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How Companies Identify Talent with Jonathan Collins and Kage Spatz

HR Strategy Series, Real Human Resources

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KickHouse Human Resources Hiring Strategies

Companies need to have a relevant and attractive employee offering.

As a part of my HR Strategy Series, I’m talking to top experts in the field to teach prospects what hiring managers are actually looking for, while also supporting business leaders in their hiring and retention strategies. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Jonathan Collins.

Jonathan Collins is the Chief People Officer at KickHouse, a modern kickboxing studio founded during the pandemic. As a people and operational leader in a Start-Up environment, he has learned that the best business strategy is to hire smart people, place them in the right role, promote their strengths, and give them every opportunity to be successful.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! First, please tell us what brought you to this specific career path?

I have always had a passion for people. My parents grew up in a very small town in Texas and they cherished community. So, they raised my siblings and I to have faith in people and to spend our lives in service to others in some way. My Father passed away when I was 11 and one of my most vivid memories of him is a conversation, he had with me before he passed away. He told me that, “one of the greatest investments you can make, is to invest in people.” Those words have just stuck with me throughout my life and I have never been afraid of betting on people. As the Chief People Officer of KickHouse I get to invest in people every day and I am really fortunate to have a career that allows me to do that.

Can you share the most interesting or funny story that happened to you since you started this career and what lesson you learned from that?

I think one of the most interesting things I have learned is that greatness can come from anywhere and not to overlook people based on their current position in the organization. I think great companies build cultures where the best thinking can come from anywhere within the organization. Additionally, great companies consistently reward the right behaviors that lead to the best outcomes. No matter what.

Wonderful. Now let’s jump into the main focus of our series. Hiring can be very time consuming and difficult. Can you share 5 techniques that you use to identify the talent that would be best suited for the job you want to fill? Please share an example for each idea.

There is no magic formula as it relates to hiring great talent. But rather it takes consistent action around a few processes that I believe will get you the results you are looking for. They are the following:

  1. First, there needs to be a healthy conversation about what the true talent gaps are that we are looking to fill by adding additional resources in the form of people.
  2. Secondly, we need to clearly define what the ROI (Return on Investment) needs to be after investing in new talent.
  3. Thirdly, as leaders, we should always keep our eyes open for people who have the Behaviors and Skills that would benefit our organization.
  4. Fourth, we need to prepare for the interviews by creating effective questions that will allow us to access past behaviors, current skills, and future potential.
  5. Lastly, we need to have a clearly defined path that will allow us the hiring manager to receive a diverse set of feedback that they can leverage to make an effective decision

With so much noise and competition out there, what are your top 3 ways to attract and engage the best talent in an industry when they haven’t already reached out to you?

First, I think the best thing you can do to attract great talent is to produce great business results as an organization. We all want to be a part of a winning team and some of the best employer marketing a business can do is post positive business results.

Secondly, invest, reward, and recognize your current team members. Building a healthy internal rewards and recognition culture within your company will turn your current workforce into employer marketing agents that will sell your employer brand to everyone they meet. Your current team members are the best recruiting asset your company has. Doing all that you can to make sure they are happy with your organization will serve you well to attract top talent into your business.

Lastly, companies need to have a relevant and attractive employee offering. For example, at KickHouse we have built our entire workforce as a remote working team. This allows our team members to work comfortably at home or wherever they choose to be. It is really important to us that we allow our team members the time to recharge, reconnect, and rebalance as we build our organization. As a health and well-being company, it is important that our employee offering matches with the values of our company. Having employee offerings such as the ones I have mentioned have allowed us to really go after the best talent and get them to be a part of the KickHouse team.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Effective and affordable K-College education for all. I am deeply concerned with how we have devalued education in this country. An effective and equitable education starting in kindergarten and ending in college places the power of choice back in the hands of Americans. In addition, the disproportionate funding of public schools between zip codes is shameful. Therefore, getting our country recommitted to truly providing a fair and equitable education for all Americans would not only support the overall well-being of our society but also it would continuously stimulate our economy by constantly fueling our Americas workforce with talent.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and how that was relevant to you in your life?

This one is simple for me. “Treat people the way you would want to be treated.” It’s a very simple concept that would really help cure a lot of the social issues we see in the world.

Thank you so much for sharing your insights with us today!

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