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The one-armed man who will out hustle you

When hiring bet on the candidate who has dealt with adversity, do not fall victim to the normalization of deviance with reference checks and Kellogg's CEO says we should all eat cereal to save money

“You are like a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest”


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In today’s email:

  • Job News:  Meet the one-armed man who will out hustle you for any job. 🙋🏽‍♂️

  • Overheard at coffee: How did Rick get hired here? Probably because only 58% of employers check references these days and nobody noticed Rick can’t open a laptop. 🤦🏻

  • Trending AI Tools: Make ads better than Don Draper from Madmen. 📽️

  • Hot Jobs: (keep scrolling down ⬇️)

  • Recruiting Fails: Kellogg’s CEO, Gary Pilnick, says we should all eat cereal for dinner to save money. Kids win. Parents get fat and fail.

Job News

Introducing Porter Ellett, a promising figure poised to surpass NFL legends like Bill Belichick, Don Shula or Andy Reid in coaching victories. Even If he doesn’t beat them, his contributions and examples of overcoming challenges are set to significantly impact the game and extend beyond the NFL.

Porter Ellett was born and raised in a small farm town in Utah. He has overcome more challenges and obstacles than most men who play in the NFL and is as wise as the veteran coaches. 

At just four years old, Porter fell out of the back of a pick-up truck, which paralyzed his right arm.

Most 4 year olds today have trouble when Disney +  goes down or their iPad doesn’t connect to the internet. Porter’s troubles were going out the back of a truck, paralyzing his right arm forever at the age 4. Porter’s adversity began early…

This is when life gets interesting for Porter. He makes the decision to overcome his challenge at the age of 4 and uses sports as a way to show himself and anyone that he can overcome a disadvantage. He will beat you one handed.

He did so well that he was an All American high school baseball and basketball player. At the age of 16, he injured that right arm more and was forced to make the tough decision to amputate it. This traumatic decision is not something anyone should need to go through, let alone a 16 year old boy.

He amputates his arm and life gets better because his arm is not dangling and getting in the way. He does better in sports and gets more confidence. Life goes on for Porter after high school and he learns that he can endure any hardship life will throw at him.

Porter can deal with trauma and overcome a challenge. 

He gets picked up by Coach Andy Reid , who met him from a mutual friend of his daughter’s husband. When Porter met Coach Reid he didn’t  know Coach Reid was interviewing him. It was an informal meeting at Coach Reid’s house after a wedding. 

The rest is history. After the season, the Chiefs had an opening and Coach Reid brought Porter in for an interview along with a few other candidates. 

The point of this story. Look for candidates who have overcome some type of adversity in their life. When life is easy and you have little stress, it’s easy to get results. It’s easy to give up when things get tough. The hard choice is to live and push through the adversity.

What kind of questions are you asking your candidates? Find the candidates who have been through hell and back. They will have no problem growing your company.

My pick is on coach Porter Ellett. He has since been promoted at the Kansas City Chiefs organization and is endorsed by Patrick Mahomes as a future head coach in the NFL. Porter is a testament to the power of perseverance.

The next time you are struggling in your job, look at the example Porter give us.

Overheard at coffee ☕️

How did Rick get hired? He can’t even open a laptop! Doing reference checks on a candidate can seem like a waste of time and background check screening provider, Hireright, found that only 58% of employers check references.

Is it normal to skip the reference check? 

Hiring the best candidate for a job can seem like a roller coaster of a ride. You interview some great and not so great candidates and  find the right candidate (pretend his name is Rick) and make an offer. They accept your offer and start on Monday. Job done. But no so fast…

You later find out that Rick is terrible at his job. You then have people in your network start to tell you that Rick was terrible at his last 3 jobs. 

Did you stop and check references? While it might seem normal to skip this step, you may have fallen victim to avoiding the background check. You are in the “normalization of deviance” trap. This term was developed by Columbia professor Diane Vaughn when discussing the culture and events leading up to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

Normalization of deviance is a process where what was unacceptable gradually becomes acceptable over time in the absence of failures. The longer you operate without a failure (i.e., not wearing a seatbelt in a car when it’s required), the less serious you take the requirement and eventually ignore it.

Most likely you are not dealing with a life or death situation but the cost and stress of a bad hire that could be prevented by a few phone calls to past employers is worth the time. 

Not doing a reference check on a candidate is like not wearing your seatbelt. Yes, you will be fine most of the time but if or when a car accident happens, you will get injured or not survive the accident. Seat belts save lives. Reference checks help prevent bad hires.

Take the time to do a reference check. You will save yourself time and money, but also give yourself peace of mind about the candidate. 

Do not get used to not doing reference checks because you will make this normal for your recruiting process. 

PS - PRO TIP - leverage the candidate’s references to network for future candidates or clients. 

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🔥 Hot Jobs - $1K Referral Fee

  • LVT - LiveView Technologies (come build technology to decrease crime and make communities safer) - $1B Unicorn valuation

  • VP of Growth - CONFIDENTIAL SEARCH. Need DTC experience w/ growth stage startups. Must be in NYC or willing to relocate.

  • Lead Executive Assistant for Coca Cola! - Unlimited Diet Coke and In office in Draper, UT - (Lead a team of 4 EAs and handle all EA duties for the CEO)

  • Marketing Coordinator at Westland Construction

  • Design Engineer with a focus on UI/UX at Canto Reality. Ideal candidates in the Palo Alto, CA area. Hybrid role.

  • Founding Backend Engineer at Mintlify - Hybrid in the San Francisco area.

  • Founding Full Stack Engineer at Paraform - Onsite in the San Francisco area.

  • New :

    • VP of Performance Marketing (coming soon) - Remote role for a profitable Professional Learning company

    • Infosecurity Engineer at a robotics company (SLC based)

    • Director of Operations at Construction company (Park City based)

    • (coming soon) Sales Director at ecommerce company opening in SLC, Utah

Recruiting Fails: Kellogg’s CEO suggesting we should cereal for dinner to save money. Kids win. Parents get fat and fail. 

Recruiting people to work at Kellogg’s to follow their CEO’s lead about encouraging people to eat cereal to save on money. Really? Yep. Grab your Frosted Flakes for dinner and follow financial and dietary advice from a cold cereal salesman.

Dear Recruiters at Kellogg’s - Don’t take your candidates out for a cereal dinner!

Do you have recruiting Fail Stories? Reply with your epic fails – we'll feature them. Own your blunders, embrace vulnerability, and let's all level up together.

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Today’s email was brought to you by Ben Martinez and Nathan “needs Head of Product candidates” Smith