feel all they’re gonna interrogate my old boss, what are they, you know, you guarded all of a sudden, well, then you’re not going to get to know that person at all. They’re just going to tell you everything that you, they think you want to hear. That’s what they’re going to tell you. So you have to be careful. That is the way we do it a little bit. I mean, we do call who we want to call. Yeah, we make that pretty clear early on, we’re not going to ask you for references. We’re going to pick based on the stories you share with us about your experience and your resume. Because we really want to get to know you, all of you. And that includes getting other people’s viewpoints. So you know, we try to say a little bit more like that way. We might say, oh, what did you know? What would your old boss like? What did your boss say when that happened? And that’s a way of understanding that sort of a twist on that question that you just were asking, like, What did they say about you? It’s more like what did they say in that moment? Now? It feels more like we’re just genuinely curious.
Heather Pearce Campbell 44:29
Yes, easier to answer. Yeah.
Erin Longmoon 44:32
Yep. Yeah. So just yeah, that’s a word of caution. If you really like this idea of rate fat, you shifted the tone to totally ask the question.
Heather Pearce Campbell 44:39
Yes, it’s well and it’s great to hear that there’s a way to do that is safe and inviting because you know, one of the other stories that I read about companies and like putting their you know, potential employees their applicants through like a horrendous process. You know, to mean of like, yes. Like just, you know, never-ending interviews and like so many hurdles that if they get to the end, they’re like, we’ve got our person. Right.
Erin Longmoon 45:11
Right. Right, going curious. And they persevere. And they’ve got backbone, right? And if that’s the kind of person you need, then great. I mean, if if the job is hard, and they’re gonna be put to the test every day, then then do that. Right? Like, put them through a process that tests their resilience, right. But the interview process is the impression that you’re giving them of your company as well. So there is a statistic I can’t quit, but I think it’s 41% of employees will leave if they don’t like if the recruiting process isn’t feel safe. Yeah. Because like, I don’t want to work for a company who’s doing that to me, you know, I don’t want to work for especially Healthy People, right?
Heather Pearce Campbell 45:53
I need to be more of an invitation. Yeah.
Erin Longmoon 45:56
Exactly, and it’s a genuine curiosity both ways. We encourage candidates to interview employees of the prospective employer, you know, it’s like, you need to also understand the company you’re getting engaged with, so to speak. So, you know, do your due diligence and get to know them deeply, as well. And so it should be more about a respectful curiosity about each other a respectful way of getting to know each other. And, and then that’s when you know, the match gets, even if it doesn’t work out, right, you both walk away feeling really good about the experience, regardless, you know, our list if you decide it’s a good fit or not.
Heather Pearce Campbell 46:36
Well, and the thing that I like about what you’re saying, and this, you know, this whole concept that it needs to be mutual, and I feel like for small companies in particular, like if you don’t invest in your people, what are you investing in? Right? You really have to invest in your people, and which will lead us to the next question about the cost of a bad hire. But before we get there, there, you know, I was reading the Jim Collins book, I think it’s good to great it’s about companies. Yes. Genius greatness, right? Yeah, yeah, I loved about that, and found fascinating, even about companies that took over other businesses as the ones that achieved greatness, you know, even after a merger acquisition, and had, you know, acquired a whole additional company, is they didn’t like a lot of companies do just let everybody go right and reorganize and do it all themselves. Like, they spent a lot of time keeping the people that were already part of that previous organization. And you know, the way that they describe it in that book is putting the right bonds in the right seats. So yeah, if needed to move people around, they were invested in the people, even people that they didn’t have a prior relationship with, right. And I love that I love that idea of like investing in people and putting them in the right seat, even if it takes a little longer takes a little more investment, because the trade-off, which leads us to the next question is, what is the cost of a bad hire?
Erin Longmoon 48:07
Right. So it ranges I mean, most statistics show now from a monetary standpoint, only 30% or so some go up to 50%, especially for leaders or senior management level, it can be even more costly. But none of that takes into the account into account, again, that ripple effect that that bad hire can have. So there’s the monetary cost which 30% you know, someone who’s 60,70,120- $150,000 is no small amount of money. But then you’ve got again, the people who might quit, because they don’t like the bad hire, and they’re like, I’m not gonna work here anymore, because you didn’t let them go fast enough. Or customers, you might lose, because they don’t, you know, resonate with this new hire than the Li, you already gave a great example of how much time it took, when you are leading that team, and you have the one problematic person, how much of their time they have your time, excuse me, they took for you to just deal with the aftermath of their work, right, the mistakes they were making, the way they were affecting other people, whatever. Think of all the things you could have done if you don’t have to spend that 70% of their time dealing with that one person. So especially in small businesses, I mean, as a business owner, I mean, I felt it, you know, I know what it’s like to have someone who isn’t the right fit for my team, and is like, you have to micromanage Yes. Just to get through the day with them. So it’s like it’s better to cut them loose, really, I mean, cost is, I mean, there are some costs that you just came to measure, but they’re, you know, exponential.
Heather Pearce Campbell 49:37
Well, and I, you know, I don’t and I’d be open to your advice to small businesses on this, but based on my experience, like the moment that you realize somebody is not a fit for the team, or is bringing other people like, that’s the moment to really hit pause and say how far down this path you want to go because I think a lot of people Get caught up. And they’re like, well, if I just invest in them a little more if I just offer more training, if I just do ABC and XYZ like, but it can take you a long ways down that path.
Erin Longmoon 50:11
Yes, it can. So I think, you know, honestly, my advice is, I think it is fair to give people a chance. I think everyone has the possibility to grow. I’m very growth mindset oriented, I believe that people can change. I believe that people are good inherently. And you know, so you might need to have I don’t know if you know about Kim Scott and her radical candor. But you know, this idea of like, you may need to have some radical candor where it’s, you know, you’re coming to these moments, like, your behavior or the way you’re doing your job or something, something’s, whatever it is, is not working for you, here’s where we need to shift and tell me what you need from me to help you make that shift. I am happy to provide that for you. But this is your one chance, like, you know, it’s not three strikes. It’s not 10 strike. Yes, I but as long as you’re having the open, honest, real radical candor conversation, you can’t do it with the, oh, I kind of wish you would do this a little differently. Like you have to be really clear. But if you’re Yeah, if you’re I can see you nodding and nodding, like if you are really clear, then they get the one chance because you just don’t, it just don’t have the time to you know, spend months and months trying to figure it out.
Heather Pearce Campbell 51:21
Right. And most small businesses don’t also have the budget, right. And they don’t, it can be tremendously detrimental to a small biz, like larger businesses that have a little more cushion. And they can spend some time moving funds around on seats, right with somebody just doesn’t carry their weight, like you just don’t have the freedom as a small business to spend too much time there without a big impact to your bottom line.
Erin Longmoon 51:46
I think that’s the other thing is time to not just the cost of money, but there’s usually in smaller businesses, there isn’t the kind of leaders, you don’t have layers of leadership, to help mentor this person handhold the person, you know, you’re in small business, you need everybody to be self-managed, and, you know, capable of doing their job, right?
Heather Pearce Campbell 52:05
Yeah, no. But I do love that. I do love the idea. Because as somebody who also believes in mentoring and developing people, you know, we all need somebody at some point to help mentor us and get us to the next level in some way, right when we’re building our skills. But the idea that it really comes back to clarity, is there clarity with this person? Is there clarity around expectations, I think is a huge, huge point. Well, I feel like there’s so much more we can tackle. This is such a fun, it’s really a fun topic. And it’s super important for small businesses to get this right. super important for them not to waste resources in this department if they can help it right. And so for folks that are listening to you, and are like, Oh my gosh, I need more information. I need to work with Aaron or learn more about how she helps small businesses. Where do you like, where do you like to connect.
Erin Longmoon 53:00
So there’s a couple of places and it’s certainly our website is just a great wealth of information so that Zephyr recruiting calm and I will spell Zephyr, it is ZPHY R and it actually means a gentle breeze. So the idea is that we make building your team much easier and more like a nice gentle breeze. But if you want to connect with me directly, then I’m on LinkedIn.
Heather Pearce Campbell 53:41
Perfect. And for those listening, I will share Erin’s contact information, the link to her website in our show notes so you can visit those legal website warrior.com forward slash podcast. Now Erin, I know you have a gift for the audience. Yes. Do you want to talk to us for a minute about that?
Erin Longmoon 53:58
Yeah, I do. So we’ve developed actually with our right fit methodology, a full like DIY workbook. And you’re welcome to use that by going to our website. So Zephyr recruiting.com, forward slash, right, fit, work, all one word. And I know you’ll have that in the show notes as well. But that really takes this whole concept we talked about today much deeper. And it has steps that you take to come up with your right fit employee avatar, we call them avatars and your marketing strategy, because it’s all about marketing. It’s all about speaking to them and pulling them toward you and attracting them to you. And so you know, there’s a whole process behind that. And so that workbook can walk you through it step by step. And then of course, we’re here to help you if you need it.
Heather Pearce Campbell 54:45
Absolutely. Wow, that sounds like a phenomenal resource. I mean, I think breaking down this thing that feels hard that people worry about in business. It keeps some small businesses from growing, right. I think it’s it sounds like it’s A nominal tool to actually have like, work you can do to make progress on this, your yourself. And if you need Erin, you can reach out. What a final thoughts or tip would you like to leave with our audience?
Erin Longmoon 55:14
Yeah, that’s such a good question. I mean, there’s just so many. And I think, you know, probably the strongest, you know, the tip that we kind of touched upon, but is go into the recruiting process with a with a clear strategy, which you can learn more about from our workbook and our website, but with a genuine sense of curiosity. And if you have that genuine sense of curiosity, then it’s going to resonate, it’s going to shine through the process. And you don’t have to figure out like, Am I doing this? Right? Am I doing this wrong? If you just kind of go in with that, the candidate will feel it. It’ll be an exciting process. It won’t be scary. And it will be fun. And so that’s the last tip that I would have is just be really curious about who that person is.
Heather Pearce Campbell 55:59
I love that. Well, and you, you learn so much more when you’re curious versus like trying to fit somebody into a certain, you know, round hole or whatever. I think you get the opportunity to get a much fuller picture that way.
Erin Longmoon 56:12
Exactly. Yep. No,
Heather Pearce Campbell 56:14
Yeah. Oh, I love that. Well, thank you, Erin. I’m so glad that we get to share this conversation with folks who are out there building businesses and trying to figure out how to do this the right way. I hope you’ll come back and we can chat again.
Erin Longmoon 56:27
I would love to I know there’s so many layers. As you said tennis I would love to there’s many more things we could talk about. So awesome.
Heather Pearce Campbell 56:33
Well, thank you.
Erin Longmoon 56:37
Thank you listeners to you, love being here.
Heather Pearce Campbell 56:40
Absolutely. Bye bye.
GGGB Outro 56:47
Thank you for joining us today on the Guts, Grit and Great Business podcast. We hope that we’ve added a little fuel to your tank, some coffee to your cup and pep in your step to keep you moving forward in your own great adventures. four key takeaways links to any resources mentioned in today’s show and more see the show notes which can be found at legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you enjoyed today’s conversation, please give us some stars and a review on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us to keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.