Posted by Matt Register

Joel Quintela, CEO of Quintela Group, talks about interviewing potential employees.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.

Matt Register: Welcome back to the show. Texas Business Radio, is the website. 844-814-8144, the 24-hour call in line. Get your calls in. We’re going to get the experts on here to get those questions answered.

We have talked on this show before about hiring and the cost of hiring wrong. It is enormous. We’ve talked about this before, Jay. I’ve never hired a knucklehead on purpose. Yet in my life, I’ve hired a lot of knuckleheads, right? And anything that a business owner can do to increase his batting average whenever he’s hiring people is going to make him money. At the very least, it’s going to not cost him a tremendous amount of money. So we’re going to talk about that with this segment.

A very interesting company with some software products that are going to help you guide that interview process and guide that hiring process. I’m your host, Matt Register. Jay Curry is the one sitting over there in the co-host chair. What do you think about it?

Jay Curry: Well, I agree with you. If there’s an area that a CEO has a blind spot … I had one member that I coached who always hired from his church, I mean the latest person to arrive at his church. I mean if there’s a blind spot that CEOs have is that they’re good hearted. This could be very helpful. And I don’t care what size your company is. This could be important.

Matt Register: Yeah. No doubt about it. Joel Quintela is the CEO of the Quintela Group, is the website.

Joel, welcome to the show.

Joel Quintela: Great. Thank you very much. I’m happy to be here.

Matt Register: So tell me about Quintela Group. What do you do? Who do you do it to?

Joel Quintela: So we work with a lot of companies to help them set up more efficient interviews because everybody does interviews. They just don’t do it very well. So we help them create processes that increase their probability of making better decisions. That’s not rocket science. It’s pretty straightforward stuff.

Matt Register: Okay. Why in the world does somebody need a process around their hiring? Right?

Joel Quintela: Yeah.

Matt Register: Why do they need to have thought put into this? Why not hire somebody out of your church?

Joel Quintela: So two things usually happen when you’re … Everybody interviews. Nobody hires people with not interviewing.

Matt Register: Sure.

Joel Quintela: So they typically go these two ways. One, it’s informal. We’re having a conversation. We’re going to lunch. We’re whatever, right? It’s usually 30 minutes to an hour. Pretty informal. Everybody does it. The second piece is that most business owners will hire based on referrals. So the church or I’ll go to you and go, “Hey, look. I need someone. Do you know anybody?”

Matt Register: Sure.

Joel Quintela: And then most employees will say, “Hey, I know somebody. Why don’t you come and interview them?” And that’s how you find the right people. So if you’re doing both of those informal interviews and just going to referrals from your employees, you’re in bad shape. You’re going to make the wrong decision. And let me tell you why. So the first part is the interview. So informal interviews, you just ask them questions like we were talking about before. “If you’re a pizza topping, what kind of pizza topping would you be?”

Matt Register: Yeah. Nonsense question. Right. That don’t necessarily pertain to-

Joel Quintela: Correct.

Matt Register: -ferreting out if you’re a good fit or not.

Joel Quintela: The main idea is that if you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers. And there is a nice, easy simple way to figure out what those right questions are. The second part with the referrals, it’s so funny how we just focus on referrals, and we just take them for their word. Right? They go, “Hey, look, yeah, if you’re selling me, I’m obviously going to hire them.” Especially if that’s a good employee, and the good employee refers somebody, you just or take it, “No, it’s true. That’s true. These people really good.” But that’s not always true. And you tend to have blinders on. I’ve hired a couple of employees just because my best employee said, “You should talk to them.” And they were both wrong.

Matt Register: Yeah, well, that’s-

Joel Quintela: That’s pretty typical.

Matt Register: And when they’re wrong, that’s expensive.

Jay Curry: Yes.

Joel Quintela: Right. We have high-level folks with a lot of degrees behind their name so they’re pretty expensive. And think about this, when’s the last time you spent $40,000 on a car just because Jay said you should go look at this car?

Matt Register: Yeah. Got it.

Joel Quintela: Correct. So you can do the same thing with employees. You can have a 30 minute conversation and then just spend $40,000 on them, and as soon as you get that off the lot, you’ve lost $9,000. Exactly the same for an employee. You hire them at $36,000. They’re not going to leave for another three or four months maybe. If you’re lucky, within 90 days. So now, you’ve spent $12,000 out of your pocket.

Matt Register: Well, what larger companies do to combat this problem, they hire you. You develop by position, basically develop all the questions they need to ask to be able to get them to … Right?

Joel Quintela: That’s correct. So you set up what we call an interview guide, which is just a structured format that says sit down, say these instructions, ask these questions, right the notes, and score people so you can compare apples to apples. But everybody knows what to ask for a front desk or somebody, a Verizon Associate. They know exactly what they ask so they can get the right answers, and I can compare. I ask you the same question, you the same question, who gives a better response.

Matt Register: Sure.

Joel Quintela: That’s what we do. We set up those interview guides, but we do it on line. So you don’t have to worry with paperwork. You have it on screen. It walks you through. This is what you ask. You’re typing in notes. You’re asking questions. Now, you can compare data.

Matt Register: What are the legal implications of hiring wrong, right? Because we were talking during the break about quite often it’s legal counsel that ends up contacting you, right, from bigger companies.

Joel Quintela: Right.

Matt Register: Why in the world is this a legal problem sometimes?

Joel Quintela: So you always have two components with business. Obviously, there’s risk management then there’s value creation, right? We tend to be called when a company has been hammered a few times, and they’re shelling out millions of dollars to try to … EEOC is coming after them or the CCP for government. So they come to us and go, “Hey, look. We have an unstructured process. We don’t know who’s interviewing what, saying what. We need help saying the same thing, comparing apples to apples, and if we get challenged, I can say this is what we did, and this is how we did it.” And then the lawyers walk away.

Matt Register: Got it, which is always cheaper, right?

Joel Quintela: Yeah. Yeah.

Jay Curry: It’s kind of like insurance for the hirer.

Joel Quintela: Yeah. And it isn’t rocket science. There’s a bit of science behind it, but it really is … In work, there are just some things that people need to do well. I just want to help you figure out what that is. And that’s a 30-minute conversation, maybe. I’d go, what kind of manager are you? What kind of manager are you? How about the co-workers? How about the customers? From that information, I know five things that you will need in a candidate so you do better. A 30-minute conversation saves you $12,000.

Matt Register: Well, there’s not that many things that have that kind of a ROI. But there are opportunities for smaller businesses here as well, right? Some of these products that are available right now for larger companies. Now, smaller business owners have the ability to take advantage of some of those same things. Right?

Joel Quintela: That’s right, which is fascinating. We were talking before, if you’re JC Penney, you can hire 10,000 bad employees, right, as long as you hire 100,000 good employees. But you can’t do that as a small business owner. You make a mistake, you’ve lost when you’ve driven them off the lot, now, you’ve lost $9,000 right away. Oh, and they pissed off your customers and your coworkers, and there’s a lot of-

Matt Register: Residual bad will, right?

Joel Quintela: They quit before they quit if you know what I mean.

Matt Register: Sure.

Joel Quintela: So they stick around. There’s a lot of damage that is caused. And I’ve gone against my own … We practice what we preach, right? So we do the same exact thing that we help companies. And I’ve gone against that process two times and was wrong both times.

Matt Register: Well, there you go. You got to drink your own Kool-Aid, right?

Joel Quintela: We did, and I went against it.

Jay Curry: So there’s a fairly well-known book around, What Happened to the Person I Hire? I mean some of these people that are really not very good employees get this interviewing down pat. I mean they know what to say.

Joel Quintela: That’s right.

Jay Curry: You help penetrate that?

Joel Quintela: Yeah. Absolutely. Because everybody’s been coached. I mean all you have to do is google “How do I pass an interview?” Even the structured interviews, everybody’s been coached on how to say that and what to do. And the reality is if somebody has great communication skills, you’re going to forgive everything else.

Jay Curry: Sure.

Joel Quintela: So if they’re practiced, they know what’s going on, they’re going to fool us. It’s not a bad thing, but that’s just the way it goes. So what we do is come in and say, “Okay. We get that. We’re going to move away from that. I’m going to ask you questions that I have to ask you because I know you have to do them here.” And those are much more difficult to fake.

Matt Register: No. Interesting stuff. And I’m telling you, the cost of hiring wrong is massive.

Joel Quintela: Yes.

Matt Register: And anything you can do, especially as a small mid-market company to increase your batting average is absolutely money directly to the bottom line. So if somebody wants to learn more whether they’re a big company hiring a lot of people or a smaller company hiring fewer people, how do they learn more?

Joel Quintela: So go to And the website will direct you. If you’re a small business owner, it will tell you where to go. If you’re a big business, you can just reach out to us.

Matt Register:, Q-U-I-N-T-E-L-A. It’s going to be linked right there from Go to the website. We’ll have it linked right there, and it will direct you. Guys, it’s been fun. We are completely out of time.

Joel Quintela, Quintela Group, is the website. Thank you very much. We’ve got to take a break and pay some of our own bills. We’ll be right after this. Don’t go anywhere.

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About the Author
Matt Register

Matt Register

In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.

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