How to Transition Into a Leadership Role

Episode 44


Episode overview

Transitioning into a management role can be tough, whether you’ve been working towards this advancement for months or it just fell into your lap!

In this episode of the Hire Calling Podcast, special guest Carter Alexander joins Pete Newsome to talk about his experience transitioning from recruiter to recruiting manager. Carter has been an employee at 4 Corner Resources for over four years now, and this transition took place during the peak of COVID-19…and let’s just say becoming a leader to an entire team, all while adjusting to working remotely, was not a simple task.

While this was an exciting opportunity for him, it didn’t come without challenges. Carter shares his perspective on leadership and how he cracked the code on balancing personal and professional relationships. Pete and Carter also discuss their views on the current job market, as well as the abundance of layoffs taking place right now.

If you are struggling with a career transition, tune in and listen to Carter’s advice on leadership and navigating a new role!

52 minutes

View transcript

Additional resources

Tips for transitioning into a leadership role

  1. Draw a line between your business relationships and personal ones. You may find yourself leading a coworker who once considered you as their equal. Find a balance and make sure your peers understand the difference.
  2. Don’t try to immediately come in and change everything. Observe from afar at first and start to learn everyone’s style. Being a new leader, you need to establish credibility first. Once your team understands you are on their side and are there to help them succeed, then you can make changes as necessary.
  3. Come in strong as a motivator. As a leader, it all comes down to motivating your team. Push them to find their personal motivation. Make sure they are truly excited. The younger generations want praise, so make them feel appreciated. 
  4. If you are working remotely, teach your team to be self-sufficient while also working on the culture aspect daily. Although independence is crucial in a remote environment, feeling comfortable reaching out when they need advice or assistance is just as important.
Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the president of 4 Corner Resources, the nationally acclaimed staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. His mission back then was the same as it is today: to do business in a personal way, while building an organization with boundless opportunities for ingenuity and advancement. When not managing 4 Corner’s growth or spending time with his family of six, you can find Pete sharing his sales and business expertise through public speaking, writing, and as the host of the Hire Calling podcast.

Transcript

Pete Newsome  00:12
Welcome, everyone and thank you for listening to the Hire Calling Podcast, your source for all things hiring, staffing, and recruiting. 

Pete Newsome  00:18
I’m Pete Newsome and I’m joined today by Carter Alexander, not Ricky today. Carter, welcome back. It’s been two years, how are ya? 

Carter Alexander  00:26
Thank you. I’m definitely excited to talk today.

Pete Newsome  00:29
So the last time you were on, we talked about this a few minutes before we started recording. It was right when COVID hit. And we didn’t know what the heck was going on. 

Pete Newsome  00:40
But we powered through, didn’t we? 

Carter Alexander  00:42
Yeah, we sure did. 

Pete Newsome  00:44
And you were in an entirely different role than the one you’re in now. And that’s one of the reasons I wanted you to come back on. Because you have a very different perspective than you did a couple of years ago, at the time you were just coming out of recruiting and doing some client management for 4 Corner Resources.

Pete Newsome  01:04
And now you are the manager of the recruiting team. So how has that transition been?

Carter Alexander  01:10
Yeah, this transition, I will say it’s been great. It’s been extremely exciting. One of the things and one of the biggest differences for me transitioning into this role is recruiting and this is something I even touch on in interviews with candidates for internal and everything is recruiting, something where you really got to make yourself busy.

Carter Alexander  01:28
You got to kind of go out there, you got to source people, you gotta find your busyness, right? Whereas this role, it’s just things coming at me all the time. And it’s really about managing my time in that aspect and kind of getting everything done going through meetings and everything. 

Carter Alexander  01:44
So yeah, it’s been a big difference, big change. But it’s been super exciting and a good challenge.

Pete Newsome  01:50
I think it’s a really interesting perspective for that many people to go through myself included. When you go for the first time from being an individual contributor, you have to take care of yourself and your own responsibilities to then being a manager.

Pete Newsome  02:07
There are so many challenges that come along with that. And it’s almost like just starting from scratch when learning how to behave. What’s been the biggest challenge for you so far?

Carter Alexander  02:20
The biggest challenge so far is, honestly just managing our priorities effectively. And it’s something that we’ve been working through. And I think getting better every single day. 

Carter Alexander  02:30
But really just making sure that all the positions that we work on from day to day are ranked correctly, we know exactly what we’re working on to get the recruiters up and running. And just making sure that everybody’s time is well spent or perfectly spent. If we can ever get there.

Pete Newsome  02:45
Yeah, that’s admirable as a goal, but probably unrealistic, right? Perfect in the world of staffing, where people are your product is never really possible. Right? We know that. 

Pete Newsome  02:59
But it’s definitely something to strive for. When I moved from being an individual contributor to the manager of a team, that of people who were previously my peers, you know, I found that to be difficult.

Pete Newsome  03:15
You seem to have handled it smoothly. Now, I’m not in your seat. And I’m not the one that, you know, I’m looking at it from a different perspective, for sure. But how’s that part of it been where you have to, you know, relationships change a little bit? 

Pete Newsome  03:30
When sometimes a lot for me, it was bad. I mean, I had some people who were my friends who suddenly weren’t. And that was a hard thing to deal with. How’s that been?

Carter Alexander  03:40
Yeah, I mean, as you know, I have, you know, a couple of friends on the recruiting team that I’ve actually brought in as referrals and such, and it has been an interesting challenge and something that,  I’ve obviously never experienced before. 

Carter Alexander  03:55
You know, I think it’s just drawing the line between a business relationship and a personal relationship, right, you know, I can still go out and hang out with those friends after work and everything and, of course, we talk about work and all those things, but it’s really just establishing that difference in the relationship. 

Carter Alexander  04:11
When it comes to business, it’s just knowing that hey, when we’re during work hours, and we’re talking through any challenges that you’re facing, or anything, that’s good, and hey, let’s try to replicate it. 

Carter Alexander  04:21
You know, it’s, it’s really just about, you know, getting better, getting better here at 4 Corner and how we can strive to be the best here. So I feel like that’s been a good transition. It’s not been something that I’ve had too much of a problem with, by any means, you know, with those recruiters that I’m mentioning.

Pete Newsome  04:41
That’s great. That’s wonderful and a relief. I think not everyone is that fortunate. I know I wasn’t as i said earlier. what advice would you give I think you just gave some really good advice about drawing the line between work and personal.

Pete Newsome  04:56
But you’re a young professional to write If you’re still early in your career, what advice would you give? If I’m putting you on the spot here for sure, of young managers? First-time managers? Maybe age? Doesn’t? Age isn’t a factor, right? It’s really the experience of doing it. But new managers, what advice would you give, if you have any, to share?

Carter Alexander  05:20
Yeah, I think I’ll start off by saying, I think one of the worst things you could do is coming in and just trying to immediately take control immediately try to change things. 

Carter Alexander  05:29
I think one of the best things you can do is kind of sit back, observe the team, you know, observe from afar, for maybe the first couple of weeks or the first month, really start to learn everybody’s style, and then start to implement any changes you think are necessary before just coming in with like, a hard hammer, and just deciding things are it.

Carter Alexander  05:46
I don’t think that will ever give a good reaction. I think when people see especially a new leader come into play, you know, you kind of you do have to establish that credibility first.

Carter Alexander  05:56
You have to make sure that they know that you’re on their side, and you’re here to help them succeed, you know, no matter the circumstance. So I think it’s all about, like I said, observing from afar at first, and then coming in and making changes that are necessary.

Pete Newsome  06:08
Love it. I think that’s great. Very nice. Well, anything that you would say on the other side of that equation, things to avoid or not to do, other than what you just said, like, were there any mistakes that you’ve made? 

Pete Newsome  06:21
And I know, it’s still you haven’t been in the seat that long. But anything you’ve already been able to look back in hindsight and say, oh if I could do it again, I would have done it differently.

Carter Alexander  06:33
Um, yeah, I would say just coming in stronger as a maybe as a motivator, would be something that that I’d go back and maybe just push a little harder with, I think, especially when you come to or start thinking about a sales position, right?

Carter Alexander  06:49
You know, recruiting in our space is very heavily a sales role, we’re making calls to candidates and everything, and trying to kind of push deals through and things of that nature. 

Carter Alexander  07:00
I think it really comes down to really motivating the team, right? We obviously are, like I said, sales, we have the, you know, the recruiters have their commission, and it really comes down to their own personal motivation and making sure that they are actually truly excited from the inside. 

Carter Alexander  07:15
So I think it really comes down to just pushing them to be motivated themselves. And that comes a lot with hiring, right? We gotta, we gotta hire the people who are motivated and who are, you know, you know, internally excited about that, that kind of drive. 

Carter Alexander  07:28
So that was probably something that I would push a little hard in the beginning and that I’m working on right now with my team.

Pete Newsome  07:35
So that’s an interesting thing to explore. Because when I interviewed you years ago, I wasn’t the only one who interviewed you. But I always would say, I can’t I can teach you the business. 

Pete Newsome  07:47
I don’t know, if you remember this conversation, I can teach you staffing, I can teach you the process, I can teach you what works there. But I can’t teach you to be motivated. 

Pete Newsome  07:57
So that’s interesting to say that because you feel responsible for that, from what you’re saying, but can you actually be effective at that? Can you know, is it? Is it steering the ship? Or is it? 

Pete Newsome  08:10
You know, getting them on board in the first place? And, you know, because you know, I think you’re gonna have limited ability over time to really bring that out in someone, where if it’s not already there.

Carter Alexander  08:24
So this might be opening up a whole other can of worms here. But I think with this current generation, their motivations come from different things, right? You know, we have, we have recruiters on our team who are absolutely money motivated, they’re going to do whatever it takes to make that deal go through, make their commission and all those things. 

Carter Alexander  08:42
But we also have a lot of recruiters on our team who find that, you know, find that motivation from themselves for like, a personal company culture standpoint. So, hey, you know, do I feel appreciated? Do I feel like, you know, I wake up every morning, you know, login to work and feel like, okay, I got this today, I can do this. 

Carter Alexander  08:59
And I feel like my manager appreciates me and all those things. So I think that’s kind of what I take on personally, is making sure that my team feels like they are appreciated that there is someone there to help them that, you know, hey, make a mistake. 

Carter Alexander  09:13
You know, don’t make that same mistake again, but hey, I’m not gonna beat you up over it, basically. And I think like I said, that this generation of workers coming in because a lot of our recruiters are a little bit younger. 

Carter Alexander  09:24
And you know, maybe right out of college, maybe this is their first professional position. I think that’s a lot of what this new generation is looking for.

Pete Newsome  09:32
Now, when you say new generation, I laugh a little bit, because I think you’re a part of that generation, but you’re sort of in between, right, you’re probably right on the line. 

Pete Newsome  09:42
I think Ricky and I were just talking about this on a recent show, where we were arguing, not arguing, but we had a difference of opinion about where the line of millennials ends, and the next generation begins. But you’re sort of right in the middle of the two, aren’t you?

Carter Alexander  09:58
Right, right in the middle. I’m actually one day off from being a millennial, according to literally a single day I was born on the last day of the year, December 31. So a single day off.

Pete Newsome  10:09
What year?

Carter Alexander  10:11
1996.

Pete Newsome  10:12
Okay, yeah, that’s, that’s about where I thought the cut-off was. And Ricky was gonna put you solidly in the millennial category still, just so you know, he was counting it a few years later. 

Pete Newsome  10:24
But um, but I’m with you. So that’s, so you do kind of have your foot in both camps because you’ve grown up in that transition with technology changing, and also attitudes changing, you just said it very well. 

Pete Newsome  10:39
And I think, I don’t think I know, that’s something that I struggled with, because I’m old school in my thinking, where things like appreciation as a necessary and important part of managing while I get it, it wasn’t natural for me to apply, because that’s not what I looked for, or expected when I was in my 20s. 

Pete Newsome  10:39
And early in my career just wasn’t part of the deal. So is that just a natural thing for you? Or, like, for me, it was unnatural until it wasn’t. But it seems like you just flowed so naturally from you. I think it’s just inherent.

Carter Alexander  11:17
Well, I’ll be honest, I don’t it wasn’t extremely natural. That’s something, you know, when I was directly managed by the CMs and stuff, it’s not something I got a ton of the time was just that direct appreciation. Right? 

Carter Alexander  11:30
My appreciation and my internal drive and my motivation came from placing candidates and, obviously, the rewards that came with that, right? So for me, personally, I don’t think it was extremely natural. 

Carter Alexander  11:42
But, you know, I read the room and was able to talk to recruiters and you know, the first week came in, hey, what are you looking for? What do you know, what do you want from me? 

Carter Alexander  11:50
How can I help you and when, you know, those answers came with appreciating and kind of going above and beyond in that aspect. I think that’s where I was able to make that transition.

Pete Newsome  12:00
I think it’s great. And I think it’s necessary and important. And I’m really glad we did end up talking about this a little bit because I had to realize that my way of thinking and operating was no longer effective. 

Pete Newsome  12:18
And I can almost remember the exact point when I had that realization years ago, where, and you’ve probably heard me say this, in the past, it worked until it didn’t. And when it stopped working, I realized, that an entirely different approach was necessary. 

Pete Newsome  12:37
That was, that was a big, big wake-up call. And then the next thing I had to realize is I’m not the best one to do the managing anymore. Because, you know, I don’t know that, that I’ll ever fully change and to be, even though I embrace what’s necessary today, it still is not natural for me, and never will be. 

Pete Newsome  13:00
And I acknowledge that. So you’re, just by default going to be much better at it. I think I’d like to, I’d like to still change and try. But I would have to be realistic. 

Pete Newsome  13:13
So I think it’s a message that hopefully others can take in that if your business is not working if your team is not operating in the way that you think they should, and, or the way for me that, quote used to operate, you might want to look, look at yourself and understand that you might be the problem.

Pete Newsome  13:35
Because I think I was and so I guess I could solve, say, the good news is I was able to solve that by putting other people in place to do a much better job. So, that’s really good stuff. 

Carter Alexander  13:47
Yeah and I think it does come down to the individual attitudes that make up the, you know, the entire organization. So all of the recruiters that we have on board right now honestly I feel truly in a place where they all have that attitude where they’re excited, they, you know, they wake up and you know, they come to work and like okay, what can I feel today? 

Carter Alexander  14:08
What middles can I get? You know, what candidate can I find for other positions. And that’s really important because one or two bad attitudes will ruin that will absolutely ruin that because a lot of times attitudes speak the loudest. 

Carter Alexander  14:18
So we’re in a place right now. It’s just exciting in a place right now where everybody’s just, you know, excited and motivated and, you know, kind of happy and happy to be here.

Pete Newsome  14:29
So as if being a new manager isn’t hard enough, you’re having to do it with a remote team. How is that? I mean, you really don’t know anything differently because we were fully remote when you moved into the role that you’re in, and so you really didn’t have the opportunity to manage people in person. 

Pete Newsome  14:50
I think it makes it harder. But again, I could argue that there are probably some pros and cons there. So what’s your take on what that means? What’s been the challenge of managing a team that is fully remote?

Carter Alexander  15:05
Yeah, definitely pros and cons to this. You know, one of the pros that I would feel like is often overlooked, is not being in office not having that, you know, line of sight to your manager, per se, you know, someone’s sitting in an office, you can go and check in on.

Carter Alexander  15:24
I feel like the recruiters have become very self-sufficient. And they don’t necessarily need to be checked in all the time or, you know, you know, ask what’s going on and stuff, which I think gives them a lot of their time in the day back, right?

Carter Alexander  15:37
So they are able to spend more time on the phone, spend more time making calls and stuff. And of course, I’m only a phone call away, right? But it allows them to have that extra time and an extra space and everything that comes along with that. 

Carter Alexander  15:52
Obviously, there are some cons with managing a remote team, you know, I would say that company culture struggles more than it would, right because you know, we do have to do those extra things and those virtual happy hours or in-person happy hours once a month, or whatever the case is. But you know, we’ve got recruiters up in Chicago, we’ve got a recruiter that we just hired on in Tennessee, that doesn’t necessarily get to experience. 

Carter Alexander  16:13
You know, that’s specifically like those in-person events and such. So the company culture aspect is something that has to be daily worked on, you got to talk to people, you got to make sure you know, you even talk about the little things, hey, what do you got going on this weekend? What do you got going on during the day, or else, you’re just really not going to be able to build that. 

Carter Alexander  16:30
So lots of pros and cons, and I will go back to that the point that I had originally made. Just about transitioning from recruiter to recruiting manager is, you know, and one of the things I bring up in all of my interviews with candidates is, you know, you really got to make yourself busy in this role, right?

Carter Alexander  16:49
I’m at the point where, you know, kind of things are thrown at me and I gotta juggle, and hurdle, a lot of things. Whereas the recruiting position and being remote, you’ve got to find your own motivation, because there are not a million people on the phone, walking around talking to you, or talking on the phone.

Carter Alexander  17:02
And you just don’t get that busy vibe, you have to create that yourself. 

Pete Newsome  17:07
So it’s not for everyone. 

Carter Alexander  17:08
It’s something that comes in, right, it’s not for everybody.

Pete Newsome  17:11
And that’s going to be an interesting evolution of the way the workforce is operating today the people who can thrive by working alone and be responsible and accountable without someone looking over their shoulder are gonna, they’re gonna do really well. 

Pete Newsome  17:28
And others are going to struggle mightily, and it is not for everyone. To say the least, one of the things you said that I thought I think is really interesting. And I don’t know that I’ve thought of this prior to just hearing it was when. 

Pete Newsome  17:46
So I’ll step back a little bit and say one of the things that I’ve complained about over the years with recruiting is that the vast number of tools and resources has made recruiters individually not as good as they used to be and I’ll tell you why. 

Pete Newsome  18:02
When I started off in the early 90s, they had a forever ago right there, the job boards didn’t exist. The Internet really wasn’t anything like it is today in terms of it being able to use it openly for posting, and for having resume databases. And if there was a resume database, it was all homegrown for your company.

Pete Newsome  18:28
I did work for a large company, I worked for Aerotech in my first recruiting role. So we had an internal system, but it was a dinosaur compared to anything we have today. 

Pete Newsome  18:37
So every resume that we would get our hands on was incredibly valuable because we didn’t know where the next one was coming from. And so we had to thoroughly ask every question, we could have that candidate while we had him on the phone, we had to fully understand them and try to get references and referrals out of them. 

Pete Newsome  19:01
We tried to get as much information as we could out of each conversation. And I know you’ve heard me talk a lot about that over the years because that’s stuck with me. 

Pete Newsome  19:09
And that’s what recruiting was I have to assume I had to assume that if I’m on the phone with you as a candidate I’m not going to have anyone else to talk to unless you give me a name. 

Pete Newsome  19:21
And so I worked really, really hard for that every recruiter did back then. Now, you know that there’s another resume behind the one that you’re looking at, and one behind that, and millions more behind that. And so you just don’t have the same level of appreciation, right for anyone. 

Pete Newsome  19:40
You don’t have to solve the problem necessarily, because there’s another answer right behind it. So the reason I bring that up is to say now that your virtual recruiters are virtual, they have to be more self-sufficient in everything that they do. 

Pete Newsome  19:55
Yes, they could pick up the phone and call you to send your phone call away. Sure, but you still have to make that phone call. And that’s vastly different than just turning sideways and saying, hey, give me an answer to this, you have to be self-sufficient. 

Pete Newsome  20:07
And I think technology as a whole and this is really the point has made us way more dependent than we should be on everything, you know. And if I look at my kids, and now look, there are huge benefits of that, right? The Encyclopedia of the world, the history of the world is at your fingertips on your phone. 

Pete Newsome  20:26
I mean, that’s phenomenal, right? But it sort of makes you lazy, in a way. And it doesn’t make you have to work as hard to solve problems and recruiting is about problem-solving. And getting to the answer with no clear path as much as it is anything else. 

Pete Newsome  20:45
Man, I will always believe that right? It will never be replaced by well, I shouldn’t say. But in my lifetime, at least, and probably yours, too, will never be replaced by computers or artificial intelligence, because intelligence because there are just too many, too many subjective factors that go into recruiting when it’s done right. 

Pete Newsome  21:08
So I kind of find this fascinating that being independent is going to make recruiters better by being virtual. I mean, do you agree with that? I know that’s a long route to get to the point. 

Carter Alexander  21:21
I do agree with that. I think it’ll make the recruiters who are meant to be recruiters and kind of have that path for them. And they are able to be social and that, at that point to pick up the phone and make calls and sound good over the phone. 

Carter Alexander  21:34
And absolutely do right, because they are not so dependent on oh, I can’t figure out the answer. I’ve tried for five seconds, let me go, you know, ask my manager to help me or whatever, which again, they could, but you’re right, they’d have to pick up the phone and make that call rather than just turning to their side. 

Carter Alexander  21:48
Hey, can you help me real quick? So I completely agree, I think it and that that doesn’t just, you know, account for just recruiting. I think that that applies to many industries.

Pete Newsome  21:57
Yes. 100% I mean, I really do. I mean, it just, you know, as a father of four kids, I see that when they know the answer to whatever the question is, or the solution to whatever the problem is, is easily forthcoming. Right? 

Pete Newsome  22:12
Hey, can you know, if they asked me to do something for them. Well, then they don’t have to think about how to do it themselves, right? Or if they can get on the internet and just find a quick answer. 

Pete Newsome  22:22
They don’t have to otherwise experiment and find it out through trial and error. And there are pros and cons to that, too. But at the end of it, I picture that WALL-E movie, I’m sure you’ve seen that where the people are just like, you know, just sitting on a chair, they can’t even move because everything just comes to them. 

Pete Newsome  22:43
And yeah, that’s unhealthy, where now, if a recruiter is virtual, and they get stuck, and they hit a wall, and they’re going to ask for help, they’re going to have to do that with a different purpose. And they would before like, you’re gonna have to say, go interrupt someone else’s time, make that phone call. 

Pete Newsome  23:02
And so before you do that, they’re probably going to think, okay, okay, I need to think through this to make sure I, I’ve exhausted all my options before asking for help from someone else. 

Carter Alexander  23:12
Definitely. 

Pete Newsome  23:13
Interesting. Alright, so what are the cons? Right? So is the company culture part, there’s been a bunch of memes over the past week that I’ve seen on Twitter, but I don’t know why it started. But it would say the quote of oh, you know, we’re being virtual, you miss out on the culture. 

Pete Newsome  23:33
And then there would be a picture that would say, the culture, and the culture would be like a cubicle, right? Or the one that I thought was really valuable, a ping pong table, or there was a dirty microwave, you know, with the door open with like food all over. 

Pete Newsome  23:46
Like that’s the culture. Generally speaking, I mean, you are part of your career is going to be vastly different than someone my age, right? I’m 51. You’re roughly half my age, right? 

Pete Newsome  24:03
So your professional career is not going to be what mine was, which was, by default, you’re working in an office. The exception was if you were remote which was considered to be pretty extreme. Now, now, it’s almost a given. What do you think is better?

Carter Alexander  24:19
That’s a difficult question. Better depends on kind of what what you’re trying to achieve as an employee, in my opinion, right? You know, when we were in office, you know, you were in the office with us, you were there. 

Carter Alexander  24:38
And as a recruiter, I had that direct line of communication with, you know, the president of our company, which was very cool. 

Carter Alexander  24:45
And if I had an idea or a thought or something like that, I could just walk in the office, you know, knock on the door and say, hey, do you have a second I’d like to talk to you about something and nine times out of 10 as long as it wasn’t a crazy idea it was something that we could try and I know that comes with being you know, not a massive company. 

Carter Alexander  25:03
But um, you know, nowadays, that’s not something like the recruiters don’t have that kind of face time, right, they’re not able to just go knock on a door and stuff. 

Carter Alexander  25:10
And of course, they could call or whatever the case is, but again, that takes that call you know, knowingly, you know, calling in the middle of the day, maybe they have a meeting, or whatever the case is, you just don’t know, if that door was open, right? 

Carter Alexander  25:21
So it kind of depends, if you’re an employee who is, you know, looking to advance in career and things like that, having that in-office situation, I would say, would be better or helpful. 

Carter Alexander  25:35
Whereas if you’re here to just kind of put your head down, I want to be recruiter, I want to do this for multiple years, you know, I can make my Commission’s that way. 

Carter Alexander  25:43
No, I think remote has, its absolute perks, you know, you’re getting an hour or two back from your day not having to drive to and from the office. And you just get all that time back, you’re not spending money on gas and those kinds of things.

Carter Alexander  25:57
So it just, again, pros and cons to it. I don’t know if I could say one or the others better. It just depends on, you know, your internal motivation, or whatever your internal drive is.

Pete Newsome  25:57
I was thinking the other day about the cost associated with having to go to the office and the reason I started thinking about it was the wardrobe. People coming out now to work for a company like ours that gives that 100% virtual option, you don’t have to, you don’t have to buy a professional wardrobe, you have to buy some things but to buy clothes to wear occasionally, is vastly different than buying clothes to wear every single day. 

Pete Newsome  26:37
And that’s a giant expense. And it was for me, I used to wear a tie every day for years. I mean, for the first 10 years of my career tied so think about that expensive shoes and suits and coats, at least we’ve been business casual for a number of years. 

Pete Newsome  26:51
But so you save on that you save on the commute costs which are expensive, and, and the time and then you also apply $1 value to your time, and then multiply that times the number of days in a year. It is huge. And I think companies who haven’t embraced that are going to have a difficult time as we go forward. 

Pete Newsome  27:17
But on the other hand, I do have to acknowledge that you lose. I worry about younger professionals because they don’t get the benefit of all the things you just said they don’t get the benefits of having either an actual mentor in person or someone who just acts that way. 

Pete Newsome  27:38
They don’t get the hallway conversations and just the ability to have those interactions where you’re right, a new employee is not going to pick up the phone and call me just to chat, right? 

Pete Newsome  27:48
But if we were in the office, we’d have that opportunity to at least get to know each other. And I don’t know if there’s a necessary business benefit. But there’s a personal benefit to that. I mean, for sure, it feels good to have a connection with the people you work with and report to and all those things. 

Pete Newsome  28:05
I mean, so I look, I love it. And I love that I think it’s it we offer the option to everyone. Well, guess what? Hardly anyone goes to the office, they can offices there, all the equipment’s there, it’s, you know, all the stuff we had before. And it’s a ghost town more often than not. 

Pete Newsome  28:27
So I think, from the employee’s perspective, that message is pretty clear from the company’s perspective. It’s still pretty clear to me that we’re doing the right thing, but I do see some downsides, especially for younger folks. 

Carter Alexander  28:42
Yeah, I agree. 

Pete Newsome  28:44
So if you were in charge, fully of your it was your call to make. What would you do?

Carter Alexander  28:50
I’d be doing it exactly how we are. I think having the office is super important. Because it does give the ability and I went in yesterday, I’m, of course having laptop problems. So that was super fun. 

Carter Alexander  29:00
But I went in yesterday and Dez was there, I was able to meet the new client manager, Mike. You know, Mike, the managing director was also there, Dana Ray was there and we were able to kind of sit all together and make our calls and talk and stuff. And it was really nice. 

Carter Alexander  29:15
And it was nice getting to actually meet Mike in person as well. So I think having that option is important. But then at the same time, I mean, the talent, in my opinion, the workforce is looking for remote jobs right now. 

Carter Alexander  29:29
And if we were fully on site, we wouldn’t miss out on I would say 90% of the recruiters we just recently hired, you know, everyone’s looking for the remote. Everybody wants that benefit. Everybody wants that flexibility. So I think it’s really important to be fully remote with the option to go into an office.

Pete Newsome  29:46
Yeah, it came up on a podcast episode a few months ago, but the idea of you could work remotely 100% You could work in the office 100% Or you could work hybrid by requirement.

Pete Newsome  29:59
Now a lot of companies are doing that. And that’s something that I think is just bizarre because you think you’re doing your employees a favor, but you’re tying them to the local market. And you’re restricting your ability to hire, as you just said, people from other cities and states, or even internationally. 

Pete Newsome  30:17
I mean, I think that’s the future that we’re heading towards. At least that’s one that I hope we’re heading towards where you really do look at the world as your candidate pool instead of just the country, which we do now. 

Pete Newsome  30:31
And I think it’s such a weird approach to go, I’m gonna let you work at home for two days. You know what, I don’t want to carry my stuff back and forth. I don’t like going to the office now. Only because I’m set up to work at home. That’s where I’m efficient. 

Pete Newsome  30:48
That’s where all you know, my setup is where if I go in the office, now it’s feels, I guess some people can do it. I’m not one who can just go back and forth from place to place. 

Pete Newsome  30:59
And so anyone who’s doing the hybrid deal, I just think you’re not doing your employees the favor you think you are, and maybe you know, you’re not, but you’re doing it anyway. I don’t know. I don’t get that. 

Carter Alexander  31:13
Yeah, I might. So my wife has a hybrid right now. And she, in my opinion, it’s a struggle. I don’t know if she totally realizes it just because she’s kind of in the day-to-day, and I guess she doesn’t really know any better. 

Carter Alexander  31:26
She worked out well, I guess she worked fully remote for a little while during the heart of COVID. But now she’s on this hybrid schedule. And some weeks, she’ll go on Monday and Wednesday, some weeks, she’ll go on Thursday and Friday. And it’s just totally all over the place. It’s a little bit disorganized. 

Carter Alexander  31:42
It’s hard for her to make her plans or to know exactly when she’s going to be in office. So she’s like, even from things like, what am I going to cook dinner tonight? 

Carter Alexander  31:50
Are you going to cook dinner tonight? We’re going to have to go out to eat? Because we don’t have time to do that. I mean, it’s been a little bit of a struggle in that regard. So I completely agree.

Pete Newsome  31:58
Yeah, it’s such a moving target. There was a there was an exchange, with part of the American Staffing Association. And there’s a forum that that exists that gives staffing companies the opportunity to learn from each other ask questions and share best practices, that sort of thing. 

Pete Newsome  32:13
And there was a whole exchange going on this week about the hybrid work environment, and everyone’s trying to figure it out, like no one has, where you’re making it up as we go. And it’s still evolving. 

Pete Newsome  32:26
So even though companies may think they want to do it one way, they may pivot and do it an entirely different way within a couple of months. And I think I think the dust has not settled yet. Everyone’s still trying to figure it out. So I kind of give everyone a break and go, right, yeah, but my feelings on it are pretty strong. Like, don’t do hybrid.

Carter Alexander  32:48
My feelings are on that are strong as well, because for example, or company, you know, they were remote for several months. So it’s clearly possible. They’re clearly capable of it, they’re able to do it in my theory without getting into too much. 

Carter Alexander  33:00
They’ve already spent the money on the office and the rent there and stuff. So they’ve kind of got to have to justify that right? But if they’re capable of it, and people are happier that way, I just don’t see. I just don’t see the reason why not. 

Carter Alexander  33:14
And again, they have the office, right, they would be in a similar situation to us where they could go into the office if they want to and guarantee my wife still would on occasion, right? 

Carter Alexander  33:21
But having that requirement and kind of just having that force and especially with her schedule, that not knowing when you know, week by week, just having to kind of decide that as she goes is a little bit difficult.

Pete Newsome  33:34
Yeah, you nailed it other real estate commitments, are huge. 

Pete Newsome  33:37
And if you have a long-term lease, or you bought a building, and it’s a problem, I mean, it was pretty public a couple of months back when Elon Musk was talking about Twitter, and how they have this giant office that should I think it’s a quote, I don’t know exactly what it was something along the lines of maybe it should serve as a homeless shelter, I think is what he was saying, because no ones there. 

Pete Newsome  34:02
And that’s a giant expense for companies. And it’s gonna be interesting to watch over the next couple of years. And I think it will be yours to watch how it plays out and where it ultimately lands. 

Pete Newsome  34:15
But from being in our business as recruiters, it’s pretty clear that you are at a disadvantage in hiring talent if you are requiring your employees to be present on site. I mean, it’s just whether it’s a good idea or not for your business. That’s for everyone. 

Pete Newsome  34:34
Every organization decided visually, but you’re definitely at a recruiting disadvantage.

Carter Alexander  34:40
Yeah, it’s very clear with the recs that we work on. I’d love to get some numbers pulled for this and kind of see what like, you know, the time to fill on these, you know, remote versus not remote positions are but you know, just from my observations from the positions that we fill, if it’s a remote role, it’s going to take twice as long to fill.

Carter Alexander  34:59
Because you got to find that candidate that’s comfortable. And that candidate that’s close, I’d say, pre-COVID people, you know, if you had a 45-minute commute to work, that’s, you know, for the decent position, that’s a normal drive. 

Carter Alexander  35:11
Nowadays, 45 minutes is not going to cut it, you know, people are used to that remote. If it’s over 45 minutes away, they’re looking to be remote. If it’s, you know, 30 or less then it’s at least a talking point. But it’s really like narrowing that candidate pool.

Pete Newsome  35:23
So you can draw a line. So I was gonna ask about this, you brought up, you can draw a line right now, between a remote job and an in-office job and just know as we look to you mentioned, prioritization, beginning of the call that the episode, that’s what staffing companies do.

Pete Newsome  35:42
We look at the openings we have, we look at the recruiting team and match up, and we prioritize the positions that we’re going to work on based on a number of factors. But we always want to understand what’s the level of effort that’s going to go into filling a specific role. 

Pete Newsome  36:00
How much time are we going to have to spend on that? So right now, what you’re saying is, I haven’t asked you this directly off the air so to speak, you can look at rec and know that if it’s if the candidates required to be on-site, then it’s going to be significantly harder. Is that what you’re saying?

Carter Alexander  36:18
Absolutely. Without a doubt. You know, one of the things my recruiters will always say, and you know, if they’re having a hard time finding a candidate, maybe they’re two or three days into the rack, and they’re still having that problem, like, okay, you know, what, what are the conversations you’ve had, you know, who have you talked to?

Carter Alexander  36:33
Nine times out of 10 It’s going to be, oh, well, they’re looking for a remote, this person was a really good fit, but they’re looking for a remote. I hear that so often, again, I’d love to actually have some numbers and some statistics on this. But that’s just, you know, from talking with my recruiters, everything that I hear.

Pete Newsome  36:49
Yeah, I was at a conference in November. And it was a staffing conference, and there were some stats put up, I don’t have them in front of me right now. I’ll have to go back and pull them up. And maybe we’ll put them in the show notes that it was it’s a big consideration right now for candidates. 

Pete Newsome  37:07
And that’s a big challenge for staffing companies who, across the country, where if you have your client and your who’s insisting on that, and the competitors or the similar organizations in that market, or even that space, right forget market, because now that’s kind of blown out of the window. 

Pete Newsome  37:28
Now, so we don’t care about local for those who don’t require their employees to be in the office. It’s a big problem. And it’s not going away. So I’ll try to find the stats. 

Pete Newsome  37:41
But and I think our internal stats, we may be able to find where jobs that we filled in a certain timeframe, pre-COVID that are still in the office required to be in the office. I bet that time to fill has stretched out a lot.

Carter Alexander  38:00
Yeah, I would agree. 

Pete Newsome  38:02
Well, let’s explore that a little bit too, then as far as pre-COVID. My assessment was the market is very tight. So I look at data, I look at the employment numbers, I look at job openings, I look at all the government stuff, but I think our own information, our own reality of what’s on the street matters more. 

Pete Newsome  38:27
And so pre-COVID, very, very tight labor market, there are more jobs than people in the space where we operate, which is generally the white collar market. And then during COVID’s awful layoffs, and furloughs, no one was hiring for a stretch. And then on the other side of that, then the hiring market went crazy. 

Pete Newsome  38:51
Just giant salaries being thrown out, I think I would say that the average salaries increased about 15% across the board in every corporate function that we recruit for. 

Pete Newsome  39:06
It wasn’t just one area. Seems to have leveled out right now we’re seeing layoffs on the other side. So that’s my observation. And I mean, the layoffs are crazy right now, what’s happening each week.

Carter Alexander  39:22
I was gonna say and this is very, very recent, because up until the last couple of months here, we’ve just seen a crazy number of jobs and not enough candidates, right? Whereas now we’re starting to see that flip. And I thought it was really interesting. 

Carter Alexander  39:37
As of the end of this month, we are back to the unemployment rate that we were at the start the beginning of COVID, three and a half percent. So you know, we’re unfortunately I really hate to say it, but I think that that number is going to start going up as we see more layoffs coming through.

Pete Newsome  39:55
Yeah, I mean, listen to this list, just from August these I’m just gonna I’m gonna skip every name I read just know, I’ve skipped by about four, right I’m just gonna read very recognizable names, Stripe, Wayfair, Malwarebytes, Orbit, Suite Garden, Vroom, Data Robot, Warby Parker, Groupon, IRobot, Stubhub, RingCentral. And it goes on and Robin Hood.

Carter Alexander  40:27
It is easy, big percentages to I mean, Robin Hood had a 30% 30% of their workforce was laid off. That’s over 1000 employees. And that was just worse than the date. The second was this month.

Pete Newsome  40:41
Crazy. Yeah, these are all August even Only Fans, even Only Fans is laying off. Right? Even they’re struggling. 

Pete Newsome  40:49
So this so are you? Are you seeing it on the street, so to speak, we know what’s happening. The government data is just wacky to me because I don’t know that it’s just what they don’t acknowledge and I think about this a lot in the freelance market. 

Pete Newsome  41:10
They don’t really capture that. So when you hear people talking about the workforce, people aren’t going back to work. That’s just it’s not because they had a stimulus check a year ago, a lot of people are turning to freelance and so they’re not going to be captured in the traditional data market. 

Pete Newsome  41:25
So we know that’s all going on. But what are you seeing now? It’s late August 2022? How would you describe the current balance between candidates and openings?

Carter Alexander  41:43
As of right now, especially with our clients, I don’t think we’ve slowed down at all. As far as our, you know, clients have gone with their requisitions. I think we’re kind of, you know, in a good place with that right now, as far as our business goes. I would honestly say it’s still a struggle with getting candidates as of now. 

Carter Alexander  42:07
But I just think that’s something that might be flipping here in the next coming months. We’re still having more openings and candidates available. And you know, companies are still reaching out to us, companies we haven’t even worked with before, because they can’t find the right candidate, even if their job is acceptable. 

Carter Alexander  42:26
They’ve got the remote piece, they’ve got a decent pay rate and all these things. Maybe it’s just a specialized position. And it’s still more difficult to find candidates than it is to find a new business. In my opinion. 

Pete Newsome  42:41
No, you’re closer to it than I am. But my impression is that we’re back to almost exactly how we were pre-COVID. It was a candidates market, then it went the opposite way. And then it got really extreme, but it feels like we’re just back to that level of pre-COVID. 

Pete Newsome  43:00
And I don’t think that’s going to change because it’s not this fictitious sort of COVID. People not going to work. I don’t even understand that argument. It’s bizarre when I hear the news pundits talking about that, but we all knew that this was going to be a challenge because of the baby boomers retiring. 

Pete Newsome  43:26
I mean, this was going to happen and COVID just fast forwards a lot of those things for us. And it was already happening where I’ve been saying for years, there are more jobs than people in our space, being largely in Florida, although we recruit nationally, most of our clients are based in Florida, just because that’s where we’ve been established. 

Pete Newsome  43:49
And it’s only been the past few years, we have really turned to national recruiting and also being in the corporate space. So that’s what we have visibility to. And this is not new. And I think the employees getting laid off, if you’re going to be laid off as unfortunate that is, this is a good time to have to happen now. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Carter Alexander  44:15
Yeah, it, I think, largely depends on the company. If you’re getting laid off from a big tech company, you might get a pay raise going into your next role. 

Pete Newsome  44:25
Right.

Carter Alexander  44:26
It’s definitely not a bad time. It’s not something that if you do get laid off to necessarily feel uncertain about if you were you know a substantial employee at a certain company or you were truly a contributor, or whatever the case is, you have a decent resume. 

Carter Alexander  44:40
I don’t think there’s any problem with getting a new position right now, especially coming from a company like Robin Hood, or you know, a known company that people look at resumes and go, oh, wow, I know that company. Cool. That’s a good talking point. So I don’t think it’s a bad time. As strange as that is to say.

Pete Newsome  44:56
I don’t think so either. I mean, I don’t think the company matters I think if you if you don’t need to be a superstar, I think it’s just we’re filling the void that exists now. I’m a little concerned about the economy as a whole and the, you know, the recession that we’re definitely in, you know, getting worse that could change it, but I think it would take something so extreme. 

Pete Newsome  45:25
And I, you know, knock it on my desk, that that doesn’t happen. 

Carter Alexander  45:28
Don’t say that, again. We’ve been through this. 

Pete Newsome  45:30
We have been through it, but I think it would take that to really tip the scales in where being unemployed would be a scary thing. And it was that I mean, you weren’t, you know, in the professional world when this happened, and when the real estate market tanked. 

Pete Newsome  45:46
But that was bad, right? Or you did experience COVID? Right? Well, thank goodness, it didn’t last much longer than it did. But it felt like that. And if if if we don’t, you know, the economy continues to trend that could happen. 

Pete Newsome  46:02
But man, I think it would we’re so far from that, that I think these layoffs, if anything, are just bringing a little more balance back, which is necessary because companies were paying such big salaries, and while that favors the worker, it really doesn’t, because prices, that’s how inflation is going to kick in. 

Pete Newsome  46:25
And so I was having a conversation with someone yesterday, they said, oh, I’m going to move to look for jobs in Miami because they pay so much more. I’m like, yeah, but it pays so much more because it costs so much more. So they have to, they have to pay to attract talent down there. And so there’s a price to be paid for everything. And that’s, you know.

Carter Alexander  46:47
Well, and that’s something that people are starting to look into now as well, like, one of my wife’s friends, she just got a new position with a company in California. It’s got to be paying 20 to 30% more than what it would pay here in Orlando, but it’s a remote position.

Carter Alexander  47:01
Right?

Pete Newsome  47:02
Right. 

Carter Alexander  47:02
So that’s a little bit of a cheat code right now that’s going on. And I don’t know if that’s sustainable for the long term. But it’s definitely something people are looking into.

Pete Newsome  47:12
No, that’s, that’s 100% on point. And I was thinking about that, as we were. I was looking at some salary data that we just started publishing on zengig our other brand that’s a career advice site. And the swing is massive, you know, out in California, not everywhere in California, but in big cities like Los Angeles, and in San Francisco, it’s 30% higher than the national average DC, the same thing. 

Pete Newsome  47:43
You know, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, all the big cities have the same deal. But you don’t have to live there. Right, if you’re doing it right. So to call it a cheat code, I think is a perfect way to phrase it. 

Carter Alexander  47:55
Yeah, definitely. 

Pete Newsome  47:56
Interesting. 

Carter Alexander  47:56
I know we’re talking about just and don’t get me into it, don’t get me started into talking about the housing market, because I could talk about that all day long. But I think for companies here in Florida, and I think that goes along the lines of you know, real estate here in Florida, I think that you know, I can’t talk for every other state or anything. 

Carter Alexander  48:14
But I think we are in a healthier position here. Just with people wanting to move here and live here that also, you know, if will affect the job market, I think in a healthy way, still create a little bit of competition for jobs. 

Carter Alexander  48:25
You know, it’s not just something where you can walk in and say, hey, I’m qualified, give me the position, because there’s no one else who wants that role at the given time. Right? I think that’ll affect things positively here.

Pete Newsome  48:34
Yeah. Well, more changes to come. So we’ll have to revisit, it’s late August, as I said earlier, so we’ll have to timestamp this and then go back and see. 

Carter Alexander  48:43
Yeah, right. 

Pete Newsome  48:44
See how we’re right, so let’s close with that. What’s your prediction? Any predictions between now and the end of the year with the job market?

Carter Alexander  48:53
That’s a hard question. But I think through the end of the year, at the very least, I think we’ll be in a pretty similar place. I think I think unemployment is going to level out right here at around three, three and a half percent. 

Carter Alexander  49:06
And maybe moving into next year, just depending on how the actual market looks and everything. We’ll see. You will see more layoffs happen, I think, possibly towards the end or towards the beginning of the year. I think right now we’re looking alright.

Pete Newsome  49:20
All right. Well, then we’ll record that.

Carter Alexander  49:24
Yeah, let’s see how it goes.

Pete Newsome  49:25
We’ll go back to it we’ll cut that clip and then play it back the next time or when we’re on at the end of the year. But I agree with you. I mean, I think that the layoffs while what seems shocking just kind of bringing us back to where we needed to be because there’s so much crazy hiring going on.

Pete Newsome  49:43
You know those folks who jumped ship for the higher salaries while that’d be hard not to do what was going on six months ago, nine months ago. It just wasn’t sustainable. It never felt sustainable. 

Pete Newsome  49:55
It felt like panic moves and reaction and companies needed to hire they had to fill seats and be in the recruiting space, as you know, we were seeing salaries just astronomical leap way above what other percentages or normal growth were. 

Pete Newsome  50:13
So we want to see employees when, but there’s a downside to it. And that’s unfortunately what we’re seeing. And so yeah, I mean between now and the end of the year. Let’s hope I’m not going to my desk one more time that we do kind of stay at level ground. 

Pete Newsome  50:29
Because it’s easy right now to look at a lot of things and think we’re heading in the wrong direction. But we’ll do our part to keep on the straight and narrow. 

Pete Newsome  50:39
That’s for sure. Awesome. All right. Well, thanks. Thank you for coming on today. I will let you off the hook. I won’t keep you all day. But you know, continue success in your new role. And you’re doing a great job with that and everything you shared today. 

Pete Newsome  50:39
Then, you know, some folks a little more dated, you know, have and so it’s very refreshing to hear so. So great job Carter, appreciate it. Thanks to you and everyone else. 

Pete Newsome  50:39
Thank you for listening, feel free to rate and subscribe. We would appreciate you doing that but otherwise drive safe and we will talk to you soon.

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