Interview Transcript:

Tiffany:

All right. Good afternoon everyone. This is Tiffany Tran. I'm here on this lovely Saturday with a good friend and colleague Fletcher Wimbush. Fletcher is an HR and recruiting expert and we have him here today to share with you some useful jewels and tidbits about the changing landscape across the U S and in California when it comes to employment in HR. Fletcher. Hi, how are you doing today?

Fletcher:

Great. Thanks for having me, Tiffany.

Tiffany:

Of course. So what I'd love to talk about first is just give us an intro to what you're about and your firm.

Fletcher:

Yeah. So the, I'll try to keep the long story short as possible, but I, I took over my father's personality, behavioral emotional intelligence, a skill based assessment testing business about seven years ago. And those tools are used to screen candidates in the hiring process to, to determine who's got the highest likelihood to be a high performer. And then they're also used post hire also to just help, you know, strategically place in and lead those folks and make sure they're in the right roles as well. Right. And a pretty early on, we spent a lot of time consulting clients on just best hiring and recruiting practices is kind of an add on value to using the tools. I mean, assessments are great, they're highly predictive, but there's not just one single silver bullet in the hiring process. And so I really committed my life and I've been doing this, studying this actually since I was in high school and practicing it in business myself as a business leader, running businesses.

Fletcher:

So I had a lot of firsthand experience, but continue to really double down on that. And we opened up a professional search firm about seven years ago through that we had clients just asking us to do it for them and you know, align with our passion. And it also helped me practice. My goal was 10,000 interviews and we've hit that. And so, you know, I'm a Malcolm Gladwell guy and you know, I want to practice what I preach and, and you know, really just be a student of the, of the art of, of hiring and getting hired ultimately. Right. and so what's happened obviously is, is, I mean really is broken my heart with the amount of people who have lost their jobs in this coven thing. I mean, in the last two weeks, there's been over 10 million people who have filed for unemployment. So it's a staggering number. It's unprecedent precedent and, and you know, it really shook me emotionally and, you know, I've adjusted my own personal mission to help America get to work again. And my goal is to get 12,000 people back to work in the next 12 months. So that's the [inaudible] the small thing that I can do. It's my super power is, is knowing how to hire and how to get hired and how to help people position themselves for that better. So that's, that's what I'm working on these days.

Tiffany:

That's great. And we're going to need all that help, especially in California. You're based out of orange County, right? Yup. Yup. Yeah. And you, you said that you've been studying recruiting and assessments since you were in high school. What's one major principle that you have come to adopt out of all that studying and putting it into practice?

Fletcher:

Wow. you know, it's, it's all about results at the end of the day and, and you know, we're all good at something and, and we all are talented in one way or another. And so I think a lot of times both companies and employees that don't understand what the outcomes should be or what the results of their actions have been. So the better we can understand those results and then talk about them, then the more clearly the more attractive we ultimately become both ways, you know, as an employer or as an employee. And so I think it comes down to that as maybe one nugget in, in, you know, there's so much more to that. But you know, I, I, I really focus my conversation as a business or as a, as a key job candidate or employee is w w what is my talent? What is the thing that I've been able to, to do or accomplish and how do they do it?

Tiffany:

That's great. And as someone who really appreciates, you know, getting down and figuring out what success means, what the results and expectations are, you know on your end and on the clients and, you know, defining all those things is very important and people's expectations are, are changing. And especially now, I mean how do you think expectations have shifted in, I mean, for one is probably an obvious question. They're recruiting field. And then on the flip side, I wanted to ask you about, you know, what are the resources are out there or services are out there for companies to deal with what's going on right now in the midst of coven?

Fletcher:

Yeah. So you know, expectations. I, you know, have changed. I mean, I, I, I think there's just a lot of uncertainty. I don't know that I have a great answer on that. I mean, right now I still feel like we're in this pause. We're all still just reassessing like, okay, what are we going to do? Right. you know, obviously that is a major shift in strategy. I'm sure most companies didn't go into 2020 saying like, ah, you know, we're going to just take a hard pause on like everything that's unnecessary. I think we're, I think the expectations are shifting towards figuring out what our strategy is moving forward. Some people are pivoting pretty quickly, some are still, you know, working through that process, you know, so, so

Tiffany:

Yeah, for sure. And a lot of you know, as Neo S implementer, a lot of clients that I talked to ran headfirst into 2020, you know, with the thought of this is going to be the best year ever. What better year to do in 2020. Right. It's just a hard, harsh reality that maybe, you know, those, you know, those hiring goals need to take a backseat to just maintaining the culture that you can in spite of everything and trying to stay afloat. So can you tell me about, have you seen the California state resource that was recently launched? I think it was this week. It's called onward california.org.

Fletcher:

Yeah, so it's a, yeah, very interesting resource. I think it's great for folks that, you know, have found themselves obviously recently unemployed and you know, there's good collaboration of you know, major tech companies in the state and nonprofits, you know, working together to basically create you know, a free outplacement type of program that individuals can go through. They can take, you know, they can go through that, that process of, you know, first getting settled in, getting back on their feet. And that's really, you know, step one. I mean, you, you can't think about trying to go get another job or, or you know where your career is going to go or what you're going to do in your life until you get your basic needs met. And I think you scroll the, scroll down a little bit.

Tiffany:

This is the onward california.org website and we're scrolling down here.

Fletcher:

Yeah, it's step one there, right? Is what I'm talking about. You know, you've got to figure out your finance, personal financial situation, shelter, you know, how are you going to maintain your, your current, you know, residents or what do you need to do? Maybe you get downsize quickly. And there's also a lot of options in the new it you know, the new acts that are out there. So that are, they give people a lot of options. So there are a lot of different ways to attack that. And, you know at least the shelter part, right? So you can defer mortgage payments to, for rent payments, some, some definitely different things there, but there's also going to be a longterm effect, you know, so when we start thinking about your financial situation, you really need to create a personal budget, a family budget, and understand what your absolute necessities are with the things that are maybe borderline.

Fletcher:

You know, there could be certain services, like maybe, and I hate to put this in there, but maybe it's something like childcare, right? But that's not, you know, it's an absolute necessity, you know, food, shelter, clothing medical care is absolute, you know childcare is, is definitely one of those borderline ones. And as a good example here where they now you need to reassess how you're going to handle that. Right? And what the plan is going to be. So, and then you've got to look at your discretionary spending and okay, how do you cut and trim back? And you got to get that, that kind of figured out along with those myths, basic necessities, food, shelter, healthcare, and then [inaudible] if you go through that process, right, that strategy of just kinda understanding your basic human needs and getting those sort of an order and secure, getting your unemployment or getting, you know, whatever it is that you need in order to just have a little plan to be able to, to just sustain yourself and your family, then you can be much more focused and comfortable on working on getting another job. And there's a lot. Yeah.

Tiffany:

So as far as the essential services have you heard from clients or colleagues how companies are connecting their employees with those services if they had to go through the tough process of laying off some of their workforce?

Fletcher:

Yeah, well I think at this point, you know, we've the, you know, probably a, a big chunk of those 10 plus million people that, you know, abruptly lost their jobs. It was just that, I mean it was like a snap of a fingers, you know, I mean w you know, people in hospitality and obviously restaurants and things like that. I mean it's literally overnight. I don't think there was, there was much time to plan for these things. So I think they need to, you know, obviously be thinking about how do they do retroactively because this is just not going to be over anytime soon. I think companies who are maybe not in that kind of travel entertainment and hospitality realm, they need to start thinking about these things and obviously being aware of a resource like this to integrate into their workforce, you know, reduction strategy.

Fletcher:

It was definitely a great one, you know, to, to have and to start thinking about and to understand, you know you know, I guess our angle is, you know, doing these workforce reductions in a, in a compassionate and empathetic manner is a big piece of this. And so do you know what I hate to see is just handing people a pink slip and saying, I'm sorry, and here are some pamphlets of resources and we wish you the best of luck. Aye. I think for most companies they're hoping to retain their employer brand, their brand in general and also to hopefully recover from this. So, I mean, put yourself in the shoes of the person who was just laid off. I mean, if they at all feel like their company was insensitive about this, I don't know that they're going to have a great warm, fuzzy feeling about coming to work eagerly for that company. Right.

Tiffany:

I've heard someone describe it as, you know, if you see this, a former team member, you know, six months down the line outside of work are you going to feel okay about how you treated them? If you had to let them go? You hear about how bird the scooter company handled a reduction in force recently?

Fletcher:

No, I, I, I have not got onto that.

Tiffany:

Oh yeah. I I don't know all the details, but it seemed like it was when everyone had already been in shelter in place and everyone who was affected was told to hop on a zoom call and then they, I think they laid off about a third of their is there a team on a zoom call? So I, it seemed to not go over well. I'm just looking at that. And I, I know you referred to a, a humane and empathetic way to do it, you know, just what would you recommend just as general considerations before you, when you're pretty other a strategy for reduction force to avoid, you know, the kind of blow back you were talking up.

Fletcher:

Yeah. And this is why, you know, I appreciate what you do as an EOS implementer so much and [inaudible] you know, you have to have a strategy first, right? And strategy, it starts a lot of times with the end in mind, right? What is the desired outcome of this strategy, right? What are we trying to achieve, right? Do we want to you know, do we want our people to feel cared about and do we want the chain, you know, are we hoping to bring them back or did we just want them to feel cared about because that's the right thing to do? Or do we want them to get back to work quickly? You know, there's probably any number of things, but those are probably the top three things that you'd probably, most people are probably thinking about it. I go, that's what I want for my people, one of those, or all three of those things.

Fletcher:

And so you, so you can't create a strategy unless you've know that that's what you want. The other thing is you've got to measure it too. So you've got to find as part of your strategy, you've got to put in that measurement there. And that's not, it's not a terribly complicated thing to do, to measure. I mean, there's plenty of tools and surveys out there that where you can go back and survey your folks and just figure out what happened. So ultimately creating a very specific measurable, smart, you know, actionable, realistic and time-bound plan that is tied to the outcome.

Tiffany:

Okay. That's, that makes complete sense. It's aligning, like you said, an empathetic plan for a reduction force if needed and aligning it with what your company stands for and your brand values and trying to do it in a thoughtful way. As far as, you know, what your firm was this one, Bush and associates is during to help clients and it's time, you know how, how are you getting into the thick of things with the current climate of where, you know, there is a lot of reduction force right now.

Fletcher:

Yeah. So I mean, we're creating a massive amount of content for folks. So, you know, part of it is helping share the message from the company side of, you know, helping them understand the importance of creating that strategic plan and understanding the outcomes they're looking for. And then the other piece of that is is just a ton of resources for, for unemployed workers. So we've got a three phase plan for folks that have been recently laid off that walks them through the getting those essential needs met and then into the preparing for a job search, resume writing getting references letters, recommendation assessments to just better understand themselves and their strengths and weaknesses, a personal mission and vision statement so that they can better align where they want to go in the future. And that can be the guiding, you know force there.

Fletcher:

And then the third phase is that getting a job in and helping people through creating smart strategic plan. So again, on the, on throughout this, we, you know, both the company and the individual needs a smart plan to attack going after, getting it, getting a new job. So, you know, that's a, a the three phases that we're going through. That's like a four week process and then, and then just providing kind of never ending support for those folks. So but a lot, almost all the re, I mean, all the resources are free on our site. They're just updated. So there's going to be over 40 different resources over 85,000 words of content and be available. So, you know, a great, great deal detail you know, from articles to a checklist to guides, to tools like, you know, personal financial calculator. You know, our all are slope, you know, they're slowly, quickly coming online and every day there's new stuff going up. So

Tiffany:

You encourage people to use those. Great. And where can where can companies, and you know, people who might be in the leadership team keep up with the resources that you have coming out and you know, how do they find out, this is my second question. How do they find out if it's you know, a good fit, you know, with the services you're offering?

Fletcher:

Yeah, yeah. So our go to our website, it's Wimbush, associates.com. So it's a Wimbush is w I M as in Mary, B as in boy, USH a associates.com. And there's outplacement tab, a section of services, gives you a good overview resources tab. And there were the resource, all the free resources are at and a plan. There's also several videos and there's, we're doing weekly webinars, partnering with employment attorneys to, you know, make sure that that legal strategy is aligned with your your overall strategy for the workforce reduction. And so those are prerecorded, will be prerecorded and offer as well. So there's a couple up there already that you can get access to weekly. You can join the latest and greatest, so yeah,

Tiffany:

Perfect. And you have a podcast as well, right?

Fletcher:

Yeah. So in our assessment business, we have a podcast Oh boy, you know you know, it's probably pre employment assessments.com under the resources section there that, that website has over a thousand resources on it. So for employers related, mostly related to hiring. And how to go about doing that. So,

Tiffany:

Yeah, for when people are ready for that, you have the other side.

Fletcher:

Yeah, exactly. That's where our podcast lives. Yeah. Okay.

Tiffany:

And if [inaudible], if you were going to give one piece of advice for, you know, someone who's out there as a job seeker right now and you know, they don't know where to start after they've looked at their essential needs, you know, that step and they're kind of, you know, you know, just kind of struggling. What would you share with them?

Fletcher:

Well, I go back to that smart plan. I mean, there are a ton of things they need to do. But you know, I'd be creating my personal maybe it's a two part thing. I think it's really important. And I did this exercise after I got divorced about six or seven years ago. And you know, that was a very painful moment in my life and I created a personal mission and vision statement [inaudible] and that guides what I do and how I do everything in my life. And then along with that, you know, if I'm looking to accomplish my goal of which is getting back to work, creating that smart plan, that's that, that the specific steps, the measurable steps, the actions that I'm going to take that are in when I'm going to do those in the time that I'm going to do them.

Fletcher:

So that makes it a lot easier to tackle. I mean, it's a monumental task right now. It seems an unachievable probably and [inaudible] that's a real fair feeling, but it makes it a lot easier to tackle when it's so well spelled out. And every specific step that you're going to take has a very, you know, a measurable outcome. And so you can really say, okay, today I'm going to apply to 10 jobs. Tomorrow I'm going to call 10 friends and find out if their employers are hiring. Yup. Networking is the number one way to get a job, by the way. So I would be calling everybody, you know, and, and, and asking them, Hey, is your employer hiring? You know, could you get me refer me in? Right.

Tiffany:

Yeah, that's awesome. Advice and similar question, what is one piece of advice you would offer? Right now to, you know, maybe a a very overwhelmed HR hiring manager or just an HR director who is trying to deal with everything right now.

Fletcher:

Yeah, well you guys aren't going to like my answer. You know, I create a plan, the smart plan, but you know, look, you can outplacement services are very affordable and you know, it, they can really take the weight off your shoulders. I, you know, that's definitely a place to look, but you know, two things. You just, you gotta create a plan. If you've got to tackle this yourself and internally you know, make sure that you're creating that, that plan and that's trading that strategy and with the right outcome in mind. And if you really need help and then there's definitely, you know, great options out there. So whether it's you know, onward co.org you can utilize those. Or if you just need the, the, the the people power to make it happen, then I, you know, looking at outplacement services which are very, very reasonably priced. And I'd be, I'd be thinking about those things.

Tiffany:

Yeah. And I think my last question would be communication is even more important right now, right? Because we don't have the ability to have a one on one face to face conversation with our team members right now. But what, it's a good lesson you've learned from, you know, being in business and, you know, studying the HR. Is there a tip you can provide for virtual communication and like with these tough issues?

Fletcher:

Yeah, I love that question. I mean, to me it all comes back to emotional intelligence and you know, in this situation, in all situations. And actually my father wrote a really neat little book on this called the exchange diagram. It's not quite as sexy of a name, but

Tiffany:

As emotional

Fletcher:

Intelligence. But it all starts by putting yourself in the other person's shoes and trying to feel how they feel and understand that their emotional state and their needs and understand it from their perspective. So that's the, that's the key to life as I've been taught. Right. You know do unto others as you want done to yourself. Right? I mean, we've, here, we've heard this in a bunch of different formats and so I, I think however you want to phrase it, put yourself in their shoes or, you know, emotional intelligence. I mean, it's the key is truly wanting in trying and doing an actually understanding that the hardest part is the actual understanding, right? There's a difference between sympathy and empathy. Right? So but it, you know, it takes practice and it takes effort and, and, you know, willpower on our part to try to do that.

Tiffany:

Thank you so much, Fletcher. Any anything else you want to share before we wrap it up?

Fletcher:

No, I think we, you know, we covered it quite a bit and you know, I, I I really just hope that we can get everybody back to work as quickly as possible. So that's just, yeah, right. Driving passion

Tiffany:

And again, if people want to reach you, what's the best way?

Fletcher:

Yeah. So you can call me, you call me on my work line directly at seven one four five eight two two seven, a three zero once again, (714) 582-2730 our 800 numbers on the website. I can't remember it. And info@wimbushassociates.com. So it's info at Winbush, associates.com or Wimbush associates.com our website and watch or you know take advantage of all the resources there.

Tiffany

A little about Tiffany

See All Works

RElated Posts

Fabrics of contemporary colors and textures and suitable and appealing on old chairs.Modern lighting and ventilation enhance otherwise traditional rooms.