Search Interviews:

Antonio Santana 7:42

I mean, I think we understood a lot how to identify talent. Because I mean, we’ve been working for the past 15 years. And initially, it was complicated to have like a endophyte talent interview, then how to, I don’t know, finding find them where they are. And I mean, our first years were very rough in terms of talent, retention, how to, I mean, be a leader for them. And it was like school during those projects. And we started to develop like a solid system to identify this talent. And we started to grow from there. And once we decided to, I mean, that we wanted to build our own agency, we already had years of experience, like recruiting, having a team consolidating relationships with between the team, and I will say that, like those years were key for for the years that that we have had the agency because I mean, it was not like starting from scratch. He was like you were already having an experience in in consolidated things. And when COVID happened, I mean, we identified that companies in the US understood that working from home was a reality. We already had like a solid recruiting system to jump into this new line of service. So I will say that that was really important in the previous years.

Jeremy Weisz 9:51

What are some things you do that’s important to identify talent? And then we can go into the recruiting process a little bit but when you see As a candidate, because you are constantly recruiting, and what do you do, what’s something that you look at to identify talent that other companies should, should look at as well.

Antonio Santana 10:14

I mean, we we have like an scoring system. And like, for example, we we care much for English, of course, English is really important. In the scoring system, we have what we call the Condor values. So it’s essentially it’s soft skills, but oriented to, to our values. And we, in the algorithm, or the formula, we give the most value to work on our lives. Because we believe in soft skills, we believe that people that I mean are hungry, and they want to grow fast, it’s the most important for, for example, one of our values is winning mentality. And it’s oriented because we always liked sports. And we played sports. And it’s, I mean, you can do the analogy between the sports and how they reached to became the I mean, the greatest of all time. And it’s, it was related to World War, two link learning from failures and things like that. And in our tests, we try to identify as much if they have that greed, if they they are hungry for doing more, or if they just want to enter in a company for the payroll or like, I don’t know, working from nine to six, those type of talent we don’t like we like the people with hungry and and they feel excited or challenged to work with companies in the US. So I will say that’s really important for us. I don’t know, Carlos, if you

Jeremy Weisz 12:04

so you look for you know, obviously in you want someone English speaking so they can work with some of the US they soft skills, winning mentality, grit, hunger, they they liked the challenges based on values, what else do you look for? That’s in the scoring system?

Antonio Santana 12:20

Well, in the scoring systems, of course, there’s the technical part. I mean, we have a lot of tests, for example, if they are applying for a paid media position, we have our own paid media tests based on on what we do with the clients. If I mean, I mean, we have all the tests basically on a daily basis, because we’re doing a lot of paid media tests at paid media work for a client. And we typically send same things to the candidate to see if they are up to to the work we’re doing with the clients.

Carlos Corredor 12:57

Yeah, the other factory just to finalize discussion about the formula, the scoring system is salary expectation, obviously, you know, if you’re gonna if you’re willing to though people salary Yeah, you can you can you can get anywhere. Yeah, if you’re gonna pay $100 million a year for baseball player, you’re gonna get anyone, right, the challenge is, you know, not overpaying. Right? So that’s also a factor in the formula. And I would say, be, you know, when hanging outside of us independent, if it’s Latin America, Asia, Europe, wherever. One thing to keep in mind is that the rest of the world doesn’t move as fast as the US, you know, especially in a professional in the professional environment. So you definitely need to filter out people that have a mentality of, let’s say, more, more of a socialist countries where they work less, and the rhythm is much lower. And it’s like this cynicism against your employer and this resentment against your employer, right, you need to definitely weed those people out, because there will be no good for your company, even if they have the technical skills or your other. You know, it’s not like they’re dumb. You know, they know how to talk their way around an interview, and I emphasize on their heart skills, but you really need to listen and find who those people are. Because they are not if they don’t truly believe in being competitive and being coachable. And having that winning mentality and really being eager to be part of the UI of those competitive US companies. If that’s not really their dream already, then it’s going to be tough, right? So that’s, I would say, that’s a big one.

Jeremy Weisz 14:40

You mentioned a good point about talking, you know, people can show up and look good on the surface. And so what is maybe a test or an interview question that you use to evaluate the soft skills, what would be an example?

Antonio Santana 15:01

yeah, I mean, for example, our reporting test, it’s long, because you need to pass all the steps to, I mean, because in each of the steps, maybe you can show. I don’t know what you’re saying, like maybe we identify that. Not everything that he was saying or she was true now. And I mean, for example we have there there’s a book from Carol Dweck. It’s a well, it’s about end defying growth mindset. So we have a test to ask a lot of questions for them. And it’s tricky. And then once they pass the test you you’ll see that person, it’s more oriented to growth, or it’s more oriented to have a fixed mindset. All also when they, at the end of the of the recruiting process, we, we try to bring as much of leadership teams as possible. We call the panel interview. And that’s more straightforward. Interviewing. And we try to give them like, situations where they work, maybe they need to, I don’t know, send some deliverables late because the client is expecting them. And we put them like in difficult and hard situations to see how they how they respond. And I think it’s very useful because when you see a phases, sometimes maybe they get they get uncomfortable, and things like that. So we tried to one of our one of our values also, it’s right or transparent. So we are very candid when we talk to Yeah, to candidates that are applying for a job, especially during the panel interview. And I will say that a great filter. It’s easy. But but the candidates tend to be more honest during those interviews.

Jeremy Weisz 17:38

Yeah. So you put them in kind of situate you give them situational questions to see how they react in tough situations. And they’ll walk you through how they do that. Yeah? Yeah, go ahead.

Antonio Santana 17:51

And we also have a it’s like a questionnaire or something that it’s that we design. And it’s questions we build for each of the our values. And those are, like situations, real life situations that if you answer these or that it will give you a score if you’re a better or not, in our particular set of values.

Jeremy Weisz 18:18

Yep. So we talked about a couple of the pieces, right, the panel interview, the technical test, you know, the questionnaire, just walk me through a little bit from start to finish about like the recruiting process. Where does it start? And then what happens next?

Antonio Santana 18:36

Okay. Firstly, I want to start with our team, we have a template team. And we do it between sources. The sources are the one, the ones that are very active on LinkedIn, contacting people. And it’s usually I mean, you need to contact I don’t know, let’s say 1000 people to get 100 applicants, because, as you know, people on LinkedIn, they don’t tend to answer. So, and though those are the sources, and they also do screening, initially, and if they feel this good candidate during the screening process, and if the people are open to hear our proposal, they become applicants, and we set an interview for them and it and now the interviewing part of the team appears. So we have interviewers.

Jeremy Weisz 19:44

Do they go before the interview, or can we again, do they fill anything out before the interview? Typically,

Antonio Santana 19:53

the the candidates or are the candidates? Yeah, I mean, We send like a form that screening part, it’s a part of the screening process. And they feel it that foreign that those are typical questions like, maybe salary expectancy. I don’t know, maybe if they want, they could go to the office in person, things like that. And then it comes to the interviewing process. And we have people that are actively interviewing all the time. We have around 100 250 interviews a month. And they apply the scoring system there, they give a scoring for that interview. And if they pass the interview, like having a score of three or more, they become qualified. And they pass to the next step. And if they are 3.5 or more, it’s a premium company

Carlos Corredor 21:08

score of zero to five, just like that. Yeah, yep, star system over the universal star system.

Antonio Santana 21:16

And then we sent the test. There’s a bunch of them. And typically, some some of them the climb, then during the process, because they feel it’s hard. Like I mean, this is a lot of tests. So I think it’s a good filter, because we need people that are really interested in joining Condor. So maybe other recruiting teams will say, I don’t know, I think this is too much. We need to keep it easy. Yeah, it’s true. But also you need to like end fi that they are really interested in in Yeah, in joining Condor. And if they pass the test, there’s a score for there. And you are basically yeah, calculating both the scoring system during the interview and the test. And then if they pass the test, also they go to a panel injury. And in the panel interview, there’s also a score there. And and if they still are, over three, they become qualify. And that’s, that’s basically then at the end, you take a you take a decision, and you offer to a county basically, I don’t know if some there’s something missing there.

Carlos Corredor 22:41

Yeah, no, I’d say depending on the situation. And the urgency of filling the position, like what our most important metric, and we measure across that funnel, we measure everything, but I think, quite qualified candidates, and we were putting more and more emphasis on the premium candidates, right? Because it’s not, you know, it’s not a lot of times, you know, it’s not enough just to be qualified, we really want candidates to wow, us. And having a pool is like the Holy Grail that we want. It’s five premium candidates per position, which usually means 10 or 15, qualify once, and then you can you can afford the luxury of selecting amongst five really great options. But now, I think that I mean, needless to say, it’s a lot of work to have to make a good hire. Now you do the math backwards, and that’s okay, if I prefer, you know, let’s say to three premium candidates, a qualified candidates, you know, 12 or 15, panel interviews, 30, HR interviews, you know, 100 applicants, you know, hundreds of messages that you need to send, and obviously, you know, we optimize each part of the funnel, you know, throughout time, this is a process today, and, you know, January 2023, but believe, believe me, it was not like this, you know, in 2020 or in 20.

Antonio Santana 24:07

So I’m talking about the matrix, it’s, I mean, you need a roundish, like, 1000 entries into the database, to have 100 applicants to then have 50 Not to have 80 interviews, because during the applicant, they sometimes they they, yeah, they drop out. And then to have at interviews, 40 qualified candidates and 35% of those qualified candidates needs to be bringing because as Carlos was saying, you need competition during the process. It’s it’s a matter of that for the for us that we are deciding that it’s complicated also that Do you have competition? Maybe I am deciding between two great or three great people. And I need to decide. And then you get a couple of hires, maybe? Or even one. So yeah, what I would say, you know,

Carlos Corredor 25:13

let’s say, three years ago, it would take us, you know, two months to find one qualified candidate. So obviously, you were desperate, and we would hire that person. Yeah, it’s qualified. We need them, let’s hire. Now, you know, it takes us two weeks to get five qualified candidates and two premiums. So if we have an urgency, we hire one of the two premiums there. If not, then we were not two weeks to have five premiums. And I know 1314 15 qualified, right.

Antonio Santana 25:39

And another thing that it’s really good about persistent is that I mean, during the process, we found amazing candies, but maybe you need to decide only one. But the other ones, we call it ready can the US and they are stealing our database, and we keep good relationships with them. We also have a form that the candidates feel during our recruiting process to have a score on our own, like clients satisfaction score, and our relationships with a candy, it’s really good and sometimes happens that this is a candy that maybe they weren’t hired during this process, but maybe in a second one, or in a third one. They they become the hires. So it’s a it’s something that it’s really helpful for us because we have a solid database.

Jeremy Weisz 26:34

What type of talent? Are you hiring for? Typically, what are companies looking for?

Carlos Corredor 26:41

You always, Margaret Margaret will focus on marketing positions. And then you know, there’s really no, no, all boundaries are in that, you know, from account managers, paid media analysts, project managers, email, SEO, you know, designers, web developers would fall in that category, although it’s some somewhat of its own category. But those, you know, yeah, marketing positions in general.

Jeremy Weisz 27:10

What, what’s the expectation from a US based company that they should expect? And it probably depends on position, but like a range of from a salary perspective.

Carlos Corredor 27:23

We say rule of thumb is a third, you know, equal skills, equal years of experience, and as you mentioned, right, so, um, for example, developer developers, because, you know, because they were expensive from since forever, it’s one that it’s more common to outsource so the rest of the world, so even more caught up. And that one, maybe, you know, you don’t necessarily get to a third or you could you know, if you know, how, when to look at, and you have patients, but I would say roughly a third is a difference in salaries.

Antonio Santana 27:56

But like adding all the costs, like for example, our fees, and maybe legal fee things, the access, whatever, it’s, it will be like 50% of sales.

Carlos Corredor 28:09

And that’s, that’s also one thing to note is that in the US the pay gaps, the pay bands are, let’s say, you know, somewhat tied meaning like maybe, you know, let’s say a senior email marketing person, according to Glassdoor, and that makes between let’s say 75 and $100,000 a year right? That’s, that’s that’s a difference of you know, 25% in Latin America, you find bands or 56 is 30%. Right depends on so many things. So that’s why it’s important also start will give the our client a range of what you know, we think we can find in a reasonable amount of time we don’t also want to make my way too long. So Bo, we also asked for a budget number of our target number from them right and also if if the true urgency of fitting the procedure because again, you know, if you can afford to weigh you know, couple more weeks, then you know, we might find you or you know you can also get creative right you know you might need especially if it’s somebody that starting that you want to train yourself let’s say it’s a marketing on his right, yeah, ideally, that person would have let’s say, three years using Salesforce and HubSpot, and MailChimp, etc. But you know, maybe we’ve had a really great candidate with really great personality and greed and potential with only one year experience in I don’t know SEO, but that it’s really passionate about moving to even market right and you can find that person and a half of the price so like we will have those conversations with our clients. because, again, you know, it’s not the math is not as predictable as in the US. There’s there’s definitely creative ways to decrease costs even further.

Jeremy Weisz 30:11

There was an agency you worked with in California, like to walk through what you did with them, because they I think you said they needed over 10 people. Yeah. What do you do with?

Antonio Santana 30:24

I mean, I will say that our biggest success story, as with the recruiting service, actually, it was this was an agency, they were familiar with outsourcing Thailand, because they had a lot of people’s a lot of people in the Philippines. But they were struggling with timezone. And also they mentioned Yeah, like, similar culture with the I mean, the cultural similarities with Philippines. Were not that, I mean, what they wanted to so they came to us. And they started with only one position, I was guessing that they wanted to, like, identify who we were good. bring in talent for them. We started with an account manager position. And it was like, I don’t know, let’s say a two or three week period, and they felt really great with the process. And they hired this account manager. And later, they say, We want to bring into a team 11 to 12 people between account managers, and paid media managers or media buyers. But we want them really fast, we have a lot of projects going on. And we need a team in Mexico, they open operations in Mexico. I mean, I, I think that they, I don’t know, maybe they weren’t as happy with the Philippines. So they decided to outsource in Mexico. And they open a company, they were incorporated in New Mexico, but they don’t have like a solid recruiting internal things. So we started to find these positions for for this agency, we thought it was going to be complicated they wanted, I mean, basically 10 or 12 people in a month. And we were expecting to bring those people in maybe two to three months. But at the end, I mean, I mean, basically all the thing, jump into that climb. It was at the end of the year, December, it’s complicated. See some because I mean, the candidates, they are not usually looking for new opportunities, they are maybe expecting their bonuses, they are in Christmas mode, and it was going to be harder. But at the end, we feel basically those the, the land positions for them. And actually, in January, they say that they want to bring three or four more people, and they want to have a team of 40 to 50 people in Mexico by the end of the year. So I would say that’s one of our biggest success cases.

Jeremy Weisz 33:39

I want to talk about Thanks for walking through that. How do you navigate competing against yourself? So a company wants your services like I want SEO services, then they’re like, well, maybe we could just can you just hire us a team of SEO people to do it, but they could also hire you to do it. So what do you find the difference between someone comes in and say listen, I just want you to do my SEO versus you know what you can hire us five people. And we can have those five people for our company.

Carlos Corredor 34:20

I think a big factor is. Do you have the expertise to do it? From not to execute it but from from supervising. From Yeah, supervision perspective, do you know how to supervise? Do you know what you want to get out of it? Right, do you know how to do it? Right? And do you have the time to do it? If if both of those are yeses, then you know, I think recruiting makes sense. If not, then you know, basically giving you a team that is ready to perform On that, you know, which hours of work are channeled via an account manager and a single point of contact that is dedicated to you, and save you time managing and properly managing everything, then, you know, it makes more sense makes more sense that way, right? What has this turned into, as we, you know, as we can sell the beginning, or marketing, and these are marketing agencies, they usually know what they’re doing, right? Otherwise, they wouldn’t be in business. So maybe if it’s a channel that is not in there, let’s say in their core offerings, right, if it’s, I don’t know, if it’s a creative agency, and so many requests to something more technical, maybe then it makes sense to some, like white labeling work, or bring us as an agency and do it, but for the most part, you know, agencies have become specialized, and they’re focusing on what they’re good at, and they just want, you know, somebody they can train in their own process. Right. So again, you know, recruiting and staffing makes a lot of sense for other agencies, and companies that have, you know, already a couple people in their marketing team, they have their maybe they have hired a couple of US agencies, and realize how expensive they were and how slow they were, and how little attention they paid them. You know, and they, okay, you know, what, let’s hire somebody internal for that. But then, you know, they pay 100, you know, 100k a year, you know, for a personal, it’s not so senior, and they have to manage all day. And that’s like, the ideal client for us. Because, you know, we, you know, that’s, that’s how we’re built to serve on the amount of services, right, a team that’s plug and play and save you time know, what, what they’re doing, you know, it measures themselves, you know, obviously, with a transparent measurement system on how many leads generating. And that’s usually, you know, those b2b marketing teams that are trying to grow, but are not sure how that when the Managed Services makes more sense. Also, you know, when you have demands across channel, because other times, you don’t need only one channel or a full time, you know, equivalent work for one person, but you need a little SEO, a little web design a little paid media, a little bit of everything, right? So it’s like, great, you know, you know, these guys can do it for you, and you can have on, you know, on them access to experts across marketing channels.

Jeremy Weisz 37:26

Yeah, I think you bring up some good points there. Because, you know, companies, you know, it’s important to hire an agency in certain respects. And I think companies underestimate sometimes the expertise, the project management, the supervision, that time management takes to coordinate all but even if you bring on someone who knows what they’re doing, you kind of need to have like a cohesive strategy. And you have to have management and project, you know, all that stuff in place, you know, to make everything runs smoothly. So in which case, an agency will be a good fit. First of all, thank you both. Thanks for walking me through, you know, everyone that I’ve talked to you and had on the show is constantly looking for talent. And so I love how you walk through your process. I have one last question. Before I ask it, I just want to point people to check out And learn more, check out more episodes of the podcast as well. My last question for each of you is, you know, Antonio, you mentioned the Carol Dweck book. And I’m just wondering from each of you, any other resources, whether it’s books, audio books, physical books, or resources, websites that you look at that are that you consider valuable for you?

Antonio Santana 38:59

Yeah, I mean, I really like love to read, and especially, specifically these type of books, and we try to bring this culture also to the agency. And we are always proposing new books to our employees. And for example, in my case, I love what Daniel Pink, it’s doing. Drive it’s a it’s a book that I think it’s amazing and gives you a lot of recommendations for being a good leader. Also when from from Daniel Pink, because it’s you, helps you how to? Yeah, in terms of the time, internally He went to the meetings and things, things like that. We, I mean, internally one of our most important books, its principles from Ray Dalio is actually in the radical transparency value. We use it a lot and in general what else? But yeah, I mean, those are recommendations that are give you the top of mind.

Carlos Corredor 40:39

Yeah, Ray Dalio, a huge fan of Ray Dalio and of the book of what the book is dense and long. So you know, very have a lot of things to think about and digest. He also has he, he launched it somewhat recently, it’s a test, it’s a personality test that we also use, that it’s a little more, let’s say, practical than the traditional Briggs Myers test. So that’s a resource that, I believe is still free for companies to use. He also has a paid version for companies, you know, that you might want to look into, you know, we had already built something similar internally. So we’re not using that version, but like we, you know, we definitely consume and follow rigorous advice from a professional perspective. Even like me, from a personal perspective, I’m a huge fan, like, for example, just something else, you know, as personal as meditating or not. I was not a believer by any means, until a few years ago that I heard him saying how much it helped him. So somebody that I respect and admire, you know, I started you know, giving it a shot, for example, you know, so that’s definitely someone that we that we follow. I think those are the main ones.

Jeremy Weisz 42:01

Yeah, well, first of all, thank you, everyone, check out And thanks, everyone.