Momentum Podcast: 639
Overwhelm New Hires Fast
by Alex Charfen
In the corporate world, it's an accepted fact that when you hire someone they probably won't be productive for 3 to 6 months.
3 to 6 months! As an entrepreneur, I can't imagine waiting that long for someone to be productive in our business. We want somebody to be up and running and making a contribution within their first seven days, not six months.
We have a way of making this happen nearly every time. We overwhelm new hires, then provide them with massive support so that they know they are safe. This way we know what they are capable of fast. We also get way more productivity out of people in a shorter period of time.
If you want to get productivity out of your new team members in the fastest way possible, this is the strategy.
Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast.
Speaker 2: In the corporate world, it's an accepted fact that when you hire somebody new, getting that new team member productive takes three to six months. As an entrepreneur, you simply can't wait that long to bring somebody into your business and wait for them to be productive. In this episode of the momentum podcast, Alex is going to share with you the process that we use to hire the right people, onboard them quickly and get them effective in your business as fast as possible so that you can continue to grow and make the greatest change that you know you should. I hope you enjoy.
I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast. Made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters. Clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be.
All right. We are in a hiring process as a company so I'm really excited. I love it when we bring on new people, because we bring on new people that are going to be productive. We bring on new people who are going to help our company. They're going to help us create momentum. And here's one of my goals. When we bring on a new person to our business, my goal is to get them up and running and productive as quickly as humanly possible. We have this policy that we overwhelm new hires quickly, fast. How fast can we get them overwhelmed? Let me tell you why. First, I'll share some of my background.
I'm 47 years old. I've had team members formerly since I was in my teens. When I was in my twenties, I was running a consultancy and when we would hire somebody new, here's what would happen to me. This is what my thought process was. This is why things went so slowly and this is why we often hired people and they didn't work out. When we brought somebody into the company, I would be afraid to give them stuff, afraid that they would make a mistake, afraid that they would screw something up with a member or with one of our clients. And so in our consultancy, when we brought on a new person, it often took a long time before they actually had responsibility.
And as a result, here's what would happen, because we held off and we didn't give people stuff, we often wouldn't know what their capabilities are until a very long time into their job tenure with us. We often set up the wrong expectations with people. We didn't really put a lot of responsibility on them so they thought they were going to have a lax, maybe easy, maybe kind of kick back job. And because we didn't give people a lot of responsibility up front, we as a company didn't feel the benefit of hiring them. The way that I used to hire and bring people on was horrible. In fact, it perpetuated this thinking that hiring people really doesn't help and hiring people really doesn't take pressure off and hiring people really is not a relief valve. When hiring people should always be all of those things a 100% of the time or you're doing something wrong.
This is what happened. The way that this relates to our content is we help entrepreneurs build teams. We help entrepreneurs bring people on. And here's what I want to make sure of is that when one of our entrepreneurs brings somebody on, when one of our members does, that they get productivity quickly. It is an accepted fact that in corporate America, it takes six months before somebody's productive. In the corporate world, that can take six months for a new hire to be productive. In an entrepreneurial business, you don't want to go six days with a new hire waiting for them to be productive. This is how you do this. This is how you flip the coin on this is rather than being protective of a new hire, rather than secluding them, rather than protecting them, rather than wrapping them in bubble wrap and making sure nothing breaks, overwhelm them right out of the gate.
I have this phrase that I always share with entrepreneurs, if you want the people to be responsible, give them responsibility. If you want somebody new in your company to rise to the occasion, you actually have to let them. And right now in our business, we have three new people starting. We might have a fourth, which is really exciting. And so this is top of mind for me. That's why I'm recording this podcast. I'm actually going to take this podcast, send it to the team members that are onboarding new team. Send it to my leadership team who's onboarding new team members so they can listen to this as a refresher. Because my view of this, I think the way that we approach new hires is completely different than most companies out there on hiring and onboarding and bringing people on. We are the opposite.
I often joke with my team members, that our way of onboarding is to take you to the deep end of the pool, push you in the water and throw you a weight and see if you can carry it in the water. Now we'll get in the water and talk to you. We'll support you. We'll be there with you. We'll make sure that if things get really bad, we take the weight away for a second then we give it back. But what we're doing is making certain that coming into our company, there is a very high standard of expectation set. There's a very high standard of performance set. That you understand that it's not going to be easy working with our business because we hire people. And I think you should too. We go out looking for people who have a chip on their shoulder, who have something to prove. Who want a place where they can show how amazing they are.
Well, when you hire people like that, who have a natural propensity to want to show how incredible they are, who have been looking for the place where they can perform, you have to give them subject matter to perform with. Here's how it works. This is why this is so up and running or so, so important. I'm going to tell you how to do in just a second, but this is why it's so important. Number one, this is important because you can get up and running fast, not six months like they do in corporate America, six days. We want people to come in, be effective as quickly as possible, especially if you're making the investment in a new person in your business.
The second reason this is really important is, you want to overwhelm somebody coming into the position so that you can quickly determine if you have made the right decision with hiring. Now in our company, we follow a clear process and a structure in order to hire. We have a very, very rigorous process before we make an offer to anybody. We have a high percentage chance, a high confidence level that somebody coming in is going to do very well. All that being said, we want to make sure of it. We want them to see, we want them to prove themselves in the first few weeks and prove that they can handle being overwhelmed, prove that they can handle being given more than they expected, prove that they can handle giving more, being given more than the average person could do and either figuring out a way out of it, talking to us about it, communicating with us. By overwhelming the team member early, we actually cause them to use us as support. We cause them to ask for help. We cause them to interact with us so that we're quickly understanding what this person's capable of.
And here's a big one. The third thing, this is important. When you're hiring a new person and you bring them in. If you don't overwhelm them, if you take it easy on them, if you protect them like a lot of people do, a lot of people protect new hires. They don't don't let them get overwhelmed. They don't give them too much to do. They don't give them actual work to do. Well here's what happens, if you're protecting them a new hire like that, their first few weeks on the job, you're setting the expectation that they're in an easy position. You're setting the expectation that there's not really a lot expected from them. You're setting the expectation that they've been hired into kind of a cush position. Now, two things are going to happen there.
One, if you've hired an A player, you might emotionally and motivationally lose them. They might decide this isn't the right position for them because they were looking for something where it was really important. They were looking for something where there was a lot to do. They were looking for somewhere where they could prove themselves. That's one side. The second thing that could happen is if you did not hire an A player, they might actually settle in to this lower level of productivity. They might actually like this lower level of productivity and then as you onboard them and bring them on and expect more from them, they might get frustrated or push back or get irritated with the fact that the job has now gotten harder.
For us, we want them up and running within six days, not six months, we want them to prove themselves fast. We want to set expectations that there is a lot expected from somebody in our business. And here's how I look at this. By overwhelming someone and doing these three things, we actually give them the highest likelihood of success in our business. And it should be in yours too. The way that we set up things in our business. If they can pass through this, then they're going to be, they're going to do well in our company. We want to make sure that they can get through this initial stage of maybe being a little bit overwhelmed.
Here's how you do this. This is what you need to know in order to do things this way, rather than how most people bring on people and don't really give them a lot. Don't expect a lot. Don't get a lot out of them either. First, when you have a new hire, a new person in a position, make sure they have clear outcomes. What this means is your expectations for them are clear. They know what the finished product looks like. Here's what too many people try to do with new hires. They try and bring them in and give them a checklist process of exactly what to do. Here's the step by step. Here's what you should do. Here's step one, step two, step three. Here's the challenge with that. If you give people a step by step process, that's pretty much micromanagement. If you give people an outcome, you're telling them how you want things to finish up, you actually get to see how they think, how they make decisions, how they move towards an outcome and you can coach success along the way. That's the second step here.
Number one, if you want to overwhelm people and get them productive fast, give them clear outcomes, directional outcomes. This is what I want it to look like at the end. This is what your job is as far as taking things from here to here. Make it clear what you want them to do. Second thing is, as you make it clear what you want them to do, tell them you are purposely overwhelming them.
We tell new hires in our company all the time, "Hey, getting hired here is not getting hired in a normal company. We expect a ton from you upfront. We expect you to perform at a high level. We expect you to be productive within the first week or two. We expect you to be contributing to the team where we can feel the relief within the first week or two. Now all that being said, we also want you to know that you need to expect from us that we will coach you. We will support you. We will be there for you. We will meet with you. We will make sure that if you have a question, we resolve it. We will make sure that we talk through things with you. That you are not just hung out on a limb to dry, but you actually have a tremendous amount of support so that you can get up and running fast so that you can be productive fast."
Clear outcomes, coach success along the way and here's what happens. If you give a new hire clear outcomes, even though they might be overwhelming and you meet with them over and over again to make sure things are okay, you're going to get leveraged results. And here's how we do this in our company. We have a clear spelled out onboarding process where we hire someone, they get there 4R document, which is the role, responsibility, results and requirements for their position, which is a clear outcome. It tells them what their role is, what the results we expect are, what responsibilities they have and then what requirements there are for the position so now they have a clear outcome. And then in our first 90 days, we are meeting with people, a ton.
See, in a lot of companies, especially in corporate companies, someone's hired, they're kind of sent off to do work and they check in at the 90 days and tell them whether they're going to stay hired or not. In an entrepreneurial business, you want a lot more productivity out of people. Here's our schedule for onboarding. In the first 90 days, we met with people a ton, the first 30 days, five days a week, every single day you're doing a half hour check in, asking, what did you learn the day before? Did you get stuck anywhere? Is there any questions you have? Is there any place you feel like you're not performing? By meeting with them every day, 20 days, five days a week times four weeks in their first month, they get a ton of support and we are actually helping them become productive. In the next 30 days, we usually meet with people two or three times a week. And in the last 30 days, it's two times a week. In that 90 day onboarding period, they go from five times a week to two or three times a week to a couple times a week. And at the end of 90 days, here's what happens. Either somewhere in that process the person has worked their way out because they don't want the expectations, there's too much to do, they're not coachable, they're hard to work with, but if you've done a good job in recruiting and hiring, like we do most of the time, at the end of 90 days, you don't have just a new team member, you have a productive and contributing and capable new team member that's ready to crush things for you.
If you're hiring, if you're bringing people in, just remember the rule, overwhelm your new hires quickly and then be there to support them. This does not mean overwhelm them and then leave them alone to be nervous and anxious and agitated. Overwhelm them, wrap them in support. Overwhelm them, wrap them in support. That way you know what people are truly capable of and the overwhelming process and supporting process causes all the dialogue you need, all the interaction you need to get to know somebody much better. You get to know somebody a lot better when you're going to war with them, achieving things, making things happen than when they're watching training videos and slowly onboarding into a business. I want to know somebody as quickly as I can. I want to know their capabilities as fast as I can. I want to be excited about them as fast as I can. That's why we put massive expectations on anyone we hire that's new.
And this is the result you'll have, rather than having somebody be up and running in six months, like corporations are used to, they actually accept this, you do it this way, you can have somebody up and running and making a contribution in the first week. Within the first month, they actually can fill the role and start really understanding it. Within 90 days, they're going to be making major changes in your business, creating massive momentum and taking a ton of pressure off of you and your team, which is what every new hire should do. That way we get away from this equation of bringing people in and having it feel like more work. When you do it this way, you bring people in and you actually feel like work is getting done for you.
If you want some help with hiring, onboarding, building your team and communicating with them so everyone knows where they're going and you get the maximum productivity out of each person, don't deal with this all on your own. Let us help you. Go to predictablebusinesssolutions.com, answer a few questions for my team, sign up for a call with one of us and let us show you how to build a strategic plan, communicate it to your growing team, build the infrastructure of your business and predict the future in your business so that you are getting the results you want. Go to predictablebusinesssolutions.com. We can't wait to talk to you.