Master cyclist and longtime PEO member, Tim Collins, joins Leon Goren on the Snippets podcast to talk about the world of recruiting - now in the period of looking beyond the pandemic. Tim is the CEO and founder of Stafflink is a boutique IT staffing company in Toronto, Canada, which helps companies hire mobile web developers, project managers, data analysts and IT staff.
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Special thanks to Cleveland Clinic for helping us bring you today's PEO leadership's Snippet podcast. Welcome to our snippets podcast. I'm Leon Goren, CEO and president of PEO leadership, North America's premier peer-to-peer network and leadership advisory firm. Today, we welcome Tim Collins, President, founder of staffing solutions and longtime member PEO leadership. Tim founded staff link solutions almost 20 years ago, and has built it into one of the great it recruiting firms in the country. He's an incredible athlete, and was an amazing runner before we introduced him to cycling, many years back in the town of Blue Mountains at a race called the cinterion race. Now, I want everybody to think about this. Because I'll never forget the moment Tim shows up to the race to that time. And this is maybe eight, nine years ago, with his mountain bike and ready to go for his first 25 kilometer race. Now I have to say today, my advice to you, you certainly don't want to be racing up any mountain with him. Because the only site you'll see and only for a short period of time will be the back of his shirt. Tim, it's great to have you with us today.Tim Collins:
Thanks, Leon.Leon Goren:
I don't know what gets you an incredible athlete. ITim Collins:
you put us to shame on you taught me everything I know about cycling. So yeah.Leon Goren:
Alright, let's talk about people in recruiting. And I'm going to take us back to march 2020. Pre pandemic. And hindsight today, back then if you and I were talking, and we just pandemics coming. Big surprise for you today where we're sitting compared to what you thought we'd be sitting.Tim Collins:
Yeah, last March, I mean, everything just all hiring froze for months. I didn't know if we would be a company. A year later, we had to double down on training for all of our people. We built up our database, we started to pipeline candidates and, you know, improve our processes for when things came back. We were hopeful. And sure enough, they came back. And in our industry, we're very fortunate because people can work from home and we're grateful. And it's led us to be able to triple in size over the last 12 months. Yeah, it really, it. It's really exploded. And so you know, for our audience, we think about are out there recruiting everyone typically has some IT department within their organization. What's the landscape look like today in terms of trying to find the right talent? Yeah, it's it's very competitive. We're seeing people with four to five offers, there was a study done recently, and the US were a Java, Java developers have between five and seven offers to choose from when they're getting jobs. So we're having to coach our clients on their processes and hiring. Because if your process was to wait a month to hire from the resumes to hire, you're going to lose the candidates. So we're coaching people, you know, five, five to 10 business days at the most. And even at that you've got to be competitive. And then you've also got to think how you're going to retain those people once you get them on board. Because it's so competitive, and retaining them. So it's moving very quickly. But on the positive side, if you're an employer and you're trying to do hiring, you've got a much wider scope, because if they can work remotely, you can get top developers from places like Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, all across Canada. And we've we've had those successes where we've been able to place people from places that wouldn't normally because because they can work remotely.Leon Goren:
So it's it's actually I coming out of diversity and inclusion session today with Kim Scott. And we didn't really talk about in her book, she talks about hiring right. And you're talking about compressing the hiring process today because it's so competitive. She talks about expand, not expanding it but having multiple people do the interviews. Right. So we're covering that. Are you seeing that in your environment? Yeah, for sure. We see. And I think that's good because you get much more I'm sure she talked about objectivity right and having because different people are going to be influenced even though subconsciousTim Collins:
bias that you get, you know, if I interview a cyclist, you know, I might be more inclined to like that person, even though they might not be as qualified as somebody else. Or I might talk to them a little bit differently. So we are seeing that and you'll get a more diverse workforce by doing that, and the great thing about you know, remote work is you do have access to it. it. a much broader group of people, and your company will be more she talked about this, your company will be more successful if you can create a more diverse group of people, you have diverse thoughts, and you'll have diverse attitudes towards new products, and it really helps your organization in the long run.Leon Goren:
The other thing that, you know, concerns me is every touch about inflation. But in your world today, in the technology side, the wages are you seeing that escalate? Like, I don't know, what would be the difference today, if I was hiring an individual compared to a year ago is a jump 10% 15% person's getting seven offers, oh my god, how am I going to compete?Tim Collins:
Yeah, and, and it is a bit crazy. And, and then if you're a startup, sometimes they'll overpay from, say, a fortune 500 company, because they feel like they need to, or they have that money. But there's always the unique skill set that's over, that's going to be overpaid. So that whether it's a supply and demand type thing, right? So there's the newest things around machine learning and artificial intelligence, right. So people that have those kinds of skills right now are really in demand. People that have, you know, certain technologies that are, you know, the audience might not want me to list all the different technologies, but there's certain things that over the years are always going to give people that 10% to your point. But you know, there to compete right now, sometimes it's not always all salary, you have to have bonuses to compete in technology, because most technology professionals are getting a 10 to 15% bonus on an annual basis. And you know, it's it's subjective to you know, how the company does and how they do. But that's what we're seeing now, companies that don't have that, it's really tough to compete, if you don't have health benefits, you can't compete, they need to have the three weeks vacation. So you have to look as an employer, what are some of the things I can do that are outside the salary as well, that are going to end? What are the types of projects that I can offer to these people, you need to be able to show them the roadmap of what they're going to be involved in, you know, it's like recruiting a star athlete almost, you know, these people really have a pick of where they want to go.Leon Goren:
So on that note, and we talked about it, and it's, it's coming to light now, right? Working at home versus working in the office. In the tech worlds, I think you got Shopify saying, We don't need to be in the office, people can work from home, Google recently announced. So the CEO said, No, everybody will be coming back to the office. And I think more than 12 days away, you need written permission to actually do this. Is it a benefit? When you're recruiting today? What are you hearing? What do people want?Tim Collins:
I think Google can do what they want, and they're gonna get people, but not everybody's Google, right. So what we're hearing is candidates are saying and these anecdotally, but you know, over hundreds of people that we've interviewed in the last month, I would say about 80 90% of them are saying, I want the option to work from home. And so when you're saying to people, if you're saying if you're an employer, and you're saying to people, you need to come into the office three days a week, five days a week, you're going to shrink your talent pool that you're trying to get. And we've actually had a number of people turn down offers where employers have said, you need to come to the office for three days a week, even, not even five days. So I think what you have to look at as an employer and I, when I'm going through this myself, you know, we've all gotten leases, we've got spaces, and we think, well, we need to use those spaces. But think about how you need to use them strategically. Do you need to have everybody there five days a week? Can you do it in? You know, Justin times type situation once a week? You know, I think a lot of the banks and the big financial institutions are looking at it going, Okay, we're gonna rotate people through and give people the option. There are some people that want to be in the office, right? If you had depending on your family circumstance at home, or where you're living, you know, they want to go into the office, but there's they're definitely a small small minority those folks.Leon Goren:
Wow, that's, that's, that's actually really interesting. It's a big fear for everyone, right? We just don't know, what's going to be required when we come back to the office. And when people come back, add the recruiting element here, and it's even more difficult. What about I mean, with all this going on retention must be a huge issue, too. And hanging on to people, even in your environment. I mean, you talked a little bit about the culture staff link. What are you doing to keep your people because I'm sure they're in high demand as well.Tim Collins:
Right. It's it's you know, the turnover in in staffing is people are generally less Less than a year, they stay with a staffing company. So you have to do and you've invest a lot. By the time you get somebody up and running, it's, you know, six months. So what we've done a few things over the years to build that culture. And I think over the last 15 years, there's three things that sort of stand out that we've done that really helped us. And I stole one of these from you, Leon, but the off site meetings, you know, I went with PEO to an off site meeting, and I saw the bonds that were formed there, and the relationships that you develop outside of the actual workplace. So when you come back to the workplace, you have those friendships and relationships. And it's the same thing with our company. You know, we did things like The Amazing Race, and we put people on teams, and they were in canoes and paddle paddle boats, and they had to go around Fern resort or Blue Mountain Resort, or wherever it wasLeon Goren:
actually, on your LinkedIn page, Tim, I see the picture that looks like an off site retreat, you got your team up there,Tim Collins:
that segues on segways. That's right, that segues Blue Mountain. So it's a, we did these things, and many of the people had never done them. Some of them were afraid to do that. But then they do them together. And they solve problems together outside of the office, and you have meetings. And the thing I learned as well, from PEO is that if the one person's talking the whole time, it's not effective. So when I do these retreats, we get everybody to talk about their area of expertise. And so it empowers that group so that our off site is the one thing that we do. The second thing is we go to the CPA ski day, which I think you may have attended with us, it's a fundraiser for people that can't ski that have a disability. And it gives them that opportunity. But we take our team there overnight. And it's an annual thing we've done for a decade, and people really bond there. And then the last thing we do is profit. Sure. And so that's not the only last thing, but those three things combined together. I was thinking about it the other day, we haven't had anybody leave in five years from our company. Fantastic. And we give Apple Watches after five years.Unknown:
I love it.Leon Goren:
I love it. Tim, I want to thank you so much for sharing some of these insights. I mean, they're just great. And I know a lot of members and those in the community listening will find some real gold nuggets here especially that we're all faced with retaining hiring and thinking about this whether it's simply in the IT industry or elsewhere. So I really appreciate you doing this with us today. Thank you Thanks Leon really appreciate it. If you're interested in any of our live webcasts the way forward live and and or any other snippets please take a moment and visit us at p OE dash leadership comm you'll find on our site various previous recorded webcasts, which include guests such as Professor Janice Stein, Harvard's, Rosabeth Kanter, Michael Beer, Rob Chestnut, Dr. Greg Wells, Jason Selk, Mitchell, golf, and many more. We cover such topics such as Mental Health Leadership, the world reset, reset and a host of other others. Thank you for joining us today and we look forward to seeing you again shortly.