How to Hire Better People Faster | Ep. 247

COGE 247 | Hiring Better People


A peacock spreads its tail to attract a peahen. You can also apply that same concept of mating in attracting the right people into your business. Today, Ryan Englin, the CEO of Core Matters, dives into attracting, hiring better people faster, and retaining great talent for your construction business to prosper. It is valuable to be clear with your core values and what you offer to attract the right people into your business. Ryan also identifies the top assessments that are most effective for him in identifying the best people. Let’s tune into this episode with Ryan Englin and see the importance of your core values in hiring because your Core Matters.

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How to Hire Better People Faster

If you could hire better people faster, would you like to do that? That’s what they call a leading question because I know the answer to that is yes. My guest is Ryan Englin. He is the CEO of Core Matters. Core Matters specializes in helping people do exactly that, hire better people faster. We’re going to talk about attracting, hiring, and retaining great talent. Enjoy my interview. Let’s dive right in.

Ryan, welcome to the show.

Eric, thank you for inviting me on.

You are an expert at the fine art of hiring people and the science of hiring people. Tell me why is hiring people like dating?

It was probably a decade ago when I figured this out. We put so much emphasis on our first impression. Whether it’s the dating world or even the hiring world, we put such an emphasis on our first impression, so much so that it’s fake and that it’s not really who we are. You’ve heard the stories of people who are on dating apps, and then they finally meet the person. They’re like, “You don’t look anything like what was in your profile.” You get catfished. That’s the term they use. We do that in the dating world where we put our best foot forward so that people perk up and they like us. That comes from that instinct that many animals have. You think about the peacock. The one with the most beautiful feathers is the one that gets noticed. We need to have that same instinctual thing here.

The difference is when it comes to hiring, we forget the things that are attractive to the job seeker. We focus so much on the things that are attractive to the customer. The things that attract customers don’t necessarily always attract job seekers. In fact, often it turns the good people away because we put such an emphasis on it. If you think about that dating profile, you want it to be authentic and you want it to be real because that’s what’s going to help you attract the right person to date. The same thing and principle applies when it comes to recruiting.

You’re talking about the things that are attractive to job seekers. What are some of those things that are attractive to job seekers and maybe the non-obvious ones?

One of the things that is not attractive to job seekers is money. Let’s get that one out of the way. Money is not attractive.

What does that mean? Isn’t that why we work?

Don’t get me wrong. You have to pay well, but just because you pay 30% more than the competition or you give someone $1 more an hour to leave their current job is not going to attract, for you, the right people. I want to be clear. Most people under the age of 40 will say money is not the number one reason. For a lot of them, it’s not even in the top 5 why they leave their current job.

What are those reasons?

You probably heard this before. You’ve heard the saying, “People don’t leave jobs, they leave people. They leave managers. They leave bosses.” It means that people aren’t looking for a new job. They’re looking for a new place to work. They’re looking for a new company culture, a new leadership team, a better way of communicating, and a company that invests in their future, trains them, develops them, and gives them autonomy. That’s what people are looking for. They’re looking for a sense of purpose, a reason to get out of bed in the morning, especially the younger generation.

COGE 247 | Hiring Better People
Hiring Better People: People don’t leave jobs. They leave people. People aren’t looking for a new job. They’re looking for a new place to work, a new company culture, and a new leadership team.


I know there are some people reading and some Boomers like, “It’s not important to me. I’m ready to retire in the next five years. I want someone to make sure I slide into retirement wealthy.” Especially for the younger generations, they are not focused on the almighty dollar. You have to pay them well, don’t get me wrong. You have to pay them correctly, but the things that are important are things like training. Are you going to train and develop them? Are you going to give them autonomy? Are you going to let them make decisions around their role? Are you going to give them the personal freedom that they’re looking for and help them personally? Those are the things that are important to people.

What are some of the expectations in an interview that a company should set in order to make sure that the person being interviewed not only understands the training they’re going to get and the culture that they’re going to get but also the obligation that the person being hired has in exchange for all of those benefits that you’re describing?

One of the biggest mistakes that I see companies make when it comes to what you’re talking about is they are not effective at communicating how they’re going to grade or score the employee’s work. They’re good at saying, “I want you to do this laundry list of things,” but they’re not very good at saying, “This is how I want them done. This is what good work looks like.”

One of the best ways to communicate that is to quantify the results that you’re looking for. Everything in business can be measured. Everything in business can have a number tied to it. Even if it’s a subjective number, we can agree on what that subjective number is. When you’re communicating the work that you want to be done and you’ve identified the core responsibilities for that role, it’s up to you to sit down with the job seeker and say, “Here’s how we measure success. Here is how we score the game. This is what it takes to win.” Having that conversation sets the proper expectation for what’s going to be expected of them.

Everything in business can be measured. Everything in business can have a number tied to it, even if it's a subjective number we can agree on. Click To Tweet

You’re going into sufficient detail, at least, in the interview process to make sure that there’s no misunderstanding and there’s no false advertising on your part.


In terms of using that dating profile analogy, what are some of the key elements in the profile that I present to the world when I’m looking to hire people in terms of how I represent my company?

Let me start with the process that I want you to go through. This is a process that I’ve heard from dating experts who have said, “Before you go out there and say, ‘I’m available. I’m looking for somebody,’ sit down and take inventory of who you are and what you have to offer.” This is the first thing that you do. I’ve heard this from dating experts and relationship experts. Take inventory of what you have to offer. If you don’t have enough to offer to attract the person that you want, it’s time to dust up on some skills. It’s time to go get some things to offer them.

For example, if I know that, looks-wise, I’m a 4, that means I’m probably not going to land a 10. However, there are things that I can do like become a better communicator, take better care of myself, maybe lose some weight, get more fit, think long-term, and have a plan for my life that might attract someone who would not be a 4, maybe they’re a 7 or an 8. I get closer because I start thinking about, “What are the things that I have to offer? What are the things that the person that I would want to attract would want?” I become those things.

When it comes to recruiting, you need to figure out what it is that you have to offer. Who are you as an organization? We break that down into how you behave. What are the acceptable behaviors inside of your organization? I call those your core values, the things that are most important to you. Get clear on what those are because that is what you’re going to use to attract somebody. You might realize, “We’re not going to be very attractive to the kind of people we want, so we need to shift our behaviors a little bit. We need to get some leadership training, some coaching, or get a communications expert in here to help us with how we behave in the workplace.”

COGE 247 | Hiring Better People
Hiring Better People: When recruiting, you need to figure out what you have to offer and who you are as an organization.


Once we’re done with that, we say, “What is it that gets us out of bed to do what we do every single morning?” I call that purpose. What is it that drives us to do what we do? There are a lot of different businesses you could have gone into, but you choose to become an owner or a leader in this particular business. Why? What is it that drives you? Usually, there’s a deep-seated reason behind that. You’re going to use that to attract people who have a similar purpose, so they’ll get out of bed for the same reason.

Finally, the last thing you’re going to do is you’re going to look at, “Where are we going?” I had mentioned people want to be trained. They want to know that you’re going to help them achieve their personal goals. We’ve all heard that metaphor before, “Your business is a bus. You got to get the right people in the right seats.” If your business is a bus and you’re going in a direction that’s opposite of the people you want to attract, it might be time to reset your vision and drive in a different direction. You’ve got to get clear on who you are and what you have to offer first. Once you’ve taken inventory of that and you’re clear on that, now you go to the market and you say, “Do the people I want to join my team, is that attractive to them or not?”

Let me ask you in terms of the interview process itself. One of the mistakes that I’ve seen people who do interviews make is that they talk too much and don’t listen enough. It’s like that first date and the person can’t shut up. You might be in that interview process with an ideal candidate and you can’t shut up. As a result of that, you never explore with that person whether or not they are a fit. How do you discipline yourself in that interview process to make sure that you are relational as opposed to monologue-y?

One of the first things we coach all of our clients on in their process is to shut up and learn to ask questions. That is it. Your role is to ask questions, to be inquisitive, and to be interested. There’s a saying out there that says, “Before people will find you interesting, they need to know that you are interested.” Be interested in them. For example, one of our core values here at Core Matters is, “Always improving.” I might go to you and say, “Eric, this is great. This could be a good opportunity for us.” One of the behaviors that’s important to us here at Core Matters is Always Improving. What does that mean to you? How would you expect that to show up inside of an organization like ours? You just shut up.

One of the behaviors that's important to Core Matters is always improving. Click To Tweet

Explain the logic of the way that you frame the question. What does that mean to you and how would you expect? Please go through that again and explain the logic of it.

I present Always Improving. They don’t necessarily give you my definition. I want to know what those two words mean to you. Here’s why. Not because I’m looking to disqualify you, but I’m looking to determine how big the gap is between where I’m at on those two words and where you’re at on those two words. That is going to further dictate the conversation we’re about to have. When I ask you, “How do you think that would show up? What’s the gap between what I know to be true?” I’ve done this exercise for my organization. What you believe to be true, now I know what it’s going to take to bridge that gap. If that gap is too big, we’re not a fit for each other. Maybe we find one of those gaps is pretty short, so we’re going to have that conversation on what it takes to bridge that gap. That’s what I’m looking for.

When we’re interviewing, what I believe is that you are not always looking to say yes or no. You’re looking to explore, “How can we make this work?” When I’m interested and you’re interested, we’re going to do what it takes to overcome the challenges, just like a relationship or a marriage. There’s no such thing as two perfect people. There are going to be challenges. If we’re both invested, we’ll be willing to work through it. That’s the important part of the interview. We’re looking for, “Is this someone that I’m willing to invest in and to spend the time with to figure it out? Are they willing to do the same?”

We’re in the realm of subjectivity then to a degree here because you are describing this gap. I know from my own experience that people go into an interview, they come out, and they say, “There’s a gap here, but I don’t care. I’m still going to hire them.” That’s what happens. They do that. They may have all the technical skills in the world, but they don’t have the same values that you do. As a result, that creates a gap, but you hire and you hope.

“I need the hands.” Yes, I’ve heard that before.

Tell me a little bit more about why understanding that gap is important.

It helps you to figure out what the plan is to get across it. You had mentioned subjectivity. When you tell me what always improving means to you, and you respond, and let’s say we had five people, we’re all going to hear something different. We’re all going to have a different opinion as to whether or not that was a good answer. One part of the interview process is to sit down before the interview and say, “One of our core values is always improving. What does that mean to you? How do you expect it to show up?” I’m then going to work with my team and say, “What is a perfect answer? What is the answer that makes us want to jump out of our chair and offer that person the job right now?” We’re going to write that down. We’re then going to say, “What’s the answer that as soon as we hear it, it is worse than nails on a chalkboard, we want to end the interview and get out?”

What we’ve done is we’ve taken something that could be considered very subjective, and now we’ve made it objective because we decided upfront what was going to be the right answer and what was going to be the wrong answer. There’s a little bit of wiggle room in the middle as to, “Were they closer to one or the other?” I encourage everybody that anytime you ask someone an interview question, especially one that’s open-ended like this, grade it on a scale of 1 to 3. 1 being the nails on a chalkboard and 3 being, “That was amazing.” For a lot of times, you’re going to put a 2 or you might put a 2.5. There’s a little subjectivity there, but at least you know what’s the right one and what’s the wrong one.

I like that. You’re structuring questions around your values. You’re creating the parameters for the right and the wrong answer. Based on that, you’re able to get a little more objective about what people are telling you. What is the value of either group interviews or multiple interviews with different people?

Are you talking about panel interviews where there are multiple people?

That’s what I mean by a group interview, a panel interview or multiple rounds of interviews with different people.

To answer that question, it depends. However, let me tell you what I mean by that. There’s a dependency on the role that you’re hiring for. If you’re hiring an entry-level laborer, it’s not worth bringing more executives or more managers in. It’s a very expensive interview. Let’s say you’re hiring a senior leader for your organization. Panel interviews are good as long as your team has that communication down to where they don’t walk over each other, they don’t talk over each other, and they don’t disagree in front of people. You have to have a team that knows how to do a panel interview. With that said, if you’re a little dysfunctional and you’re communicating and you want to put that out there and let people know, “This is how we communicate,” that will give them a real good and clear idea of what it’s like to work for you.

What I’d prefer you do is the second one, which is to have multiple people. One of the things that we talk about in my book is to sit down with them. I like to usually have a senior leader sit down with the new person and do the cultural fit interview. That’s the first step in the interview, culture fit. If they don’t fit the culture, move on. I don’t care. As you said, they might have the skills, but they don’t fit our culture, we hire them anyway and it’s always a disaster. We always look for cultural fit first because we can train the skills. We might not want to, so we might pass, but we can always train the skills. We do culture fit first. Once we’ve finished culture fit, we move into what I call the position fit, which is, “Do they have the skills to do it?”

This is where I bring other people in. I might bring in their hiring manager at that point and say, “You’re going to sit down and make sure they can do the job.” I’ve already determined they’re going to fit our culture. Your job is to determine, “Can they do the work? Can they get you the results you want?” At that point, I would bring the hiring manager in. I would then encourage the hiring manager at some point in the interview, “Take them and walk them around and introduce them to people on the team.”

You stage this beforehand. You find one person that you’re going to introduce them to. As the manager, you walk away and you let them have a conversation with a potential peer. That is going to change their demeanor, the language they use, how they talk, and what they say. They’re no longer worried about putting that best foot forward. They’re now thinking, “I’m talking to a peer.” To criticize my boss or to say something nasty about someone I met isn’t as big a deal because that’s what peers do.

You bring a peer in, and then you have that person provide an evaluation at the end, “Do you want to work with that person? Is that someone that you could see on your team?” That’s usually the structure we have. We have a senior leader, a lot of times an owner in smaller companies due to culture fit. The position fit is done by the hiring manager and someone who’s a potential peer at some point.

How do you know when you’ve made a mistake hiring someone? In your experience, how long does it take people to recognize that mistake and do something about it?

Recognizing the mistake is usually about 2 or 3 weeks before they know it.

Even in senior roles?

Even in senior roles, they’ll know pretty quickly. However, depending on the role, sometimes it can take 6 to 9 months for them to take action on it because they’re so scared that, “I might not find someone else. The devil I know is better than the devil I don’t know.” They justify it in their mind. I’ve seen some people come in in week two and they’re like, “We missed it on this one.” They’ll continue to press, continue to work with them, continue to train them, coach them, and do all of these things. Finally, nine months later, they’re like, “I can’t do it anymore.” They’ll let them go and they’ll start the whole process over again.

They usually know in their gut pretty quickly if they make the right decision. How do you know? That goes into onboarding. That goes into that process of bringing them in and assimilating them into our organization. You see in the first two weeks, it’s about, “Do they fit our culture? Did we get that right?” That’s the first thing we got to look at.

We’re assimilating them into our culture. We’re acclimating them. We’re helping them accept this and we’re accepting them. It becomes very much a situation of, “Do we feel like they belong here? Do they feel they belong here?” We’re not even looking at work yet. We’re looking at culture. We then spend the next four weeks looking at, “Can they do the job?” Remember, I told you those metrics and how important it is to have those scorecards or those numbers to show that they can win. Do you see progression towards those measurables to know, “Are they the right person?”

Lastly, do they know how to win? That’s what we look for. Are we setting them up to win or setting them up to fail? I’m sure you’ve seen this before. I’ve seen it many times. Companies hire people and these new people are only set up to fail. They didn’t get enough training, they didn’t get any onboarding, they didn’t get communicated well with, and they’re only set up to fail. We need to make sure we’re very intentional about setting these people up to win.

You’re describing the onboarding process in the first 2 weeks if I heard you correctly, is that correct?

We look at the first 2 weeks, first 4 weeks, and first 12 weeks. We call it the 2-4-12 launch.

That’s all under the umbrella of onboarding.


In that onboarding process, what do you see are the key mistakes that people make that seem to be repeated across companies when it comes to onboarding?

One of the biggest mistakes people make is assuming that the employee is going to raise their hand and say, “I’m confused. I missed it. I don’t know.” They assume that the new employee is going to say that or do that. That’s one of the biggest mistakes they make. We encourage people, “Train them, invest in them, and coach them until they tell you to stop.” Onboarding should be employee-led. You should be modifying your onboarding program depending on the person you hire.

Remember, I told you we’re looking for those gaps. I might be hiring a service technician. One service technician is amazing at communication, loves the customer, and does great, but maybe is a little rough around the edges on the skills. Another one is master technician, there’s nothing they can’t figure out, but they don’t make eye contact well, or maybe they don’t communicate very well. If I did the same onboarding program for both of them, I’m going to lose them both. One’s not going to be able to stand the skills part and one’s not going to be able to stand the sales part.

If I modify it for them and I say, “We’re going to let them lead. What do they need the most? What do we need to close that gap?” that’s going to engage them. Most employees assume that when someone is a little rough around one of those edges, they’re going to raise their hand and say, “I need help.” That’s not at all the case.

How often should the manager or the leader of the new hire be meeting with the new hire in this onboarding process?

It slows down over time. In the beginning, a lot. For example, I have this cartoon that I’ve done on the first day of work. I know there are people reading this because they’ve done this. The new person shows up and it’s like, “Eric, it’s Ryan. I’m here for my first day of work.” You look at me like, “Who?” “It’s Ryan. I’m all excited.” You’re like, “I’m going to go talk to Bob and see what’s going on.” Bob’s like, “Ryan, I’m so excited you’re here. By the way, IT hasn’t set up your logins yet. We don’t have the keys to your truck. It’s still in the shop. We know you’ve been coming for the last couple of weeks, but we got busy. Can you sit in the lobby and twiddle your thumbs?” How does that make you feel?

Imagine that someone came up with the little chalkboard, you walked in, and it was like, “Eric, welcome to your first day.” You’re like, “They were expecting me.” Your manager walks out and they’re like, “Eric, I’m pumped. Come on. Let’s get you logged in. I’ve got everything set up. I’m ready to go.” At lunchtime, they said, “Why don’t I take you out to lunch? Let’s get to know each other a little bit better.” Better yet, “I have lunch being catered for the team. We’re all going to sit down and we’re getting to know each other a little bit. Let’s do that.” We’re checking in at lunch, then we’re checking in the middle of the afternoon. “How is it doing? How are you feeling?” At the end of the day, “Eric, how was the end of your day? Tell me about that.”

The next day, checking in around lunchtime and at the end of the day. Checking in at the end of the day, that’s the worst thing. When a new employee’s sitting around, they’re going, “Can I go home? Is it okay?” Check in with them. After about two weeks, you can slow that down significantly because, after about two weeks, you’re going to know that they’re assimilated into the culture. They’re going to have a good feel for what’s acceptable and what’s not. You can slow that down. Maybe it’s twice a week or once a week. By the end of 90 days, you should only be checking in with them on your regularly scheduled meetings.

How do you onboard a new executive who has a team reporting to them who was very close with the previous executive who, for whatever reason, is no longer with your company?

The other side of the same coin is the executive who comes in and goes, “That’s not my boss. That’s not my team.”

Talk about that.

I’m a big fan of behavioral assessments. Behavioral assessments can help you shortcut this issue that we’re about to talk about. If you do it right, everybody knows what it takes to win. Everybody knows how we’re being measured what the scorecard is and what that scoreboard says. If you have the right people on the existing team who know what it takes to win and they know how we’re scoring, if you’ve got a new executive coming in and they know how it’s scored, had you done the interview process right, you should have people who say, “We’re both here to win. We’re not here to sabotage each other. We’re here to win. We know what it takes.”

Beyond that, you have this behavioral conflict. “I liked my old boss. I liked my old team and I don’t have that here.” I like to use behavioral assessments. There’s no one better than the other. I’m sure people are going, “There are some better ones.” What they do is they allow you to open up a conversation that’s very difficult to start outside of a report. It’s like, “Ryan, don’t take this personally. It’s not me saying that you get defensive in this situation. It’s this report. By the way, this report came from a survey you took.”

What it does is it allows us to sit down and say, “Let’s talk about what this team dynamic’s going to look like. Let’s talk about how we communicate, how we build rapport, and how we motivate and support each other. Let’s talk about those things.” Inside those conversations, you may find out there are 1 or 2 people on the team who are like, “I was so loyal to my old boss. They left. I’m waiting for them to call me.” You might find out, “No, I’m here to win. Let’s do it.”

You said that no one assessment is better than the other. In your opinion, if you have one, if not, it’s fine, what are the top two or three assessments that in your experience have been most effective?

I’ll tell you the ones I like. Here’s what I tell people. When people ask me, “What’s the best assessment?” it’s the same thing as, “What’s the best CRM? What’s the best applicant tracking system?” Here’s what I say. It’s the one that your team likes to use. That’s the best one because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to a team and they say, “We use this assessment.” I’m like, “Tell me how you use it.” “We give it to them on the first interview, and then we put it in their file.” I’m like, “That’s not the best assessment because you’re not using it.” Whichever one’s the best one. We have a lot of clients that use the Culture Index. You may have heard of that one. A lot of clients use the Culture Index and like it. It’s not one of my favorites, but it’s very popular.

We can work with clients and help them maximize the return they get, especially when it comes to retaining people. I like one called ProScan. It’s one of them that I’m certified in. I’ll get in trouble for saying this, but it’s similar to Culture Index. You can infer the same things. What’s cool about ProScan is it looks at their stressors and tells you how close they are to burnout, which is great, especially when you’ve got teams that are understaffed, working overtime, and burning the midnight oil to get projects done. How close are they to burning out? When people burn out, they get unpredictable. We don’t want that in the team.

ProScan is similar to the culture index. You can infer the same things, but ProScan looks at their stressors to tell you how close they are to burnout. Click To Tweet

The last one I like a lot is Kolbe. Here’s why I like Kolbe. We work with a lot of teams that have a lot of frontline employees. To spend time on a 97-page report can be challenging. It’s like, “I need them in the field. I need them working.” Kolbe is four numbers. That’s it. When you know that you’re talking to a 3-2-9-6, you have all the information that you need to be able to communicate effectively. You need to know how much detail they need and how likely they are to finish the project you’re about to assign them, whether or not they’re going to get distracted. There is so much that you can learn about knowing those four numbers that can make a survey and a report that is so effective for teams.

I appreciate all of that. It’s interesting because you make the point and it’s an excellent point. The assessment that is the best for you is the one that you use, that works, that you guys can relate to, and that is useful. You’re right. There are so many different assessments out there. It’s interesting because then we battle over which assessment is the best, “I’ve got the science and I’ve got the testimonials and all this kind of stuff.” That’s an excellent point, Ryan. I appreciate that.

I used to push hard on the one I was certified in, and I’m like, “You’re using Predictive Index. Let me tell you why Predictive Index isn’t the best.” I then said, “Wait a minute. Let me see if Predictive Index works with our model or inside of our system.” We got this one client with incredible results. They got so much more value out of the Predictive Index when they looked at it through our model. I was like, “Wait a minute.” We met someone on Culture Index and we did the same thing. We met someone on DISC and we did the same thing. I was like, “Not one of these is better than the other per se, but the team that embraces it, that’s what matters.”

Not one of these assessments is better than the other, but the team that embraces it is what matters. Click To Tweet

We’ve been talking about the dating analogy. The purpose of dating is not for everyone, but for some people is to find a long-term committed relationship. In your experience working with companies, what are the 2 or 3 things in addition to what we’ve already talked about that those companies that are successful at establishing those long-term relationships with their employees do that other companies don’t do? We’ve talked about the onboarding, the interview process, and all that kind of stuff. Tell us a little bit about what are some other things they do.

We mentioned authenticity as well. That’s an important one. Don’t fake it. Be authentic. One of them that I like is what we call the pullback offer. It’s a process that we teach. Imagine that you’re about to move in with someone. A lot of people have moved in with somebody that they weren’t directly related to, either through marriage, roommate, partner, or something like that. You move in, and that first night, everything is going great. You ordered pizza and you’re watching TV. Things are good.

The next morning, there’s this little zing, I like to call them. You’re like, “They made such a mess of the bathroom.” Had you known that going into the relationship? It wouldn’t be a deal breaker, but you would’ve been ready for it and maybe it wouldn’t have bothered you as much. How many things do we have when we first move in with someone for that first 3, 6, or 9 months that we’re learning about the little things? Not the deal breakers, but the, “Does the clothes go in the hamper or is the hamper more of a target? Do we squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom? Which way does the toilet paper go?” All these little things.

Imagine that before you moved in together, you sat in the driveway and you had a checklist of the 60 things that couples fight about in the early days of their relationship. You went through and went, “Which way does the toilet paper go?” One of you probably cares more than the other. We’ll do it that way. Do we keep our shoes on in the house or not? Let’s do it that way. How do we dry the dishes? Let’s do it that way. You sat down and agreed before you walked across that threshold and said, “This is how we’re going to do it.”

We do the same thing in the business. As part of the offer meeting, we sit down and say, “Let’s go over this list. Let’s go over a list of things that I know are going to drive you nuts and are going to drive me nuts over the next 6 to 9 months as we start working together.” The cool part about this is the list is malleable and customizable. There are probably things I learned about you during the interview that we need to address.

Can you give me some examples of what’s on that list?

We work with a lot of small businesses. One of the things that happens in small businesses almost without fail is information is not communicated completely. “I need you to go talk to this customer and fix the problem,” and I walk away. You’re like, “What’s the problem? What are my options for fixing it?” You then go do your best. How often does the boss like, “That’s not what you were supposed to do.” You’re like, “You didn’t tell me what I was supposed to do.” That’s a very common one, so that’s on the list.

Let’s talk about what happens when you don’t get all the information you need to move forward successfully. What do we do? All I’m looking for as the employer is for the job seeker to say, “If I don’t get all the information, I’m not feeling confident that I can go get you the results you want. I’m going to raise my hand and say, ‘I need more info.'” As the boss, you say, “That’s a great answer.” I would stop what I’m doing to help make sure you get the information you need so you can move forward correctly.

Would you include in that list something like, “Dave, you’re going to come work here and I want you to know that Fred’s been here for twenty years and he’s a bit quirky?” It’s like you’re a weird uncle. It’s like you’ve moved in with someone.

Not in a super creepy way.

No, I’m not talking about a creepy way. I’m talking about, “Uncle Fred’s coming over for Thanksgiving and he’s a little strange. Not in a creepy or illegal way.”

That’s where the relationship analogy breaks down.

Would you include that in some things? Just giving you a heads-up as you’re coming in.

I would. It would depend on how closely this person is going to be working with Uncle Fred. If they’re going to see Uncle Fred at the annual party, I probably wouldn’t say much. If they’re going to sit next to him, I might talk about that. I’d also probably go to Uncle Fred and I would say, “Here’s the deal. We got some new people coming in, and you can be a little quirky at times. Go easy on him. Ease them into it. I don’t want you to change who you are. I just want you to be a little more conscious about how you’re behaving and ease them into it.”

Also, the not-obvious things. For example, if I’m interviewing someone and I notice that they have a tendency to disconnect eye contact, I know that that’s going to be a problem for them in their role. I’d bring that up. I’d be like, “I noticed that a lot of times I’ll be talking to you, all of a sudden, it looks like you’re drifting off. I’m pretty sure you’re still listening to me, but it looks like you’re drifting off. Is that something you’re aware of? Is that something you do?” We’ll have a conversation. “I’m not accusing you of disconnecting or anything. It just perceives that way.”

We had one client one time that they could not stand it when people smacked their gum. It drove them nuts. This gal did it during the interview, but she was perfect on paper. She was a culture fit. They were so excited. He’s like, “If she smacks that gum, he is not going to be long for it. Let’s have a conversation about it. I know it’s a habit, I know it’s a tick, but I’m telling you right now it’s going to drive me nuts. I need you to tone it down a bit. Is that going to be a problem?” It is the little things that we think, “That’s weird to bring up. Why would I talk about that?” It’s because it’s going to drive you nuts and then you’re going to look for a reason to fire that person. That’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to you.

Let’s say I’m looking at my hiring process and I’m doing my best to be objective. I can say, “Inside, we’re a 10, but outside we’re a 2 or a 3. We need to put a little bit of lipstick on the pig.” What are the first 2 or 3 things I should focus on in the next 90 days? If you want to summarize anything that you’ve previously said in the interview, feel free to do that.

The first thing you should always do is not the same for everybody. That one thing that where the lipstick’s needed most is not the same for everybody. What I would do is I would take a step back and I would go to a coffee shop. I would get you out of the office and I would do a Google search of my company name and jobs and see what comes up. I would look at those Google results and I would go, “My Yelp score of 2.1 is one of the first things that shows up.” I might go fix my Yelp score. I might see that one-star review that got left on Indeed by that 1 disgruntled employee 6 years ago and it’s the only one. I might go fix that.

If I do a good job in my marketing, SEO, and everything else, maybe my website will show up first. When I click on it, it’s got pop-ups on it and sales. “We’ll do whatever it takes to take care of the customer, even if it means working overtime, nights, weekends, and being away from our family. We’ll do whatever it takes.” Is that the message you want a job seeker to see? Maybe that is what you work on first. We call that an employer brand audit. We want you to google yourself and look for what others are seeing when it comes to working for you. Ninety percent of job seekers are going to Google you before they apply. You’re already seeing this stuff.

That’s excellent. What do I do about that? I can’t go to Yelp and say, “Yelp, can you please remove this?” What do I do when I have 2 and 3-star reviews?

The Yelp side is probably a little bit outside my wheelhouse, but I’ll speak to it for a moment. Go to your customers and start finding out why they’re not giving you better reviews. Start looking internally and saying, “Why aren’t we getting better reviews?” Your raving fan customers should be willing to give you good reviews. Yelp’s got some policies on asking and some other things that I’ve been told about.

With Yelp, find out why you’re not getting those five stars and respond to those low reviews as well in a very politically correct way. Don’t go blast the person. “You suck. How dare you? You only leave bad reviews.” That’s my biggest pet peeve. When I see entrepreneurs or business owners get on Yelp they’re like, “Have you looked at this person’s profile? They only leave 1-star reviews. You can’t trust them.” You look like a big jerk when you do that.

COGE 247 | Hiring Better People
Hiring Better People: Find out why you’re not getting those five stars and respond to those low reviews in a very politically correct way.


Respond to them. Say, “I’m so sorry that you feel this way. Why don’t you call us? We’re going to make it right.” It’s something simple. On the Indeed and Glassdoor reviews, which is where your employees are leaving reviews, your current employees can leave reviews. Go to your current employees, the ones that like you, and say, “We need some help. Can we get some more reviews? Be honest. If you give me a 4-star, give me a 4-star. If you’re going to give me a 3-star or below, come see me first. I want to fix that.” You can go to your employees and say, “Can you help me out and get those ratings up?”

How can people get in touch with you? Tell us a little bit more about your company and what you do with people, Ryan.

We help companies fill every open position at all levels of the company in less time and by spending less money. We do that through our program called the Core Fit Hiring System. We have a set of processes and tools that we help every client implement into their business so that they’re attracting, hiring, and retaining the right people at the right time. It is quite a different way of looking at this process. It’s all grounded on the fact that recruiting is not an HR activity. Recruiting is a marketing activity.

COGE 247 | Hiring Better People
Hiring Better People: Core Matters helps companies feel every open position at all levels of the company in less time and by spending less money. We do that through our Core Fit Hiring System.


When you start treating recruiting like a marketing activity, it’s going to open up a world of opportunity for you to get in front of the best people to join your team. When you treat recruiting like a marketing activity, hiring like a sales activity, and retention like a customer retention activity, it’s going to open things up for you and your marketing department is going to be so critical to your success. We do that through our coaching and training program. People can go to They can learn about our program. They can reach out to us and find out the program that’s right for them. I have a book coming out that’s going to detail this entire process called Hire Better People Faster. For those of you who don’t like to read, I have good news. It will be on Audible. You can listen to it.

Ryan, I appreciate you coming on. I thank you for your insights. Let me ask you this last question. I know you moved to Nashville. What is the one restaurant you’ve discovered in Nashville since you’ve moved that you’re like, “This might be a regular for us?”

It’s El Sombrero. I did not think I would find good Mexican food here, but I did. That’s where we are headed.

That’s great.

I know you’re probably thinking Nashville chicken or barbecue, but we haven’t got there yet.

If you are in Nashville, you’re going to have to check out EL Sombrero Restaurant. Thanks a lot for joining us here.

Thank you.

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Ryan. Before you bounce away, I want to encourage you. If you are struggling to be an effective leader in your organization and you know that you could use a little bit of outside help, perhaps a sounding board to talk through tough issues because of the sensitivity of them and you can’t talk about them internally, you may need an executive coach.

That’s what I do with my clients. I specialize in coaching people from the CEO of the company to senior project managers. I’m not a fit for everyone, but if you’ve reached this far, I may be a fit for you. Go out to my website, Put your details in there. I’ll get in touch with you, we can have a short conversation, and figure out if or how I can help you. Thanks again for reading and I’ll catch you on the next episode.


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About Ryan Englin

COGE 247 | Hiring Better PeopleRyan Englin is a force. Meaning, he’s a disruptive new wave. When he speaks, you’ll sense a particular energy you haven’t felt before. Because he’s leveling tradition, and he’s completely revamping the way business owners across the country think about their next hire.

Ryan is passionate about supporting small businesses in blue collar industries. Growing up, he saw his own father working 12-hour shifts (and nearly every weekend) as an owner/operator. His dad continues to clock almost the same hours well past retirement age.

Ryan seeks to empower these types of dedicated, hardworking owners and leaders. He coaches them to think outside the box and address age-old problems by embracing new perspectives. The secret? Hiring the right people.

Since 2011, Ryan has been the CEO of Core Matters. His company focuses on the issues of high turnover or high growth, along with what businesses need to do to fill their open positions. And not simply fill them. Systematically fill them with quality frontline workers.

With good people who love what they do. With the right people who stay.