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Alex Winter

By Alex Winter

Mar 25, 2024


Hiring a Marketing Team Executives and Leaders Endless Customers Podcast
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Hiring a Marketing Team  |   Executives and Leaders  |   Endless Customers Podcast

Hiring Tips and Tricks: Recruit The Best Talent, Not The Cheapest [Endless Customers Podcast S.1 Ep.17]

Alex Winter

By Alex Winter

Mar 25, 2024

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**Note: This transcript was generated by AI and has not been edited for content.


You know, let's call it for what it is. Your best recruiting tool is treating your people in a way that makes them feel valuable, makes them feel understood. Show it online, show it on social, show it on your website. You gotta do that well. And then, you gotta start to answer their questions. And then, you gotta start to answer their questions.

And then, you gotta start to answer their questions.


Welcome back to the show. This is Endless Customers. My name's Alex Winter and today we're joined by Marcus Sheridan, keynote speaker, author, partner here at Impact. Marcus, thanks for being on the show. Welcome back.


Yeah, we're going to talk about some important things today, buddy, so I'm ready to get into

it. I am ready to get into it.


I'm super excited to have you here. I know our audience is going to be pumped to be hearing you again. Today we're talking about recruiting, but specifically for leaders, for business owners, we hear all too often that recruiting is a problem, whether it's finding the talent, retaining the talent, there seems to be a lot of speed bumps

and ultimately for business owners, if you don't get this right, it costs a lot of time and money that could really hurt your business.


Yeah, and the conversation has been huge, especially since COVID, right? So it's like getting, we have, this is a prolific problem around the world.

It's extra prolific when it comes to the blue collar industries, you know, the electricians, the plumbers, anything to do with, you know, like heavy equipment, being outside. People that specialize. Yeah, I mean, this is a really big issue and I've actually spoken in a lot of these industries now

and specifically about recruiting. A lot of people don't realize this, but they ask you answer, is stunningly effective for recruiting. Now, let's go back for a second though. If you own a business, essentially your pendulum of need is always swinging. Either you need more employees, team members that are good, or you need more leads. It's one or the other.

Because if you start to get all the leads you want, you're like, well, I want to grow and scale. If you want to grow and scale, it means you need more people, right? But if you have more people, it means you've got to feed those people, which means you need more leads. The pendulum swings. And that's the pendulum, right? That's just how it works.

That's how it works in business. Totally. Now in a perfect world you create a pipeline where you are able to attract always great leads that will buy from you and great potential team members, job candidates. And one of the trends that we're clearly pushing ourselves, and we are seeing this just generally, but more and more, I am telling people, like recruiting should fall under the umbrella

that is the marketing department, the majority of the time. And the reason for that is the way you should go about recruiting in 2024 and beyond is very much like you would with your digital marketing and building a known brand in your marketplace, right? And so, well, how do you do that? Because what's so fascinating is, when I did the Ask You Answer with my swimming pool company,

I noticed amongst all the amazing things that happened, that we just got a lot of attention, that's your brand, right? Got a lot of attention to the brand. And that attention led to people saying, I want to work for you. It was great. It was great. Naturally, that just happened. Naturally, it just started to happen, right? And so as becoming like the known leader, you start to attract more that way. All right. So that's very helpful. But here's where it gets really, really interesting. It turns out that the way job seekers think,

in terms of the way they research the job seeker's journey, is the same as the buyer's journey. They are not different. I mean, they're the same thing. And what I mean by that is, if you've read They Ask, You Answer, you know that buyers, consumers, when they're doing research online

about a product, a service, et cetera, they research five main things. We call them the big five in the book, and they are cost or price questions, problems slash negatives, fears, okay, so problems, we'll call that, three, comparisons, four, reviews, and five, best, okay? That's what they do.

Those are the big five, and that's how we all research. I mean, just think how many times you've gone online and searched best plus another phrase. I mean, it's just, you know, it's hundreds of times you've done this, right?


Yeah, I looked at customer reviews or whatever the case is.


Yeah, absolutely. Well, guess what, folks? This doesn't change at all when people are looking for a job, when they're looking for the next career.

Right. So what happens is the big five goes like this. Now, cost price becomes compensation. And so what we recommend to clients, because we've had a bunch of clients that have said, hey, now that we've got momentum with leads, I want to have a ton of momentum with potential job candidates as well. So first step is create a learning center that's for potential job candidates, career center, whatever you want to call it.

So you've got your learning center for potential buyers, and then you have a separate learning center for potential team members. Makes sense. Same thing, but just positioned more towards recruiting versus customers. This way you're not constantly mixing them up. OK, so once you've done that and you have a place to really put that information, and it makes sense, now you

start with the first of the big five, always. So it was cost on the other side. Now it's going to be compensation on this side. So let's say, hypothetically, you're in IT. So the question might be, how much does an average IT technician make in Las Vegas, Nevada? I'm just being hypothetical, right? So that's specific to an area, to a niche, to an industry,

but people are researching compensation. And so once again, you talk about all the factors that drive comp up, drive comp down, why companies pay more, why companies pay less. How skill set might be involved in some of that. Yeah, all the factors. Sure. Just like you would a normal cost piece of content with video or with text.

Right. Same thing there, it doesn't change. So that's the first one. And then you've got fears, problems slash fears, right? And so it's like we had a trucking company for example, right? We had a trucking company. And so that did a bunch of this because in the trucking world,

recruiting new truck drivers is a major problem. And this company, they're called ATS, they wanted to become like the known brand when any truckers or potential truckers have a question about the industry. And so there's lots of potential fears that they have. So let me just give you like a super basic one. It's like, can you get a commercial truck driving job

if you have a record? All right, that's a legitimate question that people have. But it's a fear-based question because they're wondering like, hey, I've got this problem, is it possible that I still work in the industry? See what I'm saying? And that's not something you wanna have a conversation with

in the recruiting process with a potential company if their policy. Yeah, if you can get in front of it, it's better, right? And so this gives a chance for them to own that conversation. So that's an example of problems. Again, problems, fears. Fears is really what you want to lean into there when it comes to that.

And there's a whole bunch of them. Do I have to have a XYZ CDL? That's another example. These are questions they're asking, they're wondering, they're worried about. And then you have comparisons. Now comparisons might be like, let's say you could compare industry versus industry, right, because that's really common.

So you could say two industries where the same person could have the skills to work. Which one should they do? Or let's say if you're recruiting teachers, it's like middle school versus high school, which is the best choice for me as a teacher coming out of college? I guess that's a great piece of content right there for a potential teacher, right?

So these are the types that people are searching all the time. And then you have reviews. Now we know Glassdoor reviews are huge, right? But you want to do like your company reviews from a worker's perspective. You want to have lots of content and videos from people that have worked for you that are talking about their employee journey. You want to do the same thing when it comes to potential recruits. Take your existing team members, show the journey where they were before they started working for you,

how they found you, the journey they've gone on with you and where they are today because they're working with you. So that's reviews, you want to do video, you want to do article. And then finally you've got best. And best once again it's like top companies for, best companies for, and it's not just companies, it's what are the top, you could hypothetically say, what are the top states to work in if you are a, pick an industry, right? Sure. So this is the way that you have to think because this is the way the recruits think

and so we've got a lot of companies on this now and it's amazing. What we know for certain, Alex, is that people, when they're looking for a job, will do as much if not dramatically more research on the company than they would if they were buying a swimming pool. I mean, you know, they'll read way more of your website than many of your leads will, which is why you should be tracking the number of pages these potential recruits have viewed on your website because it's going to tell you a story about that recruit just like if you're tracking the pages that an actual customer or potential customer had viewed, that's a story for your sales team.

Well, this is a story for your recruiting team. Totally, because you know what they're looking at. You can get a better sense of how in-depth and how serious they are about this potential role, this potential job, and it just gives you a much better temperature gauge. Same way you would with your clients. I love the parallels between the client-facing side versus doing this internally. I mean, it's just no different.

It's wild. And I look, again, the best example that I've worked with is ATS. And they did an entire article and video series on what is your compensation and how do you get paid if you work at ATS? That is so gutsy, dude. That's great, yeah.

That's amazing. Most companies don't do that. Man, man, they don't do anything like that. Heck, I mean, there's still a lot of companies today that don't even put the comp whatsoever in the job description. And it's like, you talk to like this Gen Z and Gen Y, if they can't see roughly what they're going to make, if they don't have a sense for it, just like if they can't have a sense for cost and price on your website for your product or service,

they're not gonna reach out, they're not gonna call for quote. Well, guess what? Your employees don't wanna call for quote either. Yeah, and it may sound a little crazy to do that, but it also will help people disqualify. And I think sometimes people are afraid of disqualification, but how much time is that gonna save you

trying to recruit somebody that ultimately isn't gonna come in at the right salary level or price point and it's gonna be a waste of everyone's time. That's right. Yeah, that's the beauty of this is really getting ahead of these things People really appreciate honesty. They appreciate transparency. They can feel it We've all got this incredible BS meter that we've honed in on over the last 20 ish plus years of using the internet I mean, we just have a sense for these things and

People are becoming more and more informed and arguably better and better buyers in terms of what they know, right? So you can't get away with ignorance as a marketing strategy. You can't get away with ignorance as a recruiting strategy either. It doesn't work, folks. And so you get past that and you say, okay, let's assume they're not dumb. They're going to be informed. We might as well be the ones that are informing them. I mean, if you had a choice, would you rather all the potential job candidates in your market learn from you or learn from your competitors or learn from a third party site. Oh. Ding, ding, ding.

Yeah, for me, without a doubt. Yeah, no brainer, right? Yeah. So you got to earn that right, y'all. And the way you do that is you got to become a thought leader in the marketplace. The way you become a thought leader in the marketplace is you talk about the big five, you do they ask, you answer, you do it through text, you do it through video, you do it through podcasting, etc., right?


Love it. I love it. So I have a stat here that I want to read that John provided for us. It says in a study done in 2018 from Jobvite, Jobvite's a pretty serious player in their category. They found that one third of all new employees quit their jobs within 90 days of being hired. Does that surprise you?


Well, if you think about it, it's poor expectations.

They don't really understand what's going to happen, how it's going to happen, their surprises. It's no different than, I think, Joey Coleman shares this, but it's something like two-thirds of bank users leave their bank within the first 100 days of engaging a bank. And of course, like, why is this? And so the problem in the banking world isn't as much like we need more customers. You've got to keep the people you're thinking have, right? Yeah, retention is a big thing. Yeah, retention is a big thing and it costs way less to keep someone than to find somebody

new. Totally. And so, of course, as we're having this conversation, I mean, let's call for what it is. Your best recruiting tool is treating your people in a way that makes them feel valuable, makes them feel understood, makes them feel fulfilled. We can't lose that, right? But then if you do that, you do that well, show their stinking story, show it online, show it on social, show it on your website, you got to do that well.

And then you got to start to answer their questions. So just like we teach our clients that you should have a page on your website that says who you are and who you're not a good fit for in terms of your potential buyers, right? Guess what? You should have a page on your website from a job candidate's perspective, who you are and who you're not a good fit for.

And again, don't be snarky. Be honest about it. Talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly with the job. Talk about the types of people that really get into it, that just end up loving it. Talk about the types of people that end up hating it and saying, this was the dumbest decision I've ever made. Lean into that stuff.

That endears you to the market. That endears you to what is your pool of job candidates because here's the thing, pretty much nobody's doing it. And that's what's so beautiful about being able to innovate today. We constantly think innovation is a new widget. Innovation is not a new widget. The majority of the time, innovation is just being willing to say that which others in your space are not. Addressing the elephant in the room.


Word. And I think sometimes, too, showcasing some of the not so great engagements, even though it may sound counterintuitive, it really helps other people see like, hey, this is great, they're addressing this, I love the honesty, I'm one of those people where this is a good fit for me, or maybe it's not and you can make better decisions quickly.

And I think that it just earns a respect level that you normally wouldn't have in the marketplace. Everybody wins. Yeah, so you coach and you train and you speak a lot regarding how to recruit and how to do this and you help a lot of companies. Can you paint the picture of what happens when companies don't implement this strategy

or when they're not doing it correctly and how it might have hurt them and how they can shift the tide to try to get into a better spot? The problem is in life and in business, we tend to be way more reactive than proactive, right? That's fair. And so we say, oops, we got a lead problem.

Let's really lean into marketing, all right? Let's do better, let's do some paid campaigns, let's do this, let's do that. And what we're not doing is we're not thinking like the farmer who plants ahead, seasons ahead, because they know the seasons don't change, right? After winter, there's always spring. After summer, there's gonna come a day when I'm gonna need more team members.

I better plant the seed. I better nurse the crop. Otherwise, I won't be ready for that day. Most companies don't think like the farmer, though. This is what I'm referring to, it's called the law of the harvest, right? The phrase, we reap what we sow. Where does that come from?

It comes from the law of the harvest, right? In most companies, because they're not thinking that way, they're thinking reactively, not proactively. They don't get in front of it, and because of that, they pay the price. Look, from a leads perspective on both sides, the employee and the customer side, you would always rather have more leads than you actually need. So you should come from a place in terms of the way that you're marketing your brand, a place of there's a deficit here and we've got to fix this deficit. If you're not coming from that fat and happy place, but the place of deficit, it's not

like fear is ruling your world, but it's like the reality of things can change quickly and we've got to be always attracting the best people on both sides of the aisle. You do that, you're probably going to be a really successful business and you're in the elite. You're in the 1% if you do that. Very, very, very few do that. It's sort of that plan for the worst and hope for the best mentality.

Yeah, that's exactly what it is. Have a game plan for every type of scenario. You're playing chess here, not checkers, yeah, that makes sense. So can we talk a little bit to when you start to implement this recruiting process and then you start to get these new recruits coming in, what happens?

Do you have a story of someone who found like a diamond in the rough that's like now they're a player on their team, couldn't do what they do without them or something to that effect that you could share with us? Well, I mean, without giving too many specifics, just not having necessarily permission on some of these, I would just say we see some really wild things, right?

Like we hear things of candidates coming in for job interviews, and they say things like, I feel like I already know you. I love how you guys do such and such. I was watching those videos on your website and I said, I'm just like that one guy that you hired. You see what I'm saying? Creating that relatability.

Yeah, it's just extreme relatability. No one wants to feel alone and one of the great human needs we have is the feeling of I am understood, I am not alone. Well, you have the ability to do that with your messaging. You do it on social, you do it on your website, etc. But nobody wants to feel dumb. And so by you providing the information, providing the stories and showing the stories, then they're able to walk in and just say, I'm just so much more relaxed. Your interviews, I've had people tell me,

our interviews became a lot better, number one, because we stopped dealing with a lot of those redundant questions that we shouldn't have been answering because they already knew, we already talked about them. We got stories of people, if you read in the book about assignment selling, right, which is using content in the sales process

to move people further through that buyer's journey faster. We have clients that use assignment recruiting. And so in other words, they're using content in that recruiting process. And so this way, the job interviews are dramatically more productive, more efficient, less waste. I love that. So it's called assignment,

just like assignment selling, assignment recruiting. Yeah, same thing. That's amazing. All the principles of the Ask, Your Answer apply. You know, in the next version of the ask your answer we'll have a section on recruiting, but you know I've actually considered writing just a whole book on that because most companies don't understand how to do that from a digital marketer's perspective.

It really sounds like, we call it assignment selling or assignment recruiting, but it could really apply to almost any conversation where it's like if you want to have deeper, more meaningful conversations, here's a few things we can do preemptively before we talk. Let's lay a foundation, get past the fluff, and then it's real. And then really get into it, yeah. Well, it's no different than why these dating apps work.

It's like, we know we're a match, okay? So let's talk about what really matters here. You know what I mean? It's like you start to get a lot more serious that way. That's a great example, yeah. So Marcus, another question I have for you is there's a lot of applicants out there, the application pool, especially with LinkedIn

and other tools, people can just submit applications. Like crazy, you can probably do a couple tons a day, right? Yeah, at this point you can hire people that are doing your applications for you. You got AI that can do apps for you. Exactly. Which means companies are inundated, potentially, I mean, right, with candidates.

So that's the thing about this, Alex, is if you're doing the Ask, You Answer well from a recruiting perspective, right, now all of a sudden it becomes a tremendous qualifier slash filter for these candidates. Again, you have, if you use a tool like HubSpot, hopefully you're using lead scoring, that measures certain actions they take on your website, how they engage with your content, that shows how committed are they, how far along that buyer's journey are they? So it's the same thing.

This shows when you see a job candidate that has viewed 15, 20, 25 pages of your website, versus somebody that's visited one or two. Yeah, or is just responding to a LinkedIn ad post or something like that. Yeah, get the heck out of here. I mean, it's not even gonna be the same like universe from a interview perspective.

They're not even close, right? And so that's why this is so great. The team that hires for you, whether that's your HR team or whatever you call it within your organization, the team that handles hiring loves it when there's helpful content online specific to the company and working at the company.

It's a game changer for them. Your job interviews are going to improve. Your job candidates are going to improve. You're going to make less mistakes in the long run, which is a really big deal. Hiring mistakes are terrible, right? Everybody is trying everything they can to prevent those from happening.

And everybody wins. Think about it, right? The candidate wins. The company wins. The interviewer wins, morale is greater. I just don't understand why anybody would not say, good grief, this is so obvious.

It is obvious now that we're talking. So I'm glad that we talked about it, I'm glad you were on the show. So just a recap for business owners out there, right? We talked about assignment recruiting, we talked about applying the principles that they ask you in search of recruiting. Let's just give them a recap so that they know the major takeaways.

Today's job candidate literally mirrors today's buyer. There's a buyer's journey and there's a job candidate's journey. We know that today's buyer has researched over or has gone through over 80% of that buyer's journey before they reach out to a company. We know the exact same thing applies for job candidates. We know that today's buyer tends to research five main subjects before they reach out to a company during that 80%. We know that today's candidates research those same five subjects, cost, problems, comparisons,

reviews, best, but now it becomes compensation, problems, comparisons, reviews, best, right? And so we know that when you have this content, everything improves. All boats rise. And you're going to get way more qualified candidates, and that's ultimately what we're going for. We don't just want applicants. We want qualified candidates that know what they're getting themselves into. And the final thing I just want to remind everybody is your business is a pendulum. It's always swinging. You're either going to need more potential customers or more potential candidates. That will not change.

That's called owning a business. And so the great ones, they prepare for it. That's the law of the harvest. That's the farmer. You put your wheat in the storage and you are prepared for that famine. And when you can do that and nobody else sees that vision and you pull it off, then they sit there and they say, how did you do this?

How did you become the most trusted voice in your entire market? Well, that happened because you were willing to talk about things and show things that nobody else was willing to talk about and to show. Extremely well said. Incredible advice. I know our listeners, our viewers are going to have a lot to think about and to implement

just coming off of this conversation. Just to wrap things up, if people have further questions or they want to talk to you, how can they get in touch with you, Marcus? is my website if you want to have me come speak to your company, to your event. And find me on LinkedIn because people say I'm awesome there. I think you're pretty awesome there. You're great in person too.


I love seeing you speak. If you haven't seen Marcus speak, definitely go to and check it out. Well, thanks again for being on the show and for everybody listening and watching, this is Endless Customers. We'll see you on the next episode.

About this Episode

For years, Marcus Sheridan has taught audiences all around the world about The Big 5: Those content topics that every business should address to build trust and drive revenue. 

The idea of The Big 5 is simple: No matter what you sell, buyers are asking the same questions.

These five topics are so powerful, explains Marcus, because they speak to core concerns that every buyer has regardless of product or industry.

The Big 5 topics, listed below, all speak to the pressing questions that are on buyers’ minds:

  1. First among those is price. Customers everywhere, no matter what they’re buying, want to know what it will cost — and they want to understand the factors that can make that cost go up or down. 
  2. Buyers want to hear from other buyers about their experience with a product or service. So, they seek out reviews.
  3. Buyers will search for “best of” lists that allow them to compare several top solutions for their problem as they narrow the list of what they want.
  4. Just like with reviews, buyers want to know about the potential problems of whatever they’re considering so they know they won’t be making a purchase they regret.
  5. When making a final decision, it’s likely that a buyer will put several similar options side by side to compare relative strengths and weaknesses.

According to Marcus, these topics are so powerful because they close the knowledge gap and help potential customers feel like well-informed buyers. 

Just like your customers, your job applicants are hungry for information. They’re scouring your website, review sites, and social media to learn all they can about your business. 

These topics close the knowledge gap and help potential customers feel like well-informed buyers. 

Marcus thinks we should use the same Big 5 strategy for our candidates. When we produce content for job seekers, we level the playing field, close the knowledge gap, and, ultimately, bring better candidates into our organizations. 

We can take the same Big 5 topics and change them slightly for this different audience.

Cost (think: salary and benefits)

  • How much does an insurance agent make per year?
  • How does a salesperson’s bonus structure work?
  • How quickly will an MBA pay for itself in the manufacturing industry?
  • What’s a good starting salary for a preschool teacher?

Reviews (think: an honest look from the inside)

  • An honest look at being a market researcher
  • Company culture checklist: What to look for to know a company is a good fit
  • What it’s really like to be a copywriter

‘Best of’ lists (think: how people rank their choices)

  • Best office perks that help productivity and culture
  • Top companies to work for in the Orlando area
  • 10 signs your company runs great meetings

Problems (think: job seekers don’t want to be in the 33% that quits)

  • Reasons why being an investment banker is harder than it looks
  • The biggest drawback to a career in software design
  • 3 problems with working from home as a service manager

Comparisons (think: putting different options head to head)

  • A day in the life: Comparing daily responsibilities of a sales rep and a sales manager
  • 401(k) vs. 403(b): Which employer-sponsored retirement account is better for you?
  • Should you choose a salary or commission pay structure?

Marcus thinks that we should commit to educating prospects about both our company and our industry because better-informed candidates make more successful employees

Connect with Marcus

Marcus Sheridan is a writer, speaker, and business expert who’s worked with companies all over the world. Marcus is the author of They Ask, You Answer and co-author of The Visual Sale.

Connect with Marcus on LinkedIn.

Learn more about They Ask, You Answer.

See how companies have used They Ask, You Answer to fuel their success.

Keep Learning

Read: When It Comes to Hiring, Experience is Overrated

Read: 7 Hiring Tips for Attracting Talent in a Competitive Job Market

Learn: Reframe Your Hiring Process to Bring in Better Candidates


Endless Customers is a podcast produced and distributed by IMPACT, a sales and marketing training organization.

We coach businesses to implement our They Ask, You Answer framework to build trust and fill their pipeline. 

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