Episode 364: How to Get 150 Applicants a Week For Your Dog Walking Business With Becky Lea

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Hey Jumpers! If you're a business owner in the pet industry or any industry for that matter, you know that finding the right team members can be a real challenge. But today, we've got a treat for you. We're about to dive into the world of the hiring process, employee retention, and creating a thriving company culture.

 Welcome to another episode of "Bella in Your Business: Pet Industry Business Podcast," Today, we have a special guest, Becky Lea, the owner of Paws Around Motown. Becky is here to share her experience and insights on improving the hiring process for her business. 

Becky starts off by sharing her initial struggles with hiring. Like many business owners, she found it challenging to find the right candidates and wasted a lot of time on the wrong ones. But she didn't let that discourage her. Instead, she decided to revamp her hiring process and make it more efficient. 

Becky managed to reduce her hiring time from a whopping 10-14 days to just five days.  She explains that implementing a thorough hiring process was key to this success. By carefully screening candidates and conducting multiple interviews, she was able to find the perfect fit for her team in a shorter amount of time. 

Becky's story is a great reminder that continuous improvement is crucial for any business. She encourages fellow entrepreneurs to always be on the lookout for ways to refine their hiring process and create a better experience for both the business and the employees. 

Topics & Key Points

  • The struggles of hiring
  • Transitioning to a new hiring mentality
  • The significance of a systematic hiring process.
  • The steps to a successful hiring process
  • Building a strong company culture
  • Focus on enhancing the onboarding process and creating a positive first-day experience
  • Efficiency in hiring
  • The importance of continuous improvement
  • Why you should surround yourself with important people in business


[06] Introduction of Becky Lee and her pet business, Paws Around Motown

[02:08] Becky’s initial struggles with hiring and flawed criteria

[03:29] Transitioning to a new hiring process and finding quality candidates

[06:58] Importance of community and support and Mastermind program

[08:52] The need to continuously evolve the hiring process to adapt to the changing job market

[10:56] Enhancing the onboarding process

[16:04] Mistakes in hiring

[18:41] Why post your employees on social media?

[20:38] The hiring process and the power of networking

[21:28] Constantly making changes and assessing for the future

Notable Quotes

 [02:09]” I was investing a huge amount of my time at a time that I did not have. And was spending a lot of time looking through candidates, setting up interviews, and then they wouldn’t show up.”

 [04:12] “Everybody that we hired during that hiring blitz, they’re still on board. So not only did we find quality, but they have lasted and been happy employees.” 

 [07:36] “I feel like I never feel isolated in my business, which is a huge part of being an entrepreneur. But it’s because of the tribe I’ve built and the people that I have around me to support me who you surround yourself with is everything. It’s everything in business.”

 [08:52] “I think it’s important to realize that the climate in hiring has changed. And so it’s important to always evolve to what that climate is. People are not just looking for a paycheck anymore.”

 [16:43] “You really need to hold your new employees hand through the early stages so they’re trained, but you got to check in with them. You’ve got a status with them.”

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Welcome to another episode of Bella in Your Business. My name is Bella Vasta. And today I’m joined by Becky Lee, the owner of a dog-walking and pet-sitting business called Paws Around Motown. Becky, how are you? I’m good. How are you? Good. For those of you guys who have not met Becky before, why not? She first got involved in the pet industry in 2014 and quickly made a name for herself by working hard and soaking up as much information as possible. In the summer of 2021, I traveled to Chicago for an intensive session to work on improving our hiring process and building community on social media. during that session, we created a 10-step hiring process and worked on setting timelines to help Becky find the best candidates for her business. After implementing the strategies she learned from the intensive Becky was able to improve on her hiring process and build a strong community on social media. As a result, her business has been significantly growth and success. I wanted to have Becky on here today because I know that one of the biggest challenges many of you guys have is hiring. And it has not always been easy for Becky. And I’m sure there are still times when it is not easy. But there are many things that she has done to systematically create a system that essentially she’s been able to hand off to other people to help her with it. And then also be able to understand where she needed to tweak or expand on it as time evolves because things do evolve. And so I think you guys are going to love this episode. And if you want to hear more from Becky back on Episode 322, she came on and talked more about marketing and, and how she’s been able to also systematize her marketing. And so you’re probably going to want to keep hearing from Becky because she’s an amazing success story that will help give you the motivation, honestly, because business is tough. Business is tough. So Becky, take us back, like explain to our audience. What was hiring, like, what did you do when you started, and what mistakes would you tell your former self if we were talking to her right now?

So I was investing a huge amount of my time, a time that I did not have. And I was spending a lot of time looking through candidates and setting up interviews, and then they wouldn’t show up. Or, you know, so I’d be sitting there waiting, or I would hire people and they would last anywhere from like one to 60 days, which was a huge expense. And then you know, a big mistake was looking for people that had a pulse that loved animals. And that was my criteria and that does not work.

I feel your pain because so many of you just described so many people out there even listeners, you know, who are just banging their heads against the wall. And they’re like, Okay, like just Do you have a car and will you show up? You know, because the job markets are hard. So like when was the first like how did you transition out of that mentality? Was it scary? And when was the first time that you realized like, Okay, this is working like this new shift like talk to me about the shift and like how you felt about it because it I’m sure it wasn’t just as easy as jumping.
No, no, it was super scary. I know that a lot. Have the steps in the process that we outlined and that I kind of continue to implement. You know, I thought people wouldn’t do them, and it would take me too long to get somebody on board. And that’s not, it’s not true. So I would say about 12 to 15 months ago, we did a hiring Blitz. And it was easy. So we need this as a little clip. Hiring was what was easy.

And, and everybody that we hired during that hiring Blitz, they’re still on board. So not only did we find quality, but they have lasted, and then happy employees. And so when we have people leave now, it’s more for life-changing events than it is because of the job. Right. So, and in all honesty, we can onboard clients more seamlessly and quickly, because we have the staff to always be able to take them on. And so the, and also it helps because we can, like, show how we that our staff, and how people continue on and that this is, you know, we’ve always we have quality for them, we can kind of showcase our hiring process to those potential clients.

Yeah, that’s fantastic. We talked about that a couple of episodes ago, about systematizing it and then also talking about it, because not only is it great for the clients to see what you go through for your employees, because, you know, they have a big trust question. But it also builds trust with that new employee when they’re like, Oh, this is what we got to go through. It’s not just like, Okay, I did this next thing, okay. Now do this. Okay, did that. Okay, now do this. Okay, I did that. And it’s like, when does this end? You know, and when people comment on Oh, my God, I can’t believe that you’re having us do all our air having me do all these things. It kind of solidifies the process to me, because if you, you know, our clients trust us with everything. And if they can’t hop on camera and talk for 60 seconds about why they’re amazing, or why we should or should not hire them or fill out a questionnaire, then they’re not somebody that I want on my staff, you know?

Uh-huh. Yeah, I think that takes a lot of confidence to say that because I think when you haven’t done that before, it’s often very scary. So let’s talk quickly about so we had the intensive, but then, I mean, this month in the mastermind, we’re going to be talking about hiring the whole month of November. And so what, how has that helped you not being isolated with that hiring thing? Okay, Bella, and I worked together, we did this now what, like, what kind of support as the non, I’m trying to say, like, not being isolated, is important. And so how is the mastermind helped you keep growing through this process of hiring?

So it’s, it’s because it’s community-based, and we all kind of lift each other, I can jump in there and ask questions, let you know, to people that are also succeeding or do things or have a larger company even. And I can say, you know, how are you doing this? How are you making your paperwork, electronically? How are you? What kinds of questions are you asking, you know, for this, I can, I can throw my ideas in there, and I can get support, or I can get advice on ways to kind of change and enhance those ideas. And so, you know, I feel like I never feel isolated in my business, which is a huge part of being an entrepreneur. But it’s because of the tribe I’ve built, and the people that I have around me to support me and I think that that is so important. I mean, there are people in that group I talked to outside of that group, I mean, it is an amazing place, you know, who you surround yourself with, is everything. It’s everything in business apps, I could not agree with you more because those voices inside our heads get loud. And we need good people around us to counteract those, you know, or when they throw their tantrums or their fits to bounce that off of and get checked by quality valuable people. So what So we mentioned that, you know, this process is always evolving and you’re always improving things. Can you give us some examples of you know, okay, so we started with this Basic 10-step process and that was a good foundation? But I know that’s not what it is now. So what kind of things have you been able to tweak? And to those listening out there who might just be starting? I’m not talking about tweaking a question, I’m talking about tweaking the process. So what do you get for us on that back?

So I think it’s important to realize that, the climate in hiring has changed. And so it’s important to always evolve to what that climate is, people are not just looking for a paycheck anymore, they’re looking for work that has it, where they’re going to be happy, and work that has to means to them. So we strive to be a great place to work always, we strive to have fun work, and, that we have this inclusive culture. So that’s what a lot of what my evolution now is geared towards is bringing people on that are going to fit into that culture. And that is going to, you know, be okay with doing other things for the business and growing with the business things like social media and getting on camera and marketing for us and, and kind of, you know, selling our business. And so we’re, I’m always improving the process to hire the very best for my clients. Because my clients deserve, we’re the the the highest priced company in our area. And we need the people behind us to back that up to showcase why we are more expensive than, you know, the 50 other companies in Oakland County. And so I’m always improving on things like our hiring ads, and how, you know, can I target what we’re looking for through those ads? And I’m always kind of tweaking our interview process and the questions that I ask to test for things as we kind of evolve and always improve on things. Like, for example, most recently, I kind of stuck the, we do two interviews, so we do a questionnaire for knockouts, we do another questionnaire to test for different things, then we do a video and then we do a first interview, and now I’m putting the availability piece of the paperwork in between the two interviews so that we can make sure that they have the availability that suits our needs. And then it kind of matches up earlier than the process. So that verification and our system has, it’s allowed me to focus more on what our needs are. It’s allowed us to enhance and build our onboarding process because we didn’t have much of an onboarding like we’re doing welcome celebrations now. Based on Joey Coleman’s never lose an employee again. Yeah, whenever we bring somebody under like, this is the best first day I’ve ever had any job, you know, and they get excited about it. And so it’s allowed us to kind of focus more on that warmth and and, our culture of the way we do things from the onset so that people can see and reaffirm that this was where they you know, really want to be and that we support each other and so I think that it’s important to kind of build like think about what you want and build out that and so for a while, it was getting the right candidates in the door you know, and now it’s more kind of thinking about the future and what can we you know, potentially cross-train and move people into leadership positions as we can look for more than we were before if that makes sense.

I there’s so much goodness in what you just said um, you know, the reaffirm it’s funny because I know that’s a Joey you know, thing Joey came in the mastermind and gave us a good talk into about all of that. You also said you know, in chat attracting like you know, inclusive and happy and I love that like because you have the foundation taken care of, then you can go on to making it extra if you will, making it that exciting making it the best first day ever because I think what a lot of us overworked overstressed, you know underpaid, you know, burnt out. Business owners think is like we do just need to get them through the process and get them out there. So they can just help us. And we forget that every part of the interview onboarding and training process because once you get interviewing done doesn’t stop there, you also move through the onboarding, and then the training process, you get to build it out, to coincide with that awesome interview process that you’re giving an impression. And it might be that your hair is lit on fire, and you’re running around, and they’re like, I don’t want to like, I don’t have time for that. But when you show up in a way that you are quality, you’re going to attract quality. Right? And I will tell you,
you know, you think it’s going to take this huge amount of time. But once you have those building blocks in place, and you continue to improve, I would say from the time people apply to up to getting trained, it’s like a total of five days. It’s not. It’s not a lot of time, it used to take us 10 to 14 days, sometimes actually. And that’s what’s killing a lot of business owners out there right now is that they think that they can take two weeks to make a decision or get back to people because they’re so burnt out and stressed out. And that the thing is you’re losing people. It’s not that there’s no one to hire, it’s that you’re not showing up in the right way, in a respectful, exciting, honorable way. And I’m not saying this to put anyone down, but I’m trying to push you to think about how can you change your mindset around this because this does work.

Becky is right here. And there’s more Becky’s in the mastermind. People are doing this, they like to press a button and make it rain. I have people that say things like we have people I had a girl guest last week I talked about her last week on the podcast, too. She has someone who keeps wanting to work for her and found her on social media. And they’re like, you don’t have enough dog walking training. So go walk dogs at a rescue. This guy is doing this every day now in like updating them right now and saying, Hey, look, these dogs and they’re like, he wants so badly to work for them. There is a different way of doing things out there you guys it can happen. We’re going to be talking all about hiring in the mastermind. Going through Joey Coleman’s stuff that Becky’s talking about Becky’s in there, it’s going to be amazing. Um, so what I kind of probably just answered this a little bit, but do you have anything more to add about? What mistakes do you see colleagues making either tactical or mindset when it comes to hiring,
so that there’s no one to hire?

Is that not taking the time, you know, not taking the time to build, build out their system? Intentionally, I think is the word attentionally. Yeah, that’s not about the money. It’s about the culture. Yeah, they want to get a paycheck. But you don’t have to pay $20 an hour, you know, we pay 11 to $13 an hour. And we have, you know, 150 to 200 applications every week. And so and it’s listed in our hiring, add what we pay, and that you need to hold your new employees hand through the early stages. So they’re trained, but you got to check in with them, you’ve got a status with them, you’ve got to, you know, ask them what they thought of your process so that you know what to change or what needs a little tweak. And, and then to consistently, as I said, reaffirm their decision to join your company, in your family, you know, what a great thing to just ask them like, Hey, what did you think of the interview process? You know, that’s and I think that also shows your leadership style to that. Oh, my opinion matters. Right?

That’s, that’s amazing. And did you just say 100 250 applications a week? Yeah. Damn girl
a week. And you know, I’m not even in there. Yeah, right. Because of my time anymore. I’m not even in there anymore. My staff is taking care of everything. And then you come in at like, what the last the last one?
I don’t even come in on the last interview anymore. I met them on Celebration Day. That’s
amazing. Wow, I just got goosebumps for you. So those are the results of all this hard work. Yeah. But it didn’t happen overnight. You guys, you know, Becky had to think about what is she i remember this Becky has like Okay, so when we did our brainstorm was like so what are you looking for? And you’re like, Whoa, and then we named off like, you know, 25 things, and then we had to narrow it down and that is what helps build your company culture. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, then you’re not going to get what you’re looking for, you know?

No, you need to know you need to know what you’re you need to know what is most important to you. And, who is going to build up your organization? Yeah, yes. The other unique thing as we close here, as you mentioned, doing it on social media, and I see your staff on social all the time. And that is what is strategic for you. Right. And I think by potential employees to seeing your staff on there so much, again, it feels like, I have a voice. And I think at the end of the day, that’s a common need for a lot of us humans. We want to be heard and seen, right? And so when you see that happening in an organization that you are engaging in, you know, to potentially work for that must be effective.

Yeah. And our team brings ideas to the table now, that never used to happen. Our team is, what if we did this? What if we, you know, take this dog and go here? And, you know, I’m like, Okay, well script it out. And let me you know, take a look at what your thoughts are around that. And I think it speaks volumes, to how much our team how amazing our team is, how much they love their job, how much they support each other and have each other’s back and support me and love each other. You know, did
Do you ever think that diving deep into interviewing was going to create such a great company culture?

My God, I remember fighting tooth and nail with you on a couple of things. And I remember going, nobody’s ever going to do that. And, yeah, you’re right. The people that aren’t going to do that are not the right people. But the people that are the right people, they’re going to do what they do I see it all the time. I see it all the time.

Becky, we’re just amazing. Thank you so much for spending your time coming here. You just had COVID for weeks. Yeah. And because you have this amazing team that you don’t have to hire, you don’t have to, you know, and you still showed up to the mastermind calls and the better marketing and Bella calls off camera. But still, they’re feeding your brain and with your staff which I just thought was amazing. So I just have so much respect and admiration for you and your biggest cheerleader. And you guys, I hope this has inspired you to some sort of action, even if that action is just, oh, there is another way of doing it out there. And maybe I can wrap my head around it. But what I hope you do is join us in the mastermind. And get some of this real-time because this is what it’s about you guys, you don’t have to do it alone. You don’t have to struggle alone. If you have a problem. That problem is solvable, you have to remember that everything is figured out a bowl as Marie Forleo says, it’s just a matter of whether are you surrounding yourself with the right people. And are you willing to be courageous enough to do it a different way?

Yeah, I’ll leave you with that. You have to make changes, you know, you constantly have to tweak and I think that once you get that foundation, you know just to close on. Once you have that you can assess for your future so you can start looking at people at you know, we’ve been able to develop a promotional process out of this and you can start to see who can benefit your organization into the future when you are ready to kind of get bigger and have leadership and office managers and admin staff and team leaders and all of that, you know,
I’m so proud of you. That is a great great way to end it I’m gonna leave it there because that was like I can’t top that.

Hats off to big claps Thank you Becky Lee for being on the show today guys go check her out pause around Motown you’re gonna want to check out her social media feed you’re gonna want to check her out and and just feel her culture this has been another episode of Bella and your business thank you for joining and remember when life gets you down always keep jumping

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