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Hire A-Players Like This CEO Who Grew His Company

Hire A-Players Like This CEO Who Grew His Company 140%

Eric Siu, CEO of Single Grain, one half of The Marketing School Podcast, and voice behind the Growth Everywhere podcast, joins The Growth Recruiting Podcast to share how he recruits for his fast growing digital marketing agency. In this episode, you’ll learn how to use proven marketing techniques to drive amazing recruiting results. Eric discusses his role in the hiring process as CEO and gives tips on improving your candidate conversions.

The Growth Recruiting Podcast is available in iTunes!

Show notes

1:24 About Eric
4:22 About Single Grain
6:20 Eric’s recruiting strategy
11:00 Hiring for positions outside your wheelhouse
13:35 Single Grain’s end-to-end hiring process
14:44 Eric’s secret to getting candidates completing video interviews
16:41 Applying Marketing techniques to hiring
18:50 A CEO’s role in Hiring
21:03 Single Grain’s hiring course
22:07 Eric’s advice to scaling your team
25:45 Improving candidate conversion like a marketer
28:36 Eric’s favorites
30:53 Eric’s new SaaS product (clickflow.io)

Resources mentioned on the episode

TripIt
Workable
Spark Hire
Moment
The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
Objective Management Group
The A-Player Hiring Blueprint
LinkedIn Recruiter
clickflow.io
Careers at Single Grain
Contact info – eric@singlegrain.com or Twitter @ericosiu

Transcript

Josh: Welcome to The Growth Recruiting Podcast. My name is Josh Tolan and today I am joined by Eric Siu, the CEO of Single Grain, which is a digital marketing agency that helps fortune 500 companies along with venture backed startups scale their revenue. Eric is a contributing writer to Entrepreneur magazine, Business Insider, Forbes, Fast Company, and Time magazine. He also hosts two tremendously popular podcasts Marketing School with Neil Patel and Growth Everywhere. I’m a big fan of Eric’s work than I am so stoked to have him on the podcast today. Eric, what’s up man?

Eric: Josh, thanks so much for having me.

Josh: For sure. For sure. How’s everything going?

Eric: Things are great, man. I trust things are good in your world.

Josh: Everything is good. I can’t complain. So I gave the audience a little bit of a teaser about your background, but the best place to start is if you could give a little bit of an introduction about yourself and your company and what you’re up to.

Eric: Yeah, absolutely. So my background, let’s see. I worked in tech before led marketing for a online education startup called Treehouse.Long story short, we basically were about to run out of cash, but now the company is a $100 billion company. And then from there, I had the unique challenge of, being able to save a failing company instead of a stagnant company. I decided to take the challenge because, you know, what am I going to lose right? But one year into it, I actually ended up taking over the entire company. So I own the whole thing now.

And, you know, I’ve just really enjoyed teaching people so, all the stuff I learned around marketing, from guys like yourself, and other entrepreneurs, I have the Growth Everywhere Podcast for that. And then Marketing School is just where I get to nerd out with my colleague Neil Patel and just nerd out on those things and kind of hold ourselves accountable to staying good at marketing as well. And then beyond that, right now we have a SaaS tool that we’re working on. I have my hands in many different cookie jars,cause I like working on different things.

Josh: That’s awesome. Yeah. Well I have to say that I’m a huge fan as you know, of all of the marketing content did that you guys put out. I definitely am a big follower and learn a lot from what you guys are putting out there. So I have to ask and enlighten the audience as well. So we both went to UC San Diego. We both studied economics and it looks like you… Did you minor in history as well?

Eric: I did.

Josh: That’s the exact same path that I took. So now I’m the CEO of a company that is a technology company serving, the HR and recruitment industry and you are the CEO of a digital marketing agency. So we both didn’t go down the economic path. What really led you into the marketing world?

Eric: Honestly, coming out of UC San Diego, this is like right after the whole financial crisis. So the only job I could get, and I live in downtown LA right now. I’m actually looking at the building that I first started working in. It’s the Wells Fargo Building and you know, the first job I got was a dead end data entry job and I was like, man. I remember Mike Judge who created Silicon Valley and Beavis and Butt-head. He was the commencement speaker and coming out of college I was like, “Man, this is it, huh? Like you sitting in a cubicle like this is it.” And that’s exactly what happened to me. Then, I knew it wasn’t for me anymore when there was a guy that was nine years older than me, graduated from Harvard and he was just sitting there. And, his life was just looked like it was over, right? So, my friend told me about digital marketing and I ended up getting into that and then, I just think kind of compounded from there and I never looked back.

Josh: That’s awesome. I mean, you’ve just been all over the place. I’ve seen you traveling, you’re speaking… How many different countries have you been to or can you even keep track anymore?

Eric: Oh man, if I open, TripIt, I’m sure I’ll find out. But I can tell you this year, I was gone 32% of the year.

Josh: That’s nuts. That’s very cool. That I’m sure you’ve seen some pretty cool places. So Single Grain, digital marketing agency. You said you took it over when it was a failing company. What does the company look like now? How many people do you guys have? What does growth look like and what are the goals going forward?

Eric: Totally. So, the numbers I can speak to, we have 30 people. And we’re adding another like three, four people next month. So things are growing, in of kind of growth rates on the employment side, it’s going pretty quickly. And then, you know, I think we’re … closing things out 2017 versus the last year. Grew about 140% and … adding another three or four people next month.

Josh: That’s awesome. And then going forward, I mean, are there plans to really scale head count at Single Grain? I know you talked about the new SaaS tool that you’ve been building out and starting to market that. So. So what are the plans in 2018 and going beyond that?

Eric: Yeah, the plan for Single Grain. I think we’ve been fortunate where, you know, this is funny because I kind of, you know, I had a debate with my team. Two people from my team were saying, and we’re putting all this money into content marketing, but what’s the ROI? And then I broke it down for them.

All of our clients are from content marketing, everything’s inbound, but had guys like, you know, it’s good that we have inbound, but sometimes it’s feast or famine, right. So I said, hey guys, we need to build, we’re going to build a sales team and in 2018 so we can really scale things up so we can have like, we can kind of diversify a little bit. So that’s a really big focus. But at the same time, we’ve really added a lot of kind of senior bench strength, … especially the last couple of months. So I’m really excited to see kind of where that goes and what manifest from that in 2018. So I’m really excited about the team at Single Grain.

And there’s the SaaS product, you know, that’s something, because, I’m not married or anything like that, no children, I can … burn all the way until you know, midnight every single night. Just working on that.

Josh: That’s awesome. So as, as the team is growing and as you’re hiring more and more people. I know you said you’re looking to bring on at least a few people right now and I’m on your site right now and I’m looking at your careers page to see a handful of openings. So when you look at your recruiting, are you the one that’s handling all the hiring as the CEO of a 30 person organization or do you have other people that are involved?

Eric: Yeah, great question. So my, ops guy right now, he’s kind of the first line of defense and then we’re also bringing on kind of an operations associate to, kind of be another one. We actually might consider, I’m just thinking a couple of months down the road, maybe Q3 or Q4, we’ll probably be looking at an HR person/recruiter. But, to answer your question directly. I’m basically involved in all hiring decisions. I don’t think I’m going to let that go, maybe until, a hundred or 200 people because I want to be able to make the final call and ultimately it’s my fault. Right. Like if, we make the wrong hiring decision, …I’m going to put it on myself at the end of the day. So at least [I] want to have some kind of … touch on it because I think I have a good sense for who we should have and you know, I think everyone thinks that. So that’s just kinda the way it is with me too.

Josh: Yeah, that’s for sure. And, I’m assuming that’s because, I mean obviously you have a good feel for skill set, you know, you’re a digital marketer, you’re hiring for your digital marketing agency. So I’m sure you can vet that out pretty well, but I would imagine that you want to have your touches on the hiring process for as long as possible so you can continue to make sure that the people you’re bringing on board match like the characteristics and personality traits. Mainly like from like a cultural fit standpoint for the people that you’re bringing on.

Eric: Yeah. You know, people, I think people will talk about culture like this, you know, that you can kind of just brush over and I think you and I have probably realized over time that this closer thing is, is really important. And so, you know, sometimes it’s, you could have, the person with the right skills, but they’re not the right person, right? So wrong person, right seat, those people need to go. But if a person is the right person, the right cultural fit, and they might be in the wrong seat, so at least you can move them to another seat. But I think it’s really important because if you have some guy that can, you know, a really good individual contributor, but he’s, toxic and makes other people feel bad that it’s a lot and I think that kind of, makes the company, you’re kind of incurring this debt for the long-term and you don’t want to be doing that.

Josh: Definitely. And so, at your company, are there specific characteristics or personality traits that you individually look for in a potential hire?

Eric: Yeah, I think number one for me just kind of stems from the top. I think is growth, someone that’s really growth-oriented. So I can tell really quickly, how do you learn how you go about getting better, right? You can kind of see it.

I remember I was asking this one guy, I was like, “So tell me how do you learn, how do you get better?”

And he’s like, “I don’t really learn, I don’t follow anybody, you know?” I was like, “Who do you follow in marketing, Dah, Dah, Dah.”

“I don’t do that, you know, because I don’t see the need to whatever.”

Well that’s pretty damning, right? Like, if you’re not trying to get better then you know, probably that’s good for you, but not the right fit for us.

So we look at growth and we looked at people that have [it]. I think that’s the first thing.

And then also people that have really long-term vision. So, I’ll ask people and sometimes people still can’t answer me directly. I don’t know why, but just tell me like if you were to pass, you know, what’s one thing that you’d want to do to consider your life success, right? Could be like find your mom a home or something like that. So I really want to get kind of an idea of what they think, what they’re aiming for and then try to align with that also and try to get, help them get there too. So I think that’s important to have that long-term vision.

Josh: Yeah, I mean I think being growth oriented is, is huge. I definitely vet for those same things. Like in our hiring process, I always ask two questions during an in-person interview. One, I want to know like if the person has any personal goal set, even it could be outside of work, like it could be learning to play the guitar, but I want to see like how they go about setting a goal, what they’re working on, um, because I want to make sure that they’re motivated.

And then I also like to ask, what is the hardest you’ve ever had to work for something? Because I like somebody to take me through the process of, like, they set a goal, it was maybe a big milestone that they had to achieve. They had to work really hard and I want to know like what they consider hard work, because I want that type of person in our organization, somebody that like can set a really high level goal. Maybe it’s a three year goal, but something that they have their eyes on and they’re really motivated to achieve it. I love asking those questions.

It’s interesting that we’re both aligned on, on that same type of thing in both of our hiring processes. So looking at your jobs right now, I see Paid Advertising Manager, a Sales Development Rep, which I imagine is part of building out the sales team and a few other types of roles. So, you’re not just hiring marketing people, right? Like you’ve got the, the advertising manager, you’ve got the salesperson, you’ve got an executive assistant. So you’re from a marketing background and you’re involved in the hiring process for these roles that are non-marketing roles. What do you feel like are some of the things that you’ve learned when you’re hiring for these roles that like you might not necessarily have ever done this job before or really know the skill that it takes to do this job.

Eric: Yeah, that’s a really good question. I think that’s the thing, right? Like, for us, at least for me, you know, being a non-technical person, how do you hire developers and how do you manage them? Right? So I think it all starts with, kind of what are the tasks for us, right? Because every single job is a list of responsibilities and tasks, right? But I think at the very least, if you can map that out in the very beginning, that’s super important and if you don’t know what those roles and responsibilities are, you can do, what I used to do. I just go look at the job description and then what I would do afterwards is I would, pick up some of my friends, that are developers or are in the CTO position and ask them, does this make sense? Is this outdated? What else should I be looking out for? And sometimes I might have them come help vet.

I’ll give you like a kind of more tactical example from a sales perspective, before we were kind of just hiring off of gut feeling. You know, did they play any sports, can they do a role play with me, are they coachable. Right? Those are all important. But what we did was we added a sales assessment. I forgot what it’s called, but it’s, I’ll have to share it with you afterwards (Objective Management Group), but there’s a sales assessment we use that is really spot on when it comes to, hiring people we’re looking for consultative sellers and for every single person that we’ve put through that test, some people say they’re too emotional. For some other people they’re not a closer, but they’re a great hunter. Right? And you find out through the interview, you basically tailor the interview questions around that and you find that to be really true and you can drill in.

Without going too much into the weeds, for developers, you could ask your developer buddies, are there any kind of code test or challenges that you can run these people through to see if they fit. And then, you know, sometimes what I do with people is I’ll also run them through aa project, right? So, you know, one or two week project, you know, if it’s a designer/developer and we see how we work together and if it goes well then let’s, let’s think about full-time, if not well then you know, that’s OK.

Josh: That’s awesome. That’s really good advice here. So as you’re going through your current hiring process, and I’m on your careers page right now, it looks like you guys have an ATS, are using Workable from what I can see, what does the hiring process look like from end to end for you guys? Where are you sourcing people? Where are you posting your jobs? Where are you finding them? How are you screening them through the process? What does that end-to-end cycle look like?

Eric: Yeah. OK. So let’s see. For the SDR kind of role and the executive assistant kind of role. I think the more mid level or you can even say junior to mid level roles, we could actually, you know, put a job posting up on Workable and it will post to, 15 different job boards.

And then what we’ll do there, I think this is what a lot of people do is usually, we’ll put in the job description, something like if they’re applying for a sales job we’ll say you must put sales is cool in the subject line or else your application will be disqualified. We find that about 92 to 98 percent of people do not follow directions. If they can’t follow directions, and be detail oriented in the beginning, probably not going to be a good fit for your company. Right? So right out of the gate we can just disqualify a ton of people make life a lot easier.

And then after that, we will, if it’s like an executive assistant or mid level role, or even like an intern for example, what we’ll do is we will say, “Hey, are you open to doing a video interview?” Because what we’ve found in the past is instead of just, we used to send them links, people just kind of go away. Getting that micro commitment from people saying, would you be open to doing a video interview, through our video interview, app, Spark Hire? Yes, we use Spark Hire. And they’ll say yes. And from there,we have a template in the ATS and they’ll basically run through that. If they pass through that, then they’ll go to the next step which is an in-person and then, that’s with, my ops guy and maybe someone else. And then the next level is me. And then finally it’s, reference checks, background checks, and the offer.

Josh: Nice. Nice. So it sounds like you guys have a pretty systematic approach. I think that’s for a smaller company, sometimes that’s rare because either things are growing too fast and they can’t get things in order or there’s just not enough focus or importance put on a hiring process. But it sounds like you guys are doing a lot of stuff to make sure that you’re ending up with the right people.

Eric: I think it’s one of the most important things you can do. Right? Or one of the most important things. Like it’s all people at the end of the day, I don’t care if you tank, whatever, like everything’s tech nowadays anyway. So like if you can’t get your people process down, I’m still not happy with our process. I’m still trying to tweak it every single day. I look at it like we’ve got to make sure it’s more consistent, whatever. Cause if you, have bottlenecks in that process and you have a couple of bad eggs come through because your process wasn’t buttoned up, then that can cost your company, six, seven, eight figures, nine figures in revenue

Josh: For sure. Yeah. I mean hiring, especially at a startup company or an early stage, young company, a bad hire can seriously bankrupt the business. It’s that important where you really need to make sure you’re making good, quality decisions and not only getting the most skilled people, but also the people that, you know, have the right personality and characteristics that you’re looking for to help the company grow.

So being a marketer, I think that there are so many things that were marketing comes into recruiting, right? Marketing and sales. So with your marketing background what are other things that you have used to convert candidates at a higher rate or get them more excited about working for your brand. Like what things from your marketing background are you applying to hiring?

Eric: Yeah. We’re continually trying to improve our career stage, right? So what we’re doing right now is we’re going to have a – we’re making a video because we’ve built out video production capabilities just to give people a sense of what it’s like to actually work at Single Grain. I think it’s cool that they can see the clients that we work with, but I think it’s really important, like we have a pretty good class or a review. I think it’s good to call that out because the fact of the matter is they’re spending, what, eight hours a day plus sitting with a bunch of people. They want to make sure that they actually liked those people. I think that’s really important. I think also the reason why I also want my touch on every kind of every candidate at least right now is so they can understand what my vision is, and what I see happening with the company, and they can tell that I also care about their future as well. It’s not just about, Eric wants to hit his goals all the time. So I think it’s that mutual kind of trust. I think that’s really important and the more trust you can show the people, the better. I’m not saying we’re perfect by any means, but it’s something that we’re always trying to optimize

Josh: For sure. I think the other thing that’s really key about,you being involved in the hiring process and at Spark Hire, I take a lot of pride in this as well, is I use these touch points with the candidate because they’re interviewing you as well, right?

So you want to make sure that you’re putting everything out there are being transparent with them about like what the growth path looks like at Single Grain and where you can see them going and why, you and other people that are working at the company. You think it’s a great place to work.

So I think like the touch points that you have with a candidate are probably the most critical because they’re looking at you as the leader and the visionary for the company. So if they feel like you’re somebody that they can get behind, it’s definitely a company that, they’re going to want to join for sure. So I think it’s really important to get involved early. Because you don’t like somebody like fester in their own thoughts about what the company and what the vision is like until they meet with you at the very end. You can like kind of get ahead of that.

Eric: Yeah, totally. The other thing I’ll add too is you bring up a good point. Like having the CEO involved is really important. I think also at the same time, I think video interviewing is important, but just keep in mind when you’re talking to you kind of, senior level, executive level people, sometimes you might have to have that touch point, that CEO touch point first. You might not even be able to use the video interview. In our case, obviously they are really good people, they’re getting people looking for them all the time and they don’t want a video interview.

Josh: You definitely have to adapt the hiring process to the people that you’re recruiting. I think there’s no doubt about that. Different roles are going to require different processes, whether it’s a more intense process, sometimes you’re going to sacrifice speed. It really depends on the positions that you’re recruiting for and what you’re going for in your hiring process. So obviously you guys put out a lot of great marketing content. I follow like, everything you guys put out. But I know you also created a course on hiring. So what made you decide to put out some content on the subject matter of hiring when everything else is pretty much about marketing?

Eric: Yeah, so this goes back to not having as good a process, right? So when I first took over this company, again, it was a failing kind of SEO company and we decided to pivot into content marketing as the other service, right? Because it’s easier to go from SEO to content marketing because, you know, the SEO skill set can be easily moved over. But, anyway, long story short, I got a recommendation for someone that could become our director of content. I didn’t really do a good job of vetting that person. I fully blamed myself, but we actually ended up losing four clients and we ended up losing two people because of that person. And we lost about $800,000 or so in that range in terms of revenue and we’re already failing, and we were falling even more.

So I was like, OK, we know we got to have some kind of process here for, for hiring and you know, if I can get this course out, at least I can send it to, people on my team. And then you know have them, go through with it because I think hiring is, people talk about marketing and growth hacks all the time. I mean that, that is your growth hack. Hiring great people, having a great culture. That’s the biggest growth hack to me

Josh: For sure. And it’s your biggest spend, so you make sure you better make sure you do it right. So it sounds like a really big pain point in your own experience is what really inspired you to create that so others didn’t have to go through that. So, if people want to download and they’re interested in subscribing to that course, like without giving too much away, are there any like actionable things that people will learn from the training or any teaser you can give about it?

Eric: Yeah, so we definitely have an intern process in there. We even have a firing process in the bonus sections, but basically, it’s how do you, when you think about your hiring, you have to have in terms of systematizing things, do you have a role scorecard, right? What other kinds of templates and you have that makes process a lot more easier. And I hate using the word streamlined, but it is streamlined, right? So it’s basically, here are the processes that you need to create a template that you can swipe and deploy. From there you should be able to create a button up process just for your company. We’re just giving you the blueprint there. So that’s why we call it Yhe A-player Hiring Blueprint.

Josh: Awesome. So it sounds like you’re just giving people basically a framework to work within, so typically you’ll work with your clients to give them these growth frameworks to scale their revenue through marketing. But, this course seems to be all about putting a similar framework in place to make sure that people are going about hiring the right way. So that’s awesome. That’s really good of you guys to do that. So I definitely recommend to the audience to check that out. Some really good content. I’m sure you’ll be able to take a lot away from it.

So, couple more questions. So what advice for other CEO’s that are maybe at a company similar to your size, maybe they’re smaller, maybe there bigger,but as they’re looking to scale their team and they’re starting to hit some growth stages where they’re going to be bringing on more and more people. Are there anything, is there anything that you can give them as far as advice? Should they be like dedicating specific time to their recruiting? Like as a CEO begins to really grow their company, what should they be doing? What should they be thinking about? What’s most important?

Eric: Yeah. You know what, I actually got this tip yesterday [as] I was interviewing somebody else. He’s known for kind of saving companies. He – the recent company he just joined, he brought it from $75,000,000 to about $250,000,000. And he’s just saying this like blocking out time each week, to focus on providing value to your network. And then what he also does there is he also asks people like, “Hey, who should I be talking to? We’re kind of looking for this role.”
But the idea is basically he’s helping people first asking, “How can I help?” And he has a very methodical process and how he just stays in touch with people he wants to continue to have a strong relationship with. But then from there, he has the equity where he can just ask. And what happened was when he came into this company, he brought 20 people that he knew, 20 people that he worked with at other companies. Or, kind of referrals as well and they built on a completely new senior team and a management team too.

When you’re able to make deposits in the bank early, especially for us, earlier in our careers right now, or we should say, yeah, I still think it’s pretty early, but making those deposits and then later going to withdraw those at the bank, you’re going to have exponential returns because you’ve helped people now it’s in their interest to help you.

Josh: So it’s like a long-term nurture play.

Eric: Yeah, exactly. And I think, earlier what I did was I also said I forgot where I read this from, but, spending at least an hour or two every single day just focused on recruiting. Whether it’s, you know, going on on Linkedin, messaging people, I find Linkedin to be great when you’re kind of laser targeting people. I just use Linkedin Recruiter and the response rates are pretty good.

We actually have a ton of candidates, from a, content marketing role that we were looking for, but that’s something where you can just record a screencast using something like loom and then handed off to a virtual assistant and they could just send your templates and you’ll probably have people responding to you.

Josh: That’s great. So I liked that you bring that up because that leads me into my next question.

There’s a lot of people that are working in talent acquisition that don’t have, marketing experience like you do and it sounds like you’re doing a really good job at converting people through your hiring funnel specifically.

Like, as you just mentioned, getting a good response rate on Linkedin inmails. I don’t think that every talent acquisition professional out there can say that and it’s probably because the way that they’re writing these templates or the ways that they’re going about doing these things and as far as targeting people.

So is there any advice that you can give to people that are in recruiting that don’t have this marketing background? Like, how can they get better at this as far as like marketing their jobs, marketing the company, um converting candidates through the funnel. How can they improve? What are some of the things that they should be doing or following?

Eric: Yeah, it’s a good question. So I think about sales. We get sales emails all the time, right? How do people actually get your attention? So, what I noticed recently, and I’ll just give a sales email or a podcast interview example. I think I saw an episode on Shark Tank where somebody was, I think, I think the product was like oatmeal or something. I was like, oh, that’s really cool. I want to get these people on the podcast. But instead of saying, something too generic like, we’d love to interview you for this, like some really generic subject line. I said, hey, can I promote you to, 100,000 listeners or 30,000 people on my email list, right? That’s a little more enticing for someone like me and you. Where it’s like you’re looking for more distribution, you want more branding. The response rate was 100 percent on a couple of emails that I sent. I should probably do more of those.

But when it comes to recruiting, for example basically what we’ll say is we keep it really simple because like what I find from the recruiters is that sometimes when they send you the title of the email is, basically like every single word is capitalized. That’s when, they’re just basically blasting it to everyone or something really basic like looking to connect or something like that.

But if you make it “Content Marketing Role” and then, maybe you put the salary range, it’s like $100k plus or something like that. You’re going to get people’s attention, right? They’re gonna open it and say, “Hey, do you know anybody that’s interested?” Maybe you’re not asking them directly but you’re going to get a response, right? So that’s when I start to see, you know, we’re talking 25 to 40 percent response rates depending on the role.

Josh: Interesting. Well, I think you brought up a good point, like as you’re talking about the email that you wrote to get that person from Shark Tank on your podcast. I think what you really hit on was your messaging is more focused on like what’s in it for the other person.

I think people need to do that more in their recruiting.

Like you don’t want to just send messages to people and like toot your own horn and talk about your company and how great it is to work there. That’s all important. But I think, if you can really personalize a message to maybe some things you’ve found on their Linkedin profile in their interests and then also personalize it, about what it would look like for them to be at your company and what you feel like the impact they can make on your company. I feel like if you can make that messaging a little bit more about them, you’ll probably get a higher response rate. I think that’s pretty much like any like sales and marketing activity.

Eric: That’s so important. Yeah. Even if you do customize, even like five to 10 percent of it, at least you put in time, people are going to appreciate that

Josh: For sure. For sure. And you can, that’s the type of stuff, like you could still systemize that, like you don’t need to spend an hour crafting every single message, like you can have a foundation to those messages that you’re sending and then you can have like this, whether you put it in like little curly brackets or something to make sure that you update it. You can have like a personalization piece where you insert your two to three sentences or one or two sentences, whatever it is to really personalize that, that message to the candidate.

Eric: Awesome.

Josh: Yep. So, so real quickly before we wrap up, I just like to go through some favorite things. So just a couple of questions for you. So do you have a favorite interview question?

Eric: Yeah, a favorite interview question. I actually stole this from Elon Musk. You know what, tell me about the most impressive career win to date.

Josh: Nice. Nice and favorite app. It’d be a mobile app, web app, whatever.

Eric: You know, what I like right now is there’s this app called Moments that I use on iOS and basically it shows me how much time I’m spending on my phone every day and it was basically alert me. That’s one of the few notifications I have on. It’s like, hey, you spent an hour on the phone today, or hey you spent two hours, you’re over your limit. I’m drastically trying to limit it and plus it shows me how much time I’m spending on each app. So I ended up deleting like Youtube and Facebook from my phone.

Josh: That’s good. I think there’s like some chrome extensions that are like that too, that like monitor your web traffic and tell you like, hey, you’re spending eight hours a day on Facebook. You should probably stop if you want to be productive.

Eric: Yup.

Josh: So that’s awesome. Um, favorite quote?

Eric: Yeah. It’s from Zig Ziglar. Actually. You know what I. I like this Winston Churchill one. It’s always kind of up in the air. I’ll say, I’ll say, what’s the Churchill for this one? Because it just popped in my head. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Josh: Nice. Any favorite book could be something you’re reading right now or it could be an all time favorite.

Eric: Yeah. You know this one book, I just read this on my trip back from Japan. I literally finished it in a couple hours and that’s really rare for me. It’s called The Coaching Habit, so it’s basically on how you can. It’ll change the way you lead people forever because I think entrepreneurs, especially you and me, we just were used to getting things done, but instead of trying to prescribe answers to people and give advice all the time, it teaches you how to tease the answer out of people and really coach them up.

Josh: Interesting. I’ll have to check that one out. So and last question, I know you just went to Japan, so maybe that’s the answer, but what’s your favorite vacation spot?

Eric: Yeah, it has to be Japan, just all the learnings and you know all the people I met.

Josh: Well that’s awesome. Well Eric, I really appreciate you coming on the podcast today. If people want to connect with you, where can they find you?

Eric: Yeah, they could just email me directly. Eric, eric@singlegrain.com, or twitter. That’s @ericosiu.

Josh: And is there anything else you’d like to add before we sign off?

Eric: Yeah, final thing is uh, if any of you get above 100,000 Google traffic or organic traffic per month, just go to clickflow.io. We have, that’s our new SaaS SEO product.

Josh: Thanks so much Eric. That was awesome. I really appreciate it. Have a great day everyone.

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 5,000+ customers in over 100 countries.