Episode 9

Why Candidate Experience Matters When Building Your Team with Julia Fulton

In episode 9, Julia gives us insight into how she uses her humane recruiting approach to create a reputable employment brand that plays big dividends both inside and outside the company.

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The most humane interview that I have ever had as a candidate was, was somebody saying, Honestly, I don't think this is actually gonna be a good role for you. And I was like, What do you, Yeah. And, and I mean, it kind of sucked, but also they were like, No, like you're, What I'm hearing from you is like, you wanna go into a team where you can touch a whole bunch of different parts of hr, um, you can learn a lot and you can have growth opportunities, you know, fairly quickly because you do have this leadership experience, et cetera, et cetera. Like what? We're just at the point in our organization where we're starting to branch out our different sections of HR and are really looking for someone to get into this role and dig their heels in for like a while. Mm. So it doesn't sound like these two things are kind of the same. And I was like, Oh, damn.

In this episode

Julia offers actionable tips on how to initiate trust on a team, how to lead the recruitment process to attract candidates with best practices, and how to show up in with an effective employer brand no matter the labour market conditions.

Her main piece of advice is to lead the recruitment process in a humane way as at the end of the day - all candidates are people first.

Tune in to hear all about how Julia’s experience and advice can help you improve your recruitment practices!

Time Stamps

Julia Fulton

People & Culture Coordinator at Guusto

Guest Bio

Julia is a People & Culture professional who contributes to both recruitment and employee experience, working to create great experiences for candidates, new hires, and seasoned employees.

She started her career in camping & outdoor education before transitioning into people & culture roles in tech. She has managed teams and conducted recruitment for 8 years in her leadership roles with various YMCAs across Canada. Julia currently works on the People Team at Guusto, an employee recognition platform that reshapes how companies recognize their teams. In her role at Guusto, Julia manages recruitment and contributes to employee experience, working to create great workplace culture and build best-in-class people practices. Outside of work, you can catch her taking pictures of her cat, cheering on the Leafs, and skiing in the mountains.


Julia (00:00):

The most humane interview that I have ever had as a candidate was, was somebody saying, Honestly, I don't think this is actually gonna be a good role for you. And I was like, What do you, Yeah. And, and I mean, it kind of sucked, but also they were like, No, like you're, What I'm hearing from you is like, you wanna go into a team where you can touch a whole bunch of different parts of hr, um, you can learn a lot and you can have growth opportunities, you know, fairly quickly because you do have this leadership experience, et cetera, et cetera. Like what? We're just at the point in our organization where we're starting to branch out our different sections of HR and are really looking for someone to get into this role and dig their heels in for like a while. Mm. So it doesn't sound like these two things are kind of the same. And I was like, Oh, damn. Like,

Fahd (00:58):

Hello and welcome to the Unicorn Leadership Podcast. My name's fa Aha tab, your host, and this is where we interview leaders on how they create high performing teams, How they have gone through their journey of becoming effective managers and effective leader leaders, and how they create high performing cultures. Our, our goals to bring you the insights, the tools, the, the, the stories, the mistakes that we've made along the way, what we did right, what we did wrong, so that you can learn from them, you can learn from them, and apply those same lessons to your team. This podcast is brought to you by Unicorn Labs, where we train managers into leaders who create high performing teams that help businesses scale. And you can check us out at unicornlabs.ca. Today's guest is Julia Fulton. She's the people and culture coordinator at Gusto. And we're gonna be talking about how to attract high performing teams with a humane employment brand.

Julia shares her journey with us, starting out as a, as a camper to an assistant camp director at the Y M C A Muskoka Cab and, and how it contributed to her experience as a leader today, and how she now gets to bring that same level of enthusiasm and leadership experience at where she spent many years hiring a whole bunch of 16 and 17 year olds to camp where she now hires at Gusto as part of their people and culture team. I'm really excited for this, episode for, for all of you to get to hear the contagious energy that she has, the tips, the advice on how we can use recruitment to pay big dividends in our team. See, team composition is essential in team building. It's essential in leadership. It's fundamental. We have to recruit good people. But you get a lot of, you know, these big truisms, right?

That people say, hire people that are better than you. And you're like, Okay, yeah, but how do, how do I do that? What does that, what does that mean? How we really have to dig deep into understanding the importance of hiring well so that we can then take the next steps of hiring? Well, there's a, there's a fun quote I wanna read here from Ed Catel, the founder of Pixar. He says, Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up, give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better. If you get the team right, chances are they'll get the ideas right. This is something we often hear. So how do we get the team right? Well, there's a little bit of a, you know, employee experience journey that we really need to think about.

And we've mentioned this in a few of our different episodes. We heard from a Amanda Gordon around attracting and onboarding and engaging. We, we've heard, um, from, Sam around creating vision. And we, we've heard from a few different of our, our guests about what we need to create. And here's how I want you to think about it. We start with attracting top talent. You need to be a place where people actually want to go to, where people wanna go to Amazon, they want to go to Google, they wanna go to meta. They, they, they're excited about working there because there's a brand, there's an employer brand there. So what we gotta think about, what are we doing to attract the top talent, to get the eyeballs for people to actually say, Hmm, this is a place I want to work. Then once we attract them, you probably have a few too many LinkedIn applications that's coming to your job posting.

So then you've gotta figure out how to, how to pick those stars. So you've attracted them, you've got a whole bunch of people applying, but now how do you sift through it? How do you pick the right ones when you've got competing talents? And, and there's actually quite a few gems in the application pool, But once you do that, once you, once you pick the right ones, we really gotta think about how we onboard them. Those are three key steps, because if you pick a good gem and you get an A player, but your onboarding process is meh, then there's some interesting stats around how it shows that the first week of experience that, that the employees have really determine a lot of their retention. And this is key and pivotal moments for us to, to really think about and look at. And what I wanna encourage each, every one of you is, is to really own the team building aspect.

Whether, whether you're, you know, just a manager listening to this podcast, whether you're the VP of talent, I want you to think of, team composition. Not as an HR function, not as something that only HR has to do, but something that every single person in the team is actively doing. We all have to be involved in creating and building the team. Patty McCord, who is the, VP of Talent over at Netflix, for a number of years as Netflix grew, has, has this wonderful quote that I wanna share with you also. She said, We continually told managers that building a great team was their most important task. We didn't measure them on whether they were excellent coaches or mentors, or got their paperwork done on time. Great teams accomplished great work, and recruiting the right team was their top priority. So your goal is to recruit the top team.

And so how do you do that? Well, first and foremost, we have to really look at how we're attracting them. And so, are you putting out, do you have a purpose in what your organization does? Do you have some videos as to what the culture looks like, what it means to actually work there? Or do you just have a boring little job description that lists a whole bunch of things that people do and might not actually have to do? , really think about how are you advertising for the job? Because you would never buy a Nike shoe that looked like a job description. You, you, you imagine just describing the, the Nike soul and the places. And you, you wouldn't do that. You wouldn't think about its functions, but you like, its colors and you like how it feels, you like how it looks. So are there videos about how, what it looks like to work on your team, what the mission of your team is, what you're trying to accomplish, what we're trying to grow, and the work that they would actually do.

Then when you start to attract those right people, are you choosing correctly? So during an interview process, this might be tough. Some of you may have done so many interviews, so you've, you feel like you've honed in on your, on your, you know, understanding of what makes someone high potential. You might be have to be careful with that. Cause you might have some biases that also come into play that you really gotta check. You know, have you taken the time to set out the criteria of what you actually need from a skill set? Have you taken the time to actually set out the criteria of certain, innate tendencies and, and, and, and motivations and reasons for the job? Have you looked at what you're actually looking for? And is there a objective framework to consider that? Here's four things to consider when you're hiring one.

Look at their prior experience and achievements. That's kind of obvious, but I don't want you to just have them talk about it. I want you to see it is air portfolio, is there work that they've done? You know, that's easy for designers. Sometimes it's easy for our engineers. We can actually ask them to see the work that they've completed, the work that they've actually done. Sometimes for project managers, you can also ask about project to portfolios. More and more we have digital assets that people can show and show the work that they've done to actually talk about it and walk you through it. So don't just ask about prior experience in an interview questions, actually ask them to show it and, and, and, and see it and hold it and grab it and, and play with it. If it's, if it's an app that they've built, if it's a, a website that they've created, the next thing is that you wanna really look at innate tendencies.

You wanna look at their motivation and drive for achievement, their working style. Do they take initiative? Do they have good collaboration? Can they work with others? And how do they think about solving, solving problems, thought process? Those are key elements of attitude and, and, and thinking and process that we need to kind of think about. We call those innate tendencies. The the third part is you should always do multiple interviews. And I know in this hot talent market, people are like, Oh, we don't always have time for multiple interviews. You gotta do multiple interviews, different interviews. You ask different types of questions. You sometimes are looking at, you know, innate at tendencies initially, then maybe you're looking at portfolios, then you're actually getting them to work on something in the job. The best thing you can do, which is the fourth part of a higher hiring criteria, is on the job observation.

Are you able to see them actually do the work? Whether that's doing some pair programming, whether that's during showing them, allowing them to show, asking them to show you their designs and how they go about designs or how they write or how they would interact with a customer, Putting them in a situation where you actually have to complete the work. Those are a few things that I want to leave you with to think about. There's gonna be a lot more that we share on this episode with Julia. And let's hear another clip from her to hear a little bit about what she has to say about attracting talent.

Julia (09:40):

Indecision is a decision, and just by, by saying, Oh, you know, maybe we can get better. Maybe you can, but maybe you can't. And by the time you decide that, okay, maybe can a, we actually do wanna go with like, they've probably got another offer by that point. , and so, and then your baby, you're back to square one, or maybe you're putting another couple of weeks into the recruitment cycle, all of which costs money as well. Um, it just is less glaring, I guess. It's less, it's less from like the salary cap perspective and more from just opportunistic, you know, time taken. Yeah. Um,

Fahd (10:18):

In episode nine here with us, Julia gives us insight on how to use her humane recruiting approach to create a reputable employment brand that pays, you know, inside the organization, outside the organization. She sticks a human approach so that whether candidates stick with you or they don't, they had a phenomenal experience and they recommend others to come to you. She offers really actionable steps, and that's what I'd love. We get really specific on how to initiate trust on a team, how to lead the recruitment process to attract candidates best practices, what to avoid, how to show up, with, an effective employment brand, no matter the labor market conditions. And her main piece piece of advice is to lead the recruitment process in a humane way. Cuz at the end of the day, all candidates are people first. And I absolutely love that. So let's tune in to hear all about Julia's experience, her advice, and how she can help improve your recruitment process as you build your high performing team and as you build your unicorn team. Awesome. Julia, welcome to our Unicorn Labs and Unicorn Leadership podcast. We're really excited to have you here with us today.

Julia (11:37):

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Fahd (11:39):

And so, Julia, you know that today is all about answering this one really big question, this question that you likely obsess over, in your job. And the question that many leaders, many founders, many of VPs of talent, talent, constantly obsess over, which is, how do I build a high performing team? And, and the part of the question that we're gonna focus on together is, is how do I recruit that high performing team? Because there's a part that happens around molding the team's dynamics once they're there, but you've gotta get these superstars in the door in the first place. So let's start with that big question. Let's unpack it throughout the whole episode. Julia, Give me some ways to think about this and start thinking about it. If I'm thinking about how do I build, how do I recruit my high performing team? Where do I start?

Julia (12:23):

, I think for building a high performing team, Yeah. Like you said, once they're there, you know, there's a whole, there's a whole other subsection in, in the library that, can kind of train managers on how to do this. But I think when it comes to recruiting talent and finding good fits for the roles and for the teams that you're trying to fit people on, um, the most important thing is having a, to me having a humane and like people focused candidate experience. So from the second they even hear of your organization, um, to when they apply, when they do their first interview, second interview, third interview, offer onboarding, that's kind of the piece that like, making that whole process as just, I, I really do like the term humane and remembering that like there's a person on the other end of kind of that, that interview . , um, is really where I think you can make a huge impact. And, and where I kind like to focus in my work.

Fahd (13:19):

Help me understand that. Okay. Let's say, you know, I'm in my role, I'm hiring, I've heard all these tru truisms are on hiring, right? Hire people better than you. Make sure you're hire, you know, take, be slow with hiring and, and all this stuff. And you're like, Okay, I know these things, but what is, what does it mean to take a human approach? What does that look like from a, I'm starting off with a job description. What does that look like from an interview? What, what, Gimme a few examples. Let me understand the, the behavior of, of making it human.

Julia (13:50):

I think it's remembering how hard it is to be a candidate. . in like interviewing and job searching and career transitions and all these kinds of things. Like, they kind of suck. And so remembering as a recruiter, as somebody conducting an interview, what it's like to be on the other side of the, of the table is important. And so being empathetic towards candidates, um, a couple of the biggest things, you know, that I could kind of go off about is like, as a recruiter sort of following up when you say you're gonna follow up, because, you know, if you've told a candidate like, Yep, I'm gonna get back to you with an update on Friday, um, for if, if, if I'm a candidate, I'm refreshing my email, you know, kind of every two or five minutes on that Friday. Um, and so an example that I love and, and what I like to keep in my toolkit, I call the no update update.

So this is the idea that if you tell someone you're gonna get back to them by Friday, and you know, something changes, you actually don't have an update on on Friday, it is infinitely better to send an email that says, Hey, I know I said I was gonna get to by Friday, I actually don't have an update, but like, let's, you know, I'll get back to you early next week. That's gonna be a hundred times better than not saying anything on the Friday. So, and this comes back to sort of attracting great talent, but also being a place where candidates want to work because they feel trusted. Like they feel that they trust you and that they're respected from the get go.

Fahd (15:19):

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Now, now, you know, if, if, if we're a small team and there's no dedicated recruiter, but you know, we've, we've, we've got a team of 30, 40 people and I've got a head of talent, maybe one other person that helps with, with talent, you know, kind of doing HR stuff and they're responsible for a million HR things, which I think you're, this is, this is kind of where you're at, right? You're, you do culture, you do hr, you do recruitment, you doing all these things, and you know, you put a job posting out there and you get over 200, 300 applications on LinkedIn and you're sifting through it, and you've gotta determine who to interview. And there's just so much in that funnel that you drop the, the follow ups, you drop the little things. So maybe at a larger stroke, what does being human look like? So being human looks like following up and committing to it. What, what did alar, you know, if you're dealing with huge volume and you're listening to this and you're like, Julia, I can't do that, , what, what, what, I mean, what advice do you have for, for the, for those of us that are, that are in that mindset?

Julia (16:29):

A couple things come to mind. The first is, as you know, set those expectations. If you know, you're not gonna be able to, you know, follow up by Friday, for example, and you know, if that your recruitment is gonna take longer than a candidate might like, like that's okay. But be honest with that, you know, in the job description even, or in your first touchpoint with them, you know, as long as you're setting expectations and meeting them or trying to meet them, like, that's okay. Just being honest and transparent with what you are capable of. But then the other thing I, I think I'll say here is just for like, yes, it is not always possible on teams, but remembering that putting time into building a, a good reputation as an employer or as a place that candidates are, are applying to, can really pay dividends down the line and can, um, it can be a good sort of investment up front to be a place that people like applying to and like interviewing at.

Because even if it doesn't work out for the candidate that time, like they have networks, they have friends say, Hey, I had a really great interview here and, and like, I didn't get like the, my kind of philosophy is make a great experience for a candidate, regardless of the outcome. They should still have had a great experience interviewing with you. And so, yes, capacity is a great point. Um, you can automate a lot of these things. , you can kind of set reminders and, and that kind of thing. Um, and I think by prioritizing it, you are setting yourself up for success in terms of your employer brand and, and that kind of thing.

Fahd (18:08):

Yeah, I think that's the piece there, the employer brand that you're getting to, right? The reputation that, that others have. Yeah. So, okay, so our, our our, our, one of our biggest kind of pieces to focus on is create a humane, a very human empathetic experience, candidate experience for when you're recruiting. So . , Julia, this is where you're at right now. You're building culture, you're hiring, you're doing it for, your current company, Gusto. Tell me a little bit about the company. Let's, let's, let's get that in, let's get that in there.

Julia (18:39):

My favorite thing to plug, Gusto is an employee recognition platform. So we help organizations build great culture by recognizing and rewarding their people. And that's fun because I've always been really into culture building and team building and, and creating great places to work. Um, and so it's very exciting to get to do that on the people team internally at a place whose, who's product is to do that for our clients. So it's, it's a lot of fun to get to sort of work at a very, very sort of people focused organization because of what we sell.

Fahd (19:18):

Yeah. Yeah. And so this is your every day, This is what you've become obsessed about. But how did we get here, Julia? What, who, who is Julia? Julia, where are you from? Let's, let's learn a little bit about your background. How did you get here? Where, where'd you go to school? What'd you do? What were some hobbies? Let's kinda, let's,

Julia (19:35):


Fahd (19:35):

Bring it back. Yeah. Let's bring you back to see how you got to this, this obsession around building high perform teams and creating a phenomenal candidate experience.

Julia (19:44):

Yeah, yeah, for sure. Well, um, hello, my name's Julia. I use sheer pronouns. I am from Toronto. , I'm a long suffering Leafs fan. Um, sorry to hear that . Oh, buddy, thanks. I appreciate it. , I, I went to Queens, up in Kingston. Oh yeah. And studied psychology and math, but I, I kind like to joke that mostly I studied my extracurriculars because it really was, my extracurriculars, my part-time jobs that really made me love, my time at, at Queens and really helped me kind of build a leadership and, and build into this direction. Um, but the biggest thing that sort of shaped me and helped me move into this direction of HR culture recruitment, um, was my experience at, Ontario Summer Camps. And so, you know, I did the camp thing as a kid for forever, and then when I was a teenager in my adolescence and summers between university, I worked at summer camp.

I would leave at the end of April after exams and not come home until, you know, about, about this time in September. Um, and absolutely loved it and learned a lot and was able to sort of, you know, be managing people and contributing to performance management and culture from a pretty young age as an employee. Um, so I sort of did all that seasonally during my summers. And then when I was graduating from university, trying to figure out what I wanted to do next, I noticed that there was a full-time role available with the, with the Y M C A of Simko Muskoka, to be a director of a summer camp and outdoor education center. And I thought, Oh, I could do that. Um, and it was, it was really cool because I got to take this like huge passion of mine and turn it into my full-time year round job, which people don't really realize that.

Well, some, some people don't really realize that like running a summer camp in outdoor education center is like year round, full-time. I kind of joked that it was, it was my big girl job. Um, and so I, cause and so I, I did that full time for about four years and, um, being a summer camp director is a little bit like being a small business owner where you're sort of doing a little bit of everything. And so, um, you know, I would be recruiting 80 employees every summer. Um, yeah. Overseeing and managing those employees and, and managed a team of eight managers. , I would design and develop and implement training every, at the beginning of every season. Um, I'd do a lot of sort of external communication with parents and camper families, um, teachers and these kinds of things, you know, people would come for, for school trips and leadership retreats in the, in the spring and fall, um, project management. So it was, it was a whole bunch of everything and it was really awesome and, and I learned so much. Um, and yeah, so that was, that was my experience in, in the world of Y M C A, overnight camps.

Fahd (22:43):

Let, let's, let's, let's unpack that. What was, what was I, I, I love it. I mean, Julia, I think, you know, most people who are, who are maybe listening to the show will know a little bit about my background. I was a camp guy. I, I was a camp guy,

Julia (22:55):

Let's go.

Fahd (22:56):

When I, when I went to camp as a kid, I was a camp counselor, we started our own day camp for kids in, in the lower town community of Ottawa was a big part of, part of my leadership journey of, of creating something from scratch and . , you know, helping, helping the community and, and all those pieces. And I, and you know, to this day, I mean, friends will laugh. Say if I, you know, you're still on brand, you essentially run camp for adults at times when we run leadership retreats for companies, right? We do these tons of leadership retreats, and so we're still doing some of the same activities and games. And, and it, to me, I've always said it, it really blends the world of, of camp has always blended my professional experience in creating culture and creating leadership. And, and the reason it was so impactful in leadership for me is that at the age of 16, you're a camp counselor leading 13 year olds that are only three years old. You know, you're three years older than them and you're trying to figure out, I've got eight kids, right? Different wants, different needs, I gotta make sure they stay alive. And then we gotta make sure that, you know, they're happy, right? So you're

Julia (23:55):

Learning to be, Yeah. You're forced to become an expert in group dynamics when you're 16 years old

Fahd (24:00):

When you're, And what happens, I say, is that over, over those ages, what quickly happens at a teenage level is that, you know, teenagers tend to have a very, you know, centric ego, right? It's life is about me and I've got this audience, right? Like it's, we are as teenagers and slowly as we grow up, we, we, we are able to hopefully most of us overcome that ego. And by being responsible for other children, you quickly overcome the eagle. You realize it's not about me, it's about, it's about them. And that to me was probably, perhaps some of my biggest lessons in leadership during those camp years was, you know, it's, it's, it's not about me, it's about the kids. It's about their experience. It's about how they're feeling. It's about how we're doing them. What, what were some of your leadership lessons? What, you know, you recruited a young teenagers to be camp counselors, right? I still can't believe, you know what, we pay camp counselors, you know, $1,500 for a summer and, and running around from sunrise to sun down. But you know, you gotta recruit them. You gotta sell them on this idea. You gotta build a team, you gotta build the entire system, You gotta get the parents. So all this stuff, What were some of your leadership lessons? What, what, what, what is you still do today cuz of camp?

Julia (25:08):

Yeah, I think, well one thing I just, that you kind of reminded me of, that's sort of a nice, a nice lesson in how that cycle changes from sort of, you know, the young staff focusing on themselves to focusing on, on kind of campers and that sort of thing is like, I always love seeing the shift, you know, say an average, not an average, but the employees that are there the longest are maybe there for like four or five summers. And there's always a really cool shift in one that I experienced when I was 16 is like the first couple summers are about you. Like you, it's like about your growth. You are getting so much from camp, even as a staff like this. Yeah. So it, it's just really interesting to see the growth that happens, um, in an employee from, from, you know, this is about me in my summer and what I'm, how I'm learning and how I'm developing, which is amazing.

And then it's really cool to see kind of your last couple of years are much more the give back years and, um, the years of like creating magic for campers and for younger staff and that kind of thing. So, um, that's cool. But, but I think the things that I, that I use the most or kind of see the most relationship within between, you know, culture building, at camp and culture building, you know, at Gusto or, or in organizations, is that it really is about kind of connection and relationships and buy-in. Um, so at camp for example, you know, people are really bought into creating this experience for campers because 90% of the employees that we have at camp grew up as campers. So they're, that buy-in is like bingo automatic. Um, but what I find in organi in other organizations and, and sort of in, in the tech world is like the more people care about their organization and maybe what they're selling or at least kind of what it's like to work there, if they feel that their employers care about them and that they trust their, their employers and their managers, um, that can really have a high effect on, on high performance.

And so I think that's like the, something that I've noticed really spans between really well between camp and, and you know, Gusto or, or tech organizations. Yeah. And then the other one being relationship building. So the more people feel that they're part of a team and you know, I know at the end of our team days, I feel so much more connected to the folks that I work with. Yeah. And so there's a reason why at camp we start training week with team building games and just activities Yeah. And this kind of stuff before we get into like any sort of the meat and potatoes, because when you make people feel connected, um, it really builds that trust and engagement.

Fahd (27:49):

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That's, you know, I I I love, I love that you put it that way, Julia. You know, we're, we're, we're camp kids, so we have this buy-in around the team building and we've gotta do it. But often in the corporate world, you run up against a little bit of like, Oh, are we really gonna do an icebreaker, , are we really gonna do this silly game and we've gotta win them over? And sometimes you gotta warm them up with something and, and, and get them going. How do you, what's, what's your go-to team building game? Maybe let's, let's throw that in. Like, you know, maybe we can give people, an activity that they can do with their own teams. What's your go-to team building and how do you win over the, the like Yeah. I call it the, at camp they were the two cool for school kids. Totally. And now in the corporate world, they're, they're the, I'm a professional, you know, and, and I don't do these games. Right? Like, how, how do you win those people over?

Julia (28:39):

Yeah. I think, well, I think my favorite, you know, kind of back pocket games that are super easy and don't require anything are just like, but, but kinda surprisingly can do a really good job at building connection are just, you know, when you're starting off or, or you know, once a month at a team meeting playing some sort of really easy, like two truths and a lie. This is so easy to just think of two things that are true about you. One thing that's not true about you and what it does is it allows people to just like, be a bit silly, forget about work for the moment, but also learn a little bit about one another. Um, and it's really fascinating that just by learning a little bit of like, Oh my God, I didn't know you used to, you know, play soccer for Team Canada or so, whatever. Maybe that would be my lie. , but oh my God, I didn't know you were into that. I, I have a similar interest. It can really like just naturally build connection and, and build trust between people and to the naysayers.

I think, I think I would just sort of point to like some, I don't know if I could pull outta some statistics from the back of my head, which I, I don't necessarily have, but just like, this stuff matters when it comes to building trust. Um, building trust on a team is super, super important. And I think this gets into like, you know, your relationship with your manager is gonna be a lot stronger if you have a relationship. You know, that there's trust there. It's gonna be a lot easier to say like, Hey, I really messed up, or, Hey, I really need help, or, Hey, I'm really, you know, whatever. Um, so I think all of these little things of team building activities, maybe they're silly games, maybe they're not, maybe they're just kind of like connecting and finding common ground, talking about your weekend, that kind of thing. . , um, it all contributes to trust building, which does actually do wonders when it comes to, to building high performing teams and helping employees feel engaged.

Fahd (30:30):

. . Yeah. Yeah. I I I absolutely love that. I think, I think you've hit the nail on the head. We talk about trust being the key foundational piece of teams. We talk about trust, we talk about psychological safety. You know, often, often, I've, I've, I've said, what is it at camp that, that, that, that, that creates the camp magic? Every camp always talks about their own little bit of camp magic and what is it that camp has that we don't have in corporate environments. And I think what you, what you're getting to with some of the social activities is that at camp we slowly learn to take our mask off. The, the rules are a bit different. We're allowed to be silly. We're allowed to be ourselves. We take the mask off and we show up, who we are. We dress up in funny costumes for the kids.

We make jokes, we play games, and, and we don't feel that we need to be this sort of professional mold. And I think slowly what we're trying to create in cultures, which I'm sure you are trying to create in cultures, your organization, is how do we get people to take off that mask and show up for who they are and, and show up with the social kind of connections that they can, they can build. So I, I really, I really like that. . . So let's, let's, let's connect, let's connect this to what you're doing today. Today. You're, you're, you are, um, you know, you're hiring, you are recruiting, You used to recruit 80 kind of, you know, youth student counselors for the summer. Now you're recruiting tons of teams, you know, for, for, for your startup. What are the similarities in, in the recruitment of when you were recruiting camp counselors, um, to when you're recruiting now? And and the reason I ask this question is that I always find it interesting when, when, you know, folks have discussions around recruitment and generational divides during recruitments. And so I kind of wanna hear a little bit about, did you find there's a difference between some of the generational, you know, hiring hire when you were hiring younger, when you're hiring older now, what that looks like, what that feels like. What things do you look for when you are hiring that many people?

Julia (32:32):

Interesting. That's an interesting question. Um,

Some things that come to mind as the biggest similarities are like, sitting, you know, in an interview as a candidate is always gonna be a little bit nerve-wracking, I think. And, and I don't know, maybe it's not when you're older and, and more experienced in your career, but I have a feeling, you know, if if it's something you want, you're gonna care about it and be a little bit nervous. And so I think what I've found to be similar is just my approach to kinda, like I mentioned before, creating a really humane hiring process of just making the other PE person feel comfortable, um, trying to design it more as a conversation so that someone can just better showcase themselves without nerves as much as possible. And, and feel that, you know, the person, the recruiter or the hiring manager just cares about what they have to say.

Um, a big difference I think that I've noticed though is, you know, I don't know, when you're hiring for camp, like I mentioned, people know what they're getting into. They've, they've gone to this camp before they're applying to, you know, they've been there for 10 years. It's, it's okay. Um, I think what I've noticed as a recruiter is you have to really listen to a candidate to, to recognize if the opportunity that you've got that, that they're interviewing for is actually gonna be a good fit. Um, and so for candidate, it's important to ask the right questions to recruiters and hiring managers to figure out if like the culture and the management style in the work style are gonna fit what you're looking for. Um, but then as a recruiter, you have to be doing the same thing of like, if somebody's sort of talking about, you know, their preferred work style and you know that that's not what this team is, you know, if they're looking for something really developed and to just come in and learn best practices, but actually this team is being built from scratch and this is like scrappy and that sort of thing, you have to recognize like that's diff those are two very different things.

And you need to make sure that the candidate knows that, Oh, you know what, like in this role actually, this is a lot more building from scratch and you're not gonna be coming in and, and coming into a well-oiled machine. So I just wanna make sure you're aware of that. And actually, the most humane interview that I have ever had as a candidate was, was somebody saying, Honestly, I don't think this is actually gonna be a good role for you. And I was like, What do you, Yeah. And, and I mean, it kind of sucked, but also they were like, no, like you're, what I'm hearing from you is like, you wanna go into a team where you can touch a whole bunch of different parts of hr, um, you can learn a lot and you can have growth opportunities, you know, fairly quickly because you do have this leadership experience, et cetera, et cetera.

. like what, we're just at the point in our organization where we're starting to branch out our different sections of HR and are really looking for someone to get into this role and dig their heels in for like a while so it doesn't sound like these two things are kind of the same. And I was like, Oh, damn. Like, I think you're right. And it was really amazing. Be, and their, one of their core values at this, at this organization is radical candor. Like, be radically candid. And this, this recruiter totally did that. And it was super, it was the most humane experience I had for someone to just be like, Yeah, I don't actually think this is what you're looking for. And I was like, I, I think you're right. And, and so I'd recommend this organization to anybody. I had a great experience interviewing for them. Um, and that's what I try to build for candidates now. Like, regardless of outcome, Did you have a great experience interviewing? Um, so yeah.

Fahd (36:09):

I love that. I love that. You know, I, I, I love it cuz I, I, I recall a similar conversation with the client of ours, but it, it was, you know, there, they're, they're, they were over, they, the CEO was overselling the company to individuals, right? And when you're a startup, you're kinda like, Yeah, we're gonna, we're gonna grow to hit this. We're gonna do this. We're gonna be a billion. And so they would, they would over hype the kind of company and the role and, and they didn't, I think they didn't realize they were doing it well. Where I started working with them is they were interested in why they had so such high turnover. Mm. I find why do we have such high turnover? And what I realized, and you hit the nail in the head here, is that, is that people were, didn't know what they were expecting. Yeah. They were sold the job. Right. Kind of like in a sales manner of everything. That's super exciting. And when as a recruiter you oversell the job, you set up expectations that can't be met . and then people are leaving within six months cuz they're like, Well that's not what I want. While at camp it was like, No, I know what I'm getting cause I've camp. Right. I've been part of your ecosystem, I've been here. And so I really, I really like that distinction. Right? Yeah. Something

Julia (37:16):


Fahd (37:17):


Julia (37:18):

I think one of the guests on your podcast actually talked about this, Amanda, if I'm getting the name correct. Yeah. Which is like, don't fit. Don't try to fit a square peg into a round hole. Like that's not your job as a recruiter. Your job is to get a great fit. And so it's like, it's hard though. It's hard to listen and to know that like, you know what, I don't actually think this is gonna work for this candidate. It takes a lot of courage and I think it's like something that I'm challenging myself to do more is, is not just say yes and be like, Oh a hundred percent that's what you're gonna get here. You know, having the courage and the confidence to say, actually no, this is a little bit more of what we're looking for, but as long as you're okay with that, you know, that's great.

Fahd (37:59):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. So, so, so let's, let's start from, let's go. Okay. So I'm building a recruitment process right now. I've got a bit of a process. I've obviously hired some people. We wanna improve our process and I so happen to be listening to the Unicorn Leadership podcast saying we're listening to Julia. Julia, what should I be doing to assess my recruitment and candidate process? What things should I be looking for? So let's, let's think process. And then I wanna dive into what tips and tricks you have for actual interviews to sift through and find the good candidates. So let's think process, you know, what things do you build for obviously building with a human humane approach. I, I like when you say that, you know, creating that comfortability. I mean, I recall we were doing interviews recently in our own team and we're asking questions, a few of us in the team and I'm sitting there and I had my resting bitch face on.

I was just, just like, I was thinking really hard about what the person was saying, but then I saw my face on the Google me and I was like, Wow, this person must think I absolutely am so unimpressed with them. I was like, but I was actually really impressed cause I was just really taking it in. But I was like, Oh, I, I have to be aware of how I'm showing up cuz cuz my smile will create just enough warmth for them to open up, right? Cause we, we react to people's facial expressions of like, are they liking what I'm saying? Is this working? Right? We're constantly trying to take that feedback. So I I I I, I really, that hit me of like that human experience, that empathy of like, I really gotta watch my facial expressions during, during interviews cause I can get really deep into thought and can kind of look like I'm upset with my eyebrows scrunched. You know, like, yeah, . So, so, but that's, that's my experience. I wanna take us to a little bit of process building a little bit of systems. What do you look for? What do you build? Let's say you join a new team, Julia, what are you building? What are you looking for?

Julia (39:49):

Yeah, I think, let me just take a sec to organize my thoughts here. Cause there's a lot we could really jump into. Um, okay.

Okay. Narrowed it down to sort of three, three or four things here. Um, the first thing I'll say in terms of process is, you know, give more information than less. And so when you're writing your job description, like what an opportunity you have to just in writing, tell a candidate what the interview process is gonna look like and what perks and benefits and compensation is gonna look like at your organization. Because I mean, I mean, one thing is it's just such a time saver. Like to save sort of that five, 10 minutes at the end of an interview to talk about what all the steps of the interview are and what it's gonna look like when you work here and all this kind of stuff. You can sort of say, well, as you saw in the job description, um, blah blah, blah. And so people are coming, you know, if you can really include as much like overcommunicate in your job description so that people know what they're getting into just in the interview process, that would be sort of tidbit number one. I love

Fahd (41:00):

That. I've seen, I've seen folks who create little loom videos even and add it to the jo like, you know, explain the job description and like, here's what you'll be working on. Like, give it life more than the written form, right? Like, I really totally give it a face. Here's some team members you'd be working with. Like, I love, I love that. Like, give the context show, show what it would look like. You know, I I I love that. I

Julia (41:26):

Love it for sure. Yeah. Cuz people have these questions and the, and people are especially right now are wanting to find a good fit for them culturally and lifestyle wise. And in terms of flexibility. So just like, save everyone some time. Show the candidate, you know, I think it's a respect thing too, of showing your candidates some respect for their time and like, yeah, overcommunicate this from, from the start. Um, the second thing, I, I talked about this a bit earlier, um, but just try to build in a lot of different touch points. Um, and, and again, this is something where like, it's a bit of a time investment and so there can be some challenges in sort of convincing your leadership team that this is like worth, worth the time to put in and that sort of thing. Um, but building it a lot of a touchpoints.

And especially as a recruiter, you can sort of see yourself as like, um, an advocate for your candidate through their interview process. And so rather than being a gatekeeper, being an advocate for them and sort of, you know, I like to send when I, when I can, um, good luck emails the morning of their interview, be like, Hey, good luck in your interview today. Like, I hope it goes really well. Let me know if you have any questions. And then afterwards, even before I've gotten feedback from the hiring manager, like, Hey, how did it go? Do you have any questions that are outstanding at this point? Like, what did you think? Um, so yeah, just I think trying to build in as many touchpoints as possible really makes a candidate feel like you're cheering them on and that you, that you care about their experience, which again, just pays big dividends when they, if and when they get started at your organization. Um, and even if they don't, it can be a great investment in your employer brand and your reputation. Yeah.

Fahd (42:58):

Yeah. How closely, Julie, are you working with your, hi, with the hiring manager? Cause you know, a lot of teams, you know, like the manager is responsible for the hiring at the end of the day and they've got a recruiter that they're working with. But how in sync should they be? How much touch points should they have? What's, what's that relationship like?

Julia (43:16):

Yeah, I think it really depends on the organization. , for us, we're doing, like my, I see it kind of as my mission to make this experience as easy for hiring managers as possible. And part of this is, you know, we're a startup and managers are busy and, and not that, and you know, hiring is a really important thing on a manager's plate, but the more that I can kind of make it seamless and just say, Hey, put this in your calendar, this is where you can find this. Like, yeah, I don't know, not spoonfeeding in a condescending way, but just really setting a hiring manager up for success that this can be a seamless process for them. Um, and so our touchpoints are, you know, pretty asynchronous as, as far as, you know, after the kickoff and, and after we get into the recruitment process. Um, but, but it, it depends on the hiring manager too. You know, if they're a little bit more junior and, and haven't done as much hiring, maybe you are more of a sounding board for them and maybe you're a little bit more of a coach for your hiring manager, but . , if they don't need that, if they don't want that, then you're just sort of there to like make sure that they,

Fahd (44:15):

Do you

Julia (44:16):

Help what they

Fahd (44:17):

Rubrics for what they're looking for? Or some already have that, like how does your, you know, office provide kind of structure for them and Sure. What they should be looking for from a culture fit and a technical fit. Or is the hiring manager really kind of leading that piece on their own?

Julia (44:33):

I'd say the hiring manager's a little bit more responsible for that piece. Like,

Fahd (44:38):


Julia (44:38):

You know, they know what they're looking for and we discuss it. Like we discuss this sort of all before the job posting is put out of like, okay, what is it we're, what's the role we're posting here? And like, how important are these different things? Um, you know, an example is like on our QA team right now we're, we're hiring for, a manual tester. And, um, the, the manager of that team NAMA is like, I'm a lot more concerned with like, whether the person we're bringing onto this team has a good attitude and is willing to learn and is okay asking questions and being thrown into something that they might not be comfortable with, in terms of, you know, a, a high growth and, and that sort of thing. She's like, yeah, technical skills they can be taught and, and I'm looking for someone with a great attitude and, and for other cases it might be the opposite. And like, that's okay where it's just we need someone to jump in and have someone who has experienced doing x, y, z kind of technical piece. Um, so yeah.

Fahd (45:35):

Yeah. I like that. Good. So you, you really help help them with, you know, sounding board and, and really strategically think about what do they need on their team? What attitude are they looking for? What skill is missing, right? Like really thinking about what this new role that's gonna be added to the team is going to fill and, and who is the ideal candidate?

Julia (45:54):

So helping, Yeah. The other thing I'll sort of help advise on quite a better, just sort of like recruitment best practices that a hiring manager probably doesn't know cuz they don't spend their all day thinking about this kind of thing. Yeah. So, um, you know, a good example is, you know, you have a candidate that gets to the end of the interview process. Everyone's got great feelings about them and, and good thumbs up. , and then if, if a hiring manager says, Okay, okay, you know, like, I just wanna meet with one other person, um, and, and then I can make a decision, I'll challenge that and I'll push back on that quite a bit because we should, in my opinion, be, comparing the candidate to the job. You know, can the candidate that you've just spoken to do this job? And if they've gotten to the end of the interview of the interviews and everyone's had great sentiments, you gotta go ahead and make an offer to that candidate, even if you've got other people in the pipeline.

And part of this is remaining competitive, especially in, in a hot market, this is a really important strategy. But the other thing that this avoids is if you, if you wait and you, and you wanna like compare two candidates to one another, you're really introducing a lot of biases and, and you're really, especially similarity bias, for example, where you're sort of like, well, you know, they both could do the job, but I really like this person. I really think they, they'd get along great with the team. I think you have to really check yourself on like team dynamic's super important, but it's not about, if you like them, it's not about getting a beer with them. It's about can they do the job, can they add to your team in terms of their diverse experience? Um, and that kind of thing. So that's another piece of why I try to encourage people. It's like, okay, this person can do the job well, we we're gonna go for it.

Fahd (47:43):

Yeah. And that's, that's really interesting. You mentioned similarity bias. We, we do, um, you know, part of our leadership training, program, we do disc tests, disc personality tests, and, it's behaviors and personality tests. And what we always do is we map out the entire team on the different spectrum of personality. And what we can usually show is that there is a conscious concentration of certain, of the personality of the hiring manager and the team. And so you can usually visually show it that without even realizing you've been hiring people with similar personalities as you. And that should be an aha moment when you, when you can just draw it out and be like, look, you got 10 people on your team and six of them happen to fall in the same personality category as

Julia (48:29):

You. Yeah. And it's, it's, yeah, it's interesting. And it's, you know, similarity bias is the thing like we do, we are more drawn to people that are more similar to us, but you're not building a friend group, you're building a team and the more diverse your team is in terms of like background and work history, um, as well as, you know, the other areas of diversity, the better your team is going to be, the more innovative, it, it's like the effects are really, really strong. So it's, it's, it's very interesting to think about.

Fahd (49:03):

Yeah. And, and the challenge, the challenge with it is that in the short term similarity actually helps teams get along, but in the long term it creates blind spots. And so in the short term, when you have extreme diversity, you actually have more conflict in a team. And people are like, Well, I don't want that. It was so difficult. But if they can get through that conflict, if they get through that difficulty of having the differing opinions, where you end up with in the long run is the more innovative creative team. That is more powerful. But it's that pain of the short run that sometimes we avoid by finding similarities. , so interesting. Okay. So, so, so you give as much information as possible in, in your process. You have a ton of touch points. You work with the hiring manager to, to give best practices. What, what, what else, what was, what's the next step in that? Or was that it? I

Julia (49:55):

Think those are the main ones. Those are, those are the ones that I had come up with

Fahd (49:58):

. Okay. Okay. Cool. Cool. That's good. That's good. I love it. I love it. Um, so, so let's, let's you, you, you talked about some best practices for the hire manager and one of the ones you talked about is comparing, you know, not comparing candidates to each other, but to the job. This one's a difficult one. As a founder myself, you know, I think the pro, the challenge I get to sometimes is you're like, Well, what can our market dollars buy? Right? So it's like, okay, well we got someone who's this good, but is there there someone better? Like, can, can the market currently for labor market give us someone who has even more experience? Yeah, they can do the job, but you're kind of trying to see what can our dollars buy? Cause sometimes the constraint is, well, we only have 85 K, and typically that gets me a junior engineer, maybe an intermediate engineer, but can I get a more, a more intermediate high? You know, like you're, you're kind of, you're thinking of it in that, in that way. What would you say to me? What would you say to others who are thinking like, I'm trying to figure out what our dollar can buy

Julia (50:58):

Fahad? What I would say to you is just, I think in decision is a decision. And just by, by saying, Ooh, you know, maybe we can get better. Maybe you can, but maybe you can't. And by the time you decide that, okay, maybe can a, we actually do wanna go with like, they've probably got another offer by that point. , and so, and then you're, maybe you're back to square one, or maybe you're putting another couple of weeks into the recruitment cycle, all of which cost money as well. Um, yeah, it just is less glaring, I guess. It's less, it's less from like the salary cap perspective and more from just opportunistic, you know, time taken. Yeah. Um, so that's what I'd say. I just say like, yes, you totally can keep searching, but you have to, you know, hiring managers have to understand that recruiters can't just like wave a wand and make sure that that first candidate is still there when you, when, if and when you're ready. . . . . If you're making that decision to keep looking, you're, you're making that decision and that's okay. Yeah. Yeah.

Fahd (51:58):

Yeah. So talk to me about the current labor market. So over the last two years, maybe three years during the pandemic is a little bit unprecedented. . , it was in a bit insane in regards to, you know, we were, you know, in a bull run, tech markets were booming. Obviously in the last eight months, that's not the case. But, you know, we had soaring high salaries. We had . extreme competition for talent. People were getting offers and recruited. Where are we now? Now yet you're, you know, at the forefront of this, for this listening, what's the current labor market conditions? Has it slowed down a bit? Do you find a bit more reasonable in terms of timelines? You know, I know some founders were talking to me about, Hey man, I, I can't even, you know, if we, after one interview, if we're not sending out, um, you know, almost offers after one interview, it was like the person was receiving so many others.

It was so challenging to have a proper interview process and get to know a candidate, you know, where typical, typical hiring advice was. You know, do a few interviews, get to know the person, make sure they're a good fit, you know, have them meet with the team. You know, old adage was make sure, you know, hiring slow to make sure that there's a good fit that kind of went out the window in the last two years. Where are we with it now? How do you, how do you feel the current labor market is for tech companies?

Julia (53:19):

Yeah, it's, it's obviously a little bit slower. Um, and so, and you know, like we're not hiring quite as much as, as we were a couple months ago, and obviously, you know, more, more devastatingly like these mass layoffs have happened and, um, and all of this kind of stuff. So there are kind of more candidates in, in the market. Um, what I'll say though is that I struggle when, when like recruitment strategies are kind of like create this really fantastic candidate experience because it's a competitive market. Like, I think you have to be consistent in your candidate experience regardless of market, because these things come around, like markets come around and if people had a great experience interviewing with you, they're gonna remember that. So I, I think that's one kind of like thing that I'd push back on when, when people are only interested in kinda that candidate experience when the market's hot, it's like, I think you should really be doing it at all times.

Um, I think in terms of, you know, when it is a bit of a hotter market, or if you do wanna make sure that like you're keeping up with the pace that your candidate needs you to be at, it's all about expectation setting. And so in that first interview you can kind of have a conversation around like, Hey, this is the timeline that we typically take to fill roles. Um, how does that sound to you? And like, what, you know, at any point if you need us to move faster or anything like that, like please just let me know because you seem really awesome. You seem like you'd be a really great fit for your, for our team. Um, we wanna make sure that you're able to make like an informed decision. And so, so let us know what you need here. I think just like opening the conversation, trying to make it more, um, yeah, like I've said, a bit more human, understanding that that people have different priorities and that kind of thing can, can help when the market's really hot. Um, but again, asking those questions and having those conversations no matter what is a great practice to, to get into. Yeah.

Fahd (55:12):

Yeah. Yeah. I hear you. I hear you. Okay. So we've built out this process. We, we put the information out. We've had a lot of touch points with our candidate. We've spoke to the hiring manager, hiring managers, done some interviews. We've we're, we're following some of the best practices. Final question. What are the most important traits you're looking for when you're gonna make that hiring decision to build that high performing team, Julia? Mm.

Julia (55:36):

Um, the biggest, one of the biggest things that I, I like to look for in candidates is like their ability to admit that they've made a mistake. So one of my favorite interview questions is like, Hey, we've all messed up for sure. , tell me about a time that you've messed up that kind of stuck with you and what did you learn from it? And to me, what I'm listening for is the ability to just own, own it, own the fact that you've made a mistake, and maybe what you learned from it, what, what you did differently in the future. Cuz I think like everybody messes up in a job like, or, and in life, like just mistakes are totally inevitable. Um, but it's really your ability. It's what you do when you make a mistake that really speaks to your character. We had someone, a couple weeks ago posting our Slack chan like in like the company wide slack channel and it, he basically said, Can somebody please help? I've made a huge mistake and I don't know what to do. . Which is like, that's, that's a rough thing to pose to a company-wide slack. Like Yep. Damn.

Fahd (56:46):

The general, general channel too.

Julia (56:48):

Yeah, one of, it was one of the, it was like one that I saw, so obviously it was, you know, something kind of more on the general side, not super team specific. And, but it was just so incredible that he did that because like, it's your ability to own the fact that like, oh my God, I made a big mistake and I don't know what to do and ask for help. That really speaks to this person's character. Um, and so that's what I'm looking for in candidates. And then the other, the other, just a funny little tidbit I have is, um, at a meeting recently, one of our co-founders said, hey, like, he was asking a question about how, how something works at other organizations, maybe l and d budgets or something like that. And he was like, Okay, well it's like school me on this, like how does this usually work? And I wrote it down cause I loved the fact that he was just like, school me on this. And he's so happy to like, be schooled on something and to be wrong and, and and that kind of thing. And I think that's what makes, um, both of our co-founders really incredible. , but yeah, I think that's what I look for in candidates. Like, are you willing to be schooled? Are you willing to admit when you've made a mistake? Um, cuz they happen and it's how you deal with it. That's, that's super important.

Fahd (57:56):

I love that. I love that. Are you willing to be schooled and are you you willing to admit a mistake? It's, you know, and, and, and you know, whether in the interview they actually admit a big mistake or they do a whole like, you know, dance around, Oh, I got one time I made this little thing. And you're like, Nah, you're not, you're not telling me the real mistake cuz we've all fucked up. I wanna hear a real, you know, a real mess up. Something

Julia (58:22):

That's tough though, you gotta admit cuz like some, some recruiters are, it's like, Oh, I work, I work too hard or, you know, that's like the answer some people wanna hear, but I'm like, No, no, no, no, no, just be nuts. I can't tell me when you absolutely screwed up. Like, but that's tough. You know, you do have to build that rapport with a candidate and let them know like, it's okay that we all mess up. So that's, that's a, that's a great point that you brought actually, that it's not so easy for some candidates, but trying to, you know, if that's part of your culture, like weaving in your culture, even in the interview process, can really help them know what they're getting into.

Fahd (58:54):

Yeah, yeah. I find that I often try and share stories myself during the interviews. Little story about here's how I've messed up. So, you know, feel free to open up. And I think that goes to your making it conversational. I think as long as it's always question, answer, question, answer, it's not gonna be conversational. But if you introduce a few thoughts and you can kind of make it a bit more conversational back and forth, it's way more fun, way more enjoyable. Julia,

Julia (59:19):

It also helps you get more, sorry. It just helps you get more outta the candidate too, cuz like sometimes a candidate's nervous and they're not, they didn't remember to answer all of the question or something like that. And so saying like, Okay, that's a great example. Like, what did you do after that? Or like, what was the hardest part of that? It can help them do better and like, give you what you're actually looking for. So,

Fahd (59:40):

Yeah. Yeah. Well I I think you just said it like when they give you an answer, I I pull at it a little more. Yeah. Instead of just like, Okay, next question. No, no, no. Like, oh, tell me more about that. Say a little more. And, and like, I just kind of pull it cuz I have, I know I've only gotten the surface level answer, I haven't gotten the full answer. And so sometimes it's my job to help get them their, help them get their answers out and create the space for it, right? And I think exactly you can really, really tell from there. I love that. I love that. Julia, this, this has been fun, this you are awesome, you've got some wonderful energy. You are, you know, you're running camp over at Gusto, you know, , you're doing the leadership games, you've got the two truths in a lie.

We've got a process for how we, recruit and how we attract, candidates. , how do we, how do we show up in a humane way and, and really, um, and how do we show up in non, not just competitive labor markets, but how do we create an employer brand that has an effective reputation? So Juliet, this, this has been wonderful. Thank you so much for joining us on the Unicorn Leadership Podcast. It's been a pleasure and I think everyone listening will have taken away some really good key nuggets from your stories.

Julia (01:00:48):

Thank you so much for having me. It was, it was a blast and you made it very comfortable and easy, so I appreciate that.

Fahd (01:00:54):

Awesome. Thanks Julia. Folks, that was Julia, the people and culture professional who contributes both did recruitment, employee experience, working to great, create great experiences for candidates, new hires, and seasoned employees. She was an absolute blast. Thank you Julia, so much for being with us and thank each and every one of you for making it all the way to the end of the episode. If you've got any questions about recruitment and you've got any questions on how to attract and how to build your eye performing team, feel free to reach out, reach out to us on unicornlabs.ca. You can reach out directly to me, fad unicorn labs.ca. You can find us on social media. You can find my handle fad aha tab on LinkedIn, on Instagram, on Twitter. We're active, we're always having fun publishing different, podcasts or our newsletter. And that's about it for today.

I want to leave you with some final thoughts. Here's the thing. Well, a lot of startups that we're working with, they'll hear about what we need to do for recruitment and HR and how to build a high performing team, and they're often felt paralyzed with a lot of limited resources. So I want you to remember this. Given limited resources, the number one thing you should invest with HR dollars is in recruitment. That's where you should focus. Really having someone help you create an attractive brand that brings people in, filtering those people to find the gems and really helping you hire, usually a lot of startups will delay having someone help with this. And instead they'll use, you know, HR dollars for some parties, they'll use HR dollars, so a ping pong or beer, you know, all the classic, um, little benefits that that we do.

The next thought is, is really take your time when hiring. And I know this one hurts because especially in a hot talent market, it feels like talent is, is moving quickly and people are are gonna pass you up. And yeah, you're not gonna get all the talent that you want right away if you take your time. But if you're new to this and if you're building a process and you're trying to figure it out, really take your time because if you don't and you rush into it, you might hire someone who derails your team and isn't on board with the mission that you have. And that gets us finally to, to the last thought here I wanted to share is, h only people who are better than you in some meaningful way, they might not be better than you at your expertise in your zone of genius, but that they have their own zone of genius, that they're interesting, that there's something to them that they can offer to your team that otherwise, couldn't.

And so that leaves us with Patty McCord's final quote. If you're careful to hire people who will put the company's interest first, who understand and support the desire for a high-performance workplace, 97% of your employees will do the right thing and you won't actually have to worry about all those additional HR policies. Folks, that's it for today. You can find our show notes and transcript and unicornlabs.ca slash podcast. If you like the content be shared to rate it, to review it, to subscribe, send it to a friend, please tell all your friends, fellow managers and fellow people of talent and culture across the country. See you next time.

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