1771 – Candidate Experience with BestFirstNow’s Kolby Goodman

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Founder & Lead Consultant of BestFirstNow, Kolby Goodman.

Goodman wide

Kolby Goodman works with business owners and leaders grappling with building a great team. Kolby steps in to help when they're inundated with too many candidates or need help attracting enough.

He assists these leaders in understanding not just the qualifications they need in a candidate but also how the right hire can help solve their most pressing problems.

Kolby's approach to helping businesses find the right candidates is comprehensive. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the skills and expertise needed for the role and how they will be applied to solve the company's problems.

Colby assists businesses in creating job descriptions and marketing materials that set them apart from other companies in the industry. His process also involves developing a candidate flow that brings in the right number of qualified candidates.

Colby advises businesses to contact him if they are experiencing frequent turnover in their team or if their job postings are not attracting the right candidates. He believes settling for the wrong hire can lead to future headaches and heartaches, so he encourages businesses to be strategic in their hiring process.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Building and keeping a great team
  • Kolby Goodman's work as a candidate experience and hiring consultant
  • Struggles faced by business owners and leaders in creating a great team
  • The current hiring environment and predictions for the future
  • Factors employees look for aside from salary
  • Kolby's process for helping businesses find the right candidates
  • Importance of understanding skills and expertise needed for the role
  • Creating job descriptions and marketing materials that set the company apart
  • Screening process and evaluating candidates

About Kolby Goodman:

Kolby Goodman, the founder of BestFirstNow, a hiring consulting firm, specializes in assisting highly educated owner-operators, such as doctors, dentists, veterinarians, attorneys, CPAs, and architects, in recruiting impactful problem solvers instead of settling for average candidates.

With over a decade of experience and having successfully placed over 5,000 high-achieving professionals, Kolby draws from firsthand knowledge to address common interview pitfalls and guide leaders in attracting and retaining top talent.

Renowned for his expertise, Kolby has been featured on CBS News, LinkedIn, The Huffington Post, and LA Weekly.

He has collaborated with industry giants like Panasonic, Marriott Hotels, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and associations such as the American Diabetes Association and SHRM.

Through tailored workshops, Kolby shares insights on optimizing the hiring process, effective leadership, and enhancing employee engagement for various organizations, universities, and schools nationwide.

About BestFirstNow:

BestFirstNow, led by Kolby Goodman, specializes in alleviating common hiring challenges to ensure a favorable first impression, a seamless candidate experience, and the timely acquisition of top-tier talent.

Organizations facing issues like inconsistent candidate experiences or settling for suboptimal professionals can benefit from a comprehensive overhaul. Outdated hiring strategies, exemplified by stagnant job ads and generic interview questions, can be revitalized to foster more meaningful interactions.

Lengthy hiring cycles, adversely impacting costs and operational efficiency, can be streamlined for a quicker time-to-hire. Challenges such as low offer acceptance rates and high employee turnover are addressed by ensuring candidates align genuinely with organizational culture and values.

The firm's approach fosters brand champions, even among non-selected candidates, who share positive experiences and express immediate interest in future opportunities. The overarching goal is to boost retention by establishing early alignment between candidates, organizational culture, and career progression.

Tweetable Moments:

00:06:19 – “They're looking for an interesting challenge. What keeps somebody there is the continual opportunity and drive to solve interesting problems.”

12:46 – “If you settle for something, you're ultimately going to have a massive headache and heartache in the future.”

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out BestFirstNow website at

Check out Kolby Goodman on LinkedIn at

Check out Kolby Goodman on Facebook at

Check out Kolby Goodman on Twitter at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now it's Kolby Goodman. Kolby, you're a candidate. Experience and hiring consultant. You're found on the web at Kolby To our friend that's listening, just click on the show notes. You're going to see a direct link to Kolby to your website. So you get that spelling right.

Josh (00:01:16) - Kolby, it's great to have you.

Kolby (00:01:18) - Thanks for having me on, Josh.

Josh (00:01:19) - All right. So I'm so grateful you're here because I work. A lot of folks are, you know, in leadership listening to this. And, you know, obviously one of the biggest, I'd say, priorities or challenges is, was building and keeping a great team. You know, that's kind of who we are, is our organizations and our culture. But tell me a bit about who you work with and what you do.

Kolby (00:01:41) - So I work with business owners, business leaders who are struggling, building that great team who are either posting jobs and getting too many candidates who are drowning in too many applications, who are not getting enough candidates who are scratching and crying for anybody to apply, but are mostly finding poor qualities in those applications that the people describe. People are not being attracted. They're not being driven to apply for those jobs. Or on the other side of the equation, if you're seeing high turnover, especially in people who are with you less than 12 months, that would tell me that there was a miscommunication.

Kolby (00:02:18) - There was a misunderstanding, there was a mismatch at the hiring stage. And so I come in and help leaders and partner with them directly to really understand not simply what qualifications they want a candidate to have. We don't want them simply checking the box. But ultimately, how can this next person help you solve your most important problems? Mhm.

Josh (00:02:40) - Yeah. So what's going on. And you know obviously we've seen the headlines over the past few years. We're recording this at the very end of 2023. Um where are we today. You know in terms of like the environment for hiring and turnover. And man, we've just seen so many trends. And, you know, the past number of years I think have been really disruptive when we think about workforces. Give us a quick state of the Union. And then in my next question, you don't have to don't look into the crystal ball yet. I just want to know where we are today and where we've come from.

Kolby (00:03:13) - You know, I think obviously with 2020 and 2021, there was this kind of employee revolution, which I think is great.

Kolby (00:03:19) - Everybody kind of took back some of the power. We re-evaluated our lives and we went out there and we looked for better opportunities. 2022 2023, companies realized that they have maybe overtired, overstretched themselves with the threat of a looming recession, which I think we're on quarter four of a threat of a looming recession at this point. Businesses are tighten their belts. They're being more strategic when it comes to hiring. But on the flip side of that, there are less roles, which means there are more candidates per role. And so there's so much more noise in the process. That combined with technology with between I one click apply apps on our phones that, you know, we can apply for ten jobs in less than ten minutes. Businesses have to be more strategic when it comes to hiring, or else they're going to be they're going to burn out in the process, and they're just going to accept whoever is next, and they're going to start a vicious and expensive cycle of hiring just whoever is lucky enough to be in front of them at that time of giving up.

Josh (00:04:17) - Yeah. All right, so before I get into, like, how you work and what you do, what do you think is, you know, you kind of alluded to this a little bit already, but you know we're heading into 2024. Any predictions or best guesses about what you think kind of this world is going to look like and where employers need to be?

Kolby (00:04:39) - So I think what's going to ramp up next year is people who have quote unquote, stable jobs are going to be more apt to look because they're going to be sick of companies taking them for granted. They want to go out. They're going to want to advocate for themselves. We're seeing strikes across entertainment, across automotive, across healthcare. And so I think workers are going to take back some of that power, which means for your listeners, active, proactive, impactful people are going to be looking for new, great opportunities. But the problem, and I mean the opportunity there is businesses are going to have to focus more on employer, brand and candidate experience because they have choice.

Kolby (00:05:22) - Having a job with you is no longer a privilege, right? It's the right you have the privilege to hire somebody. And so the thing that's going to shift, I think we're going to shift back into workers power a little bit more next year, way more than we were this year. Um, but also those who are not only marketing to their customers are going to succeed. But if you're effectively marketing and engaging with your potential candidates, those are where those are going to. People are going to win in the process.

Josh (00:05:49) - Yeah. And so when we're thinking about being competitive to attract and retain the best talent, what are you seeing aside from just the salary, you know, or commission structure, whatever it is. Right. Um, what are those more intangibles or what are those things that you think that employees are looking for, particularly as we head into 2024?

Kolby (00:06:10) - They're looking for an interesting challenge. Mm. I think as human beings, we. Yes, we need our needs fulfilled. Right.

Kolby (00:06:19) - And a decent salary will do that. And work life balance will do that. And hybrid and remote work can do that. But what keeps somebody there is the continual opportunity and drive to solve interesting problems. Right. We're not looking for stress. You know, candidates are not looking for stress free work. They're looking for the right stress. You stress is the technical scientific term positive stress. And so if an employer can approach a candidate, you can even approach a current employee and have a conversation about here's where our pain points are as a business. Here are we are seeing missed opportunities. Here are where we're suffering. How can you help us solve these problems? It gives ownership to an employee. It gives them excitement, and it gives them the passion to go out there and not just do a job and be a cog in the machine, but to be a positive contributor to an impactful solution.

Josh (00:07:13) - All right. So that said, let's talk about where and how we can find, uh, great team members.

Josh (00:07:22) - Are there platform systems that you like? Is it just as simple as putting up a we're hiring page or, you know, probably going to be a little bit more work than that?

Kolby (00:07:33) - Yeah. You need to be proactively promoting your employee brand not only about what you do sell and service, but what is the experience of the people working for you. How are your ideal candidates who may not be working for you today, but may you want them to work for you tomorrow? How are they perceiving your brand? And that can be done over social, you know, LinkedIn, um, Instagram, Facebook, your Twitter, etc. etc. but also, how are you empowering your employees to be apostles for you in the marketplace? Do they feel valued? Do they feel excited to work for you? And are they telling their expert friends and family that they should come work for you? So are you galvanizing your current set of employees to go out there and market for you too? So I think just as you know, just as in traditional business, the tool itself, the platform, the technology is not as important as the message and who's delivering it.

Kolby (00:08:31) - So making sure that you, you as an owner, as a leader, are proactively putting yourself out there to warm up good talent for future opportunities. But you're encouraging and incentivizing employees to go out there and help promote your brand to other potential new hires.

Josh (00:08:50) - Yeah. You know, you shared something I thought was kind of interesting because I've seen this before. Uh, I'm sure you at Kolby in your time, have come across employers who say something like. Well, the problem is, these kids today, no one wants to work. What's your observations around that? I won't spoil your post here.

Kolby (00:09:11) - Yeah, and I think you saw that earlier. It's like, you know, the perception is nobody wants to work. But the reality is nobody wants to work for you. Right. And if you're a self-aware, self-learning, introspective leader, you're going to want to have hard numbers with yourself about what, what energy, what messaging, what attitudes and eye putting out there that is not simply maybe not attracting the right people, but maybe it's actively pushing the right people away from you.

Kolby (00:09:40) - And now you may be doing that consciously or unconsciously, but something needs to change, right? And so if you think nobody wants to work, I would argue firmly in the opposite, I would say, why again, ask this question why doesn't anybody want to work for you? What are you doing or not doing or being ambivalent about that is not allowing you to show up on the radar of your ideal employee.

Josh (00:10:02) - Yeah. Kolby, share a bit about how you work with your clients. Like, what does that engagement look like?

Kolby (00:10:09) - Yeah. So when they identified a problem in their hiring process, I come in and say, okay, well, what do we need this next person, not simply just to do for you? We don't want to create a laundry list, a never ending skills list that you want them to do or have, what problems you need to solve, right? What are you experiencing? What are you missing out on? What are you suffering through that? Ideally, the next person who is an expert in those things can come on and resolve for you.

Kolby (00:10:39) - So developing an extremely clear understanding of not only who that person is, what skill sets, experience and expertise they bring to the table, but how exactly you want them to apply that to your problems. And then from there, develop a job description and marketing for the opening that differentiates you from the rest of the pack. Because you're probably not the only person looking for a marketing manager in your industry. So you have to differentiate just like you would with your customers. And then I help them develop a candidate flow that helps bring in the right number of the right candidate. We don't want a thousand no's and maybes. Um, we're gunning for about 20 to 30 yeses and then from there I help them in intake. So doing the initial pre screener, providing evaluations and tests to make sure that this person can technically put their money where their mouth is, and then coaching decision makers on how to facilitate the interview so that it doesn't devolve into this unintentional interrogation but so that it evolves into this connection of two human beings.

Kolby (00:11:47) - A problem, however, which is the company and a problem solver, which is the candidate, so that we can understand that this is a good match. And then finally working with leaders say, out of the five people that we talked to. Who do you think is going to be able to have the most and longest impact and then working with the makers to develop an offer that not only provides a fair value for value, a fair salary for impact, but also reiterates to them the future that you want them to have in your organization so that they you have a quick, immediate yes to come on board and start on that first day.

Speaker 3 (00:12:24) - Yeah.

Josh (00:12:25) - So who should be reaching out? What might someone be saying right now? That might be a good indication that they probably just need to grab some time with you. Like if you're saying this, we need to chat because I probably have some ideas for you. I don't know if you'd be a good fit together, but yeah, certainly there's there's an opportunity for you to maybe inspire some activity.

Kolby (00:12:46) - Yeah. If you are experiencing frequent turnover in your team, if people are staying for less than a year, that would be sign number one because you're wasting a ton of time, a ton of money and a ton of energy trying to get somebody on board who's just going to be a zero in less than 12 months. Or if you're have a job posting out there that is most likely not performing, you're getting drips and drops of candidates who are just maybe okay, and you're fearing that you're simply just going to pick somebody so that you can stop the madness. Right? You shouldn't settle for a higher. This is arguably the most important investment monetarily and with your energy into your business. And if you settle for something, you're ultimately going to have a massive headache and heartache in the future. So let's take some time today to be strategic so that tomorrow you can be extremely happy, satisfied, and excited knowing that your Savior, your next employee, is coming in the door to help you build your business scale, serve your customers, and have an impact on your life at work, but also your life outside of it.

Josh (00:13:58) - Yeah, and what do you typically chat about in a discovery call? Like what questions do you ask? And, um, you know what, I guess what is usually that outcome of that first conversation you might have with a potential client?

Kolby (00:14:10) - I want to understand what is the process been before? Right. Usually with the people I work with, it is simply been to either put up a hiring sign in the window, so to speak, whether that window is LinkedIn or indeed or Glassdoor. Um, going with a recruiter who is, you know, who has maybe a big network, but is only going to kind of take what you give them in order to find that person. Um, or maybe it's been a referral, maybe it's been cousins, uncles, neighbors, you know, girlfriend kind of thing and figure out why. Isn't that getting you the right people? What questions aren't you asking that you need to? What clarity are you lacking that you have to have in order to have this avatar of this ideal candidate? And then from there, helping them figure out, okay, what are the steps needed to attract them to you in the first place? Right? And then I want that person to walk away from that with an understanding of, okay, I hear the direct 2 or 3 steps I need to make in strategy change in messaging change, and also look at how they build a team I want them to shift away from I'm looking people.

Kolby (00:15:12) - I'm looking for people with the right skills into. I'm looking for the right experts to solve the right problems.

Josh (00:15:20) - Now your website Kolby And by the way, you also owe. You are a very well-known or very established speaker. What do you speak on?

Kolby (00:15:32) - So speak on exactly these topic speaking to leaders about how do they evolve their teams from staff members to problem solvers? How do you revamp a hiring process so that you can develop a constant pipeline of ideal candidates? And lastly, helping those who are maybe doing their first hires ever, working with new managers to get over the nerves and the fears about being in the other side of the table when it comes to the interview, so that they can have a confident conversation. They can build human connection, but they all can make the right decision for themselves and for their companies. Mhm.

Josh (00:16:10) - All right Kolby Goodman. Com when someone goes there what would you recommend they do.

Kolby (00:16:14) - Um you can go you know you can go and watch my video, give you an overview about my expertise and how I can help.

Kolby (00:16:19) - Uh, and then if you want to scroll through the bottom and if you want to book a 30 minute call, we're happy to take some time of the year to kind of learn some more about your problems, see if we can bring some solutions, and see if an expert like myself is needed to help you turn around, maybe some poor hiring luck and develop a repeatable and scalable hiring strategy.

Josh (00:16:38) - Yeah, again your website Kolby Right on the front page there it says book a call. Plus there's some other great resources that you've got listed up. Um, by the way, I'll point out you're also a pretty good LinkedIn follows. So thank you. Recommend to our friends. Uh, listening. Go go to go to Kolby's website. But then click on that LinkedIn profile. Make sure you give Kolby a follow here. You tend to share some pretty good stuff. So Kolby Goodman again, thought leader, keynote speaker, hiring expert. Uh, again, in your words, the candidate experience and hiring consultant.

Josh (00:17:09) - Your website Kolby Kolby, thank you so much for joining us.

Kolby (00:17:14) - Awesome. Thanks so much, man. I appreciate you having me on.

Josh (00:17:21) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence common Guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our Listener Facebook group. Just search for the Thoughtful Entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love, even if you just stopped by to say hi, I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together, we are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs. Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right. Seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day.

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