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The Most Effective Way to Evaluate Employees

Sean: And this is the dream of all entrepreneurs and HR personnel, right? To hire the right people, independently working on their own. You don’t need to micromanage them. How do you get those people?

Jaime: Great question. Really good question. So I’ve been very bad at hiring very slowly. It’s for a reason. We, yeah, because when you actually have a team, the most important is the balance of a culture and every person that you bring on to the team changes that culture in one way or another.

Regardless of whether you want it, no one person is exactly alike. So every person that you add to with it’s gonna be very different, but what has happened also throughout the course of hiring and interviewing and putting people in and then, you know, having some of them leave and then looking at that, you know,  most actually all the people that we have left so far as volunteering.

Because they come on board, they have something that happened in their family and they needed to go away and then, you know, it just didn’t work anymore. And we just looked for a new replacement. But when we’re hiring, we take a very slow approach for better or worse. It’s not ideal, but most corporations are trying to feel just like a worker in that role.

We’re not, we’re actually looking for a really strong teammate. So we actually go through a very transparent interview process. It goes through an interview with me, with all my team members and then each one of them actually, it’s a technical task. Maybe they will be driven to actually do something on a code base?

They’ll be asked to talk about yeah. How they would code, you know, if it’s content writing, they will be asked a task to write on a couple of things and then we weigh and measure. And then we discuss continuously at every single level. I think that type of transparency allowed us to make sure that one, we hire really good teammates that act to the entire team.

Second, we’re looking at someone that is not just looking at it as a job, beyond the job, I think. And then the third thing I think is most important is when they’re actually in a job, we realize that some people actually perform better in some roles than what was originally advertised. And you need to give them that opportunity to actually look at that.

And I think that role is dependent on the actual hire manager. I’m always evaluating the team. I’m always looking at getting them to do what they’re most best at. And sometimes they’re at a sacrifice. Like there are probably 10 tasks you know, I know two of the tasks are necessary, but it’s not great for the skill sets of this person and, you know, make that decision.

So we have a great developer, for instance, who actually loves code. And when you actually have someone like that who actually loves writing code, you don’t want them to do, to play with things like WordPress or, you know, or a CSS or doing something different. And you want them to focus on writing the code because that’s really tough.

So you need to continuously weigh that do I have enough on the non-code base to hire someone, to compliment this person so that I keep them focused on doing one, what they love and second thing doing what they’re really good at. And I think that’s always an evaluation process. I think big corporate environments often forget that it’s actually each individual, that measurement, that sort of alignment doesn’t happen on a regular basis, but in a startup, I think if we decide to keep the team small, that’s something that we can always do on a regular basis.

And that makes it much better.

Sean: When you say that you evaluate them regularly, how often do you evaluate them and how does it look? Is there a Google sheet, a piece of paper that you go through a set of questions that you go through? How does it look?

Jaime: So we don’t value it like that. We do it on a daily basis.

So if you’re a developer, you will have tasks every morning. No changes every day, 9:00 AM my time. We always get onto a call. That call will be anywhere from 10 minutes to 20 minutes, an ideation of what will be completed today. Task-driven and then at the end of the day what’s been done and then has gone on like this for 18 months.

And we’re actually outperforming a lot of the metrics that I’ve seen, even as a CMO in the past, like literally tasks were being cleared out. So we do that on a regular basis. It gives you an idea of how many, once you actually have that, you kind of know what is difficult when someone is not delivering on par to what they could have done.

You go into a conversation, like what was the problem at the end of the day? Like, why didn’t this get completed? Why didn’t it get completed? Was it because it was just a more difficult task and then you also have monthly planning, which then kind of, okay. Do you sell all the things that we want to do within this month?

You know, we don’t need to map it out, but because it is a roadmap that’s often mapped out in the one month ahead, then we will know how much time to dedicate on it. And then with every one of my team, I do my two weekly. Two weeks, I would do one sort of session with them, which is one-to-one. And then at the end of the month, and they’re the ones who want just to kind of get, you know, not just a job site, but just talk about their aspirations and their life situation.

Because you have to remember, they have, they’re probably, you know, going through marriage, having their first child or, you know, going through something in their life that’s other than themselves being at work.

So those are the times that you talk about, you know, how things are going, you know, your mom or parents are not feeling well. Have they gotten better? You know, have situations in that home changed? Are they you know, do they see that changing in the next couple of months? So you kind of use that as sensors along the way, and you always know where your team is at at all times.

And, but again, like I said, you know, that’s probably doable when you’re a much smaller company like us, but when you get to a bigger company, that is something that you have to process.

Sean: That’s leadership. That is something that I think a lot of startup founders miss. They’re like, I hired you, you have to be mature. I’m paying you, it’s not my job to babysit you. So go to whatever it is, I’m paying you for, right.

It, and they don’t meet, they don’t talk. It’s – a lot of people miss that. I have to admit, I miss that out a lot of years as CEO and I’ve been doing this a decade now. So that is something that is super important.

I hope you guys listening in here did not miss that,spend time with your team. Do one-on-one. Jamie does it 10 minutes, 15 minutes a day at the start of the day at the end of the day, that is perfect. There might be people listening in who are thinking of starting their own podcasts. And I’m interested in knowing how it works.

I haven’t gotten, to be honest, I haven’t dove deeply into Match Casts yet. So what is it about, how does it work? How will it serve podcasters here in Asia?

Jaime: So that’s two sides in that question. So let’s talk about, you know, if you are an aspiring podcaster or what you really want to do. So the way I look at podcasting is no different from you making a decision and saying that, “Hey, you know, I want to be a social media influencer.”

The journey is actually the same. I always liken it to be the same because social media influencers are actually influencing their followers through different platforms, either through pictures like Instagram or Facebook through their views and comments or through video and any other way. Podcasting is the same way only through audio – that’s the difference.

The way I look at it is I very much liked the same thing that you’re doing, right. Sean, you said that you want to add value to people. You want to share a certain perspective. And I think that is the best way to start thinking about podcasting. You really should start podcasting in some ways saying that, you know, it can come from any direction.

I’ve had people who told me that, Hey, you know, I just want to use podcasting as a way. To interview people with all kinds of strange jobs that I would never get exposed to. It will be a bit like  you know, a bit braverism for me to understand what they do when I would never have the opportunity to do something like that.

And people start podcasts interviewing people with odd jobs, with really strange jobs. And that could be really exciting. You could be people who just want to tell a story. A podcaster that we work with who is very talented. He said, well, Jamie, I want to build the Blumhouse and I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Blumhouse, a Blumhouse of Asia.

So Blumhouse is started by Jason Blum who actually runs. Does all of those forests licks from Hollywood? So you had, you’d be remembering things I can remember, but like Final Destination, Saw, The Conjuring so this shows that very, very popular and he wanted to create the Blumhouse of podcasting? So basically we want to tell our stories which is great because he’s a filmmaker himself and he wants to bring that into the podcasting world.

And there are many entrepreneurs like yourself who said, know, look, I want to share with you what entrepreneurship means to people. And I want to share that through a podcast. It enables me to meet other people in my field. Am I going to have the opportunity to meet if I didn’t have a podcast? And they’ve used that.

So it could be any reason, but the idea here is do something. Find something that is passionate for you. Started doing it similarly, as you would, with any social media consistency. Go out there, you know, start recording the first podcast, even though it may not be the best one and just kind of grow from there. Listen to what your audience is telling you what they would like to listen to more and then kind of build content around that, reach out to people that otherwise you will not have been able.

Or half a reason to reach out to if you didn’t have a podcast and go to them and say, Hey, I would love to have you on the show and talk about your, you know, what you’re doing. I think it was another fast way. And I think given the landscape there’s so many opportunities, there are free hosting platforms that you could get on board.

There are, you know, there are free tools that you can use to actually do the recording. You might not have to have, you know, to buy a $900 podcast mic. You can just get a USB mic and just be able to do the same thing, there are also services that help you. You know, there are courses that people teach, you know, that tell you how to actually create your own podcast.

And when you’re ready for advertising, you know, join when your podcast is on or before that, and you really want to produce this really great content, you know, join Match Casts, sign yourself up, you know, and potentially get matched with brands to advertise on your platform. The way it goes is you never, you know, you never shouldn’t start too late with a lot of social media influencers. I think they’re all very smart now.

They’re going to do something. They will go out and then start evaluating the market with brands and all of that. Podcasts, I think they need to produce the content before they go out. But sometimes you don’t need to do that and you actually need to go out and find, like, where it can actually be – the market, if you want to make it a potential livelihood.

 So there are many, many ways to do it. And I think starting with a niche and then start doing it and then doing it consistently is probably the best advice to any podcaster.

Sean: That is also going to be my same advice. Just do it consistently. Make sure you keep doing it. You keep providing value.

And it’s funny, but one of the things that I have been given as advice by another podcast that I listened to. And also I’m going to be, for me, it’s the same advice I’m going to give anyone who wants to start is don’t do it for the money. Do it for, for a calling. Because if you do it for the money, the first two to three years, there’s going to be no money and you’re going to be discouraged.

It’s tough. It’s tough. I haven’t, I haven’t monetized this podcast at all. I don’t have advertisers. It’s been almost a year and a half. And, but, you know, I’m loving it. I’m learning so much. I’m meeting new people. I have been able to help people. I don’t know them, but they have been reaching out and telling me that they watch my shows, listen to the podcast and they have gotten tremendous value.

And for me, that is payment enough. If I get money out of it, that’s icing on the cake. And by the way, the first recording is always the worst recording. Always, always. So just go ahead and do it, don’t worry about it.

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