IT Talent Management

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Join the team at MIS Solutions for episode #04 of DIY-IT, IT Talent Management. On this episode, host and COO of, Jason Null is accompanied by Austin Ringland, a System Administrator at MIS, Duane Taylor, a vCIO and Adam Ringland, their CTO. This insightful episode focuses on the intricacies of finding, recruiting, and retaining top IT talent in a rapidly evolving industry. From challenges posed by generational shifts, to the importance of engaging activities like trivia and lunch and learns, the team provides a comprehensive overview of modern IT talent management.

Key Highlights:

- Challenges organizations face in finding the right tech candidates.
- Benefits and considerations of hiring older candidates.
- The significance of well-crafted resumes and the recruitment process.
- Strategies for attracting top talent and promoting company culture.
- Emphasizing continuous learning with activities like lunch and learns.
- Insights from Austin Ringland on being a tech professional and what makes a company attractive.
- The balance of remote work and maintaining productivity.

00:01:20 Prioritizing resumes and selling the company during interviews.
00:05:34 Importance of matching personalities for a cultural fit.
00:06:57 Hiring strategies for SMBs, including older employees.
00:10:32 Addressing the challenge of non-stop work during lunch hours.
00:14:11 Focus on internal growth through lunch and learns.
00:16:12 Cross-training and career progression opportunities.
00:19:21 Engaging team through trivia and staying updated with technology.
00:22:58 The importance of attending conferences for growth.
00:26:27 Achievements and benefits of remote working.
00:28:39 Offering incentives like vehicle stipends for driving partners.
00:33:08 Small business challenges in establishing a full IT team.
00:36:05 Teaser for next episode: deep dive into cybersecurity.

Join us to explore the strategies and nuances of IT talent management, and how it can redefine your business approach. Remember to like, share, and subscribe to stay updated with future episodes of DIY-IT by!

Jason Null: [00:00:00] Welcome to DIY-IT again for small businesses. This is episode four, so we've changed topics this time. We're moving into IT. Talent that's we brought Austin in for that. He is our talent now, but we wanted a perspective from what it's like to, as a tech mm-hmm. In the community. And then I'd like to talk with you two about.

Hiring what's going on in the space? What do we look for? How do we, you know, leverage these guys? What do we do to retain and attract talent? Yep. And you know, Austin, from your [00:01:00] standpoint, What do you look for in a company to work for, you know, what types of things you're looking at. So let's kind of open it up like that and we'll kind of start with hiring what we're looking for.

And you've been in the space for hiring, so you've sat on a lot of our, our interviews as we bring techs in. So, you know, not only as a tech, you know, working in the industry, but what, what you're doing as you're doing interviews. Yep.

Adam Ringland: Yeah, it's, I mean, I'd say right off the bat, obviously before anyone even comes in for any kind of interview, whether it's a phone interview, teams interview, in-person interview, their resume has to look somewhat good.

They, they have to be comparable, you know, and have done some history depending upon, you might be in a spot where you're looking to hire someone with a little less experience and you can kind of. Help 'em grow through the organization. Or you might be in a position where you're like, I need Superman to come in and be able to hit the ground running.

So obviously checking over the the resume. Then I always like to do the initial phone call. Touch 'em that way. Kind of go over who we are. And at that point it's weird. It's become more of a [00:02:00] sell and you know, and they, I'm kind of selling ourselves to them versus them being like, please hire me.

Please hire me. Please hire me. It's, you do have to sell. Do you think that's the market today? Yeah, a hundred percent. You know, yeah. It wasn't, I mean, I would say I've been in this position for three and a half years. When I, my was my first go around to hiring folks. It was not a sell. It was more like, can we please work for you?

Jason Null: Right. Yeah. I think that's definitely changed in the space today.

Adam Ringland: Yeah. So you, you really just feel them out. And then sell yourselves. But one of the bigger things that I like to do on those initial contacts is are they gonna fit our family? Yeah, absolutely. Because if they're not, I don't care how smart you are, you get one bad egg in a 20 man, you know, small MSP or small business, it can cause havoc.

Jason Null: You can really feel when somebody comes in a hundred percent, the mood is set in the office. Mm-hmm. Even though, you know, you feel like we're big because, you know, there are 20 people coming in and outta here. Right. But somebody comes in and I, I, you can feel that so

Duane Taylor: immediately. Yeah. And, [00:03:00] and we're, we are, we're interviewing them and, and we're seeking their talent mm-hmm.

To see if they match us. Yep. It's, we don't want a body, we want somebody that's gonna match the family that's gonna blend in the family. Correct. Yep. Because we spend more time here. Than we do with our families, right. Together. Yep. And that's a big piece. And another thing that we do that Adam does is talks about all the things that we do culturally.

Mm-hmm. And all the things that are attractive as an employee to an employee from an employer standpoint. And we do a lot of stuff. And I'll let you elaborate on that. Correct. And

Adam Ringland: what's funny about that is, again, going back to the point of us having to sell ourselves more, Like I even had to go back on, you know, on the platforms we using ZipRecruiter indeed and Jazz Up our job posting more to try to really make us stand out, like, hey, because now everyone's just picky and choosy, you know?

Right. So it's, you literally have to line item the things out that separate you from, from that standpoint.

Jason Null: I, I, you know, I've always said it, and I know you guys have heard it before in the [00:04:00] past, you know, I always interview people. And take the approach that would I ride in a car Sure. For four hours with this person because that's, that's, we, like you said, we spend more time here Correct.

Interacting with each other than we do with our own families at times. Yeah. On a daily basis. Absolutely. Yeah. And, and one of the hard things about hiring people I've always found is. You might spend 45 minutes, an hour, maybe two hours max in an interview. Yep. Hoping that's the right person. Fingers cross.

Right? And, and then they come in here. I mean, that's a lot of trust. It's

Duane Taylor: hard to do. It's a small window of time to make that, that decision. Huge decision. Decision. And that decision goes a long way. I mean, at the end of the day, you, we've got a very small window to figure out, dude. Do they, do they fit our team?

Yeah. Right. It's not just about a body, because our team will go without a person to find the right

Adam Ringland: fit. That's true. Very true. And, and to that point, and you know, Austin, he sat in multiple interviews and we come out, you know, afterwards when the in-person interview, we all huddle up and it's like, okay. We got four people that we've [00:05:00] interviewed in the past couple weeks.

Let's make our choice. And I can tell you that every single time personality and cultural fit is our, is honestly one of our biggest things. If I have, you can't teach that, right? You can teach tech. So if I have someone whose technical knowledge is up here, but their culture fit and customer service is gonna be down here, nah.

Duane Taylor: Yeah. They've got the interpersonal skills of a

Adam Ringland: goat, it doesn't matter. Correct. A hundred percent. So it's it, it is that balance where depending upon. The hiring schedule and where we're in and you know, I'm, I. Yes, I'm these guys' boss, they sit in, but I value their opinion cuz they know the culture we've

Austin Ringland: built.

Well, not only is it the personality gonna match internally, but it's also externally to all our partners. Like cuz we know all our partners very well, we've all been here for an extended amount of time. So it's just important to know like, can this person go to this partner and fit in with their culture as well as ours.

Correct. So that's something I always bring up like in the interview is fir, one of the first things I always say is, Hey, like. Customer experience is gonna be your best friend when you first start here. Because it's not, we're not an i [00:06:00] p Right. We're not gonna show up somewhere and then never see that person again.

Right. You want to show up, have great customer service, cuz that's, you're gonna be with

Adam Ringland: them for a long time. Yeah. Build that relationship. Your first impression's gonna be extremely

Jason Null: important, right? Yeah. It's one thing to hire a tech because he can fix every problem, but when you have to send him on site mm-hmm.

Or he has to talk to a customer and he can't, that's a problem. So that's a hard balance for us. I we're finding talent. That technically can be talented. Mm-hmm. But at the same time, we have to find the right personalities.

Adam Ringland: Correct. Correct. And if you, if you, you could have the smartest person in the world, but if their customer service is met, the end user is gonna be like, that guy's not a very good technician.

No, because it's a, to them, it's one big thing to the end

Duane Taylor: user experience. When the end user calls in, they want the experience to be pleasant from beginning to end. Correct. Correct. From here's my problem. Mm-hmm. Be empathetic about it. Sure. Listen to me and then fix it. Right? Yep. So finding we're pretty picky.

Yeah. And we, and we should be.

Jason Null: And we've, I I think that, like most [00:07:00] SMBs today, I think any company today, actually, I have a lot of friends that run a lot of different organizations and the struggles that we are having to find talent today, they are to a hundred percent. I think that the industry, I, I, a lot of this, I don't know if it's covid, if it's just the generation, But we find we're actually, we're, we're probably employing older people now than we were in the past.

You hire young guys because how many times have you scheduled an interview? Nobody shows. Nobody shows. They don't call. Mm-hmm. They don't follow up. There's nothing in, we waste a lot of time and lose a lot of time. Just, it's the worst to do. Just trying to get somebody in the door.

Adam Ringland: Yeah. It's demoralizing.

Yeah. New one. Those scenarios where you've, you've spent already an hour and a half to get 'em to this point. They don't show up. They don't call. Or they show up, they accept the job and don't show up on their first day of work.

Duane Taylor: That's happened twice. That's and that's everybody's experience. Everybody, yeah, everybody is everybody's experience.

It's not just our job. Oh, hey, I'll take the job, but then they don't show up. Yep. And it's not just us, it's everybody. Right. It is a crapshoot though. I [00:08:00] mean, and it's not, and it's more about, it's more than pay as well. I mean, it's not always about the pay hundred percent. It's, it's, it's about the culture and the things that we do as a.

As a, as a, as a family.

Jason Null: I think we spent a lot of time finding what our culture was. Mm-hmm. And Adam, I know you, you drove a lot of that. You have obviously the biggest team here, right. You know, other departments have one or two people in a department. You just happen to have a ton of guys. Sure. You know, and.

I think that you set a great culture with your team and that culture has kind of bled into everywhere. Which I think makes, makes working here fun, right? Oh, for sure. Yeah. I mean, you think, you think about the things that we do. I don't know if everybody does this, but I feel like. That's what separates us.

Mm-hmm. You know we have awesome picnics, we have fun outside. I mean, like this past year with the football, you know?

Adam Ringland: Yeah. You got your operations man running around concrete, trying not to break his ankle, catching,

Jason Null: bouncing football. He's on a really funny watch. A bunch of it guys throw a football and catch it.

Right. That's quite [00:09:00] comical. But it was, I mean, but we, you know, we gave out some cool gift cards. Yep. People are winning a hundred dollars for this and that, and we have, you know, the NCAA here. We had a great little cookout with that. Sure. You know, we've done the top golf stuff. We've done full

Duane Taylor: length, we're doing event a month at least.

Adam Ringland: Yes. Whether it's, you know, I, I would say whether it's inside the office or outside the office, we're doing at least one thing a month. Yeah. And that could be, you know, yeah, we bring in lunch or we're cooking out lunch, or we go to a happy hour, or like you said, we go to top golf or you know,

Jason Null: any number of things.

Different stuff like that. Yeah. It's always something different in my opinion. Like

Austin Ringland: it's, the events are like few and far between. They're always a really good time, but it's just the everyday vibe of the office. That's like the main thing for me. Like it's a hard thing to like explain to somebody to sell that.

Mm-hmm. But like every day when, when I walk in, like I just know it's a relaxed vibe. Everyone's having a good time talking. It's not super high pressure where someone's over your shoulder all the time. Right. It's just like, yeah. It's literal like a family. Like it's just like you're hanging out with your buddies and you're working.

Adam Ringland: You could be sitting at your [00:10:00] desk working and turn around and see someone sitting in front of the large TV playing Xbox in the middle of the work. Right.

Duane Taylor: Yeah. It, it doesn't become a, it's not a job at that point. Point in time in theory. Correct. You know what I mean? Like I wanna go to work but not cuz I have

Adam Ringland: to.

Right. And I tell, I tell prospective new hires like, yes, you will not be shocked if you walked in our office and saw someone playing a video game in the middle of the day. I said, it's cuz I don't micromanage. I trust things get done. If they're not getting done, then. We got a bigger problem, but I, I, you know, if someone needs 30 minutes to decompress after staring at an awful issue for two hours, yeah.

By all means, if that's what it takes, go for it. Right. Yeah.

Jason Null: Because they're not working, they're not taking lunch at noon. Right. These guys, you know, the phones ring constantly. Mm-hmm. I know you even rotate your staff so that they have that, but you know, I've watched. You know, someone like, you know, Austin here working through lunch up until a couple hours later, and if he wants to sit down and play Xbox or you know mm-hmm.

Go goof off and do this for what? That's his lunch break and that's fine. I. And he's happy, you know, and it took us

Duane Taylor: a while to get there. It didn't happen overnight, was like, why is this [00:11:00] guy playing video games? Right? It's like, you know, there's 200 tickets. Well, he's got his job done, he's doing well. And so it's, it, it's, it's good to see the culture changes.

Mm-hmm. And it's good to see that it continuing to grow and it just brings, it's just adds more value to being

Adam Ringland: an employee. And that's the biggest thing is because, like you said, Austin, it is hard to explain that to a potential new hire. But I feel like once we get. It's them in the door. They see it and it's like, oh man, this place is

Jason Null: awesome.

Yeah. Keeping our talent here is such a savings for us. Oh, time and money. Correct. Because losing talent. Or even trying to replace it, like we've talked about in the interviewing process. I mean, trying to get people in the door is, mm-hmm. I mean, the last position we hired for, I felt like we spent six months trying to find, agree, two people.

I would agree. Two people. And we had two people, and then we had two more. And it just, it just felt like this revolving door until we finally found. A very couple of very talented guys who fit into the culture really well and have stayed here so far. And I, I like that. And like, you know, [00:12:00] the team is very lively out there.

I love that. And, and the

Duane Taylor: little things that we do as a company for everyone helps retain those employees as well. Because you lose one and a half of a salary in theory just by losing someone. You gotta retrain, you gotta, yep. We don't have a lot of turnover

Jason Null: either. Well, and training. I mean, you're, we're talking about costs, you know, training.

Somebody has to pull somebody else off of doing their job.

Duane Taylor: Now you're two people. Yeah. You're already a person. Short. Correct. Now you're two people short for two weeks, maybe

Adam Ringland: three. I mean, and when you talk about the turnover, the, there is literally no voluntary turnover where they're like, I don't like it here.

I'm leaving. Right. Right. It's just like our partners don't leave. Correct. It's unfortunately, you know, times where it might, might not work out on their end and we have to let 'em go or, but yeah, it's never like, ah, I just don't like it here. It's not a good fit and blah, blah, blah. I mean, I, it's,

Jason Null: it's a good spot.

What kind of opportunities do you do your teams? And I, I talked to you more cuz obvious, again, you have the biggest team. Mm-hmm. What kinda opportunities do you present to them to develop them, [00:13:00] to grow them? Or what are you encouraging these guys to do? And even from the V C I O office, I'd love to hear that answer too.

Adam Ringland: I would say from my perspective is obviously the stack we use, whether it's hardware, software, Trying to get as many people to buy in to, to that as possible. And hey, the, the one way you're gonna grow here is to learn more. You know, if you wanna stay in your silo and, and that's where you wanna live. The world needs worker bees.

Yeah. And that's you. You're never gonna have an entire company full of the ultimate go-getters that go above. Not everybody can be a doctor, correct. There are worker bees, and as long as they're good at their job and they're good worker bees, then I'm fine with that. But it's finding, you know, the few that want to continue to grow and, and expand their knowledge, that's huge.

And this, and it that also leads to another retention level is because they see how much we hire from within. Oh yeah. That's a big one. Our, our entire staff is basically, if you're not tier one, you've been hired from, with promoted from within. Right. Yeah. I

Jason Null: think that everybody, everybody, every role on [00:14:00] our, on your, on the server guys, You guys are all promoted from within.

Yeah. Dwayne.

Adam Ringland: Dwayne. Yeah. Like literally,

Jason Null: yeah, that's, it's, that's a good point. We do retain within and, and promote up the line a hundred percent.

Duane Taylor: And the luncheon learns help, help everybody. Mm-hmm. You know, try to expand the horizons internally, we just had a, a position open on, on tier two spot and, you know, a couple more than two applied.

Yep. And, You know, you go back and say, well, what did you do to enhance your career over the last year? What have you learned of the, of our stack? Yep. And, and that takes hu that's huge towards making that decision on, well, I love all three of these people to death. We're all family, but this guy, It's going above and beyonds.

Right? It's going above and beyond and, and then that's how we, that's how they grow. I mean, the luncheon learns, the Meraki, the moles and all those things broaden the horizons of everybody.

Austin Ringland: Sure. Well, and it's just super important, like the retaining piece also, just because it's, it is like super scary to, honestly to go out and [00:15:00] find someone that's kind of an unknown, especially in a CIS admin position like, When we hire with, from within, like we're knowing kind of what we're gonna get.

Yep. Instead of going outside and like flipping a coin of like, well,

Adam Ringland: hope this guy turns out they're not. Yeah. They're, they're not gonna like the way we do things.

Duane Taylor: Maybe this was just a really good two hours of our life and I just got gone. Yep. Yeah. Well, and I love it.

Jason Null: We, and you know, I love that we also reward for that, right?

A hundred percent. Not only are we promoting within right to different spots, we're also giving these guys opportunities to, this is our product line. Go get certifications for these product lines. Learn it so that you can step up and start doing more, more service tickets, providing that, better customer service.

And if you get these achievements, Here's a bonus. Correct.

Duane Taylor: Here's a bonus. And that leads into the, the pet teams and the, the collaboration. All those things come together. I mean, if you've got a person over here that's learning in the three CX system, that opens up that, that communication to maybe, maybe [00:16:00] Austin on, Hey, show me how to do this or, and maybe he hadn't interacted with this person cuz they're on a different team.

A hundred percent. It just opens it all up. There's, we have pet teams, but there's really no. No dividers.

Jason Null: Correct. Well, and our pet teams truly are down at the front lines too. Correct. So once you leave our pet teams, you get into your team and you guys service all of the pet teams. Mm-hmm. Which is really cool.

You are, you guys are able to develop the guys below you big time and you, cuz you can see the talent across the different teams. And then you're, you know, like, hey, now you know what? Scott, you're doing really well. You should maybe look at getting this first level certification in, in three cx, right.

And then, then you can start provisioning phones for us and you can take it, you get to do a little bit more. And I think the guys love that too, cuz they feel like rewarded. They're making well, they're not siloed.

Duane Taylor: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Adam Ringland: Yeah. And the, and the beauty of it is, yes. So we have. Three. Currently we have three pet teams as it as it plays out.

And then, but the beauty of it is, you know, the partner, that's their team, that's their guys. You know, they might have [00:17:00] four frontline and a and three in the back that all work in collaboration, but ultimately they have a knowledge base of 25 people. So you're, I mean, yeah, you can't

Duane Taylor: replace that with one person.


Adam Ringland: can't replace two people. Right. Exactly. Two or three. So yeah, if you're a small business and you hire internal, it. And you've got one person where you're definitely not getting it and then that one person goes on vacation or gets sick or,

Duane Taylor: you know, doesn't stay up with the latest and greatest and Yeah.


Adam Ringland: toast. Yeah. And yeah, even with three, I mean, you're just, we're we're offering, you know, 25 knowledge heads, you know, they're all collaborating and daily basis in teams, channels. So, and for any

Duane Taylor: late joiners to the podcast, Pat, our PAT team stands for partner experience team. Yeah. We don't want clients, we want partners.

Yep. Right. We want pets.

Adam Ringland: That's, we need the James addiction to solve this. I

Jason Null: know q Perry Ferrell right now. Yeah. Yep. And we'll make great pets. So, but I mean that, that also goes to, we're also rewarding these guys with employee of the month. Mm-hmm. We [00:18:00] have other strategy bonuses. I know that the marketing team is doing some really cool stuff down the road with these guys.

Like whoever gets the most five star ratings today and they're handing out, you know, a gift card for that. Sure. And you know, and we didn't come up with that. We, we are at an enterprise or Right. Checking out. Yep. Earl's like, Hey, gimme a five star review and I could win this gift card. And we're like, We should take that home.

Correct. And know when we talked to the marketing guys and, you know, they were like, that's a great idea. So how do we encourage these guys to start? It just keeps the day to

Duane Taylor: day not so monotonous. Right? Sure. It it helps with burnout.

Adam Ringland: Absolutely. Yeah. It was what, one day last week I walk out with my movie trivia card and I'm like, all right.

We're gonna do five rounds. Whoever has the most points gets to leave two hours early, you know, just out of the blue. And it's, it's just trying to do fun things, keep people engaged so they're not, I'm doing the same thing every day right now. I even my floppy

Jason Null: disc. That was fun. I love when you come out and you do the movie trivia.

I participate even though I don't get to leave early, but we leave early every day. I'll give him early every day. Yeah. But you know, [00:19:00] it's, I come in late and leave early and I'm a banker. Mm-hmm. But, you know, it's, it's that just keeping those guys fresh because they don't know when you're gonna do that.

And all of a sudden, and what's funny is the guys that never experienced it, the new guys, yeah. They're like, what? They're like, really? I, well, I'm not get, I get, I can log on the phone

Duane Taylor: kid. Right.

Jason Null: It's two hours before we close. Are you sure? Like, yeah, dude, go home. Yep. That was, that was awesome to see that.

Yep. And of course the trivia was fun too. I mean, Talk about asking some off the wall movie questions and some of these guys were pulling out answers from like, just, yep. I like, I'd never even heard of this movie. So that was kind of fun to see that. Yeah. So it's always good to see that. So what kind of things are we doing, or what kind of things do you do as a tech, you know, to keep your, your skills current or, you know, making sure that you're not missing on, you know, you understand what's going on with.

You know, all the cloud stuff with Amazon, AWS or even Microsoft Azure. What kind of stuff do you do to keep yourself current? [00:20:00] There's

Austin Ringland: kinda two parts of that. I think doing some stuff outside of work, doing some digging and research and just furthering training and certifications is definitely one answer you can go by.

And then also just the amount of work we have coming in, honestly. I mean, like it's, it's pretty much like. That's cool thing about this job too, is like literally every week you're gonna learn something new, right? Yeah. No matter what.

Duane Taylor: Like you never get stagnant. No.

Austin Ringland: Yeah. Like every week you're gonna come across something you've never seen before.

It's, that's, that's another benefit of working from an MSP, in my opinion. And that's the

Duane Taylor: benefit of having a n m msp. Yeah.

Jason Null: Yep. I mean, I know, I know we have different training products. That the guys can participate in. Mm-hmm. We use it pro TV to do training. They can log in and watch pretty much anything.

There's other stuff out there. YouTube.

Adam Ringland: A lot of guys are leaning on Reddit as well. Oh yeah. We get, you know, one of our other sis admin guys, he, he finds a lot of stuff on Reddit since to us at weird hours at night, and I'm like, bro, watching movie or something.

Jason Null: I've been on Reddit all night out. Please.

He's the angry Reddit guy, by the way, in case you're [00:21:00] reading Reddit. No. But yeah, that's, and that's, that's just the way that you have to be on top and stay on your game here. I would agree. You know, things have changed. Things move are moving very fast. We were just talking about this at lunch when we were cis admins, you know, I felt like we, you know, was back in the day when you had physical everything and Right.

You know, back in the ESX 4.0 days and. You know, things have changed. These guys are leveraging the cloud so much with Azure and AWS and servers are coming online like this. Mm-hmm. And they're not having to worry about a lot of outages that we had to worry about because, you know, these data centers that they're building for us to leverage our stuff in, they're just awesome.

Yeah, they're massive. Yeah. Yeah. Are everywhere.

Adam Ringland: Yeah.

Jason Null: The cloud, the cloud, the cloud, the cloud is everywhere. So,

Austin Ringland: yeah, I'd say the main thing is just keeping up with like, obviously all security updates and things like that. That's something we're obviously super big on. And just pushing everything we can to make sure our clients are as secure

Jason Null: as possible.

Yeah. Yeah. That's a big thing too, is security.

Adam Ringland: I mean oh, and over [00:22:00] the last two years it's just like what we've done proactively. Yeah. From that standpoint has been really cool to see. And I'm not gonna sit here and take credit. The CIS admin team. Yeah. Did a

Duane Taylor: fantastic job. I drive that home. I mean, I.

Literally say I can't take this back to the office because they will, they will lynch me. Yeah. Yeah. They're not going to allow this. Yep. So I'm telling you, we need to do this. Yep. And I'm really. I'm telling you, I'm not asking. Right. You gotta do it. They're gonna have me when I get back. So one of the,

Adam Ringland: I I think one of the times when your follow up meeting, you go with like torn jeans and stuff.

Like, look, look what happened

Duane Taylor: last time I went back with these same, they, they, I'm missing the bottom half of my pants. Yeah.

Jason Null: I mean they, yeah. And the other cool thing that we didn't, we haven't done lately, and it's. Because obviously things are just starting to come back, right? Mm-hmm. Is sending people to conferences.

Mm-hmm. I, I, I really believe in going to Ignite or any Microsoft partner event, and we're seeing CAA doing events now, and that stuff is all coming back, which is great. So, you know, there's [00:23:00] nothing like taking a mo, taking a week off of being in the office. To recharge your batteries, to go sit in a bunch of keynotes, do a bunch of breakout sessions and come back totally jazzed, energized, and make changes in the environment.

Mm-hmm. Of stuff. Mm-hmm. You just, you were, you kind of get caught in this a little bit. Sure. So having those events coming back, I'm really excited for that. I'm excited to be able to start sending these guys, Hey, like, look down the road. Where do you guys want to go in six months, 12 months? What kind of conferences are coming up to help you guys be better at your, what you're

Duane Taylor: doing sometimes as, as, as a leadership team, you have to kind of enforce that.

Mm-hmm. Not say, this is just an option. Do what you want, stay siloed, or, you know, Hey, I, I need you to attend three conferences this year. Agreed. Or picture Right. Agreed. I signed you up for this. That's one of your goals that you're, we should set for them. Yep.

Jason Null: It is. And I mean,

Austin Ringland: like it's one of those things like if you really pay attention to those, like they, they do work.

I mean, I went to three cx that was a few years ago now, but literally [00:24:00] the week I got back, I got my advanced certification. Nice. If you pay attention to it, it it'll

Adam Ringland: work. Yeah. And it's, and it's, it's so, it's knowledge learning obviously. And it's also team building, team

Jason Null: bonding. Well, and you also get to see product too, right?

You guys came back with some like, Hey, have we ever, yeah. Have we ever looked at these products here? Well look at this. All of a sudden we've been looking for this particular product. Yeah. And we saw it, right? Mm-hmm. You would. We would never have found it without going to that.

Duane Taylor: A third of those things is about networking, correct?

Yes. Yes. Agreed. The other two thirds is about learning the product and Yeah,

Jason Null: yeah. We're it guys? So we're not really into the networking thing. Not like our sales team. They're the salespeople are, it's different. Always, constantly out. Gosh, they're annoying. Spending money every day. Coffees every day. You know, retaining talent with salespeople is easy cuz they just, they go out and drink coffee every day and mm-hmm.

Have all these meetings. So, but you know, it's for variety. Love our sales team. These guys, when they're done in the day, they want to go home and play on their Xboxes, so. Right. I get that. So is there anything else you guys can think [00:25:00] of to, you know, talk about talent, other ways to, you know, keep people, retain people that we might have missed things, things

Duane Taylor: that we've implemented that we haven't even touched on, and that is the work from home.

That is huge. I mean, there's, there's, everything has changed so much in the last 24 or 36 months. Mm-hmm. And just that freedom, that having that autonomy as an employee to say, Hey, I can, I'm, I'm gonna work from home today. Mm-hmm. I'm gonna be in the office on these days. That is a, that's just another, that's, that's almost better than free snacks.

Jason Null: True. Yeah. And that's another one. I mean, we do, our fridge is stocked with pops and beer,

Duane Taylor: some

Jason Null: beverages. Yep. And, and there is, you know, we have chips. Cookies, whatever. And you know, it's for these guys. Correct. I mean, I don't want them to, we'll have to walk up to a vending machine and buy something because they want to pop.

Yeah. I mean, the cost [00:26:00] for us as a company to spend a couple thousand dollars a year just to have, make sure these guys are happy, I think that's great. Maybe I'm com I mean, we're, we're not helping diabetes right now, but, well, I mean, I'd like to

Duane Taylor: see more apples and oranges. Right. But at the end of the day, we're not buying, gotta eat those quick.

We're not buying, you know, We're not buying unhealthy food

Jason Null: either. Correct. Correct. But I think that's a perk. And then the, you know, the work at home thing, obviously Covid changed. Sure. I think Covid changed all businesses.

Adam Ringland: A hundred percent. And you know, our staff, speaking from my staff, which is obviously the bulk of what we do, they did such an amazing job during that time period.

I know I looked at you and I was like, I can't tell them they have to come back to this office. Right. For five days. That's not fair. Like they've gotten accustomed to this. Yeah. But they've earned it as well. It's not, I didn't give them Well, it was

Duane Taylor: forced upon us. Correct. And it worked. Yep. So, you know, we just relayed that, that that opportunity to them, it was forced upon us to have to deal with, it wasn't forced upon them to have to come back to the office.

And it was like, Hey,

Adam Ringland: [00:27:00] this is working great. Yeah. A hundred percent. So it was like, okay, when, when we had the all clear guys, what we're gonna do, we're gonna make your both sides of your weekend a little longer, a little easier on the commute. Everyone's in the office Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Still keeps the, the culture, the team bonding, the team building going, the collaboration that I miss that the most.

Yeah. You know, we were one of the three people that were almost here on a consistent basis during Covid. Yep. It, it was weird. Yeah. You know, you miss seeing the people. Yeah.

Duane Taylor: Like it's, and then after a while you didn't, then when they started all coming back, I was like, gosh, can just work from my home.

Right, right. I'm

Jason Null: kidding. Yeah. But I mean, it actually changed the way we worked. Absolutely. Which was cool because it is a nice bonus for the guys to be able to work at home. Mm-hmm.

Adam Ringland: And then, okay, so here's add on another layer. We're like, Hey, thanks for working at home. Now what we're gonna do is we'll pay you an internet stipend.

Yeah. You know, we'll pay a portion of your, your

Jason Null: home internet. Yep. Then that was something we did this year. Mm-hmm. And

Duane Taylor: we're, we're actually we're actually also doing we're rewarding people for being on call. True, yeah. [00:28:00] You know, that's something that we never, it was just forced Correct. You know, old school mentality.

Like, you're on call this week, like it or not now, it's like, if I was a tech, I'd be like, I'll be on call every Right. I know. I'll be on call all year. Yeah.

Jason Null: Right. If I, you get so I get extra money. It's been lucrative recently.

Duane Taylor: Well, I mean, at the end of the day, it's, it's an incentive to not, to not consider it a job.

Mm-hmm. Right. Not in here. Oh my God. Again.

Adam Ringland: But yeah, it, you know that. And then we have the cell phone stipends. You know, look, we expect everyone to be able to use their cell phone as a tool. We're in it. There's a lot of stuff that on, on the cell phone you're needed to do, to do your daily job. So that's a stipend.

Yeah. The folks that are driving around, they get a vehicle stipend every month depending on how much they're going to different partners, you know, and it's fair. It's not, I'm not the kind of person that's like, I'm gonna set your vehicle stipend so it's a 50 50 split. Like, I get it, man. You're, it's mileage, it's wear and tear.

You're also saving me time and themselves time from having to document the mileage and then me having to [00:29:00] reconcile the mileage. I trust you. I'm gonna give you a little bigger win on what the stipend is and we're, we'll call it good. Yeah, right.

Jason Null: That is a plus. I mean, snacks, you know, being able to work from home, you know, getting your internet paid for to a point.

Mm-hmm. I mean, that's a, that's a nice heart. Protect all of it adds up. It does. Yes. I mean, especially if we're gonna ask you to work at home, we might as well help you out with your internet costs.

Austin Ringland: Sure. Well, I think the cool thing for the work from home thing too is like, I feel like it brought like more of a comfort level for like everyone to work at home.

Like even if they're like, even if it's after hours or I don't know if it's because they got like a nice office set up during Covid or something like that, but I just feel like it's like you have

Duane Taylor: to adapt to that. Yeah. And now it's hard to adapt initially, but then once you

Austin Ringland: get it, just, yeah, like they're super used to it and like it's just, it feels natural to just like be on your computer at home working.

You know what I mean? It's not like,

Adam Ringland: this is weird. Yeah. You're like, I don't think I shouldn't be here.

Jason Null: Right. Well, I don't know what to do. Even, I gotta set up my home office really quick to be able to handle this

Austin Ringland: call. Or honestly, even before we started doing that, I feel like, like if someone was working late one day, they would just stay here late.

Right. But now it's like, why don't I [00:30:00] leave a little bit early? That's what I

Adam Ringland: do. I'm like, get outta here outta beat traffic. Right.

Duane Taylor: You know? So, and we, we provide techs with the equipment so they can do home labs, all, all kinds of things.

Jason Null: Well, the equipment we're providing 'em here is, Is a game changer too, I think.

Oh yeah. You know, these guys all get laptops. They're getting, you know, we have moved away from dual monitors, now we're moving into the curves. Mm-hmm. So these guys have these nice curve monitors. They're able to have their tool sets everywhere and be able to supply support faster and quicker. That's like, that's goal.

You know, when we went to two monitors, everybody like, One up in productivity. And when you break that, that, and then

Duane Taylor: they started seeing three. Yeah. And we're like, why don't we just get a

Jason Null: back one? Right. When you get that big monitor, it changes because now you don't have that break in the screen slow. It feels

Duane Taylor: good to sit down to a desk.

It doesn't have three jaw oppe

Jason Null: on it, you know? Well, and we're moving and we, we started moving to the standup desk too now. Right. So some people are standing, some people are sitting, some people are doing both. It's. It's a constant change and we're evolving constantly. I, I love that. So, yep. [00:31:00]

Adam Ringland: Yeah. It really, it's all, it's all about catering to the folks that you, that you want to stay with you, you have to do some kind of catering, you know, walking around the office ruling with an iron fist.

Good luck with that. Well, it's an

Duane Taylor: appreciation. Correct. You know, as well. I mean, it, we appreciate you. Mm-hmm. So here's how we show it. Yep. And you appreciate us by doing what

Jason Null: you do. And this is where it comes back to the smb, right? The small business can take so much advantage of our ability to bring on great talent.

Mm-hmm. They don't have to search for IT people, they don't have to try to then, you know, have this huge salary of a $50,000 a year salary for an IT guy that takes vacation a couple times and gets sick and he is not available to them. They can outsource and he's not on the up and up. Yeah. And he's, you know, they can outsource it to us.

Adam Ringland: And if they're, if they're with half the cost, if they're using our plus service and they have onsite support Yeah. And that per our onsite support tech calls and says, Hey Adam, I'm gonna be sick today. Guess what? I can get someone else out there to service you the [00:32:00] exact same time. Yep. That's, that's familiar, right.

We rotate. You have internal it. Oh man, there, he's sick today. All it issues

Duane Taylor: are on holes.

Jason Null: Fingers cross. That doesn't work. Can't run payroll today. QuickBooks is down. The IT guy's sick, right? Yeah. You know that's, we always joke that we don't get sick. We don't take vacation. Right? Because we have enough staff to rotate it to be available to you.

And that's a savings to the s and b then? Yep. Because now they're not having to go buy, they're not spending. You know, resources on having an IT person and they're not

Duane Taylor: going without, correct. Correct.

Jason Null: That's more and more and get, they get more from us. I think a lot of times too, because a lot of times that talent, what they're looking to hire is a guy that maybe is great at PC support.

But they may still have to outsource their networking. Mm-hmm. Their switches. Mm-hmm. Their phone systems, their servers, where they get that with us and it's one stop shopping

Adam Ringland: you. Yeah. Yep. And they have to call us for network plus,

Jason Null: you know? Yep. It's like, yep. Yeah. And then, you know, they get the advantage of having you come in and start doing the budgeting, you're doing the [00:33:00] rotation of equipment, you're helping drive down those costs even more for them.


Duane Taylor: That kind of feels weird, but. You know? Yeah.

Adam Ringland: But in the grand scheme of things, you know, so a small business needing it, and they're like, okay, I, I could hire or go the MSP route. So in order for them to hire a V C I O, An operations manager. Sure. A PC support technician, maybe two. And a systems administrator.

Good luck. Right. Like you, you're never, there's no way. I mean, that would be probably, and in a lot of the circumstances, you know, five people in it would be a quarter or a third of their entire staff. Right. So it's like, that doesn't make sense to spend all that money.

Duane Taylor: And we can do that. We can do for a fraction.

Jason Null: Yeah. That 10 to 25. User community out there. Yeah. They can't, right. They don't wanna hire somebody and spend $50,000 a year on that. No. They can outsource it to us for 49. Yeah. 49. 9 95.

Adam Ringland: And get a whole, yeah. And get a whole team of folks, right?

Jason Null: Yeah, for sure. I mean, it makes a big difference, but yeah, you get that whole team, you get the expertise, you get all the security that comes with it.[00:34:00]

You get off all of our tools and we're, you know, you're talking about even more savings. We're also in that cost. You bought, you hired the IT guy, you have to buy antivirus. You're buying mdr, you're buying security tools, you're buying remote tools. You're spending that, so now it's 50,000 for the guy. Plus then you're paying benefits for him, and then now he needs all these tools.

This guy non-cost you 65, $70,000 a year. Easy. You hire us at 30, right? And get those tools. That's all included. Yeah. You get all those tools, you get your av, get your MDRs. You get, you know, your evaluations on when your stock, when your equipment needs to be rotated. Here's your budgeting. Here's your tier one guy to do your PC support.

Here's your server administrator, here's your cloud specialist, here's your salesperson, here's some marketing stuff for you. You know, you got a security team. Yeah. Right? Yeah. Mm-hmm. I mean, and that's, you know, that's 49, 9 95, right? I mean, it's just under, just under, just under, but you know, it is, it is a savings.

I mean, And obviously in a lot of cases it's even less than that

Duane Taylor: and it doesn't just come down to the money. No. It comes [00:35:00] down to what are you getting for that money? Right. You're getting a team of people, as I've said before on podcast, if something were to happen so bad, it's just not your pet team.

People going, come to the rescue, it'll be all pet team. All hands on. All hands on deck. You're gonna get 17 people, 20 people if you need it. Mm-hmm. If it's that bad. Yep. It hasn't been that bad in a long, long time. Nope. We haven't had to

Jason Null: do that. And we've heard Micah say this a million times. Do what you do best and sub and subcontract the rest.

Right. And outsource the rest. So I mean that's, that's a huge, I mean, we do that. Mm-hmm. That's exactly what we do. We're not an accountants. Nope. We don't do our own accounting. We have an accounting team. Right. We've outsourced it. We don't do our own hr. Right. We don't write our own security tools. Correct.

We outsource it. Yeah. We do, we're good at and we bring in other people to help with us with

Adam Ringland: running our business. Yeah. The top of the industry for other, other sides

Jason Null: of it. Yep. Well, cool. I don't know you guys have anything else for me? Are you guys, I think we hit a huge range of topics there. Yeah. On

Adam Ringland: talent.

And if anybody wants to call me, I'll help coach you [00:36:00] through interviews. It's real. I'm real good at it. Yeah.

Jason Null: Interviewing a soon. You've

Duane Taylor: had enough of him

Jason Null: out too. Yeah. Yeah. Well, coming up next episode will be episode five. Yep. It's gonna be a cybersecurity deep dive. So we're gonna dive even more into some of the security stuff we started hinting on with MDRs antivirus, next Generation Firewalls.

Kind of covered that stuff a little bit in episode one. It's sprinkled in through episode two and three, also talked about a little bit here. Mm-hmm. Head over to to catch up on all of our epi. Episodes. You can see episode three, two, and one. If you just came in. Now, it's okay that they're not movie quality, right?

Yes. Okay. We, you can, and then you'll, if you watch episode one to episode now, you'll see a definite change as, as we have learned too, we're evolving. Yes. We didn't outsource the podcast experts, right? We should have Yes. But you know, you'll find all full episodes there, additional resources, blogs, our checklists, our guides.

You can follow us on social media. We're out there on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, so, yep. You know, I thank you guys. [00:37:00] All offer coming. All right. Appreciate you. Hopefully look forward to next week. Yeah, me too. Get my cybersecurity on. That's it. Thank you guys.

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