Hiring and Recruitment: Finding and Keeping Great Talent for Your Company With Teresa Murphey

John Corcoran 11:03

So you were you kind of held it on the side, kind of Hire Ventures as on the side,

Teresa Murphey 11:08

I did through my tenure, I think the first maybe 16 years in business, a couple of those years, we’re going back into that corporate role. So I could survive, really, I call it going back into the dark side. But as an entrepreneur, you know, I know I’m officially no longer employable by anyone else. But when I took those, those engagements or those roles, it really opened up doors for me in ways that I couldn’t have foreseen then. But now looking back the relationships that I was able to develop. And what I was able to learn and the expertise I was able to gain has benefited me in the long run and our business overall. Yeah.

John Corcoran 11:52

Was it? Was it at the time, though, was it hard? Like at the time, was it like, ah, you know, I’m giving up on my dream of building this company, and I have to go in house and work for this company, just because the economy is not doing well.

Teresa Murphey 12:05

Yeah, I think when you are an entrepreneur, you want to build your company. And for me, when I would take these roles, I’m working for someone else. And I’m pursuing their dreams, and I’m helping their company grow and flourish, which is great. Except for me, I couldn’t I struggled to be able to do both. So if you’re the one delivering, you know, exclusively, then it’s tough to find time to work on your business when you’re the only one in the business. So it was definitely hard. I mean, there were times where I would question like, what what am I really doing here? Like, I’m more connected to this client company, than I am to my own organisation. Yeah. And I knew that I wanted to make that shift. And I’ll tell you, kind of when that happened when making that intentional shift was really when I learned about EO and I was able to,

John Corcoran 13:02

and you end up joining the same programming and identity accelerator programme in Atlanta. So I think this was around 2019. And what sparked that was there’s something in particular in 2019 or 2018. That made you say, you know, I want to really grow this company, I want to scale it up, build it into something bigger than I can maybe sell one day. Was there something that sparked it?

Teresa Murphey 13:25

Yeah, definitely. I, um, I live in a great neighborhood in Atlanta in Brookhaven. And one of my neighbors turned into one of my good friends, and she had her own business. We were chatting, and she sharing with me about EO accelerator. And at the time, my business was not much of a business. I mean, I have very, I built my own website, I had one person helping me on recruiting, and then I was doing HR, but

John Corcoran 13:57

I didn’t solopreneur ship, as you do, and I just basically

Teresa Murphey 14:01

made a job for myself, right? And so she her name’s Julie Newman. She’s here in Atlanta. She’s an amazing person. And she’s got a phenomenal business. Very active EO Atlanta member and an accelerator coach. She sat down with me and gave me some insight. She looked at what I had, and she looked at my business, and she gave me some recommendations. I wrote all of those down. And it took me about a year to get to even where I was a qualified EO accelerator business. And when that milestone hit, it was phenomenal. So I felt like I could finally join the EO accelerator, my first learning day event. I felt like I was really with the people that I was meant to be with, like, these were people that were looking to build great, great things and do great things. And so from there, that’s really where my journey began. Yeah,

John Corcoran 14:58

you Um, it’s funny you mentioned that my first learning day in San Francisco is one of my fondest memories in business because it was in San Francisco, I end up taking the ferry in which I don’t usually do. I bike to the ferry, which I bike now to my office, and I love biking. And then took the ferry in and then walked through downtown San Francisco, it was actually in the one of the Salesforce buildings, this high rise, and it just, and then the people I was already surrounded with, I was like, wow, this is really my people. And it was so cool to be learning and so practical and all that stuff. So it’s funny that we had a similar experience. There, I think there was someone else as well, who inspired you to start the company, Tony Pompliano. 

Teresa Murphey 15:48

Yeah, so far back in the day, he was my very first client and the last client we had when I was with the prior firm. So yeah, he’s the one who said, Have you ever thought about doing this on your own? You could have something here with this. And the light bulb went off. And what’s interesting about Tony is he’s been someone who I know I can reach out to over the years; it’s been very supportive. Just a phenomenal leader. When I made the intentional decision to grow Hire Ventures beyond just me and one other person, we put started to put some efforts into like our branding or social built out a LinkedIn company page that started with just a couple of followers, which were probably all employees. Yeah.

John Corcoran 16:44

Oh, yeah. He had a big extended family. He had a brother, or sister. So that helps. Exactly,

Teresa Murphey 16:48

Exactly. So we were tracking those metrics. And Tony became our 100th follower, which was a big deal at the time. So for me, I’m, I’m someone who believes that things are meant things that are meant to be will be and things full circle in a lot of ways. And so I felt like with that, it really did come full circle for me to, you know, acknowledge Tony and share my appreciation and gratitude with him, not only for being our 100th follower, but also just for what he instilled in me and the confidence he gave me to really start. Go ahead and start this business.

John Corcoran 17:27

Yeah. And speaking of full circle, I’m actually I listen, I listened to a lot of his son Anthony Pompliano on The Pomp Podcast, which is great podcast, mostly about crypto. But so I recommend that to those who are interested in that topic. So let’s talk a little bit more about some of the highs and lows over the years with with the company. So you start it in, in March of 2001. And it was 911 happened after that, you know, six months later. So do you remember, like what that experience was like at that moment in time? You know, I’ve talked to a lot of businesses that started right around that time before after. And of course, you know, it’s such a pivotal moment in our history. Do you remember that if you go back?

Teresa Murphey 18:15

Yeah, I do. I remember that. Very clearly. Honestly, it was like it was yesterday. And for me, I had already been struggling on my own. I had had a couple of engagements, but not anything long enough. So I had gone back to my first startup, and they needed help getting through some of the key initiatives that they had. So when 911 happened, I was in the throes of learning about benefits and compensation and how to take a fully insured benefit plan and make it work when it was built for a 700-person company that had been through massive layoffs. And so there was a a lot was going on. So I was and it was a telecom company that provided voice data and internet and class a high rise office buildings, so we had TVs everywhere. So when the actual 911 happened, I was in the office and we were all you know, it was a was a scary traumatic thing. What’s really interesting and I don’t know if you’re gonna want to cut this out, but when I was with that startup from the very early days, there was a shooting in Atlanta at the same location. And I was with the same company, walking across the parking deck and seeing the snipers being hauled out up in that office. Bill per year was this was in 99 and 99 shooters he had he was a day trader or, and he got he had some big losses and came in and, and took out some people in our data. This was in Buckhead in Atlanta. So it was this

John Corcoran 20:12

this had happened in 99. And then you’re with the same company two years later when nine 1104 Oh, so So for you, then you’re kind of like experiencing this traumatic event again, two years later and kind of having a flashback to this previous incident. Yeah,

Teresa Murphey 20:29

it was, I will say like, when you think about the things that shape you who you are, yeah. Um, when we think about safety in the workplace, yes. I don’t take that lightly. That when they’re, when there’s a fire drill, when anything having to do with with physical safety of your employees, your team, when we do audits, for companies, you know, how secure the doors are things being propped open, you know, take a lot of those things very seriously.

John Corcoran 20:59

Those experiences? Yeah. early experiences. Yeah. I always say, Now, you don’t need to tell me twice. Because, you know, I feel like we’ve had so many incidents now, where you see where the people who died were the ones who hesitated or said, Oh, maybe it’s fine, or all wait, or I’ll go all all evacuate later, or I don’t want it from walk down all those steps. And those are oftentimes the people who died, right. And so yeah, I mean, this is, there was like, a year ago, there was a tsunami warning in here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we’re really close to the bay. My house is probably 200 yards from the edge of the bay. And it was like a Saturday morning and I was like, you don’t need to tell me twice. We’re going and I got my kids and my wife in the car. And we drove to like high ground. We went, I was like, we’re gonna go to a Starbucks guys. Okay, we’re gonna go Starbucks, and we went, you know, but it was like, you don’t need to tell me twice, you know, because I take those things seriously as well. Yeah. So reflecting on that, then, you know, many years later, the pandemic hits. And we had a couple of definitely shocks to the economic system. After that, and including 2007 2008, the economic showdown, but what was it like for you, if you take yourself back to March 2020? You’ve made this decision to try and grow this company. You’re in the accelerator programme, all that kind of stuff. And then boom, pandemic hits. What was that? Like for you? Yeah,

Teresa Murphey 22:27

so at the time, um, we had a number of clients that had, they were located overseas. So they were headquartered in the UK, and they were expanding into the US. And so as you know, us Employment Law can be really challenging from state to state. And so we work with a lot of companies to help simplify some of those things and handle some of those things. Not only from the recruiting side, but from HR. So when the pandemic hit, honestly, the recruitment shut down. Almost every one of our clients that was that we were providing our fractional recruiting, an hourly recruiting for halted everything, they put everything on hold. And so we really had to kind of scramble there on the recruiting side of the house. But everything shifted over to sustaining like, how can we help guide our clients through the these transitions. And so some of it was getting them to 100% remote work. So leading up to the pandemic, I was already aware of things happening in China, because my husband has a global team. And so the things that were happening over there I was, I was very aware of, and encouraging our clients to, you know, when their employees leave, at the end of the day, take everything with them, don’t assume you can go back the next day. So to go ahead and start transitioning if they were in on site to be completely remote, getting things culturally standing up so that people can still feel connected and all of that. And then, unfortunately, we had a number of clients and connections that needed help with reductions, furloughs, layoffs, a lot of compensation, global compensation reductions that we we help them through. So we provided a lot of guidance in that arena, and did a lot of support to help companies through those tough times so that they could sustain.

John Corcoran 24:34

Now, as we know, a lot of companies, especially digital companies, in the latter half of 2020 ended up finding that that COVID In some ways was a good thing for their business. And many companies shifted from layoffs to then hiring people as fast as they could. Did you have clients like that that kind of did a 180 degrees and then had the opposite problem?

Teresa Murphey 24:59

Yeah. So I will say like 2021 2022, when that hiring blitz really started like when it when it started ramping up, it went fast we saw, you know, from so what we do on the recruiting side for clients is we help them implement their technology. So they’ll set up their career page set up there at, we’ll set up their applicant tracking system, kind of craft their employer brand. And then we take on their recruiting with a couple of different methodologies, we post their jobs, because you’ve got to have credibility when you’re a small business, that these things are real. And then we do all of the outreach over LinkedIn and other platforms. And then we screen and vet. So we really own that candidate experience. But it, it would go so fast, we would have candidates in a process for two weeks, and their compensation would jump $20,000 from the beginning to the end. And so we were continually trying to

John Corcoran 25:58

because the candidate wanted more because they had other companies that were giving job offers or what? Yeah,

Teresa Murphey 26:04

so a lot of our Atlanta startups are Atlanta technology companies, we’re really lucky here, we’ve got a really nice talent pool. We’ve got Georgia Tech, we’ve got a number of different universities, and a great talent pool, which is for Atlanta companies. But Silicon Valley, when things really started opening up, they were hiring people all over the country, which many of those didn’t do before.

John Corcoran 26:32

So affecting the compensation for the local talent. I say,

Teresa Murphey 26:37

our Atlanta technology company is now competing with the Googles and the other larger, larger organisations with very rich comp and benefit packages. And so it was a lot, we shifted gears quite a bit, we pivoted a lot to help our clients really develop a compelling employer brand. Like why does somebody want to work for you, as opposed to x, Menlo Park organisation, so

John Corcoran 27:04

that goes well beyond just like, we’re gonna set up your job post. And it really affects so many different things, from your careers page, to your core values to the way that they communicate what the company is about. So that’s really getting to a higher level of kind of consultation and helping the company figure out who they are in the world. Right? Yeah,

Teresa Murphey 27:26

that’s exactly it. I mean, what we do is really, when we’re partnering with our clients we’re acting on on their behalf. So we’re representing them, we’re helping them define their, their brand. From a recruiting standpoint, all that outreach we’re doing, we we make really good headway in progress. Because we’re not an external, third party recruiter, we are typically working through their email system, their platform, like we are just owning that experience for them. But we do it in a way that isn’t fee based, and it’s scalable. So if you’ve got a couple of positions now that you need help hiring for, we can help you get there. And then as that expands and grows, like we’ve got many clients are with us for years, and when they hire their first in house, full time person, we continue to augment and support other areas around recruiting.

John Corcoran 28:23

I’m curious is Is it challenging for you? Do you have clients come to you who say, you know, we just did these 10 positions, we need you to help us with, you know, I don’t know what the entry level request is, but like, you know, creating the job post and in advertising and getting us candidates, we don’t need help with other things. And then you take a look at, you know, their careers page, their website, their values, and you say no, actually what you need to work on is your core values and how you’re different. And these are some things that you need to work on. Is that a difficult conversation to convince them of the merit of doing that?

Teresa Murphey 28:59

It? It can be and to answer your question, yes, that that definitely happened. So we can help them with that pain point of being able to hire, but if, you know, we definitely ask questions about why the position is open. How long has it taken you? Why is it taking you so long? If you’re having turnover? Why? Why are people leaving, right? Um, so HR and recruiting are very separate functions. Our recruiters don’t do HR or HR professionals don’t typically do recruiting. It’s a really interesting

John Corcoran 29:31

yeah, very different right way that

Teresa Murphey 29:33

things stand out. Now they dovetail so our team is very collaborative. We have delivery meetings, where we were all on the same page with what other people are doing, and we’re very supportive because there’s no fee involved. But yeah, when it comes down to having those conversations around vision, around setting your HR strategy and objectives that align with your your company objectives, sometimes when we know about the HR strategy, and there’s no big isn’t a strategy or business vision to align it to? It becomes very clear that kind of hole right there. Yeah, yeah. I mean, we’re the recruiting side is a really interesting model. Because often when we work with a client, we develop relationships with them, and we learn their culture. And we know what makes them unique. And so if if, if it is a client that has recruiting needs that may not be ongoing, we’re able to kind of plugin, and then plug come out. Yeah. So then we can scale it down. And we’ve got, we just kicked off a new another engagement with a long-term client who we’ve worked with, since I want to say 2009, just a fantastic company that they don’t have ongoing needs, but when they need someone they reach out. Right,

John Corcoran 30:54

right. I know, we’re a little short on time now. But another thing I know, that you are focused on now is helping companies with a fractional HR offering for those types of companies of a certain size. And maybe they don’t have the budget for a full-time HR person, but they want to have, you know, that kind of outside support for HR. So, talk a little bit about how that offering developed.

Teresa Murphey 31:20

Yeah, so we’ve always done HR project-based work, we write a lot of employee handbooks, we help with initiatives, whether it be benefit enrollment, or an investigation, if you have a claim. We do a lot of HR audits, we provide interim HR work, if you’ve got an HR person going out on medical leave, we can provide someone who can manage that day-to-day. But what we’ve been then we take advisory. So we’ll do advisory work if there’s a tough situation that we can support the CEO or leaders on. But where we were missing the gap was really in being part of the team having a seat at the table, working on an HR strategy, and managing the vendors, whether it be a PEO, or a benefit provider. And so the fractional offering over the years, I would have an you know, an ask of can you just come in once a week. And it’s like, that’s not, that’s not how that works. I can’t just come once a week and do all your HR, it’s an ongoing, it’s an ongoing thing, you’re dealing with people. So our fractional offering really is very curated and custom to the client needs. We develop a 12 month roadmap, it’s aligned with the business goals. And we fill into that roadmap, things like your benefit renewal, your performance management, goal setting, leadership, training, company events. And then on the months that we don’t have any of those big things, we’re typically updating handbooks, or working on another initiative, making sure things are compliant, working on I nines, like all all of the other things that ensure you have a solid HR Foundation. And what I found is, it’s a really interesting offer to help clients not only have get all of the work done, but to have the peace of mind that if there’s ever anything else that comes up, we’ve got it covered. We handle all the onboarding, off boarding things are running smoothly. And it gives the the leadership team, someone that they can bounce things off of that’s from the people side. So it’s a senior level people person, HR person. And we rolled that out last year in response to recruiting dipping companies, we’re looking more at how can we retain How can we upskill? How can we you know, ensure that our team is cohesive and build that culture? And so those are some of the things that that we’re seeing quite frequently now.

John Corcoran 33:56

Yeah. I want to wrap up with my gratitude question. I’m a big fan of gratitude, and especially expressing gratitude to those who’ve helped you in your journey along the way. And so I’d love to know what appears contemporaries maybe mentors that you would want a shout out and thank I know, while we talked beforehand, and you said Greg McCraw is one that you would want to acknowledge. Yeah,

Teresa Murphey 34:21

I mean, there’s a number and some of them I actually ran into last week at The Venture Atlanta conference. Greg McGraw was my first year was my first boss at my first startup, and then join tech CXO, with another one of the leaders from that startup Neal Miller. And they brought me into many of their client companies. And so I ran into Neal last week and it’s just, they’re definitely people that have always been just great leaders, and they’ve always been really supportive. Another one is Junior Gaspard. He was with the last company that I engaged with pre pandemic. And he’s just a phenomenal leader in Atlanta. He’s with one of the accelerator boot camps being a mentor now, and he’s just great. So, I’ve had I’ve been very fortunate in my career. I’ve had some wonderful mentors. I’ve worked with a lot of great leaders. And then I’ve also always tried to pay that back. I’ve always looked at how I can mentor either a junior HR person coming in, I remember for me when I first got my first job out of college, how difficult it was to get into HR. And so I’ve always tried to provide that type of support and guidance. And now seeing some of those same people. It’s a very good feeling. They’ve gone forward.

John Corcoran 35:49

Great. Teresa, where can people go to learn more about you and Hire Ventures? 

Teresa Murphey 35:55

Um, well, I’m very active on LinkedIn. So Teresa Murphey with the E Y. Hire Ventures is hireventures.com. And then I’m sure I can share with you some of the other social handles really, it’s LinkedIn. Perfect. I’m on Instagram. Yeah, I will tell you to go to LinkedIn. 

John Corcoran 36:15

Great. Teresa, thanks so much. 

Teresa Murphey 36:17

All right. Thanks, John.

Outro 36:23

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