[00:00:05] Kim Ades:
Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ and the Co-founder of The Journal That Talks Back™. You have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in person.
Today it is my pleasure– no, it's more than my pleasure to introduce to you our guest. I have been actually secretly wanting her to be on my podcast for a very, very long time. Her name is Jody Steinhauer and I've been around her world kind of peripherally for a long time, and this is the first time that I finally nabbed her.
Jody is the President and Founder of a company called Bargains Group. She is also the President and Founder of two other organizations. The first one is called Kits For A Cause and the other one is called Engage and Change. Jody, welcome.
[00:01:01] Jody Steinhauer:
Thanks, Kim. Great to see you.
[00:01:03] Kim Ades:
I'm so happy to see you! I'm so, so delighted to have you on the podcast. But you're doing a lot of things. Bargains Group, Kits For A Cause, Engage and Change. What is that all about? We want to hear about you, both professionally, but also personally, too. So fill us in.
[00:01:20] Jody Steinhauer:
Alright, great. Well, thank you. Bargains Group is a 34 year old company that I founded. I feel very old when I say that. We're Canada's favorite discount wholesalers, we basically supply retail stores with incredible bargains and we supply, which is my passion, charities, not for profits and donors who want to support charities or not for profits. So if you're helping a charity, we do not want you ever going to Walmart or Dollar Store or Amazon. Call the Bargains Group and you'll get it at 80% less.
Engage and Change is a charity that I founded 23 years ago, where we get leaders together twice a year, two huge events, and we pack kits and we donate them to the homeless organizations. So 200+ shelters outreach and drop-ins, project winter survival, so nobody freezes to death on the streets in the winter, and project water, where we distribute half a million bottles of water and summer kits so that nobody dies of dehydration.
And the last is Kits For A Cause, which is really what I'm passionate about, and I want everyone to keep their eyes open because it's revolutionary changing the way we do team building and group volunteering, corporate social responsibility, engaging your employees or your families with massive local impact.
We're a matchmaker between charities who right now can't engage volunteers because of COVID and they can't have them around, but they desperately need them, and companies and people who want to help charities but they can't. So we kind of got this incredible process and it's really... It's just spreading like wildfire. So I really, what I say is I'm a broker of goodness, that's really what I do.
[00:03:00] Kim Ades:
I love that.
[00:03:01] Jody Steinhauer:
And also I'm working on supplies for the Ukraine on behalf of many people. We do a lot of disaster relief also. So that's my business, which you can imagine leads me to not a lot of personnel but a lot of joy. And I have five kids, from the ages of 16 to almost 24.
I now have changed my life to try to cope with everything that's going on because it's really hard being a leader for all of us these days. And I live halfway between two places, and I wake up every morning saying to myself, "how am I going to make today an awesome day and make a difference?"
[00:03:41] Kim Ades:
Amazing. Five kids, I have five kids too, so I can relate to that. Mine are a little older, but it's like, the ride of a lifetime...
[00:03:50] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:03:50] Kim Ades:
...that part of things, yeah.
[00:03:52] Jody Steinhauer:
The more the merrier, right?
[00:03:54] Kim Ades:
Let's just go back for a minute to Kits For A Cause, I'm really interested in the matchmaking you're talking about. So every year, my family and I do something for family day.
[00:04:10] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:04:10] Kim Ades:
And it's a big deal, like... Right? So one of the years we made sandwiches and prepared packages to go hand out to the homeless. And every year we're trying to find something interesting and meaningful to do. It's hard to find the right thing to do.
[00:04:29] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:04:30] Kim Ades:
[00:04:31] Jody Steinhauer:
I was right under your nose and you didn't even know it.
[00:04:33] Kim Ades:
I had no idea. So here's what I want to tell you. We just had family day here in Ontario, next year I'm going to reach out to you in advance and we're going to do something as a family on family day, for whatever charity you think is a good one for us to work with.
[00:04:49] Jody Steinhauer:
Well, all we do is we say... Kim, you know what? Every single person has the same challenge people want to do good, but like where do they go?
[00:04:56] Kim Ades:
[00:04:56] Jody Steinhauer:
So the really simple thing is we will call it the Ades Community Care Kit Program and boom, you're done, you got a program and then each year or twice a year, whenever you want to do it, you're going to choose a charity, I'll help you, and then we're going to– we've got this really cool fundraising tool, it doesn't even have to cost you any money. It's a wishlist, you go viral, everybody helps you. And then you pack the kits for a different charity. It could be cancer, it could be homelessness, it could be indigenous. Everything. So it's all done.
[00:05:27] Kim Ades:
So we come in and we help pack kits and then they go to a specific charity.
[00:05:31] Jody Steinhauer:
You're not coming in, you do it in whatever environment you want to. That's what's really cool
[00:05:35] Kim Ades:
[00:05:35] Jody Steinhauer:
We've basically (...) this process. So it's like–
[00:05:38] Kim Ades:
[00:05:39] Jody Steinhauer:
That's really, really cool. And it's just– even think about shoe boxes or all these processes where people are giving... it's wonderful, but then what happens is the fun drops off because that it's a lot of work. So we basically have identified through our charity, we've been doing it for years, if we make it super easy, you're going to just keep on doing it. If you have fun, you make an impact and you feel good while doing it, you know, you're going to just continue, and that's really the concept that is flying everywhere.
[00:06:12] Kim Ades:
Amazing. So that's a win-win-win. How do people find you? And if they want to–
[00:06:18] Jody Steinhauer:
Yeah, kitsforacause.com, bargainsgroup.com. Google me, LinkedIn.
Okay, we're going to find you. So let's move into our coaching segment. As you know, we've been coaching people for a lot of years and we coach the leaders of the world, the highly driven population, the movers and the shakers. And I look at you and I think, wow, you're the perfect candidate, although I'm sure you have a million coaches under your belt, but that's okay.
[00:06:44] Kim Ades:
What is your greatest challenge that you would like to talk about today?
[00:06:49] Jody Steinhauer:
Well, I think it's... you know, in order to do all the amazing things that I'm doing... I mean, today's a great example, you know? There's a war going on, or whatever we're gonna call that right now, I need to have people that surround me in my businesses that are just ready to like, jump on it on the get go. I can't have people around me that are, "oh, well it's 5:30, I'm sorry. I've got to leave", right?
Now, not to say that we want everyone to stay all the time, but when there's something going on that's critical, Bargains Group and Kits For A Cause need those people who are passionate and full of purpose. And finding those people isn't so easy, and through COVID just, you know, the whole challenge of employees and mental health and all of that, has been a real, real struggle coupled with being five times as busy.
People who need us. I mean, we deal with refugees, we deal with homeless people, we deal with so many people, and the numbers are through the roof in the last 24 months. So really my biggest challenge, and I think a lot of business owners face this, is how do you attract the right people? And I will tell you, in the last– usually most of my people have been here very long time. If they're the right fit, they're here for a long time.
We have done, I should have added it up, a massive cleanse in the last year to two, up until this morning [chuckles] and you know, the people who just aren't right on the bus, we don't want them here. So we want a line up of people who want to be on our bus, with not hiring headhunters that are extremely expensive and no offense to any head hunters in the audience, but not necessarily the best way to go.
So that's really it. And high-performance people who are going to run their role like it's their own company. That's how I run my companies. I say, "I'm going to finance you, I'm going to give you all the tools that you need, run it like your own, and when you run into a problem, say to yourself, 'hey, if this was on my money, what would I do?'"
And those are the types of people we just need to find more of. And I do think the work ethic has changed considerably. So that's probably my biggest dilemma right now, because I'm doing big things and we are just exploding, which is a great problem to have, but if you don't have the people to help you with that explosive growth, it can be a much– the trajectory can be like that really quickly. And I'm a very big believer of growing like this (diagonally), not like this (vertically). So those people are my blockage.
[00:09:23] Kim Ades:
So let me ask you a question. It's not a matter of like a shortage of people. In other words, you're not struggling to have resumes, right? It's not a resume shortage.
[00:09:36] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:09:36] Kim Ades:
Okay. So there are lots of people, lots of candidates. Is correct, right?
[00:09:42] Jody Steinhauer:
Lack of the right candidates. And I get also, I would say coupled with that, you know, the process like, I get thousands of resumes. What aren't I doing properly? Is there a better process? And I've been doing this for 34 years, so I try all different things. So Kim, help!
[00:10:03] Kim Ades:
Okay. So there are a few thoughts that come up for me, but one of the biggest things that strike me is that you've been doing this for, how many years? You said 40?
[00:10:13] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:10:14] Kim Ades:
34 years. And you said that a lot of the people who are with you have been with you for a long time.
[00:10:20] Jody Steinhauer:
The core people have been– and when I say a long time, I mean anywhere from 4 to 16 years.
[00:10:31] Kim Ades:
Perfect. That's a long time in this day and age, right?
[00:10:34] Jody Steinhauer:
Yeah, these days, it's a long time, but I had people that were 20, 25 years that in the last 12 months, we'll just say, chose to leave because they realized they were not in the big picture vision of where we were going. And that was a good choice for all of us, because if they didn't choose, they were going to be asked to choose.
[00:10:53] Kim Ades:
Right. But what I was alluding to is that those people are part of your, I would say, your key success factor or your magic sauce, your special sauce, right?
[00:11:05] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:11:06] Kim Ades:
But they are also your special sauce in attracting the right people.
[00:11:10] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:11:10] Kim Ades:
So we need to tap into them in a very unique way. Not only by asking them for referrals, it's more than that. It's by, I think, exposing what they are committed to, what they are passionate about, why they find that there's a purpose in working here.
So in other words, I would literally take 10 of your best employees, top performers, the people who love it there, the people who have grown, who have been there for 16 years, that there's no other place that they want to be, where they find that this is a family, and interview them and put their interviews on a video and share that. "Watch this before applying for this job". Why? Because you want to ask them hard questions.
[00:11:59] Jody Steinhauer:
That's a great idea.
[00:11:59] Kim Ades:
Things like "what's good about this place? But what's hard about this place? What is expected of you? When do you have to step up to the plate?" Right? "What is it like working here? Truly, honestly, unscripted. The best parts and the worst part. "What was your worst day here? What was your best day here?"
[00:12:22] Jody Steinhauer:
You're going really quickly, but I love this.
[00:12:27] Kim Ades:
I'm sorry, it's going to be all recorded. But the whole idea is that when I'm sitting and listening to other people, other committed employees, and I'm like, "okay, so the worst day is this, I can handle that". Or "wow, I get to run my own department or I get to run my own job as though it's my own company? That's exciting. Is that for me?" Or "you mean you want me to stay there 'till eight o'clock one night because we have to pack things for some special project? I can handle that" or "no, man, that's not for me".
[00:12:59] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:13:00] Kim Ades:
Right? So what you're doing is you're creating a pre-screening mechanism or a self-screening mechanism, if that makes any sense. By giving them exposure to the reality of what it's like to work here. Right? So you know, "Hey, watch this. If you still want to continue, take the next step". Whatever that next step is could be "now send me your resume and answer the following questions".
So let's talk about that. What are those questions that you want to ask them? So, yeah, you want to ask them whatever it is that you would normally ask in an interview, but now you want to get a little bit a sense of what's going to cause them to get disengaged and what's going to cause them to quit.
So here's a question I would like to ask. And again, you can ask them even before they show up for an interview or before you invite them for an interview, and a question could sound like, "when is the last time you quit something? What caused you to quit?" So you want to get a sense for their nature. Do they quit easily? Is it hard for them to quit? How long do they work at something before they quit? What is the trigger for quitting? So you start to understand how they operate, how they think, what their values are, and you see if their quitting tendency is a match for you.
The second thing I would want to know, and I don't exactly know how to phrase this, but I was thinking about it, and the kind of question that I would ask is you know, there's someone who wrote a book called the Who Method. I don't know, you may have heard of it.
[00:14:37] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:14:38] Kim Ades:
But there's one piece of that book that really, really struck me. And it's when you're interviewing someone, ask them about people who aren't on their reference list, right?
[00:14:49] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:14:50] Kim Ades:
So, for example, who did you work with when you worked there? So they're not giving you, you know, the shiniest person on their reference list, they're giving you some random person they worked with, and the question becomes, "when I call that person, what will they say about you?"
[00:15:06] Jody Steinhauer:
Right. I love that one.
[00:15:08] Kim Ades:
Yeah. So the key to that concept is not if I call them, it's when I call them. And the reason we want to position it that way is so that they're brutally honest. But you want to pick someone who spent a lot of time with them. So could be something like, you know, "who have you lived with in the past? Oh, you live with a roommate? When I call your roommate, how will they describe it? How will they describe living with you? What's it like to live with you?"
And they'll be taking it back, but you're getting an inside look into how they operate outside of a work environment. But also when you're asking the candidate that question, they're going to be truthful.
[00:15:54] Jody Steinhauer:
So you're saying even if the person's had five jobs, let's just say, hypothetically, they're marriage, right? You would say to them, "what's your husband going to say when I call them?"
[00:16:06] Kim Ades:
So "when I call your partner, your mate", whatever you want to call it, I don't know, I'm trying to be politically correct. Right?
[00:16:12] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:16:13] Kim Ades:
"When I call your partner, how will they describe you when I say 'what's it like to live with Susan?"
[00:16:22] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:16:22] Kim Ades:
"How will they describe you?"
[00:16:24] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:16:27] Kim Ades:
[00:16:27] Jody Steinhauer:
Let me ask you. So I love the fact– I have tried something similar of, for example, if someone has places on their resume that I know the places or they're a client or someone. And I would say, "who did you report to there?" And I would say... I love how you framed it differently, "when I call them", I would say, "what are they going to tell me you're a rockstar at? And what are they going to tell you that I'm going to need to coach you more on and that is not necessarily the best fit for you?"
[00:16:58] Kim Ades:
[00:16:59] Jody Steinhauer:
I love that. And I think that's important. I like the way that you have framed it better than I have, so thank you very much. That's wonderful. But I will actually call those people. So my question to you then is when you talk about your partner, and you say, "when I call your partner", do you actually call?
[00:17:19] Kim Ades:
I think you can, if they become a viable candidate.
[00:17:22] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:17:23] Kim Ades:
If they're not a viable– I mean, you're not going to call every partner in the world, right? When they become a viable candidate, I think it's very, very important to make that call.
[00:17:32] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:17:33] Kim Ades:
[00:17:34] Jody Steinhauer:
Another question... When you talked about the video before, which I love that idea. Can you help me from a frame of reference? Because I think it will also help everybody. Lots of us just put job postings either– so I have on my website on bargainsgroup.com, if you go to the very bottom, it talks about many positions and I always believe in, we're always hiring and somebody good comes into my life, even if I don't need them, I'm going to find a place for them, okay?
So because they're on the bottom of the website, a lot of these recruitment sites scrape your website, right? You're not potentially posting. So first question is, do you also put the video on the bottom of the website saying "if you're interested in working for us, check out this video first before you apply"? Or how would you frame it on the actual website?
[00:18:27] Kim Ades:
Yeah, I mean, I don't know if it's possible technically, but to do it in such a way where they need to ask for that website so that it's not– not the website, but the videos they need to ask for it, and when they ask for it kind of like on your website, when you're capturing people's names on a website, like your database, when they're adding their names to the database, same concept. So you want this video... "put in your information, we'll send you the video".
[00:18:55] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:18:55] Kim Ades:
So all of these things are screening devices because most people will not do that.
[00:19:01] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:19:02] Kim Ades:
Okay, so that's a great question. So we would put a note on the website saying something like "if you're interested in working for us, we'd love for you to watch the video. Please send an email here and–"
Or, how I would do it exactly is I would say not if you're interested in working for us, "if you're interested in hearing more about what it's like to work for us, and you're looking for an opportunity, we would love for you to see these videos". And again, we have to massage the language, right?
So the moment that you fill in your information, your name, email, the address and phone number, they automatically get that into their inbox. So there's no like manual labor, right? It's just an automated, you know? Like the videos we would send...
[00:19:54] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:19:55] Kim Ades:
Right? In a kind of like a drip marketing campaign kind of concept. Okay, so that's what we would do there. So how many people are actually going to go the distance? How many people are going to watch the videos, right? So they have to give you their information, now they have to watch the videos. And now if they're interested at the end of the video say, "if you're interested, please send us your resume and answer the following questions", whatever those questions are. So now you're going through a screening mechanism.
[00:20:22] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:20:22] Kim Ades:
But I want to add one more question into the mix. And this question, I think is very important. What type of boss, right? What are the boss characteristics that will enable you to thrive? What do you need from your boss in order to thrive? There you go. I said it properly.
[00:20:39] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:20:40] Kim Ades:
Right? So now you're understanding what do they need from you, and are you the person to give them what they need? Because for me, if someone says, "I really need someone to draw things out exactly and give me an exact process", that's not me, right? I need independent thinkers. I need people to say, "here's what I'm going to do and how I'm going to do it". I'm not a micromanager. So if you're looking for a micromanager, this is not the place for you.
[00:21:04] Jody Steinhauer:
Right, got it.
[00:21:05] Kim Ades:
Right? So what you want to do is encourage them to tell you what they will need in order to succeed.
[00:21:12] Jody Steinhauer:
Great. And I think another really great tip is, for example, when I post something intentionally on Indeed or ZipRecruiter, I always say on it, "please, when you submit your resume, answer the following five questions", so a little bit different, but similar.
And one of them I love to ask is "what do you do when you're not working?" Because I found that people, for example, who do sports or team sports, those are real team players, people who– there's certain characteristics you can see in hobbies and things like that work– there's a similarity between people that work well here.
So it's incredible how many people just submit the resume and don't answer the questions and immediately they're off the list, because attention to detail is really, really important. So that's something we do. So if you're posting something on Indeed, do you put the video right in there?
[00:22:12] Kim Ades:
No, I really, really feel like they should ask for it.
[00:22:15] Jody Steinhauer:
Okay. So the same kind of question on Indeed, and if they just submit the resume, they haven't read it. So yeah, that's great. Love that.
[00:22:23] Kim Ades:
When you finally get to an interview, the first question is, "did you watch the video of our other employees? What struck you about those videos?"
[00:22:32] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:22:33] Kim Ades:
"What kind of place is this to work?
[00:22:35] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:22:36] Kim Ades:
Ask them! If they've done their homework, they get a feeling and a vibe for what it's like to work there, and you understand immediately if they're a culture fit.
[00:22:46] Jody Steinhauer:
Yeah, absolutely. Great advice.
[00:22:49] Kim Ades:
Amazing. That was fun, I enjoyed that.
[00:22:52] Jody Steinhauer:
And I mean, you know what? I think for many of us, hiring people is the backbone of our businesses and it takes a lot of time. And I think one of the challenges is churn right now. I mean, we're all broken, we're all suffering in our own way.
And even if you hire some really great candidates if they're having challenges, especially mental health these days with what's going on, some of these things that you've now coached me on, I think will really bring that to the forefront and help because it's expensive to hire and fail. And we've all got too much on our plates. So this is wonderful. Thank you.
[00:23:34] Kim Ades:
But I do want to throw in one more thing, just because you said the word mental health again. So one of the things we've done is, late last year, we launched a new coaching service for young professionals, and it's called The Journal That Talks Back and it's affordable, it's accessible and it's unlimited coaching for people between the ages of 18 and let's say 35.
And the way that it works is that they get assigned to a coach and they get to journal with that coach, as often as they want. They can journal once a week, once a day, five times a day, it doesn't really matter, their coach will read and respond to their journal as often as they journal.
And so we've created this program specifically for that, because we noticed a lot of our clients were struggling with churn and a lot of our clients were struggling with the fact that they had no idea that their young employees were having a hard time, we're having challenges, were having mental health issues, we're thinking of quitting because they just felt burnt out.
And so what we found was our clients were out of the loop. Their employees were suddenly leaving 'cause they were done, they had enough, they couldn't take it anymore. And our clients were kind of saying "what just happened?".
[00:24:56] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:24:56] Kim Ades:
This program that we created is specifically to catch people when they're struggling, to support them when they're struggling, to offer help in handling the bumps along the way that happen in life, at work, etc., and to increase our retention rates and to bridge the gap between the employer who has no idea what's going on and the employee, and helping the employee do a better job of expressing themselves and sharing what's actually going on. So I wanted to share that with you because–
[00:25:28] Jody Steinhauer:
That's a great idea. And a question for you: when they're doing that, what's the role of the coach and the employer? Does the coach go back and say, "hey, you need to..." or "I can't break confidence" or... how does that work?
[00:25:41] Kim Ades:
So, what we do is we coach the employee to go back and talk to the employer. The only information we provide with to the employer is level of engagement.
[00:25:51] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:25:51] Kim Ades:
That's it. Because they're paying the bill presumably, right?
[00:25:53] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:25:54] Kim Ades:
So we tell them, you know, "here's the level of engagement and here's the frequency of journals that we're seeing. But also here are some of the themes we're seeing", if we have a wide range of employees, we're dealing with. So, for example, we're working with Microsoft, they are a client of ours, and so if they are rolling this out with a group of 25 people, which they are, then we can kind of get the themes without identifying any particular person.
[00:26:22] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:26:22] Kim Ades:
So that's an example of that. But I did want to share with you–
[00:26:26] Jody Steinhauer:
Why is there a cutoff at 35? I'm asking.
[00:26:29] Kim Ades:
There isn't really, but you know, they are– I mean, it's journal based coaching, so there's no real cutoff. If you're 55 and you want to do this, you are certainly welcome, we welcome you aboard. But it's targeted at that age group, because these days, that's the age that is struggling the most, we feel.
[00:26:53] Jody Steinhauer:
I think that in the last two years, every age group is struggling. But in regular times, I would say that a lot– you know, I've got lots of kids in that group. They're just lost, it's really. And how do you. as a leader, whether it be a leader in your company or a leader in your household, engage them in hope and say, "Hey..." you know?
So it's crazy times out there, but it's important, ' cause I think that younger generation too, they give up way too easy. You know, our generation is like, "yeah, you're going to have some really rough days, so suck it up and put your big girl or big boy pants on and go back tomorrow, it's going to be a better day. But the younger ones, they just walk out.
[00:27:36] Kim Ades:
But it's interesting, right? Like we're just talking, but you're right. We have learned to suck it up and to a great extent to our detriment. We just suck it up and we keep sucking it up and we like, muscle up and we forge forward, and sometimes it comes at a cost. And so I think that in there, there's some kind of a happy medium that I don't think either extreme are finding with great ease.
[00:28:06] Jody Steinhauer:
[00:28:07] Kim Ades:
But Jody, it was such a pleasure to have you on my podcast. Thank you–
[00:28:11] Jody Steinhauer:
Yeah! You just solved all my problems, so I got a lot of homework, so thank you.
[00:28:16] Kim Ades:
[Chuckles] There you go. Thank you so much for being on the show, for spending the time with me, for sharing your challenge. I'm super excited to jump in and take my family on a family day excursion with Kits For A Cause. Thank you for that.
For those of you who are listening, if you're having a hard time finding the right people, look inside the company and understand that there is gold inside your company, and get your people to start talking and really sharing what it's like inside the company.
For those of you who are listening, if you have a challenge that you want to share on the podcast, we are always looking for new guests, so please reach out to me. My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com.
And if you're interested in coaching, and maybe you have a challenge that you don't want to share on the podcast, but you want to learn more about our coaching programs, we just launched a new group coaching program. It's super exciting because it's a monthly group coaching program and we are offering the first month for free. So I would love to talk to you about it. Reach out to me as well. My email address again is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com.
We will see you next week. Have a great week!