11: How Business Owners Should Hire to Obtain Top Talent in Today’s Competitive Job Market with Phil Reeve

Phil is the head recruiter for Reeve & Associates, a staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 1997. Phil and his team in Austin, Texas, provide unique recruiting solutions for employers across the United States. Helping employers not only attract but retain top talent while freeing up both time and money for owners.


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Show Quote

“The secret of success is to do the common thing uncommonly well.”

-John Rockefeller Jr.


Reeve Associates– Learn more about the recruiting services Phil and his team provide and watch a job video for insight into how to attract the right hire.

What is Budget Recruiting?

Budget Recruiting Video

Budget Recruiting Case Study


Never Split the Difference — A book Phil Reeve highly recommends for thinking about negotiation on a whole new level.

Extreme Ownership — A book recommended by Phil Reeve for helping people take full responsibility for their own growth. 

Key Takeaways 

1) When looking for hires on social media, connect with individuals in your industry and focus area. Bring up something positive in their profile you like and keep things light.

2) The number one complaint by candidates is the length of the interview process. Move quickly and respond to promising resumes.

3) From the time you tell a recruiter you want to hire someone, 60 days is about the fastest the process can be.

Show Notes

**Click the timestamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.

[3:07] – What is Phil’s story and how did his entrepreneurial journey begin?

  • Phil was always an entrepreneur.
  • He spent a few years with a larger firm and then decided to start his own company.

[6:40]  Tell us more about Reeve Associates and what they specialize in.

  • They’re a recruiting company. They are contingency recruiters.
  • They’re not paid unless they find a candidate and that person stays with the company.
  • They typically work with marketing research and analytical people, as well as people that are tied to sales and marketing.

[8:38]  What does Phil’s typical client look like and why would they hire him?

  • Most companies do attempt to recruit for themselves.
  • Their typical clients are small to midsize companies that don’t have the time or the knowledge to recruit.
  • They also work with large corporations that need to fill specialized positions.

[10:56]  What are some of the common mistakes Phil sees business owners make in the hiring process?

  • The first mistake that most employers make is that they are ultra-concerned about what they want and they look at the candidate as the person vying for their job.
  • You have to sell why somebody wants to work for you.
  • Sometimes they get stuck on a particular salary. Look for the skill set then find out what somebody is earning and that will give you an idea of who you can hire.

[14:02]  What is the most common way most entrepreneurs hire?

  • Traditionally they hire by advertising.
  • Through ads you’ll see 10% at most of the audience you could hire.

[17:55]  How should entrepreneurs hire?

  • Employers should write a new job description. The description should be about your company and why you think it’s unique and interesting. Then break it down to responsibilities. Finally, list requirements.
  • You can post an ad. Make sure you have a careers page on your website.
  • Go out to your existing network and ask if they know anyone in their current community.
  • Post the job on social media sites such as LinkedIn.
  • On LinkedIn you can target people that do the same job at a different company.
  • Decide what your message will be to that candidate to get them to interact with you. 
  • The best way is to ask that person to connect with you because you’re in the same industry. Bring up something positive in their profile that you like.

[21:00]  Does he suggest specific job requirements, or is less more?

  • Requirements have to be targeted but loose enough.
  • If you’re too specific, people will self-eliminate.
  • Making a title descriptive is important, as is picking titles that are standard in your industry.

[23:40]  How can employers use social media to make high quality hires?

  • The best way is to connect to individuals in your industry and focus area.
  • Create your own profile about your company on LinkedIn and provide content there.
  • People like pictures.

[25:06]  Are there any other platforms he would suggest or websites he likes to use as part of the hiring process?

  • Social media posts should be aligned with your own website.
  • You have to pick the platform that you think is for you and your audience.

[26:21]  Do people use Facebook for recruiting?

  • Phil has tried to do it but their search feature is limited.

[27:28]  What’s the importance of mirroring your social media content on your website?

  • The first thing a candidate will do is look at who you are.
  • Your personal profile should be updated.
  • If your website is old and doesn’t have related content there will be a disconnect.
  • Similarly, if you’re a candidate your resume should relate to and connect with the content on your LinkedIn profile.

[30:06]  Should employers go to candidates’ personal social media accounts?

  • You may get a window into who you are hiring.
  • Jack and Jason look at those pages when hiring.

[31:55]  How do you suggest employers move through the hiring process?

  • The number one complaint by candidates is the length of the interview process.
  • Stay within your timeline.
  • Move quickly. Respond to promising resumes.
  • If the candidate doesn’t feel there is interest, they will lose interest.
  • When someone interviews in person with you, that’s a huge ask.
  • Make sure you have a very productive conversation with prepared questions.
  • If you are interested, make sure you stay in touch.
  • Their time is as valuable as yours.
  • Most of his job is moving candidates through the process and keeping the connection going.
  • When you decide you want to hire, you need to hire them yesterday.
  • From the time you tell a recruiter you want to hire someone, 60 days is about the fastest the process can be.
  • Employers think they have an interest in the job if they have a high volume of resumes.
  • Don’t get wooed by the idea that interest is the same as having viable candidates.
  • When they do a search, Phil will contact over one hundred people to find ten candidates. Then he’ll bring it down to 3-5 people he could present to an employer.

[44:31]  How should employers make an offer that gets accepted?

  • He’s seen many employers lose the candidates they want because of a poor offer.
  • Understand what that candidate is making and learn their salary expectations.
  • In some states, employers are not allowed to ask what people are making.
  • If your stated salary expectation is x, he can usually take 20-25% off that number and that’s what you’re earning now.
  • At a minimum, you need to offer them 10% more than they’re making now. 
  • 15% is the magic number.

[47:18]  What is the average time employees stay at a firm?

  • 3-5 years maximum. That length of time has changed based on economic factors.
  • The biggest thing an employer can do to retain employees longer is to ask what types of responsibilities they want to take on. That’s what drives people.

[49:34]  Is there a website that provides general guidelines on salary for different positions?

  • None that Phil would recommend.
  • You should know what a job pays within your industry generally.
  • Every year they do an actual survey.

[50:57]  How does Phil keep his edge?

  • He reads and listens to podcasts. He makes sure to work out, play golf, and be outside.

[51:45]  Who has had the biggest impact on his life?

  • Anyone who tells him he can’t do something has had a great influence. He has learned a ton from his kids.

[52:20]  What are the resources he recommends to entrepreneurs?

[53:26]  What does Phil do in his free time?

  • He works out most mornings and plays ice hockey. He also designs t-shirts.

[54:17]  What does financial freedom mean to Phil?

  • Consistent cash flow and savings are important so you can make smart business decisions.

[55:19]  How does he want to be remembered?

  • Phil would like to be remembered as honest, hardworking, dedicated, and driven to help others be better

[56:07]  How can listeners reach Phil?

  • Reevejobs.com
  • When you visit, look at a job video. That’s something you can use in your own hiring process.
  • Call Phil at (203 )968-2773


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