Danielle Putnam & Rosalyn Zock Guerra

Why Do You Suck At Hiring For Your HVAC Home Service Business? with The New Flat Rate’s Danielle Putnam & Rosalyn Zock Guerra

Danielle Putnam & Rosalyn Zock Guerra on the Service Business Mastery podcast

We have all been there…we struggle with not having enough good talent on our team, and it is easy to blame the reduction of skilled labor in the workforce for this struggle. But in reality, it is our own fault that we do not have every person on our team that we dream of having. We, as business owners and managers, are quick to make excuses as to why we can’t find any amazing team members.

Well, on today’s episode, we sit down with Danielle Putnam & Rosalyn Zock Guerra of The New Flat Rate, and they set us straight on this myth surrounding the hiring issues that we feel like we are facing each day! One day, Danielle is sharing with her team about complaints that she is dealing with from her clients pertaining to hiring issues. She shares the way that she has found success hiring some of the brightest minds within our industry, people such as Rosalyn!! And it doesn’t take Rosalyn very long before she is building a working model of the “Hiring Cycle!”

On this episode of the Service Business Mastery podcast, these two fabulous women in HVACr explain this “Hiring Cycle,” and how we can use it within our business to continuously hire amazing talent both inside and outside of our home service industry! Also, listen closely as Danielle shares some golden nuggets when it comes to tax rebates that will make your employees jump for joy!


Listen to the podcast here:

Why Do You Suck At Hiring For Your HVAC Home Service Business? with The New Flat Rate’s Danielle Putnam & Rosalyn Zock Guerra

Announcer: Are you looking for valuable business advice to reach that seven-figure revenue mark? Do you want actionable tips to properly navigate through every business challenge you encounter along the way? Let Tersh Blissett and Josh Crouch be your guide in getting you to the top here at Service Business Mastery Podcast. Tune in as they sit down with world-renowned authors and business leadership and personal growth who share valuable insights about management, marketing, pricing, human resources and so much more. Let their Nuggets of Wisdom Gold guide you in owning a thriving, profitable, and ever-growing business. Here are your hosts Tersh and Josh.

Tersh: Hello, everyone out there in the podcast world. I hope you’re having a great day. You’re listening to or watching Service Business Mastery Podcast. I’m sitting here with my co-host Joshua Crouch. It’s weird because my tongue wants to say virtually every single time because it’s been almost a year virtually. And now we’re finally doing this in person, hanging out together. But yeah, we are talking to Danielle and Rosalyn Rosalynn because like, you know why I said Rosalind, because you said Rosalind, you said, don’t say Rosalind as Rosalynn and I was like, Oh, you know, I messed up now. Now I’m going to say, Rosalind, it won’t

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: It won’t be the first time.

Tersh: Definitely. It will not be the last, either. I’m sure. Not by me in this interview. But yeah, we are going to talk about hiring, hiring cycle Danielle with a new flat rate and. Do you have a hiring cycle PDF, if someone’s interested if you’re listening to this? Reach out to Danielle. You’ll see what we’re talking about if you’re listening to this. We’ll kind of explain it as best we can. But if you want a copy of that, you’re going to have to reach out to her. And I’ll put all that information in the show notes. But she’s got a nice diagram that’s really easy. It looks real purdy, so you got to have it. You got to have it. If nothing else, just make it your wallpaper on your desktop.

Danielle Putnam: You’ll be like, Oh yeah, that’s why I can’t find anybody because I’m not following the circle

Tersh: Yeah, the circle of the. Yeah, that’s definitely a challenge for me. So we talked about this a little bit yesterday. And for those of you who don’t know, we’re recording the reason we’re together here in person as we’re recording at the Air Expo in Las Vegas. And we don’t have any background noise because it’s like six a.m. So it feels like it feels that way. That’s one of the joys of Vegas is it’s very much a nightlife town. And then to get up this early is a ghost town. So that was pretty cool. But anyway, with us, with my business, we chant, we have challenges with hiring. I blame it on being uber picky because I don’t want to destroy a culture. Yeah, but sometimes I’ll be honest with you, it’s a cop-out. Like, I have so many irons in the fire over here. I’m doing X, Y, and Z, and I’m trying to get all that like I want my policies and procedures perfect. Like, people know that if you listen to the show, you know that my target is to do 50 million remotely; like that’s what I want to do. And the policies and procedures have to be on, like, lockdown. And so I’m constantly just hyper-focused on that to the point where I don’t focus on hiring as I should. And that’s something I believe that you should be hiring all the time like you should have hiring cards on you as you should just always be hiring. And I fail at that horribly.

Josh Crouch: But I think a lot of people do. Yeah, I think it’s they hire when it’s too late, find somebody and then they’re trying to find the guy that can, like, get thrown in a truck or gal in the truck in two weeks. And it’s just that’s where the cycle breaks down.

Danielle Putnam: So glad you guys are saying this because I’m sure this is all here. So we won’t we won’t be able to hear Thunder beat the buzzer. My turn? Yeah. But here’s why. Because you’re being so honest, Tersh. You’re like, oh, I’m not the best at this. And I talked to, you know, at the new flat rate, we’re not a hiring firm or a pricing company, but I talk to business owners all across the country in Canada every day, and we’re all whining. We’re all whining. Oh, we need to find somebody. I’m like, Yeah, that’s what you hire. Well, yeah, well, yeah, I was going to get to that. Ok, there’s nobody. But the reality is, the economists say from last quarter that usually. So today the labor force is at sixty-two percent, usually at sixty-seven percent. So OK, the labor force is down by five percent, which isn’t that’s not right. So we can’t find anybody, we can’t find it, but we’re kind of whining. So because of all these conversations every day with not just contractors, but business owners, right? I’m like, We’re all whining about it. What is it? And so I was going to call Tony Robbins because I’m like, He’s [00:05:00] going to have the answer. Everybody knows Tony, right. I’m going through my phone and I’m like, Crap, I don’t have his number.

Tersh: I hate it when that happens. I don’t have new phones, but I

Danielle Putnam: Did have I did have the phone number for his friend Ted Miller, the third. So I’m calling up Ted Miller the third, and I’m like, Hey Ted, why can we not in the trades? Find any technicians? You know, we’re all saying we can’t find anybody. He’s like, Oh, Danielle, could you call me with a harder question?

Josh Crouch: I was like, oh, I didn’t realize it was that easy.

Danielle Putnam: Yeah, I didn’t, he says. You guys are making the inconvenient truth, your reality, he says. I know why you can’t find anybody. It’s because your ads suck. I was like,

Josh Crouch: That’s so true. Or they’re all. They’re all the same.

Danielle Putnam: All the same. But he’s like, We’re not speaking to intrinsic value anymore. And we got to speak to the value. We’re all, Hey, we’re a 30-year-old family-owned business, and nobody wants to work in that because that means the boss’s son gets all the privileges. Like, that’s so true. Yes, it’s true, right? I was the boss’s daughter. I had the gas car and I bought all the great cheese at the gas station. You know,

Tersh: Oh my gosh… haha.

Danielle Putnam: It’s true. So he says, you know, hey, you got to change your ads and then quit whining about it. And so after these conversations, I built this, and actually, I can’t say just me, Rosalyn, here with me today. Yeah, she’s really kind of the brains mastermind behind this. She’s like, So tell me about hiring. And as we’re talking about it, she starts building this wheel. I’m like, Oh, it starts with the pain. It all starts at the top with the pain. As an owner, you’re like, I need to grow, I need to grow. But I’m so busy, so we often hire out of emotion. Oh, you’re breathing. You walked in the door. Great. I’m going to throw you at throw at this problem.

Tersh: Mirror fogger…

Danielle Putnam: Totally, totally. You’re breathing. And so we hire out of emotion. But we got to start with The Matrix and the matrix is OK. What position do I really need? Like, how many positions am I? Is the owner feeling? How many positions or how many hats is x y z person in my company wearing? So let’s really identify the role that we actually need to hire for. And then this is the secret sauce. You can stop me if I’m talking too much, but I got to say this part.

Danielle Putnam: You’ve gone for a job. Scorecard It’s a one-page scorecard. Shoot me an email. I’ll give it to you. But it’s all about as owners. We don’t want to do it. We don’t want to do the pre-work. We just want to hire out of our emotions. But the pre-work is this. What’s the position? What revenue is it tied to? And then metric-wise, are your KPIs whatever you want, you want to call them? What is that position required to be able to meet by their first week and then by the first month? By the first six weeks, 90 days, six months? Where should they be? And so if we can go ahead and lay that out ahead of time and tie it to revenue or service calls or whatever the number is, then when we make our job offer and we interview them, we can clearly layout, Hey Joe, you’re going to take this job and this is the responsibility. This is where you’re going to be at by these landmarks. And because we’re asking you to be there, this is what the company is prepared to do to train you, to prepare you for that.

Tersh: And that’s like that clear future It’s and the accountability aspect of that also because I’ve been guilty of this. We have scorecards. Open book. We have scorecards.

Josh Crouch: And how often do they get used?

Tersh: Way To burst my bubble! No, I’m just kidding. It’s one of those things where, like, my guys know that at their 90-day mark, we’re going to go over it again. And then we set up a time to go over our next appointment. And it’s one of those things where they hold me accountable because they’re like, Hey, Tersh, by the way, next week we got to meet you said we’re going to meet on this day and I’m like, Dang it, Jeremy. Like, I got so much stuff to do next week. Are you sure we got to do this meeting? And he’s like, Yes, Tersh, we got to do this. We got you, man. But it’s one of those things where it holds me accountable at the same time. But they know what I expect. There’s no guesswork. I remember being in the field. I mean, it’s been like a hundred years, but I was there making the company money what I perceived to be making money. But I didn’t know, like the net profit side of things, I see the top-line number, which we are guilty of that vanity number. So I was like, Oh yeah, I’m doing great as a service tech. But then I was like, I don’t really know if that’s the only thing I’m supposed to be doing, because, like the whole time by the owner of my business, he was like, But you’re not flipping needs, like you need tools like, I didn’t know I was supposed to be flipping leads.

Tersh: And it’s like, Well, what percentage of these am I supposed to be flipping? And then all of a sudden, like, I start flipping leads and he’s like, Oh, well, what about these? The capacitor sales dropped off and you’re You’ve lights in a way. And I’m like, I didn’t know that I was supposed to be selling these things. And so having that score, like I never had any kind of scorecard or anything like that, and I’m guilty of not expressing my gratitude with my guys. And I don’t I’m not the other way either. Like, I don’t get angry with the guys, but I’m the type of person. Me personally and I was talking to, I think I was talking to Ty yesterday in the interview, and I said, that’s the way that I am like, like, don’t [00:10:00] please do not praise me because that just makes me way more uncomfortable than anything else. And so whenever it’s time to praise other people, it’s very uncomfortable for me to do that. And so whenever Julie like Julie, she’s always, she’s my hero. She’s like, Do all this great stuff and like, Win the day. I don’t think I’m watching her yesterday, like work everyone in the crowd, like she was going around. She was totally promoting stuff like, I’m like, I’ve not met her yet. You need to. You need to innovate. So, yeah, she is. She really is. But it’s one of those things where, like, she’s yin and yang. And I realized that after failing miserably by not following a scorecard, not sharing those KPIs and that constant updating with them. But anyways,

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: When everybody fails, you know, I think Danielle made the point yesterday. No employee signs on hoping to do a bad job. Everybody wants to do a good job. And so it sets the boss up for success, but it also sets the employee up for success at the same time. So everybody wins. It helps contribute to that good culture, to the retention because you are actually in an environment where you’re able to do a good job because you can track it and see what’s expected.

Josh Crouch: Danielle, you said she never did this before.

Danielle Putnam: I knew she seems like a pro. Yeah, this is Roseline You’ve Hytner, right? You know, she’s a top 40 under 40. Hey, can we talk for just a second about why Rosalynn is here today?

Josh Crouch: Absolutely.

Danielle Putnam: Because people do like the discussion of how do we bring more women into the trade? And you know, this is a dominant male industry. So the great consumer

Josh Crouch: Face getting here is awesome. This is great. Can we pick that up

Danielle Putnam: On the camera? Zoom in. I noticed this was a male industry. Yeah. Why did you come into the industry? Rose.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: It was not an accident. Yeah, I don’t understand the complaint. Of course, it’s male-dominated and I was single like, what’s the problem? That’s hilarious. So I was a Peace Corps volunteer. I was gone overseas for a couple of months, and when I got back, I started working at a gynecologist’s office and I was there for a couple of years. And spoiler alert, it’s all women.

Tersh: Yeah, I was going say there doesn’t sound like there’s going to be very many males, and if they are, they’re going to sit very uncomfortably in the waiting room.

Josh Crouch: Yes, they are.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: So the men that showed up were either very much attached. Yes, or I knew way too much about their behaviors, given some diagnosis. Yeah. So eventually. There were other reasons I left, you know, I didn’t have any letters behind my name, so I was kind of capped out at what I could do legally in the medical field. So I figured I either need to go back to school and be a doctor or I need to do something where I might have a chance at hooking a man. I don’t know.

Josh Crouch: So where did you find your entrance to the trades and

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: How did you get? And how nice for her? I was working for Danielle at the time, OK? And he said, we’re hiring and they need people who are awesome. So of course, I was qualified. And so I applied. We had a little hiring fair and I showed up. And I think Danielle in the interview said, Well, would you be comfortable with making cold calls? And I said, Well, I tell people they have chlamydia every day, but I couldn’t get much worse.

Tersh: Yeah, you can’t. I don’t think you can get more awkward than that… you’re so quiet for like the first ten minutes. Then she says, Here we are.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: Anyway, I just came on to the new flat rate and I got a husband. So it all works out. We just got married. I actually work with his sister. So as soon as I got out of the gynecology field helping with that sort of plumbing, now I help other plumbers and me, man. So the whole male, all of. This is hard. Yeah. So male-dominated. Awesome. Come on over. There’s got a whole pool of people. That’s funny…

Tersh: Is there any time where it’s like, I don’t know it just I can put myself, try and try and put myself in that situation? And I feel like there would be times where it’s just completely awkward and

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: In gynecology or in the trades?

Tersh: In the trades, it’s always awkward in gynecology. There is no It’s. So here’s the thing I had a young lady that was working for us and she didn’t last very long, and it’s mainly because she really wanted to move away and she came out of the navy and everything. But I had a client that called the office after she arrived. Asking for a different definition, and I took offense to that it really just hit me right in my soul, but like, is that normal or is that just a. Hillbilly redneck from South Georgia that did some crazy nonsense.

Danielle Putnam: I mean, it happens, but I don’t feel like the percentage is that high because we have been successful, especially in. I’m very well associated with women and HVAC. I was a past president and [00:15:00] now I’m on the advisory board. And so we have incredible female technicians and installers that love what they do. And they’re posting selfies every day with the jobs and the wow factors that they’re doing and their customers and their experiences. And so I know that there are really great experiences out there every once in a while. Do they have the negative ones? Yes, but guys do, too. Those guys get kicked out of the house, too. And I’ll never forget I was in school so long ago and where I was working this internship, it was a very large organization and they had a leadership team. So the CEO and then this leadership team and there was only one woman on the leadership team, her name was Marina Guidetti. And so I got up the guts to ask her, you know, I was a little intern. There were like thousands of people there. And so I shoot her an email and ask her if I could take her out for coffee and just to kind of pick her brain a little bit. So she says, Hey, you don’t have time in three weeks, we can go out to dinner. I was like, OK, so I’m like counting the time, you know, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. Three weeks later, you’d think that I had this list of powerful questions to ask Marina, dear daddy, and we’re sitting there at dinner and she’s like, OK, you know, what do you want to know? And to this day, I kick myself.

Danielle Putnam: I ask the stupidest question. I said, What’s it like being the only female on the leadership team? It’s like she looks around. What what are you talking about? They’re my friends like, I just work with my friends. She didn’t see it that way. I adopted that. And so for the rest of my life, I was like, That’s right. Like, why are we segregating ourselves when it’s my friends? And so she that was invaluable for me because I kept that. And gosh, I was probably 18 at the time, and I’ve always adopted that model. So today, whether you know here, yeah, there’s not as many women as there are men, but like, we’re all just friends, we’re in the industry together. And if we treat each other respectfully, then the respect comes back to us. And every once in a while, yeah, you got your slime bag man, you got your slimebag, women like we got both right? And you just steer clear of slime bags because that’s a great point. That’s in any industry, right? Yeah. And you just surround yourself with respectful people. And I think it’s fantastic. But as Rosalynn said, I mean, it’s honestly a blast to be a little bit of the minority. So because there’s room for us. The men have embraced us and invited us in, and it’s almost easy to climb because there’s not as much female competition, if I can say that honestly. And if you look,

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: You know, yesterday we heard a statistic that the top homeowners are thirty-two years old right now. Well, a lot of those are the single women like I was who work at the gynecologist office, who are homeowners and a lot of people now, you know, they’re having conversations about different things that have happened in their lives from different traumas or whatever. Women might have an edge and they can go into a home into a single woman’s home and or into anybody’s home. And the customer feels comfortable, too.

Tersh: So it’s let me ask you this when you say that just playing devil’s advocate here because you know my beliefs on this situation, what happens if, and I say this because whenever I see a male doing something that I’m like, that’s not something I could do or that’s more of a female-focused role there. Do you think that women would ever do that? It’s like, like, there’s no way that I could ever learn this, so I don’t trust that you know what you’re doing. Does that make sense? No. Yeah. Like. And not that there would be malicious or anything, but just maybe it’s just the way it seems most likely.

Danielle Putnam: Yeah. and IQ

Tersh: Yeah. Yeah. You Don’t Want to call somebody low IQ, but sometimes you guys got a lower IQ than others. Yeah, sometimes you’re like me and you got a high IQ.

Danielle Putnam: Rosalyn has got a lot higher IQ than I am, so I can. I can totally say that like, like, can you edit this for me? You got like a thousand typos. Just fix it, please.

Josh Crouch: You know, I don’t need to know how many. Don’t tell me how many do you know?

Danielle Putnam: But same within the trades. It’s like we have these women who love to fix things. They love to work with their hands. And then we have men that are really strong and to do the heavy equipment and the different things. So it’s like, that’s a great point. People love. Hopefully, people can find what they love and do what they love, and some women are born that way. It’s their intrinsic value as their DNA. It’s like they love to fix things. They love to move things around. They love to be tough and others don’t. It’s a good point. Others want to be in the office. Others want to be in sales or on the phone, and some want to hide behind a computer. Male and female, like, that’s me.

Tersh: Guilty.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: And for me, as a customer, I don’t care who does it. If they fix it, I’m happy, you know,

Josh Crouch: As long as they give you the truth and they let you pick what option you want to move through your house.

Danielle Putnam: Well, hopefully, we’re getting, you know, because there’s so much help me with the words here like everybody is looking for more diversity in the world and everybody’s trying to be more “PC” about it. It’s like hopefully.

Tersh: Inclusion.

Danielle Putnam: Yeah, inclusion is the best word for it. Maybe we’re moving into an era where it doesn’t matter who shows [00:20:00] up at your house. We’re excited that they can fix it.

Tersh: And not only that, we are moving into an era where you might not even have a technician show up at your house like another truth. You know, it’s we’re going so well. They got robot waiters and waitresses, so

Danielle Putnam: I don’t know what that one of these hotels around here, they wouldn’t say which one. It’s got to be Bellagio, right? They’ve got a Roomba. You order your room service and it drives to the hall, gets on the elevator, comes up to your room, knocks on the door and delivers your cocktail in your food.

Tersh: That’s hilarious.

Danielle Putnam: Right? So then it’s going to be driving down the road, your house

Tersh: And don’t let that Roomba, like, go trailing beside me while I’m in the hallway that

Danielle Putnam: Ride.

Tersh: I’m taking that cocktail…Room service on somebody else.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: It also knows how to fight.

Tersh: Oh, I’ll be prepared. Bring em on.

Josh Crouch: He’s got a knife.

Tersh: So I love that we got on to that topic because we were at the HVAC Technical Awards show the other night and Colleen Keyworth. At least you got her first name, right? Yeah, yeah. I meant Kathy.

Danielle Putnam: Kathleen earlier I corrected it.

Tersh: I was kidding, hopefully, she’s not watching this. But anyway, she received an award and. Ruth King was there like there was just a crowd, and it was really awesome because I know there were spouses there, but there were, I would say, almost as many females there as there were males, which is crazy because there were tables of just all males, too. So that means there had to be tables of all females. Pretty much so. Yeah, it was. It was really awesome to see everybody there and just to hear what she had to say about, like even the women in HVAC or the growth that you all have had. And it’s not just women like I’ve asked you that before, even on the podcast a year or two ago whenever we talked and I was like, Is it just women? Because I would like to sign up for that and help show support for it. And because a lot of guys love the fact that, you know, women are in the trades, and so we all want to support them. And I love that, that you’ve grown as you have. So that’s really cool. That’s kudos to you all. But yeah, with that being said, let’s circle back around to the hiring because that’s a fancy little thing. But before that, I want to talk a little bit about cats. We are remembering those guys and they’re jerks, which I love. Some of them are the epitome of just like the cat that everybody talks about. It’s like, won’t let you touch them, doesn’t want anything to do with you, and I’m cool with that guy. Like, he just catches mice and he just does his thing. And then you have Steve. He’s Steve’s just to get the different guy. He’s a great cat. He’s a jerk, too. And he hates all other cats and all cats hate him. And he comes with patches missing sometimes. And yet somebody here at this table has a cat or so or affection of cats. That’s me.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: Yeah, I have. I have two cats. Only my husband kept me off. That was before we got married.

Tersh: So now I know he’s hitched. So yeah, it might be another cat coming home.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: I know what’s going to happen. I was sitting at the front door. So cute, honey.

Tersh: I just had to bring it home. Well, let me tell you how we got 15 cats, so I had my wife, so my kids, they were playing the piano, their piano instructor. We’re at their house and she’s like, They’re petting the cat. And she’s like, Yeah, we have to get rid of her blah blah blah, whatever reason. And my kids are like, Oh, my, like the kids. Like, I want this cat mom. And they named the cat Kiki. And I was like, Why did you name that? Because I thought that that song or whatever the singer and they’re like because when you walk up to you, like Kiki and I was like,

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: I had a cat named Kiki back in the day…

Tersh: Oh my gosh. And then so she gets to the house and guesses what? She’s pregnant with five kittens, so we got six in the manner of like three months, and I’m like, Oh, this is going downhill fast. So now we have 15 wonderful inspirational. At that point. You can’t even keep track. We don’t. And sometimes Steve comes and goes, and then we have a cat. Yeah, Rock Star Guitar. They’re the two Alphas. And so like Steve comes and then rock star guitar goes away and yeah, my kids name them. So we’re good. And you have cats too, right?

Josh Crouch: I do. And it’s funny because I tell Tersh this all the time because we do these things on streaming or Zoom or whatever. Whatever means my cats always know what I’m on. They won’t bother me the rest of the day if I’m not on call. I got to call with a client. They’re going to call Tersh. And sure enough, they’re all over me and wanting love and affection and everything else. And they just It’s. And it’s funny because they’re laying down in that in the office and they know when it’s time that I’m on screen. I’m like, Really, guys, you can do this on the other time. Awesome. That’s a cat. See there. Oh, oh yeah, I guess that’s why I [00:25:00] like them. Yeah. Well, that’s why I got a pit bull. So some hats, all the pit bull makes sure that it keeps the cats in line.

Tersh: Well, sometimes you just like what was it that Nathan said yesterday? Sometimes you just wake up on Saturdays and choose violence. So, such a great quote yesterday, Nathan Orr, he’s a man. He’s yeah. But anyway, back circling back to the hiring. Like what? What like the effect that you found from even this cycle like? How do we implement this that you have because? I am the most guilty person in the world of being like, Oh, that is an amazing idea. Let me download this. Let me put it in. It’s very organized file folder and let’s never look at it and collect the virtual dust.

Danielle Putnam: So far, what it’s doing is it’s silencing the whining. Oh, that’s good point. I’m not doing one of those things. So I guess I don’t really have a good right to be whining about my hiring issues, right? You know, like, seriously, we’re owners because we want to be owners. We have our businesses, our sweet little baby businesses that we love so much. We’re so passionate about it. But we get really whiny sometimes, and it’s ridiculous. And we all deserve a good ol kick in the rear end. Like, just quit, right? And just grab it by the horns and decide like you either want to grow your company or you don’t. You want to make it work for you or you don’t. And you know, I’m just sick of the whining. I’m sick of it myself. Right. And we’re all guilty. A couple of years ago or last year, I guess I was looking for a key hire and I spent a year like, I’ve been looking for a year and looking for a year, and I’m like, But I don’t have an ad posted today, right? Like a dummy, right? So if I got back to it, we kind of end it off with the job scorecard. Then you write your ad and then you post your ad. And if it doesn’t work, you’ve got to change it. You’ve got to edit it, tweak it. So how do you know?

Tersh: So you mentioned that earlier, the guy with Tony Robbins, mentioned that in our industry, our ads suck. Yeah. How do we ab test that? I mean, and for me, like as a business owner and Brent, what’s up, buddy, for Tool Pros podcast? Just join us here. Like Brent’s a business owner and being a business owner here. Like. We re really I say we loosely Brent’s really good at working on air conditioners. I act like it sometimes. So but we’re not necessarily great at copy,

Danielle Putnam: You know what I do, I go to whatever site you want. Indeed, LinkedIn, wherever, wherever your people are. And then I start Googling HVAC installer and I look at all the job ads and I’m like zero applicants, zero applicants, six applicants. Oh, they got something. I copy it, put my name in there and post it. Ok? I mean, let’s use what’s working, right? Yeah. Well, I edit out a couple of little

Tersh: Things like changing their name to your name.

Danielle Putnam: Yeah. You know, and then hopefully change a couple of things, but don’t start from scratch. It’s way easier to edit than to start from new, and it’s already been done like, let’s quit reinventing the wheel.

Tersh: Would you ever consider doing it from a different not necessarily trade, but maybe like different, different, completely industry? Yeah, but something similar where someone still like a like a technician, but maybe not in HVAC or plumbing, but something

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: Not because they’re better like

Danielle Putnam: Your engineers and all that stuff. You know, all these big Fortune 500 companies, they hire a lot more people than we do, and they’ve got pretty good ads. Ok. Copy Sorry.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: Yesterday we were talking with Pete Danielson and he brought up the point to We market so much to our customers and we’re so creative, but not to the people we’re trying to attract. And you look at an ad and it says We’ve got 401k. You don’t say we’ve got health insurance.

Tersh: It’s fascinating.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: Of course you do. So there’s no other appeal that we’re bringing into it either. We’re all saying the same, the same thing. So yes. Copy that format. If you aren’t great at writing copy, but then what do you really have to offer and who are you talking to? If you’re talking to millennials, get an office cat and put it on there because I would love

Danielle Putnam: If somebody will sit at your feet every day

Tersh: Sometimes he may bite you.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: No problem. If somebody sends a job posting saying they got an office cat, I’m staying with Danielle, but we’re getting an office cat. I’m just saying, Well, somebody made a very compelling.

Tersh: I’m just saying, I mean, your office would be great. Are you all still at the same place? Ok, yeah. I could just see you just like sitting right there on the top ledge and then just like tail, just wagging. So I’m not a cat person.

Danielle Putnam: They have dogs and we have beagles and they probably eat cats. Oh yeah. So I have to keep that a little quiet.

Tersh: Yeah. But yeah, so it’s interesting.

Josh Crouch: So you’re in the millennial range and we kind of just mentioned something that might be interest in you, which kind of a joke, but also probably serious.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: Yeah. 50 percent… testing the waters.

Josh Crouch: So what kind of things do you think people in your age demographic are looking for from an employer?

Tersh: You’re a millennial to kind of.

Josh Crouch: Yeah, I look a lot [00:30:00] older than I am.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: Well, it’s hard to say because I always say I was born a grandma. I think I’m not the typical millennial. I do. But we were talking yesterday, also with Susan Fruit, and she mentioned that she is interviewing tons and tons and tons of millennials, the

Danielle Putnam: National Air Duct Association. They kind of commissioned her to go into all the schools and do a ton of interviews.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: Go ahead. And so she’s asking all of these millennials what they want, and the top answer that they’re giving is somebody who cares about their mental health. Mm-hmm. And so everybody groans on the count of three, except that’s actually what they’re asking for. They want mental health, so you can complain about not being able to talk about not being able to find anybody. You can keep going to sessions where everybody’s asking what they want. But then are you open to the answer? So they told you, so take it or stop asking and stop complaining. And I mean that in a loving way. But if they’re telling you they want mental?

Tersh: That’s a great point. So I love that because I mean, so open book. I went to school for Psychology, Industrial Psychology to be specific, but there are actually programs out there where employers can pay for a subscription service. So I was talking to my mike for Stacey’s husband yesterday. They have implemented this in their company and they’ve had people actually use the service and she’s also had people reach out to her on the outside to like Kate because she talks about it a lot, because she’s had some family stuff with that. But they actually pay the monthly fee and you can go there. Nobody knows. They just have access to resources

Danielle Putnam: Were they actually discretion and not to be shamed by

Josh Crouch: Yeah, so they can actually have the conversation. I think Mike told me yesterday they’ve had three employees that have used the service recently, and even a wife of one of the technicians actually has used the service. So it’s available for Kenyans.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: But the truth is, you know, so many generations are saying, suck it up, suck it up. We’re fine. We moved on. But also, are you OK because you’re the ones complaining, so you’re not happy either. So maybe everybody, they just don’t

Josh Crouch: Admit it to themselves.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: Right? It’s not that just because we made it doesn’t mean we’re happy. You know, I’ve

Danielle Putnam: Been waiting with me, I’m still the suck it up generation.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: Well, in many senses I am too, you know? But if it’s what people are saying and you’re asking if you genuinely want to know, then then don’t shun the answer when you get it, if they want an office cat and that contributes to their mental health. Yeah. Ok. Maybe then they’re not taking off. Because Daniel,

Josh Crouch: If you’re not getting the hint,

Danielle Putnam: Subliminal messages

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: That now hiring for people not allergic to cats,

Tersh: Here’s your EpiPen.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: Take a Claritin that you get Allegra once a month. So, you know, I don’t know. Mental health is a big thing right now. Time in general is a big thing right now.

Josh Crouch: I’ve noticed flexibility is becoming people are, you know,

Tersh: It’s great that you mentioned that because I actually just I’m in the middle of an interview process. Our interview process is five steps along, but I’m at the end of a hiring process with an installer. And this particular gentleman actually left his last job because of flexibility around scheduling, because he and his spouse work, they worked like at different shifts and everything. But childcare has been very difficult for them because they live in a rural area, and so there’s some overlap there that they need so that they can have their kids taken care of and taken to school and even to the daycare. And the last company just flat out refused to do it. I was like, Is it worth it to you to lose a technician? Because it’s how many times how many? I mean, it’s what a full year’s worth of salary to rehire a position or something.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: All the Fifteen times.

Tersh: That’s why we need an answer.  So that’s what they’re I knew it was something I knew. You all know it so. And so that blows my mind and it blows my mind to how many of our employees that we’ve played.

Danielle Putnam: Some really cool that most people don’t know. And I didn’t know this until last year, the governor of Georgia. And again, it’s different state by state. But the majority of states have something. There’s a one hundred percent tax credit. And so we, for example, are able to provide one hundred percent of the child care for our employees, and it’s a one hundred percent tax credit back. So at the end of the day, it’s not really costing us anything, and it’s a huge benefactor for retention with our employees. No, they don’t. I had no idea their child care is completely paid for. Now, some of my contractors up in the East Coast, their states pay seventy-five percent tax. Seventy-five percent.

Josh Crouch: So it’s good to keep an employee Tersh. You better write that one down. All of a sudden right now.

Danielle Putnam: So they do daycare as long as there’s a state-certified facility, which every daycare is, as long as it’s not an Oh, I’m just watching some kids illegally in my home. Yeah, right? So as long as it’s a place that’s certified, then it’s covered under the tax credit.

Tersh: Hey, grandma, I need your Social Security number. I’m on.

Danielle Putnam: You know, that’s [00:35:00] all you have to do. Have or file some papers and you’re done right, but also the after-school programs at the public schools, they’re covered too, or the private school is all the asp-after school programs that are all covered under the tax credit. And so it’s time as business owners for us to be like, Oh, we can’t, we could actually fix this problem instead of having to put up with all the time, Oh, I can’t come in today because, you know, I got to watch my kids or this or that, right? That’s what it is. But nobody else is doing it.

Tersh: That’s right. Well, they don’t want to lose something like that because they realize they’re not going to get anything. So our gals in the office, all work remotely, they work from home and two of them have children or a niece. And there they’re pretty much all the time. But and it’s it doesn’t. I mean, it’s great. We have very great boundaries, even though they’re remote full day, like, how is that child developing social skills and interacting with other children and stuff like that? And I’m just thinking to myself if I can pay for this and it’s one hundred percent, you know, credit, then I’m actually helping develop that child’s mental health as well. So it’s like a win-win-win.

Danielle Putnam: And even if it’s those mother morning outs like the daycares do two days a week, half days, three days a week, half days, I mean a couple of hours here and there. Yeah, that way your employees can focus on some high-level things. Yeah, for a little while, it could be really cool. Yeah, it’s causing our people to need more help. You know,

Tersh: Where’s the pain point at? Like, where is that pain point? Let’s fix that pain point. You have to ask the right questions. Yeah, that’s a good point. So here’s my thought with that is so like I’ve had a technician before in the past and we had an integrity issue. We had to release them because of this as well. But. Every single day they check, we check in with them three times a day, and I have it automated, so I don’t forget it. And so it’s at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time. It just says, how are you right now in this moment? Like exactly how you feel? Red, green. I mean, green, yellow and red. Just send me back at the emoji. They have them all saved now on their phones to send it back. And then it’s kept good. Or is cat bad always good? But there was one guy that mentioned it to me in passing, and he said, I’m green, no matter if I’m yellow or red. And I was like, Wait a minute now. He said I’m the I’ll never tell you if I’m yellow. I was like, Well, then that’s an integrity issue like you. If you can’t trust me to do like to help you. Then how like, how am I going to trust you to do things in the business? So Josh has made a great point. You need to ask the right questions and he had been with me for six months before he made that statement in passing. So it’s it was on me that I didn’t have that conversation with him sooner or find that out faster.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: Well, and is there a clear follow-up path if somebody answers yellow or red? Are you in trouble if you’re red and you’re spiraling out of control and weeping? Or is there something right? Right?

Josh Crouch: You want to talk about that a bit about what you said?

Tersh: Yeah, yeah. So the way that works for us is if it’s yellow instantly and this is in a group chat, so it’s in teams. And so if it’s yellow, I can guarantee you pretty much everybody in the team is going to text that person reaches out to them. I will text them. I don’t text them inside the channel. I don’t respond to any of those messages inside the channel because I don’t think it’s a public place. I want everybody to know that this person is at yellow, but I don’t want them to be uncomfortable by trying to explain why they’re at yellow. So I text them and ask them if there’s anything I can do. If most of the time if they’re at yellow is because they’re hot in the attic, they’re frustrated just because it’s and it’s 100 percent. I got you. Take a break. If you need anything, let me know I’ll have somebody bring you something, bring you a drink or whatever. It’s on the way. Yeah, exactly. And if there’s a red like, if I got a red text message right now, I’d step out of this interview and go, make the phone call. Yeah, and that’s just the way it goes and the whole team knows that. And so I think that just, oh, that’s OK. Ok. So that’s how we call it momentum gauge. That’s how we fill it out. So it’s but the thing about it is if you’re going to give me a green every time, even if you’re a yellow or red, then it’s useless. Yeah, yeah, that doesn’t work.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: So, yeah, good point. And I think with this, this mental health thing in general, too, it could mean a lot of different things. It doesn’t mean now we’re giving more days off for mental health or now we’re giving hours. Or now it could be is as simple as whatever the regular check-ins or that we have a nice coffee machine, which Danielle got us. And now it’s just more fun to have my coffee at work or whatever that may be to just make the environment better. So just starting to

Josh Crouch: Sound like an expensive employee,

Danielle Putnam: You know, it’s saved me a lot of money because my sweet team members were always like, Hey, I’m a Starbucks, do you want one every morning? Oh, yes. Oh, that’s I save money. And then all of a sudden, wait a minute espresso machine at the office. Yeah, now I walk in and they’re like, Here’s your coffee.

Josh Crouch: Oh, well, here you go. There you go. [00:40:00] That’s good.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: So, you know, I think if you’re just asking people what’s important and being open to hearing it doesn’t mean you have to do what you think it

Danielle Putnam: Means, you know, that’s a good point. And it’s hard as an employer, right? It’s like we already feel like we’re bending over backward and doing everything for our people, and we’re still trying to grow our business and be profitable. And then it’s like they have their hands out all the time. Come on. Right? So often then my review is coming up. I got my hands out. So it’s tough as an employer because we’re trying to grow the business. We’re trying to be pretty fair and all these things and then listening at the same time. So we cannot apply everything, right? But looking at the high priorities, what really is important, and then setting some healthy boundaries for what we can do to try to help can be good.

Tersh: Well, one of the things that you mentioned there, like my reviews coming up and they got their hands out. One of the things I love about the scorecard is, OK, have you met all your expectations? Exactly. It’s not taken on that. It takes the emotion out of a conversation. That’s right. And so it’s already detailed. Yeah, this is your expectation. Have you met these expectations? Yes or no? And then should I give you a pay raise based on you meeting the expectations? So I mean, I love the scorecards in general data,

Danielle Putnam: And it also helps when it comes time to OK, it looks like we’re going to have to let this person go. Yeah, is it gives you that unemotional measure. It’s not, you know, it’s not a conflict of interest, personality, or anything like that, right? You’ve not been doing it. And so it’s the accountability to make it easy. And you know, when it comes to letting people go, we want to either have an exit gracefully or a partnership pathway. It’s like there are two ways they’re either going to leave the company or they’re going to stay and grow. And if they’re going to stay, then there has to be a pathway, a ladder for them to climb. And we’ve all got those employees that do not want to raise up in leadership. Not everybody has, but some of us do, right. It’s the great worker bee, it’s the great team player that just wants to do a great job and be patted on the back every once in a while. Not too much recognition. They do not want the pressure of leadership positions, which is awesome because we need those people, but they also need some sort of a pathway. Hey, after you’ve been here for three years or five years, you get x y z you know, or something, right? You need something so that they feel like they’re moving up in the company. But then there’s those that do want more leadership. And hey, no, I want to be a part-owner or I want this or that. Well, that could also look a couple of different ways, so we need to be responsible thinking ahead. Ok. You know, Tom is coming up in the company. He’s his expectation. Is this what can I prepare for him? Is it a profit share or is it an option plan? Is it?

Tersh: And that conversation is tough sometimes, too. Because like for me to ask, like one of the guys, what’s your target in five years or 10 years? What are you doing in the endgame? What do you want? Very rare, actually. Never on a first time I’ve asked that have they ever said, I want to own my own business. They’re always too nervous. They’re like, they do not become your competition. Yeah, yeah. But then after I’ve had conversations with them, they understand that they can trust me. Then they’re like, I’d like to have my own business. One day I was like, Oh, hey, perfect, I’m going to have you shadow me. And I’ve had people like in like just shadow me, and I’ve had them help me do things and give them a small task and things. And then I’ve actually had a really good friend of mine now. He did that for almost a year and was like, You know what, Tersh? No, I do not want what you’ve got. They don’t realize until they see the other side. And then he was like, You do way too much for way too little money. I was like, I agree with that. But I mean, that’s part of being a business owner and it’s an investment, a long-term investment. And he eventually left and went to become my training team rep and he was like, I don’t want to hurt your feelings. I don’t like it. I was like, No man, I know this is not your permanent home, right? And so I was happy for him. I gave him a recommendation to. And so, yeah, and it’s worked out great for him. He’s loving what he’s doing now. So but having that conversation with him and allowing him to shadow me instead of treating him like the enemy at that point, then he’s like, he comes to the realization this is really

Danielle Putnam: Him, and he didn’t become your competition right

Tersh: Now. He’s I’m an asset to you. Yeah, in a different way. But it was good. Yeah, as long as you just have those conversations and we’re all like you said earlier, we’re all guilty of not having those conversations. We’ve all made those mistakes. It’s just learning from the mistakes as much as possible. But with that being said, great conversation. I love talking about your cat. This is why we need more women in the trade. That’s right. Yeah, this is awesome. I mean, seriously, this is a great conversation. It’s too bad that nobody was there to witness it. Right, right. So we had a good time. Yes. No, this was great. Hopefully, the listeners get a lot of value. Just as a reminder, Daniel does have a couple of things. If you reach out to her, she has the one-page scorecard, and the hiring cycle is what

Danielle Putnam: You’re calling the hiring cycle and hiring matrix with hiring. You should be in the email.

Josh Crouch: Yep, Senator, an email will put that in the show notes, and then she can get those resources over to you guys.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: You can find us over at the new cat rate. I mean, flat rate the.

Josh Crouch: ROSALYNN you, nailed it. You nailed it. Today, you did great.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: Hey, [00:45:00] you know, I came from the medical field. Just what is your favorite medical procedure? Do you have one?

Josh Crouch: None.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: So mine’s a “cat” scan.

Tersh: Sorry. Oh, boy. There you go. Where’s my soundboard? Where’s your little soundtrack? I was on the show. I know it wasn’t your favorite thing to do this morning, but I think she’s going to be looking for more of these. I agree.

Rosalyn Zock Guerra: Yeah. Hopefully, it wasn’t “cat”astrophic.

Tersh: Oh my god. Oh boy. And with that, we have to cut the show up. I hope you’ll have a wonderful day, everybody. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. And yeah, we’ll talk to you soon.

Announcer: Thank you for listening to this episode of the Service Business Mastery Podcast now that you are equipped with essential business advice from this impactful conversation. You are one step closer to becoming the successful owner of your dreams. If this episode has been helpful to your business journey, don’t forget to subscribe to the show, leave a rating and share it with other owners as well. Visit Service Business Mastery Podcast to learn more.

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Meet the Hosts:

Tersh Blissett

Tersh Blissett is a serial entrepreneur who has created and scaled multiple profitable home service businesses in his small-town market. He’s dedicated to giving back to the industry that has provided so much for him and his family. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Joshua Crouch

Joshua Crouch has been in the home services industry, specifically HVAC, for 8+ years as an Operations Manager, Branch Manager, Territory Sales Manager, and Director of Marketing. He’s also the Founder of Relentless Digital, where the focus is dominating your local market online. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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