Hiring Elite Employees

Hosted By Matt DeCoursey

Full Scale

See All Episodes With Matt DeCoursey

Cary Daniel

Today's Guest: Cary Daniel

Co-Founder and CEO - Nextaff

Overland, KS

Ep. #991 - Hiring Elite Employees

Let’s pick up where we left off. We’re on the third installment of our KC Inc. 5000 series.

And in today’s episode of Startup Hustle, we’re looking into hiring elite employees for your business. Matt DeCoursey and Cary Daniel, co-founder, and CEO of Nextaff, are here to share their best tips on attracting elite talent. Not only that, but they also share how to retain these elite employees for a long time.

Covered In This Episode

Is hiring elite employees easier said than done? Every entrepreneur dreams of having a team with only the best people. So Matt and Cary are here to make that dream a reality.

Get Started with Full Scale

The founders dive into how you can predict a good hire. And they are giving away the secret to rewarding your employees and making them stay.

What are you waiting for? Tune in to this Startup Hustle episode now.

Hear What Entrepreneurs Have to Say in Startup Hustle Podcast


  • Cary Daniel’s journey (02:10)
  • Nextaff’s franchise model (05:01)
  • Where to start when hiring people (05:55)
  • How to compete in hiring talent (08:35)
  • Tips for better employee retention (12:14)
  • Top reasons why people leave (13:48)
  • The biggest misconception about hiring quality talent (18:36)
  • Getting creative in paying your elite talent (19:35)
  • How to reward and appreciate your best employees (21:18)
  • Stats on employee turnover rates (24:14)
  • Nextaff’s Unique Selling Proposition (24:46)
  • Can you predict quality hires? (25:50)
  • Elements that equate to long-term success (28:31)
  • Building an open and inclusive culture (32:50)
  • What is one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs? (34:19)
  • The onboarding process for franchisees with Nextaff (35:21)
  • Are franchise owners entrepreneurs? (37:42)
  • Founder versus entrepreneur: are they different? (40:30)
  • How to succeed as an entrepreneur (42:52)
  • The current state of the staffing industry (44:46)
  • Valuable advice for those who are hiring (45:52)
Matt and Cary in the Startup Hustle Studio

Key Quotes

Elite people that you’re going to hire want to win. They want to be around things they’re passionate about.

– Matt DeCoursey

A big misconception is that startup entrepreneurs feel as though, how am I going to hire this top quality person when I’m such a little startup nobody?

– Cary Daniel

You get in your day-to-day whirlwind. And a week goes by, a month goes by, a year goes by. And then, you stop and think, when was the last time I stopped, and I said, “Hey, I appreciate everything you’re doing. I appreciate the work you’ve done.”

– Cary Daniel

Sponsor Highlight

Want to hire an elite software development team? Look for further than the Inc. 5000-lister company, Full Scale. They have engineers, developers, and testers ready to jump into your long-term project. All you need to do is answer a few questions, so their platform can match you with a fully vetted team. Get started on the recruitment process today!

Moreover, discover what our Startup Hustle partners can do for your business.

Rough Transcript

Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!

Matt DeCoursey 00:00
And we’re back! Back for another episode of Startup Hustle. Matt DeCoursey here to have another conversation I’m hoping helps your business grow. Speaking of your business growing, as it does, you’re always trying to hire elite people. Where do you find them? How do you get to them? Is it a good place to find a service to help you find them? There’s a whole lot that goes into hiring the best people. We’re gonna get into all of that and introduce you to the guest. So a quick reminder, this is the third episode in our Kansas City-based Inc. 5000 series. As a reminder, that’s where Startup Hustle is from. We wanted to give a little bit of love to our hometown, and that’ll be going on this whole week of Thanksgiving. Today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Because hiring software developers is difficult. Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably. And has a platform to help you manage that team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. With me today I’ve got Cary Daniel, and Cary is the co-founder and CEO of Nextaff. There is a link for that in the show notes if you want to go learn more about what they do. Cary’s company was all on the Inc. 5000 this year, along with Full Scale and other participants in this week’s show. 233% growth over the last three years, but more impressively, it was the sixth time his company’s been on the list. I think that’s probably just a good point to say. Cary, welcome to Startup Hustle.

Cary Daniel 01:25
Thank you. Excited to be here.

Matt DeCoursey 01:27
Yeah, well, let’s jump right down and get a little bit more about your backstory. Then we’ll share some of our valuable secrets about hiring elite people.

Cary Daniel 01:37
All right, we’ll do it. Let’s go. Okay, backstory. Well, I won’t go too far back. You know, I was working for a large publicly traded staffing company back in the mid-90s. And I didn’t know. Been there for a while and started to see upper management get replaced by other people. I started to see my roof or my ceiling kind of cap. So I moved over to another company that was local. And they had hired me to be kind of a district manager in training. Here’s our upward mobility. Here’s where we’re going. Here’s where you fit in. And they ended up selling to another publicly traded company. And the same story, within probably six months, the three people that were ahead of me all were gone and replaced by folks that came in from out of town. And I think that was the point where I saw, you know, the last two places I’ve been, my ceiling kind of got taken away. And I thought you know what, I do not want somebody else being in charge of my future. And so, I called a couple of friends that had some finance background. I called my old associate from the staffing firm. We started our first company in December 1998. So we did that and had some success with building it up relatively quickly and sold it in four years. And, you know, at the early age of 30, something decided that I didn’t have enough money to retire. But all I really knew at that point was staffing. And that’s when we decided to launch Nextaff in 2004. And it’s now a franchise model. And it was really designed to help would-be entrepreneurs that wanted to get into the staffing space that we knew would make a lot of the same mistakes we did. And that’s why we’re in the franchise.

Matt DeCoursey 03:19
I think that’s the key ingredient of a franchise model. Now you mentioned, like there, I mean staffing. As we can be honest, neither one of us invented it for sure. It’s been around for quite a while, and there’s always been a need for quality help. You know, before we hit record, I kind of alluded to the fact that so many businesses and just people are bad at it. They really are. Yeah. And I think that’s to be expected. And sometimes, it’s just rapidly growing businesses that can’t really expand fast enough to add people now on the franchise level. You guys have a model that can be used by future staffing entrepreneurs for a wide variety of businesses. I Full Scale like we, as I told you before, we record we just do software developers, testers, and leaders and specify with offshore, and that which is a lot different than what you do. So your franchise model will cover anything from, I mean, probably most of it, right?

Cary Daniel 04:18
Yeah. So the industry is broken out into a handful of quadrants. We nail them down into three verticals: commercial health care, we match our franchise owners to the vertical that best compliments their background. So in that, as you mentioned, every one of those categories has 100 Different really finite niches that you could specialize in. So it’s really all over the board. But we don’t tend to do a lot of offshoring, necessarily most of it US-based, and you talk about trying to prevent the failures.

Matt DeCoursey 04:49
That means that my business does that too. There’s a lot of people who have had, you know, I don’t think You have to get too far down the road as a business owner in general before you eventually make a bad hire and maybe develop a strong sense of understanding for the value that expertise and the space bring. So we’re here to partially and hopefully talk about hiring elite people. Where do you start with that?

Cary Daniel 05:21
It’s one of the first topics during training that we go through with our franchise owners is that the speed at which you will grow or not grow can largely depend on the very first hire that they bring in. Because most of our entrepreneurs start relatively small, it’s the franchise owner making the sales, and they bring on an account manager to do the recruiting in the fulfillment. And so if you get the wrong person in that seat, you could spend three to six months just kind of spinning your wheels versus the right person in that seat. And so then invariably comes the question, which is, okay, well, how do I make sure I get that right person. And we could spend multiple episodes on this. But what we have found is one of the key ingredients in this is really a staff establishing your vision, where you’re going, but more importantly, how that new hire fits into that vision. And we give a great example, through training, and we tell them, so if I’m sitting down with you, I’m a solo entrepreneur, I’ve just bought a franchise, we haven’t even got the sign up on the wall, yet the paint still wet, and you sit down, and I tell you all these things that I want to accomplish, and you know, for my family, and I want to do this, and I want to do that, and I’m hoping to play golf and retire and do all this. That’s not very inspiring to somebody that’s an A player. But if you can sit down and clearly articulate your vision, where you’re going, but more importantly, where they fit into that vision. That’s what we have seen has been the key to bringing on somebody that maybe you might not be able to normally hire or recruit. Maybe you would think somebody comes in and you think, Well, you know, this person is making a great salary, they’re working for big companies, why would they want to work for somebody small like me? It depends, right? If your vision is, hey, you’re getting in on the ground floor, and 10 years from now, I’m gonna have 15 offices around the metro area. To do that, I’m going to need key people in certain positions. And here’s what those look like. And if you want to be one of those people, come work for me, and I’ll put you on a track. And I’m going to show you how to get there. But it’s all about where they want to go versus you telling that key employee all your grand goals and the cars you want to buy.

Matt DeCoursey 07:45
I was at TechCrunch a few years ago, this was like pre-pandemic kind of timing, and we went out, and we visited some of the companies that we had had on the show. And I was positive when I went out there like how do you ever find talent, you’re competing against these like tech giants? And all of the people I sat down with very quickly corrected me. And they said they’re like, No, I don’t have a super difficult time finding people because we have this specific thing or problem we solve. And it’s a lot easier for our future employees to get behind some of that than it is to maybe go to Facebook, where you feel like you’re part of this just massive to bang, it’s too big, it’s too big. And that is largely there to, like, show people what my kids ate for dinner. Yeah, so there was a level of, and then that personal interaction, the ground floor thing was a big thing. One of the things that we found when it comes to liking the elite people and then the placement. So it’s one thing that for us, it’s one thing to hire people. So we’re not like a normal staffing model. They stay our employees. So they don’t go and work somewhere else. So if they don’t turn out, I got to pay him anyway. Right? Which is a different model than then true staffing. But with that, we’re looking at the thing that I found that does the best is when that person is just passionate, either about what they’re doing at work or the problem they’re solving, hopefully, both. So in certain cases, like, you look at it, it’s so broad, there are a zillion skills, but what do you really like doing? And that’s the like in that interview in that assessment in that recruiting phase like that’s, and sometimes it’s hard to get people to tell you that. Yeah, because it’s often different from what they’ve done for the last 10 years.

Cary Daniel 09:29
Well, it’s sad to say a lot of people don’t know true. A lot of people, if you said you know if could draw it up, and you could have a blank slate. Yeah. What do you want to do? Every day of your life?

Matt DeCoursey 09:40
I ask people that a lot just in life there said Well, what do you do? What would you really want to do? And the answers are usually never the same. Yeah. Now I’ve been fortunate to straighten that out in my own existence because I love business. I love entrepreneurship. I love helping other people solve problems and all of that, so I wake up well. You know, I decided I was passionate about making money at 1.2. And I haven’t worked today since. Yeah. And that’s a true story on some levels because that’s a scorecard. But it’s not the only thing. I think that, like when it comes to the elite people that you’re going to hire, they want to win. They want to be around things they’re passionate about. And I also think that you know, you talk about like that, I think you’re spot on with this, getting you in the right culture because you mentioned kind of like a day one startup with a poorly defined vision about the founder and the owner just wanting to do something else. That’s hard to buy into. Yeah, but you know, it could be easier to buy into if you’re like, I’m trying to build the team that I’m going to replace myself with because I’m getting older. And this is where I’m at. But the best-aligned vision is we’re solving a real-life problem here. And I need people that really want to buy. Yes, you solve a problem, the money side of the business usually kind of defines itself.

Cary Daniel 11:03
People want to know that they’re making a difference, right? They want to know that what they’re doing every day is just not showing up, checking a box, or showing people’s dinner on Facebook.

Matt DeCoursey 11:11
I got that, you know, I really did. I was out of that event. We got about halfway through our meetings. And I was like, should I still ask this question? I did, anyway. But yeah, it was pretty universal. And I really thought it would be hard. I think that too many people are trying to hire elite folks? Well, first off, let’s be realistic. Those people probably are usually not out looking for a job. And that’s where a staffing company or a company like Full Scale or someone else, in our case, it’s just heavy, heavy vetting. We created 48 technical certifications because we didn’t find the other stuff that was out there on the internet to be very reliable, right? Or it asked questions like, knowing what PHP stands for does not help you be a PHP developer. Right? That’s not what your technical assessment should be based on.

Cary Daniel 12:02
I just had this whole conversation last week on that exact topic. Right.

Matt DeCoursey 12:05
Right. And All right, so hiring elite people is one thing, but trying to keep them around is a whole nother science. And I have some notes here that 47% of HR teams say employee retention and turnover is their biggest challenge. And you know, like a lot of people kind of go in the door and out the door. In 2022, we embraced a hell of a lot of media that talked about the quote, great resignation, right. And a lot of people are changing jobs. I think the economy’s cooled a little bit. We were going to end 2022 with a different vibe. And we started the year with, but I mean, still, the retention and turnover thing is a challenge for a lot of people. What do you think some of the keys are to keep them keeping the early people?

Cary Daniel 12:51
Well, you know, when we do our research on this, there’s a lot of reasons, and depending on which survey you look at, that can be all over the board, but you will typically find money down farther on the list than you didn’t and you think it would be right, a lot of people think it’s number one reason it can be the can’t be a good reason to motivate somebody to move. But it’s typically not why they leave. A lot of times, they’ll leave because of a bad manager or poor leadership, bad culture, not a fit with culture. So you know, you and I live in a little bit different space in the staffing segment where a lot of our work is done on the forefront. And once we go we find somebody, they work for a company, let’s say for 90 days, 120 days in that company decides to bring them on. And then they fall off a month or two months later. That doesn’t necessarily mean you know, our job upfront was done inaccurately, but there’s something going on. And so we’ll work with companies, HR departments and their leadership teams on the exit interview data that we find. And a lot of times, we’ll typically point to an individual that just is not aligned with everything else going on. And what’s funny is when you mentioned that and you bring in the HR folks, and you have that conversation, hey, we’ve done exit interviews on the last 10 people that left in John Smith, every single person mentioned John Smith, they know it. And you know, it’s usually not some big surprise. But you know, John’s been there 20 years and they feel some loyalty to him. But the fact is, everybody’s rowing in the same direction except for him and he’s running people off. You have to decide.

Matt DeCoursey 14:33
Do you lead with our model? There’s, like I mentioned, they stay our employees. So we’ve had our clients as much as we’ve met, that our employees Yeah, cuz if they ran off our people, I mean, we fired clients for that. Yeah, we do too. Yeah, just treating people poorly because if they are Full Scale, our employees are the biggest asset we have. Yeah, so if you’re going to attack the assets, that’s not a good thing. It doesn’t that doesn’t Meet a favorable response. We do try to correct that, though it’s, you know, I think a lot of people come into the relationship with Full Scale. And they’re more concerned, they’re concerned about what they’re going to get on the other side of the transaction from us. And they quickly evolved to learning that, like you mentioned, like you have the franchise model. So part of our platform is meant to be circular in its communication. And I get a lot of feedback, like, I grossly underestimated how valuable the feedback about our local team would be, right? Because you look at productivity and wanting to get stuff done. And sometimes things will be slow. And we’ll double down and you look at it. And it’s because we have someone saying, Well, I’m asking for feedback, and input that this person takes three days to reply to me. So I’ve run out of stuff to do. Yeah. And I, you know, and that’s we, we, our model thrives on that, you know, our clients manage that. And that’s a tough thing for us, because I have a ton of different cultures to insert people into that can sometimes be challenging. Yeah, and a lot of times, we threw John Smith under the bus, he’s, that would, John, is the problem. In a lot of cases. Now, you talked about the retention thing, we have definitely found that in the IT side of things, money isn’t the big driver. It’s the challenge that software developers don’t care as much about money as they do about being engaged. And you talk about that kind of passion piece of, they want to work with technology that they like, that they feel comfortable with, that they understand is, in many cases, a unique professional opportunity. So I mentioned that in the clients, people sometimes ask, like, oh, I need a website built. That’s not what we do. Like, we want a long term thing that goes over time. And, you know, that’s the Yeah, we don’t have a problem with churn. Like it’s on like microscopic and some like to the point earlier this year. Now, that opened up a little bit, like after the pandemic change, because we did have some people that moved from the Philippines, other countries, okay. And they had clearly been waiting for a visa thing to open. We had like a little flurry of that in the middle of the year. Still wasn’t much, but But yeah, but the thing with that is also that opportunity that they get they’re involved with big thing for us is making sure that the people that work at our company, and when they work with the client relationship that they have a buy-in, we want them to, so we’ll refer to them as being like on the XYZ team, okay. And that’s how they’ll identify themselves. We all know that it’s Full Scale employees, but we want them to have ownership in it. Like and take pride in what they’re doing. You talk about why people quit feeling like they’re a cog in a machine, right? Like, who wants to feel like that, you know, you want to have an identity and be part of something.

Cary Daniel 17:55
And when I think that’s, I think that’s a big misconception that startup entrepreneurs feel as though. Well, how am I? How am I going to hire this top quality person when I’m such a little startup? Nobody. And I think you’ll find your Ford to be able to hire him. That’s another good point. But you’ll find there’s a lot of people out there that have the similar experience that I had, which is if you go work for a larger company, you’re publicly traded for your office number 104. And the CEO calls and doesn’t know who you are. There’s a lot of people that get into that, because they think that’s what they want. They want to be part of a really large organization and say, I worked for Facebook, or I work for Tesla. But then they realize that they’re just such a small component, a very small cog in the wheel. And they’re looking for more meaning. And they can find that in a startup organization, they can find it in something that’s ground floor and be part of building something. But back to the affordability. You might need to get creative on that. When we first started, I can tell you probably I was not the highest paid employee for the first three or four years that we started out. And that was because we knew we had to get quality people in the door.

Matt DeCoursey 19:11
And I didn’t even get paid the first couple of years. Well, yeah, I mean, that’s not uncommon. I used to be a senior manager, I worked my way up to, you know, managing 17 locations for a retail chain. This is like before I was even 30. So that’s 20 over 20 years ago. And I remember calling HR wants and I was like, hey, it’s Matt DeCoursey. And the lady was like, Yeah, but what’s your employee? What’s your employee number? Yeah. And I just remember thinking this is the problem. Oh, four a two. Okay. And you got to find a better way because I mean, that’s literally like, what’s your number? What number are you, what gear are you? What part number are you? It’s not as it isn’t? I guarantee you I was the only person at the company with the last name DeCoursey Because It’s a pretty uncommon, you know, some of that is like, I get why they do that. But I think you need to create, if you want to hire and keep elite people then be mindful of some stuff like that. And that’s and, and I will say, as the leader of our company, so I took a huge level of pride at being able to, I could tell you at any point, which client all of our employees work for, and then we grew really quickly, and also the pandemic separated, meet my ability to go over there, because everyone wasn’t coming to the office, I did kind of lose that at some point. And I could still tell you what, I would give myself 99% accurate accuracy for what everybody does, but maybe not what projects that are in in some cases, I definitely know the people that have worked for the same client for years. Because that’s what we’re trying to reward. That’s the ideal triple when it’s good for our client, it’s good for our employees, and it’s good for our company. And those are where we try to build incentives.

Cary Daniel 21:07
And I just, I don’t know, appreciation around, I was gonna say appreciation is a big word of appreciation going on, I feel like the world is kind of running a little short on that one, it feels like everybody gets so busy.

Matt DeCoursey 21:14
And you just get in your routine you get in your day to day world, when a week goes by a month goes by a year goes by and then you stop and think, you know, when was the last time I stopped? And I said, Hey, I appreciate everything you’re doing. I appreciate the work you’ve done. I know you’ve put in there. So, you know, when did you actually stop and had that discussion? And you mentioned knowing everybody? Kind of where they were on assignment. You know, a question we get on the franchise side is how do you guys compete against? You know, some of the larger franchises out there, like Express, you know, they’re a $4 billion company of 800 locations? How do you compete against somebody like that? The majority of people that come to us, they want to come to an emerging brand, because they don’t want to be office number 804. And as they’re going through, a lot of them have gone through that process. They’ve said, Well, I’ve talked to salespeople, I’ve not talked to any leaders, I’ve not talked to the owner with you guys. I’m talking to the owner right here you guys are in training, you’re in discovery that tells me a lot about your culture. And you know, that has been one of our big differentiators is that we don’t want to have 800 locations.

Cary Daniel 22:24
Do you dial that up within the mind of your franchisee? Like, hey, you’re an expert in your space. And just know that like, because that we get that a lot. They want the consultative approach. They’re like, we know we need to do this for you and really use a couple suggestions or even examples about how it’s been done successfully. I feel like that’s a big part of our growth, you know, and that’s, I mean, we’re at 733%. Now, in all fairness, we haven’t been on the list six times. I told everyone listening to it for those of you listening, it’s way easier to have 733% growth in your four than it has in your 14. true sense. You just It’s just math. Now I’m hoping to beat it. We’ll see. But that Yeah, so I have an interesting stat about staff turnover. Before we get into that, I remind you that finding expert software developers doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io where you can build a software team quickly and affordably. Use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs and then see what available developers, testers and leaders are ready to join your team FullScale.io to learn more. So interesting stat 20, roughly 20% of staff turnover at businesses occurs within the first 45 days. It’s shitty onboarding.

Matt DeCoursey 23:45
Yeah, yeah. Terrible. Yeah.

Cary Daniel 23:47
But how do you fix that?

Matt DeCoursey 23:48
Well, that’s, you know, we developed our entire USP around that. So I won’t get into the long details of how to have to define USP, we have an acronym role in the show.

Cary Daniel 23:57
Oh, unique selling proposition.

Matt DeCoursey 24:00
There you go. Thank you. Sorry. I should have defined that when you came in.

Cary Daniel 24:04
Yeah. Okay.

Matt DeCoursey 24:07
I’ll remember that. So we sold a business back in 2015. That changed what our value proposition was. And so coming from a IO psych background, I kind of took it on myself to say, Okay, let’s do a little bit of research here now that we have a chance to kind of reset, and I did some research. I won’t bore you with all the details of it. But what we found out was the buyers of staffing wanted something different than the sellers of staffing were providing. And it really boiled down to worker quality. You know, a lot of staffing agencies talking about price or speed or different education, workforce, strategy, risk, you know, all kinds of things. But when it comes down to it, the buyers are saying, that’s all great, but I just want quality people Yep. And so, when we saw this disparity in what The industry was selling versus what the buyers were wanting. I did a year where I looked at just about every case study, white paper research, anything that had been published on, how do you, how do you predict quality hires, and what you’ll find there’s a lot of research out there. And I took it all, compiled it, put it on a correlation chart. And that’s basically the foundation for what we do as our X Factor. But what’s interesting is you look at the things that are least likely to predict a quality hire. And it’s really what the majority of HR departments do, and a lot of staffing companies do as well, right? They go online, they look at resumes, and somebody is weeding through these and putting them in a virtual yes, no pile based on what they’re reading. Well, in that resume, you’re looking at work history, you’re looking at education, you’re looking at kind of an inverted age, kind of tell that. But that’s on a correlation chart, some of the least predictive age is one of the least predictive measures for worker quality. And then you get into, okay, I’ve put these four people in a yes pile. Now I’m going to bring them in, and I’m going to interview them, interview them. So I had a debrief call with one of my offices this morning. They had a big direct hire fee that was supposed to come through, but the lady declined. And the reason why she declined, was in the interview, all he did was talk about himself. She said that just didn’t seem like a place I wanted to work. And so what we have learned is most people have never really been taught how to do an interview. And so when you look at an unstructured interview combined with somebody weeding through resumes, it’s about you know, the four items that you’re looking at, there are about the four least predictive measures on worker quality, you can go all the way up the list from pure references, job skills, test, personality, profiles, temp to hire all the way up to work sample tests. But, you know, somewhere in that middle range is a structured interview. And the difference for those that don’t know, is an unstructured interview, you get four applicants, you’re asking four different questions to four different people, a structured interview, you’re asking the same questions to four different people. So you can have an idea of what to gauge. But that’s what we built our model on, there are many factors that you can incorporate into your hiring process that are much more predictive than scanning through resumes. And then doing an unstructured interview. We’re going to help you implement those. And it’s kind of like this. It’s a discovery call. It’s a meeting, we sit down, we talk about what’s working, what’s not working. Let’s do a profile of your top performers. Tell me about the ones that don’t perform? Well, let’s figure out some skills that we can test for what are some personality traits that you’re looking for. And we break that into a duplicatable process.

Cary Daniel 27:46
There’s, there’s three things that while you were mentioning that came to mind that equate to successful long term, all of it. First off skills, like if you don’t have the technical skills to get the job done, it’s, it’s over, it’s over. And that’s why we qualify, that’s why we made our own stuff. And that has to exist at a high level, right? Second off is communication. Because in the world of software, especially if you can’t communicate, like if the goal and the objective from the stakeholders or whoever it is, to the people building, it is grossly flawed due to communication. So like, obviously, we have people in a foreign country, English language skills are key, you can be the best coder in the world. But if you don’t speak English, I can’t hire you. Right. And then the third one surprised some people. It’s critical thinking. So a lot of countries that aren’t the US have kind of a cultural upbringing, where saying no to the boss is not encouraged. Right. And that’s not a good fit for us based companies. So when we hear complaints from people that Well, we tried this before I get this a lot. We tried this before, and the team messed it up. Are there are 7 billion people on this planet? There are smart people everywhere. He kind of knows how to find them and keep them around. Yeah. So to exclude 7 billion people, because you had one bad experience is a little short, sighted, yes. run into that a lot. But the critical thinking piece is and this is what most software technology entrepreneurs want to know. It’s like, it’d be like, I always do the same comparisons. Like I give you a blueprint, and you’re a builder, and you look at it, and you’re like, Man, this is going to fall over when after I’m done. But he asked me to build it. So I should Yeah, nothing will piss off someone more than that. Right? You want people to speak up because when you’re that one in 30, or in some cases like one and 100. So if you are new to the tech space, you have a one in 100 chance of getting a job out of as an applicant and most of our developers have seven plus years. So There’s some expertise there. But that’s a huge thing for us that we look into and like, try to. And that’s, and that’s an interview thing. You know, and I have a background with personality tests and all that stuff. I wrote a whole chapter about how my book balanced me. Okay, look at software developers largely, the essence there, the type beside, so we don’t even need to get, but some people really struggle with being able to speak up and be like, Hey, I think there’s a problem here. Or there could be, and I think as a business owner, you’d rather know about that than, Oh, I thought about that. Or like, I don’t know, when things began to crumble, shake or sway, you start looking around, and you’re like, Why didn’t someone tell me about it? So that those are in that third part is hard? Yeah, it is hard, especially, especially with younger people, you know, meaning like, newer to the workforce. And then sometimes I said, there’s some cultural stigma that comes around, like in India, they have, they’re like, you know, years downstream from the caste system. But it was a real thing. It’s in the thought process. And like, I shouldn’t speak up about this, because I don’t want to get fired. But I, we get that. So in our onboarding, as a new employee at Full Scale, it’s like within the first five minutes, that’s addressed and addressed and addressed and addressed. And it’s like, you got a job here. Congratulations. It’s really hard. You’re an expert. Know that our clients want your expertise and want you to speak up. Yeah. So we address get after that right away is are we perfect on it now? Well, but it’s but it comes from a support, and I can and also you should be as someone that’s hiring people, I want to encourage all of you to license people meaning like say, hey, Cary, I want your input, I want you to speak up. If you feel better about it, say, Look, if you see a problem, and you have a solution, always bring it up or just say, hey, there might be something more we need to look out for here. That’s appreciative, appreciated that.

Matt DeCoursey 32:01
Yeah, that goes back to culture, right. So if you have, if you have that culture, have that in your organization, and you live that, then people will be more open to it. We do annual surveys from our staff. They’re anonymous, in every aspect of our business, from vision and communication, technology, everything, but it’s one of our core values. Entrepreneurship is one of our core values. And it’s not just because our support staff work with business owners all day long, we have that same mentality with our staff that says, We want you to think like an entrepreneur, if you have a better way of doing it. If you have a different model, if you think something can be improved. We want to encourage you to speak up and we have a saying in our office, we could do it. If so, anytime somebody comes to you and your knee jerk reaction is no, we want you to come back with a well, we could do it. And that starts that creative process within our office. So we encourage that a lot.

Cary Daniel 33:04
I have this thing that I made up almost 10 years ago that I call the role of Yes. And it’s for all people that work with and around me. If you think there’s a 90% chance that I’m going to say yes, I’m okay with you just doing it. I’ll deal with the 10% of the time, you might be wrong. Yeah. Right. And then you got to put a little bit of boundaries. It doesn’t apply to you being late for the ninth straight day, right. Probably won’t say yes. But with that, there’s that licensing of people to make decisions. Like, I think it’s tough for entrepreneurs. That is I think, especially at the small level, like the pressure cooker of like, the earliest stage startups and which I want to remind everyone, if you’re a four person company, and one of the four of you sucks, that means 25% of your company sucks. Yeah. And probably trending downward. But that’s the key thing. And I think that, you know, it’s hard. It’s hard for entrepreneurs, especially to let go of that on many days. Yeah. But remember, if you don’t start letting go of it, because you think that you need to be the conduit for everything. You’re always going to be the conduit for everything. And a lot of times it’s faster for me to do it. Okay, well then good luck always doing it.

Matt DeCoursey 34:22
Yeah, that’s yeah, I’ve had to unwind that ball of rubber bands in my life essentially bought yourself a job.

Cary Daniel 34:25
Yeah, it’s not a great way to grow. That’s not a great way to grow. Alright, so now with, let’s talk a little bit about next staff, and if anyone’s interested in jumping into this game, like what does that look like for most people that are new franchisees for you? Like, what’s the process of getting it started? Someone listening and they’re going man, I see an opportunity doing this. It sounds like you’ve got the platform to help them do it. That’s not what we do. So tell us more about that.

Matt DeCoursey 34:53
Yeah, so the franchise model, as I mentioned, was kicked off from Myself and my co-founder, James Wooden Miller. You know, we spent the first four years in this industry, basically doing everything wrong. Figuring out all the things that wouldn’t work, figuring out that while we may have known sales, and we may have known staffing, we really didn’t know the back office components of the business. And after we sold that, we thought, there’s probably a lot of entrepreneurs out there in the staffing industry, or even people outside the staffing industry that are thinking about getting into this, and what if we developed a platform, it wasn’t reinventing the wheel, right? There were already franchisors out there, but we saw a gap in what they were offering versus what we thought we could do. And so for us, you know, it starts with an application process, we go through, you know, a pretty rigorous process. And it really comes down to finding out if this is really something you want to do, if you have the financing to pull it off. If you have the desire to pull it off, is this something you can be passionate about? Or is this I’m hoping to make, you know, good money, so I can go off and retire and you’re not really passionate about it. So for us, it’s about a 90 day onboarding process that includes everything from how to start, you know how to get your LLC formed all the way to your grand opening there from that point forward. It’s constant weekly training. We rotate weekly training between sales operations, finance, kind of owner only type material, but it seems like it’s about a 90 days kickoff. And then it’s about six months of what we call kind of that baton handoff between that time when you say okay, it’s always good when they go, Okay, I think I got it. I’ll call you if I need you. Versus the weekly follow up, follow up, follow up.

Cary Daniel 36:49
So a controversial question in the world of entrepreneurship, our franchise owners entrepreneurs.

Matt DeCoursey 36:56
Great question. Great question. I do get asked that united people bring that up before, right. Yeah,

Cary Daniel 37:01
I do get asked that a lot. And, you know, some people, I guess, think of entrepreneurs as somebody out there, kind of reinventing something or creating something.

Matt DeCoursey 37:11
And as a founder, you know, yeah, founder and a franchisee it can be a little different.

Cary Daniel 37:17
But you’re, but you know, I look at our business. And I would consider myself an entrepreneur, I’ve, I’ve opened up probably to debt, two dozen different businesses over 30 years. In this one, I can’t really say that I reinvented something, I think what we did was take something and make it a little better. I don’t know how that would be any different than a franchise owner coming into our model and saying, you know, I want to do your space, and I want to do health care. And very often we get a lot of the improvements that come to our overall model, come from the office level, we’ll see an office and they’re just killing it. And we’re not proud. We’re not like, oh, wait a minute, you know, you’re not doing what we told you to do. We’ll call them up and say, Hey, what are you guys doing out in Sacramento? Oh, well, what we started doing is we started doing this, this and this. And that’s really turned out to be a better process for us. We have no problem in taking that, and then rolling that back out to the offices. So to say that somebody’s coming in and kind of tapping into our system really isn’t an entrepreneur. I don’t know that I I’d say that because most people that we work with, they have a creative element to it, they do something that’s a little spin. One of the benefits of working with an emerging brand is the guardrails are set in stone. I mean, if you open a McDonald’s franchise, you’re pretty much going to be told what to do, what to sell. And you’re living in that box.

Matt DeCoursey 38:39
So you’re such an entrepreneur, because I think and I answer those questions, absolutely. You’re taking a risk. I think that founder can be a different term, like startup founder, like you are, you are. And that’s still I think you can be it depends, like if you’re, if you’re a founder of a company that might want to open 10 subways, right? Yeah, like I mean, that’s, that’s that, but you’re not necessarily a founder of a sandwich brand, shop. But you’re still an entrepreneur, man, you gotta come up with find the money you have to deal with, you gotta figure a lot of stuff out, you have to do a whole lot of things. And and really, in the end, I think if the risk and the reward are headed back to you either way, then that pretty much defines entrepreneurship. Yeah, I think entrepreneurship exists on levels all the way down to eight years old with lemonade stands. Yeah. I mean, that’s Yeah, I think entrepreneurships are as broad as you can be. We’ve had debates about this, and in the Startup, Hustle chat on Facebook, and for the many people in that, you know, people have lots of different opinions. But yeah, I think entrepreneurship and being an entrepreneur, being a founder can be different things. I think when people think of a true startup, that’s from scratch kind of thing, right? Yeah.

Cary Daniel 39:58
But I think you know, if you’re going to like us. We have 35 locations. So if you decide you’re going to open an x, f and Austin, you’re not going to go down into Austin. Open your office, everybody. Oh, look, it’s an extra half. Yeah, I’ve heard of you guys. Yeah, send me 30 people, you’re starting out pretty much from scratch, except you have, you know, our knowledge and our cheat sheets and some of our methodology to help shorten your learning curve.

Matt DeCoursey 40:27
But it’s what I love about the franchise model though. Like, if you don’t want to go out there and try to figure it out from scratch, go for it. But I mean, that’s what you get with it. So the most granular definition as a true startup doesn’t come with an owner’s manual. A franchise comes with an owner’s manual, at least a good one does, or a semblance of one. But that’s the key ingredient there. But there’s a lot to be said about being able to call someone and ask them that question. If you want to grind through the muck and the mire, try to figure it out yourself. And you think that there’s some glory in that. You’re probably fine. At the end of the day, you’re a little bit disappointed.

Cary Daniel 41:06
Yeah. Well, how many entrepreneurs do you know that went into a business that was just like me, right, I went into the staffing business, because that’s where I had worked. I had worked for a couple of different companies, I found some things I liked, I found a lot that I didn’t like, and I thought I could create something a little better. No different than if you did auto body work for, you know, Mako for 10 years and decided to strike out on your own. It’s not like your mind is blank. And you’re just starting from scratch, you’re taking probably some of the basics, and you’re taking it and you’re modifying it to what you believe is a better, a better process a better.

Matt DeCoursey 41:41
Yeah, I think you were going to ask what percentage of entrepreneurs have familiarity. I think let’s rephrase that. What percentage of successful entrepreneurs, it’s high like overwhelming, have familiarity with the space that they’re getting into? The key ingredient is that they have identified a problem or solved it Exactly. And you know that it exists on a ton of different levels. Now, look, you don’t, it doesn’t have to be like, unique, you don’t have to be the first person because I have often been caught saying, Are there any original ideas left, because they’re few and far between? It’s American, and you got to do it better, faster, and cheaper. And if you get two of those three, and you stand a chance, you can only do one of those three. You’re probably not going to make it if you can get all three done. You got a chance to do something that’s bigger than you. So there’s a lot to be said there. But yeah, I mean, it’s, I think, overwhelmingly, and as you mentioned that I tried to go through this, like the rapid-fire review of like the clients, past clients, like, whatever, that’s something we look at a little bit when we’re, you know, we either invest in a company or take them on as a client is, especially if they’re early stage, like if you tell me that you’re jumping into the FinTech and you have no background in any of that. Because here’s the thing, it’s not just about your ability to solve the problem. It might be about your ability to gain any amount of traction from investors, right? Because if you’re 25 and you’re ready to be this big fintech startup person, and you have an idea that other people are doing, I’m going to kind of wonder, like, what’s your level of expertise or anything around that, and that’s that can be tough. And you know, there are ways to get through that. There are ways to get through that, but it’s another thing to climb over. Now, as we run out of time on today’s episode, I do want to remind everybody that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is brought to you by Full Scale. We have the people in the platform in the process to help you build a highly effective and highly affordable headward cheap because it’s like its affordability is defined by so many different things, but pre-vetted, highly experienced people platform process you guys have the same thing I want to encourage anybody that there’s staffing is there there’s a lot of meat on that bone man talking about millions of people looking for jobs.

Cary Daniel 44:18
And millions of companies all around the forecast came out a couple of weeks ago 212 billion. Yeah, the size of the industry in 2022 is the projection. It’s a good time to get into a business like this and get adoption, too, because, with the market conditions of stuff and, you know, VC funding forced to be a little more specific, I’ll tell you what they’ve been reaching out to me.

Matt DeCoursey 44:26
So people that didn’t want to talk to us three years ago suddenly love us. I get three calls a week, which is funny. Three calls a week last being on less like Inc. 5000 Probably accelerate some of that, and you know, you guys have made some and have been on had other awards, you know, franchise business reviews got you on their culture. 100 lasts, and a lot of other stuff started. And that’s about it until now. But you know, there’s a lot to be said, you know, as we round out this episode, there’s a, I mean, if you had to share one quick statement about hiring elite people, like what’s your best advice to those that are hiring, always recruiting, sometimes hiring?

Cary Daniel 45:22
Okay, so in your job as an entrepreneur, the recruiting never stops. I am always looking for that next player. I may not have a position available for him right now. But I guarantee you, if, as I’m always recruiting, sometimes hiring, I find that person, I think, oh, wow, this, this person is a stud. This is somebody we need. You find a spot for him. And you know, what if you have 10 full-time employees, maybe this becomes your number one, and number 10 is gotta go. But always recruiting and sometimes hiring.

Matt DeCoursey 46:01
Yeah, for my outro. Here, I wanted to share some of the qualities that we look for that aren’t that are that aren’t necessarily related to technical skill. So we look for people that have relevant experience. And also software development, experience, communication, attitude, and likeability. Because someone with a good attitude is just better to work with. Yeah, it’s easier when you like critical thinking. And we talked about that a lot earlier. Problem-solving is a big one. Like how do people go about it? Some people fold under pressure, leadership, versatility, passion, and then an internal tag of marketability. Like people that are good and willing to do a lot of different things and jobs for what we do are easier to place with clients and users. I also mentioned, you know, that consultative thing, businesses need different kinds of help at different points of their timeline. So like an early-stage company, it is better to be buying Swiss Army knives than swords. Because there are so many different things in these early-stage companies, especially with technology, if you can only afford one or two people, you need them to do a number of different things, not necessarily be like, this is the one thing that I do, because maybe you can’t afford specialists at that point. Most people can’t, but this was a very interesting conversation once again with me today. Cary Daniel Nextaff. There are links in the show notes. Go check out what they do and maybe buy yourself a franchise. See you down the road.

Cary Daniel 47:31
Thank you. Appreciate it.