Get offshore leverage

Don’t get into the interview process without a plan, or you’ll get enamoured with the shiny things:

  • They’ve worked at a company you recognize
  • They’ve worked with a tool/product you use in-house and assume they’ll be great
  • The candidate has great English communication skills, so you get “sold”.

Here is what we’ll cover this week:

  1. Don’t wing it!  Define your Talent Acquisition Process upfront.
    a. 5-Step Process for Level 1 “Crew”
    b. 5-Step Process for Level 2 & 3 “Officers and Captains”
  1. Weekly “top employee” bonuses have been a huge hit!
  2. How to get your Level 2 & 3 leaders to improve their Executive Summaries.

Don’t wing it!  Define your Talent Acquisition Process upfront.

Candidates know when you’re making up “the process”.  They know when you’re rushing to just put a bum in a seat.  They can smell the opportunity, and you end up getting sold.

I’ve hired sooooo many “sure bets”, only to be brutally disappointed.  Basically 100% of the time, when I retrace my steps, I recognize that our misstep would have clearly been spotted if we had adhered to our process.

Feel free to copy our process.  It’s not proprietary, only battle tested.  I’ve hired >50 offshore teammates for my 3 companies over the years, and I can unequivocally state that following this process will help you isolate the “Wheat from the Chaff”.

Level 1 – The Crew:

Summary – you’re looking for execution specialists.  Example – Video Editor.  Shopify eCommerce UX Designer.  You want to focus the process on social proof – can they perform the roles/responsibilities as you desire?  The key to success is testing for skills BEFORE you go down a rabbit hole of 100’s of applications.  You will have a sea of applications especially if you open the aperture to platforms like UpWork.

Level 2 – Officer & Captain:

Summary – you are looking for communication skills, decision-making skills, strategic-thinking skills – situational awareness.  Example – Marketing Director, Demand Generation leader, Customer Success Manager.  You want to focus the process on rapport building.  This teammate will either report directly to you, or to your ELT team.  The key to success is officially testing the candidate in a Case Study defense that resembles a real-life scenario.  What you’re trying to avoid is mistaking a Level 1 talent for Level 2.  Level 2 talent will have obvious executional experience (tactical expertise), but can they help you strategically rather than just “give task, do task”?

Weekly “top employee” bonuses have been a huge hit!

My business partner at Pipeline Signals decided to create a monthly employee bonus to the top Data Analyst of the month.  The goal was to promote data accuracy and quality in their daily work.  It’s been working well.  Our error rates have shrank to negligible numbers.  The same Data Analysts has won 3 months in a row as she really grinds for excellence.  

We started celebrating the reward on our all-hands call, and now the other departments want in!  We’re all in on this.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress, but our first instinct is to reverse-engineer each role into the one “North Star” metric for the role that creates value for our customers.  Example – Customer Support – reduce support ticket response times from X to Y.  Something that each teammate can control.

How to get your Level 2 & 3 leaders to improve their Executive Summaries

Every week in both my companies – Pipeline Signals and Get Levrg, we write a “Weekly Roundup” newsletter to our internal (employees) and external stakeholders (investors).   The goal is to summarize:

  • How are we doing against our goals?
  • What outcomes did we accomplish?
  • Where are we stuck?
  • What have we learned on our journey?

These weekly documents are a collection of stories from our team leaders.  For the first 6 months on this process, I found myself re-writing the summaries that specific leaders were sending me.  I was turning them into executive summaries and briefs, rather than a recount of daily tasks.  Over time, I realized I need to coach more towards best practices:

Step 1 – What is our goal for the year?  Teach each offshore team leaders to methodically describe HOW we are going against that goal(s).

Step 2 – What are the milestones / objectives that get us to that goal?  Typically broken down in months or quarterly.  Think of these as big checklist items.

Step 3 – What are the actions and activities we completed last week / upcoming week to HIGHLY ALIGN to these milestones?

Step 4 – If we are stuck, describe in S.C.R.  Situation, Challenge, Resolution.  And the Resolution is a 1:3:1 = 1 Challenge, 3 Recommendations, 1 Course of Action.

This is still a work in progress, but helping shape our offshore team to focus on flying the plane at 30,000 feet, not what food is being served on the flight.

Don’t Forget – Benchmark your team against offshore talent.

Access it here.

  • What is the profit increase you could expect?
  • What is the sales relief / reprieve you could expect to generate the same profit?

Get ready to be shocked!