In this week’s episode, we are joined by Tonia Martinez. She is the founder of Career Transformations, a recruiting firm and outplacement provider that partners with organizations to hire the best possible talent. In this episode, we talked about the power of delegating tasks through great potential candidates that will help us save about 80% of our time.
It was an amazing conversation with Tonia as we covered the following points:
Starting a business right before the pandemic struck
The key to writing brief and concise job descriptions
Why HR Departments are important
How should companies take care of their employees?
Reach out to Tonia
So if you’re an entrepreneur who wants to learn more about delegation and how to find the right people and make them stay for your business, tune in to this week’s episode because Tonia Martinez shared a lot of valuable insights you shouldn’t miss!
Visit Tonia’s website: https://careertransformationsdenver.com/
[00:00:00] Katie: Hi friends. I’m Katie Brinkley and you are listening to Rocky Marketing Marketing with nearly two decades helping business owners, consultants, and coaches with their digital marketing. I know that social media can be an incredible tool to grow your business when you know how to do it the right way. And that’s what we’re going to do today.
[00:00:18] I teach you how to navigate the world of entrepreneurship and digital marketing, and hopefully you’ll grow your business with a few great tips you wouldn’t have known otherwise, and maybe even discover a great local business you love. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
[00:00:34] Welcome back to another episode of Rocky Marketing Marketing. I’m so excited for today’s guests because she and I have known each other now for quite some time. And we keep on talking about getting her on this podcast. And here she is because summer’s almost over and we are right in the middle of going back to our, our normal working busy, busy lives. But Tonia Martinez is my guest today and she is the founder of Career Transformations, which is a recruiting firm and outplacement provider that partners with organizations to hire the best possible talent. And this is one of the things that I think a lot of us struggle with is that delegation, how do we hire out?
[00:01:17] How do we bring in more people to our businesses and grow our team? And Tonia’s gonna talk about all of that and why she decided to start her own her own gig. So Tonia, welcome so much to the podcast.
[00:01:32] Tonia: Thank you. Thank you for having me, Katie. I’m really excited and yes, it’s been one in the making for sure.
[00:01:38] Katie: I know. Well, and you’re also here in the Denver area. You’re up north, right?
[00:01:44] Tonia: Yes, I am Northeast. Yeah.
[00:01:47] Katie: Yeah. So while I’m down here in Littleton and someday our paths will cross and we can actually meet in real life and not on a, on a computer.
[00:01:55] Tonia: Yeah, for sure. We’ll get there. Well, tell, tell us just a little bit about you.
[00:02:00] Katie: I gave a real brief introduction and as to who you are, but tell us a little bit about, you know, what you do and why you decided to go into the journey of entrepreurship?
[00:02:12] Tonia: Yeah. So my background has been in HR and 22 years in corporate America. And, you know, I started in HR at the very bottom and worked my way up and around and for different organizations. And I always say I’m industry agnostic because I have worked for, you know, a handful of different organizations. And I really like that. I love that I was able to be part of HR. I am a people person. I love helping people. So it’s, you know, really afforded me somewhat of my passion, right, to do what I love and to help the people, you know that’s important to me and it’s just, it’s who I am.
[00:02:50] And so being able to be involved in HR and learn, you know, different aspects of HR, which we all know HR has so many different departments and components to it, very diverse. I’ve learned so much in my career and I’m just so, so thankful for having that opportunity, because I do think that it is what has made a lot of how I do things possible because not every recruiter has an HR background. So it’s, you know, to me, it’s, it’s awesome to be able to have the conversations with my clients and understand what turnover means and what you know, retaining employees is and how to interview and how to, you know, hire and onboard and all, everything in between. Right. So, being in corporate America also kind of has sometimes it’s ups and downs, right. So, you know, sometimes we’re, you know, recruiters are laid off because budget cuts or, you know, they’re not hiring or businesses are sold and so many, many reasons, but yeah, that was part of the reason why I decided to go out on my own because kind of, you know, get numb to the whole layoff and, you know, luckily it was never due to performance.
[00:04:03] I’m thankful for that, but it is frustrating, you know, to kind of start over again. And so I had worked with recruiters in my past externally and, you know, they would help on one position or multiple positions and, you know, I just got it kind of a flavor for what they do and how they operate. And I was always intrigued, you know that side of it. And of course they made great money, right. And, and that flexibility, I think, was something that stuck out for me. So in 2019, right before the pandemic, I decided to start a business and I initially started it as recruiting a recruiting firm. And then a year, two years later, I launched the out placement division of that.
[00:04:43] Yeah. That’s, you know, it’s about people.
[00:04:46] Katie: It is. And, and Tonia, I love your, I also was laid off from my corporate job, not due to performance, but it’s one of those things. That’s what is really frustrating I think about. Corporate America’s, a lot of times when you’re working for these big businesses, you’re just a number or you’re just a title.
[00:05:06] So I worked at the television station for the Colorado Rockies as a marketing manager there. And when they had their merger, the other company that came in and was like, well, we have all sorts of marketing managers. We’ll just eliminate all these marketing managers from the business that we acquired, I was like, okay, well, one, I don’t do the same type of marketing, managing that they do. I know nothing about telecoms. I’m writing scripts. I’m doing social media. I’m doing media buys. That’s completely different than what they’re doing over there. But it didn’t matter. It was just a title and I was laid off. And I think that sometimes being let go for something that you have no control over, it’s nothing that you did despite the fact that you were a great employee, that you did everything the right way, but then here you are getting laid off.
[00:05:55] That’s why I think a lot of people do go into entrepreneurship because they’re like, well, I’m gonna make the own of my own rules then. Right.
[00:06:03] Tonia: Yeah, for sure. No, it’s definitely hard work. I’m so blessed to, you know, have started this business. I unfortunately picked at a time that none of us really knew, you know, was coming COVID, but I think that time really gave me, it was a slower pace. Right. And yeah, I wasn’t making a lot of money, but I learned a ton in how to build a business, how to network, how to sell, how to, you know, do everything. And if I didn’t have that time, I might have been a lot more rushed and it wouldn’t have been so, you know, organic or I just wouldn’t have had a lot of time.
[00:06:35] Right. So yeah, it worked out for me. I think the, the timing was right.
[00:06:39] Katie: Well, and I think that too, with all of this, you know, you, this never really seems to be a, a perfect time, but with entrepreneurship, there’s so many things that we wish we would’ve done differently. Some, you know, if, if someone would’ve said like, here’s the cliff notes version to don’t make these mistakes that I did.
[00:06:57] And I think that, you know, delegation was one of the, the things that I held off on for too long, you know, I can, can I do all the things that my business does? Absolutely. But is it the best use of my time? Like this podcast, for example, I was editing every single episode that took a lot of time. I mean, it’s an hour recording, you know, booking the guest and then I’d edit it. That would be at least another hour, then I’d upload it. So in the grand scheme of things, like it doesn’t take that much time, but when you’re trying to do all these other things, that was a huge bog in my workflow. Like when I started delegating that I was able to start batching my podcast, I was able to focus on getting more clients for, you know, my social media business.
[00:07:41] Delegation was one of the things that I think I absolutely held off on for too long. So if someone’s listening right now and they are new to the entrepreneur journey, what is one of the, you know, I made this mistake. Don’t make the same mistake from me.
[00:07:54] Tonia: I agree. It’s, it’s definitely something that takes time to just be comfortable in letting it go and, you know, letting someone else take it from you.
[00:08:04] I think that was the biggest piece for me because we know how we work and we know that we’re going to get it done and you’re not always, you know, so trusting, I guess, in the beginning to just give it to someone else. So, yeah, I agree with you. It’s been a little battle for me as well, but I’m getting better at it.
[00:08:22] Katie: Well, and when you left corporate America and started Career Transformations, really, what was the, the driving factor in addition to getting laid off, I mean, what was it that you were like, I’m not just gonna go apply for another job. I want this, I wanna go and start something that I can build around my, you know, I say this around my lifestyle, granted I’ve never worked longer hours or harder since I started my own business. But I mean, that is one of the things that we, that we strive for is building a business that works around our lifestyle. So what was that real tipping point for you that made you said I wanna start something of my own instead of staying in the corporate world?
[00:09:00] Tonia: You know, I think part of it was the flexibility part of it was just, just doing it. Right. I, you know, a few people thought I was a little bit crazy, you know, to try to start my own firm. And I just, I think I just wanted to try it because I, I have known so many recruiters that do it under another business, not necessarily their own business.
[00:09:23] And I just know how I hire and how I operate and how I treat people. And I really wanted to kind of create, you know, my own little space, if you will doing that because I do get to work with clients that don’t have HR departments and I get to utilize a lot of my HR experience and help them maybe write a job description or help them define what does a, you know, a interview process look like for our company.
[00:09:52] So it’s fun. Even though I don’t do the HR consultant, I have a lot of knowledge that I can share. Mm-hmm and if I need an expert for HR, I pulled them in. I have lots of those folks.
[00:10:02] Katie: Well, so talk to us just a little bit about what Career Transformations does for people that are for both the employers and the people that are looking to become employed.
[00:10:12] Tonia: Yeah. So Career Transformations really is a recruiting consulting firm. I am, I have a very holistic approach to recruiting and, you know, my, one of my goals is really to give my clients their time back so that they can focus on their people because that’s what’s important and recruiting takes a lot of time.
[00:10:32] So if I could take that off of their calendar and really, you know, vet them well, then that’s, you know, good for them. They can be focused on their people and their business. So I do all of the advertising, sourcing, screening, interviewing coordination of interviews, I help them, you know, kind of manage the time better.
[00:10:51] So I’m typically giving them 80% of their time back. And I use a lot of different networks, a lot of different job boards. I, you know, I just have a good way of vetting clients and candidates to be able to say, this is what my client’s about. This is what my candidate is about. Now, let me make that match right. And. I would say that, you know, looking back through my career, I’m very successful at finding people that stay put, because I do vet managers well, I vet the organizations well, so it’s kind of a puzzle to me and I really love solving the puzzle and for me, because I am very strong on, you know, the HR, as far as my background goes, I want the people to stay put, I know what turnover does to an organization.
[00:11:35] And I know, you know, how we fix that and how we retain people and how we get, you know, managers trained to be better managers so people stay, but the, you know, a lot of that is just part of what I do. So it all comes in very holistically to have one really solid process that I manage. My communication is great.
[00:11:56] So I keep people, you know, in the know of what’s going on, you know, from day one to the end.
[00:12:02] Katie: Yeah. Giving you give people 80% of their time back. And that for me, how long does the on average does it take for a company to hire somebody? Cause I know when I, when I hired my first employee, it felt like I was searching forever to find, I was like, man, how is it this hard?
[00:12:22] Like, I don’t feel like I’m asking for too much, but it was really hard to find that first employee. So how long on average do you think it takes somebody on a business to bring in another employee?
[00:12:33] Tonia: Oh gosh months. And it really depends, you know, it depends on where you’re sourcing. It depends on, you know, where you post the jobs.
[00:12:41] It depends on how you’re interviewing and what the process is. How many interviews are involved, background, drug screen, you know, all of those things. It just really depends. I’ve had clients that lose people because they took too long. And I understand wholeheartedly what it’s like to take a long time and have 5, 6, 7 interviews.
[00:13:04] I get it. In a difficult time, like we’re in right now, you know, when it’s hard to find people and lock them in, you may need to trim down, you know, your interview process a little bit or double up on interviews, you know, just because we can’t afford to start back over because then we’re back at the drawing board.
[00:13:21] It could take weeks to months. It just depends on what’s involved.
[00:13:25] Katie: Yeah. And I think that that is like one of the things that you don’t really take into account as to how long it really can take to bring in more, more help. It’s just like what you said, you know, it’s sometimes people are like, okay, well now I’m, I’m no longer interested in the position cuz you took too long where yeah.
[00:13:44] You know, you wanna find the right person, but I don’t, I’m curious as to how, if there’s like a good like ballpark figure for us to plan to, to bring in more, you know, talent into our businesses as we grow. And this is another thing that you said too with right now after the pandemic, it is hard to find people for jobs, which is, is just mind blowing to me. And, and I know that we were going through the great recession, people leaving corporate and starting a lot of their own businesses. But what else do you think is playing into kind of the weird job struggle of trying to find good help these days?
[00:14:24] Tonia: You know, I think about this often and, and I always come back to, you know, just the kind of bare bones basics.
[00:14:31] Like I think COVID really opened up, you know, individual’s eyes on not only the importance of family, but life is short, you know, we’re not guaranteed tomorrow. We all know that, but I think that a lot of times, you know, people are looking at their careers and saying, I don’t want to work 80 hours a week.
[00:14:50] I don’t want to work for this bad manager. And I deserve more. Right. I want better benefits. I want better pay. I want, you know, the world in some senses. Right. You know, a lot of candidates want a lot and, and that’s fine. You know, we work hard. We invest a lot. We invest our lives into a career, but I think nowadays, I think companies really need to be a little bit more aware of what they’re offering, how they’re treating employees, you know, making sure that they’re feeling valued and welcomed and they’re not burning out and they’re treated, you know, great because if they’re not, they’re gonna leave.
[00:15:29] And, and that’s proven, you know, over the last couple of years, we, people have companies have lost a lot of people and for various reasons, you know, it’s more money. It’s better managers. There’s just so much involved. And I think a lot of people wanna try their own gigs too and see how it goes. And I think that work life balance is important.
[00:15:50] Katie: Yeah. Work life balance, quality of life. I 100% agree. I mean, that’s what both of us said. That’s one of the reasons why we decided to give entrepreneurship a go, you know, for me, I started my business nearly about six years ago, you know, for you, it been over three years ago. So I mean it’s, and I can’t imagine now kind of going back to that corporate kind of life. And then, you know, with mentality, it’s a lot of, it’s a lot different and I have two little girls, so I mean, I take a work, a reduced schedule in the summer so that I can be home with them more, but it’s all part of again, quality of life. And I think that you’re onto something there for sure, with people wanting more from their businesses.
[00:16:31] Now, when you’re doing a lot of this out placement services and helping people grow their teams, is there anything that you do with these businesses where you’re kind of sit them down and say like, Hey, here’s how you build a great job description so that we can get more people.
[00:16:47] Tonia: Yeah, not so much on the outplacement side, but when I do work with clients on the recruiting side and they either don’t have a job description or they don’t have a powerful one, I definitely put the consultant hat on and talk with them.
[00:17:02] Or sometimes I’ll write it for them because it is powerful to write a really attractive, you know, job description that is going to grab somebody’s attention. Right. And keep it. I think it has to be exciting. It has to talk about the benefits, you know, it has to cover a lot and people just don’t have time, you know, oftentimes to write those or the creativity, you know, it doesn’t come to their mind.
[00:17:26] Katie: Yeah. Well, and I think that that’s true. Like it’s, as much as it, it’s important for people to think about their resume when they’re applying for jobs, the job description, that’s a really important part too, as you’re trying to grow your business, if you’re putting out there that you’re looking for an, you know, an assistant and you only have like two sentences, like work from anywhere, you know, but 40 hours a week remote work, it’s like, well, that’s not really gonna get a ton of people of a ton of the right people to apply.
[00:17:57] And so it’ll take even longer interviewing the wrong people. So, I mean, if someone’s listening right now and they’re like, okay, I’m trying to grow my team. I’m trying to get off the ground a little bit more and bring in a couple more people. If they’re working on their job descriptions right now, what’s one of the biggest tips that you would want them to know as they start this process?
[00:18:20] Tonia: Keep it brief. You know, no five, six page. It’s not a document. I have seen this it’s not a document that they’re signing right? When they get the job. Yes. That’s different. You can have them sign that, but when you’re advertising for the job, keep it brief and exciting.
[00:18:41] Keep it, you want to get their attention. You want to energize them based off what they read in just the summary and then just like a resume. You know, I pipeline candidates all the time and I’m constantly telling people, keep it brief, keep it strategic, keep it, you know, keep their attention. You know, that’s the biggest thing, because if it’s too wordy, you’ll lose ’em and it’s the same with the job description.
[00:19:05] Katie: Yeah. It’s so true. Now on the other side of things, let’s say somebody’s listening right now and they’re starting to see some resumes come in. What are some of the tips that you’d wanna give them as they are starting to look through their resumes? Like what are like two tips like if you’re looking at 12 resumes that just came in today. What are two things that you should look for to stand out from the crowd so that, you know, this is someone I wanna interview?
[00:19:31] Tonia: You know, I always look at job history. I think that’s so important to understand the story of where people came from and why they had the movement that they had.
[00:19:39] I’m firm about knowing the story. I think that tells a lot of what you need to know, you know, in an interview. And I just think that, you know, grammar, you know, making sure that it looks good, you know, that they took time to really capitalize on their strengths and, you know, using keywords. I think that’s really important because that’s gonna make your job easier looking at resumes is if you can spot the words that are in the job description or that, you know, you know, they have that you need right.
[00:20:15] Katie: Absolutely. And it’s, you said grammar too. I’m like, man, I’m so fortunate that Grammarly exists. It’s a Chrome extension. Man, cuz there’s been so many times that I, you know, write on a regular basis and I’m like, oh whoops, I didn’t even check that.
[00:20:31] I just was busting on through this. And I’m sure that is one of the things that a lot of people probably just don’t even think about there are some great extensions Chrome extensions nowadays that you can install. So. Well, I do wanna talk about outplacement services and why do you think that that is important to offer this type of a service?
[00:20:51] Tonia: You know, I think the biggest thing is your, your company brand, you know, the image that the culture, you know, we all work so hard to build and create when you don’t offer services like outplacement, you put that at risk. You also, you know, risk the unemployment costs, you know, of having to pay unemployment.
[00:21:15] You know, employees will go on to Glassdoor if they were fired inappropriately or you know, not so ethically and that’s hard to recover from, you know, you will never hide those comments. You may be able to put them to the bottom, but it’s gonna take a while and it’s not fun work, you know? So I think that’s, and just sending a good message about, you know, who we are and how we treat people, regardless if you’re an employee or if you’re leaving the organization, sending you and preparing you on your journey and assisting you along that I think says a lot about a company and how they do things. And you never know, you know, you may, you know, one time or sometime down the road need to rehire, or maybe that person will refer someone to you. If you let them go on a nice, you know, in a nice way versus if you don’t so there’s a lot to protect there.
[00:22:11] Katie: Absolutely. And I think that exactly what you said, there’s a lot of ways to find out how a comp you know, how good a company is to work for nowadays. You know, if you have one bad person leave, or if you start a bad routine. It’s gonna be a lot harder to bring in good help.
[00:22:27] And it’ll take a long time to recover from that. Well, Tonia, this has been an awesome conversation. I would love to know one final thing from you before we wrap this episode up. So being an entrepreneur, you see tons of resumes, you help a lot of people grow their teams. Talk to us a little bit about what you think the biggest piece of advice is for anybody as they’re looking to start growing their team, let’s say right now they are a solo entrepreneur. They wanna grow into. Having five employees or let even, let’s say that they’re a brokerage and they’re starting a new brokerage and they wanna bring all these agents in. What’s the biggest piece of advice that you’d want this person who’s listening right now to walk away with?
[00:23:11] Tonia: You know, I think sitting down with the team and making sure that.
[00:23:16] You know, it’s the right decision because a lot of companies sometimes will think that we need more people, but until you kind of sit down and know everybody’s role, know the budget, know the goals, you know, the mission that we’re all working towards and really identifying like is the time right now to hire?
[00:23:36] Do we have the money? Do we have the resources? Is it really needed, you know, before you go investing in ads and interviews because it is time consuming. So I would say just kind of backing up and doing that homework and making sure that everything is aligned before you start the search is really, really important.
[00:23:58] Katie: Well, Tonia, where can people learn more about you and connect with you further? What’s what’s the best way for people to get in touch with you?
[00:24:05] Tonia: Yes. So my website is careertransformationsdenver.com. And that’s also the end of my email, which the email is email@example.com. And yeah, that’s the best place to go to kind of learn about the recruiting and the outplacement.
[00:24:23] And also, you know, if you’re a job seeker, I’m constantly pipelining talent and talking with individuals that are starting their job search that is something that, you know, I really enjoy doing and helping them and kind of hopefully, you know, aligning them with clients that I’m working with.
[00:24:38] Katie: Awesome. I love it. Well, Tonia, thank you again so much for coming on the show.
[00:24:43] Tonia: Yeah, thank you, Katie. I appreciate it.
[00:24:45] Katie: Thanks so much for listening to this week’s episode of Rocky Marketing Marketing. Make sure to subscribe so that you can continue navigating the world of entrepreneurship. And I’d love to hear from you.
[00:24:55] Please lead the show or review and connect with me on social media. You can find me on Instagram at IM Katie Brinkley or connect with me on LinkedIn. And if you’re ready to start making some sales on social media, be sure to grab my free guide to selling in the DMS without being. You can get firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:25:14] Let’s keep taking your marketing to all new Heights.