Questions From Hiring Managers

Episode 20

Episode overview

It’s time for more audience questions! In this episode, Pete and Ricky respond to emails from hiring managers who are looking for answers in advice in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace.

53 minutes

View transcript

Q&A hiring questions of the week

  1. How can we spot employee burnout before it’s too late?
  2. How can we ensure the candidate shows up to a new employee orientation without ghosting us?
  3. We’re making our employees come back to the office next month, and some don’t want to. How should we handle it?

Additional resources

Returning To The Office: Tips On How To Prepare Your Employees
Highly Effective Strategies for Employee Retention
New Hire Checklist: The Easiest Way To Onboard
Why Job Ghosting is On the Rise

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.

Ricky Baez

About Rick Baez

Efrain “Ricky” Baez Jr. is a published human resources professional specializing in strategically aligning HR competencies to business goals with a down to earth, common sense approach. Ricky is a four- year veteran of the United States Marine Corps and holds a Masters degree in Human Resources (MHR) from Rollins College and an SPHR certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute. Ricky is also a faculty member for the Master of Human Resources program at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.


Ricky Baez 0:00
Hello, this is Ricky Baez and you’re listening to the Hire Calling Podcast.

Pete Newsome 0:10
Welcome everyone and thank you for listening to the Hire Calling Podcast. I’m Pete Newsome and this is your source for all things hiring, staffing, and recruiting. It’s a beautiful Monday here in Florida, Ricky how are you today?

Ricky Baez 0:21
I’m enjoying this beautiful Florida fall weather Pete, I really am.

Pete Newsome 0:26
It feels almost like it’s about to get cool, almost, but not quite

Ricky Baez 0:31
Yeah, but it gets me excited because I can see what’s coming, I can see that the temperatures are going to keep dropping and dropping because I mean look, people who don’t know in Central Florida, from I don’t know May until August you walk out that door that thing called humidity gives you a big bear hug and it makes you feel like you’re still in the shower and that’s starting to go away for like two months and I’m happy.

Pete Newsome 0:55
It’s close if you feel it as long as it’s gone by Halloween that’s my, as a native Floridian and that’s my ask always, is to be gone so we can enjoy Halloween and you know the kids can wear costumes and not you know be dripping in sweat. Like you said before they get to the edge of the driveway.

Ricky Baez 1:15
It’s the worst.

Pete Newsome 1:16
And it’s like 50-50 I think, some years we’re great, others not so much so we’ll see, it’s close, it’s coming.

Ricky Baez 1:23
We’re getting there.

Pete Newsome 1:25
It’s coming. Alright man, so today we’re going to do another Q&A. Are you ready for that?

Ricky Baez 1:30
I love these. I love these because I love what people are thinking about out there and you know folks and for those of you listening please don’t wait for this section to come up in the podcast. If you have any questions, continue to send them in,, continue sending those in. We’d love when these questions come in so we could talk about it on the air.

Pete Newsome 1:55
And it makes it really easy to prepare.

Ricky Baez 1:57
That’s right.

Pete Newsome 1:59
We don’t have to do anything but show up and make it up as we go.

Ricky Baez 2:03

Pete Newsome 2:04
That’s right. So, look I actually picked out three questions for today that are really geared towards helping out hiring managers. So, we spend a lot of time on our content, what we produce and publish on, our blog articles, our LinkedIn information, and even most of our podcasts tend to lean towards candidates more than anything else because candidates come to us with so many questions. But we also are in a unique position to help out HR managers, hiring managers and even other recruiters so come to us with your questions as well, please.

Pete Newsome 2:48
Because we want to be really forthcoming and open with our information and we certainly appreciate the opportunity to share with a different audience then what we’re typically spending most of our time with internally at 4 Corners so on Hire Calling, we really want to be broad in the information we share and today we’re going to focus on some questions from hiring managers that are timely and in this world right now there’s been a lot of shifts, there are more shifts coming probably I don’t even know that we can predict what and when those will exactly be but things are changing pretty quickly. Wouldn’t you agree?

Ricky Baez 3:34
They are, it’s kind of scary though, but it’s been scary for the past 18 months right because two years ago we would never think we would be in a situation where we are right now, just not knowing where all this is going. So, it’s both scary and dare I say it, exciting at the same time.

Pete Newsome 3:52

Ricky Baez 3:54

Pete Newsome 3:55
You know because to me it’s a different kind of scary right. First, there was survival you know, scary what’s going to happen. Fear of the unknown. And now it’s okay, we know that things are different. But we don’t have a roadmap on how to proceed and things are being reinvented you know, what’s normal is being reinvented. And companies are making things up as they go trying to adapt and persist as our employees, as is everyone right now.

Pete Newsome 4:32
And it can be exciting, for sure. But at the moment, I think it can also feel very uncertain. As you try to decide you know, what’s best whether you’re an individual looking for a job or a large corporation trying to make decisions that could affect 1000s of employees. I mean, that’s a lot of pressure.

Ricky Baez 4:55
Yeah, it is and, and you know, I can’t wait for the point Pete, where five years from now where we’re looking back and where we’re enjoying some of the new policies. We’re enjoying some of the new ways of working because it all came out of necessity with this pandemic right.

Ricky Baez 5:13
Whether it’s right, wrong, or indifferent to me, that’s the part that’s really exciting just to see where we’re going to be in five, hopefully in a better place not in a worse place, but if we’re in a better place just looking back five years and saying you remember when we used to do things this way and that way that’s the old conversation you know the old grandpa grandma talking about they never had the internet or TV this is it, this is that shift.

Pete Newsome 5:37
We can talk about how we used to walk uphill both ways. Yeah, back and forth to school.

Ricky Baez 5:40
Well yeah, our way to do it as you know, back when I used to hoverboard to school both ways, so we’ll see. I’ve never done that but whatever.

Pete Newsome 5:49
So, these questions, I think are timely and have to do with the changing world that we’re in, so let’s get right to it. And I’ll ask you the first one and that is from a manager that wants to know how to spot employee burnout before it’s too late, before it becomes an issue. What’s your thought on that?

Ricky Baez 6:13
So, it’s how can we spot employee burnout before it becomes a burnout? So that’s key, that’s key because, by the time you spot the burnout, I think it’s too late. Right? I mean, there’s still some time to salvage but I think it’s too late. Just off the top of my head Pete, the best way and you might get tired and just tell me, Ricky, I’m tired of you saying that, but I’m just going to say it anyway, Pete, building relationships. If you as a manager, meet with your employees regularly, you have some kind of vested interest in their personal lives, and you build a specific rapport with them, you should be able to pick up on these things before it becomes an issue.

Ricky Baez 6:54
Right? So, one example would be, you know what, myself. Because I love barbecuing on the weekends, I love to barbecue on Saturday, I love to smoke a nice brisket for 12 hours that the neighbor’s love on Sunday. And you know, if my boss and I had a rapport, and you know, if she would ask me, what are you doing this weekend? I’m like, nothing. I’m just going to work. Okay, following weekend, nothing, I’m just going to work. Following week and nothing, I’m just going to work. But she knows like, So, when are you going to do a brisket? Bing, that’s a red light, right?

Ricky Baez 7:25
Let’s have a conversation, find out what’s going on. So, it’s all about having that relationship. So now, I will caution people, I really would caution people because I know I keep saying, folks build a relationship with your people. Be careful how far you take it, managers, right? Because you could have some employees who don’t want a personal relationship with you, right? They just want to come in, do the job, and go home. Here’s what I say to those managers who have an employee like that, leave them alone.

Ricky Baez 7:55
Leave them alone, don’t keep trying to build that relationship with those folks if they don’t want one, because now you’re going to go from trying to spot employee burnout into being dead smack in the middle of an employer relations investigation about harassment, you don’t want that.

Pete Newsome 8:11
No, we definitely don’t want that.

Ricky Baez 8:12
You don’t want that. Right.

Pete Newsome 8:14
So, a couple of thoughts on that, and maybe a question or two as well. You know, I think we have to, what you’re saying is to see everyone as an individual and treat them accordingly and get to know them individually, and understand what their tendencies might be, to know if something changes. Here’s a question. As the owner of a business, 16 years now, when there have been times where employees have resigned, and I did not see it coming. And that’s frustrating for me.

Pete Newsome 8:57
Very frustrating because I can’t fix a problem that I’m unaware of. And if it’s an internal thing, like burnout, where I don’t see it in the work performance, I don’t see it in, you know, their habits or behavior. Because it’s something that’s, you know, internal. And I’ve been told, you know, as I’ve expressed that frustration, probably even to you, that well, Pete, you know, you’re the boss, right? No one’s comfortable, you know, you got to be comfortable telling you or you should expect to be the last to know in a situation like that. But I don’t want to be the last to know.

Pete Newsome 9:35
I would like to be one of the first to know so I can fix whatever’s broken if possible. I can improve the situation you know, but I can’t do any of those things unless I’m aware. So, what advice would you have for someone like me and quite frankly, one of the reasons you’re at 4 Corner is because I saw that as an area of our business that we needed to be really good with it, we weren’t as good as we needed to be with our internal employees of making sure that our culture is the best that it can be. So, in that situation, putting you on the spot here, what advice do you have to not be the last to know?

Ricky Baez 10:24
So, here’s the thing, your situation is different Pete, right? Because you’re the president, CEO of an organization, right? So, for you to spend all that time and effort getting to know each and everyone of every employee, you will never have time to run your business if that’s all you did. You won’t, right. So, what I’m saying is for the one over of the person, right, so for the one over manager that really spends their time with that individual.

Ricky Baez 10:54
Now, for somebody in your position, the best thing you can do is to empower all of your lieutenants, all of your captains, everybody who reports to you, that have a lot of the people who report to them, is to give them the flexibility to do what is needed. And to give them marching orders and say, Hey, I need you to check up on these guys every week, try to build a relationship, but be genuine about it. So, and then if there’s an issue, they need to bubble that up to you, that way you’re not the last to know.

Ricky Baez 11:24
So, if every lieutenant and I keep using that term loosely, every lieutenant every captain that you have, if they do that, right, whenever an issue comes up, it’ll funnel back up to you right. Now, because again, you don’t have time to do that, you know, you’ve got to run a huge business. So, the best thing you can do as a CEO, as a business owner, is to take the handcuffs off, not to say that they’re on, or even give them some marching orders to say, here’s what you need to do to build a rapport with your team. Give them that flexibility. Give them those, yeah, just give them that flexibility to do so.

Pete Newsome 12:03
I think that’s great advice. And really what you’re saying is, it’s a matter of practicality, right? So that you know you’re not less interested in not being first-hand involved, you’re actually proving that you are interested by making sure that the right people in the right place can get the information. So, I’ll take it as a good sign then as since you are one of my direct reports, you’d report directly to me that you sent me a picture of whatever you were barbecuing on Friday night.

Ricky Baez 12:30
That’s right.

Pete Newsome 12:31
Bring it back to that.

Ricky Baez 12:32
Yeah, Friday night. I’m like I went over to this meat market that I just discovered two weeks ago, went in there, get some nice Brazilian steaks, throw them on the grill, and I’m like Pete should know about this.

Pete Newsome 12:46
Well, that was good. I’m still going to need lessons at some point.

Ricky Baez 12:50
We’ll get there. We’ll do a barbecue podcast. We’ll do that.

Pete Newsome 12:54
There you go. Fourth of July edition. Yeah, with burnout. You know, it’s a word that I hear more frequently now. And I’ll say this, to say that I’m surprised. We got through COVID. People were, furloughs were happening, layoffs were happening, we have permanent job loss. And companies like ours were fortunate to survive and even come out on the other side of COVID with growth opportunities. And you would think, I would think, perhaps incorrectly, it seems that people would be ecstatic to be in a position of employment right now of opportunity.

Pete Newsome 13:39
And I am hearing that the word burnout more now than I ever did previously in my career, which seems sort of counterintuitive to me, where now should be, we should be ecstatic. But the opposite is true. Do you have any opinion on why? I’ve read a bit about it and I think I’ve started forming an opinion because I did some research because it was sort of perplexing to me at first, but what’s your thought on that?

Ricky Baez 14:05
I can answer that by asking you this question. So, Pete, do you know the difference between a boomer and a millennial?

Pete Newsome 14:16
Other than age and experience?

Ricky Baez 14:19
Well, I’ll tell you, god I set that up wrong. So, here’s the difference between a boomer and a millennial, so a boomer.

Pete Newsome 14:27
I’m neither by the way. I am not a boomer.

Ricky Baez 14:29
Yeah, me neither.

Pete Newsome 14:30
Despite my kids enjoying calling me that, I’m not a boomer but go on.

Ricky Baez 14:36
I gotcha. So, when a boomer, when, you know, they grew up in their career in an environment where it was very top-down leadership, right. So that Boomer when earlier on in their career, when they asked for a day off, that’s what they did, they ask and they will ask their boss, Hey, boss, can I get Friday off? Yes, no. Okay. If it’s no, it’s okay, no problem. They walk away. A millennial doesn’t ask. A millennial tells the boss they’re taking Friday off and who’s going to cover their stuff, right?

Ricky Baez 15:09
So, when you have a baby boomer because when that baby boomer grew up in their career, that is how they saw how employees and managers should relay to each other. Right? They ask. So now that baby boomer is in charge of an organization, and all these Millennials are just telling the boss what days they’re taking off and it’s driving this person crazy, right?

Ricky Baez 15:30
Two completely different points of view as far as work ethic is concerned. Now, let me bring it back to burnout. What I’m seeing here with burnout because I am with you on this Pete. The burnout I’m seeing today, what people say, is different than what I had growing up in my career, but then I go back to that example. It’s not that it’s right, wrong. It’s that it’s just different. They have nothing to compare it to.

Ricky Baez 15:58
Right, of course, I’m talking to younger people, the younger workforce, especially the workforce, who came into the workforce during COVID, they think this is normal. And it’s not. Whereas you and I have something, a different time, a different ethic, to compare it to. So, to me when somebody says, I’m burnt out, and I’m like, in the back of my head, that’s not burnout. I know burnout.

Pete Newsome 16:24
Burnout to me is you’ve been working 70-hour days consecutively for four months, and you need a break. Not you’ve been working at home for maybe 40.

Ricky Baez 16:34
Right? Yeah, it’s different.

Pete Newsome 16:37
It is vastly different. And I don’t know what to attribute it to? Because if that burns you out, what’s not going to burn you out?

Ricky Baez 16:50
Honestly, I think and God, I’m speaking out a term here, but I’m going to say it anyway Pete. I really think the best way to help somebody with burnout, when they just started out in their career is there’s nothing much more you can do other than advise that person and let time let them know that wasn’t burnout. Just how us, for you and me, back then when we thought we were being burnt out and now we’re looking back.

Ricky Baez 17:17
And that’s normal for us. We’re like that wasn’t burnout, right? That’s something very different. So, I think we need to give them time if they don’t want to be here because they feel burnt out, right? Obviously, let’s try to help them as much as we can. But why are we here though, we have to run a business and we’re here to make money, right?

Ricky Baez 17:36
We got to make sure that whatever we do for somebody that says I’m being burnt out, and we disagree with it that yeah, let’s help them out a little bit, but not to the point that we start losing money and we start getting away from the reason we’re in the business, to begin with. So sometimes it’s maybe you do have to go somewhere else and see what the other side has to offer. And you know, if you’ve been performing with us, and we’ll welcome you back with open arms if you left on good terms.

Pete Newsome 18:02
Yeah, I think that there’s going to be a cycle with, you know, I would say the younger professional generation is going to have to experience that.

Ricky Baez 18:15

Pete Newsome 18:16
Right? Because there are so many jobs open right now. It’s very easy to move from one to the other. And companies, we know this to be definitively true, that companies are jumping through hoops right now to attract talent offering what I consider to be unnatural things. Maybe I am a boomer. I’m not age-wise, but my thinking is at times, with things like unlimited vacation days. Now as an employee, that sounds amazing. As a business owner, I struggle with that. As a staffing professional, I struggle with that.

Pete Newsome 18:51
Now admittedly, we have internally at 4 Corner now offer up to unlimited, you can earn potentially unlimited vacation days, right? And that was a plan that I signed off on, one that I scratched my head over a little bit, right because if it starts to get abused at some point, it could be detrimental to the organization as a whole. And you shouldn’t ever have a compensation plan or benefits plan that would lead to the company’s demise. But when I see companies from day one, you can have unlimited benefits or unlimited vacation days.

Pete Newsome 19:31
I think some smart ass is going to take advantage of that at some point and just say, today is my first day and my first day of vacation. I will see you at some point in the future. Right. And so, I think there’s probably a lot of fine print and all of these deals are the truth. We don’t try to pretend ours is different than it is. It has to be earned and you have to maintain a certain level of performance in order to keep it and to your point earlier about approval. Yes, we still have to approve the days in advance, because we do have a business to run.

Ricky Baez 20:03
That’s right.

Pete Newsome 20:04
But when I see these things, I think, Wow, employers are really bending over backward right now to accommodate employees. And that is not a bad thing. But there’s a point where work still has to be done.

Ricky Baez 20:19

Pete Newsome 20:19
There’s a point where it’s still a business, as you said earlier, and I think this cycle has to play out to some degree were to answer the question of how do you spot it, you can spot it, but you may not be able to do anything about it. Right? You can only let an employee have so much flexibility in their hours, you know, if there’s a job that needs to be done, they have to work enough to do it. And so, I think that’s a very individual thing. But I would answer the person that asked to say, you know, identifying it is one thing, preventing it is another, but stopping it altogether from happening is a tough challenge.

Ricky Baez 21:04
It’s very difficult. And Pete here’s the thing. I think if the leader would start building relationships, just for no other reason other than building a relationship with their employees, I think, you’re not going to be able to stop it. You’re going to be able to prevent some things if you do little tweaks here, little tweaks there. Going back to my example of barbecuing, right? If my boss came to me, in a hypothetical world, that it’s been three weeks, and you haven’t done that? What can I do to help you? Right?

Ricky Baez 21:40
Because now we got to have the conversation as a leader, why am I spending so much time on the weekends working, right? So, is it because we do have that much work? Or am I not managing my time, right? Right. So, if that leader was to take a deeper dive into that conversation, they would know exactly what’s driving that. So, you never know where that conversation may go later on. But someone has to ask, someone has to ask because the employee, a good employee is not going to want to complain, I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, they’re not going to want to complain and I want to be seen as a complainer.

Ricky Baez 22:16
So sometimes us as a leader have to step in and say, well, what’s going on? You know what, back that off. You’ve done that before, right? Because when one of the directors went on vacation not too long ago, and what did you tell them? Don’t open your laptop. Don’t take your laptop. Don’t do any of that, right? Because you cared about that person’s time off. Right? That’s what people need to be doing. It’s just catching it right then and there because you’ve got a relationship with him. So, you know what works for him, what doesn’t work for him, and just being there and saying, don’t do that, leave that at home, enjoy your trip. That’s what people got to do.

Pete Newsome 22:51
And I think your primary advice is on point and beneficial. You know, build relationships, ask the questions. And I would just add to any employees who are listening, answer the questions.

Ricky Baez 23:02
Yes, yes.

Pete Newsome 23:03
Honestly. Openly. Because someone can’t fix a problem they don’t know exists, and to complain in silence, it does no good. And I can look back over our 16 years to some of the employees we’ve lost, who I think probably sought greener pastures they didn’t necessarily find but didn’t have to leave to find what they were looking for.

Pete Newsome 23:35
If they just had been more open and honest in the conversations so as a leader, I will tell you I always welcome that and crave it and it doesn’t happen often enough so maybe one of the changes that can come through this new world that we’re in so to speak is more open communication all around, on both sides.

Ricky Baez 23:57
That’s what’s necessary. Just open and honest communication. Especially if somebody is asking you.

Pete Newsome 24:04
It’s hard, I mean, you know, people are hesitant to be open right? That’s a sign of vulnerability. You know, you feel vulnerable and maybe that’s a feeling of weakness, but I think we need more of that. We need more of that.

Ricky Baez 24:23
I think we answered that. We’re good there. We’re good.

Pete Newsome 24:25
All right, next question. All right, these are all.

Ricky Baez 24:30
We’re getting there. Huh?

Pete Newsome 24:32
Okay, how can we ensure, I love the word ensure, by the way in this, because I’m just going to tell you, you can’t. No matter what comes next, you can’t. How can we ensure the candidate shows up to a new employee orientation without ghosting us, right? So yeah, welcome to, and this isn’t new right, the ghosting. I’ll let you answer that. Then I’ll share my thoughts.

Ricky Baez 24:59
Well, I’ll say that you know, the last time I was a recruiter, bona fide recruiter, was 15 years ago. And let me tell you, one of you know if somebody would ghost me, because I just learned that not too long ago, I didn’t know what that meant, when somebody would ghost me for an interview and I’m like, eh I can’t believe it. When somebody would ghost me for any other thing, I’m like oh okay fine.

Ricky Baez 25:21
But new employee orientation, to me that hits different, right? Because everybody knows this person is supposed to come on board. And I mean everybody. The hiring manager knows the compensation person knows, the HR people know, the leader, everybody knows. And if they don’t show up, to me that’s a bigger hit because that’s embarrassing for me. Right? And I’ve had that happen quite a few times.

Pete Newsome 25:42
Are you going to stand there with a sign in the lobby that says, welcome Betty!

Ricky Baez 25:46
Welcome, I got Chick-Fil-A, I got coffee for you. Nobody shows up. Right? It’s embarrassing. So, it took me a while to figure this out. But it’s just so easy, you know, in how I run my teams now, right? Because I tell them, you never, ever give a candidate an opportunity to talk to somebody else after an offer has been made, ever. Right?

Ricky Baez 26:11
And here’s what that means. That means that if you make an offer to a candidate, and the candidate accepts it, I’ll start in two weeks and you don’t talk to that person in two weeks, chances are this candidate has already had conversations with other people, have gotten other offers, right? And other offers might trickle in. If you ghost that candidate for those 14 days and you don’t talk to them, you don’t get them involved in the onboarding process, they’re going to entertain that offer. They just are.

Ricky Baez 26:40
Now obviously if that offer, they get like $50,000 or more, more power to you, do what you got to do, right? But outside of that, you take away any will for them to talk to other people. How do you do that? You put a strategy together, after you make the offer two days later follow up with them, follow up with them and what they can expect for new employee orientation. Two days after that, you know what, get ready for new employee orientation by start going over our core policies, no our core values, not policies, I’m not using that word yet.

Ricky Baez 27:14
You start introducing little things to them about the organization in a fun way that gets them even more excited. The more excited they are to start with your organization, the less likely they will talk to somebody else. It’s really that simple. But if you just keep it dark for 14 days, and in the back of their minds, they’re going to be wondering, did I make the right choice? And then somebody else comes and sweeps them off their feet, right? It’s like, you know, being in love. Right? You got to make sure you do things right. And you got to make sure you keep that communication.

Ricky Baez 27:47
And what I do Pete, I have either, I call them or email them every three days or so right, with excitement, with pomp and circumstance, and ask them a question about themselves. In the back of their mind, they’re like, wow, they really care about me as an individual. I’m feeling much better about this organization and they’re building a rapport. When you build that rapport, they’ll be less likely to let you down, and ghost you, come day one. So, to me, constant communication with the person.

Pete Newsome 28:15
So, you’re building a rapport is, well I’ll play on your, this is risky, but I’ll play on your being in love comment, where if it’s right and good, it shouldn’t be forced, it should just happen.

Ricky Baez 28:34

Pete Newsome 28:35
And you don’t have to be reminded to call someone that you’re in love with, because they should be on your mind anyway. So, in the world of recruiting and this is near and dear to me because ghosting is a trend that has grown with the internet. And this, here I go Boomer again. But when I started recruiting in the 90s, we didn’t leverage the Internet the way we do now. And so, each resume that a recruiter had, was more meaningful than a resume today.

Pete Newsome 29:15
Today you can get on to LinkedIn, and you have a limitless, seemingly limitless pool of candidates. And so, each candidate interaction you have has the risk of being less valuable than if you only had let’s say 10 candidates potentially to speak with right. Those 10 candidates are going to be more meaningful to you than an unlimited number, just like human nature. And so, you have to resist that mindset.

Pete Newsome 29:47
To be a good recruiter, you have to put that aside and you have to treat every interaction as if it is the only one that you’re going to have and so through the conversations you have, it’s not about pushing the candidate forward. It’s about understanding the candidate’s drives and motivation and what’s really important to them to see if that job is going to be a good fit. So, if you start trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, then there’s a good chance you’re going to be ghosted.

Pete Newsome 30:21
Now, you can do everything right, and it still can happen today because just like recruiters who see a limitless pool of resumes, candidates see a limitless pool of recruiters and job opportunities that are in their face, you know, just by pulling up, you know, one of many job sites. And so, you devalue each one individually. And this is my theory that I’ve built over the years where when I was away from recruiting for 10 years prior to starting 4 Corner, ghosting never happened before.

Pete Newsome 30:59
I mean, it didn’t happen in the mid-90s there’s a couple of reasons that I think, I mean it happened, but it was rare. The population is significantly bigger, the internet gives that anonymity that used to not have, companies who hire from recruiters. There was a, right wrong, or indifferent, there was unwritten blacklisting that would happen.

Pete Newsome 31:23
If a candidate was known to be bad to one recruiter, they were just considered bad and now there’s no recourse for that stuff the recruiter next door or down the street will still take the candidate gladly and not care that they displayed bad character in a different situation. So, you know, there’s a lot of what’s happened as well. But I think we’re essentially saying the same thing which is to get to know the person at an individual level get to know them for their unique desires and career objectives. And if it’s a bad fit anywhere along the way, identify it as such and move on and that needs to be on both sides.

Pete Newsome 32:06
Don’t keep something going just because you know you don’t have a glaring reason not to. There are too many jobs and if you’re the candidate there are too many jobs, if you’re the recruiter there are too many candidates to try to force a match that’s not natural, just like in a relationship of a romantic nature, right? Like, shouldn’t have to force this stuff at all. And I like to say it’s like being on a road with a bunch of green lights, you know when you’re driving, you’re in a hurry across town, and your time every light correctly, you know how that feels? It just feels good. We all know what that feels like right.

Pete Newsome 32:48
It’s hard to articulate, but you know it, and you feel like you’re winning a prize. That’s how it should feel when a job is right for a candidate or candidates right for a job. It’s just greenlights all the way. If you keep having to slam on your brakes because the red lights keep popping up and they’re going to make you late for wherever you have to be, we all know what that feels like as well. Identify it as such, call it out for what it is, and then move on. And to me, I don’t know if that has some meaning that it does in my mind as I say it out loud.

Pete Newsome 33:20
But you have to just maybe it’s just a very long-winded way to say, go with your gut. And the second your gut starts telling you this is not a great scenario, voice that, you know, act on it. Don’t keep that buried because eventually the person is not going to walk in the door and you’re going to be ghosted or the employer is going to quickly realize it’s a bad fit on the other side. So bad news early is good news, never more true, and it is in recruiting.

Ricky Baez 33:55
So, I laughed Pete because you were spot on with that analogy with the green light. That happened to me last week and I was so happy that I looked at my wife and I’m like Did you see that? Did you see, for the last eight minutes, green light. We are playing the lotto tonight, hands down. Obviously, it didn’t work because I’m still here. No, but that’s way better than my love analogy because you bring up a really good point, don’t force it. If you force it, you can have issues.

Ricky Baez 34:27
Look in a relationship when you’re in love, if you force it, I don’t know that could turn into stalking. I’m not saying let’s do that right, let’s not do that. But you’re right. It’s got to feel right, and you got to have all those green lights so don’t force it. But make it as easy, as enticing, as possible that way the person doesn’t entertain another offer later on but you’re right, we’re saying the exact same thing. I love the green light thing.

Pete Newsome 34:51
And then we talked about this on one of our recent podcasts but stay in touch with that candidate you know, regularly and I would say the same thing, and this is a world where, with budgets changing rapidly, business situations changing constantly. Candidate, you know, stay in touch as well. We, you know, we see stories of companies resending offers, it doesn’t happen a lot, but it can happen. So out of sight out of mind works both ways.

Ricky Baez 35:20
That’s right.

Pete Newsome 35:20
I would say, I mean definitely as the employer, or if there’s a third-party recruiter involved, you want to drive that. The onus is on you to do that without question. And don’t assume the candidate will, but candidates too if you haven’t heard from your employer in a couple of days, you should reach out.

Ricky Baez 35:37

Pete Newsome 35:37
Right, don’t sit back and wait.

Ricky Baez 35:39
That’s right.

Pete Newsome 35:41
All right. So, one more, I think that’s all we have time for today.

Ricky Baez 35:45
Yes, sir.

Pete Newsome 35:46
This is timely. We’re making our employees come back to the office next month, and some don’t want to. Shocker. How should we handle it?

Ricky Baez 35:58
Oh, Pete, I’ve been asked this question so many times, and I mean so many times. I’ll give you my answer, but I’m shocked at how people are surprised with the answer. Because people either want to hear no, bring them back to where they should be okay or no, they should always stay home. Everybody’s different. My advice is, don’t force people one way or the other. Give them the option. Everybody’s different. Everybody has different reasons why they want to come into the office, everybody has different reasons why they want to stay at home, especially with everything happening.

Ricky Baez 36:38
This pandemic has really turned everybody’s life upside down, one way or another. And to say, do this, or don’t do that. Go ahead and just give them that option. And here’s why Pete, because if organizations are holding firm, and saying, I don’t care what you say, you’re going to come back into the office by the end of, I don’t know two months from now. Now granted, some companies.

Ricky Baez 37:05
Well, you know what, before I even say that, I was going to say, Pete, that some organizations, they just can’t work remotely, but if they were doing it temporarily. So, they proved they can, right, so that’s something completely different. But let me give you this example. The reason business leaders need to be flexible with this is because, at one point, I don’t know if people know this or not Pete, its organizations don’t have to offer benefits. They don’t. There’s no law that says, you need to offer benefits, for X employees, outside of unions, right. But the law comes into play and again, I’m not.

Pete Newsome 37:41
Not in the affordable care act.

Ricky Baez 37:42
Well yeah, I mean, I get it, ACA came into play, right. But back, God, you know, what, that used to be my go-to response for something like this, but you’re right, ACA really did change that right.

Pete Newsome 37:59
And you know, across states, there’s different.

Ricky Baez 38:02
True, you know, I can’t believe I didn’t catch that. I’m embarrassed Pete, I should have caught that. But you’re right.

Pete Newsome 38:10
How about we say perks?

Ricky Baez 38:11
Well, a long time ago, you know what no, I’m going to say before ACA. Before ACA, organizations did not have to provide that. As soon as one organization started doing it, they’re like, Oh, that’s lucrative. Another one did it, another one did it. Pretty soon we’re going to be in an environment that, fast forward to right now, we’re going to be in an environment that working from home with the flexibility of telecommuting is going to be an expectation.

Ricky Baez 38:38
And if you’re going to be one of those organizations, that you don’t want to adhere to those expectations, then you’re going to have to deal with how you’re going to handle people jumping ship to other organizations that they put the flexible telecommuting aspect as a staple of the organization, right. So, we might as well hop on that train right now because everybody’s different and if you give them the option, that is the best way to handle it.

Pete Newsome 39:07
So, this is a very free market, you know, thinking, right. Of, you know, let the market determine what you do. That is going to happen here, unlike the Affordable Care Act, which was an interesting thing for the staffing industry because benefits were usually not offered, not in the same way in the world of contract staffing, because the contract employee was generally paid significantly more as a trade-off.

Pete Newsome 39:46
So, what they didn’t have in terms of medical health benefits or vacation days, if you had a direct employee who received all of those sitting next to a contract employee doing the same job, the contract employee was typically making significantly more per hour to make up for it. And that back then, I would have told you no one was complaining, right. This isn’t arguing about the Affordable Care Act being good or bad, it’s about the Affordable Care Act is necessary in the world of contract staffing specifically.

Pete Newsome 40:21
And I would tell you that it was not because the market dictated that, what the employees would do. If you put a value on perks and benefits that would come with being a direct employee, you could choose that. But there was a big group of people who put more value on the hourly rate that they could make as a contract employee, and the flexibility that goes with that, and in myriad other reasons, but they specifically chose to not be a direct employee now that someone has to pay for the benefits.

Pete Newsome 40:57
And that’s really changed the whole marketplace. So that’s a little off-topic with what we’re talking about, but the employees were going to naturally make those choices based on what was better for their own situation. And that’s what we’re seeing here now. So, you as a company can mandate whatever you choose, you have that right, but understand that there are ramifications.

Ricky Baez 41:29

Pete Newsome 41:30
To what those choices are. So, if you draw that hard-line right now and dictate that all of your employees have to come back, well they may think otherwise.

Ricky Baez 41:40

Pete Newsome 41:40
Right, you shouldn’t assume. And so, it’s a wild time right now and so someone asks the question, how should we handle it? Well first, figure out if you can be flexible as an organization because your competitors most certainly are doing exactly that right now. Whoever you are, there’s going to be winners and losers, as Ricky said earlier in the podcast, from all of these things.

Ricky Baez 42:09
I’m sorry go ahead, I don’t know if I stopped you.

Pete Newsome 42:11
No, go. I mean, that’s not an easy task. Because there are some companies, who cannot just wave a magic wand and say great BPO, even though we’d like it for you to work at home, we can’t because it’s a matter of practicality for whatever reason. Some industries are more prone to allow that than others and someplace, it’s not going to be impossible. I think everyone knows that right. A retail store, a restaurant, you can’t have your employees virtual. Right, if they’re working on the floor.

Pete Newsome 42:44
I think we’re talking about the companies where there’s an option, right? Let’s use staffing companies, for example. There’s really no difference in our ability to do our job, whether we’re in the office or not. It’s just a matter of culture, control, real estate, that has been paid for, that may sit empty. If you want to make that your employee’s problem, so be it. There are some interesting considerations that are going on right now that I think are going to change the face of the American workforce, in many respects.

Ricky Baez 43:22
And you know what Pete, I’ve never said this live, you know, I said it one time before, a few years ago, but about 15 years ago, I was working for a government entity, a local government entity. And I brought up the idea of hey, why don’t we try telecommuting one day a week. And what the county administrator told me, he was like, you can’t trust people to work from home, I need to see butts in seats.

Ricky Baez 43:41
And my thing was, so what’s important to you? Productivity or butts in seats? Because you can have butts in seats that don’t produce, right, but it’s checking that box, or you can have productivity. And the pushback was, it’s like well, I guarantee that if people are at home, they’re going to gaff off and they’re not going to work, you know, that whole theory. I think this pandemic kind of proved that theory. I thought I read somewhere I think it was 30. I could be wrong, I got to find that article.

Ricky Baez 44:22
I think overall productivity jumped about 30%. And the reason being, the reason it jumped is because people were at home working more than when they’re at the office because they didn’t want people at the office or people there, this is a true thing, they were at home gaffing off. So, what did they do? They worked harder, more hours, which kind of goes into being burnt out. Doesn’t it?

Pete Newsome 44:47
Yeah, well that’s an interesting point, right? Because if your scenery never changes, and you feel like you’re at work always, if you have your computer open if you don’t have a dedicated workspace, a door you could close and not have to see it to feel like you were no longer, you know, quote in the office, that can happen if that computer was staring at you while you’re eating dinner, while you’re trying to relax at night. That’s real.

Pete Newsome 45:17
And it’s just a fascinating thing because I know right now with that, if I think of our internal staff, we know, because we’ve been told that there are folks who would like to be in the office, they would like to be in the office primarily, because they want to be around other people. Well, our office, while open for whoever wants to come in, is not going to be full like it was in the past because of the other folks who don’t want to come in at all. And so, we see this sort of an office that is never going to be what it was unless we made everyone come back.

Pete Newsome 45:58
And I can tell you that that means some employees are not going to like it as much as they otherwise would have. And I think there’s a place for both. I know that there are some young professionals who crave being in the office because they, you know, they’re doing their career, they want to be around a group. I think there are people who feel isolated working at home and need that change of pace. If you live alone, you know, that can be lonely. So.

Ricky Baez 46:33

Pete Newsome 46:34
I think it’s not a given that employees don’t want to go back. So, if you’re that organization who I don’t think you can make your employees come back, I think they’re going to leave, I think if they’re someone who doesn’t want to, and there’s no shortage of job opportunities for them right now in the market.

Ricky Baez 46:53
There sure is.

Pete Newsome 46:53
So, sorry to not give a better answer to your question, but you should handle it by just accepting the reality of the situation. But feel comforted knowing that there’, as far as I’m concerned, everything I’ve seen indicates that there are just as many employees who crave being in the office and want to be so you may have to do some swapping out of your staff and retraining and the expenses and effort that goes along with that.

Pete Newsome 47:25
But perhaps it’s worth it to have the people who are going to be happy in your environment, and not bitter and angry that you force them to do something they don’t want to do. I mean, I just don’t think people will do that right now anyway. I think it’s such an employee’s market that, as you said, employers should allow, I mean, that’s our stance, of course, because that’s what we decided to do, right?

Pete Newsome 47:49
We made it 100% optional. But I also have to acknowledge that that’s not ideal, there is no ideal answer to this. And I could make a case for each possible scenario. And this is where we landed because we think it was the best situation of all the options, and we think it’s a great situation. But I don’t think it’s ideal.

Ricky Baez 48:15
It’s working out for us though Pete because I love going into the office every now and then. And I see random. Now I mean, just random employees who go in, do their job, and leave. And you could tell that they appreciate that flexibility, right? Just because sometimes you don’t want to be in the office every day of the week. I mean, you kind of had to, a year and a half ago, right?

Ricky Baez 48:37
But just to know you’ve got the flexibility that you can change that scenery for you, and then go home for two weeks and then come back for a week, whatever it is, that change of scenery really helps, that flexibility is going to help your employees, folks. I’m telling you in five years, mark my words, this is going to be one of those things that are going to be a staple in a total compensation program.

Pete Newsome 48:57
Oh, without question and you know, we’re never going to going back to how we were and the last thing I want to say on this is from my perspective as a staffing professional, not our business, we made the decision that was right for us once we left in March 2020. We from that moment forward, made it optional to come back. And I would say 90% of our employees choose to stay home because that’s where they’d rather work which is fine. What I discourage anyone from doing is two things.

Pete Newsome 49:32
One, changing over time, you know, one day saying our policies this and then the next day saying it’s that. We’re seeing that happen and that is really frustrating for employees who build their life around their work schedule, whether it’s childcare, pet care, you name it, transportation, there are unlimited things that an employee has to consider as far as their work situation and their home life. And to play with that is a terrible idea. And so, don’t do that, please.

Ricky Baez 50:10
At all.

Pete Newsome 50:11
At all, but it’s happening a lot right now. We keep seeing it because it’s like trying to time the stock market, right? Like don’t do it, just make a decision, live with it, don’t change based on the way the winds blowing, or whatever, you know, COVID news came out next, you’re not doing yourself, your employees a favor, and you’re doing your business a disservice. The other thing is, this hybrid model that’s enforced, really has no benefit to your employees either, regardless of what you think.

Pete Newsome 50:42
So, if you’re an employer, who, I’m sorry that you’ve signed a real estate lease that you wish, probably now you had not, but to tell your employees, you can work at home two days a week, and then the office, it serves no benefit to them. Because now you’re giving them conflicting schedules, which makes it even harder to manage your lifestyle. And you’re making them less productive than they would otherwise be by switching back and forth.

Pete Newsome 51:11
It’s just, I get what you’re going for, but it doesn’t work, and your employees aren’t happy with it. Trust me, you’re not getting it just like you’re not getting the burnout thing, or I’m not getting the burnout over the years that no one’s coming to me with that. They’re not coming to you to tell you your policies are bad, and they don’t like it, and they’re probably looking for another job. So, don’t do the mandatory, you’re either in or out, and then live with it. That’s my very strong advice to anyone making those decisions because we get the feedback. And it’s pretty crystal clear.

Ricky Baez 51:52
Trust me, we get the feedback. Because we interview people left and right. People know that and we understand why people are leaving. And we know how big of an impact this is for folks. So, the name of the game is flexibility. That’s what it is.

Pete Newsome 52:08
All right so that, man, that’s a lot for three questions today.

Ricky Baez 52:13
That was almost an hour. That’s awesome. Yeah. 52 minutes so far.

Pete Newsome 52:18
We’re losing listeners left and right at this point. But yeah, I think these are important things to tackle. I’d like to go back to these questions in six months, or a year to see if we think differently than we do right now. Maybe we will on these things, maybe we won’t. I think we’re pretty definitive on these. But the world’s changing pretty quickly on us in this and it’s not done.

Ricky Baez 52:47
That’s right.

Pete Newsome 52:47
It’s still happening.

Ricky Baez 52:48
That’s right. All right.

Pete Newsome 52:51
All right. Well, thank you for listening. As always, please give us more feedback and send questions to Visit our website and you can also reach us there and the more feedback the better. So, thanks for listening.

Ricky Baez 53:09
Alright folks, thank you very much. Drive safe and good night.

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