Ryan Englin | Using Your Core Values To Recruit Your Ideal Employee

Adam LeanPodcast

On this week’s episode of P is for Profit, we speak with Ryan Englin, CEO of Core Matters, and one half of The Blue Collar Culture Podcast. Ryan is a strategic marketing consultant and recruiting marketing expert whose aim is to help businesses recruit more efficiently in order to create the ultimate employee experience. 

“So often HR is the one that takes over the recruiting process because it’s people-related, but I believe that recruiting is actually a marketing activity. You’re promoting your company, you’re promoting the positions, and you’re essentially attracting people to your business, just like you would a customer. It’s just the sales process here is whether or not you want to hire them and have them join your team,” says Ryan.

We chat about the biggest myths surrounding recruitment, as well as:

  • Marketing as a recruitment tool
  • The most common reasons employees will stay at or leave their jobs
  • Recruiting for blue collar vs. white collar businesses
  • The Core Fit hiring system
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in this episode:


Adam Lean: In this episode, we’re going to talk about how to find the right people for growing your business. We’re going to talk to her recruiting expert on how to attract, hire and retain the right employees for your business. This is P is for Profit. 

Adam: Welcome to P is for Profit. My name is Adam Lean and I, along with the rest of the team at The CFO Project are passionate about helping business owners improve the profitability of their business. My guest today is Ryan Englin. He’s the CEO of Core Matters, and they help businesses find the right people so that they can grow their business. Ryan, welcome to the show.

Ryan Englin: Thank you for having me, Adam.

Adam: Yeah, so I’m really excited to talk to you so this is a huge pain point for, I know for most of my clients and many business owners that I work with, but, you know, you help businesses find employees, essentially. So starting off, let me ask you, what are the two biggest myths about your industry or the work that you do?

Two Biggest Myths About Recruiting

Ryan:  Yeah, absolutely. So I think one of the big things that people misunderstand about recruiting is that it’s an HR function. So often, HR is the one that takes over the recruiting process because it’s people related. I believe that recruiting is actually a marketing activity. You’re promoting your company, you’re promoting the positions and you’re essentially attracting people to your business, just like you would a customer. 

It’s just the sales process here is whether or not you want to hire them and have them join your team. I think that’s one of the biggest things that business owners mistake for where recruiting happens inside of their business. I think the other big myth is that people will leave a job for more money somewhere else. Nobody leaves a job for a quarter more an hour or even $1 more an hour. It’s been shown time and time again, that looking for a job is one of life’s most stressful events. 

And I’m talking the top 10 list. It’s in the top 10 list right behind divorce, death of a loved one. relocation. I mean, these are big, stressful events and looking for a job makes that list every single year. So most sane people are not going to go look for a job or leave a job for just a little bit more money an hour. There’s a deeper reason they’re leaving. And if you’re aware of that and can figure out what that is, you can make huge changes in the engagement level of your team.

Adam: Wow. I mean, that completely makes sense. So let’s talk about those two things. We’ll start with the recruiting as marketing. So I guess explain, you know, because most businesses probably don’t have a full-time HR type person. They’re kind of vaguely familiar with what HR is. You know, so explain sort of the difference why recruiting is not really HR and what is recruiting and, you know, and why it’s separate from HR?

Ryan: Absolutely. Now, I’m gonna say some things that those HR professionals listening are going to disagree with because most HR people don’t like the act of recruiting. HR professionals are, they’re a compliance role. They’re there to protect your company. They’re there to protect your people. It’s compliance. It’s following the laws and the rules and they really enjoy that. And just like one of the other things I think is really interesting about a lot of small businesses is, I find it interesting that HR almost always reports to the CFO. 

HR almost always report to the person in charge of the money because for many businesses, payroll is their largest expense. And so just like there’s maybe a little bit of a misnomer there on where HR should report up to. I think that people go, well, we’re recruiting, that’s our people, so we should give that to HR. 

And if you look at the process of attracting people to your business, attracting good, high-quality employees, and you were to relate that to the way you attract customers, you would never give customer acquisition to a compliance person. You just wouldn’t do it. You give it to your marketing people, the creatives, the one that can really show how you’re different in the marketplace, the ones that can show your value proposition and for all intents and purposes, make you sound really awesome in front of your target market.

Adam: So this is gonna sound sort of counterintuitive to, I mean, this is counterintuitive to what most people do, but why go through the effort of using your marketing hitting team who normally attracts, you know, customers or clients? Why go through the effort to use them to appeal and attract employees, especially in a good job market?

People Don’t Leave Jobs…They Leave Bad Bosses

Ryan: Yeah. So that’s a great question. Because you want marketing focused on helping you grow your business. You want to have them focus on acquiring new customers. And one of the things that I believe, is that if you get the right people on your team, the people that are engaged, the people that care, the people that want to take care of your customers and do a great job, their actions are going to attract more customers.

Adam:  That’s exactly what I thought you were gonna say. I totally agree with you.

Ryan: You do that for customers. Good customers aren’t always going to attract good employees. In fact, if you don’t have good employees, those good customers you put all the effort into attracting may not come back and may not say nice things about you if you don’t have good people.

Adam: Totally.

Ryan: And when the job market’s good, so we’ve got two different types of job markets we’ve dealt with recently. One is it’s impossible to find people because everybody’s employed. And then we’ve got this job market where so many people are unemployed, we’re gonna have our pick of the litter. I know a lot of business owners very excited about that. The reality is, in either one of those situations, you have to stand out from somebody else. Remember, people don’t leave jobs, they leave 

Adam: Bad bosses. 

Ryan:  They leave bad bosses. They leave because they think the grass is going to be greener on the other side. HR is not positioned to talk about how awesome the grass is over here. That’s not what they do. That’s what your marketing team does every single day. They differentiate you in the marketplace and they make your company sound great and someone that you want to work with.

Adam: I mean, that completely makes sense. I mean, if payroll is going to be your largest expense, you might as well spend that money on people that are at the top of the field and are excited about working there and who’s the best group of people to find those people. It makes sense. Your, you know, your marketing team, the people that make it exciting for customers to buy from you.

Ryan: Absolutely. And one of the things the marketing team is really good at doing is understanding your company both inside and outside. And we put such an emphasis on differentiating your culture from your competitors, that when you’re really clear on how to communicate the culture of your company, you’re going to find people that just align with you and just get engaged. They hop on board and they just, they take the reins, they take control and before you know it, you’re like where’ve you been on my life?

Adam: Right. Exactly. And it completely makes sense. And that, it’s kind of funny that’s sort of the same situation I find myself with comparing a CFO to an accountant. An accountant’s role is compliance-oriented. Their job is to make sure that the books are correct, and that the IRS is happy. That’s their role. It’s compliance-oriented. 

Their job’s not, and this is not, they’re not getting paid to help the business owner figure out how to strategize and how to grow and create a strategic plan or how to improve profit and cash flow tomorrow. That’s not their job and that’s not what they’re getting paid for. And there’s a huge misnomer. And I think that completely makes sense with what you’re saying with HR people and the people that should be going out recruiting.

Ryan: Absolutely. 

Adam: So the second myth is, and the quote that I immediately thought of was people don’t leave a bad job, they leave bad bosses, essentially. And you know, you mentioned that there’s a deeper reason. People don’t leave for 25 cents an hour, you know, extra. So tell us, talk to us a little bit about that myth.

Ryan: Absolutely. So when you look at the studies and the research that they’ve done at large organizations, because very rarely do small businesses get involved in the Gallup surveys. They always go to the big companies of the world. But when you look at the reasons that people stay engaged, you look at the reasons people stay long term at a job. It’s never about the money. Don’t get me wrong, you got to pay well. 

You have to be competitive on your pay. This isn’t an opportunity for you to say, Well, I’m gonna go get the cheapest people out there because then you’re gonna sacrifice skill. We don’t want to do that. But when you look at the deeper reasons people stay, it almost always comes down to a values alignment. Every single one of us has a set of values or beliefs that we make decisions with. And when we’re clear on those values, it makes making those decisions easier. 

Same thing happens with businesses. Some people say it’s almost cliche to talk about core values because it’s the thing we all talk about in leadership circles now. But it’s so important because it’s the foundation on which your business is built. And when you’re really clear on the core values inside of your organization and you have leadership that’s aligned to those values, they’re going to start making decisions about who to hire and who to let go based on values. And when you hire people that align with your values, you’re going to have higher engagement rates, longer retention, happier customers. Like I can just keep going on and on and on. 

Everything’s better when the values align. And that’s almost always why people leave bosses or leave leadership or leave a company. And a lot of times in small businesses, the owners haven’t even taken the time to think about what their values are. They don’t know how to articulate them, they definitely don’t know how to promote them. And when people show up to work there, even if they did sell them on some sort of value, they may not be alive and well and that’s usually when people start looking for another job.

Adam:  That makes sense. And if the value structure in the business doesn’t have that culture and have those values and the CEO or the owner doesn’t really talk about them, then imagine their supervisor team or their middle management team who’s going to end up supervising your new hires. If the owner is not talking about the values and it’s not ingrained in the culture, then the middle manager is not, definitely not going to do it. And so the person that you just hired, you spent a ton of money recruiting and training, they’re now working for somebody who has even less values than the owner.

Ryan: Absolutely. It all trickles downhill, doesn’t it?

Adam: Absolutely. Yeah, completely makes sense. So let me ask you this. So I have a client, a couple of clients in a very similar industry, where they’re looking for employees and their industry is just not, it’s sort of a less than desirable type of job. It’s a dirty job, somebody has to do. It’s like the plumbing, you know, restoration mitigation type industries. How do you, and they’re always struggling with finding good people. And then they’re not even necessarily looking for great people. They just want good people. How do they go about doing this? What are your thoughts for them?

Understanding Your Message and Target Market

Ryan: It’s interesting you talk about the trades because that’s where I cut my teeth on all this and learning this process. So my process is actually built for the tradesmen, the craft worker, the people doing the dirty jobs. There’s a couple of things that, I think the first thing is realizing that most people in those industries, most businesses in those industries have never put a lot of effort behind marketing. 

And I’m not talking about spending money on ads. I’m not talking having a great website. I’m talking about really understanding your message and your target market. The language that you use to describe your business. And when you start using language that aligns with your core values, you’re gonna stand out. You’re gonna be like Seth Godin talks about The Purple Cow. Have you heard of that book? 

Adam: I have. Yeah. 

Ryan: Yeah. So if you’re driving through the Midwest and you see all these brown cows, you’re like, Yeah, whatever. Maybe there’s a black cow or a white cow. But if you saw a purple cow, you’d stop. You’d be like honey, take a picture. Put it on Facebook. Like, you’d want everybody to know. 

And if you’re one of the companies that figures out how to communicate your value and communicate your values to your target market, you’re going to stand out almost like a sore thumb. But when you’re looking to attract good employees, it’s one of the best things you can do is to do that. Now, the other thing that I hear a lot about the trades is they don’t care. These people aren’t going to care that I know my values. 

That’s too warm and fuzzy. And that’s not, I mean, these guys are rough and tough and they don’t care about that stuff. That’s one of the biggest objections I get. And I always ask them if these tradesmen, if they have emotion. And inevitably, leaders say no, they’re not emotional people. I’m like, have they ever swore at you? 

Have they ever thrown a wrench? Have they ever gotten upset, because that’s called emotion. They have it, they just might not be very good at articulating it. And I think that’s the big difference between the blue collar jobs and the white collar jobs. In white collar jobs, you’re almost educated and coached on how to articulate the emotions and the values because it’s more well accepted. In the blue collar jobs, we haven’t really accepted it yet, but it’s still there. 

I’m not saying that you need to write a job description that says, hey, we sing Kumbaya every Thursday afternoon, but you could put something in your job description that says hey, we value your family because we know that’s who you’re working for. So if you’ve got to get to a kid’s recital or a kid’s doctor’s appointment, just give us a heads up and we’ll do our best to make sure that we can accommodate your schedule.

Adam: So that completely makes sense. I mean, people, if they feel heard, and if they feel like they’re valued in their job and there’s a culture that where they’re appreciated, regardless of what type of job they have, they’re probably going to stick around longer and they’re probably going to be happier. 

And they’re probably going to refer other great employees to the business. That completely makes sense. You are essentially a recruiter, recruiting company, right? I mean, you help businesses find those great people and create this culture and create a place where people want to come work. What do you say for people that are, that have notoriously used places like Indeed are these other job sites? Like, what’s sort of the difference? Like, why use a recruiter basically?

Teach a Man to Fish

Ryan:  Yeah. So one point of clarification real quick, I am not a recruiter in the traditional sense. So in the traditional sense, a recruiter is someone you give a job description to and you say I need three of these people. They go to LinkedIn, they go to their network, they post some jobs for you. They do all the screening and then they send you a couple of people and you make the decision to hire them. And the reason I don’t do that is because I’m very much of the mindset that I want to teach people to fish. I use a lot of fishing and dating analogies in the work that I do. 

Because when you’re, if you, if I can teach you how to prepare to go fishing and I can teach you how to get a fish in the boat, you might invest a little bit of time and money upfront but you’re going to have those skills for the rest of your life. And one of the things I teach in my training is when you start thinking about who it is that you want on your team, like one of the reasons I think that most people can’t find good people is because they don’t know what a good person is yet. They haven’t taken the time to define it.

Adam: That’s a very good point.

Ryan: And recruiters typically match somebody to a job description. And that has very little success. Now, don’t get me wrong, when you get into looking for someone to sit on your leadership team and the pool of available fish is much, much smaller, recruiters are invaluable in that sense. Because a lot of those people aren’t looking for work. You won’t see them knock on the door and be like, hey, I’ve got an opportunity for you. Are you interested? They’re like, Well, I haven’t thought about it. But when it comes to the frontline employees, they’re turning over all the time. 

And so instead of investing in a recruiter every single time you need someone, let’s invest in a system that you can turn the volume up, turn the volume down. And so that’s what I do. I work with my clients on implementing what I call the Core Fit hiring system. The system that I’ve developed over the last half a decade, and it walks them through every step of the process, and we built the processes and systems inside of their organization. We teach it to them so they know how to use it, and then we turn them loose. And we say now that you know how to fish, go fishing.

Adam: Yeah, no, I love it. I mean, I would rather hire somebody that has the work ethic and the value system than somebody that just simply is just knowledgeable. Has the tactics of the job.

Ryan: I tell people all the time I say, I can teach you how to use a CRM, I can teach you how to turn a wrench, I can teach you how to weld. What I can’t teach you how to do is set your alarm clock and get to work on time. But what I can’t teach you how to do is how to take care of our customers. I can’t teach you to care about the business like I do. So I need to hire first for those things. And then once I found those things in someone, I’ll teach you the rest of the stuff. That’s the easy part.

Adam: Yeah, makes complete sense. So if somebody’s listening, and they’re saying, yes, this is me, I need this. What’s the process look like? What’s the next step?

Ryan: Yeah. So if someone wanted to talk to me, you can find out, you can get all my information on thecorematters.com. You can google Ryan Englin. I’ve put a lot of effort into making sure that I’m easy to find. So you can connect with me through all the social media channels and everything. 

But the first step we would do is we would sit down and we would have a conversation about whether or not this was something that made sense for your business, because it’s not for everybody. Not everybody wants to put in the effort to do this. And not everybody needs it. A lot of times, if you’re only hiring one or two people a year, it’s almost better off just to make some tweaks and adjustments here and there. 

But if you’re only hiring one or two people a year, go to your existing employees, that’s going to be the easiest way to get them. But if you’re at a point where you’re hiring 10 people a year if you got a lot of turnover, we’ve got a 12-week coaching program, takes you through every step of it. We teach it all to you. And we make, we hold you accountable and we make sure that we get all your questions answered through the entire process.

Adam: Okay. Wow. So thecorematters.com. Okay, I’ll make sure I put that in the show notes.  Wow, Ryan, thank you so much. And we could spend, you know, hours talking about this that I’m an employee, and recruiting, getting employees managing them. I mean, this is all super important because, you know, payroll is one of the largest expenses but thank you so much for being here today.

Ryan: Absolutely.

Adam: So if you’d like to see if Ryan and his team can help you with solving the people problem in your business, please reach out. I’ll put his website in the show notes, thecorematters.com. Again, thank you so much for listening. And remember, the goal of your business should be to make more profit than last year and turn that profit into cash that you get to keep. Thanks for listening.