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Episode 40: 
Q&A Series Part One - Where Do I Find Good People?
Show Notes:
In this episode of The Ultimate Advisor Podcast, we jump into a 3 part Q&A series, discussing the 3 most common questions asked by our audience, mastermind, and coaching members. In this weeks session, we address the first question: Where do I find good people? We talk about the importance of getting clear on the vision of your company first, and how this will differentiate your business and get the right people in the right seats! We also discuss effective marketing strategies when hiring for your company. So, push PLAY and join us as we delve into building your A team that aligns with your vivid vision!
Read The Transcript Of The Episode:

Speaker 4: This is The Ultimate Advisor Podcast, the podcast for financial advisors who want to create a thriving, successful, and scalable practice. Each week we'll uncover the ways that you can improve your referrals, your team, your marketing, and your business operations, helping you to level up your advising practice, bring in more assets, and create the advising practice that you've dreamed of. You'll be joined by your hosts, Bryan Sweet, who has more than half a billion dollars in assets under management, Brittany Anderson, the driving force for advisors looking to hire, improve their operations, and company culture, and Draye Redford who can help you systematize and automate your practices marketing to effortlessly attract new clients. So what are you saying? Let's jump into another amazing episode of The Ultimate Advisor podcast.

Brittany A: Hello, welcome back. This is Brittany Anderson with The Ultimate Advisor Podcast. I'm here today with Mr. Draye Redfern and Mr. Bryan Sweet, and we are actually, we're switching things up for a little bit. The next three weeks we are going to do Q and A sessions. So what does that mean? Q and A, question and answer. So what we're going to do is we're going to vet the top three questions that we have been getting from you, our audience, from our mastermind members, and from our coaching members. So the really cool thing that we're seeing here is a couple common themes. So again, the next three weeks we're going to tackle the top three frequently asked questions that we are hearing from the ultra successful financial advisors that you, our fine audience, are.

Brittany A: So to kick off this week's episode, we're going to dive into the burning question that I'm sure if you're not facing it right now, you have at some point in the past, and that is where on earth do I find good people? We hear this time and time again across the board that it is so darn hard to find good, quality talent to be able to create and build your A-team. Now I have to say that while this is an absolute valid question, this is definitely something that needs addressing in our industry in particular, but I have to say that it's actually the wrong question, or I should say it's the wrong starting question. In order to find exceptional people, in order to build an A-team, there's something that has to happen first and that particular thing is deciding what is the future vision for your company. Now, if you have been listening to us since day one, you know we talk about vision a lot. You know that we have referenced the book Vivid Vision by Cameron Herold. You know that this is something that we preach on as being so, so important.

Brittany A: But the thing is, is it's still not being answered before people are going out and trying to fill their team. So what you really need to do is you need to look, do that lean out, look forward, use the three year timeframe. That's the one that tends to work best. That's the one that we have personally coached people on is lean forward into the future in that three year mark, and decide who you want to be in that timeframe. What kind of company do you want to be? You have to have a vision so that people, those A-players can then get behind it. So it's almost like a backing into. You have to create that vision and then you can find the people that are going to align with that. That's where you create major, major power in a team. That's where you create a sense of collaboration, and a sense of buy-in from the people that you are scouting.

Brittany A: So Bryan, I have to bring you into this because you have managed to become a master at putting people in the right seats. So why don't you talk a little bit about how you've actually really built your company all around the concept of building an A-team?

Bryan Sweet: Well, I don't know if I can take any credit for getting all the right people in the right seats. I might have to give all that credit to you, actually, but thank you for the kudos. But I do think it does boil down to several things. One, you really have to have a vision for what you want your firm to be today, but also what do you want it to be in the future. And one of the things that I think you need is what are the attributes that a great team member has to have in order to fit that vision? And I think the other thing you need to do is to actually write those down, and share it with anybody that you're thinking of hiring. So we actually have a sheet that we use as part of our hiring process, it's the 12 attributes of Sweet Financial, and right away when we are in the discussion of would you be a right fit for being on our team, one of the quick ways of finding whether they would be worthy of another conversation or even have a very long conversation at all, is is there anything of those 12 that you don't believe in or that you can't live with?

Bryan Sweet: And if the answer is yes, that's just going to be one way of understanding that they're probably not a good fit or will cause some problems later on. So that's one thing I would highly suggest is what are your standards, or we call them attributes, of a great team member. The other thing is you've got to make sure that you get the right people on the team during the hiring process. So I alluded to, previously, as I did for the most part give up most of that function to Brittany and other team members, because being a good salesman myself, somebody that was really good at sales could probably talk me pretty much into anything, and I would maybe hire somebody that wasn't appropriate.

Bryan Sweet: So Brittany's created a great set of standards, testing, methodologies that has really helped earmark the right person. So since we've implemented those things, it has really eliminated, I could say, us having to go out and look for people, because once we get the right person they tend to just meld right in, we know what to expect, and they deliver on that. So having those standards is a great thing, and that's one of the reasons why we spend a lot of time at our mastermind going through those principles, and creating that structure to help you find better employees. And one just little thing that I would tell you is where do I find him? We're in a small community, 10,000 people, 23,000 in the county, so we don't have a lot of people to choose from. But one thing that I have found that's a really good resource that literally anybody can do is if you ever go to the bank, or you go to any other organization and you run across somebody that boy, they really stand out. They had a really great smile, or they made a great experience, make sure you get their name and write it down in a book for future reference.

Bryan Sweet: And if you were really impressed with them, I would even call them up and say, "I just had this experience with you where I was in your bank or whatever it happened to be, and you left this great impression on me that I don't see very often. Now I know you've got a really great job today, but I just wanted to let you know that if you're ever looking for another opportunity, I wish you would give me a call before you accept another job, because you might be an ideal fit for a firm like ours." And so you plant the seed in advance, and just stay in touch with those people. The other thing I would say, and Brittany would probably allude to this later, is you want to be really slow to hire and quick to fire. And so we just hired a new person recently, and it seemed like it took forever, but we are just so excited that we've got the right person for the position, and it was well worth the time.

Bryan Sweet: And maybe the only other thing I would allude to, and then I'll throw it back to you, Brittany, to maybe take off in a couple of these things, is if you get some good talent, one of the things I would highly suggest and maybe being in a small community, it's a little more of this, but if you have good talent because it is hard to find, don't ever lose them by not paying them a competitive wage. So if you get somebody good, make sure you're paying them top dollar if you will, because they're hard to find, they're hard to train, they're hard to replace. So few things to think about. Brittany, I'll turn it back to you.

Brittany A: Yeah, first of all, I think you brought up some really great points Bryan, and a couple of things I want to expand on a little bit more. Draye, I want to bring you into this, too, because you've got some really creative marketing ideas on how you can market for top talent. But before I do that, I just want to comment here that when you look at the concept of having a hiring pool, or having a community, Bryan mentioned that our community, we have 10,000 people in the town that we're in. 10,000, that's not a lot to pick from, but here's the thing is that when you're looking at the topic of where do I find good people, as I mentioned earlier, this is a topic we are hearing from advisors all across the US. Everybody has this problem regardless of the size town that you live in. So I want to reiterate what Bryan said about how you should never, there should never be an issue. If you find somebody who is so ideal for your company, the issue there should not be that you cannot pay them what they need or what they're worth, I should say.

Brittany A: So that's something that don't be afraid of that. The other thing that I wanted to tie on here is that if you're listening to this and you're thinking, oh gosh, I was at a conference with some of my other adviser buddies, or I'm in a study group with my other advisor buddies, and we all kind of competitively, let's just say we're picking some a similar pool. Maybe you're in the same city, maybe you have virtual hires. We have some advisors that have gone that route. Don't be afraid to share this episode with them for the sole fact that a true, ideal match for your company, you're not going to go into competition per se with anybody else, because if you have your attributes defined, like Bryan mentioned. If you have a clear vision for your company that is going to differentiate you, and if you are friends or connected with other financial advisors who also have very successful practices, who have differentiated themselves, who have their own vision, and their own attributes, that is a powerful thing because then what happens is is people are drawn to your individuality.

Brittany A: So it no longer becomes competition, it's simply aligning with people that match exactly what it is that you are trying to accomplish and do. So don't be afraid of sharing this type of topic with other advisors you're connected with, because it's going to help them, and indirectly it's going to help you as well. The other thing that I have to pull out before I toss it to Draye, just because Bryan, he brought up the whole attribute thing and it just made me think about something that I read recently. It was on the topic of values versus virtues. Value, so most companies have core values, but I found this definition, Bryan and I were talking about it recently, and I just think it's so powerful. So reading something said that values are more so aspirational in nature. It's something that you aspire to be, whereas virtues are lived every day. They are values in action.

Brittany A: So when you think about, when Bryan talks about having attributes of a team, really what that is, is it's virtues for people that you bring on board to live by. So you start marketing and that's where Draye you're going to come into this, is when you start marketing for open positions within your company, by putting those virtues into the job description, guess what? It makes the hiring process a little bit easier, and a lot smoother because what's happening is is you're all of a sudden turning away the people that are like, "This company's nuts. They have all these things they're putting out there. I don't align with that. That's bizarre to me." And then you've got the other people that are absolutely drawn. So that's what happened when Bryan talks about this recent hire that we had in a position that we've really been trying to vet and figure out for quite some time.

Brittany A: What we did is we just worked it into the job description. We worked power language into the job description to attract top talent. So Draye, before I get on a soapbox anymore, I want to bring you in because you have taught us so much actually within Sweet Financial on how to market for a job description. So I would love for you to just shed some light on how you can actually use marketing to attract top talent.

Draye Redfern: I love this, because it's not talked about, and it's not... When people refer to marketing, it's usually all of the outbound stuff that you do to try and bring individuals in, and it's less about how to attract talent. But I think that attracting talent and making a hire, it's not just a one way street, it's a two way street. You need to make sure that you're a right fit for them, just like they need to make sure that they're a right fit for you. And one of the things that we see all too often in so many businesses that they do is that they just throw a job post up on Monster, or Indeed, or whatever they want to do, and then just get completely inundated with 500 resumes that they then have to spend days pouring over because there was no real filter that was put in place only to then set up some phone calls only to find out that some of those people had already taken positions elsewhere, or they weren't a good fit in the first place, and they poured over hundreds of resumes to find that none of them were really a good fit.

Draye Redfern: So, and I say this from experience that happened to us and I was like, "There has to be a better way to do this." So we are one of the slowest companies to hire, like snail slow, but we're perpetually hiring for all sorts of different positions because I know and I recognize the need will present itself at some point in time in the future, and I just need to be ready, and I need to have that person in place and trained up.

Draye Redfern: So when opportunities present themselves, we can jump on them instead of saying, "I don't know, maybe we can make something like this happen." We're ready to go. We're turnkey, go fast. But that obviously takes, it takes a long time to actually find the right person. Yes, you have to get them trained up. And historically, I was privileged enough to grow up with a father as an immigrant to the US who moved to the US with $50 in his pocket, a duffel bag, and that was pretty much it. And he built a very successful business, and I had the privilege of working with him for years and years in that business. And the interesting thing around hiring where I learned a lot of this was actually through him, and in that particular business a hire would be made but that person would not be allowed to talk on the phone for 12 to 18 months.

Draye Redfern: That is a long training cycle. That is a long hurdle to get through to where that person knows confidently who they're talking to, and they know that they know the backwards and forwards what they're talking about. And this is an insurance business primarily dealing just with professional liability, and primarily dealing with just attorneys. And attorneys love to let you know, and they loved to flex their muscles about everything that they do know and everything that you don't know. And if you actually, if there's any inkling that you don't actually know what you're talking about, they can exploit that. It's just sort of what many attorneys tend to do. So as a result of that, 12 to 18 months was the hiring cycle. And I know what I need, get somebody trained up. And so in order to do that, you can't get 12 or 18 months down the line, and then realize that this person is not the right fit, because then you just wasted a whole year's worth of time and a lot of money in the process.

Draye Redfern: So I learned to be incredibly slow to hire up front because you want to invest in your people, and obviously you may not want to take 12-18 months in your business to have client interaction. But I use that as an example because there's a lot of lessons to pull from that because you want to make sure up front that who you're getting, who you're investing in, who you're training with that the relationships that are going to be built in that business can actually sustain themselves over a long period of time. So how do we do that? Well, it's funny because every time I tell this to people they're like, "There's no way that that actually works." We have had the most success on Craigslist, and we've done Indeed, we've done Monster. We are currently still running posts and the job postings on Indeed, have done them for a long time.

Draye Redfern: We have hired almost all of our wonderful people through Craigslist. And it's a weird thing. I can't tell you why, but that's just the way it's worked out. But we do it in sort of a way that gets rid of a lot of the extra fluff, and there's a couple steps that we make people jump through. So the first thing that we literally say in the first line of our job posts is something to the effect of, "This is not for you." Immediately deterring all of the weak people saying "This is not for you." And it can be a data admin position, it could be an operations position, it could be a marketing position, it doesn't matter what it is, this post is most likely not going to be for you. And then why this is not going to be for you is the second part of that.

Draye Redfern: So this is not for you, and this isn't why this isn't for you is our first two components of that. Then if they actually keep reading and then the next section of that is if this is for you, this is who you need to be, and then the fourth section is if you meet all of those requirements, then you need to do this. And just those four sections alone, before I even tell you that the kicker at the end, that does an amazing amount to deter all of the weak people. I don't want to work with weak people. I don't want to work with yes people. I want to work with people who, if I have a dumb idea, they'll tell me I have a dumb idea, because I don't want to waste a lot of time on it.

Draye Redfern: I want to work with people who actually are strong and usually that the work ethic is strong and they have this mentality of don't you dare tell me what's not for me. That's the sort of person that I want to attract, because I want a strong individual that can take responsibility for whatever project they take on, whatever it's big or small, and they don't want someone else saying what is or isn't right for them. They want to make those decisions on their own. It's an ownership sort of responsibility that a lot of these people tend to take on. And so if they meet all those requirements and they we say, "Yes, you got to be either... Be a writer or be able to do data management, or be able to work in whatever scenario it may be.

Draye Redfern: The last two requirements that we have, the very last little bit, and this is what saves all the time, is that we say, "If you meet all those requirements then this is what you need to do. Send us a personalized cover letter that basically says why you think after all of this, that you're the right fit for the job, and send us a video explaining the fastest that you think are going to be the most adequate or the best that would set you apart from the competition that you think makes you the perfect candidate for this position." And that is a lot of hoops for someone to jump through. No, this isn't for them, and this is why it's not for you. And if this is for you, this is who you need to be. And if you meet all of those requirements, then you need to do this.

Draye Redfern: And that's the personalized cover letter and the video. So there's a lot of things that sort of you get. Oftentimes, you end up getting people who don't even submit a resume. But then a good contingent of times you're going to get people who submit the resume, and just the cover letter. But every time we've then done interviews with those individuals, if they didn't submit the video, they don't follow directions. They don't actually follow the process, and it shines through. And I'm like, "Well, we'll make an exception this one time." And I kick myself every time we've done it. It's never really worked that well. So we have them jump through a couple of different hoops, including the video, because it really shows you how much care and attention they want to do to it. And so a lot of people are thinking, well, there's no way you're going to find anybody.

Draye Redfern: Here's the reality, every single person that I have hired using this particular method, every time they shoot the video they say on the video, "I felt like you wrote this job post just for me." That's exactly what I want to hear, because I want this to be like a magnet. I want it to repel everybody. I want this to be absolutely repulsive, awful, don't ever, I don't want to read another sentence. I don't want to even think about that job. I don't want to be anywhere near that because it's not who I am for all the people who aren't going to be attracted to that. And for people who are, the people who have the high work ethic, people who are self starters, all of the things that we want to require, we want to attract those people, and we want them to feel as though oh my gosh, this is my perfect job.

Draye Redfern: And they oftentimes will tell you that in the video. And we know some of the times like people you know are leery on camera, they feel camera shy, or whatever it is. We tell them that you can put it to private, just send us a private link so it doesn't have to be public. We just use this as a way to help our process. And we haven't really ever had any issues with it, and it's been a wonderful way to really streamline the amount of resumes and individuals we have to actually sort through, and if they make it through all of those things, they're usually a pretty good self-starter. They know what they're doing, and the training cycle for those individuals is also been much shorter in most cases. Now that being said, I do want to sort of piggyback off of what Bryan said a little bit earlier that where do you find some of these people?

Draye Redfern: Like I said, we use Craigslist in a lot of instances, however, we have also hired a good amount of people just from in person meetings because they go above and beyond. And so historically, some of the other businesses that I'm a part of, one of our number one hiring places was the golf course because if people offered an amazing level of service, or they were at the restaurant, they were just absolutely would go out of the way. They would always remember your name, they'd always remember your order, whatever it would be. Those are people who go that extra mile. We've actually hired a lot of people that way also simply because the attention to detail is important, and that's hard to sort of quantify, or qualify sometimes. But I definitely wanted to second what Bryan was saying earlier. So there's a lot there Brittany. I know that some of those things you guys have taken and adapted for your own process and hiring at Sweet Financial, but I'll turn it back over to you to sort of tie that off with a pretty bow.

Brittany A: Yeah. So Draye, as you were talking, I'm thinking you make it sound fun, right? You make the hiring process sound like, "Wow, we're just going to do something really creative here, and it's going to be fun watching people on video and no." So I have to say I have not met a single advisor, or a single business owner, entrepreneur that I've worked with that has said, "I really love the hiring process. It's one of my favorite things about business."

Brittany A: I have yet to find that. And part of the problem or part of, I guess, the reason for that is that all too often, instead of doing what Draye talked about and creating a longer timeline, and being patient, and waiting to find that ideal person, people are waiting until they are in dire need of help to actually have any sort of prospecting efforts for new hires. So as Bryan said earlier, too, you want to be constantly mindful of talent in your area, and you really want to eliminate any excuses that are going to hold you back from finding that top talent. It's something that I hear time and time again. There's a few different things that I wanted to share that I'm sure you've either thought, or said at one point in time.

Brittany A: You might have experience with saying, "Hey, my job pool is too small. We live in a really small community. We're never going to find top talent." Well, that's a limiting belief, because there are ways, there are people in your community that are absolutely going to be an ideal fit. It's just being patient, and it's doing the right things to get in front of those individuals. So it's having that mindfulness when you are out, when you are out and about interacting with people. It's that mindfulness when you're posting your job ads and using the language that Draye talked about as well. The other thing that we hear, too, is it's like, "Well gosh, everybody's already employed. The top talent is already employed." And I'm sitting there going, "Yeah, that's a good thing because if they're unemployed, there might be a reason for that." So you want to vet and search through the people that are already working, because those are the people that are contributing already.

Brittany A: Those are the people that are being held in their jobs. So that is absolutely a positive thing. And the last one that I wanted to bring up that is definitely a limiting belief is that we just, we couldn't compete. We couldn't compete with Joe Blow down the street. We weren't up to par, whatever the case is. Well really, there's three things that typically happen if you have somebody that you are hot after in trying to get them to join your team. Either one, they just weren't really aligned with your vision in the first place. Which, if that's the case, I personally don't want anybody working for me that is not in line with my vision.

Brittany A: So that's the first one, part two, or the second reason, I guess you could say if you say you can't compete is that you didn't create a compelling enough offer. And then the third one would be that you maybe didn't market that position right. So all of those things limit and get rid of the limiting beliefs, and understand that if you put the proper procedures in place, if you create that ideal job ad, you have them go through those hoops that Draye talked about, that's actually where you're going to attract the most ideal person for you, and for your company. And I will personally say that all that stuff that Draye just talked about, we put into place with our last hire, and we absolutely got a few of the best candidates that we've ever had in one application period. That's a big deal. That's a big deal in a town of 10,000 people.

Draye Redfern: I love to hear that so much.

Brittany A: Right? Doesn't that just make you excited? When things actually work, it's like maybe we do know something. So before I round out today, before I give a few key takeaways, Draye, Bryan, is there anything else that either of you wanted to add?

Draye Redfern: I think that it's just, it's worth the time. A lot individuals, we get so in the weeds with so many different things where I'm putting out 5,000 fires today, and I got client meetings, and I've got prospect stuff, but this client's having an issue. But we need to find someone to help with all of this. Just find the first person to put a butt in a seat. That cannot be the solution if you really want to have a sustainable practice that actually grows and helps you support you, in reality. So I would take the time, and I would get really clear and maybe you have to do a little bit of introspection about it of like what do you want? What do you need, and what does that person actually have to embody to fill that role? Whether it's above and beyond customer service, whether it's standing up from their desk the moment someone who comes in, walking around the side of the desk, and shaking their hands, knowing what their coffee order is before they walk in the door so you can have that ready for them.

Draye Redfern: I mean, whatever the care and attention to detail may be, those are things that you want to figure out what that person needs to be, the talents and traits, and then take the time to actually write it to surround that. And I'm telling you, most advisors feel as though they need to appeal to everybody. And that's not the case here. We only want to attract the right type of people. And so I would view your job posting less as a shotgun, and more as a magnet. That you really want to repel everyone who is not a good fit for you, that doesn't have your caliber or quality of service, whatever it is that you want to define it as, and it really attracts everybody who just completely identifies with the vision, your values, and really the direction that you want to go.

Brittany A: And I just think, to kind of round this out before I give the top takeaways, as think about our last mastermind session, every single person's ears went up. Every advisor that was there, their ears went up when we spent time and dove into this topic. So again, this is something that is absolutely a high demand thing. Everybody wants the best talent, they want the secrets on how to get there. So we've given you some of our very best that you could implement immediately. So those things, all that being said, the top three takeaways that you could implement immediately in your business to help you get traction to finding that top exceptional talent is number one, create your vision. I know we beat this in your heads all the time, but absolutely take the time to do it and revisit it. That's how you will make sure when Draye talks about that magnetic job description, that's how you can get clarity around it, is by having your vision.

Brittany A: Number two, going back to what Bryan mentioned, having the attributes of your team. What are the virtues? What are the things that you as a team live by every single day that you can use to do the third takeaway, and that is to create a stand out job description, and not just the description itself, but also having a standout application process. We talk all the time about differentiation when it comes to attracting clients. It is absolutely no different when it comes to attracting top talent. You have to differentiate yourself because people are noticing, especially the next generations. They're looking for something different. They're looking for something unique. Be that for them, and that's how you will attract the best talent out there.

Brittany A: So that wraps up today's episode of The Ultimate Advisor Podcast. We'll catch you right back here next week where we're going to dive in the most frequently asked question number two, which I will keep a secret until next week.

Brittany A: Hey Brittany here. We hope you got a lot of value out of today's episode to access the key takeaways, the show notes, and any deliverables, go to, and while you're there, check out the Ultimate Advisor Mastermind, if you want to learn ways to maximize your income, your impact and your legacy through an automated practice, a self managing team, and a killer culture that clients can't stay away from. We look forward to seeing you back here in next week's episode.
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About The Ultimate Advisor Podcast:
The Ultimate Advisor podcast is a business podcast for financial advisors who are looking to grow their advising practices with greater ease and effectiveness. Ultimate Advisor was developed to help financial advisors master their marketing, sell their services with greater authority, generate repeat clients, and additional revenue in their business.
Each week, your hosts Draye Redfern, Bryan Sweet, and Brittany Anderson will share some of the closest guarded secrets from successful financial advising practices across the U.S.  

Draye Redfern

Draye is also the founder of which helps Attorneys go from “Surviving” to “Thriving” in their business.  In addition, Draye helps to provide insurance solutions to more than 8,600 law firms across the United States annually.

Bryan Sweet

Founder of Sweet Financial, CEO, Wealth Advisor, RJFS
Creator of The Dream Architect™
Co-founder of Dare to Dream Enterprises
Creator of Elite Wealth Advisor Symposium
Author of 3 books – Dare to Dream: Design the Retirement You Can’t Wait to Wake Up To, Imagine. Act. Inspire. A Daily Journal and Give & Grow: Proven Strategies for Starting an Running and Effective Study Group

Brittany Anderson

Director of Operations at Sweet Financial, Office Manager, RJFS
Co-founder of Dare to Dream Enterprises
Author of 2 books – Imagine. Act. Inspire. A Daily Journal & Dare to Dream: Design the Retirement You Can’t Wait to Wake Up To
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