Business Podcast Post

Recruiting Top Talent with Ugis Balmaks

George Grombacher July 28, 2022

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Recruiting Top Talent with Ugis Balmaks

LifeBlood: We talked about recruiting top talent, how to successfully hire remote workers, how to properly screen candidate, why Eastern European talent makes sense, and how to get started, with Ugis Balmaks, Founder of Recruiter Mill. 

Listen to learn why treating your recruitment like a sales process makes sense!

You can learn more about Ugis at and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Ugis Balmaks

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Come on when lipo This is George G and the time is right, welcome today’s guest strong, powerful who just ball Max, who just are you ready to do this?

Unknown Speaker 0:18
Absolutely super excited to be on.

george grombacher 0:20
I’m excited to have you on, who just is the founder of recruiter mil, he’s helping seven to eight figure businesses hire a players in six weeks or less, would just tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work and why you do what you do.

Unknown Speaker 0:37
Yeah, I’m happy to so outside of work. I’m 31. I’m from Latvia. Now, based in Hungary, the outside of work, I’m turning into a big chess fan. Maybe on a little more serious note, my wife and I are expecting our first letter this year. So that’s really big news. We’re really excited about that. I work as you said, I help mainly online businesses hire a players in six weeks or less. So an online business is any business that relies on digital marketing. That’s that’s how I define it. Yeah, and I help them find the very best talent, whether it’s in their home country or on the other side of the world. And, yeah, I used to do it for my own business. I would say it was a very successful business for a kid in his 20s. And I’ve now sold that business, and I help other business owners hire great people for their teams.

george grombacher 1:30
Nice. I appreciate that. Are you ready to have a child who just?

Unknown Speaker 1:36
I think so? Yeah. I think so. It’s, you know, snow. thing I think of both my wife and I have been looking for forward to. Yeah, it’s impossible to say, but it’s something we’ve been kind of wanting to do for a long time. So the time is ready.

george grombacher 1:57
Excellent. I’m sure that you’re going to do great. So awesome. All right. So online businesses, hire a players. Tell me a little bit more about what that means. What is an A player?

Unknown Speaker 2:09
Yeah, so that’s a good question. And there is a definition. And that’s kind of formal definition is someone who’s in the top, you could say 10%, in how what I try to provide as maybe in the top 3%, top 1% of the people who are ready to do the job that’s, that needs to be done in your company. In the salary range that that’s you’re looking at. And that’s a formal definition. But in reality, all business owner, owners, I think recognize an A player, as soon as they see when they’re the type of people that go the extra mile, they figure out things on their own, they never come with a problem. They come with at least a couple solutions or things that we could be doing to solve it. So yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s how I would define it.

george grombacher 3:00
Yeah, I appreciate that. And yes, I think that we can all recognize a player when we see one, so. So why not? Why Why would I use you and not just go through? And Upwork or something like that?

Unknown Speaker 3:17
Yeah, absolutely. So I think every business owner knows that finding great employees is important to I don’t think I need to hammer that home. But it is really tough. And I should know, because I’ve been in recruitment for for more than seven years now. And, yeah, I’ve kind of it is something that every business needs that they know, it’s important, but they don’t necessarily always have the time have the knowledge. I used to I remember when I was on my first job interview as an interviewer, I was kind of just went into the call and asking questions and mimicking what I’ve seen other people do, and I had no real clue what’s what I’m looking for. And I mean, since then I’ve I’ve broken it down into seven steps. That’s all business owners should follow. And you can check them out on my website, but I’m happy to share kind of the highlights of that some something that could be helpful to business owners today.

george grombacher 4:15
Yeah, for sure. Let’s, let’s let’s do that. So yeah, let’s let’s go maybe

Unknown Speaker 4:19
to my to my top three. And the first one. And where I started always with my clients is the job description. And what we’re used to seeing is kind of a traditional ad with lots of bullet points, they’re usually quite hard to comprehend. And what I’ve heard from candidates is that you even agreed to the interview, just to understand what the job really is about. And that’s something you should never have in your company. If you’re running recruitments it’s a bad sign, right? So what I do with my clients is that we create what I call a candidate centric job that so it talks about what’s important to them, not about All the things that that we want to do. And many of us as business owners, we know about marketing that we’re not supposed to talk about us, we’re supposed to talk about what we can do for the person that we’re selling to. And it’s exactly the same story when you’re recruiting people. The, as I said that the ad needs to be candidate centric. Again, a couple things you should include in your job ads. One is why you’re hiring. So what’s going on in the company why it’s important, as I said, these these people who are a players, what’s common to them is that they want to solve difficult problems, meaningful problems. And if you can explain why it is that you need their help and their expertise, that’s already a leg up for us as a potential employer. The other thing, of course, you want to explain how it will help them, maybe how you as an employer have thought about what’s important to them, have you have provided it and kind of showing that you are doing your part in this relationship. And if you have those two things, you’re ahead of at least 95% of the job as I see out there. The second, second thing I see and you mentioned Upwork, and it is a great site, it’s a great site for if you’re looking for someone part time, and I commend you actually start there, if you’re going for someone full time, by far the best results I’ve seen, I have seen this from direct outreach. So LinkedIn is absolutely amazing for that. And with direct outreach, you can, all the variables are in your control, you can control the geography, it can be in the US, it can also be in Eastern Europe, which which is a region I advocate for heavily, you can look up the exact skills that the person needs to have, if you want them to be more experienced and kind of come in and do really well from from day one. Or if you want them to be less experienced probably also come on command a lower pay, but are happy to train them up. Still, of course, having this these kind of a player types that that you hire, and then yeah, if if you use this approach, you can reach out to people that you have already pre selected, okay, these look like the people I want to be talking to spending my time with because it is a lot of time you spent recruiting brought, rather than waiting for maybe 50 people to apply, then go through their resumes, and, you know, maybe a bunch of them have misunderstood what the job even is about, and so forth, and so forth. So, you know, I’ve tried everything there is when when it comes to recruitment, direct outreach,

Unknown Speaker 7:29
by far the best results. So that’s probably the second tip I could share today. And the third one, I would recommend, and people understand this, but I think it’s really helpful to have a framework for this. And it’s thorough interviews. So how I usually approach this is, first I have a quick call with the person, again, kind of understand that, what they’re about, verify maybe their experiences, let them ask any questions also get a feel for the company and what it’s like. But past that, I’m looking for specific skill. So that can be done on a test assignment. And usually, they’re actually paid, but it is, I can’t stress this enough. If you can’t see something somebody’s worked out, but before you hire them, it’s almost guaranteed that it’s not going to work out. So if you don’t see that it’s really, really risky, you’re gonna need some sort of step like this in the process. And it’s kind of the moment of truth, right? If they can do the work before they actually join your company, it’s likely to work out really well. If they can do the job, probably, it’s just not gonna work out, or it’s gonna take a long time, which is, which is the same as basically not working out. And, yeah, and then also, one interesting thing I do and that’s I found really powerful, I would say is a long final interview, it takes even up to three hours, and you go through previous job experiences as the as the questions if you can meet the person, the person you’re hiring in person, that’s even better, it kind of communicates a lot. But the idea is kind of, you know, if they’re taking a big step and joining you, and you’re taking a big step and taking on your team, spending three hours actually is not that much, if you compare it to all the time that you could potentially waste by by taking on the wrong person. So a lot of candidates when I tell them this, and even my clients, they’re shocked. But in the end, they really see the value and, and the things that they can learn from this sort of conversation and just being as I said, really thorough, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stuff like this. But if you have a resource and I recommend a book called who by Jeff smart, and it kind of gives you at least you know, the basic questions that you can follow and kind of a framework for for this interview, then it’s much easier because you have something to fall back on.

george grombacher 9:51
I think that that’s great. I think that that’s very helpful. I can definitely see where it’s easy to get overwhelmed. And I can definitely see how it’s very Very easy to, to sort of convince yourself, oh, this person is great, they’re going to work out great. And therefore I’m going to skip many of these steps, I’m sure you see that all the time.

Unknown Speaker 10:12
I’ve done it myself. I’ve kind of I have the scars, if you will. And you know, it just kind of comes comes with years doing this that over time, you just learned, okay, if you have a great feel for the person, that’s not all you need. And if you maybe have a bad feel for a person, then sure, it’s probably not going to change over time. But this great feeling can can go away quite easily.

george grombacher 10:39
Yeah, I think it’s probably valuable to trust your gut to trust your intuition. And immensely valuable to have a very organized process that you can follow and make sure you’re asking all the right questions. Because when you start cutting those corners or not doing that, that’s probably when you really regret things.

Unknown Speaker 10:59
Absolutely. Yeah. I’ve seen it too many times. Myself, unfortunately.

george grombacher 11:05
So what are what are some of the the the roles, field skills that that that you really focus on? So when people are saying, okay, yeah, I want to hire somebody, but what what? What are they jobs that you really focus?

Unknown Speaker 11:20
Yeah. So kind of what’s easiest for me is the roles that I’ve just hired a lot. And those are generally in online marketing. So search engine optimization, pay per click, anything that’s that has to do with Google ads, or Facebook ads, or getting your content on your website and ranking on Google. That’s, I would say, my, my primary area.

george grombacher 11:47
And Eastern Europe, what is it about Eastern Europe that Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 11:50
so I wanted to today, I wanted to make a case for us here in Eastern Europe. So if you have someone in the States, you can probably get like, you know, been average performer, or for even half of that salary, you can get some of the finest people we have here. And, and it’s not an average performance. Those are those are the best people we have. And to get a get an idea of what this looks like you can google list of European countries by average wage. And you’ll get countries like Serbia, where the salaries are six to $700. Those are average salaries, Ukraine, three to $400, maybe around $1,000, in more developed Eastern European countries, but that’s much lower than then generally in the States or Western European countries. And you probably will have to pay two or three times to get our top performers, but it’s still much cheaper than then get getting someone from the States. And now it’s easier than ever to do that. Everybody speaks great English, they’re used to working remotely. So it’s it’s not a problem. They even used to working with American companies. So yeah, that’s one big area where I also help my clients.

george grombacher 13:09
So top skills for less money. Yeah, absolutely. Got it. Nice. What are what what is some of the the pushback that you get when you’re talking to people about hiring somebody that we’ve just been talking about? So that sounds great, but

Unknown Speaker 13:32
so generally, people approached me when they’ve kind of made this decision that yes, this, this is what I want to do. Some people that don’t make this, this decision, and you know, it’s fair enough, but many times they want to work with someone in an office, and they want to be close by when, throughout their day, and I totally get it, especially for maybe some sort of agency environment where you’re always working on client work, you, you always need to be aligned. I can see how it is more difficult to do it remotely. So that’s that’s one case. There are people who, again, especially if those roles work really closely with clients, they want people who understand the culture really well who are basically who are American or Canadian, or from that part of the world. And that’s, that’s also fine. I’m happy to help people with that as well. I’m trying to think because then, I mean, there’s definitely can be pushback from people who are currently employees in the States. And they say, Okay, well, we have to compete with these guys from Eastern Europe with with half of our salary. And but you know, from from the employer side, that’s generally something they’re quite happy to do.

george grombacher 14:50
Makes sense? Like it would just people are ready for that difference making tip. What do you have for them?

Unknown Speaker 14:57
Yeah, I think if you’re one Thinking recruitment, I think the biggest switch you can have a mental switch you can have is to start treating it like a sales process. So I used to sell iPhone photography courses for a living. And, you know, nobody, nobody wakes up thinking that, you know, today’s the day that’s buying an iPhone photography, of course, you know, we really had to advertise this, we really had to convince people that that is something that that they want to do. And similarly, nobody wakes up thinking to today’s the day that they’ll apply to work at your. So to get the best people you need to put yourself out there. And to be successful at it, you need to do it in a kind of thoughtful, thoughtful way. And yeah, the biggest change I’ve seen is that if you start treating as like a sales process that you really need to convince the person, make sure it is a really good idea for them that you really are offering something to them. When when they join your company. That’s when you see that, okay, I can actually start building my team and it gets much stronger. So that’s that’s what comes to mind when you ask me this?

george grombacher 16:08
Well, I think that that is great stuff that definitely gets come up, makes a ton of sets. And certainly, people are probably more familiar with the sales process than they are with the recruitment process. And in so many ways, they are the same thing. So I think that that’s an excellent tip right there. We just thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can I engage with you?

Unknown Speaker 16:31
Yeah, the easiest is just to go to recruiter And there you can read those above those other steps that that I suggest you follow if you want to do recruitment properly. Or you can just reach out to me and we’ll chat about F and how I’m able to help you.

george grombacher 16:47
Excellent. If you enjoyed this much as I did share it with just your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to recruiter and check out the additional steps that we just was talking about. And if there’s an opportunity to work together by all means, reach out and see how you can start hiring a players.

Unknown Speaker 17:11
Thanksgiving just thanks so much. This was fun. And

george grombacher 17:15
until next time, keep fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together.

Transcribed by

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