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Check back here often for the latest news on our new product releases, awards, recognitions, and other exciting achievements.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #153: An Industry Q&A With Andrea Hoffer

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Andrea Hoffer of AHA! Recruiting Experts shares how companies can utilize assessments both during recruiting and for ongoing team development.

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Andrea Hoffer. Recorded live on Wednesday, January 14th, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Andrea Hoffer

With over 25 years of experience with hiring and leadership, Andrea’s core purpose is to give leaders their time and freedom back by helping them attract, engage, and retain team members who believe in and support their vision.

Andrea’s previous role as a spa owner with 35 employees provided her first-hand insight into the everyday challenges of motivating employees, exceeding customer expectations, and meeting business and revenue goals.

Today, Andrea helps companies recruit, hire, onboard, and engage their team members across many industries and verticals. Her clear cut action steps and supportive coaching has helped businesses build their Dream Team with great results.

Interview Recap

  • Common mistakes companies make during the hiring process
  • Best hiring practices and techniques business owners can implement
  • What to expect when working with a recruitment agency
  • How companies can utilize assessments both during recruiting and for ongoing team development

SEE ALSO: Home Automation Podcast Episode #152: A Custom Integration Industry Q&A With Angela Larson and Blair Piersall



Ron:  Hello! Ron Callis here with another episode of Automation Unplugged. This is officially the first show of 2021, and I have invited one of my long-time friends. She was a part of a business group. Maybe we'll even chat a little bit about that called the Entrepreneur Organization or EO. And many years ago, I want to say back in 2011 or so. I was in a group called EO Accelerator. For businesses that were sub-one million dollars in revenue and were striving to grow their business and learn some fundamentals. I was in that group with her, and you can think of it as we were in the same class, and we've maintained a connection since that time. And she's a business owner, and she has since grown to a really cool recruiting and consulting firm. I know so many of you are in a stage of your business where you're growing, or maybe you're trying to handle or manage the peak demands on your business right now for growth. I thought it would be relevant to bring an expert in, and let's see if we can all learn from her. Here for show 153, I am bringing you, Andrea Hoffer. She is the CEO at AHA! Recruiting Experts. Andrea, how are you?

Andrea: Hi, Ron, I'm great. How are you?

Ron:  I'm superduper. Thank you for coming on the show.

Andrea: Thank you. I'm really happy to be here.

Ron:  I noticed as I was perusing your new website, which we'll show at the end, but you also do a podcast, or you started a podcast. Tell me about that. What led you to make that decision?

Andrea: Well, I like to share different things about recruiting and working with employees, so I actually started as a solo cast with no guests, and the first bunch of episodes is just me, but with different topics. And then I started to get bored of just listening to myself. Now I'm starting to have guests talk about other subjects, but all related to not just hiring, but keeping your employees.

Ron:  If you're out there watching or listening, please drop a comment. I see we're already getting some likes, comments, and emojis. But if you would be so kind as to say hello, tell us where you're coming to us from. If you're tuning in and have questions about hiring or recruiting or staffing or H.R. related things, certainly drop those comments or questions. Wes said, "Hey, Andrea, welcome to Automation Unplugged." Thank you, Wes. I appreciate that. Andrea, tell us where you're coming to us from. What part of the country are you in? And then maybe give us a high level of what is Aha Recruiting Experts?

Andrea: Sure. I'm in your neck of the woods. I'm in Delray Beach, Florida. A few years ago, we were voted as the most fun town in Byran Travel.

Ron:  I did not know that! Is it still the most fun with COVID? Has that changed the engagement there?

Andrea: Yeah, a lot of things have stopped. But I'll tell you, downtown Del Ray is always hopping. COVID is not going to change that.

Ron:  For better or worse, people will get out of their house and have fun.

Andrea: Yes, exactly. And as far as Aha Recruiting Experts, in a nutshell, we help business owners to find the best people for their team, for their culture, for the position, specific position. And we also help them engage them and keep them, because that's just as important.

Ron:  Now, you and I have known each other. I guess it's maybe nine or so years. And so I just happen to know. And then, of course, I'm reading your bio over here on my screen. You've been a business owner yourself, you're a business owner now, but you've also owned other types of businesses and run other types of businesses. I certainly have lots of HR and people and recruiting questions lined up here for you. But do you mind just sharing a little bit about your background?

Andrea: Sure, just to kind of preface, before I owned my own business, I worked in higher education, and near the end of my higher ed career, I started being in charge of different types of revenue operations. Basically small business and realized I was good at it, and I enjoyed it. I decided I wanted to start my own business, but I wanted what I considered a business with training wheels. I looked for a franchise, and I ended up investing in a Massage Envy location down here in South Florida. And I owned it for 10 years and then sold it about five years ago. And a lot of what we do at AHA! Came from my experiences running that Massage Envy. We had thirty-five employees. We definitely dug into the team challenges and team benefits.

Ron:  How did you ultimately transition? Did you go right from the Massage Envy franchise into a consulting, or how did the fact that you're now running a vibrant recruiting business come about?

Andrea: Actually, about somewhere between year two and three of me owning the Massage Envy. I received a call from a former colleague who had a very high-level position at a college in Atlanta and was in charge of all the revenue-generating units there. And she said I need someone who understands business and understands how colleges work. Can you fly out here for two weeks and consult with us? And I said, sure. I went to the bookstore and took out a book on consulting because I had no idea what that meant. But I figured I could do it if she thought I could do it. AHA! was born, but when it was born, it was AHA! Business Consulting. And that college ended up becoming one of my largest clients for several years until they got taken over by another college. But then we started branching out from colleges and started working with small and medium-sized businesses.

For the first half, we've been around a little over 10 years. In the first half of Aha, we were a business consulting where we mostly worked with businesses to help them with their team and help the team members communicate more effectively to teach and leadership skills to help with their processes. And then, somewhere along the line, some of our clients started asking, well, it's great that you help us with our team. Can you help us put the right team in those seats? And I said, well, we've been using some interesting techniques at my Massage Envy because I had so many staffing problems in the beginning. I did a lot of research and tried different unusual things that were really working. And I guess my clients started hearing about it. We slowly started transitioning to offering recruiting services that were both coaching-related and full service recruiting. And then, really, two years ago, we completely shifted. We're now ninety-nine percent of what we offer is full service recruiting and training. Then we changed our name to our Recruiting Experts.

Ron:  You rebranded. Yeah, that makes sense. Just curious, what was 2020 like for your business? I'm going to make an assumption. Some industries are doing really well, like our industry, and some industries are probably the opposite. What are you seeing?

Andrea: Well, I am very grateful and appreciative because in 2020, we grew just under 90 percent over 2019, and that was at a time when the recruitment industry specifically was laying off people, and because all in most industries were laying off, people were looking for outside recruiters. I can't tell you how grateful I am that we could grow. And we actually added two additional people to our team during 2020. And we're about to add two more hopefully this month because we need it.

Ron:  Not only recruiting for your clients but yourself.

Andrea: Exactly.

Ron:  That's an exciting place to be. I'm going to make an assumption, and my audience, if you're listening in on the live video or if you're listening on replay or through the podcast, feel free to chime in on the comments or visit us on the Web page and put a comment. But I'm going to make an assumption that. So many businesses in the custom integration world, which I've shared with you over several conversations, a little bit more about our industry and some of the challenges, these businesses are in many cases receiving peak levels of demand from consumers. A number of our customers, maybe the majority, are on the residential construction side of the world versus the commercial construction side of the world. Consumers are spending money on their homes.

They're remodeling their homes. They're doing that. All the theaters are closing down around the country. If you want to watch first-run movies, people are put money in their homes. The demand is causing integrators to realize that their staff and their people are a bottleneck to growth and that people are walking that fine line of do they hire, how fast do they hire? They don't want to hire too much and then be overloaded with personnel if there is a pivot in the economy. But the assumption I want to make is that many businesses struggle with what that process is in terms of bringing recruits in or even allowing people to enter into the first steps of a recruiting or a hiring process. What are common mistakes that you think companies make when looking to grow?

Andrea: One of the first mistakes companies make is knowing they need people, but they don't actually know what that position needs to do. They don't know what the results are that they're looking for from that position. What are the success traits? That's one of our buzzwords as a recruiter. But those characteristics that if you look at your current team and look at the people who are really successful in the positions, what did they live every day? How did they show up? Because if you want more of them, you need to really think about it and write down more of that trait. And then everything you do in that recruiting process, make sure you're bringing it back to it and make sure they live your core values and are passionate about your company, not just need a job, but really want to join your company because of the culture that you have there. They often don't think about that. And then one of the things they see so often is they'll say, well, I need an office manager. They'll Google some job posting for an Office Manager, copy-paste it, maybe tweak it a little bit and throw it on Indeed or some job board. And then they get people that that aren't a good fit.

That's because they didn't put any thought into really who they need. It's going to be different from company to company. That's one of the big things really thinking that through and then creating a job posting and even more of an integrative site, some kind of web site that really talks about who you are, videos of your employees, and so that the right candidates will connect with you before you even start talking with them.

Ron:  This is called a leading question. Is it bad that a company might post that position on Indeed or Craigslist or wherever they post it? And the request is, please submit your resume, and we'll call you in for an interview. Is that the right process or other cases where that's the right process? I'm asking that because I think I know of some of my customers that do that. It makes me cringe thinking of going from resume to long, deep interview. That just sounds like there's an opportunity to waste so much time with the wrong people. Is it bad? And is there a better way or a different way?

Andrea: I'm not going to say anything is bad, but I will say there are definitely better practices and techniques. It's not really helpful to you if you have them submit the resume through email. One, because you can easily miss it, and you want to make sure you respond to every single candidate, even if you're not interested in them. You want to have it in some sort of automated system that at least lets them know, hey, I got it, and I appreciate it. You want to make sure you put something else on there that you know a little bit more about them. We usually will add one question because we still want to make it easy for the candidate. We want them to go to a site from their smartphone and very easily apply. And then we have one question. Why are you passionate about this position and the candidates who put any effort into it?

Those are the ones we're going to move on to the next step. The ones that put n/a. Why bother reading the resume because they don't really care? We typically like to ask them for a video interview, and we usually use special software called Spark Hire. There are lots of them out there where you can actually program. I wouldn't do more than three or four questions, but just to get to know them a little bit more, and they can again do it on their own time through their smartphone. And you can screen from there and then decide whether or not you want to spend more time with them and schedule a phone or Zoom interview.

Ron:  I've never used Spark Hire here at One Firefly. This is in no way an advertisement for me for that. But it does sound interesting. If you're watching the Spark Hire submissions, what are you looking for?

Andrea: One, we're looking for some sort of effort, and that can be as basic as are they sitting on their bed, laying back and just kind of like talking like they're talking to a friend. At the end of the day, or did they dress a little bit nicer? Depending upon the position, we may not be looking for a suit, but at least showed up.

Ron:  Did they take it seriously?

Andrea: Right. Again, we asked them the passionate question because now here's an opportunity for them to talk a little bit further. They've had more time to look up the company. Hopefully, the company has had some information about them, maybe some videos with their current team members about what it's like to work there. That's always a good thing to have available for the candidate. And so if they now are connecting to that and they're connecting to, say, One Firefly, this is where I really want to work, and these are the reasons, and I see all these amazing things they're doing. And I love their team page. Well, OK, I'm going to keep listening, and then the second question we usually ask, and I think this is one run that you mentioned you use sometimes, is what the top three things you're looking for in your next job are? And you'll be amazed at how many candidates will say, well, I'm looking for being able to make my own schedule or work-life balance. Now, it's not to say we're going to pass over if they put the work-life balance, but we really want to hear at least that is number three. You want to hear some other things that are are more important to them. The third question is, what do you know about our company? Sometimes we'll change that up depending upon the position, but it's always interesting to hear. I don't really know anything about your company. I haven't had a chance to research it. Well, you were able to do this on your own time, so you should have had time to look it up.

Ron:  You actually threw a term at me that I didn't even know what the term was. What was that term again?

Andrea: Employer branding.

"At One Firefly, is we surmised that our culture is a core differentiator at One Firefly. We're proud of the culture that we built. We find that if we can expose that culture to candidates, it's almost self-selecting."

Ron:  OK, so now I'm going to start using that term. Here's what we surmised at One Firefly, is we surmised that our culture is a core differentiator at One Firefly. We're proud of the culture that we built. We find that if we can expose that culture to candidates, it's almost self-selecting.

Andrea: Exactly.

Ron:  And so by doing that, we went and actually worked on a project. It took a while, but we worked on our mission, vision, values, key differentiators. What is our plan for the upcoming years? We actually brought my leadership team. It was a lot of time and energy spent doing that. And then we wanted to present that to the world on our website. And I'm going. To be honest, if my customers are listening, I didn't put it on my website because I thought my customers would look at it. I put it on my website because I wanted my future employees to look at it. I wanted my prospects in terms of candidates to know who and what we are. It's not that I didn't want my customers. I'm just not so convinced they would go there and look at it. Maybe they will. Maybe they won't. But anybody looking to join a company, I mean, I'd like to think the employee that I would want to hire, I would want them to have spent time on my website.

When we looked at our website, we realized it lacked that messaging. And so we took about a project in six months. It was quite a bit of meeting and design and deliberations. And we landed at what is now the About Us page on our website. We're very proud of it. How common do you find the companies? You're in a great gig because you're working with many companies in many different industries. You're not exclusive to any particular industry. How common do you find what companies present online is strong or effective company branding? Let's say people are listening, and they shoot, I'm not branded very well, or I'm not putting that best image forward. What should they do?

Andrea: OK, to answer your first question, it's much more common for us to find that they don't even have a career site. Sometimes clients or potential clients will call us and say, I need to fill three positions, and I'm not getting anybody. And so the first thing I'll do is go to their website, and I'll say there's nothing on your website about you, about you as an employer. We really talk to them about the importance of employer branding. And we now require we used to do this as an upgrade, but we actually now require all of our new clients to go through, I guess, what you would call our employer branding stage and where we really do a deep dive with the client. I'd suggest that to the listeners. You want to ask yourselves questions. I'm a big fan of writing down stories. Often, when I see people say keep a notebook or electronic notebook, whatever you use, and whenever you have a situation with the employee, that's one you don't want repeating to write it down. And then on the other side of the page, when your employees really step up, and this is what you want to see over and over again, write that down, and you'll start to see a pattern. And that's just an easy way to start off getting a feel for your values and what those success traits are perfect for the different positions. Sometimes the success rates vary by position. Just to clarify, the success traits are the traits were the most successful people for that specific position have and then your core values: your culture, what everybody in the company lives by every day, and how they show up every day. Doing that work really makes a huge difference in recognizing whether somebody is the right fit for your company. And that will help with not losing so much money because you hired the wrong person.

Ron:  That makes sense. I have this fortune. I know you're a wealth of information and experience. And so I'm using this public interview as an opportunity for me to get all my questions answered that I've been itching to ask you. I'm going to go back to when I got hired at Lutron, and those are the two jobs I've had that weren't me owning my own business. And I know that they put me through various tests like Myers, Briggs, and P.I. Predictive Index. Through you and from EO, I was exposed to things like DISC profiling. I recently was exposed to Coleby. I was recently exposed to Creative. Not no. I wrote it down. I know I messed it up. Culture Index. There are all these indexing testing things to try to get inside the candidate's brain that you're maybe considering hiring. And they also are use cases for helping people that work together in the workplace know how to work better and interact with each other. Where do you stand on those things playing a role in hiring and/or daily business?

Andrea: I have some strong opinions about the assessment, so I'm happy you asked me this question.

Ron:  By the way, at One Firefly. I'm not using any of them today. My leadership team and my team have probably been exposed to most of these, but we're not currently actively utilize them because, honestly, we don't know where to put them into the process.

Andrea: Some assessments are not really made for pre-hire. The good assessments and assessments that are going to provide you will augment that pre-hire experience is the ones that are specifically validated to a job. The only pre-hire assessment we use right now is called PXT Select. And you may never have heard of it, but it's been around for a while. It used to be called Profiles International. And what we like about it is, one, it's validated to many, many jobs through the Library of Congress. It's taking what it gathers from the candidate and plugging it into the job's needs. The other thing is it doesn't say yes or no. If an assessment says don't hire, do hire. I don't think that's a good assessment, an assessment is only as good as the conversation it creates, and I say that a lot. PXT Select will create an actual interview guide. We only put final candidates through it. First of all, it's an investment. It's not cheap. I don't like doing assessments at the beginning of the hiring process. It can be discriminatory. You don't want to reject people only based on an assessment.

You wanted only to be a certain percentage, maybe 20 percent of that feeds into your decision making. We use it after our client has had their first interview and they say, hey, I'm really interested in hiring this person. Then we say, OK, we're going to run the assessment. And now here's another set of questions to ask them. And just see what they say, because of the assessment, that may bring something up, but it allows the candidate to speak to it. Because again, it's only assessment. And we're people. I always say people are wonderfully messy. Many assessments are very accurate, but you still have to find the people component. And the other thing about the PXT is, if you end up hiring the person, you can generate a coaching report, which is excellent for onboarding. Now you're using the tool for actual things, and it's very practical. Sometimes you'll get an assessment with a lot of research behind it and is an excellent tool but may be very difficult to use practically. And if you do that, you invest the money, invest the time, you ask the candidate or your employee to take it, and then because of the kind of difficulty level of it or you don't have the training, you just sort of leave it and never revisit it.

Well, that's worse than not doing it at all, because now you've said I want to do this. People get anxious about taking these assessments, and you really want to show the reason you're doing the assessment and how it's helping them and you. Really, unless it has a job, validation is not validated for pre-hire. I'm a huge fan of DISC. We use everything DISC because there are many products out there, and we typically use it for team development. It's excellent for improving communication in the team and facilitation around it. We don't just do the assessment and let it lie. It's actually you come in, and you do a day of training around it, and we use it for leadership development, sales, training, those type of things.

Ron:  Can you give an example around DISC? Give a high-level explanation of what is high level and an example of where it would facilitate better team interaction?

Andrea: Sure, so a DISC has four categories, four behavioral styles, DISC, they each stand for something. It would help with a team because I always say DISC gives you a language that's not defensive. Right? Sometimes we have communication challenges or even work challenges in the workplace that we just don't know how to communicate with each other about it. Certain things are getting on our nerves, and we don't know how to communicate. When you take the assessment, the exercises around it afterward gives you the language to communicate with each other of what works for you and what doesn't work for you. For example, just on a very simplistic level, some people are very fast-paced. They just go, go, go. Those people sometimes are not very detail-oriented.

Ron:  You're talking about a D.

Andrea: Yes, we're talking DISC here. Very strong D's.

Ron:  I'm a pegged out D.

Andrea: Yes, I know I've done DISC on you, and I've known you for a while. And then you get the C's like me. I'm a very strong C. I've had to learn, over the years because I chose to be a CEO and a business owner, I've had to learn to step outside of my comfort zone or my default zone because the C's are very detail-oriented and analytical and a little slower pace and don't always take as many risks without thinking it through completely. Sometimes you have to move faster, especially if you're a business owner. I'm like the typical person who's pushed herself outside of her normal default zone. It's great for training in that way, too, for you to recognize what you're naturally good at and why the other side sometimes will be more beneficial to you in certain situations.

Ron:  And I would challenge there is something to be said that if you have a team. I think I know this, but correct me if I'm wrong. If you have a team, it's healthy to combine these DISC language that when you put them all together, the whole is stronger than any individual set of skills?

Andrea: Yes, I'll often show an organization. We do a DISC map, and we put the dots at everybody on the team. And if everybody's following in the D and they're just maybe 2 C's or 2 S's, often those S's or C's are the ones that feel left out, and they're going to leave. And then I'll ask the leadership, what's going to fall through the cracks if they leave? You want to have like you said, a good number in every quadrant, and then some people are going to be close to the middle, which means they can adjust really well. And even if it's not their natural behavioral style, they can easily go to the opposite style and speak that language.

"As a leader at One Firefly, I found a tremendous amount of benefit and, frankly, the ability to scale my business by balancing myself with people that are very different than me, that bring very different skill sets to the decision making processes."

Ron:  Yeah, I know for me, as a leader at One Firefly, I found a tremendous amount of benefit and, frankly, the ability to scale my business by balancing myself with people that are very different than me, that bring very different skill sets to the decision making processes. I find that we make much better decisions and that decisions that get made are executed at a much higher level when those other types of people are in that decision-making process and the role of execution. That took me some time off school of hard knocks to learn that. But I did learn that actually, we did a coaching session with you about maybe five, six years ago or so. That was one of those contributors for sure. Question for you, Andrea, when you run a recruiting and a consulting agency, when does a business, when is it right, if you have an opinion here for someone to do it themselves and to refine what they're doing versus engaging someone like yourself?

"If the CEO's doing the hiring right now and it's taking away from sales and other things to grow the business, then they may find it easier to outsource to the experts we offer. Our programs are from everything to do it yourself with a little support to us doing everything."

Andrea: That's an interesting question. I think a lot of it has to do with the capacity of the person who's going to do the hiring. If the CEO's doing the hiring right now and it's taking away from sales and other things to grow the business, they may find it easier to outsource to the experts we offer. Our programs are everything to do it yourself with a little support to us doing everything. We find that typically fairly new businesses may be their first employee. They join our dream team membership, which is more of our do-it-yourself type, where we have little short training. We know people don't want to sit for a long one and just different formats and one-sheets that help them write their own interview guide. And even that little bit can be a tremendous help to somebody once they get to the point where they could be excellent interviewers and excellent recruiters. We have some clients who are very good at hiring. They just don't have the time to do it anymore. That's why they outsource it to us. I think you have to know where you're at with your company. And if recruiting is a major priority for you and getting the right people, it might be time to outsource.

Ron:  How does a business typically pay for that? And I know I'm going to tell you what I think I know, which I think I know, is you pay a recruiter when they find you, somebody. I think you pay what might be perceived as a lot of money. I'm just talking to my listeners, and I know I've had conversations with them. But I want to say I know there are different business models, and I want to say yours is also different again. What's normal out there? If people seek help with you or others, what will they encounter?

Andrea: Traditional recruiter, you typically don't pay until you hire somebody they gave you. And those fees usually will range depending upon the industry, anywhere from 15 percent of annual salary to most likely more on the 25 percent of annual salary, and that can really add up. It's a big fee at the end, and what you usually receive, and I'm sort of just talking from what I've heard from my clients.

Ron:  Those numbers align with what I've heard out there.

Andrea: What I wanted to show the difference is that they typically don't do a deep level of screening or even do any employer branding screening. It's very much butt in the seat. Depending upon the recruiter, they will try to find you the right fit, but it's very much value, high volume type business. When I changed my company to be recruiting, I decided that I did not want to do the traditional recruitment model. I didn't think it worked for businesses. It didn't work for me because I didn't want to do high volume butts in seats. I wanted to help the employer from helping with that employer branding we were talking about and helping them get a feel for who they really need and do a very high level of coaching along the way. We're still doing the complete outsource recruiting, but we're very high touch all the way through so that they never feel alone. We don't charge placement fees. We have a month depending upon the level of service. We charge a monthly fee. And it's, and it's month to month. Many of our clients will stay with us for years paying because they have regular recruiting, but sometimes we'll have a client who just has like three hires a year, so they'll just come and use us for the months that they need and need the hiring. And we find it. It works much better for our clients and us. We enjoy it that way.

Andrea: It's a more stable cash flow for sure.

Ron:  It's definitely a more stable cash flow. It is lower when you think about it because we're not getting those big twenty-five thousand at a shot. But it works out in the end still. And it makes our focus on helping the client get the right candidate and helping the candidate get the go with the right company. And that way, my recruiters, they're not bonuses based on placements. They make a salary every year.

Ron:  Yeah. That makes sense. I want to share I'm going to make sure I do this correctly. I want to share your website with our audience. And I'm going to scroll, by the way, congratulations on the beautiful new website. And for those listening, no, I did not design it. And this is not a self-serving plug here but is very nice. And I noticed you had this process down here on the home page. I'm also going to do this for you, Andrea. I'm going to put that across, so for those listening, you don't see this, but I'm putting across the bottom of the screen a crawler with AhaRecruiting URL. Folks watching can see that. But can you take us to a high level, the process that you go through for businesses to help place people ultimately?

"All clients, no matter what their goals are, we're going to first jump into why would people want to come to work for you? And also, who were you looking for? Those success traits and those core values that we talked about that."

Andrea: Sure. First, we really need to find out what the end goal is? Are they looking to fill one high-level position, or do they have ongoing recruitment needs? Because we work with companies, who like Coldstone Creamery down here. We work with a multi-unit franchisee. We've been working with them for five years. And so we have everywhere from crew level positions all the way to management. That helps give us a feel. But really, all clients, no matter what their goals are, we're going to first jump into why would people want to come to work for you? And also, who were you looking for? Those success traits and those core values that we talked about that.

Ron:  They don't have those things written down through interactions with you. You help elicit those details you need to find the right people who are a good fit.

Andrea: Exactly, so we will make them do a little bit of work, but we try to make it as fun as possible. We do it in different ways through surveys. But then we also have a two-hour kickoff. I know it sounds like a long time, but we get a lot of information from that.

Ron:  A web site kick off with me is three hours. A kickoff to do some good hiring of two hours doesn't sound so bad. After you do that, are you doing all of these steps, and are you interviewing everyone, or are you handing candidates over to them to interview? What role are you playing?

Andrea: Not always meet personally, but my team. Each of the recruiters on my team will get assigned different projects, and they'll be in with the client from the kickoff. So they hear everything. We design a landing page for them for the job and the career site. And it's built on recruitment software. It makes it very easy to share on social media. And then, we go out, and we develop a recruitment marketing plan on how we can generate and get a pipeline of candidates. We also do what we call reaches. It's called "sourcing" in the industry. Depending upon what type of job, we will know different places to reach out to people and ask them if they're interested. Nine times out of ten, that's how we end up filling the job, depending on the industry and the level. And we do what we talked about earlier. We have them go through answering why you are passionate and do the video, and then do a phone interview with us. And we even do reference checks. And from there, we take everything together that we've learned about the candidate, and we review it with the client and see if they want to want to meet with the candidate. And if they do, we facilitate that. We're with them all the way to the end.

Ron:  Got it. Can you take on more work, or are you guys at capacity?

Andrea: We can always take on more work, and we're actually planning to add two more team members. I think I mentioned this earlier in the next month or so. We'll have much more increased capacity.

Ron:  Awesome. Andrea, you've been incredibly generous and kind with your information and experiences. And if folks are listening, what is the best way or the most effective way you want them to get in touch with you?

Andrea: They can either go to my website, as you shared earlier,, or drop me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ron:  I'm going to put that on the screen. You're going to watch this live. Did I do it right?

Andrea: Beautiful. Looks correct.

Ron:  Awesome. Well, Andrea, it was a pleasure to have you on the show. 

Andrea: Thank you. I'm honored to be the first one of the year.


Andrea Hoffer is currently CEO of Aha Recruiting Experts. Today, Andrea helps companies recruit, hire, onboard, and engage their team members across many industries and verticals. Her clear cut action steps and supportive coaching has helped businesses build their Dream Team with great results.

Ron Callis is the CEO of One Firefly, LLC, a digital marketing agency based out of South Florida and creator of Automation Unplugged. Founded in 2007, One Firefly has quickly become the leading marketing firm specializing in integrated technology and security space. The One Firefly team work hard to create innovative solutions to help Integrators boost their online presence, such as the elite website solution, Mercury Pro.

Resources and links from the interview:

To keep up with Andrea and the team at Aha Recruiting Experts, visit their website at aharecruitingexperts. You can find Aha Recruiting Experts on social media on Facebook and LinkedIn. Andrea can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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