Video Transcript

00:09 Theodora Sergio: Hi. My name is Theodora Sergio and I run a swimming pool construction company. My question is I have a loyal construction manager who has worked for me for ten years. And she just turned 65. She does not want to retire. She's been excellent at her job, but this summer things got a lot busier and she hasn't been able to shall we say keep up. So do you-;what do you do with her because she's very a loyal, honest, wonderful employee, but she's not able to do her job anymore. Do you bring her someone to train and put her more of a supervisor type of role? She has a very high salary, so you kind of can't do both, you know, hire two people, but anything that would advise on keeping good employees even though they're not able to withstand the pressure.

01:17 Katie Morgan: Yeah, I'll start. That is--it's very complex. It's a great question. And it's a very complicated situation. I think one of the, you know, kind of paths that you were starting to head down in terms of offering up, you know, her to have a plan, having you sit down, having a very candid, difficult conversation around what-;here's where we are, you know, we want you to be a part of this longer-term solution and bringing on a different supervisor for all of the reasons that you've listed and being very candid and upfront with her around what's not working. And those are some of the toughest things that we need to do and certainly you all need to do as owners of your own business to have those very difficult performance conversations that are-;that it's not working. But I think in that case, given, you know, the tenure, given her age, given where she is in her career, having some period of time to transition and essentially, you know, pass along her knowledge and enable her to have a softer exit if you will I think might be quite advantageous to you. I mean, of course, there a number of legal issues with some of that as well, which I won't go through here. But those would be--those would also be quite complicated. So you probably have some of that.

02:34 Sharon Virst-Mozer: We just had this recently, a woman who had been with me for 13 years and not performing. And what we did was we offered her a lump sum. We had the difficult discussions that you're talking about that we provided her some funding into our 401(k) and moved her from a full-time employee status to a part-time employee status. She still gets benefits, but she's being paid by the hour to do some very specific tasks that are related that she does well, but got her out of the management, got her out of positions where she was really struggling.

03:06 Morgan:   And that bridge I think is really helpful, so to kind of bridge someone to a new role, whether it's part-time or consulting status or things like that kind of helps with a softer landing. It sounds like that worked well for you.

03:17 Virst-Mozer: It did.

03:18 Morgan: Thank you. Great question.

03:19 Allison Fass: Next question.

03:20 Leslie Talbot: Hi. I'm Leslie Talbot. I run a small education consulting firm. And I have a question that's kind of the opposite of the previous one. I have two amazing consultants, both social/entrepreneurial bent, which is extremely important in my line of work. And they're-;I pay them on a 1099. They prefer that. I prefer that. But I'm-;I would love some recommendations on like an incentive structure or reward structure, particularly as we're ending this year and they've helped me grow the business quite a bit this year.

04:02 Selena Cuffe: I can take that. I actually have some 1099s that have been quite good at helping us open us doors. And what we have done is create a self-incentive performance goal with them so that if we hit certain top-line numbers, then we also give them a bonus. For some of the other core functional responsibilities like accounting or like operations management, we kind of do it in reverse in that we look at the bottom-line number. And to the extent that they are able to help us with our profit numbers, then we do the same. And I've found that it helps everyone be aligned with, you know, with the goals overall and at the same time we're not necessarily just giving out equity in the company left and right.

04:50 Fass: Right. Sharon, do you have anything to add?

04:52 Virst-Mozer: We do similar things. We base the performance, you know, based on the top line or the bottom line depending on what it would be. And it's a bonus. And it's much easier to do a bonus than it is to do the salary.

05:02 Morgan: Yeah, but it sounds like a great strategy and in terms of how you describe them that it would be very motivating to the point you're making.

05:08 Fass: Next question.

05:10 Amanda: Good afternoon. My name is Amanda from Market Reach. And one thing that struck me, Sharon, that you said is that you want to grow from 1,500 to 2,000 within like five seconds. And I feel like I'm at an impasse because we've hired one or two people along the way and now I need to hire four. And what's real crazy is I need to hire four people that do cold calling seven hours a day. And it's so difficult to find the right people. And I'm real picky and I want to remain that way. But how do you just fast-forward that and, you know, finding $12-an-hour people to do cold calling even with commission is just harder than I thought it would be.

05:50 Virst-Mozer: I think you've got to set up the real criteria of what you're looking for. I mean, that's the most important thing, what the skills are and the industries they've worked in before that are similar and test for that. And we've got it down to a process because we've been doing it for a long time. We have identified what I call key success factors on every position we have, right? So if you say we're doing some let's paralegal or analysis on our-;on a contract site, we want paralegals. But if we give them an analysis test and they can't pass it, they may have been a paralegal, but they weren't a very good one. So come up with what your key success factors are for those positions and make sure that your candidates have that. And just keep searching because, you know, we find the biggest challenge we have is clearances. We may have the best candidate in the world, but they can't pass a background test, they don't have financial-;they've got financial credit problems, we can't hire them. There's seven flags that we look for in their background. So try to establish what those criteria are and then search hard. And we search well in advance. I mean, the job that we're--like I said is we started recruited 18 months ago for the job that we're going to be staffing from December.