The Engineering Leadership Podcast · Episode 56

Strategies for Closing Engineering Candidates

with Darian Shimy

Aug 18, 2021
This episode covers effective strategies to help you “close” engineering candidates with Darian Shimy (VP of Engineering, Weebly @ Square). We share how to strategically approach closing throughout the interview process, how storytelling & vulnerability help you connect with candidates, how to communicate the value of your company/compensation & strategically navigate offer negotiations!
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SPEAKERS

Darian Shimy, VP of Engineering, Weebly @ Square

As an engineering leader who scales teams and products, Darian Shimy is an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience. He is currently at Square with prior leadership positions at Weebly, Attensity, and eHarmony.com. He received an MS in Computer Science from The University of Southern California and continues to code as a hobby. Outside the professional setting, Darian is a softball coach for various age levels from the recreation to competitive level.

"I've gone into an interview and people said, 'work-life balance... just like hammer on work-life balance...' And I'm like, 'Okay. I have other things to talk about, but work-life balance is super important.'

And during that time, I don't say 'I have good work-life balance...'

What I tell them is I say, 'I coach my daughter's softball teams. I've never missed a school play. I'm a very present parent. And I always have time for family and kids.'

When they hear that, THEY KNOW there's work-life balance!"

- Darian Shimy

This Episode Is Brought To You By

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Jellyfish helps you align engineering work with business priorities and enables you to make better strategic decisions. Learn more at Jellyfish.co/elc

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Bugsnag monitors application stability so you can make data-driven decisions on whether you should be building new features, or fixing bugs. Check out their 2nd Annual Application Stability Index report at Bugsnag.com

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Show Notes

  • How Darian approaches closing engineering candidates (2:33)
  • Who’s involved in closing conversations (4:55)
  • How to address candidates’ needs throughout the interview process (6:09)
  • “Boomerang candidates” & maintaining relationships to rehire previous co-workers (11:23)
  • How to make candidates feel they can immediately contribute and be successful (13:12)
  • How to make remote offers an opportunity to close candidates (18:50)
  • High leverage ways to show appreciation & gratitude for hiring candidates (20:44)
  • Money’s role in the closing conversation (23:47)
  • Navigating offer negotiation (25:16)
  • How to help candidates navigate multiple offers (27:42)
  • Is "no" the end of the closing process? (30:59)

Transcript

Patrick Gallagher: Darian, Jerry, come on up, Let's get this show started! Welcome. What's going on?

Darian Shimy: Hey, Patrick, how are you doing?

Patrick Gallagher: I'm not bad. I'm hanging out. Jerry, how are you doing?

Jerry Li: I'm looking forward to this conversation the whole day.

Patrick Gallagher: I couldn't agree more.

So Darien, at this point in time, you know, we've spent a ton of time talking about sourcing about interviewing about all of these things that happen ahead of time.

How Darian approaches closing engineering candidates

Patrick Gallagher: So to jump right into the topic, right now, would love to just start with, can you walk us through your approach to closing candidates? And are there certain things that are new now that maybe weren't as effective or you weren't considering in previous, I guess, iterations of what life has been like? You know, what's, what's your approach? What's new?

Darian Shimy: Absolutely. You know, closing candidates starts when you first meet the candidate. And I think this is what a lot of engineering leaders make a mistake in.

You know, there's two questions I always ask and they're very simple and very broad. But it's pretty much what have you been working on and what do you want to do? And what they volunteer during with those two questions will help fuel the close throughout the entire process.

So for example, if I'm talking to somebody and they say, you know, they've been working, they've been working on a certain project. A lot of times it'll be work-related. And a lot of times they'll get into their motivation for leaving. Because it's so open-ended, they feel like they have to have some closure to a story that they're giving. And then you start taking notes as to what is what levers are driving them. And you use throughout.

So for example when someone says, you know, like they just don't feel they can be challenged anymore. Like technically they've kind of maxed out at their current role.

I don't turn around right away and say, "Oh yeah, by the way, we have a lot of technical challenges. Here are six of them and I'm sure you can fill them in."

We don't, you don't do that. And you have to tell a story of, you know, and, and one of the themes that you'll see throughout is like, storytelling is so important. And you don't tell people that we have technical challenges. You show them through explanations of, "let me tell you a challenge we had."

You know, and we had one, for example, we were trying to give SSL certificates to 50 million websites. You know, this is a very hard problem. You know, we didn't know how to do it. And we had to go figure it out and then you start telling them all these things and they can start saying, yeah, I may have a few ideas and how I can contribute.

I mean, ultimately they have to see themselves working at your company, right. You have to paint that picture. It's like when you're selling anything, you know, you, if you're selling a home where you're selling a car or you're selling a job, you know, you have to show, they have to see themselves being successful in that role. They have to see themselves contributing in that role.

And by getting those two questions out of the way, it kind of starts that chain reaction that you can kind of thread a narrative throughout and you start picking up all the stories that they really care about.

Who's involved in closing conversations

Patrick Gallagher: There's a couple of things I want to deconstruct from the, from what you shared there, Darian. So you mentioned those two questions sort of drive the sort of the recruiting and closing strategy at all these other touch points. Who else are you involving in these conversations? What's sort of that information distribution like?

Darian Shimy: Yeah. So, you know, everybody should be aware of like , what the candidate needs, right. What it's going to take to close them. You know, there's always, if you're going to have, you know, an engineer, for example, do a technical interview. There's going to be a little intro and then there'll be like the core part.

And then at the end, there's always a question or discussion, right. And that's where they get to know each other. You get to share some experiences and everybody needs to know kind of what those drivers are.

And I've gone in an interview and people said, you know, work-life balance just like hammer on work-life balance. And I'm like, okay, I have other things to talk about but work-life balance is super important. And during that time, you know, I don't say I have good work-life balance. What I tell them is I say, "I coach my daughter's softball teams. I've never missed a school play. You know, I'm a very present parent and I always have time for family and kids."

When they hear that they know there's work-life balance. Right. And that's how you, and it's also these things resonate and they stick with people, is through this storytelling.

How to address candidates' needs throughout the interview process

Jerry Li: That's a really good point. I have a, I can't resist my urge to ask the question. Even throughout the interview process you have so many touch points with the candidates. So the very last step when you're delivering the offer to the candidates.

So are there any implicit needs that are better addressed in this final step?

And one of the things that we've seen in past that our manager and your hiring managers that are addressing the need to late in the process, then we start talking about only in the last steps. But they could have done that much earlier.

Darian Shimy: Yep. So, let me talk a little bit about, you know, implicit needs of a candidate. And at the end, you know, there's, there's so, and I'm goingto kind of weave in, you know, like w one of the closing strategies to kind of help here.

But, you know, there's a lot of times when, when an engineer manager is trying to close a candidate and they focus on, you know, the, the two, two things that usually people care a lot about, but not the most two important things like salary and maybe equity, right? Those are the two things that come up. But there's so many other things, so many other things that company is paying for that you're not even getting the value for.

And you know, when I would deliver an offer, I'd have a list of every single benefit we had. And I would go over and I would explain why our 401k plan was the best. Why it was better than somebody else's. Why they would need short-term and long-term, you know, disability insurance. You know that when they have their life insurance, they can set the beneficiary. So if anything happens to them, somebody they care about will be taken care of. Right. And you show value in everything.

And I remember as a kid, I had an old pickup truck I was trying to sell. And my brother's girlfriend's dad was he, he sold collectibles. And I remember he said, "How are you going to sell this truck?"

And I said, "It's a truck like it, you sell it. It's like you want it? Yes or no?"

He's like, well, show me how the air conditioning works. And like it's an air conditioning. Just push the buttons. He's like, no, no, no, no. You bring value to commodities by taking the time to show them everything. You turn, every dial, you push every knob, you prove to them how it works. You say doesn't that air feel good, right? It's air conditioning, but you're bringing more value to it.

And it's the same way here. When you have a lot of these things like healthcare... and you tell them, you get to choose your healthcare. You go over every little detail. You don't know how many people have come to me and said, they don't know what type of healthcare another company has offered them.

And for a lot of people, when they take a new job, They're not the only ones who are getting in that company, your significant other, the, the, the kids, you know, the family they're coming to. And you ha and the candidate has to sell it to them.

So letting you know, the implicit needs are met a lot of times, the ones of people who are you not directly hiring, you know, will they be able to keep their doctors? Will they be able to still make contributions to their 401k? Do they have Roth IRAs? Like everything else that they may care about, you need to communicate.

You know, to the second part of your question. It's like the biggest mistake is just people wait too long to try and make that connection. Right. And they boil it down to literally, "here's the level you're coming in and here's your comp"

And then that's it. And there's not this need, it's not this feeling like I want to go work for this person. Right. And there's a difference between I want to go work for you. And I want that job. And I always want people when they come work for me to come, I want to work with me, right. And not necessarily go for the job.

And I think a lot of engineers keep it, you know, very formal. I always help people open up. Right. So when I'm interviewing, I tell them about my family. I tell them about my life. I get very personal right away. And that helps a lot for them to open up and they can get to know me a little better.

Some people share more than others. But you know, I, I did this, you know, I was teaching a class the other day. And I, as an example, we were talking about our work-life balance. Or I'm sorry, our work from home environments and I told them about, you know, the, the obvious things. I have a desk and I have a chair and I have a screen and a microphone.

And then I talked to him about the kids and everything else, and every single person after that talked about their kids, too. Because I had opened it up to them. So when you open it up and you, and you're vulnerable and you kind of let them see who you really are, they'll open up also.

And then you can use all that information to help them make a good decision. Cause I always say finding a candidate, a candidate that you say no to will find a job someplace else. And they will get promoted and they will be successful and they will do very well. And they'll have a good career. And it's not that they're bad. It's not that you're bad. It's just that you're not a good fit at that time.

There's a lot of companies, I feel like I wouldn't be a good fit for, and they wouldn't be a good fit for me. And if you're lucky enough to find a company where that is a good fit, you're golden. So a big part of it is finding that fit.

And I've interviewed people and I said, what do you want to do? And they told me, and I'm like, I really don't have that for you. You know, like, let's just stop here and I want to be respectful of your time, but I can't offer you what you're looking for. And they respect that.

And then, you know, it's a small world and things may change. You know, and I've had a lot of people I've talked to like a year or two later, you know, they come back. I mean, I I'm, I'm coming up on my nine year anniversary, I think next week.

Patrick Gallagher: Congratulations.

Darian Shimy: Thank you! Thank you!

And you know, if you're there for nine years, you know, you, you cycle through a lot of people, you interview a lot of people and these people will come in and out. And a lot of them, we call them boomerangs. They actually come back!

So you always want to maintain, you know, that healthy relationship with everybody.

"Boomerang candidates" & maintaining relationships to re-hire previous co-workers

Jerry Li: Darian, do you have more stories like that you want to share? Like that? Candidates have been working with for a long time, like nine years or five years that comeback? And how does, how does that feel? And why do they come back?

Darian Shimy: So a lot of times, people leave for a variety of reasons. I mean, back in the day, people, sometimes when they relocated, they would, they would have to leave the company because we weren't, you know, the companies, 10 years ago were not like a remote first like they are now.

You know, now you can work almost anywhere. I mean, I think we've all been working remotely you know, for a year plus now. And if, you know, if you haven't made it work now, then you may be in trouble. So finding a lot of people have made it work. It's not always ideal in all scenarios, but they made it work. So people will come back when they move.

We've also had people leave for other opportunities. Maybe they want to go do a startup. This is great. I fully support him, you know?

And when somebody is leaving, I always give them like an honest, you know, my 2 cents on whether I think is good or not, you know, and I've, I've told people in the past, you know, they say, Hey, I have this job offer. What do you think? And I'm like, I'm like, you don't have to stay here, but you can do a lot better. You know, I'm happy to make phone calls and stuff like that. If you want your career to go on a different path.

And I've had other people, I remember they said, Hey, I got this job offer. And I said, you should take it. And, you know, they were upset. They said, I, they said, you're telling me why aren't you trying to save me? And I'm like, because that's a really good offer and I can't offer that for you. So you should take it. You know, if you care about your career, I would jump on that.

You know, and just being honest about it, you know, helps. And then, and I have had people leave and then they, they, they bought a company's a company has been acquired and then they come back and, you know, they're happy that they, they kind of, and they get up to speed. You know, I know them already. It's, it's really amazing.

I think, I think when we get away from, you know, you're at a company for 18 months and you can start staying for a long period of time, there's so much more value that comes from that. And just in terms of making that personal connection with so many other people that you work with.

How to make candidates feel they can immediately contribute and be successful

Patrick Gallagher: So I wanted to link together a couple of things, Darian, because I think it what's been really apparent and the themes from what you've shared so far, I think a lot of things you talked about are, are authenticity and honesty and having the candidates best interest in mind as you're helping navigate the whole process.

One of the, the outcomes that you want candidates to feel is that they can be successful and contribute to the role. And I was hoping you could share a little bit about, like, how do you, how do you get to that outcome? Because I'm thinking for some people maybe who are like, that seems like a mystery. I want that, but I don't know how to get there.

Is there a framework or questions that you use to help frame your thought process for how you can help them feel or see how they can be successful?

Darian Shimy: Yeah. Yeah. And this is actually something that has been misunderstood by candidates sometimes. So I usually will present the, the, the, a lot of the problems we're facing and what we're trying to do, either from a business perspective or a technical perspective.

I'm like, these are the challenges I've had people go, well, you have a problem there. You know, and I'm concerned about getting the job. And I said, you do realize I'm hiring you to fix that problem. It's the same as a plumber coming in and going, yeah, you got a water leak. You better take care of that, buddy.

And I'm like, this is why you're right?

And, and again, it's, it's them being successful.

So when you even I've even had brainstorming sessions, I'm like, I'm having this problem. What would you do? And they start throwing out some ideas. They start seeing the path to solving it. And once they see that, then they say, Yeah, that's, this is how it was one way I can contribute.

What motivates people is always different. Some and none of these are bad. Some people are driven by money. And that's okay. Some people are driven by like the company mission. Some people are driven by, you know, they want their career to grow at a certain path. And some people want to work with a certain group of people.

And like I said, none of those are wrong, but you need to figure out where those people are, how they're going to fit in, how you can appeal to them.

You know, being at a startup for so many years, we were never able to offer the best salary out there. But we had no trouble closing candidates. None whatsoever.

You know, and a lot of it came down to just being really honest and authentic and appreciative, like when they came in... and I'd be talking to them you know, I would have an, a written offer letter in my hand that I would literally slide across the table and say, you know, I, I want you to take the time to read it, take the weekend, whatever you need. But I would love for you to come work here. I'm really impressed with what you've done.

And it's coming from a really honest and genuine place. I'll talk about any questions to answer, projects... And I said, I'm really excited. Like you're part of the team, you know, we want you to come and make your contributions. And, you know, I believe it was around, like in 96% would say yes to that.

You know, my, my fastest one. And this one is actually one of the surprising people I had, he came in, it was on a Tuesday and I said, Hey, you did great. Like, we'd love to have you. It's like, okay, I think I'll take it. I'm like, oh, that was fast. I'm like, when would you like to start? He's like, how about tomorrow?

And, you know, in about 12 hours, he was back there and we had a laptop for him. He was ready to go! You know, why, why squash that enthusiasm right. And spring them on and go for it.

How to make remote offers an opportunity to close candidates

Jerry Li: What is the remote version of that, like sliding the offer letter across the table?

Darian Shimy: Yeah. And that's a good question. First of all, for me, it has to be on a video call. Like I have to be able to read somebody right. Phone calls for me, I still struggle with. But if I can get somebody here and I can tell them, Hey, we're ready to go.

Getting the offer letter to them is no more than an email away these days. So if you get your paperwork and everything lined up and you can fire that off, you have a really good chance of closing them.

When you show people, you care about them when you don't make them wait, when, when they email you, you email them right back. When you thank them. You give them like the full court press... They notice. They know when they're, when they're appreciated. They know when you want them. Why would you want to go to a company that didn't care about you? Why would you want to go to company a didn't show you the love, right? Everybody wants to feel the love.

You know, right now when I'm hiring people that are, you know, remote, this is a great opportunity to tell them what it's like to work remote and how I work remote and how other people do. And some of the challenges. And tell them some of the things that haven't gone well and how you resolved in and overcame that. Right. You, you, you tell them these stories and they can see, that they're not going to be on an island. That there'll be part of a team.

And even though they're not in the office, you don't forget people. You always do video conferencing and you talk about your documentation, having an agenda. It's like any processes you have to kind of set them at ease.

Switching jobs is a lot of anxiety. Right. It's a lot. You have to be really frustrated sometimes to leave a good paying job for another one. Because let's be honest, wherever you go, there're going to be problems. You're trading one set of problems for another, right. What you're hoping is a set of problems you're trading for are less or not as impactful to you as the other ones. And when you do that, at anything a hiring manager can do to kind of ease that anxiety is going to go a long way.

High leverage ways to show appreciation & gratitude for hiring candidates

Patrick Gallagher: Can I ask you a follow-up question about like, showing appreciation? Because I think appreciation and gratitude are free and it's like a high, super high leverage in terms of relationship building and making people feel good.

And I'm thinking about some of the teams and people joining us today, and some of their teams may not have like the same resources to pay, you know, the top percentile of salary band for, for an engineer. But appreciation and gratitude are free.

What are your favorite practices? Like what are, what are the ones that you go to, to, to really show that you care and want to go above and beyond for this particular candidate?

Darian Shimy: Yeah. So recapping like things they've said. I mean, being an active listener, . When they tell you something, bringing that back and saying, you know...

and I've had people where I've emailed. And, you know, even when they, when they've said, no, I've come back and said, Hey, you know, I really enjoyed, I would love to have the opportunity to work with you in the future sometime, you know, and I tell everyone, like, there's a small world, our paths are gonna cross again.

But you know, when you're giving that, when you're showing that gratitude, that appreciation, you know, giving them the love right. The, the easy things are really just highlighting their talents, right? Genuinely.

But highlighting their talent that you don't want to ever speak in a patronizing term. But telling them how well they went, how well they did. Telling them, you know, the role they can play. Telling them how excited you are. Right. And I talked to other people and I say, Hey, you know, four of us are really, really excited about you coming.

I've talked to the CEO and I've told the candidate, Hey, I just talked to the CEO. I told them all about you. He thinks you're great and wants to get you on board as well. Right. And then following up with, you know, the CEO or whomever sending an email, personal email, not a, not a formula. Right.

But you know, you really write something, genuine to somebody and say, Hey, you know, I heard about you, I've seen work. I think you'd be a great addition to the team. You know, I hope you say yes.

And I, and I I've even, I've told people, like, I'm always very direct. And I've been on an interview, call a cell call with someone. And I said, And And this is like right when they go hello. And I'm like, Hey, I'm Darian, and I said. I just want to be honest. Like my goal is to get you to come work for me. What do I have to tell you? Or what do you have to learn to say yes? Right. Is there like one more thing I need to and I'm like, I really want you to come here. Like, just help me get you over the finish line. And they appreciate that!

And some of them were like, whoa, you're very forward. I'm like, I'm very honest too. You know, you have to beat around the bush for half an hour or we just cut right to the chase.

But you know, when they hear that, they're like, and that made me start really thinking like, is there anything they need to know? And it's like you question on benefits? On what you're working on a team, anything?

And generally it's no, at that point, you just need a little encouragement. Right. And you give them a little encouragement. They come on over and, you know, they're able to do great things.

And you need to, you need to bring every metric out. You bring out your retention rates, how many times people, you know, accept your offers and how happy people are. If you do like any company surveys, you know, you bring every, you have to use every single tool, especially we don't have the big money to bring people in. But you need everything at your disposal to get them over there. Because there's so much more than money.

Money's role in the closing conversation

Darian Shimy: And I found two things with money. One, everybody has like a quality of life, amount of money they need to make. And was like, this is where I want to live. I want to have a car, whatever it is. There's a certain threshold there. Like I just can't live my life unless I make this much money. And then beyond that, people want to make sure they're not being taken advantage of. Right.

And this is where, you know, if you are very authentic and honest, this will come across. And I tell people when I give them the benefits I said, this is the company portion. Everybody gets the same. This is like, we don't negotiate on health care as it's just, everybody gets in including the CEO.

Right.

Okay, great! He knows he's not gonna be left out in that stage. And then I'm like, now this is your personal portion, right. This is going to be salary and equity. And if you have a bonus or anything else, like all those things come in there and then you let them know that they're leveled and that you care about salaries and you want everything to be equitable.

And just so they feel like they're not being taken advantage because the worst thing that can happen for a candidate is for them to get less money, because they didn't ask one question during the interview.

And this is where I'm definitely lean on the side of no known negotiate and non-negotiable job offers. Cause you don't want the people who are just extroverted to get more money in the company. Right. And somebody who is really talented and introverted should get less because they didn't ask the right question during the interview. That's not right. And I don't think that's, you know, the type of culture we want, where the people who are, you know, it's not an inclusive culture when you only advance people with a certain skillset.

Navigating offer negotiation

Patrick Gallagher: That's something we wanted to dive down a little bit deeper on around the topic of negotiation and just to better understand some of the strategies or tactics or way that you think about offer negotiation. Can you share a little bit more about how you approach that part?

Because I feel like that's high stakes, that's tricky. And it also kinda feels like it could be emotional and tense. Like to me, that seems like where a lot of conflict could be or turning people off.

Darian Shimy: Yeah. absolutely.

And you know, when it comes to, I mean, comp everyone's very cagey, right? Cause there's, everybody has like a minimum. Like no one will talk, have a comp discussion on the first interview. They just don't. They wait till the very end. There's like there's social norms about talking about money when you offer and stuff like that.

And a lot of candidates, I mean, there's laws against even being able to ask how much people make, you know, in California and some other states. So, you know, you need to be very careful with kind of how you walk that line. We always say, we're going to give everybody a very fair and best offer.

And then, you know, the question is what happens after they take the job and what's the growth potential. And sometimes people are like between different levels. And you can be honest and say, Hey, you know, I think you're, you're a very strong, like level five. And I think in, you know, six to 12 months, we'll be at a level six and you'll be the next comp band.

You know, you tell them all the opportunities, they have to make more money. We do promotions. We do merit cycles. I can't, I've had, I worked at a lot of companies that your ending salary was the same as your starting salary. They were very small and they just didn't give raises. And some people are used to that.

So letting them know that they get a raise, when they get a raise, how it's done, you know, is very important.

And all these things you get for free, you're already giving the raises, right? Let's use it to close. Same with promotions, right? Let them know the opportunities if you, have two times a year, or whenever you're ready to get a promotion, you can get promoted. And this is a process.

And tell them we promote people all the time. It's very common. You know, there's no quota on getting to a certain engineering level. I want everyone to get promoted. In fact, if you don't get promoted, I may worry. And they're like, oh, okay. I feel like I can, I have growth.

And also on projects you let them know, you know, and I tell everybody, you know, from a career standpoint. I say, you always want your influence to be growing over time. And, you know, I let them know that your influence can grow here by doing certain projects. And that, that goes along way.

Patrick Gallagher: The guidance and direction and clarity you give people in that process ,I think relieves a lot of the, the mystery, the ambiguity, and I think the potential tension and emotional conflict there. I think that's, I feel better with than like, oh, I know those opportunities I can grow in that way.

Jerry, I know you got a question...

How to help candidates navigate multiple offers

Jerry Li: Yeah. Speakers and our participant today are pretty much aware of the fact that these days, top candidates easily to get a lot of offers. So when that situation happens, they are interested in your company, but they just have other equally amazing opportunities out there as well.

So, how do you help them to navigate?

How do you use that as opportunity to, to, you know, create more bonds and, and, work through that situation for their favor?

Darian Shimy: So there's always this down-select that people have.

If someone has five offers, which is really not uncommon these days, you want to get it down to two. And first of all, I never bad mouth any company. I don't encourage anybody to else do that. But you, you kind of let them know that, hey, you know I thought you mentioned that this is something you care about, are you sure you're able to get it at this company? Or that company sounds really big there, you're going to probably get a very narrow focus. Like you wanted broad, you know, you wanted more breadth and depth, right?

And then if you can eliminate a few and you may really make it between you and one other company, your odds go up tremendously at that point.

And they'll also view as helping. Because I have had people, even during the interview process, they said, Hey, I got this offer someplace else. I'm like, you should probably take it. And, you know, and I've had, I've had other people where I said, I'm not going to give him an offer. And we talked for an hour on their career development, what they should do to get better.

But if you can get it down to two and then you start really focusing on the people part. There's a lot of great companies out there. And like I said, people are going to have success at many companies. But what you want to really focus is on what you have, that's unique for you, right? And a lot of that gets down to culture. And the culture companies have is one of the most unique things they have and things that are really hard to articulate.

You know, I, I should, one story I just want to share real quickly... We would have a candidate come onsite and they were going through the interview and w and we had a candidate at the worst possible time. I mean, we were doing this big launch this long time ago. Things were not going well. I had slept there the night before, and we were all very stressed.

And at the end of the interview, I said, "Hey, you know, you did great. We'd love to hire you. He said, thank you. He goes, I'm going to take your job offer."

I said, great.

And he said, you know why? And I said, "no, tell me..."

He said, "because I'm here observing everything. And I know things aren't going well. I know you guys are stressed. You're sleep deprived, you're frustrated, but you still had time to laugh. You still had time to have fun. You had time to eat with each other. Hell, you had time to play ping pong. Okay. And that's the kind of company I want to go work for."

And he goes, "if this is how you work, when you're at your wit's end... he goes, this is a good place for me."

And he saw that, right. He was able to observe that. And that's one of the things that he won't find anywhere else.

And if you can communicate that type of culture through storytelling, especially in the remote world, right. Where people aren't going to be there. But I tell the story all the time. I tell them the stories that people have had and how we bonded and how, yeah, things are hard at times and you get past it and you feel good about it. Right. And that's, what's rewarding in the job, you know, and that's what helps get people over that.

And that, that closes that gap. Because I can guarantee you, most of the companies don't talk about their work like that.

Is "no" the end of the closing process?

Patrick Gallagher: One question we wanted to ask before we close off Darian is, you know, you mentioned the moment where you're helping people navigate offers. And so I imagine people have, have took other offers and told him I had to tell you no, at some point. So what if someone says no, is that the end of the process?

What happens then?

Darian Shimy: Nobody ever says, no. They always say not now.

And I mean that, because I have had people who have said. No. Which was... I'm like, okay, that's just not now. And you know, I'll keep track of you. And next year, and the year after I'll keep calling you.

And if you keep calling... now, the hiring manager, not the recruiter... the hiring manager is calling. And they know you care... the minute they feel frustrated, they know they have a safe place to go.

And you know what, for me, I'm a very patient person and I can wait for talent. And if they were good now, let me tell you two years from now are going to be stellar. They're going to be awesome. So for me, the no is never no, it's always just a, not now.

And like I said, if you do things right, you should be closing a huge, huge percentage.

And I'm not, and this is not with throwing money. This is just giving them that personal attention, showing them they care, sharing your, love, your stories.

If they see your passion come through and how you talk about what you do, talk about your team, it's going to be a place they want. And if it's not, they may not be the right person for you either.

Patrick Gallagher: That's fantastic.

Darian, this has been a ton of fun. I, I don't know how to, I don't know how to close this off other than just saying thank you.

Darian Shimy: Well, thank you for having me. I love all the work that you guys have done and, and helping so many leaders out there. And I've learned so much just from the speakers here. It's just been a wonderful experience. So thank you as well.

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