Episode 208: MSPs: Target these 4 awesome verticals

Episode 208: Target these 4 awesome verticals

Paul Green

Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 208: Target these 4 awesome verticals
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Episode 208

Welcome to the MSP Marketing Podcast with me, Paul Green. This is THE show if you want to grow your MSP. This week’s show includes:
  • 00:00 Four awesome verticals you should target
  • 09:10 Make it EASY for buyers to choose you
  • 15:59 How to improve your recruitment to find the best techs for your MSP

Featured guest:

Josh Wood

Thank you to Josh Wood, Recruitment Consultant at beaumont IT, for joining me to talk about how MSPs can find staff with ‘the right fit’ for their business by thinking of their recruitment process more like a marketing campaign.

Josh is an MSP specialist technical recruiter at Beaumont with 8 years’ experience in recruitment. He’s spent the last two years’ working with growing MSPs to help them to find and retain technical talent.

Having worked in the only market with more acronyms than tech (Medical) the transition to tech was a jump into more familiar territory.

Josh works with MSPs in the North of England and consults with business owners not only to find them new staff but around general hiring strategy as well as all things brand and talent attraction.

Connect with Josh on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshlmw/

Extra show notes:

Transcription:

NB this transcription has been generated by an AI tool and provided as-is.

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Fresh every Tuesday for MSPs around the world. Around the world. This is Paul Green’s MSP marketing podcast.

[00:00:09] Speaker B: Back to another amazing episode of the podcast. Here’s what we’ve got coming up for you this week.

[00:00:15] Speaker C: Hi, I’m Josh. I’m a technical recruiter at Beaumont. I’m going to tell you all the problems that you have with finding and retaining technical stuff and how to fix them.

[00:00:23] Speaker B: And on top of that interview with Josh later on in the show, we’re going to be talking about making things easy. How can you make it easier and easier and easier for new clients to pick you and choose to stay with?

[00:00:36] Speaker D: Paul.

[00:00:38] Speaker A: Paul. Paul. Paul. Paul. Paul.

[00:00:42] Speaker B: Paul.

[00:00:42] Speaker C: Paul.

[00:00:42] Speaker B: Paul.

[00:00:42] Speaker A: Paul.

[00:00:42] Speaker D: Paul Greens, MSP Marketing Podcast to get.

[00:00:45] Speaker B: On a one to one call with an MSP. And it could be someone I’m working.

[00:00:49] Speaker D: With as part of my MSP marketing.

[00:00:51] Speaker B: Edge, or it might be someone we’ve just connected on LinkedIn and we’re having a chat. But every single time I chat one on one with an MSP, I get as much out of the conversation as they do. So I’m always happy to give my marketing advice, but also I like asking questions and I like asking what they’re doing. And quite often someone will say something and I’ll say, Ah, that’ll be a.

[00:01:12] Speaker D: Good subject for the podcast.

[00:01:13] Speaker B: In fact, much of this podcast comes.

[00:01:15] Speaker D: Out of conversations that I have with MSPs. So if you’ve contributed something over the years, thank you very much.

[00:01:21] Speaker B: About two weeks ago, I had a conversation with an MSP about Niching niching picking a vertical, and the conversation was along.

[00:01:30] Speaker D: You may have heard me talk about this on the podcast before, but I’m.

[00:01:33] Speaker B: A big fan of you picking a vertical, of you picking a kind of very small and specific audience for you to target, primarily because it makes the marketing easier. So if you are targeting a very specific type of person who does a very specific job within a very specific sector, then it’s so much easier to A find who those people are, b actually go and get the data for them and C make the messaging relevant to them. All marketing is made better when the message appears to be relevant. And I talking here as someone who targets and talks to MSPs. It’s very easy for me to make my marketing relevant because I understand your marketplace, your needs, your wants, your fears, what keeps you up at night. I understand all of that. And I can make sure that my marketing is relevant to an MSP. And you can do exactly the same with your marketing. So the question that this MSP had for me was what are some good sectors to get into?

[00:02:34] Speaker D: And we actually sat and did a.

[00:02:35] Speaker B: Mini two minute brainstorm and we came up with four really good sectors that if you are struggling to find a sector, maybe you should have a look at these. Now I’m going to tell you what.

[00:02:47] Speaker D: The sectors are, what the four sectors.

[00:02:48] Speaker B: Are, and I want you, as I’m telling you, to think, what have these all got in common? What is it that binds all of these together?

[00:02:57] Speaker D: And I’ll tell you at the end, because it’s kind of obvious when you realize it.

[00:03:00] Speaker B: So these are the four sectors. The first of them is accountants, or.

[00:03:05] Speaker D: CPAs, as I know they’re called in the US.

[00:03:08] Speaker B: So accountants are an amazingly good sector, primarily because the technology that they have.

[00:03:16] Speaker D: To use is well, it’s mission critical, isn’t it? I know technology is mission critical for most businesses these days, but an accountant.

[00:03:22] Speaker B: Cannot do their work without a computer.

[00:03:24] Speaker D: To do that work on.

[00:03:25] Speaker B: And the other beautiful thing about learning a sector and really getting heavily into a sector is that actually it makes.

[00:03:32] Speaker D: The delivery easier as well. So accountants are probably using I don’t.

[00:03:36] Speaker B: Know what, QuickBooks Xero. There’s probably some specific accountancy software that they use. The point being is that if you’re working with 3510 2030 accountants, you’ll get to know what that software is and you’ll see that I don’t know, 80% of them use the same packages or.

[00:03:54] Speaker D: The same types of software. So you and your business can become experts at that kind of software.

[00:03:59] Speaker B: So accountants is the first one now, related to accountants, but less pleasant is lawyers.

[00:04:05] Speaker D: I don’t like lawyers. Who does like lawyers?

[00:04:07] Speaker B: Well, other lawyers, I guess, or lawyers husbands and wives. But lawyers are they may not be.

[00:04:13] Speaker D: Wonderful people, I know some of them are, but many of them aren’t. They may not be wonderful people, but they are a wonderful sector to get.

[00:04:19] Speaker B: Into if you can cope with them. The thing I don’t like about lawyers.

[00:04:23] Speaker D: And my exposure to lawyers is not huge, it’s just down to some property stuff. And when I sold my business, there are lots of lawyers involved then, and.

[00:04:31] Speaker B: They got paid a lot of money for creating a lot of noise.

[00:04:36] Speaker D: That’s where my dislike of lawyers really came from.

[00:04:38] Speaker B: But the good thing about lawyers is if you can cope with them, again, the computer is mission critical. The vast majority of lawyers who aren’t going into a courtroom setting, they’re doing their work on a phone, on a.

[00:04:49] Speaker D: VoIP phone, and they’re doing it on a computer. So the computer is pretty mission critical for them.

[00:04:56] Speaker B: And of course, a lot of lawyers are just taking templates and adapting templates and they’re looking things up all the time. So they need that instant information. Without that computer, they cannot be charging. What do they do? They do like six minute units or something like that. Side note, a good friend of mine.

[00:05:12] Speaker D: Is a lawyer and he has to do every hour, he has to do.

[00:05:15] Speaker B: Ten units of six minutes. So if this is a this is.

[00:05:19] Speaker D: A bit of a funny story, but.

[00:05:20] Speaker B: If he needs a Wii and he doesn’t want to lose a couple of.

[00:05:25] Speaker D: Units, doesn’t want to lose a six minute unit in an hour.

[00:05:29] Speaker B: Then he will ask himself which of my current clients has annoyed me the most today? And that client will be charged the.

[00:05:36] Speaker D: Unit for him to go for a wee. So if you do have a lawyer.

[00:05:40] Speaker B: Who’S charging you a number of units, if you’ve been an annoying client yourself, maybe, just maybe, you are paying for.

[00:05:46] Speaker D: Them to go to the toilet. Anyway, that was a side note.

[00:05:48] Speaker B: So we’ve got accountants, we’ve got lawyers. A third great sector is financial. Anything to do with financial. So here in the UK, we have what are known as IFAs independent financial advisors. And you have to be licensed, you have to go through 70,000 years of training. There are rules, really strict rules, what.

[00:06:06] Speaker D: You can and can’t do.

[00:06:07] Speaker B: And I have no doubt that there are varying levels of that in your.

[00:06:11] Speaker D: Country or in your city or town or state, or wherever you are as well.

[00:06:15] Speaker B: And again, the computer tends to be not quite as mission critical as for accountants and lawyers, but it’s very, very important.

The fourth one, and have you figured out what connects all of these yet? The fourth one is healthcare. Now, here in the UK, healthcare, there’s.

[00:06:31] Speaker D: Not a lot of healthcare. It available.

[00:06:33] Speaker B: You’ve got independent dentists, you’ve got veterinarians.

[00:06:36] Speaker D: You’Ve got maybe optometrists opticians as well.

[00:06:38] Speaker B: But obviously, we have the principal. Healthcare for humans in this country is owned by the government. It’s called the National Health Service.

[00:06:47] Speaker D: And they tend not to go and hire sort of local MSPs. I’m sure they probably have their own tech department. But of course, worldwide healthcare is a fantastic sector. I know loads of MSPs who look after doctors, they look up like MDS, they look after small hospitals, they look.

[00:07:05] Speaker B: After all sorts of healthcare clinics.

[00:07:07] Speaker D: Now, what makes healthcare really good, it’s actually kind of similar to financial, is that protecting that data within the financial world, the data has to be protected.

[00:07:16] Speaker B: Because the end user, the client, has to be protected. Not more so or non more so than in healthcare.

[00:07:22] Speaker D: And of course, you’ve got various rules, haven’t you? Like the HIPAA rule in the US.

[00:07:25] Speaker B: So we’ve got accountants, we’ve got lawyers, we’ve got financial people and we’ve got healthcare. What’s the kind of the common thread with all four of these that makes them great sectors? It is that they are regulated, all of these sectors. If they have some kind of data breach, there is a regulator there with a massive baseball bat to smack them on the head quite dramatically. And that’s what makes them potentially great clients for you, because you can go to your accountant, your lawyer, your finance person, your healthcare person, and you can say to them, here are the cybersecurity tools and services that we are going to buy and we are going to implement on your behalf to protect you. And we are going to put in place a gold standard of data protection and cybersecurity. The reason we’re going to do this is you are regulated and we do not want you to be at any kind of risk from your regulator who has got teeth. So we are going to protect you from yourself. We’re going to put in place procedures, we’re going to put in place processes, we’re going to put in place all sorts of security tools and services to protect you and your staff from all the bad things are happening there because we have your back. And I appreciate that.

[00:08:40] Speaker D: There are going to be some lawyers, some accountants, some of the other sectors.

[00:08:43] Speaker B: Who choose not to have that protection.

[00:08:46] Speaker D: And make sure you get them to sign a disclaimer because ultimately they’re putting themselves at risk.

[00:08:51] Speaker B: But the vast majority of them, they.

[00:08:52] Speaker D: Are concerned about the regulator, they don’t.

[00:08:54] Speaker B: Want to breach the rules and they will buy every cybersecurity protection that you put in place. They will hopefully go with every single piece of best practice that you put in front of them. Could that possibly make these some of the best clients you could possibly have here’s this week’s?

[00:09:11] Speaker A: Clever idea.

[00:09:13] Speaker B: One of the most important marketing questions that you can ask yourself is what makes you different from all the other MSPs? In fact, let’s change that question a bit. Let’s look at it from the point.

[00:09:25] Speaker D: Of view of the buyer.

[00:09:26] Speaker B: From the buyer’s point of view, what makes you a better choice than all the other MSPs? And there are lots and lots of potential answers to that. But let me throw a word in.

[00:09:37] Speaker D: That I think we should discuss today.

[00:09:39] Speaker B: That word is easy.

What if you went out of your way and I mean, like dramatically out of your way, to make it easy for someone to buy from you, to make it easy for someone to deal with you, to make it easy for them to get support, to make it easy for them to stay with you.

[00:09:59] Speaker D: For the next 510, 15 years?

[00:10:02] Speaker B: I think easy is a massive potential competitive advantage for any MSP, including you. Did I say MSP.

[00:10:09] Speaker E: There?

[00:10:09] Speaker B: I think I did. Any MSP, including you. Easy, how can we make it Mspz? Do you see what I did there?

[00:10:17] Speaker D: That’s not going to stick. I’m not going to use that one again.

[00:10:19] Speaker B: Easy is a competitive advantage because as humans, our brains are very heavily driven to find the easy solution. Now, this is not us being lazy, it is simply that the cognitive load of doing difficult things is such that we will actively avoid it. And you could look at this in your normal life. Do you have a dishwasher? Of course you do. Do you have a washing machine and a tumble dryer and a vacuum cleaner? Of course you do. And you will think well, I’ve got.

[00:10:49] Speaker D: All these things because it’s 2023 and everyone’s got one of those things.

[00:10:53] Speaker B: But the principal reason we have one of those things is because it’s easy. We throw our clothes in the washing machine, we select the same wash cycle.

[00:11:01] Speaker D: That we always select.

[00:11:02] Speaker B: We press go and like 2 hours later our clothes are clean. And then we stick them in the tumble dryer and they’re dry. It’s as simple as that. It’s easy. It’s a lot easier than washing was 30, 40, 50 years ago. As humans, we are driven to make everything easy. You think about doing a DIY job in your house, unless you’re like the best DIY person ever.

[00:11:22] Speaker D: If you’re like me, well, actually, I’m a DIY dunce.

[00:11:24] Speaker B: But if you’re like most people, we’ll take the easy option right down to if we’re doing some decorating, maybe we won’t take the shelf off the wall. Maybe we’ll paint around the shelf. Try not to get paint on the shelf itself, because that’s easy right? Now, I’m not saying that this is the right approach, and it’s certainly not the most thorough approach, and it’s certainly.

[00:11:43] Speaker D: Not the approach that would make you.

[00:11:44] Speaker B: Feel best at the end of the day or unless you get the results you want. And it’s easy. Our brains love easy. So what I want you to do, or what I recommend you do, maybe this is a job to do. This weekend, when you’re having some time away from the business, ask yourself, how easy is it for someone to get to know you and your team? If someone wants to buy from you, if they landed on your website today, they’re a complete stranger. They’ve never looked at you before. How easy is it for them to know what you can do for them? How easy is it for them to know about you, about whether or not you’re the right match for them? How easy is it for them to talk to you, to have a chat with you, to just inquire and start that conversation? How easy is it for them to actually buy from you? Is it as easy as it could possibly be? Or is the friction there? If there’s friction, remove the friction.

What about your existing clients? Is it easy for them to put in a support request? Have you gone out of your way to make it easier for them, perhaps at the expense of your own technicians? If they prefer instant chat, is that an easy thing to do? If they just want to pick up the phone, is that an easy thing for them to do? If they can just press a button on their computer?

Well, what’s that thing? Help desk buttons.

[00:12:58] Speaker C: Is it?

[00:12:58] Speaker A: Help.

[00:12:58] Speaker B: Desk buttons. I talked about this in the podcast years ago. It’s a physical button that you attach to a PC and when they need help, they press the Help Desk button. And that makes it easy for them because all they have to do, they don’t have to think, what’s the number to ring? What do I do? They press the emergency button, right? It’s the most easy thing in the world. You press the button, but from your point of view, it makes it easy for you because it captures a series like the last series of actions that they’ve performed.

[00:13:26] Speaker D: So it tells you all about the setup of the computer and the whole series of previous actions.

[00:13:30] Speaker B: So I mean that as an example is just something that makes it super easy for everyone. So why not this weekend look at especially from the new client point of view. But even for your existing clients, where is their friction? Where is there something that slows things down? Really look at it. Work your way through. You may even choose to get someone to mystery shop. You don’t have to pay someone to do this. You could just get a trusted friend who no one in your business knows. Get them to look at the website, get them to ring up, get them to try and book an appointment, get them to see how easy it is to get a sales thing going, get them to put in a support request. Is it easy? It’s probably quite easy. But could you make it easier? The easier you can make it to select, buy from and stick with your MSP?

[00:14:13] Speaker D: Well, guess what?

[00:14:14] Speaker B: The more clients you’ll win and the longer you’ll keep them talking about making it easy, we are doing almost anything in our powers to make marketing easy for MSPs. So we have this thing, it’s a huge thing, it’s called the MSP Marketing Edge and it is there to make your marketing easy for you. Because I know that marketing is a bit of a distress activity, maybe for you, but certainly it is for many MSPs. So the easier we can make it, the better. We’ve set up this wonderful weekly marketing system which does everything you need to go and build audiences of people to listen to you, then to build a relationship with them. And then we tell you how to.

[00:14:58] Speaker D: Commercialize that relationship as well.

[00:15:01] Speaker B: Here’s the thing. We can only work with one MSP per area. And again, the reason we do that is because it makes it easy for that MSP. You see, we give all of our marketing help to all of our members at the same time. And if we gave that to two members in the same area, then marketing gets harder for both of them because they’ve got the same marketing, right? So as part of making marketing easy.

[00:15:21] Speaker D: We only work with one MSP per area.

[00:15:24] Speaker B: Now, what you can do is check to see whether or not we’re already working with someone in your area or not. And we’ve made that super easy as well. All the friction has gone. Just MSP marketing Edge You can click on your country got the flags there.

[00:15:39] Speaker D: Making it nice and easy. And then you just put in like your zip code, your postcode, your postal code, depending which country you’re in, and.

[00:15:45] Speaker B: It will tell you instantly, no data capture required, instantly.

[00:15:48] Speaker D: It’ll tell you just really easy whether or not we’re already working with someone in your area or whether your area is free. So go on.

[00:15:55] Speaker B: Go and have MSP. Marketing Edge big interview.

[00:16:01] Speaker C: Hi. I’m Josh Wood. I’ve been in technical recruiter for the last two years at Beaumont and more widely about the last eight years in various markets.

[00:16:11] Speaker D: And even though this is a marketing podcast, we all know that marketing your MSP and growing your MSP is almost impossible if you can’t get the right people. And that’s why I’m delighted to have.

[00:16:22] Speaker B: You on the show today. Josh, you reached out to me on.

[00:16:25] Speaker D: LinkedIn after I think you said you’d Binged, was it? 3 hours worth of podcasts on a drive. It doesn’t sound like a very fun way to pass the day, it really doesn’t. But thank you for reaching out and it’s always good to hear. In fact, if you’re listening to this right now and you’re thinking, I’d love to be a guest on this show, just find me on LinkedIn, reach out to me and if there’s something you can talk about that I think will be interesting to our audience, then you’re welcome on this show.

[00:16:48] Speaker B: So let’s talk about recruitment.

[00:16:50] Speaker D: And before we talk about how recruiting techs has changed over the last couple of years, and I know you’re going to tell us as well how most MSPs hold themselves back with recruitment, just give us an idea of your career history. So you were telling me before the interview that very few people set out to be recruiters, they just fall into recruitment. Is that what happened to you?

[00:17:10] Speaker C: Yes, exactly.

Left university without much of a plan and in fact, my first job out of university was working in a warehouse, packing metal tiles into a box, which is a great use of my degree.

And through a friend, introduced me to what recruitment was. Says you like to talk, you like the sound of your own voice, so you might find recruitment a viable career for you. So spent best part of six years recruiting doctors, nurses in the kind of the medical field before transitioning into private medical, sort of occupational health, that side of stuff, just after COVID arrived. And then two years ago, I’d fallen out of love with what I thought was recruitment at the time. It turns out I just did medical recruitment and joined Beaumont, where I kind of found that actually it wasn’t recruitment that I wasn’t a big fan of it, but actually the people, the types of people I was recruiting.

[00:18:06] Speaker D: Yeah, who wants to deal with doctors and nurses all day when you can deal with technicians, right?

[00:18:11] Speaker C: Yeah, they’re straight talking.

That’s quite nice.

[00:18:15] Speaker D: Yeah, no, I can understand that. I mean, as an aside, my last marketing business, we work with veterinarians, so vets, as we call them in the UK, dentists and opticians. And I loved the vets and the opticians I quite loved, but I could not click with the dentists.

There was a certain level of arrogance that dentists have, which I think they have to have, because they call it the God in the room syndrome, which is if they’re that one person in the room and they get stuck, they have to get themselves out of trouble, whereas veterinary is a lot more collaborative. Anyway, by the by, I much prefer working with MSPs now, so you’ve been able to sit and watch the market change. And I think most MSPs who have tried to recruit any point this year, really, right down to the back end of last year, have known that things have changed and recruitment is difficult. And you’ve got a lot of people out there who are not really job.

[00:19:04] Speaker B: Hunting, they’re just trying to increase their.

[00:19:05] Speaker D: Salary where they are or get better benefits where they are.

It seems to be very much a job seeker’s market right now, rather than a recruiter’s or an employer’s market. Talk to us what you’ve seen this year and how that is different to what you’ve seen from previous years.

[00:19:25] Speaker C: So this year there’s certainly been a lot less movement in terms of people looking for a new job, whether that be salary reasons or what have you, as a sort of opposed to last year, when it was very much a lot of people moving, people making quite large salary jumps. So we almost joked about it, it was quite extreme. People would put a CV on CV library or what have you, and would walk away with a 10,000 pound, or probably in the States, significantly more salary jump just from interviewing at a new place, just because of how scarce things were.

What that kind of created last year was a lot of people willing to move, a lot of people jumping before they thought and yeah, just a lot of sort of instability. People were in three, four, five different interview processes. And oftentimes it wasn’t a case of finding the right fit for the person, it was about who’s going to offer me the most first, as compared to this year, where it’s still equally as tough to find the right people, especially because there are less of them looking to move just for salary jumps. The kind of the market has relaxed in the inflation of salaries and it’s sort of settled into a rough estimation of kind of where people should be again, and therefore it means that a lot of people are moving for the right reasons, whether that be moving or change of circumstances sort of progression. There’s a whole host of different reasons, but someone might choose to move. But it means that you, as a recruiter, we have to be a little bit more cautious about where people are interviewing. Is the fit right for them? Are they moving for the right reasons as well?

Because people are not just looking for a pay bump oftentimes they’re looking for another place that’s going to offer them more opportunities and more I’m really struggling.

[00:21:30] Speaker B: For the word no.

[00:21:31] Speaker D: I think you’re making perfect sense.

Money is one thing, but actually they’re looking for all of the other factors development, moving on, growing as a person and as a tech. And we’ll come back onto that later on because I think that’s I suspect that’s one of the things you’re going to tell us of how MSPs hold themselves back, that they’re not forward enough about how they’re going to grow their teams or they don’t have a plan in place. But let’s come back to that. Before we do, I want you to get your shiny crystal ball out and look at 2024. And I know this is finger in the air and you could just make this up, but you’re a professional recruiter, you’ve been doing this for some time. What do you think it’s going to change next year? What’s the 2024 market going to be like?

[00:22:13] Speaker C: It’s difficult. I think there’s quite a few technologies that are kind of being branded about as the next savior of MSP or tech in general. We can’t go 4 seconds without someone saying something about AI on LinkedIn.

But more importantly, robotic process automation is kind of starting to bubble up in a lot of MSP circles as being a particular area of interest that’s gone untapped. So like a lot of technical recruiting is almost six months behind, a year behind a lot of innovations within tech. Hiring certainly changed massively when Azure started to become a lot more widespread, when it wasn’t just the enterprise level businesses with big wallets and deep pockets looking to sort of make that change, but actually it’s your smaller businesses that were willing to look at cloud. You all of a sudden found that the kind of the skills that employers, specifically MSPs, were looking for really changed. And I suspect we might see something like that happen. We might see some sort of disruption or the next trend which again will change the skills that employees be looking out for or looking to add to sort of their product portfolio, as it were. Economic instability always makes things a little bit interesting, to put it lightly.

MSPs often tend to fare better than internal It people in an economic slowdown.

Partly it’s because internal businesses get rid of their It people and are hiring MSPs on.

So if things slow down, it’s going to become incredibly difficult to find good people, but very easy to find.

Average is probably a little bit cruel, but to find people who don’t quite fit the bill, which usually means as a hiring manager, you’re trawling through hundreds more CVS finding that actually, when you’re putting a job advert out, the percentages that come back that are strong are so much smaller because you just see a volume of applicants at the same time. If things go better, it tends to mean that more businesses have money to invest in projects, which means that kind of the internal workforce as a large gets more skilled up, which means that actually they become more viable. In terms of people who are candidates to kind of work in MSP, there is a bit of a divide. There’s always almost that sort of MSP thought of, oh, we’re better than the internal people. And to some extent there is. You’re busier, you work with more varied tech and what is a one in 100 problem is a Tuesday for an MSP.

There is certainly a different type of person that likes the MSP and thrives in the MSP, but actually a lot of that does come to hiring managers being a little bit inflexible about skill sets and hiring for technical skill rather than attitude or competency.

[00:25:10] Speaker D: In a lot of cases, yeah, that makes perfect sense. And would you say that that’s one of the problems that MSPs have that holds them back, that makes that inadvertently they make their recruitment harder for themselves?

[00:25:22] Speaker C: It can do. I mean, it’s very hard to sort of tire everyone with the same brush.

There are a lot of good MSPs who are hiring for capability and will look for someone to train and kind of bring on. But at the same time, especially if you’re a smaller business, oftentimes you just don’t have the time to do that. You’ve got all the customers screaming at you, you’ve got everything else that kind of forms part of that job. And then to have to sit and hold somebody’s hand is difficult, especially early on, because whenever you bring someone who needs training in early on, you really are just causing days and days of can I bother you about this? Can I ask you a question about that, please? Can you verify what I already know, but I’m just a bit scared.

But there are a lot of hiring managers who will look at a CV and go, well, they haven’t got every single one of the technologies we support. It doesn’t matter that actually let’s pick one out the air. You only have one client who has Nutanix on there, and you have two engineers who know it well enough.

Oftentimes that we’re so focused on those kind of lists of certifications or technologies on a CV, we forget that actually you’re cutting out sometimes a better fit for you and your business, because you’re not being open minded in the kind of people that you want to see.

[00:26:43] Speaker D: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And in your experience, what other things do MSPs do that hold themselves back?

[00:26:51] Speaker C: It’s funny because it’s something you talk about quite a lot when you’re talking about going. Out to new customers, but how you position yourself to prospective candidates. Job adverts are a real sore spot for me, probably is the best way of putting things. Most MSPs will write a job description and post it on Indeed and actually, most companies across the UK, it’s very easy because it’s like all admin, it’s boring, it’s easy to just throw something up there and see what comes in. But actually, your job advert is your sales pitch. Why do you want to come and work for us? So spending 100 words explaining to a qualified It technician what an It technician does is a bit of a waste of breath. So actually, putting a little bit of effort into the kind of the copy that you put out there and actually isolating what’s good about working for you and what your employees like about working for you. And they need to be honest, but not too honest, let’s be fair on that side of the things. But that’s the first stumbling block.

Loads of hiring managers that I talk to say, oh, I’ve tried, indeed, I’ve done this, I’ve done that, and the response is always relatively poor. But actually you’ve done nothing to persuade or convince anybody that your job or working with you is any different to any of the other ones and where you then become lowest common denominator. Who’s going to pay me the most? Who’s got the largest list of benefits? Which actually lets most people, when it comes to sort of making a decision between two jobs, is not, oh, they’ve got a ping pong table and nice coffee. It tends to be, I’m working with a team that’s going to put time into me, it’s going to develop me. The environment is really good, people are really happy to sort of in work, but also they’re supported. I can see that there’s a plan for me kind of moving forward within the business and so I’m going to join here, but there is room for me to grow.

[00:28:48] Speaker D: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So the golden question is, what we’ve been working all the way up towards is, let’s imagine tomorrow you bought an MSP, or you started an MSP, and one of your core jobs as the.

[00:29:02] Speaker B: Owner, because you’re not a tech, so.

[00:29:03] Speaker D: You’Re no good actually doing the work. So one of your core jobs as the owner is to now go and hire some fantastic staff.

[00:29:10] Speaker B: What would you do? And I say this with the caveat.

[00:29:12] Speaker D: Josh, that you cannot use any of your clever recruiter tricks, because obviously, as a full time recruiter, you will have access to tools and you’ll buy software, I’m sure, and there’s little tips and tricks. So what I’m asking essentially is what can an ordinary business owner who doesn’t have advanced access to things like Indeed and stats and all of that, what can they do to stand out? You’ve already given us one golden nugget, which is essentially to treat recruitment like a marketing exercise. So don’t just do what everyone else is doing, do something positions you and stands out. What else would you do to hire great techs?

[00:29:46] Speaker C: So social media is a good free tool. Again, a lot of what works in recruitment works in marketing. Social media is a great tool.

You have to sort of adapt some of your content to what you do and what it’s like to work there. As opposed to a lot of MSP facing content tends to be client facing. This is what we solve, these are the issues that we do. But actually occasionally, once a week or once every if you don’t post that often, once every month or so, a post that you drop in there where you are celebrating wins of the people that work for you or talking about some of the sort of incentives do we go out and do company days? There are companies that I work with that would go out and do go to Silverstone for example.

Some of those kind of intangible cultural things that everybody you work for knows about the business. But actually if you were to stand outside the office, you’d have no idea. So having that kind of conversation online, it will feel really braggy, as I think any marketing exercise does, where you have to talk about you or your business, but the ability to illustrate to people what it’s like to work from you above and beyond. Just the kind of the normal conversation that you would have with someone in an interview is invaluable, I think the third one in terms of what can you do to secure the best people. So you’ve got the best CVS or you’ve got a couple of CVS of people that you really like is actually to be really quite lean with your interview process especially. I know it’s very much a bigger thing in the States, but it does happen in the UK. Through two, three, four rounds of interviews you have to meet every stakeholder and person who has any sort of investment within the business. All you’re doing is annoying the candidate oftentimes. But also the longer that process takes on, the more opportunity that other recruiters like myself or other businesses have to contact that person and tap them up to come and work with them.

I normally say two interviews, two weeks should be the maximum time that you have someone in that process. Any longer and you’re risking them going elsewhere or losing hope.

[00:32:02] Speaker D: Yeah, that makes sense, doesn’t it? Essentially it’s difficult though, because the advice we read is to hire slow and fire fast, isn’t it? And actually all business owners do exactly the opposite. We’re really slow with our hiring because we’re afraid of making a mistake and then we’re slow at firing as well.

Or we hire too fast and we just take the first person who comes along because all we’re thinking about is the immediate problem. I think recruitment, like marketing, is going to be one of those nightmare subjects for all business owners for all time.

[00:32:34] Speaker B: Josh, seeing as you like the sound.

[00:32:35] Speaker D: Of your own voice as a recruiter, maybe you can like the sound of your own voice as a podcast. The MSP recruitment podcast sounds like a great plan. You should set it up.

[00:32:43] Speaker B: I’ll come on as a guest. It’ll be fantastic.

Tell us what you do.

[00:32:48] Speaker D: Now, you obviously just work with MSPs here in the UK, or presumably just mostly in the UK, but tell us what you do for MSPs and how can someone get in touch with you?

[00:32:58] Speaker C: Okay, so I typically work with MSPs in the north of England. I have a bit of a specialism with sort of smaller businesses. So kind of ten people up to 100 and 5200 people.

I like to say, and I believe it’s true that I tend to consult more than I do recruit. So there are quite a few businesses that I work with that we still maintain that relationship even when they’re not recruiting. And I’m advising on the next hires. A big one is salespeople. When do I need to bring on a salesperson? It’s those conversations that are helpful to a lot of businesses. But some of this advice, it’s telling them when the processes are taking too long. Having honest conversations with candidates throughout the process to make sure that they aren’t just sort of seeing the process through, just to see what happens, is actually making sure that the people that they’re speaking to are committed and interested in working with the business so that when it comes to the okay, it was time to hire. They’re much more likely to get someone who is invested and interested and kind of has plans to be with them for more than the standard one and a half to two years that we normally see throughout the MSP side of things.

[00:34:11] Speaker D: That’s so cool. Thank you. And how do we get in touch with you, Josh?

[00:34:14] Speaker C: Easiest way at LinkedIn. All my contact details are there, or you can find our agency’s website, beaumont Technology.

[00:34:22] Speaker A: Paul Green’s, MSP marketing Podcast. This week’s recommended book.

[00:34:28] Speaker C: Hi, I’m John Douglas.

[00:34:30] Speaker F: I’m the Technical Director and Head of Incident Response at First Response. The book I’m recommending is the Blue Team Handbook for Incident Response. The reason I love this book is it’s a recipe book. It’s not a book you read from COVID to cover. It’s a recipe book that you dive into to remember the particular parameters for individual commands that you might use during an incident. So if you can’t remember how TCP dump works and what you need it for, what it’s good for using in your incident, then that’s the book to.

[00:35:04] Speaker A: Grab coming up next week.

[00:35:08] Speaker D: Hey, everyone.

[00:35:08] Speaker E: I’m Jim Haney, vice president of marketing at Novatech. I’m excited about the upcoming episode with Paul. Where we’re going to dive into some marketing best practices for MSPs to really propel you and be relevant to your target audience.

[00:35:20] Speaker B: That is going to be such a great interview next week. And we’re also going to be looking at something cool you can do in LinkedIn. Did you know you can send voice notes in LinkedIn? It’s been there for a while, that functionality, but we’ve never talked about it.

[00:35:34] Speaker D: We’re going to address that next week.

[00:35:36] Speaker B: Join me next Tuesday and have a very profitable week in your MSP.

[00:35:41] Speaker A: Made in the UK for MSPs around the world. Paul Green’s, MSP Marketing podcast.