February 20, 2023

The Hirewell Hot Corner: SuperBowl Winner Kansas City Chiefs / Team building, Team Dynamic


Episode Highlights

Super Bowl Recap / Bill Intro


Bill Gates Background, Hirewell HR Team Overview


Success Starts at the Top


Evaluating Your Team: Playing to Your Strengths


Maintaining a Strong Team / Adapting to Changes in Team Dynamic


Two-Minute Drill


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In this week’s episode, Dan and Louie welcome Bill Gates to the show. With Bill being a massive Kansas City Chiefs fan and such a pivotal part of the HR practice at Hirewell, we figured bringing him on to talk about his role and how he helps build out his team for long-term success. We dive into how the Chiefs built their team with a lot of homegrown talent, great coaching, and utilizing the market for added talent where needed and how that relates to building out a corporate team.

Episode Transcript

Welcome back to the Hirewell Hot Corner, where sports and recruitment meet. As always, I’m your host, Dan Spittel joined by my co-host Louis Morici. Today, we have a special guest coming fresh off the Chief Super Bowl victory is our very own Bill Gates. Bill, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me, guys.

Did you only invite me because am I the only Chiefs fan you know, or what? No, no, no, no, no. I have a lot of Bills fans and I know that they’re not too fond of the Chiefs. So you’re pretty much the only Chiefs fan I know. That’s fair. Lot of sad Bears fans in the company, but we’ll work with what you got. So obviously what’s new in sports this week is the Super Bowl, was this past Sunday. Chiefs coming off of a close victory. So congratulations to you, Bill and your team. Second Super Bowl in what, the last five years? Yeah, that’s exactly right. Yeah, so it’s-

we had a very tough road of my beginning childhood years and mostly through college and whatnot, and then our God and Savior Patrick Mahomes, drafting him. And every year it seems like we have a chance. So it’s cool to get two out of five in the five years he’s been our starting QB. I mean, speaking from being a Bears fan on this side, not having a title under our belt since 85, like, Dan a Steelers fan, you a Chiefs fan.

You guys got a lot more to talk about when it comes to championship caliber teams, but. Yeah, I mean, you’re seeing the next goat. I mean, I’m thinking he’s going to be second to Tom Brady, if not surpass him over time. But we still got some years to think about that. Yeah, there’s a lot of chatter about that.

I think I don’t like to put the car before the horse in the sense of talking Dynasty and anywhere near Tom Brady. Because I think there, we know, there’s just so much parody in the NFL these days, and the fact is that even though we’ve won two Super Bowls, you go on a drought, which doesn’t seem likely given Patrick Mahomes’ background, but, you know. And, next thing you know, you forget about the Chiefs. And then some new team comes along. And the whole AFCs filled with the Joe Burrows and Josh Allens of the world and Justin Herbert’s out there. So it’s a competitive division, unlike the NFC that seems a little bit weaker on the QB side.

Absolutely. And let’s talk about the expectations at the beginning of this season, with the departure of Tyreek Hill, to the Miami Dolphins. A lot of people were putting the Chiefs not even winning your own division, let alone making it this far and to another Super Bowl championship. How did that feel as a Chiefs fan from the pretty consistent media covered that said, “Oh, they might win 10 games this year.”

I think everybody likes a new shiny object coming through. Coming your way. So once you start talking about somebody so often, I think that’s why everyone loves Tom Brady retiring for the most part because we’re sick of talking about him for the last, what? Four decades and whatnot.

So, you know, I think some folks are probably a little bit annoyed at talking about Patrick Mahomes. And the reality is, our division and the AFC West is extremely talented and there are a lot of great quarterbacks. It just happens to be that Russell Wilson is not the same guy he was in Seattle.

And Justin Herbert seems to always do what the Chargers do. And Derek Carr and the coaching staff doesn’t really get along that great with one another, hence why he’s not there anymore. So, I think losing Tyreek Hill hurt because he is such a great guy to watch and he’s such an electric player and it was tough to lose him, that’s for sure.

But when you look at losing tough and some of the best wide receivers or some of the best players out there you got to adapt and survive. And the fact is we’ve got the best quarterback in the NFL and the best coach in my mind, in the NFL and Andy Reid.

And when you have those two components, you can overcome some very tough hurdles. Best tight end, I think is fair to say as well. I forgot about that too. Yeah. He’s pretty good. He’s pretty good. Yeah. Might be. Yeah, he’s up there. Hopefully he will surpass some of those records that Gronk and Gonzalez have put up. So, he’s got a ways to go as well though, so.

So, to kind of segue this, I mean, we didn’t just invite you on to talk about the Chiefs, being that you’re a Chiefs fan. You know, we do this. We talk about sports and how they have a lot of similarities to recruiting. So why don’t you talk to us about your day-to-day role besides being a Chiefs fan? Yeah, so, you know, I am-

believe it or not, so I’ve been at Hirewell for about 13 years or so. And joined the company we were about 10 people or so. And we had just been building out our human resources function. In about six months, 12 months before I had got here in 2011. Up until that point, we had really just been an IT recruiting company.

And since then our HR team has grown. And really we work on jobs across all HR verticals, heads of HR, CHROs to placing recruiting recruiters. So folks like ourselves, in corporate recruiting positions at more of a junior level. Business partners, comp, benefit analysts, so anything HR related with all different industries across the entire country.

So I’ve been doing that, believe it or not, as I said, 13 years strong and I’ve got an awesome HR team surrounding me. And it’s been really great to see a lot of the folks on my team that have done some great things and Rosanna and Ryan and Liz and Sarah and Eliza, there’s so many to name out there, that are just rock stars that we’re lucky to have on our team.

That’s awesome. And quite the tenure. I mean, that’s something that I can only hope to strive for with Hirewell. And so it’s been awesome to see the longevity. We like to find ways to relate sports to recruitment, from your perspective, especially as a Chiefs fan, with the talk of maybe this is going to be a rebuilding year for the Chiefs losing a big superstar talent, how did they do what they were able to do this year?

As I said, I mean I feel like losing a guy like Tyreek Hill, and losing some other important pieces. I mean, really they only returned one receiver and Mecole Hardman to the wide receiving core. But, I relate that to recruiting. I think the fact that you’ve got a Andy Reid, you’ve got a great coach, which could be easily comparable to say having a great CEO at a company and great leadership there as well. And I think it usually starts with the top and Matt Massucci obviously being the founder and CEO of Hirewell, has take this place to a whole new level through acquisitions. And it’s grown a lot bigger than when we were 10 people.

But, I think that’s the start when you correlate a great coach like Andy Reid and having all of his success in Philadelphia and then going to a new city in Kansas City and becoming the head coach and inheriting a team that was 2 and 14, and then flipping it around to almost making the playoffs the next year, and then winning as many conference championships as he has, it’s pretty remarkable.

But again, like when you relate that to corporate companies and a lot of the clients that we happen to work with, especially when we’re working with HR individuals or CHROs that maybe a hundred or 200 employee populations and we’re trying to find their first head of HR or maybe their second, that’s an elevated position.

It’s up to those heads of HR to do a lot what Andy Reid does and manage his team well and manage expectations. And the retention piece and acquiring new talent. Like Brett Veach did as our GM for the Chiefs. So you know, the HR individuals we place, in a lot of ways I see them being kind of like GMs and coaches in a way, because they are so much a part of the retention and acquisition of talent. Just like we see within a lot of the companies we work with.

Totally see that comparison. And like as someone in your position where you do have a say in how your team is built underneath you, how do you assess, do you promote from within kind of homegrown talent your Patrick Mahomes is, or do you hit the waiver wire, hit free agent, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Valdes-Scantling, like how do you decipher when it’s time to address internally or find someone external to bring into the loop? Well, first off, luckily our team’s only 11 or 12 people or so. So, we don’t have a 53 man roster like the NFL places do. And you know let’s be honest, it’s a lot bigger.

Those are the ones that, doesn’t include the practice squad and a lot of the people that are in training camp. So my job’s much easier than them. But we do have a lot of great Patrick Mahomes type folks on my team, within the HR space here. I mean luckily, I think as we’ve evolved over the 13 years I’ve been here. When I came in here I was pretty junior myself and I didn’t have much management experience whatsoever.

So I attribute a lot of the management on the team here from my group to Rosanna actually. Who’s a much more of a natural, I think leader, manager in the day-to-day. So, think there’s a lot of delegating that kind of goes on, but I think when we look at just our group, or any of the groups, marketing, sales, IT, recruiting, you name it, within the different groups and divisions we have here. It’s managing amount of rec volume you’ve got and amount of candidates that you have and adjusting based on where that market is.

If we go to through a little recession, right? Like how do you go about that accordingly? But, you know, what it all comes down to at the end of the day, just like it is in sports, NFL, it’s performance, right? And we’re in a sales environment and there’s definitely a scoreboard in how people are doing, whether we like to admit it or not.

So when you’re evaluating talent, that’s one component of it, of course. When you’re onboarding somebody new and it takes people time to get acclimated. And it’s great to see their wings expand though once they kind of hit that stride, if that makes sense.

But sometimes, you know, everyone’s different. I think some people pick it up a little bit quicker and some people it takes a little bit longer. And then there’s the element of luck that comes into it as well, within what we do. But it’s great to be a part of an awesome team. Not only at Hirewell with you guys, of course, but specifically within our HR team

It’s been awesome to see and we’re surrounded by so many people that bring in great new ideas and strive for each individual to be better just because they are so good themselves. Yeah, absolutely. Let’s look at it from maybe more of our client perspective, either at Louie, you from the sales side, or Bill, you from the HR end.

Say one of our clients or our company loses one of those top performing people, one of those key pieces, the Tyreek Hill of their team. What can they do to fill the gap, what are their options and what are your advice for those situations? Well, first off, it’s having like a good succession plan for individuals in leadership jobs. And some of that is a part of the people in HR we place. And if you’re fearing somebody, you’re going to lose somebody who’s an instrumental part into your team, there’s always going to be un unexpected events where somebody may leave for one reason or another to another great opportunity.

But if you do a good enough job doing succession planning and building and training people up, might be a little bit of a stretch for them to pop into a role like a Tyreek Hill. But at the same time, like, there’s going to be learning curves for anybody from that standpoint.

So I think the lucky piece for us is, I think we talked about, we’ve talked about before, is we don’t have to deal with a salary cap either like they do in the NFL, which makes it a little bit more difficult. But, I think you try to adapt as much as you possibly can, and staying proactive versus reactive on people’s performance and how do you continue to challenge them is a really important factor of how you be able to keep people, the great people, on your team like the Tyreek Hills.

Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely having a plan. Kind of putting all your eggs in one basket and having such a heavy chunk, like from a sales standpoint, if you have one person that’s driving the bus when it comes to revenue, they’re bringing in two, three, four million. And that’s a huge significant chunk, if not the whole piece of the pie when it comes to the revenue. Like, you have to prepare for the worst and have those bench players have those next guy up mentality, so you’re not taking such a huge deficit. Kind of stemming back to the Chiefs. You lose Tyreek Hill, you bring in JuJu, you bring in Valdes-Scantling. Like those are two, I’d say wide receiver, two, three that have played significant time in this league with significant quarterbacks. So, what was one person is now two, to kind of fill that void. Yeah, exactly. The next man up mentality is certainly there. But, the fact is that Patrick Mahomes makes them better all around.

And if you equate that to a good company and a good manager, they make the people around them better motivated and it allows them to elevate their performance or game. If we’re talking about an NFL situation. Absolutely. Well, Bill, we usually wrap up our shows with what we call the Two Minute Drill.

I know you’ve had plenty of insight on this episode, but any final thoughts to take us home? You know, I really appreciate you guys getting me on here. I love talking about sports. I love talking about the Chiefs most importantly. And I love talking about recruiting. So whenever you’re talking about those things, I’m always down to come on here.

Well, I don’t know how long our show is going to air, but as long as the Chiefs are as good as they are, believe me, I’m thinking there’s going to be more championship talks in the future with you, on this subject. But, on the subject of Super Bowl, recruiting, team dynamic, I think it really comes down to leaders like yourself and being able to assess where the need is. And how to successfully put together a team to meet goals, things of that nature.

So, we appreciate all the work you do at Hirewell, I know that the higher up execs do as well. So we also appreciate you coming on the show. Yeah. Well thanks for having me guys. It’s great to be here and it’s great to have you guys a part of Hirewell as well. No question adding you to the now slightly longer list of illustrious Hirewell guests we’ve had on the show, but we’ll add to that list as we keep going.

Well, on behalf of Louie and myself and Bill in this episode, thank you all for tuning in to the Hirewell Hot Corner. Please do join us again in two weeks for our next episode. And as always, stay classy LinkedIn.


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