Yigal Adato: 00:00 Hey Pawn family. This is Yigal and welcome to another season of the Pawn Leaders Podcast. This is season three. I want to thank all of you for joining me week after week. It’s been an incredible ride. And this season is going to be awesome, have some incredible guests, some vendors, some pawnbrokers and some informative podcasts for you to crush it in 2019. Now if you haven’t downloaded the goal guide, go to pawngoals.com it’s a free goal guide that helps you essentially set your goals for 2019 so you can crush them and you obviously have to write them down. You have to know where you were in 2018, know where you want to be in 2019 and that way you can fill the gap and know exactly what you need to do. Speaking of goals, one of the goals that we consistently measure in the mastermind as well as with my other clients is Google reviews. Picture your customer searching on Google for best pawnshop in your area and you have over 200 reviews and your competition has 16 where do you think they’re going to go to first? Believe me, it’s your store. If you’re using podium, if you’re not, they’re going to go to the competition because you see I, even if I’m searching for a restaurant, I want to make sure that the restaurant has the best reviews and it has a lot of them so that other people give me some social proof that there’s great customer service and that the store does what it does. So I’ve secured an incredible deal for my friends and supporters of the podcast podium. If you go to podium.com/pawnleaders, they’ll give you 10% off your monthly subscription and really the service is incredible. They don’t just to reviews, they do a couple more things that really generate some lead generation into your business. So don’t hesitate, first listen to this podcast and then what you want to do is you want to make sure that you’ve got a podium.com/pawnleaders to get 10% off. Now on this episode of the Pawn Leaders Podcast, we have Kimberly Waldon, and I met Kimberly on LinkedIn actually and Kimberly has over 15 years of experience in talent acquisition. Kimberly currently works for National Pawn as a recruiting manager and she has been with the company for over four years. Kimberly has played a critical role in designing, developing and maintaining National Pawn’s talent recruitment process. And obviously you heard Bob Moulton’s podcast. If you haven’t, go back to it. They have an incredible recruitment process, excuse me, and incredible culture. And I know that one of the biggest issues that you guys wanted to hear about is how do I recruit better talent? How do I keep better talent? And Kimberly’s shares with us exactly what they do and what you shouldn’t do when looking for great team members. So onto my podcast episode with Kimberly.
Yigal Adato: 02:52 Hey everyone, my name is Yigal Adato and this is the Pawn Leaders Podcast, a podcast that help you make more money, stress less, and live an epic life all while working at the pawnshop.
Yigal Adato: 03:15 Kim, welcome to the Pawn Leaders Podcast. Thank you so much for being here.
Kimberly Waldon: 03:19 I am super excited! Thank you for having me.
Yigal Adato: 03:22 No, it’s my pleasure. You know, I’ve been following you on LinkedIn for a while. Obviously I love National Pawn on what they do, and Bob has been on the show and when I saw you were in charge of recruitment, I know that a lot of pawnbrokers, it’s one of their main concerns, right? Bringing in the best candidates and building a great team. So I said, let me reach out to you and you graciously said yes. So, here we are and I’m so happy you’re here with us.
Kimberly Waldon: 03:48 Thank you. I’m happy to be here.
Yigal Adato: 03:50 Cool. So give me kind of a background of how you got into, let’s start with recruitment. Did you do recruitment before National Pawn?
Kimberly Waldon: 03:58 Yeah, I actually, in my last company that I worked for, I worked for Sears Holdings Corporation. I was there for 22 years. The last 12 years there I was in HR, specifically in the recruitment side of the business and did some college recruitment, did some management recruitment, they’re with the company. And that’s kind of where it all started there.
Yigal Adato: 04:29 Gotcha. So how did you get into the pawn business? I mean, what happened that you started working for national?
Kimberly Waldon: 04:36 It was really weird. I was not looking for an opportunity at the time and someone was a head hunter, look me up or find me on linkedin.com and I just kind of entertained the opportunity, didn’t know that today that I will be working for the pawn business, but it has been exciting, I will tell you that.
Yigal Adato: 04:59 Awesome. So how long have you been doing it?
Kimberly Waldon: 05:02 I’ve been in the pawn business recruitment for four and a half years.
Yigal Adato: 05:06 Nice. So you’ve been kind of on the up and down of the pawn business. So, let’s get right into it. One of the biggest questions that pawnbrokers asked me is, Yigal I can’t find great talent. I just can’t find great talent and I don’t agree with them. I say, you’re not looking in the right place. You’re not doing the right thing. What do you think are some, let’s talk about the mistakes first. What are some mistakes that a pawnshop could be making when they’re looking for new team members?
Kimberly Waldon: 05:34 You know what I’ve learned since I’ve been with this organization, cause I will first prefix and say that coming from Sears holdings, the recruitment process in terms of finding talent for the role that I am in now was totally, it was a lot different. And so I found that, you know, it’s really important to understand the business and it’s all about engagement. You know, if we don’t get our total company engaged in recruiting talent for our stores, then I think that that’s one of the big mistakes that has been one of the things that we have done here at National Pawn was just, it’s all about engagement. And if we can get management and everyone on the same page and understand that this recruitment process is not for the recruiter, it is definitely for everyone to participate in. And I will tell you that opportunity turned into a success for us.
Yigal Adato: 06:40 Awesome. So let’s talk about that really quickly. How is it different and the recruitment process in a pawnshop than it was for like a big corporate giant like Sears or any other business.
Kimberly Waldon: 06:50 Well, I will say for me, I didn’t really recruit for the stores, you know, for hourly positions, which might be a little bit of a difference for me. I only recruited from management roles there. And so, you know, just understanding, coming here to national, I’m doing, you know, the I’m hiring our pawnbrokers, I’m hiring everyone, which was a difference for me. So, that was the learning curve for me to kind of understand what was entailed and the positions of pawnbrokers for inventory associates. The management piece was not a challenge for me, but the hourly positions were kind of, it was a learning curve for me. And so, you know, obviously, you know, we’re in a customer service business and both of the worlds that I’ve been in, however, this business, you know, we’re a little bit more of a lending institution as well as a retail institution and sell the lending piece because of the nature of what we do. You’ve got to have special people that are able to deal with people with different situations.
Yigal Adato: 08:08 You talked about engagement before. A lot of people have heard the word, we touched on it here on the podcast, but what does engagement mean to you?
Kimberly Waldon: 08:18 Engagement means being able to involve everyone. You know, everyone needs to be part of the process. And so, you know, I’ll start off even with us here at National Pawn, it started with leadership. I had what we call recruiting 101 sessions with our management teams here and just kind of going over them, you know, the why’s of why they should be engaged, how they should be engaged and what happens when they are engaged. And so, you know, that session we did like a four hour session and then we went out to the streets and I kind of showed them how to recruit and you know, do some direct recruiting as well. And I learned that many of the managers just didn’t know. And so just for the fact of engaging them in that whole process and helping them to understand, why they should be engaged, how and what happens, it really made a huge difference.
Yigal Adato: 09:28 You talked about going on the street to recruit. Have you seen more success by you guys going out and recruiting as opposed to posting on craigslist or monster.com or indeed? What’s kind of the percentage of good talent coming in?
Kimberly Waldon: 09:44 You know what, in our today’s environment right now in North Carolina, our unemployment rate is 3.6%, which is the lowest that it has been in forever. And so at this point, when you think about that, most of our people that we may want to work for our company as currently working. And so we really do have to be proactive as it relates to trying to connect with individuals who are currently working. So from a direct recruitment standpoint it’s not all about, you know, the brick and mortar trying to go out and that this is my perspective. But I also too think that utilizing other recruitment methods like Linkedin and poking people there and you know, utilizing those methods can be very helpful in recruitment of this day, especially if you’re looking for quality.
Yigal Adato: 10:45 Gotcha. So obviously without giving us national secret sauce away, cause you guys have a secret to how you do it, not a secret, but just like a method to the madness. You go out there and walk me through this a little bit. You go out there, you find somebody, right? You might walk into a retail location, they give you some incredible customer service. What’s the process? What do you tell somebody you say, hey, leave this job. Come with me. Like what do you do?
Kimberly Waldon: 11:12 You know what a lot of times when we go into an organization and someone is working is kind of awkward. And so generally if I go in, I always have my business cards ready. We have other specialized cards too that speak about customer service and I just kind of slide it to them. It has my contact information. If it is an advantageous time for me, I will ask them their name and phone number and I will follow up with them at a later time. So that’s Kinda the way my method of connecting with people when I’m going into organizations or different businesses. Another one that I share with even our associates because we’re trying to engage everyone in the process. You know, I tell them, if you’re out and you are at a restaurant and someone, your waitress or waiter has given you great customer service pull your business card out and say, hey, if you’re looking for opportunity here’s my business card, but I also tell them to go the next level and just say, Hey, do you mind if you give me your name and phone number and our recruiter will get in touch with you.
Yigal Adato: 12:27 Love it.
Kimberly Waldon: 12:28 Now that has been helpful.
Yigal Adato: 12:29 So it’s make a connection and kind of slide in the card and let them know that you’re looking that way. If they want to make a move, they can contact you. I went to a conference a couple years ago Kim where they said, you know, hire slowly, fire quickly. What’s the process do you think for good recruitment? Once you’ve had the person come in, they say, yes, I’m interested in working with you. What do you guys do to make sure that you find a good candidate as opposed to just, or excuse me to find a great candidate as opposed to just a good candidate?
Kimberly Waldon: 13:03 Well, we’ve got a lot of recruitment processes in place. I will tell you we definitely screen, there’s a few stages that we go through that possibly other people do not go through. One of them, you know, a lot of times people will come through, they’ll go through the phone screen interview and they do really well. Then we do another second look where they come face to face. One of the cool things with us now I don’t have to always do the second look face to face. We have engaged our managers to do it. So they’ll go into the stores and just kind of see what the atmosphere is in the stores. In a lot of times they will do well in those interviews. But then after that we do kind of what we call an observation and we pretty much give them an opportunity just to kind of shadow and see what we do and if it works good for them and for us, then that’s kind of the determining factor for us.
Yigal Adato: 14:12 Gotcha. Obviously also, and tell me if this is true, national has such a good name in the community, but when somebody comes to work for you, they’re not like, oh, I’m going to go work at a pawnshop. They’re thinking I’m going to go work for National Pawn they give back, they have a great culture, is that the case that you’re seeing?
Kimberly Waldon: 14:30 Oh, absolutely. Mr Molten obviously he lives in the area. He’s very engaged in the business, you will see him walking in and out of the stores. He knows his people. And so I think that that’s a huge part of what has been a success for us. And I’ll also tell you to, you know, obviously we’re a family owned business, but we have a corporate savviness to us. And when I say family, we’re like family. And so when you come in, you can kind of feel the family vibe here. And so, I think that has been a plus for our organization.
Yigal Adato: 15:14 So walk me through this and your expertise. Let’s say that somebody who’s listening is a pawnbroker, it’s them in a family member and they’re looking to hire somebody. It’s their first hire, right? What should they do to make sure that the hire will be a longterm hire as opposed to somebody that they just want to fill in a spot quickly to be able to take some stress off of that.
Kimberly Waldon: 15:39 You know what, we pretty much work as a cohesive team, the management, the hiring managers and myself, and I’ll be very candid with you, if we see any red flags, we don’t care who it is, they don’t come on board with us. Because at the end of the day there is a high cost for hiring individuals to come on board. And so, you know, obviously we are definitely expense conscious and you know, that is an expense that we don’t want to have to take. I will also tell you too is that we watch people when they first come on board with us. We do evaluations within individuals 30, 60, 90 day evaluations. And if you know, they’re not working out within the first 30, 60 days then you know, obviously they can seek employment someplace else.
Yigal Adato: 16:44 Can you give us a couple of examples of those red flags that might not be so open, you know, it’s not like you see it right away. What’s a couple of red flags that you are just not okay with?
Kimberly Waldon: 16:57 Yeah. Oh, just kind of like the lack of engagement. Obviously we’re a performance driven company. Individuals who are not meeting their sales goals. I will tell you we have been very intentional as it relates to training our people. Obviously we do have some opportunities, but we’ve been very intentional in trying to make sure that specifically our new hires. We do orientations with them and make sure that they get the foundation. But you know, obviously you kind of know within the first few days whether or not this person is not gonna work out. I will also tell you too is that sometimes individuals will work better in one store and not as well as in another store. And so what we’ve done is, you know, so we can have cohesiveness in our stores, we have to move people around because obviously there was a cost to bring them on board, but we want to make sure that they are successful. And so we have moved individuals around just to make sure that they can fit in certain locations.
Yigal Adato: 18:15 I’ve got two questions for you and I love the fact that you still given the opportunity by moving them around. I’m sure that they have some characteristics that you guys feel are optimal for a pawnbroker. What are two characteristics that you think are important for somebody to be a great pawnbroker?
Kimberly Waldon: 18:36 To be a great pawnbroker is the ability to be hungry to make some money. You know, obviously we’re in the business of making money here at National Pawn individual who demonstrate that hunger to do so. And so, you know, you can obviously see that if they hit their goals, specifically individuals that are new hires that are able to do that within the first two to three weeks that they come on board.
Yigal Adato: 19:18 Hello?
Kimberly Waldon: 19:21 Saying some individuals that have been [Inaudible] customer is different. And so to be able to show some empathy as well as compassionate [Inaudible] looking for.
Yigal Adato: 19:42 Okay. Kim, I apologize for some reason you broke up there.
Kimberly Waldon: 19:46 Okay.
Yigal Adato: 19:46 Go ahead and just reiterate really quickly. Well, the first characteristic you said was that they want to make money, right. [Crosstalk] you hit the goals and if they hit the goals within 30, 60 days, you know that they could work. What was the second one that you spoke about?
Kimberly Waldon: 20:02 The second one, to be honest, it’s just individuals that have great customer service skills. You know, it’s all about the people. And so if we are able to have people on board that are happy when they come to work, that can smile, you know, and are able to engage and you know, work with customers in a way that they would want to come back. That’s what we’re looking for. We want individuals who are go getters, you know, when a customer comes into the store, you know, go ahead and greet them and then, you know, and just be there to give that customer the experience so that they would want to come back. So customer service is huge for us.
Yigal Adato: 20:47 Gotcha. So, walking outside of your store, looking for people online, is there a third method of finding people?
Kimberly Waldon: 20:55 You know I will tell you we have used job boards, which has been very successful for us. I will tell you nd.com for a pawnbroker opportunities has been a real great venue for us as it relates to recruiting talent. But I also would tell you too, we have gone just a step further, it’s all about branding and making sure that we have reviews out there since we’re using nd.com, making sure that we’ve got company reviews from our associates that will help in that process, that will encourage people to want to come and work for our company and to attract them.
Yigal Adato: 21:46 Love that. Love that. And one more thing that came to mind when you were speaking was clarity. We talked about it a lot on the show. I’m guessing that national gives clear expectations when somebody comes on board so that you guys as a company know if they’ve been met or not as well as the associate knows. Did I meet the expectation or not so that when if you do decide to let them go, they know clearly why it is or if you do decide to extend them the employment, they know clearly why it is as well. Is that true?
Kimberly Waldon: 22:16 That is true. I will tell you that, you know obviously was a lot of companies, they do yearly reviews. We do, you know, one on ones with our people and it is not necessarily a formal time that you coach and you train your people but you know, anytime that we feel an opportunity to coach and develop management is there to help do that.
Yigal Adato: 22:45 Awesome.
Kimberly Waldon: 22:45 So it’s done on a consistent basis within our stores.
Yigal Adato: 22:51 Cool. Kim, you’ve dropped so many truth bombs and value bombs here. I appreciate you being on. Is there anything that you want to say kind of leave the pawnbrokers with? I know, I mean for me the Pawn Leaders Podcast is about improving the industry and being what I call pawn proud, right? So that when you bring on an associate they’re proud to be a pawnbroker. What information can you give the listener about keeping your associates proud of being pawnbrokers?
Kimberly Waldon: 23:22 You know what? I will tell you that the key thing about that is when we’re thinking about recruitment it’s all about, you know, that’s part of the organization’s culture. And if we can embrace that as a culture, you know, within our organization as well as pawn business itself, it can be successful. I’ll revert back to prior to me coming on board in this particular business, I was oblivious in terms of what this business was all about. But after being educated, it has been one of the greatest experience in my career. You know, and just to know that the pawn business is a business that offer a service to people in our communities to be of help to them. And I think if we could continue to do that and focus on the positive aspects of the business then it would definitely help you know, from a brand marketing standpoint, as well as helping us to attract better talent to come on board with our business itself.
Yigal Adato: 24:41 Love it. Kim thank you so much for being on the show. To the pawn family listening, don’t forget to join us in Pawn Leaders Podcast Community where we can keep talking about recruitment and hiring and things like that. Kim, you’ve been awesome. I appreciate you and guys who are listening, take action. If you want to hire great people, you know, go back and listen to this episode again. Go out there and really do a good job of building your brand in the community stuff. [Inaudible]
Kimberly Waldon: 25:11 Thank you! It was my pleasure.