Episode 381: How 3 Pet Businesses Overcame Their Hiring Challenges with Jazz HR

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Do you cringe at the thought of hiring new employees? Are you paralyzed by decision fatigue from an overflow of unqualified candidates? Have nightmares of disorganized chaos plagued your restless nights as your business scales?

If left unaddressed, hiring woes can completely derail your business's growth trajectory. But solutions exist! Ones that can launch your business into the realm of automated bliss.

In this power-packed episode, pet-sitting trailblazers Leia, Michelle, and Maris pull back the curtain on the hiring horrors that once left them frozen. You’ll discover how each entrepreneur went from begging any warm body to fill roles to leveraging systems that virtually guarantee 100% qualified applicants with Jazz HR. 

Through first-hand accounts, you’ll witness the exact moment each leader swallowed their fear, committed to a standardized hiring process, and skyrocketed their business as a result. From initial application questions to cognitive skills assessments, these pet-sitting pros cover it all.

Think onboarding new hires has to mean mountains of paperwork and orientations from heck? Think again. Discover how to create seamless experiences that awe promising candidates rather than turn them away.

If you’re ready to step fully into your CEO shoes and remove the hiring roadblocks holding your business back, this episode is an absolute must-listen. Join Bella and her squad of industry standouts as they map the route from hiring headaches to operational bliss. Buckle up and take notes—class is in session!


Topics & Key Points

  • Hiring challenges
  • Using Jazz HR
  • Cognitive testing for hiring
  • Leveraging Jaz HR .
  • Hiring and HR solutions for small businesses



  • [7:09] Using Jazz HR for fair and standardized hiring process.
  • [8:53] Biggest challenge in making the leap.
  • [12:39] Leveraging Jaz HR for streamlined recruitment processes.
  • [17:52] Using knockout questions in hiring process.
  • [22:56] Streamlining hiring process with HR system.
  • [26:08] Hiring and HR solutions for small businesses.

Notable Quotes

[7:31] “And so I signed up and I got the free onboarding call. And they helped me create the workflows and questions like the questions were the hardest part for me, I had no standardized questions that I asked everyone. And that’s really important when you’re evaluating 20 30 people”

[13:28] “I mean, you’re literally breaking it down step by step, you can automate it with specific emails like that with each step. And integrating as much as you can into Jaz HR, like I have my payroll system connected to it that way, once I hire someone, all the information gets pushed to it, so I’m not filling it out. ”

[14:37] “It takes away the whole Oh, this is just a dog walking job. He’s like, Oh, this is a legitimate business. They have processes, they have systems I need to be in it really helps make you look more like more professional and like you know what you’re doing, which is always important.”

Did you love this episode?

This episode was sponsored by Jazz Hr!

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Welcome, everybody to another episode of Bella in your business. My name is Bella Vasta. Today I have a really special episode we don’t often have more than one person that we’re interviewing. But today we’ve got three amazing business owners with us. And the reason why I did this, is they’re all mastermind members. And I kind of put it out there, we do a lot of training and talking and strategizing in there. About jump, I’m sorry, about Jaz HR. And I know many of you guys have heard me talk about jazz HR and how it helped change and revolutionize many people’s businesses. But I wanted to have an open discussion. And so if you guys have been, you know, struggling with hiring, if you’ve been trying to, you know, pedal through indeed and go through the mounds of, of, of applications and try to remember, oh, who did I say this to? And what is this person, let me go back to their resume, you get stopped in the middle of the day and an application comes through, you feel like it’s a fire drill, because you don’t want to lose that person. I think that you’re gonna love this episode today, these ladies have lots of experience. And they’re going to be sharing what they were doing before. Also, what their biggest challenge was, when it started, I think a lot of you might kind of feel that, and then also what their biggest tips are, and I think you’ll be pretty surprised. And so I’m looking forward to sharing this episode with you. But before we get started, if you are looking into jazz HR, all you have to do is go to jump consulting dotnet forward slash jazz HR, you’re gonna want to go there because you’re gonna get 50% off, you’re gonna get a free one-hour help session with them that they don’t offer everybody. And then also a couple of other bonuses like knockout questions and a generic hiring ad just for being in the Bella crew and being a jumper. So without further ado, I’d like to welcome Michelle, Leah and Maris to the show. Thank you for being here. Ladies Maris, I’m gonna start with you, and then we’ll go to layup, and then Michelle and you guys can all introduce yourself. So Maris welcome.

Awesome. Thank you so much for having me. I’m there. I own half the Paws Pet Care in St. Louis, Missouri. We’ve been I went full-time time, April. We’ll make it three years. So lots of growth in three years. We’ve got about 17 employees now and we just keep growing. So that is incredible. 17 employees in three years. You go girl.

Leia, welcome to the show.

Thank you. Yeah, so I’m Leia. I own Wonder Pups, a pet care in Crestview, Florida. Wonder Pups has been in business kind of since 2009. But it’s gone over. It’s been reborn several times. And so now primary pet sitting dog walking and we have three new employees. fairly exciting. I love it. You started out the door with a bang. You were like, I’m not just gonna hire one. I’m gonna hire a whole bunch. So that was amazing.

I’m Michele, welcome to the show. Hey, thank you. Good to be here. Hello to your listeners. I’m one of your listeners. So fun to be on.

My name is Michelle. I own Paws and Claws, a pet-sitting service in Cave Creek, Arizona. Currently, we have just hired three new employees plus an office manager who we found on Jazz, Jazz HR. And yeah, we just do dog walking drop-in visits mainly here in the Cave Creek Park, North Scottsdale area been in business since 2016.
Fantastic. So we’ve got some seasoned professionals here with us who have been through the woes of hiring because I don’t think anyone says they love hiring out the gate until they figured out how to actually systematize it and then scientists scientifically go through it as well. So, Leigh, I’m gonna start with you. Then I’ll go to Maris and then Michelle. Leia, tell me what were some What were you doing before? Jaz HR? What did hiring look like for you?

Well, it was a lot of like, ask a friend. Do you want a job do you want to help out? And then I tried to recreate what jazz does with Google Forms. I think that’s what it’s called, but tried to create phases where you fill out the survey and it was not concise. And I ended up getting people that were not a great fit. And I learned the hard way I’m the poster child for doing it the hard way first.

I remember that you did that with better marketing so I guess I did. I’m sorry. I love that story. mirrors what were you doing before you implemented Jaz HR into your company?

Oh gosh, a little bit of everything. I started by hiring a good friend of mine and then my sister so people I knew immediately Do you know anyone is posting on Facebook groups? If you’re looking for a job working with pets reach out to me and have no formal questions, no formal process, or anything. And as you said, No one enjoys doing it. So I knew it was something I did not want to deal with forever. So again, just posting in every public forum I could think of I wasn’t even on Indeed, I think I was just asking friends and the local Facebook group, so it was chaotic. There was no process, and I wasn’t getting a ton of leads either, because who’s gonna respond to a Facebook post for a hiring ad? So it doesn’t exactly give us the most professional-like, stance. Right? Yeah, chaotic. I like that word. That’s a good word. I think a lot of people can relate to that. Michelle, what were you doing before you implemented a jazz HR into Paws and Claws?

Yeah, Facebook, asking friends, and even just if I needed the help, just asking other pet sitters in the area, and we would just kind of help each other out, which was great. I had ICs, pre COVID. So it was easier to do it that way. But just not finding people who are serious enough to work for me.

Yeah, I think the one thing you all have in common there is that you’re kind of just like, you’re being scrappy, which is great. That’s what got most of us to start our business in the beginning, right? We’re just kind of trying to, you know, shoestring along and figure it out and throw stuff up against the wall. But it comes with a lot of stress. And let’s face it, owning our businesses already comes with enough stress. Right. So I’m Maris and then I’ll go with Michelle and Leia. What was the biggest challenge when you decided to start with Jaz HR? And I think this part’s important because I think when whenever we have to learn something new in our business, it is a little overwhelming, right? And we have challenges and a couple of things happen. We freeze, and we stick our head in the sand like an ostrich or we freak out and say forget it, I can’t do it. This is too hard. Or we buckle down and figure out okay, well, if other people have been having success with this, there must be something to it. So what kind of challenges did you have? Maris?

Yeah, so at first, I’ll be totally honest, the price point scared me. But I had listened to your podcast. And I saw that there was a discount, though. And I had just started like I couldn’t, I guess it was a little scary for me to add the price of a major software that I knew was super intricate to my arsenal. But I was like, You know what, it’s not going to be easier, so just do it. And so I signed up and I got the free onboarding call. They helped me create the workflows and questions the questions were the hardest part for me, I had no standardized questions that I asked everyone. And that’s important when you’re evaluating 2030 people against each other. who answers the best? who answers the best to answer first, things like that, and giving it giving everyone a fair opportunity at the job instead of just going based on what their resume said. So asking the same like asking questions so that I could get a feel for how responsible they were, and how they would handle different situations. That’s where I struggled and getting all of that setup and Jaz HR made it so easy. Because it’s all lined up for me now I don’t have to think about it. And it gives you a place to write everything down at the time. So you can go back and reflect on it. And that’s helped a lot, especially if I bring on a manager. So we can kind of compare notes back and forth. And I can eventually pry myself out of the hiring process.

That’s such a good point, we spent a whole episode about how to scientifically go through it because you’re right. How can you compare apples to apples if you have apples and bananas? Right? Um, I forgot who I was. I was going next layup. What? Oh, Michelle, pardon me. Michelle, what was your biggest challenge going into jazz HR?
Yeah, same. But honestly, what came to mind when you first asked that question was just getting out of my way. It’s like the money part of it. I can do it myself. Yeah, trying to put together my own little thing with like, the Google forums and everything. But I just was hitting my head up against the wall. So when I finally was just willing to get out of my way, and then, you know, commit to it, because it does take work to sign up and get it set up. But in the end, it’s so worth it. And then just being willing to learn about it, ask questions, join the different groups, or listen to your podcasts that kind of go over it. Setting up the workflow phases and then also figuring out what it is that you’re testing for. So you’re not just kind of going into it, you know, free flow. It’s like there’s an actual, you know, a reason for what you have in place for everything.

You know, you other people have brought that up to you and now you do I’m just curious. And I’m sure listeners are curious. Can you tell us one thing, Michelle, that you actually, that you cognitively test for orders? What’s something that you look for?

Um, a big one is following instructions, even just the willingness to reply and answer the questions that show that they’re serious. Another big one is integrity, learning a bit about the person’s integrity, honesty, and teamwork, and then we ask hypothetical questions. So that’s just a way of learning a little bit of I mean, because you can’t train them on everything with the, you know, eight plus years that I’ve been doing this, even something as simple as you know, what happens if a lock isn’t working? It just, it just gives you a little look into how their critical thinking problem solving is. Yeah, so that’s a huge thing. I mean, that’s more than one
example. Yeah, that’s a great example. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that. Layout. What was your biggest challenge? And I love that you and Michelle, both. And I think Marius, he said, like, you just try to do it there Google Forms? And yes, do it the hard way first. Because it does, it feels like Oh, I could do this myself. What was your biggest challenge when you finally leaped?

It is deceptive to think that you can just do it yourself. But you cannot do it. There’s no substitute for jazz. But I think my biggest challenge was setting up those workflows. It was kind of confusing at first. And I’m also a little bit of a perfectionist, so I wanted it to be perfect before I put it live. And the thing is, it’s never going to be perfect. Because the second you’re like, Oh, I got it. It’s live, there we go. And then you start getting responses. And you realize that there’s a hole somewhere, and you’re like, Oh, I’m getting a lot of the same answer. Maybe I need to tweak some of these questions a little bit, or I’m not getting people knocked out that should have been knocked out based on you know, XYZ, so I need to tweak it. And I would say, being afraid to put it out there. And it not being perfect was a huge struggle for me, I think we went round and round with you. And you were like, just publish it. And you know, and when I did, I was like, Oh, I’m seeing this and then trying to be hard on myself because that wasn’t perfect. And you’re like, just change it. It’s not that big a deal. Like the very next person that applies gets the new, gets the new said the new set of questions, and it tests for what you need. Right?

I think that something really interesting is that sometimes in the interview process, we ask these questions that we anticipate what we’re going to get the answer for, then you get something wild out of the left field and you’re like, Whoa, wait, that’s not what I meant. I need to change this around again. Right. So I think that’s funny. So, Maris, I’m gonna throw it over to you. Let’s talk about the biggest tips, which is also really cool because I’m sure there are a lot of people listening that are currently using it, and wondering how can I get better at this. So you ladies are such a wealth of knowledge, Maris, Leia. And then Michelle, what would be your biggest tip to someone who’s just started? Or maybe he’s frustrated with it right now?

Yeah, so I think we keep going back to workflows because it takes the thinking out of the process for you. I mean, you’re breaking it down step by step, you can automate it with specific emails like that with each step. And integrating as much as you can into Jaz HR, like I have my payroll system connected to it that way, once I hire someone, all the information gets pushed to it, so I’m not filling it out. Again, background checks are done through Jaz HR. So I guess my biggest tip would be to automate as much as you can, whatever you have, that you currently use can most likely be integrated into it. So instead of spending time copying, and pasting information everywhere, just put as much as you can into it between the workflows and the other systems that you have that you use every day in your business.

That’s such a good point because I think that people only think it’s just for the interview process. But I love how you’ve been able to leverage it and utilize it for also onboarding, and connecting everything else to it, because like you said, it already has the applicant’s information. So rather than having to take it off the system, and go into other systems, you can just keep streamlining it, which I’m sure helps get you and your people onto into the field and on the schedule a lot faster.

It takes away the whole Oh, this is just a dog walking job. He’s like, Oh, this is a legitimate business. They have processes, and they have systems I need to be in it helps make you look more like more professional and like you know what you’re doing, which is always important.

That is important. And it makes them kind of respect the position that they’re going into, I assume, right? Yeah, definitely. That’s awesome. Les, How about you what would be your biggest tip to our listeners when it comes to jazz HR?

Let it let it be automated. Because if you sit there, if you don’t get out of the way, it can’t do what you’re hiring it to do. So get the workflow set up, and then let it go. And don’t babysit people through the process, I made that mistake, there was an applicant, or there were several actually that I liked, initially, and then I would have to kind of nudge them like, Hey, you have that 24-hour, you know, we’re at 26 hours, are you going to reply, and every single one of them turned out to be not fit for the company, and I was wasting my time. So like, let it let it do its thing, set your workflows up, and pay attention to the holes that you’ll find because you will. And then like, let it let it be automated, just let it and ignore those red flags.

It’s such a good and you don’t realize they’re red flags, because like we want, we’re cheering on certain applicants, right? And we almost want to push it. But when you have the workflow set up in a certain way. And guys, when we’re talking about workflow, let me back up a second. This is your first time hearing about Jaz HR, what we’re talking about is building out phases, so maybe they they apply, and they have these knockout questions. So it’s your absolute nonnegotiables. Like, where do you live? And like, Do you have a car and all this stuff, then like the first phase might be testing for something like Michelle was talking about attention to detail. And what I always recommend my jumpers do is they have those questions, and they say, to be considered to stay in the process, reply within 24 hours. And so then once they reply, you read it with a click of a button, and it sends them off the next email that you already have in the system. And that keeps going again, and and again. And again, everyone has a different amount of them. But a lot of jumpers have at least three of those phases before they get to an actual interview.

And so it’s it’s this cool way that again, like Mari said, You’re comparing apples to apples because everyone’s getting the same questions. And then like Leia, I said, you know, they all have the same rules because you need to stay on the process. So you the business owner do not need to go in and oh, my gosh, I got it, I got an application. And this person’s Great. Let me type this email right now in between houses or in between stuff, right? You’re not taking time out of your day to do that stuff. And so that’s what we mean by a workflow. And you have to be successful, what we’re hearing is, figure that stuff out at the beginning, do the hard work at the beginning, have it set up. And then as you see things don’t work the way you intended, you can tweak it, because it’s always an ongoing process. Right. So Michelle, what would be your biggest tip for jazz HR?

I had a lot come up when I was listening to everybody take notes. Yeah, just just saying the setting it up in the beginning with the phases of the workflow with the emails. But in addition to that, the knockout questions. So by setting up those knockout questions with that first initial application that the candidate or potential candidate can submit, it automatically will knock certain people out if they don’t answer about what it is you’re looking for even something as simple as where they’re located. Because we have such a small service area, we get hundreds of applicants, but they’re in you know, Tempe, which is like 30 minutes away, Mesa, which is even further. And I this is a part of the tweaking to constantly tweaking it, I had to set up a couple of questions, because, you know, not that they’re intentionally lying, but they’ll select, you know, what, what area do you live in, I’ll put our zip codes and they’ll select one of the zip codes that were in, but then their addresses, you know, Mesa, so these knockout questions, as you tweak, it will save you tons of time and energy with certain people that apply because it’s not even any anyone you because of their location, or whatever it is.

So that helps a lot. Let’s see. Use it as part of the interview or the application process. So a lot of people don’t continue because they don’t make a comment that you know, it’s just pet sitting and dog walking. Why do you why do you have all of this work? This is a waste of my time. Well, that was perfect. Do you know how I set it up, easily knock them out of a possible candidate because I would never want to hire someone like that. Yes, it’s just dog walking and pet sitting. But there’s a lot more to that as well as being a professional company. So with the process with the questions with the instructions, like reply I within 24 hours, those little things are just little tests along the way that allow us to see a lot more than when it comes time to interview them in person, which I feel like that’s the hardest time when you’re testing them is when you’re in front of them. I’m such a people pleaser. So I just want to offer everybody a job. But it allows me to prepare a lot beforehand, knowing if it’s going to be a good fit or not. And usually, you know, hundreds of people will apply. And such a small percentage of people will make it all the way through. And so usually when they make it all the way through, they’re a really good candidate. Those are great, great tips, I thought, go ahead and go. Sign up for the mastermind group. Because with all of the Facebook posts in the videos, the training videos, the monthly, you know, Zoom meetings that we do, that’s where I was able to learn everything I know, and how I was able to put my, my jazz together or my, my jazzy chart together. So I couldn’t, I couldn’t have gotten to where I am now and hired the people that I have now without both.

Yeah. That’s awesome. Great, great tip. And I love that you said, well, first of all, there’s so much there to unpack. If you are interested in the mastermind, it’s junk consulting.net forward slash mastermind, you can join us all in there. Everyone here, like I said, is in the mastermind. And yeah, we even have a video on there where we went through a bunch of different people’s insides of their Jazz HR to see how different it all is, right? Because everyone kind of does it differently. And, and it’s kind of neat, that group thing that you get to do. But something else I wanted to draw attention to, is that the more you guys, you know, are talking about this workflow. And the more that you’re allowing the system to do it, it then makes it a lot easier for you to plug in your current or future office manager to help manage this, and then only deliver to you the really good candidates at the end of all of that. So I think that’s pretty awesome. And I think a lot of pet sitting and dog walking business owners, I think a lot of us are just naturally empathetic and nurturers. So I think probably 80% of people can relate to the people pleasing. You get someone in front of you, you so badly want to hire someone and you need the help, that you’re just trying to find ways and breadcrumbs sometimes to be like, Oh, yes, you’re great. Let me hire you. Right. So guys, as we kind of conclude this episode, I’m so grateful for all of you here. We could probably be here for two hours. What would you and anyone can answer this or everyone? Talk to the listener right now who either has it or is stuck with Jazz HR. Or they are have been hearing about it? Yeah, yeah, Bella, I know, I know, I’ll do it. What would be your advice to someone who’s in that one of those mindsets?

For me, if you know you’re going to hire, it’s almost a requirement at this point. It walks you through all the systems while taking the guesswork out of it and still making it fair to all the applicants that you have. I’m gonna get it from going on Facebook and just begging people to work for me to now having people call me every day and say, Hey, I submitted my application. Have you gotten it yet? And we’re overstaffed right now. And I think we’ll always be overstaffed. My last job and I posted over a month ago and we still get 10-plus applicants a day. And it consolidates all the different job postings from Indeed and all the other job boards, I can’t even think of them because I don’t physically post to them. Jessie’s job does it for me. It just blasted as far out as it could. And I’ve never had to pay to boost an ad either. So it has saved me money when I see other people struggling and paying $500 a month to boost their jobs and I’ve never had to do that. So that’s just all included in my see anyway. So I’m gonna do it anyway. So I might as well pay for it and have it all streamlined so that my office manager was on board and I can pass it off and not have to do an interview again. It’s gotten to the point now where I don’t even do in-person interviews anymore. I don’t meet our new hires until they do orientation because I trust you as the HR system that I put in place.

So that is powerful. I can’t even imagine how many hours and stress full hours you’ve saved just by what you described.

Yeah, definitely. We do phone interviews, video interviews, and orientations the first time I meet them in person, and because like everyone else said the systems and workflows I put in place knock out everyone who wouldn’t be worth my time meeting anyway. There’s no more being stood up at Starbucks or Panera.
Oh, you know, like getting stood up.

The lunch was cool, but not by myself.

That’s hilarious. Leia. I do have something to add or I see you giggling over there.

Yeah, so um, yeah, I agree it is kind of It’s a bummer to get stood up but I got stood up a lot when I was trying to design it myself, versus the way that jazz does it. And I’m, like, we kind of talked about cost a little bit already, I would say that if you’re on the fence, it’s not too expensive. Don’t let that cost scare you. Because in 15 days, I had two working employees. And less than two weeks after that, I had two or three more. And they didn’t all make their 30-day cut-off. But I mean, it was it was worth it, it was so worth it. So like, if it’s between doing what you’re doing, and you know, waiting months to maybe get one application that may or may not pan out, that may stand you up at Starbucks. And getting somebody in now, like, if you’re working, especially for people that are so low, you’re working, you know, spring break starts today. Or at least where I am anyway, I was I would have been, you know, 1214 hour day today, and I have three other people. And I’m not I’m not going anywhere today, which is great. And I mean what’s worth it to you, you know, how much is that worth? Right?

And then the middle plan for anyone that might be wondering is around 150 ish, don’t quote me specifically. But and that’s half of that that is the price that’s half of that if you were to just go out there without being part of the jumper, the Bella jumper crew, you’d pay like $300 a month for that and get that extra hour. So I always recommend that. I mean, I’m always here to help you guys. I always tell you to email me, message me DM me whatever it is, and I can help explain or forward some podcasts to you. But I recommend that you try to get those phases hammered out first on a Google doc then use that one hour with jazz and say hey, I got this helped me put it in. And that will that will help a lot of the tech woes. Michelle, any final thoughts before I end the episode?
Yeah, the same utilizes jazz HR. There’s they’re always willing to help Bella always willing to help. And then I mean, I know for myself, I’m willing to help to you want to call set up a time I’m willing to just I don’t know, kind of encouraged you to push you a little bit to get going. Maybe share my experience a little bit. I know that having someone to help keep me accountable helps a lot. my accountability partner. Katherine was able to help me through a lot of stuff too. So just just ask for help. I mean, you can’t do this on your own. It’s hard to ask for help, but everybody’s willing. Fantastic.

Maris with House of Paws Leia with wonder pups Michelle with paws and claws. You ladies, thank you so much for being here. I know that everyone listening right now. It’s just it’s kind of one of those situations. I think sometimes when Mom tells the kids to do something, and then they hear from other people. Because I truly want to help people solve or fix this hiring problem once and for all. I just want you all to just imagine and dream of a world where you had all the people that you needed in your company, and that freed up your mind and your vision to go dream and grow and do things because you weren’t constantly solving the same problem all the time. Guys go and check out jump consulting.net/jazzhr  I’ve been working with them since 2018. As I’ve said on the podcast, I’ve even hired nannies off of it. Okay, so anything anytime I need to hire anyone, I put them in my funnel. This has been another episode of Bella in your business. Remember that when life gets you down? Always keep jumping by now

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