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EPISODE 23: Search & Rescue (w/ Jagger founder & CEO Jay Berard)

The Startup Stack
EPISODE 23: Search & Rescue (w/ Jagger founder & CEO Jay Berard)
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In today’s digital world, why is it still so time consuming to find great talent? Between LinkedIn searches and asking your network for recommendations if you’re still drawing a blank it might be time to consider a recruiting agency.

But then how do you pick the right recruiting agency that will make finding top notch candidates feel like a walk in the park and what makes recruiters good at what they do? We found out it’s a combination of hustle (yes a lot of cold calling) and knowing how to connect experts with experts.

This week on The Startup Stack Louis talks to Jay Berard, founder and CEO of Jagger. A modern talent solution agency based in Toronto, Canada. They chat about Jay’s (bartending) rags to riches story, overcoming imposter syndrome, the future of work, and how to create office culture in a Zoom world.

“The best way to do search is literally like a search and rescue”

Jay Berard

🎙 Highlights include: 

  • When to find candidates via your network vs. hire an agency?
  • Why being an industry generalist is valuable.
  • What to look for when evaluating a recruiting agency?
  • How long a typical search should take.
  • Who has the real power; a candidate or the company hiring?
  • What are the new, new trends in an almost post-COVID world?

This Week’s Guest

Jay Berard

Founder & CEO @ Jagger

Jay Berard is the founder & CEO of Jagger, modern talent solutions for the new world of work. His agency has filled over 500 searches in only 5 years in business. Fun facts: Jay’s originally a bartender from Winnipeg, Canada. He’s traveled to over 45 countries including running with the bulls in Spain and bungee jumping and skydiving in the Swiss Alps (in the same day).

The Startup Stack’s Host
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is louis-1024x1002.png

Louis Beryl

CEO, Co-Founder of Rocketplace

Rocketplace is a curated marketplace of high quality professional service providers. A 3x founder, investor, and board member, Louis began his tech career as a partner at Andreessen Horowitz. When he’s not working or podcasting, Louis enjoys cooking for his family. His pizza, he’d like you to know, is incredible. 


Full Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Jay Berard: [00:00:00] What did one ocean say to the other?

[00:00:03] Louis Beryl: [00:00:03] What did one ocean say to the other?

[00:00:05] Jay Berard: [00:00:05] Nothing. They just waved.

[00:00:08] Louis Beryl: [00:00:08] [Laughs] I was like, ah, I was, I was right there. Okay give me the second one. 

[00:00:13] Jay Berard: [00:00:13] What do you think is faster? Hot or cool?

[00:00:16] Louis Beryl: [00:00:16] I dunno. Hot?

[00:00:18] Jay Berard: [00:00:18] Hot. Cause you can always catch ia cold. [Laughs} So those are my, those are my two dad jokes. 

[00:00:24] Louis Beryl: [00:00:24] My kids are gonna love these.

[00:00:27] MUSIC INTERLUDE

[00:00:27] Recruiters, the great ones you remember, and the bad ones make you want to <control> <alt> <delete> from your memory. What makes finding your next great hire easier than ordering on DoorDash? Is it just having a really good network? Being an industry expert or is it just having really, really bad dad jokes? Hey, I’m Louis Beryl host of The Startup Stack. I asked these questions and more on this week’s episode with founder and CEO, Jay Berard of global recruiting firm Jagger. A bartender turned founder his firm has worked with world renowned companies like Telus and filled over 500 searches in just five years. We talk about the future of work and how to evaluate a search firm and so much more. Let’s get into it.

[00:01:08] I’d love to hear a little bit more about Jagger. Why don’t you tell us about it?

[00:01:12] Jay Berard: [00:01:12] Sure. So, um, Jagger is the company that started five years ago and we brand ourselves as a modern head hunting firm, really built for, you know, today’s talent market, which, um, you know, the way that I describ that as just being, uh, the type of firm that understands where talent is today and ultimately how they engage with, with companies and new opportunities. I think, you know, we’re on this kind of forefront, uh, of a, of a huge paradigm shift in the way that people work and, um, and so, you know, we work in all these different industries and all these different levels and essentially we help companies find the talent that’s going to help them accomplish their goals. That’s the reason we exist and, you know, making the connections between, um, you know, the people that can help them get there. 

[00:01:54] Louis Beryl: [00:01:54] Yeah. Tell me a little bit more about how you started Jagger. And I know that at the, you know, at this point, you’re, you know, you were telling me something like you’ve placed over 500 candidates. You’re, you know, you’re doing a hundred placements a year, you know, despite being a relatively small team, you’re working all over the world, but you know, let’s, let’s rewind, let’s go back, you know, five, six years. How did you get into recruiting? How did you start this firm? 

[00:02:24] Jay Berard: [00:02:24] Yeah, it’s a great story actually. I’m from a place in Canada called Winnipeg, Manitoba, uh, which is a smaller city. And, um, I was living in my parents’ basement and I chased a girl out to Vancouver, um, who was going to fashion school there. I was always leaving. I was always going to the big city, whether that’s Toronto or Vancouver in Canada. And so I, uh, I was a bartender essentially before then while I was in school. And then I had this app that I started called Posi which was a positive social networking app and like 2012 or 2013, um, which kind of went like this and then kind of like started to fizzle out. And, um, we, you know, we decided to kind of shut it down after about 10 months. Um, so when I moved to Vancouver, I really didn’t have that much experience. I had like the bartending resume with this little entrepreneurial venture and you know, 23 years old, no idea how the world works. So, uh, I was like, I got to apply to jobs and, you know, there was two jobs that I applied to. One was a Director of People, potential at Lulu Lemon which is their definition of like a Director of Human Resources. They wanted like 10 years of progressive experience in HR leadership, all this kind of stuff. So I sent my application in and I wrote them an email saying like, I know people, I know potential, you know, I’m your guy. Um, and, uh, you know, I didn’t get the call back.

[00:03:39] So I went and interviewed at this like smaller, um, recruiting firm in Vancouver and, uh, you know, they had advertised quite a high, you know, compensation. So I was like, ah, I could be a consultant. That sounds cool.  So what it was essentially a boutique recruiting firm that said, yeah, you could make that much, but you know, it’s a 100% commission. There’s no draw. Um, you know, we’ll train you, but, uh, you know, you know, just basically see what happens. And at the time, like I had a couple thousand dollars in savings, um, and I just moved from a really cheap and cost-effective city to one of the most expensive of Canada. And I kind of just had that naivete at the time to shrug my shoulders and say, I can make this work. 

[00:04:22] And so I jumped right into it. And then from that point on, I just kind of learned the ins and outs in the space, sort of working in all these different industries. And within about a year’s time, I was like the youngest person at that firm, but I was the top producer and, um, just kind of, you know, saw a different way that we could do things. So when I started Jagger about a year later, it was like, all of the emotional journey was already done. And now it was just about going on and doing, uh, doing it yourself. 

[00:04:47] Louis Beryl: [00:04:47] So you’ve got no recruiting experience. You’re a bartender, right? Um, you get into recruiting, you find this firm. You know, a year later, it turns out you’re a pretty good at it. Right. And then you’re starting Jagger or you’re starting your own firm. That’s a big leap. What gave you the, what was the inspiration to do that? 

[00:05:12] Jay Berard: [00:05:12] Part of, it feels like there was just no other options, you know, I think, uh, coming from like the bartending, you know what I mean? Like no experience being a bartender. I actually think that I had applied to a bartending gig as well to like maybe work Saturdays, you know, a 100% commission job, have something for Saturdays just to kind of keep you afloat. And I never actually ended up getting the job for the bartending gig. And the reason that that’s important to share is because I think if I got that job after three months of not making a dollar and not really knowing what the future holds and maybe having to call home and move back to Winnipeg. Um, I probably would have started taking more shifts. I probably would’ve started to, you know, take the Thursday shift and the Friday shift. And, and then what would have happened was I would have been like, well, clearly this, you know, recruiting thing isn’t really, for me. And I probably would have went back and I might still be bartending today. You know? Um, so part of it came from just like actually having no other options and, and learning the hard way. And. Um, just kind of running… 

[00:06:10] Louis Beryl: [00:06:10] Best thing that ever happened to you was that the bartending job and the Lulu Lemon job that never materialized. 

[00:06:17] Jay Berard: [00:06:17] Exactly. The real reason that I’ve been able to catapult, I think in the recruiting space is because like my initial experience is really rooted in pain. So like the first, first recruiting engagement I had. I had this insurance company that needed an underwriter and went through the whole process, younger guy, great guy. He was like, I’m going to buy you a beer when this is all done. This is amazing. And I’m trying to experience this whole thing from start to finish. So I’ve got this candidate who’s seemingly good. I have no idea what I’m doing. The client, I have the CEO and the COO as the direct client, they don’t know that I’m 23, that this is my first search. You know what I mean? Um, And I’m getting excited by this whole experience. And then they make an offer. The offer was $10,000 more than he was currently making. And it was an extra week of vacation, but so we would go the whole process. And I’m just hoping for this placement, cause I actually, I actually need it to happen. And the candidate had led me to believe that, you know, this was a sure thing, but when the offer came, he got cold feet and he decided not to take it. I decided to stay put, so that was really painful.

[00:07:20] And then the second thing that happened, which I. Um, you know, really this is something that sticks with me even more. So now it’s been three months. I really need this one to go through. It was an engineering job for one of the biggest, uh, breweries that’s what I’ll say. One of the biggest beer companies in the world. Through the whole process, same thing, you know, clients excited candidates excited. I’m ready to go. And we’re, uh, doing the offer and the candidate goes, I should let you know that I’m not a permanent resident or citizen of Canada, right? And the company has a policy that they, at the time, that they could only hire people who had the, at least a permanent residency or citizenship. And I was never trained to ask that question. That’s a little of the training that was involved. So I went this whole way again and made an offer. And then that it couldn’t happen because the person didn’t have the proper documentation. So imagine the client called that I had. Would that person and how disappointed they were. And so when you, I managed to salvage that relationship and that exact client was who I did two placements with the first day, which kind of brought me back above float. So in short, those, those experiences make you not make those same mistakes. Again, the third ever position I made in recruiting was a CFO. I have no business at 23 years old, placing a CFO role where they already had an executive retained search firm on it. But I got the CEO on the line and he let us have an opportunity and a chance. 

[00:08:44] Louis Beryl: [00:08:45] So, you’re out there learning the ropes and it sounds like, you know, you’re making mistakes, but you’re hustling, right. So you’re, you’re, you’re getting through it, but then you go start your own firm. How does that, why didn’t you stay at the, you know, with the guys who originally hired you? You know. Why didn’t you go out on your own? 

[00:09:09] Jay Berard: [00:09:09] Let’s see, I think about recruiting is, you know, if you’re, if you can manage the whole process yourself, you are the value. Like you, the individual recruiter are the value. And so a company has to recognize that. And a company has to recognize that if they’re going to retain great recruiters and agencies, for me, I kind of realized that my value was bigger than what I was being provided. And since I had just gone through this entire year and a half of just this. Very very, very real entrepreneurial experience. I just went, Oh, I’ll just go do this on my own. So when I started Jagger, it was like a little bit nerve wracking, obviously, because, you know, you don’t know how it’s going to be perceived. You know, I’m calling out of my condo. Um, I’m a, I’m a one or two person shop cause a friend joined me for a little bit. Um, and the first company that we brought on was actually Telus and they’re like one of the largest employers in Canada. You know, they didn’t tell me more about that.

[00:10:04] Louis Beryl: [00:10:04] Yeah. You know, it’s always fascinating to hear about, you know, when people first start firms, how they acquire those first clients, you know, a lot of times it’s, well, you know, I’ve got a pretty big Rolodex I’ve been in this industry a long time, but that’s not the case for you. So, you know, how did you get, how did you get, tell us, how did you get some of those other first clients?

[00:10:24] Jay Berard: [00:10:24] So it’s always about like the cold outreach, right? So you’re always. Kind of reaching out and no one really knows who you are. And at the time we, we didn’t even have a website. We just had like a one, not even a one pager. It was literally just fits in the frame of your computer that says Jagger, you know, I think it was just recruiting agency. That’s it. And a little contact email. So, you know, I think that in that case it was just either being the right place the right time. Right? So your outreach activities frequent, you’re making a hundred calls a day. You’re sending follow-up emails. You’re trying to see if somebody has a problem that you can solve. And I think with, tell us what happened. Was it just so happened that. You know, we hit a pain point on the reach out specifically about, I think it was a Director of People role, um, that, uh, that they were having a challenge with. And so that’s the engagement that we got because, you know, right place, right time reached out to the right person at Telus. And once we had them, so half the battle is actually getting the right person. And then the other half is once you have them on, um, on the line to be compelling enough to give them a, to give them a reason to say yes to you.

[00:11:24] And so for me, it was, you know, we actually just started our own firm. This was my experience in the past. Here’s what we can do to help you. And I just want to be, I was fully transparent. Like I want to be transparent with you. This will be a hundred percent filled because you’re the only firm I’m going to be working with on this one. We don’t have any other clients right now. So, you know, rest assured that, you know, we’re going to do the right thing and we ended up being successful in placing that role. 

[00:11:49] Louis Beryl: [00:11:49] Tell me some about what were some of the other challenges you faced when you first started Jagger? 

[00:11:54] Jay Berard: [00:11:54] When I first started Jagger, the biggest challenge that I had to overcome was, was really that self doubt factor. Right? We don’t have the office, we don’t have the cloud. We don’t have any clients on a website because we haven’t had any clients yet. So when I’m reaching out and, you know, recruitment’s the most saturated B2B sale in the world, like it’s a low barrier to entry. There’s a lot of recruiters. Um, and, uh, they’re all kind of saying a variation of the same thing. So I had a lot of self-doubt at first that I had to overcome, which was, yeah. When you, when you allow that self doubt to creep in, you don’t make the call. You don’t send the email, you know. You…

[00:12:27] Louis Beryl: [00:12:27] This is really common with startup founders as well. We call it imposter syndrome. Yeah. And how you get over that is it’s one of the biggest challenges.

[00:12:38] Jay Berard: [00:12:38] You know, I think where, where I found some early wins was really just taking the wins that you could get, you know, like taking whoever, not having any sort of, um, barrier on your own side of like what type of companies you’re willing to work with. So right at the onset of, uh, you know, that Telus search, we had this other client that we brought on, which was this um, distributor of plumbing supplies, four person company. Um, the owner had a posting with another agency and so we reached out and we noticed that they were looking and, you know, they weren’t really finding success because it was a tough role. The salary wasn’t that high. And, um, you know, typically what will happen when we get a search is we’ll, you know, we’ll reach out, we’ll call people their place of work. We’ll reach out on LinkedIn. What have you. This role was really challenging. And, um, the guy that was working with me at the time went on Facebook and he shared, hey, looking for an account manager, blah, blah, blah, and somebody who was a friend tagged a guy. That guy was in Vancouver for two weeks. He was a red seal plumber, I think, or a tin basher turned sales guy looking to move to Vancouver, but he was just there visiting. So we reached out to the guy, we connect with him. Doesn’t have a resume. He, uh, is there for two weeks. Doesn’t have a car. Um, we think he’s the guy. So we create a resume for him on the spot. We share it with the owner’s interested. So the guy needs to go to the interview. I pick them up in my car. [Laughs] You know, you can do this thing when you’re really small and you have the time I go to his place that he’s visiting, pick him up in the car. I drive him to Burnaby. I sit in the parking lot for about an hour and a half. Okay. Waiting for the guy to finish. This interview comes out of the interview. Hopes back in the car and drop him off. Clients in love with the guy. Thinks he’s amazing. And, um… 

[00:14:29] Louis Beryl: [00:14:29] Vancouver has no Uber at the time, right? 

[00:14:32] Jay Berard: [00:14:32] Exactly. Cabs are a nightmare. Anyways, so the client wants to make an offer to them. We then bring the guy for lunch in the briefcase, pull it out. We got an offer. He takes it. He’s moving to Vancouver next month. He’s pumped. That guy’s still there. He’s still there five years later. And… 

[00:14:50] Louis Beryl: [00:14:50] I love stories like that. I’ve got a I’m one of the first people I ever hired was kind of similar where you kind of sent me this message on, on Twitter. It intrigued me, you know, he was asked for coffee and so I said, sure, I’ll meet up for coffee. And he’s like, you know, I was like, how about Wednesday? And what, I didn’t know at the time was this guy was on the other side of the countries in Chicago. He was just hustling. Right. And he just booked his flight came right out. Right. Met me for coffee on Wednesday. And yeah, it was one of the first people I ever hired. You know, it was great. 

[00:15:28] Jay Berard: [00:15:28] Those, those are the kinds of stories where, you know, I’m always chasing serendipity. I think that’s like, if you can have those moments, you know, when you look back on. Like those are, those are the best moments that you really cherish.

[00:15:41] MUSIC INTERLUDE

[00:15:41] Louis Beryl: [00:15:41] Do you like our show? I do too. If you want to support The Startup Stack, the best way to do that is by subscribing and rating us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to us. Also send Dad jokes, or if you have them actual good jokes to podcast@rocketplace.com. Feel free to send us feedback there too.

[00:15:59] Okay. So we’re talking about some of these challenges, the imposter syndrome, you know, doing the hard things, doing the hustle, getting happy and driving the guy out to Burnaby and sitting in your car. When did it flip? When did you know, you know what, I’m onto something, this is going to work?

[00:16:19] Jay Berard: [00:16:19] So it was actually like fairly early on, I would say about six months in. I kind of came to this realization that the buddy that joined me, like it wasn’t really working out, you know? So that was, uh, kind of ripped the band-aid scenario. And I think he was, you know, mutually aligned. So now I’m sitting by myself truly by myself, but I’ve built a little bit of momentum up. I’ve got a bunch of clients now, different searches, different areas. And then things really started to roll. So, you know, we’re making multiple placements here, there, the US, Canada. And that goes on for a little while. I moved from Vancouver to Toronto, um, in that time span, which was about a year in. And there’s just a lot of momentum coming up. So all those initial efforts where you’re reaching out and saying love to work with you, all that kind of stuff, to follow up, to follow up, to follow up, it really builds that momentum.

[00:17:09] I think momentum is so underrated in business, you know, as soon as you start to feel that momentum, like that’s really your time to just capitalize on it. So we started to expand and started to bring on way more searches. Um, that I could even handle. So I had, you know, the, the first hire within the business, which was again, an old colleague who came and, uh, joined ship and she was amazing. Um, and you know, we just started, like, we just really started making, you know, multiple five, six placements a month consistently, and it’s just me and this other person in the business. So we started to, you know, get more flushed with cash, which, you know, alleviated some of the lifestyle anxieties that sometimes happens when you have the business, right? Cause you have the business to take care of, but then you also, if you’re a sole founder with no investors, I didn’t really take on any debt or anything like that. I would say probably about the first, within the first year we started to build a lot of momentum. So then we started to bring on, I started to go for next challenge, which was to start bringing on more people within the company.

[00:18:06] Louis Beryl: [00:18:06] I’d love to maybe get some advice from you. For all the entrepreneurs out there. Um, that might be thinking about hiring a recruiter, um, or maybe not, you know, just working at any company, thinking about hiring a recruiter. What’s the right time to hire a firm like Jagger. And how should they be thinking about which type of recruiting firm to work with?

[00:18:31] Jay Berard: [00:18:31] For any entrepreneurs or for any company really that’s thinking about recruiting. I think the most valuable thing you can do is actually look at your internal network first. Maybe there’s people within your organization or within your network that knows somebody that’s really great because they might already have you know, an idea of your personality and like, you know, what might work with you or maybe what wouldn’t work. And that’s always super valuable. And I always think companies should try to fill any kind of positions internally first before engaging an agency, because it is also the most cost effective way as well. Um, however, you know, you also want to make sure that you’re maximizing your resources. So if you are finding that you just haven’t quite built the pipeline, or if you feel like you’re just not seeing the right person. At that point, you should absolutely get an external recruiter involved who might be able to just bring you a different look, because they’re going to have a different approach to how they actually go to market. Um, and so when you’re evaluating a recruiting partner.

[00:19:28] There’s really three things that come to mind about what you should be asking and what you should be thinking about when you’re evaluating that person. Number one, first and foremost, which I think gets overlooked is how is this person going to represent my company? In the market in this market full of strangers. So when I’m maybe pitching on how Jagger is the other, the person on the other line should be, you know, assessing my own communication skills, they should be assessing how I communicate and how polished I am. Because ultimately when I’m in the market recruiting, I need to get candidates excited about your company. And that’s super critical. So many people, they just, they think recruiting is just, you go on LinkedIn and you. You’ve searched keywords and you say, this is the person, and then that’s it. You need to be able to be very compelling because especially when you’re hiring really in demand talent, they’re getting reached out to all the time. Um, so knowing who, uh, so yeah, number one would be, you know, really assessing the person and how they’re going to represent your firm.

[00:20:31] Number two is, you know, we always get asked this, like, what’s your specialty, you know? Or and again that’s important because you want to make sure that the person actually understands the role. If you tell me that you’re looking for a software developer with JavaScript experience, and I say, no problem. And I send you a bunch of Java developers. Well, we’ve just wasted a lot of time and you know, that’s not, you know what I mean? That’s not going to be valuable to anyone.

[00:20:56] Louis Beryl: [00:20:56] You’ve done hundreds of searches from. I mean, I don’t know, plumbing, sales and beer companies to software developers. I mean, how do you develop expertise in such a breadth of industries and roles? 

[00:21:17] Jay Berard: [00:21:17] So my core philosophy and theory that we work off of at Jagger is, you know, our clients are always going to be the experts in what they need. And the candidates are always going to be the experts in what they do. So if we’re going to be the most value add third party to both of those and if we’re going to be able to connect the dots effectively, we have to understand that our expertise is actually our ability to connect experts. So, you know, you get to learn on the spot with every candidate that you speak to with all the roles that you work on. But I’m, I don’t believe in pitching someone that I’m an expert in, you know, finance and accounting roles, because I don’t actually think that’s true. But right now I’m working on a vice president of finance, uh, role for an e-commerce client. And I’m working on a controller role for a publicly traded company. So, what I’m trying to do in that, in, in those roles is I try to understand how the client defines the controller within that organization. Right? The must haves the key experiences. I try to understand, you know, what personalities that work in that culture, what the culture is really all about. I’m breaking it down on those three things, and then I’m going to market and I’m reaching out to the people with our sort of secret sauce and methodology of how we reach out. But once I’m determining if the person’s a good fit or not, I’m really just connecting the dots. I’m asking the right questions. I’m coming into everything with a curious mind and as a result, You know, if the bells go off and recruiting, like the intuitive bells you’re usually, right. So I think developing expertise don’t get me wrong. If all you did was work on, you know, software developer roles all day, you know, you might start to think you should be a software developer yourself. Cause you know, they get paid a lot of dough. I actually think being generalist is an advantage in this market.

[00:23:00] You know, I think the third thing that you should really find out is. Diving a little bit deeper on their approach, but again, how quickly are you going to turn around qualified candidates? Because at the end of the day, if you’re going to the agency route. You’re either on a roll that’s super critical, um, for the organization you’ve looked already. So now you’re getting into a bit of a time crunch or you’re already in a time crunch. Maybe someone left the organization, all that kind of stuff. So if an agency answers that, you know, they’re going to do this whole breakdown and they’ll get back to you in two weeks and all that kind of stuff. Like that’s too long of a time. You know, our typical turnaround time for, um, searches that we get engaged on is, you know, around three days For the first round of candidates starting from scratch. Um, and so I think just understanding someone’s process and how quickly they can turn things around for you is super critical. Sometimes people will ask a question like, what’s your time to fill, um, what’s your success ratio, you know, placement ratio, all those kinds of stuff. And those are good metrics to understand, but in recruitment, especially contingency recruitment a lot of those factors depend on the client themselves. So, you know, for example, if a client says, hey Jay, we have this search, you know, we’re not working on it. We have no other agencies on it. You’re the only firm on it. This is what we need. You know, our fill ratio is probably over 95% in that case. 

[00:24:24] Louis Beryl: [00:24:24] I advise a lot of entrepreneurs. One of the biggest reasons I advise them to hire recruiting firms is that there are a bunch of reasons, but one of the big reasons is, well, it’ll help you move more quickly, right? If you think about the time to hire for this role, you know, if you’re the CEO, you’ve got a million things to do. Yeah. Even just a few, we broke down what it would take to recruit this person. That’s going to take a, and then a million sub things, you know? Sure. I’m not saying you can’t do it, but it’s going to take you months and months. Right. Versus if you have someone dedicated on, it’s going to massively accelerate that time to hire, but how do you think about that? Like, what is the average time to hire for a search you’re on. 

[00:25:03] Jay Berard: [00:25:03] People drastically underestimate how time consuming recruiting is a lot of people think they can do it, but, you know, for example, a CEO’s time is incredibly valuable. They shouldn’t be spending that much time on actual the ins and outs of recruiting, even though it’s they always have to be in some sense time. The average time a very seamless search is three weeks. Start to finish, you know. And, and so that’s a seamless search depending on the level, because if you think about it, let’s say we got engaged on Monday. Let’s say we brought candidates on Thursday, out of those three to five candidates. There’s three rockstars in there. Three awesome candidates that you’re super excited about. You have a pipeline. Remember the search is going to continue to go in the background now, especially I’m thinking about developers in this market. It’s just like every single person is hiring developers right now. Let’s say you have one interview, two interviews, a coding challenge and a final panel, right? If you can get that done in a three to four week period with your internal schedules, that’s a very straightforward, seamless recruiting process. But a lot of times you can’t because you have to, and you have to coordinate internal schedules. This person’s not available till Thursday or the following week and things like that. So I would say the average is more like five to six weeks for most roles. Um, and sometimes they drag on way longer. They can drag on months, um, when someone’s like, Oh, well, how long should I recruit for like, what should, what should my expectations be about hiring? It really just depends on the candidate pool that you have. If you have a higher in your pipeline, like if you, if this person’s been introduced to your organization and you want to interview them and all that kind of stuff, they shouldn’t be in your pipeline for more than five weeks because. Think about like every week that goes by in a pipeline for five weeks, chances are, as soon as you entertain one opportunity, you’re going to entertain another.

[00:26:56] And, um, you know, you want to build momentum in the recruiting process. So you want to have a step scheduled with someone. And then, you know, as soon as that first interview is done, if you’re interested in them, you want to have that second step scheduled right away. You want to build the momentum so that that candidate is getting excited about the opportunity kind of leading up to the offer. And sometimes. You know, there’s an internal thing. If it goes dark for two weeks and it almost always falls apart. 

[00:27:21] Louis Beryl: [00:27:21] Another big topic is around compensation. You know, what are one I’d love to understand how you, how you advise your clients around compensation, but also what are the different compensation models that you’re seeing out there. And, and are there big differences between Canada and the US other countries?

[00:27:39] Jay Berard: [00:27:39] There’s two challenges that usually come up with comp when they go to market and they might not be. Maybe they haven’t gone to market for this role in like five years. So, um, actually this is happening right now with a client of mine. So they, um, want to hire a sales manager and the sales manager comp that they have is, is one, the base salary is lower than market, but there’s really not that much upside, smaller organization. You know, let’s say it’s a $90k base with a $20k bonus. A lot of sales managers, they might be at a $90k base or a $100k base, but they’re also at $90k, $100k bonus. So that poses a challenge because you know, you have to then kind of work within those parameters. And you really are only going to see the talent that fits that mold, not necessarily the talent that’s really going to help your business. So sometimes I advise uncomplex, you know, as much flexibility as possible, um, because you might think that your role internally is. $70,000. But if you’re looking for that skillset elsewhere, maybe they’re already at $70,000 and they need at least $75k to $80k to consider it, which automatically puts your range up. So, you know, sometimes you get pushed up when you’re doing the recruiting that we’re doing, which is, you know, maybe pulling someone from somewhere else.

[00:28:52] And then on the flip side of that, you know, some companies that have incredible compensation plans, I mean, yeah. They get way more interest just based on a pure comp perspective. The things that candidates care about right off the bat, or who’s the company, what’s the comp what’s the location? And then we can dive into the specifics of really what the role is, you know, get those three salient details out of the way comp models. You know, again, you’ve seen more, we’ve seen obviously way more, uh, ESOP plans and equity plans. Uh, just given the amount of startups that you have continued to startup. In Canada startup, uh, ecosystem has really grown over the last. Let’s say, let’s say five to seven years, five to 10 years. Um, and so, you know, it’s almost an expectation with, you know, especially early stage startups, that there would be some sort of an equity component in it. Um, and, but I would say there’s, it’s still pretty standardized, right? Like there’s always going to be a base salary. Usually people will be wondering if there’s a bonus and then if there is any equity, stock options or RSUs, you know, full benefits. 

[00:29:57] Louis Beryl: [00:29:57] You know, we’re in spring of 2021 now, or maybe end of winter. Um, and you know, the vaccine is also getting out there. I, you know, I’m also wondering, are we going to see a resurgence in office culture? I actually just have a, had a, um, a startup founder emailed me today telling me he was looking for office space in San Francisco. This is the first person who said that to me, like a year. [Laughs] Right. And, but I, you know, I am, it’s an interesting idea because we’ve been, we’ve all been home for a long time. And, um, you know, I could see something coming up in a recruiting process where people are like, actually, maybe they want to go back to the office. Right. It’s like the opposite. I don’t want to hear about your work from home plan. I want to hear about your, get back to the office plan. I got to get out of here, right? [Laughs] 

[00:30:51] Jay Berard: [00:30:51] Well, I can, I can jump on that point from like what I’ve noticed from just like speaking to people. And like, obviously we work with like hundreds of companies that we, you can always, you always can kind of see what they’re doing and what they’re up to. So like a year ago, sometimes candidates would ask, like, this is pre-COVID, like, so like a year and two months ago, um, sometimes candidates would ask like, oh, are they like, is there a flex work at all? Like, could I work from home on like the, on Friday, you know, and some companies, but like, yeah, we’re totally flex. You know, you start to see a little bit of that change, that paradigm shifts, um, as where the future of work might be headed. And in some companies are like, no, we don’t do any of that. We don’t believe in it. Like it’s in the office eight to five, like nothing. So now just one year later. Yeah. The main question is going to be, you know, what is, what’s the working structure? So is it, and I think you’re right. I don’t think people will be as interested. There will be always some, but people won’t be as interested as like a pure remote. Um, but they also equally won’t be interested as a pure in office. I think, I think a hybrid model is just going to be the standard and that the power of that used to be in the company. Like the power of those decisions used to be on the company side where they could say, hey, flex works a benefit, but now the power in that is the candidate side because if you’re not willing to be flexible in the new paradigm shift, chances are, I’m not gonna be interested in joining your company because you know, in the, in, uh, in the aerospace industry, really call any industry, if nine out of 10 other companies are doing something that’s a little bit more, uh, aligned to how I want to work? You know, I’m not going to choose the one. That’s not just to join this company. That’s why, that’s how I actually think is going to happen.

[00:32:30] Louis Beryl: [00:32:30] Yeah. And you know, one of the other interesting challenges here is when you used to interview with a company, you know, you’d go into the office to meet people, but just being in the office for the interviews, you’d start to get a sense of the company, culture, the energy, the vibe, um, now. Uh, like if you’re interviewing right now, everyone is primarily remote. So you’re kind of getting that energy, that vibe through, you know, the video calls, Zoom, et cetera. Right. But there might be some sort of six months from now, 12 months from now, we might be back in the office. Right. And, but you’ve never experienced what that’s like. And so trying, you know, that it is an interesting time to be recruiting because you’re trying to, um, You know, how do you portray that company culture in a kind of video first world?

[00:33:25] Jay Berard: [00:33:25] You assess, obviously, you know, the culture fit is similar to the questions that you would ask in a regular setting. Um, and just trying to get a feel for like the personality, you know, why they’re interested in your business, what they’re looking for in the next step, how maybe, you know, what their career goals align with, maybe what you have as an opportunity for their long-term growth, all that kind of stuff. Um, but chances are like, you’re going to interview them on video and they’re probably going to be a video for another six months, six to 12 months last year. You know, I think recruiting really just fell off a cliff in March and March to probably like maybe like the summer and a lot of people who would have made their move last year decided not to given the uncertainty. And I would say ever since, you know, August, September last year, the recruiting market’s been busier than what feels like ever. And I feel like this year, especially like some people that either are waiting on that year end bonus. We’re closer to vaccine, just going to see a lot more movement going back to the office. Right. There’s gonna be a lot of movement there. If I don’t agree with your policies, I might be out if I don’t like Michelle down in that office or John in that office, I might not feel the same, um, the same way about the company I’m working for.

[00:34:39] Louis Beryl: [00:34:39] Yeah. And we’re into 2021 now, you know, we think we’ve been dealing with this pandemic for a year. Right. What, what are the things that you’re seeing this year? What’s the new trend, you know, not the, yeah. We all know about remote work and hybrid work, but what are you seeing right now? EHat is actually changing that’s different? I mean, like one thing I imagine for you that really must be happening is maybe like, are you, has the talent pool just exploded? Right. And what I mean by that is. You know, you used to find a company in one location. You had to find people in that location, but now are you just fishing in massive pools, you know, all over the country or all over the world, even, um, for potential candidates?

[00:35:28] Jay Berard: [00:35:28] One of the things that I think will happen, I’m hopeful happens. I don’t know the true logistics of ins and outs of it. But, so for example, I’m working with this company in my hometown of Winnipeg called Callia Flowers. They’re great. E-commerce a flower delivery company. And for the longest time, you know, they’ve had everyone in Winnipeg. And so Catherine, the founder there needed somebody to lead the marketing efforts and with marketing talent in Canada, there’s a lot of great talent in Vancouver and Toronto. And so she actually made her first remote hire through us. Um, but three or four months ago, and, uh, it’s working out fantastically. She actually loves it so much more that this person’s remote because it just, it provides the way that it’s working is so great that now we’re helping her with a, um, you know, the director of finance role and she’s same thing. She’s like, I actually don’t want them to be a Winnipeg. I’d like this person to be remote. So yeah, I think people have cast if have completely opened up their talent pools. And, um, what that does for us is, you know, we have to search really everywhere.

[00:36:26] Louis Beryl: [00:36:26] Yeah. And is that, is that like, does that make sourcing easier or does it make it much more challenging?

[00:36:31] Jay Berard: [00:36:31] No, much more challenging because, um, the best way to do the best way to do like search, like it’s literally like a search and rescue. So if you need someone in a city or like a remote location, like a smaller town or something like that, the best thing that you could do is just like make sure that entire area is completely tapped out before you move on because those are like the obvious wins people that are in your backyard. They can come to the office, they don’t have to relocate all the other things that go into it. But now it’s like, yeah, like just take this for an example, I would have looked in Winnipeg for a director of finance around the same type of company would have been a pretty. Quick search to completely be probably tapped out of the Winnipeg market, but now I’m Canada wide. I’m going through way more profiles, way more conversations. Um, so on one hand there’s a benefit because it gives the company more opportunities. But on the, I guess the downside of that is you just, yeah, there’s just way more people. My bold, my bold….

[00:37:25] DO you think this has been a benefit from it from a candidate perspective? Has, well, actually let me ask this question a little bit differently now that we’re doing. Canada wide searches US-wide searches, right? These giant talent pools. Does that benefit the company more or does it benefit the candidate more? 

[00:37:42] Louis Beryl: [00:37:42] I think that fits the candidate more. And the reason I say that is, um, well, again, another story. We just had a breakdown call with a company in Atlanta that really wants to hire in Atlanta. And, uh, because when they come back to office that team’s going to be centralized in Atlanta. Right. And they want to hire like team leads and like dev ops engineers, like really tough to fill roles, but all the people that are in Atlanta right now, including everywhere else in the us are being reached out to, from companies that aren’t in their geographical area might not even be in the same country. Coming at them with multiple opportunities. So I think what, from a candidate perspective, you almost feel like, well, I can be based in Seattle now, and I know that there’s going to be opportunities in Miami for this company or that company, because they’re willing to hire remote. And so I think it actually benefits the candidate because, you know, they end up feeling like they’re in more of a confident position to really only engage with companies that they are really, really interested in. Because they’re just getting reached out to you with more and more opportunities.

[00:38:46] Right. So basically candidates were already in high demand and now they’re like the dumbest has gone through the roof.

[00:38:54] Jay Berard: [00:38:54] Further to that. If you’re like, again, I’ll use, well, it doesn’t matter what Canada or us, but like, if you are a software, I keep coming back to software engineers and developers, because like they’re so in demand. But if you’re used to working in like a smaller market that has, that’s been always used to like a certain salary range. Well, now you’re getting reached out to, from some of the bigger markets and if they decide to keep their salary range, like internal equity across the board, you might get a substantial raise just from being in Winnipeg and taking a Toronto. Um, can you job with the Toronto based company? So that’s another benefit that goes to the candidate. I think, um, for those high in demand roles. 

[00:39:34] Louis Beryl: [00:39:34] You were, you were about to make a bold prediction, uh, a minute ago and I interrupted you. 

[00:39:40] Jay Berard: [00:39:40] So I really don’t know how this would actually work in the full logistics side of it, but I just think like the bolt prediction is like the borders are gone when it comes to hiring right now. Like. You can pretty much, there’s actually a, you might be familiar with them. There’s a company called Deal. 

[00:39:58] Louis Beryl: [00:39:58] I know the founders while I’m an investor in that company. 

[00:40:00] Jay Berard: [00:40:00] Okay. So I, when I first discovered Deal, I’m like, this is brilliant. This is exactly like one of the problems that I,  I just knew was something that needed to be solved. Um, and they’re, they’re at the forefront of it. I think a big, a big change, which is. You know, I can hire across Canada, no problem. But as soon as I want to hire in the US I either hire them remotely in the US and I, you know, maybe you have to create a us entity or what have you, but if I ever want them to relocate to Canada, it’s a, uh, it can be a nightmare of a process unless they fall into one of our, you know, specialized categories. If I have to actually sponsor like a us person through the LMIA. And all that kind of stuff. There’s just a lot of admin that goes into it. And then I have to physically relocate them. But if you’re willing to hire remotely and you can do so within the structures and all that kind of stuff. I mean, I think the border kind of gets eliminated. So Canadian companies look more than the US, companies look more in Canada, but they don’t actually have to relocate them. They can just hire them remotely, which changes, um, the whole immigration process. 

[00:41:01] Louis Beryl: [00:41:01] So last question for you. If you could go back in time five years and give yourself some advice before you started Jagger, what would be the advice you’d give to yourself? 

[00:41:12] Jay Berard: [00:41:12] Like just go, you know, you don’t have to, you just be present, be where your feet are, um, believe in yourself and, um, continue to push yourself as well. 

[00:41:24] Louis Beryl: [00:41:24] Yay. Thank you so much for joining us today on today’s Startup Stack was awesome. Learning about more about your career and your history, all the advice and learning more about Jagger. Thank you.

[00:41:35] Jay Berard: [00:41:35] Thanks for having me.

[00:41:36] MUSIC INTERLUDE

[00:41:36] Louis Beryl: [00:41:36] For more on our conversation today, visit www.rocketplace.com/podcast. We upload a new episode every week. So if you haven’t yet make sure to subscribe to The Startup Stack in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to them. Thanks again for joining us. See you next week.

[00:41:55] Announcer: [00:41:55] The Startup Stack, written and edited by Hannah Levy produced by Leah Jackson.

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