Secrets from Silicon Valley

Lesson 11 of 14

Gary Swart - How to Get More Done

 

Secrets from Silicon Valley

Lesson 11 of 14

Gary Swart - How to Get More Done

 

Lesson Info

Gary Swart - How to Get More Done

We're going to talk about how do you how do you maximize your time? How to get leverage? How do you get to all of the things that you need to get teo and just a quick question for the folks out there who feels like they have enough time to get everything that they need to get to today show of hands, okay, no home, no hands are up, and I imagine that's true in the audience at home as well, but how can we get leverage to get to the the important things and the big rocks in our life? And I don't know if you've ever seen any of the covey stuff where he talks about the importance of a task and the urgency of the task, where you look at the level of importance and the level of urgency, and a lot of times you spend a lot of your time on things that are urgent, but not that important. And I was laughing when guys said drop everything and get so those those things that are urgent but not important, and I think I'm going to disagree a little bit that a lot of times, we're not getting best in hig...

hest use. Out of our time and if you're entrepreneurs and you have staff, are you really getting best in highest use out of your employees? Are you leveraging the skills that they have and what they're good at in order to get the best quality of work done? And I think a lot of times we end up spending time on things that they were not good at and b that we shouldn't be doing, and so I want to talk about that some best practices around that, and then we're going to talk about how do you get leverage, right? So how do you augment yourself or your company with resource is in order to get more work done, so really, it all comes down to bandwidth, and if you don't think for a second, think about what you do on a daily basis and I love guy talking about what he does in a day, and I wish I had that schedule that sounds like a pretty good one because it involves a lot of social media and eating, and I think I'm good at both by them on I like both, quite frankly, so, but it all comes down tio two bandwidth and think about the top five activities that you do on a daily basis and what percentage of time are you doing it? Each right so where are you spending your time and then matt that against are you good at those things and should you be doing those things and what I found when I did that is it turns out that I was spending a lot of time on things that a I wasn't particularly good at and be things that weren't that important that I really shouldn't be spending time on right things that I should be giving to someone else to dio so I can spend time on the things that I'm better at and where it's better for our company that I that I be doing those things so it's all about bandwidth and leverage and focusing on the right things but if you think about the way that we used to get help so it's easy just go and get help get somebody to help you to do those things but that doesn't really scale and it's expensive it's expensive it's time consuming it's competitive and it's quite restrictive because once you hire somebody who's good at administrative duties and let's say that you don't have enough to keep that person busy. Well now what do you do right? You re purpose that talent or do you get rid of that talent and bring in somebody else that can help you to do other things? And if you start thinking about it you need a flexible bench of talent who each have their areas of expertise and skill in order to give you more leverage. So traditional hiring is expensive too. Even if you can find the talent within a fifty mile radius of wherever you're located, can you afford it? And can you compete for here in silicon valley? We came keep very aggressively with some large companies that have incredible benefits, and they offer amazing things for employees, and those employees are entitled to those things but it's harder for a start up company to compete. So even if you can find the talent, can you compete for ten? You afford it? And do you have the time? It takes about ninety two days on average to hire somebody will by the time you hire somebody could have done the work yourself and I think that's, the pattern that we all fall into, we say, look, by the time I do it, I might as well just do it myself, and that just doesn't scale and there's no way that we can get to all of the things that are important, an urgent and important and not urgent. But if you look at what's happened with technology and you start thinking about the world of technology, the internet has made software as a service, a reality and platform as a service and infrastructure is a service, and if we think back ten fifteen years ago when little company called salesforce dot com down the street was getting started they had to approach companies and say how would you like to put your customer data in the cloud and that was an innovative concept I'm going to store my customer data in the cloud and is it going to be safe and I'm going to be able to access it and now look at all of the things that we're putting in the cloud we're putting our customer data even big large enterprise companies are now using salesforce dot com we're using job box for our documents and ever notes for everything you heard guys say that he trust drop box for his photos his two hundred seventy five gigs of photos he wants a place where he knows that they're going to be even more secure than his own laptop even his manuscript and so we're putting our most prized possessions in the cloud and if you think about it it's not too dissimilar from e commerce where e commerce is finding the right good on the web getting delivery of the good and paying for the good well why shouldn't we be able to do that with other things as well including talent and that's really what talent is the service is about it's about finding the right worker the right helper via the web getting delivery of the work and paying for the work and we call this talent as a service is really online work this is work that can be done via the internet as opposed in person, right? And you start thinking about oh, so now I can get access to a much broader talent pool one that's not available within a fifty mile radius of my office. It's much more flexible, it's much more transparent it's much more on demand and the world of work is really changing, right? So online work ripped really is very similar to anything that can happen in your office or it can happen face to face. It just happens online. Any work that can be done in front of a computer, what types of work are we talking about? Well, we're really talking about really anything that can be done in front of a computer. It could be software development, web development, design, administrative, legal finance think of any work that you're doing can that work get done by somebody else? And again, his guy was talking, and he says he has one and a half people working with them. It's now possible the hire experts from anywhere in the world to give you leverage so you spend time on best and highest use, right? And not only you but also for your employees so we actually built a business around around this name the business called oh, desk where the world's largest online workplace we're about three and a half million contractors all over the world more than five hundred fifty thousand clients who are getting work done this way on a daily basis, right? So we've created a marketplace where you can find the right worker he post your job and weak for people to apply, or you can search the database for someone who's, a social media twitter expert or a speaks mandarin, or has salesforce dot com experience? Whatever the skills that knowledge that you're looking for, we're gonna enable you to get access to that talent on a on a global basis. We did more than three hundred sixty million dollars of work last year through our platform in this way, and really what we're doing is we're enabling this freedom and flexibility for workers. People should be able to work on the jobs that they're good at and at the wage that they're worth in the global economy, and companies should be able to access these workers regardless of where they live, right, and the internet now enables this, and so people and companies can now get access to this talent and get this leverage, so they're not wasting their resource time, and you could do it a lot more cost effectively as well. So we're going to talk about now are some tips and tricks for actually doing that how do you how do you find the right person? How do you manage him even though they may be worlds away or maybe on the other side of the country in a different time zone and then we'll talk about some general management and best practices around managing talent whether it be local or remote and then we'll have plenty of time for questions as well. So how do you leverage this teo to get more work done? Well, first and foremost, you want to make sure that your team is structured to optimize that the way you work and when I mean team I mean you're in house team, so you're a business or you have a your soul oprah nure do you have your resource is best aligned for the work that needs to get done second is to make sure that you have a flexible bench of experts. So once you build a team of experts is that the skills and the knowledge that you need you want to keep those people around? So when you find good workers you want have a flexible bench that you could get access to when you need it on demand, right? So this isn't about get this project and then I get somebody else this is about building this team and leveraging it long term we have a blogging editor two hours north of toronto who works for us ten to fifteen hours a week. Every week she comes to work for us from two hours north of toronto and she's phenomenal and there's not a lot of jobs two hours north of toronto. So amy is part of our flexible bench, right? Um for every project that you do it for every hire that we make internally, we ask ourselves, is this something that we need a full time employee for? Is this something that we could get done? Uh somehow some better way could we get a better resource with higher skill and more knowledge with better economics? Right? And then we ask this of ourselves all the time, we as a business have one hundred thirty employees. We have two hundred fifty full time equivalent contractors who come to work for us every day from around the world. So if you think about it, we're getting leverage to the tune of two to one. So we constantly ask our employees, are you're working on the are you in fact getting the best and highest use out of your skills? And can you get or should you be delegating things? If so, go hire somebody from the network in order to get that done right? So we ourselves practice this internally and then what it also enables us to do and others to do is to get access to this twenty four seven work force so somebody could be monitoring social media in another part of the world, so when you get up, the work is already done, you can check it, you can course correct in real time and get on with the day, so we've got this twenty four by seven mentality where we have support people all over the world to ally with align with time zones as well, and if you if you just look at the way our team is structured here, what we've done is we've built our entire customer support organization, which is about one hundred people we've built an entirely online, so we have zero customers support people in redwood city, where our office is located. Now the beauty of this is that we can accomplish all of the things that I just mentioned. We have a flexible bench, so weaken staff up and staff down as we need it. We have people in lots of time zone, we have the flexibility of on demand workers, so we can we can measure the quality after each and every engagement and if the so I've got a little messed up, but if the if the team, if somebody every customer support chatter ticket is rated and if that rating isn't good well guess what you now can go get somebody else to be on the team so gives you the opportunity to maintain quality by having this flexible bench right? So our entire support organization is flexible it's in the cloud it's on demand and we maintain very high customer success ratings a very cost effective rates because we built this flexible team and now I don't need an office for one hundred plus people in redwood city, right, which gives us the benefits of the fixed costs as well. So let's talk about how do you do this? So how do you put this into practice? And what are the tips for hiring online? So let's talk about online hiring one of one so the first thing that you want to do, whether you're hiring online or even a local temp, is you really want to define the project and you want to ask yourself, you know, what's the scope, what's, the time frame what's the decision tree for this work? Really? What is it that you intend to get done? And I think you yourself have to know what the job entails before you can go and find help to actually do it, so asking yourself, writing it down and then seeing is this going to be leverage for you, right? The second thing is is writing an exceptional job post so think about communicating it succinctly as you can exactly what it is that you need to get done, the better you can articulate these things that you're doing, that you're taking your time, the better you'll be able to find somebody to do that, to find the skill and the knowledge and the match exactly what it is that you're looking for. So by having this global talent pool out there it's an incredible resource, but you have to know how to best align with that. You want the right skill, the white right knowledge, the right personal characteristics and motivation, and that all comes from writing an exceptional job post. If you can communicate it effectively, you'll be able, teo teo higher effectively as well. Okay, so you want to remember to be crystal clear about what it is that you want your you want to remember? Tio specifically defined the role the responsibilities, the scope and ask for specific samples. When you post this job, you want to be able to make sure that you're getting the right person, so you want to see samples of what they've done before that, similar to what it is that you're looking for, so the better you can articulate it, the better you can assess whether or not you have it. And then there's a few bonus tips as well so you know, sharing examples so others who have done this job have done it this way this is a you know, leverage and extend what's already been done if you have a sample of website, your building or of ah job that you know you want done, if you could give samples of what they've done of what you want then that's going to help you as well and then you want to describe the big picture you want to be able to give people a vision off what the whole project looks like give them some context if it's one specific thing you might want to give in context of the whole project, so if they're going to be writing copy, you want explain how that copy is going to be used or if they're going to be planning your travel, you might want to give them guidelines as to what what you prefer you only like flying virgin, not united. Please book me on virgin if possible these kinds of things so being descriptive as possible defining the big picture and then offering incentives right? So for a job well done you're willing tio to go above and beyond right? And I think these components enable you to post your requirement to get hundreds of applicants who can who can fit that bill now once you write an exceptional job post you post your job out there whether it be on craigslist or or a platform like go desk you really want to evaluate applicants carefully and the challenge with interviewing is it's really hard to dio and I think that a lot of times you know you could get sold in an interview that somebody has the skill and how many times has somebody made a hiring mistake and you've had to fix it quickly and that's because interviewing is hard a friend of mine and netflix said that they say that a good hiring managers somebody that that's better than fifty percent so that means flip a coin whether or not you get it right and when you're talking about permanent employees this could be really costly right? These mistakes not only do you spend a lot of time finding the people in training the people it could be six months before you figure out whether or not they're good and now you're stuck right so you now have to start from scratch an on demand hiring it's a lot more flexible you can generate much faster but you still want to evaluate applicants carefully because when you build that flexible bench of people that you can use and get leverage from it can be incredibly powerful and good people you want to keep around whether they be permanent employees or contractors so you really want tio uh you want to evaluate applicants carefully based on on what it is specifically that your look for and so what we do is we look very carefully at did they follow the instructions yes or no if they did great congratulations to make it to the next round if no you reject quickly second did they did they try to customize her? Did they put extra effort into this or is it just a form letter right? Are people just responding are they saying hey, let me give you the relevant experience let me tell you what I've done before let me let me show you where I can really not this one out of the park and I think it's very easy to distinguish but then you then you get into the interviewing right and this is really where the rubber meets the road I kind of view this is table stakes so assuming they follow your instructions they've tried to differentiate themselves and writing now you're going to actually interview but the interview is where where you're really going to make that assessment this is just basic block and tackle to get them in the game in the first place and what when you look at interviewing we kind of think about this for our employees one hundred thirty employees that we have but we also think about this for our contractors think there's four important things that you look for an employee first and foremost personal characteristics the second is the motivation the third is skill in the fourth is knowledge now of these which do you think is the most important in this triangle anybody want take a step yes so why are personal characteristics the most important? I just take a guess and say that those are the ones that could be most damaging if you get it wrong yeah they're incredibly damaging there also the hardest to change right? So people it's really hard to teach smart it's really hard to teach hardworking it's really hard to teach high integrity and trustworthiness so somebody has those things or they don't and typically it's good to identify that they don't have them in advance so the first thing you have to know is uh what are the personal characteristics that are important to you as a business once you know what they are now you know which ones to interview for right and those personal characteristics you are fundamental to hiring that person in the first place whether it be a temporary online worker or a permanent on premise employ and the personal characteristics that that we look for are intelligent trust where the smart, hardworking high integrity again things that you can't change I had a boss who used to say you can teach a chicken to climb a tree but you're better off getting a squirrel in the first place and so we like to look for those squirrels as opposed tio chickens it'll save you time down the road the second most important factor I think his motivation and the reason motivations important is because you really want to get a sense of what is it that person wants to d'oh and what is it that you have to offer? So if you're looking to get leverage on line and let's say that you're looking for some social media help or some s e o r s e n help are writing or whatever it is and let's say that you want somebody who who you want to train once and who will bit be with you for the long term but the person on the other end is only interested in short term, very quick episodic work not for the long term will why even get started down that path you want to find somebody who's going to be with you for the long term I think with employees this is even more important if the motivation isn't aligned. The last thing you want is an employee churning out six months from now why? Because it was expensive for in competitive for you to get him to train him, to get him on board on lee to find out that they have something else in mind so when you interview I think the personal characteristics first and foremost the motivation is second and I like to say don't ignore yellow lights figure out if the light is red, yellow or green and if it's yellow don't ignore it, slow down and say, hey, hold on you're saying that this is the most important thing what we don't offer that so is this going to be a problem? You don't want to commute from san francisco where in redwood city is this going to be a show stopper, right? You're looking for long term work, we only have a short term work is that going to be a fete and so really getting that motivation aligned I think helps you to identify and find the best employees guy talked about daniel pink and I'm a huge fan of of map, mystery, autonomy and purpose and I have a slightly different way of talking about it but I think that people really want purpose they want to go somewhere where they could make a big impact, right employees want to make a big impact, they want to make an impact at the company and even more important if the business of the company can make an impact on the world and that's a I think that people want that out of a job and career now you may want that less than you want compensation, but I do think that's one of the drivers that a lot of employees and online workers want the second is growth and development right? This is the mastery aspect of it they want to grow and develop and growth and development comes from working on hard problems and solving them over time and really being stretched and challenged and I think that aa lot of employees and and contractors and workers really want this opportunity for growth and development they also want financial reward and balance, right? And I think those things are different for every person, the order that they want, those things some people may say I don't care about growth and development, I just want to get paid and so I care about financial rewards. So so that's the most important thing for me? Well, I want to know that when I'm trying to hire somebody, so I know what to offer, I know that if we can align, we can give them what they want, especially if I want to keep this person on my flexible bench for the long term. And then of course, the skills and the knowledge I think a lot of times their table stakes, you're not going to hire an account that is in the cpi a you're not going to hire a search engine marketer that doesn't have any ecm ceo experience you're not going to hire a writer who can't write we're not going to hire a writer to write about travel who doesn't know anything about travel the knowledge piece of it and so I think that these components whether you're hiring a temporary worker or a permanent employees these things are really important too to getting the right people on the bus in the first place you know, whether you're hiring online or your hying in person, I think interviewing is the same you have to interview for those those qualities and make sure that you're getting the right people so you have to spend time on it you have to make sure they have your key questions you know I have a few of my favorites I love continuum questions where you ask are they more of an individual contributor a team player now there's no right answer there, but I love to hear how somebody might try and judge what answer my looking for right? And they might try and guess and say, well, I'm a team player but what if you need an individual contributor and are they a five or are they more like a seven? And what did they like doing more? And I love the question to try and figure out if somebody's he'll figure out or a hill taker are they good at strategy and figuring out which way to go? Are they good it actually executing and moving in that direction in the first place? Right? So the's continuum questions help you to figure out whether or not you have the right person and what we do internally is we just have a little score sheet where we say, hey, if you're gonna interview somebody, I expect you to fill this sheet out and tell me what you think in each of these areas and then down bottom what you don't see on the sheet is we ask, consider we don't say consider further, we say higher or don't hire to recommend hired you recommend don't hire and we capture all of this information so we can make good decisions about whether or not people fit on the personal characteristics motivation, skill and knowledge front okay now with online work, one of the things that you can do relative to on site permanent work is that you go for a test drive, right? You can test a couple of people very easily very quickly to see who who is the best of the job, right? So because it's so on demand the average number of days, the higher online is about three days on site is about ninety days, so it's, so fast and so interpretive and with samples of work you can very quickly test drive contractors to figure out who is the who's the best candidate, so you may hire four in order to keep two or higher five to keep one it's a lot easier to do that because because it's so on demand and because there's such a large pool of town out there you're tapping into a global pool is supposed to just what's what's local so now that you've hired the person right? So you've figured out what you're good at what you're not good at it where you're spending time where you shouldn't be spending time where can you get leverage for things that you shouldn't be doing? You've posted a job you've interviewed you've selected the right person or a couple people with the purpose or the objective of keeping keeping one or a few of those but now you have to manage and I think the tips for managing online apply and local as well it's just a little bit harder because you're managing somebody who you're not going to see face to face and so it is really, really important to set crystal clear expectations. I like to say that you have to have clarity, you have to have clarity as to where you're going right. What is the job? We've clearly articulated it, but now we have to be sure to set the responsibility and the standards people have to know what they're responsible for, what others may be doing so they don't do too much or too little and then they have to know the standard of how you're going to hold them accountable to a successful result people have to know how should they measure whether or not they're going to be good at this thing? So there's no surprises where they get to the end and say ted on think they nailed it and you think not so much right? So you want to be crystal clear about what success looks like and set very, very clear expectations and internally it was very interesting we we had an issue with this we have some teams that think they may be knocking it out of the park well others in the company may think not and it's because expectations weren't clearer that standard wasn't crystal clear. The other recommendation is really to start small right with with online work it's easy to dip your toe in the water you don't have to dip your told your whole foot I just had a conversation with somebody this morning, he said. They're trying to scale their customer support operations it's too expensive to do locally said wow this you know we're really intrigued and we're thinking that we want we might want to set up an organization like you have, but we don't want to go whole hog we don't like fire everybody and jump in, but we have to scale and we can't scale fast enough well guess what, you can start with one you don't need to build the whole team, you can start with one person for non core try something see how much leverage you get and go from there so our recommendation is try before you buy a b test you're not sure you don't trust can they do the quality? Can they manage my travel as well as I can? Can they handle expense reports? Can they do s e o for us? Well, it's very easy tio a b test starts small and grow from there um big fan of communicating constantly again I learned so much from guy, but I really want just reinforce what he said about being iterative in the process build the prototype and then go back and say, is this what you wanted? Right? So this communicating constantly I think, keeps people on track whether it be a permanent employee or an online worker this the the worker that delivers some product insist house this is this what you're thinking about? Am I going in the right direction should of course correct that regular and frequent communication is important on premise it is even more important online again because you're not face to face you're communicating via the internet and how do you make sure that you don't get to the end of the week only to find out that you went down the wrong path? So I'm a big fan of regular communication and collaboration on premise on important projects and even more so when you're working via the cloud and you know that that means that things aren't going off track you're really getting to issues when they happen so you can course correct in real time and you can provide real time feedback and with online work again because it's so on demand you want to make sure that you're addressing those issues early we're ending the relationship if it looks like it's not going to be fixable and in the on demand online world you can do this much quicker than you can with a permanent employees right with a permanent employees it's hard because you've invested all of this time and energy and training and now you have to make sure that you're doing everything that's right for the employees and everything that's right for the company and yourself because you don't want to have people accept your company and and potentially damage your reputation. So you have to really treat people fairly and I think nothing is more fair than setting clear expectations telling him what they're responsible for setting very clear standards and then regular and constant communication and feedback to make sure that the relationship is going down the right track. And I think that quite frankly is a ceo of a company I owe that to what the employees in our company and that's really important to me and it's really important when hiring online workers as well so and we talked about not ignoring yellow lights so I think once you've done all of this, really what you're doing is you're empowering and you're engaging, you're empowering yourself to free yourself from the working on the little rocks and I don't know if you've ever seen the demonstration I would do it here, but I don't want to bring a lot of props where you have a bucket and in that bucket and outside of the bucket there's lots of ingredients on the stage there's some big rocks, big boulders, there's, some smaller stones, there's, some pebbles, there's, some sand and there's, some water and the demonstration that I saw, the guy started with the sand, and he said, you have all of this stuff to d'oh, and so what we're gonna do is I'm going to start with sand because these are the things that are all the things that we have to do, take your kids to school and we have to eat dinner and you think of that is that's basic block and tackle things that must be done today and you put the sand in the bucket first and then you say, but you've got these really important big urgent rocks over here, big projects that I'm working on, you put a couple of big rocks, and, well, guess what, you can't fit much in that bucket because you started with the sand right so in this demo, the guy took the big rocks, and you put those in first, and they put the next size petal pebbles, and he put the gravel, and then the sand fills in all of the space is that the big rocks didn't take up, and you could fit a lot more in the bucket, but there's still not enough time to do everything that we have to do, and if you're filling it with sand, you're never getting to the big rocks or the next time rocks with next size rocks, and so you've got to figure out how you khun, how you can delegate and get leverage, and I think, that's what that's what this is all about. S o we talked about these things, and whether you're hiring online workers are on premise workers. I want to finish with this that I think that the most important thing you can do for your business or if your soul, oprah, nure and you're getting leverage, is really to provide this clarity, it's clarity as to where you're going and how you're going to get there. So if you're running a business, having clarity as teo, the vision and the mission, and where you're going to take this is really important, and once you have that setting the responsibility, being crystal clear about who's responsible for what and in the absence of that in a company can be really devastating one because you can have people duplicating efforts we're going have people going down the wrong path working on things that eh, they shouldn't be working on or working on the wrong things or potentially working on things that others are working on and I actually thought that we had this in our company it was interesting I went out and asked our team are you clear as to what you're responsible for? And most people say yeah and then I say, well, are you clear as to what others are responsible for? And a lot of people said, well, no, not exactly and so we created a google survey where I had every leader in the company talk about a what they're responsible for and be what they thought everybody else was responsible for. So imagine six v p s each defining what they're responsible for marketing saying I'm responsible for lead acquisition and getting customer started and for a branding and are positioning and messaging and op saying we're responsible for all marketplace operations, et cetera we had one hundred forty conflicts right? So marketing thinking that office was doing something office thinking that they're responsible for something else it took us three months to resolve those place that was a really important exercise and a real valuable lesson around responsibility here I am thinking it's crystal clear because everybody has a job district description, it's got to be clear what everybody is responsible for. It wasn't what we also asked for with standards, I asked, how do you think we should measure you marketing on your success? We also as marketing how they thought we should measure everybody else, and that was a valuable exercise, because they got us all on the same page as to how we should measure each other as a business, we know, because the business is growing and doing well, but how do we know that marketing is contributing? That sales is contributing? That ops is doing the finances, doing that I'm doing right the right things, and because we defined those standards, there was no lack of clarity as to who was doing what and who was responsible for what and then comes the flexibility, and that goes back to daniel pinks book talking about autonomy, you don't want to be in people's face all the time, micro managing their work. If you're clear about where you're going, what they're responsible for, how they should measure themselves, then that flexibility comes and people can actually had that autonomy to deliver, and what you do is an organization is you push that decision making as low as you can into the business, and you'll find that you move faster, you can move faster, because people are crystal clear about what they're responsible for and how they're going to be measured, and then you actually let him go do it, and as a result, what happens is you free up decision making you no longer have to be in the middle of all the decisions because you pushed decision making to them, and I think what happens then is people actually make more decisions and more decisions is a good thing. And if you think about this in a two by two matrix action, no action writes a level of action and then level of success. So thanks succeed, fail action, no action. And which of those quadrants don't you want to be in? Right? So you don't want to be in no action fail. You didn't take action, you failed. Well, guess what? You deserve to fail. You didn't do anything and action, uh, and no action succeed, right? You didn't take action, but succeeded. Congratulations, you got lucky this time. But how many times are you willing to roll the dice? Thinking that you're going to get lucky every time? Right? So what you want to do is you want to take action, and whether you succeed or fail, you've taken action, and action is a good thing, uh, if you don't succeed, you're going to learn from those failures and hopefully you're not going to repeat those same mistakes. So I like to say, you know, the more times you're at bat and the more swings of the bat, the more likely you are to hit the ball right, you're going to get better it's swing into that, and so we try and push that decision making as low as we can in the organization so we can move faster, and I think that as the flexibility and the autonomy and from that come, the rewards at the business will do better, people will do better. Why? Because they're making that impact their growing and developing their having purpose in their career. And I think you're checking all of the boxes around around what's important to people. And so with that hopefully shared a few lessons about hiring online workers but also hiring and managing on premise workers as well. And with that, I'd like tio open up for questions and talk about this or any anything that's on your mind, you have applause before we do that let's, make a deal with me. Thank you so much, very present, such a talented speaker and, you know, I'm going to say back up if we can. When we were curating a list of speakers to bring here, I wanted to bring you on a because I love oh, desk, not for just hiring, but a lot of the people that are in the audience and a lot of people that are in the in that camera there all over the world. They are freelancers. And so I was wondering if we could lead off the question session with let's, flip the tables for a second and talk about becoming a great freelancer on oda's quarter, some good things, and that I was going through your talk, sort of in reverse thing. And when you were saying how to hire, like, what kind of person would I wantto be on that on your marketplace? And so it can't talk to me about that? Sure. Absolutely. Yes, we have. We have three and a half million contractors, freelancers all over the world on our platform that croes, at the rate of three or four thousand a day we're signing differentiators. How do you differentiate yourself? You, you know, right now, the economy, globalization, you know, the world's getting flatter and and the internet is really enabling all of these people to come on the platform and find work, and they have to differentiate, and so what what we encourage people to do is to create a great profile, right? So to come on the platform really take time and filling out your profile, articulating what it is you're good at picking the skills that you you actually have because the worst thing you could do is take a job, get low feedback on a job and make it very difficult for you to get more work on the platform upload samples of your work if it's visual in nature, you actually want to show work that you've done if it's writing, you know, websites that you've worked on, anything that can show that you have the skill you say it's sort of like a portfolio portfolio now, the other thing we do is we have more than five hundred different tests that you can take and they're free and we don't charge anything to join our platform. We don't charge anything to post a job, so for the workers that come on the platform and take tests well, guess what? They're proving that they have the skills they say they have, so we encourage and would take tests and then every tip that I offered for the client the buyer of services yes works for the contractors well, create a brilliant cover letter speak specifically to the job that you're applying for right don't don't generalize like our clients heat spam cover letters where you say hire me I'm great at your job say I will be great at the planning your travel and here's why have planned travels before something personal personalizing offer samples of where you've done it before talk about why you're the best at that and you know what our clients have told us time and time again is that they care about quality, not price, so clients are willing to say, look, I will pay more if I know that I'm going to get it right done done right the first time and so I would if I'm ah freelancer on our network, I would speak to the quality aspect and trying to put a jaded because that's precisely on both side the clinton of people that have got a lot of work from odessa and people who have hired work specifically and design and whatnot and in translation it gives you some translation stuff and these people are not the cheapest people people doing well, they're just high quality and on the network being high quality and actually not always cheap is a great way of standing out that they've told me so yeah and it's true thie average wage on our platform increases one hundred ninety percent within three years, so good workers are able to command long taking notes, which is well, you know, we think it's uh and really that's what we're about we're about freedom and boundless opportunity you know, we don't think that, um you know, work is not a place the best workers should be able to work from wherever they are in the world and client should have access to the best people in the internet enables it so we're just the enabler fantastic. Well, I've been hogging the question for a second year I know we've got a few in the okay several in the online or the in studio audience here let's make sure you get a mike and pass one down right there we got one coming from this side and I think you should cue up some questions from the big world wide web ready to go ok, I'm gonna go to the in studio folks go ahead please take us away. Oh, what changes mentioned a big question for me because I actually and remote worker I work for ah tosca media manhattan company out of philadelphia and, you know, a lot of things we do know we have daily meetings on skype and I'm always checking in with my bosses and people are working with that kind of thing but my question was what would chase kind of leading into was I have profiles on oh no desk on length in on pants and all these sites and three personally, I think the toughest thing is there's so much lost in translation and just writing down words in describing yourself that a lot of times it's you want that face to face, you know you say I'm much better in person on personal person I'm passionate I know that I can deliver messages someone if I could really just have like that that moment you know, face to face moment but I find it sometimes when I'm writing these I go you know, how do I clearly convey this message without seeming like I'm just listing off things I can do yeah, you know and in a way differentiate myself on sites where yeah there's billions of people on it and it's tough to say well on this criteria on paper of this education and I can't do this and I knew that I'd like but I'm the person you know I'm not just skill sets and qualities and like you said, your motivation a lot of times it's hard to come across without seeming fake um, you know, even a nice cover letter I mean, I could do the research, but you know, when you really discuss with someone to sit down and talk with them and really kind of growing about what the motivation is and why they want to do it, do you share the same belief? Do you really believe in what we're doing his company and and that's kind of stuff that I think is it was really hard nowadays and that's, one thing I struggle with and how you do it myself as a ceo, you've got to get your question. Yeah, and I love the question because just hearing you talk, I'm getting the sense of passion and passion is really important to me and employees like, I want people with passion, whether that passion, even if it's something outside of work, I just want to see a demonstration or an example of it. So I was talking tio mike earlier, we're talking about surfing, and we're both very engaged in the conversation there's this passion there, right? And so I want to see that you have that as a personal characteristic, and you know what? As you were talking, I'm thinking that should be in your cover letter, but that the thing that you just told me should be in your cover letter, like aids difficult nowadays, I feel like I'm writing words on the page, and I really stand out in person. Can we have a skype interview? I would love to articulate for you why I think I'm the best for this job, but if you think about let's, take it back, a level I learned once, and sales training that the difference between a feature an advantage and a benefit okay let me explain those for you now a feature is a characteristic of your product or service and in this case the products or services you write so if you were to say I can do this I can do this I can do this those air features an advantage is if you tell me how that feature is valuable for may you say I am a great designer and therefore I will do a great design for you and that will save you time and money because I'm going to do it right the first time you just gave me an advantage of the fact that you're a great designer ah benefit is just like an advantage except I've told you that I need it so it's only a benefit if the client needs it right so you writing most of the time a cover letters just feature dumping if your advanced you might feature dump and throw in a couple of this is why this is good for you but clients I struggle with this because next next next they're not standing out so the best cover letters I've seen a no desk are ones where uh where freelancers respond to the client they say listen I'm really excited about your job I read the description but before I tell you whether or not I'm a fit can I ask you a couple of questions first I need to know a few more details and our clients love those because that's somebody that's not just featured dumping it's somebody that's not even writing the superstrong cover letter until they learn more about the job or before I give you an internist response, could we jump on skype? I have a couple questions to ask you to determine whether or not I'm a fifty and only take five minutes you're starting the exchanges very consultative that in and of itself is differentiated that elevates your responsibility also says something about the nature of the person is is this a company that I would want to work for that eye line for what I'm going to like my boss it's sort of surprising you as well. I find that to be really, really effective and the feature dump like, you know, we're hiring like crazy here great alive and just features like I've read cover letters that came and get through because someone like here's all these tasks aiken, you know, when I hear that you can transform something and when you want to know what it is that we're doing because you want to make sure we're good fit to me, those were huge differentiators and it's got to be like it's going to be a top after you guys, we have clients that say they you know they get a hundred responses and anybody that says I'm perfect for your job they dismiss and they go to the guy who says I'm not sure if I can do it or not, but with a couple of questions it would help me to figure out whether or not I want to take your job and, you know, the reputation in a platform like ours is so important that freelancers can't afford to take work that they can't knock out of the park, right? And clients don't want somebody to take their job because if they didn't pay a lot, they wasted a lot of time, right? And we don't want that we want good matches to happen, and I can tell you that quality workers are very much in demand. Yeah, right there could be three and a half million people, but the quality if you could be in that top top few percent like the designers and translators that I mentioned on the reasons that gerry's on stage now is because they're the they're the top when you use them, you get an experience, which is what you guys have a great reputation, you got this, you've got there's, other questions to own and move on a couple folks in the in the air we go high a question regarding like, I can see the bannon figure hiring feelings all over the world, so would that easily put some other worker who is not in a feelings feel and then there are work like fight I fought those generation close to retirement but not that high tech a lot younger generation get online mobo book mobile e but would that put them easily outwork in united states? So the question is, is this good for the world is a good for everybody and for the older older generation of workers who may not be online and you know what? I I would say that a couple of points you know, we went out we surveyed our user base, we survey their clients five hundred fifty thousand plus clients and we said, what would you have done if you didn't hire ano desk? How would you have gotten this work done in the first plus? And eighty five percent of the clients that we surveyed said they wouldn't have done the work they would have delayed deferred does the same thing they would've canceled they would have they would have tried to work longer hours they would have done it themselves this's the sand in the bucket they would have tried to do it but things would have slept they would have gotten to everything and so on lee fifteen percent said they would have actually hired people locally they would have hired an employee, so I like to say that it's lift not shift this isn't this is net new incremental work that's happening because the internet exists because a platform like ours exists because there are online workers all over the world that can work for you. So first and foremost, we think it's net incremental, right, no overtime that may shift more right, more work. I think we'll move online because of the economy and the internet and globalization and all of these mega trends that are creating a larger market and the way that I'd rationalize it is thinking about e commerce and in the early days of e commerce, twenty years ago, what were we buying online? What we're buying beanie babies and pez dispensers? And then we started buying all chachi and collectibles, and then we started buying books. And what do we buy online today? Everything big screen tvs, cars, cameras, very expensive goods, rolex watches, right? And so why? Well, more people have an internet connection. People trust it now. It's it's become mainstream and despite the fact that we've been we've had e commerce for twenty years, what percentage of goods are bought online versus on site? Anybody wager? A guess wow, six percent. It's only six percent now I heard that I said, no, no, no, no! That's wrong it's like thirty percent, forty percent. And they got the run that never got it wrong is ninety four percent it's, only six percent. So after twenty years of e commerce, where it's six percent of goods bought online as opposed to on site. And where are we with online work? Well, we're not even we're at the top of the first inning. The total markets about a billion dollars of work that will be done online this year or last year, and it will be five billion by twenty seventeen. So it's growing. But what percentage is a billion dollars of total work? It's it's? Nothing, right? So we're in the beanie baby and pez dispenser phase of online work that's going to get retweeted right way have so much room to grow now, let's speak to the older demographic, and what I would argue is that this actually is a good thing. This is a way for people to get back to work. Why? Well, maybe they're not is mobile. So a woman in our marketplace lives in l a she was fired from her job, she had cancer, and so she was no longer employed, she got cured she went back to her company said ok, I'm back I'm ready going they said we don't need you anymore and she's devastated she lost her job right and then she starts working on no desk low wage I think she started fifteen dollars an hour she very quickly stair steps or way to fifty dollars an hour she now has six clients instead of one client all of her eggs are in one basket, right? If one client leads no problems he's got five others she's working for clients all over the world not just l a and she's never us to suit on the four o five and traffic again right and she can drop their kids off at school and work whenever she wants. So online work is about freedom and flexibility working whenever you want on the jobs of your choosing at the wage that you're worth not going to work for one employer and having them tell you what to work on so I don't think it's good for everybody it's not good for every worker is definitely not good for every company, right? Just like e commerce isn't good for everybody in every company just like e commerce may be good for buying books for some people but not jewelry for others right and so it's a massive world and I think it's about having what you want right you is a business you should have this boundless opportunity to get leverage and have the freedom and the flexibility to hire who you want when you want him at the wage that you're willing to pay and on the flipside there's workers who fit that same profile, the internet connects us all and there's no shortage of opportunity. And for the next ten to twelve years, it's mostly lift, not shift, because you're just scratching the surface of what's possible it's a magical segue way to just get reconnect with an online audience, which are predominantly makers, freelancers and I think that's one of things they want, they want to be free, they want to be able to travel, move work on their own time, and I think what you're providing his amazing solution, which tells us we should go talk to them for just a second. Kenneth questions coming from the old the syriza tubes absolutely, as always, chase. Thank you. So this is one from south africa, it's, a job and south africa says, I run a freelancer directory in south africa, and our clients mostly want to work on lee with local freelancers, and this is limited. Our growth has have you encountered the same wariness of international outsourcing, and how did you overcome it, or what would you be your advice to joe and well great question the first thing I'd say is that used the word outsourcing and I think that online work is actually something different, right? Most of our two hundred fifty contractors who come to work for us from around the world, we don't consider it outsourcing because we're not throwing the work over the wall to them and getting some product back. These people work for us amy in toronto who I was with a few weeks ago, she works for us. He works ten hours a week every week and has for the last year and a half it's more about long term time based one to one relationships with people outsourcing to me seems like I throw it over the wall to an agency and I get some product back right? And I have no idea who the actual worker is, so I just want to correct that that misconception, you know, nuance on the word with our marketplace. In two thousand seven, ninety percent of the work originated in the u s in two thousand twelve, it was less than sixty percent of the work and eighty percent of the work crosses a border, so unlike ebay, that was very much a domestic marketplace when they started us is buying from us, I was going to buy a a road bike and I found the bike that I wanted on ebay I started bidding and I realized that it was in the u k and I pulled the plug I was like, I don't want a bike from the u k it's going to take three weeks to get here it's going to get scratched the wrenches aren't going to fit their going toe convert to pound that'll get lost I just didn't trust that it should get shipped across the border and instead I wanted the bike in the us but in our marketplace we're finding a lot of the work is crossing a border and right now forty percent of the work done by american freelancers originates outside of the u s these are clients in japan and australia and germany who want us workers because they want the situational fluency of a u s worker and the understanding of our pop culture and situational norms right? So so we don't have that problem I think the problem with a local uh market place or work forces that again you're limiting yourself tow what's available just in that geography as opposed to a whole world right? So you want to fish in a small pond er big pond now with that said, a lot of our clients say I want queen's english same time zone I don't want to cross the border and that's great we have a million freelancers and in the us but we are truly global in one hundred sixty countries keep it coming from the end of it if you can let's do that let's say so this is one of this theme came up from three different folks simcox jesse l and s alone and that the question is how does oh desk protect protect the purchaser of a service for example developing the code the develop if the developer owns or copies the code and then there were two other questions about I p and is there concern that the person who you're hiring might be working for other companies and have it's not dissimilar from the real world right? So what happens is I mean, how can you be sure that that's true in silicon valley or new york or south africa wherever you may be located when you hire an employee and you you know, you bring him into your company? These are these are concerns what we find is that you know, we've been at this seven years and we've had no issues now we spent a lot of time to make sure that we're protecting the client that were protecting the worker we're protecting ourselves we're protecting everybody so we have pretty robust contracts okay? Where contractor says uh I have no rights to the I p it belongs to the client I'm not going to use anybody else's I pay on this client's project etcetera, etcetera and any kind of behavior there you know, we have very strict rules, tio guidelines to participate in our network and anybody who violates those guidelines, we have toe invite them to not participate in our network anymore, because quality is really important and so way think that the standard is pretty high for participating and way enforce those policies, and when you get the biggest in the game, that's a good chance that these guys have done it and done it right, that's, one of the reasons I think, that they've aggregate such a large, uh, you know, a cross section of freelancers, but maybe you just won one quick answer to the to the entrepreneurs out there that have a business, you know, it's, I think a lot of people think, oh, this is my idea, and I can't let anybody see it, because I don't want anybody to know what it is. Well, I have yet to see, like, like, one on ly original idea that doesn't get replicated very quickly, and I think that if you spend too much time protecting it, you spend less time actually executing on it and it's not as much the idea as it is the execution of the idea, right? There were lots of people that came before, all of us, whatever your businesses, but the I think, the exit itu shin is what really matters, and I think you already have a leg up because you're executing more nimbly by leveraging on demand workers as opposed to permanent workers so or leveraging both really and so I think that it's about the execution, this sense of the being unsure about what you're actually getting when you hire somebody through you and how do I know on the concerns about that or continue to come up? So ruben, down in dallas says I would want to hire someone from, oh, desk to do all my accountability I'm thinking accounting and finance stuff how secure my and doing that? Yeah, I think it's it's just like the real world. How secure are you hiring the person down the street and it's? Almost like, you know what? What I'm hearing? I go back to my e commerce analogy, how can I be sure I'm going to get the book? Is it going to come damaged? Like I'm putting my credit card in the cloud? Is that number going to get stolen? Like what if the book doesn't show up? But we tried it because it was only a book you think us ten box if it doesn't show up it's only ten dollars, and right, and so could you really trust that you were going to get that that thing and you know, right now, there's so much transparency and visibility because of the internet there's feedback and reputation and verifiable work history, and after every work assignment, freelancers, they're getting raided and ranked on their you know what other clients have said, and the level of trust is going up, right? And again now we're at the point, we're buying expensive items online because we trust they're going to get shipped, and if they don't, somebody has our back and, oh, desk has your back, right? We offer guarantees, we protect both sides, we pay the worker whether the whether the client pays us or not. And so we guarantee payment to the worker because that's, what the state of california would mandate, somebody comes to work for you and you agree to pay him twenty dollars an hour, they get paid, and so we pay them every week whether we collect the money from the client or not. So I think we've built the most trusted online workplace, and we've replicated best replicated the way that work happens in the offline world, where you get hired and fired based on your results, but you get paid for your time and because we best replicated riel world are offline work, we think that's why we're the largest tester's going network out there that's not an answer. Yeah, I mean and chase that answers, I think, mark from san jose, who wanted to know about competition and how you are different from other folks out there first and for most were the largest, so we're we're larger than the next ten competitors combined, so we've built the largest network of verified rated rank trusted workers we have, you know, twice the jobs, twice, the gross services that come through our platform and the way that we got there, despite the fact that we started later than just about everybody else out there, is that we, we created a better business model, which is back to what I just said, we best replicated time based work online, most of us don't want to go to work every day and say, do this, and I'll pay you fifty bucks do that, and I'll pay a hundred do this, right? They want to go to work and get paid for their time. You go up, you, you're going to work, you deliver great work, you get paid every two weeks, and if you stop delivering great work, you no longer get paid. You get invited to leave the company and that's what we've done, we said, as long you're delivering great work, you're gonna get paid for your time and and on you know, that was we originated that and we built a very large mode around our business by being the first to market at that and now we're the largest was going to be hard for anybody catches one follow up on that you've mentioned something earlier about well, one of the ways that people got over putting their credit card online was just buying a book, right? Just something it's expensive is it it's a book and then here you doing the same thing because the commitment to that employee or that that, um the person that you're trying to get a real answer it's not like you're hiring them for six months with the work right? So you sort of get dark streets yeah that's are saying start small, you dip your toe in the water so it's a book or a pez dispenser not a car and what happens is eighty nine percent of our clients say you made me my business more competitive eighty five percent say they'll continue to work this way seventy three percent say they'll spend more in thirteen than they did in twelve so it's very much they dipped their toe in the water they try something small and then they say, oh my god this is great I need to try more of that and it's incumbent upon us as a service to deliver good quality right, if you if you ugo, you hire somebody and you don't get good quality, well, you're not going to tell a friend and b, you're definitely not going to use this again, right? You may even tell a friend that it sucked and that's not good for us, so we want to ensure that people get a great great results. What I love about this for the solo preneurs better out there in the internet land, and for those here in the in studio audience is this cuts both ways. You get to see that, right? If you're a soul, oprah nure, and you're not going to be able to be good at everything, so this could be a great solution for you. And conversely, if you're a freelancer looking for great work, you're going to be able to find work it of us. This is one of the reasons that you are sitting on this stage right now. Any other questions? I'm I've got twenty nine seconds before I'm supposed tio get one right there, let's, see if we can, so we can all be faster. Don't stand up because you might hit your head on that flying boom camera right there, bringing at us talk to gary, do it so quick, we did quite a bit of firing on the lance using software programmers um, one of the things that really jumps in my mind is the fact that I didn't have to pay any benefits for them and all of these issues having to do with medical insurance and all of these things are you expecting a spike in the next year as all of america changes the way we do health care? Yeah, let me talk about benefits in general, right? Because this is a I think this is a huge topic, you know, we're about freedom and down this opportunity for workers, and we want to make sure that people are workers were treated fairly, which is why we guarantee payment to contractors even if we don't collect money from clients, we pay the contractor now, a lot of those contractors and freelancers came to us, especially in the u s and they said, hey, what about benefits? And so we went out and use the purchasing power of millions of freelancers to negotiate exceptional benefit packages for our freelancers, so they pay for it, but we're able to offer them something that's better than get off the street now what we also have to do is we have to make sure that we're protecting our clients and some of our clients start working with freelancers over the long term, and all of a sudden it no longer looks like a contract relationship it starts to look like a permanent employee relationship, and they want to make sure that they're protected with the irs, and so we actually offer an employment platform as well. So all the client has to do is we asked him a question ten, ninety nine or w two and if they say w two will take care of the w two, including the benefits for a one k everything that goes along with a w two employee, all the reporting and et cetera. And so we think that we've done a lot for freelancers to say, look, we're either going tio help you to become a permanent employee, you're just going to do it remotely, and we'll take care of all the complexity or you're going to be a contractor and that's okay, we'll take care of the complexity on that as well, and will offer you benefits at a better rate than you could get off the street. So we do expect an influx with the changing health care landscape, and we do expect it play a pretty critical role and making sure that workers and companies are legal and treated failing about it. There's a big round of applause for ceo

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