Brett Trainor (00:01.256)
Hey Jens, welcome to the podcast.
Hey, thanks. Thanks, Brett. Thanks for having me on.
Brett Trainor (00:08.412)
I'm absolutely glad you could join us. I know we've been talking about it for a while and I know I had to reschedule it a couple of times, so I appreciate the flexibility and I promise you it's gonna be worth the wait.
That's how it goes these days. We're all in the rescheduling business.
Brett Trainor (00:21.996)
Exactly. All right. So, so what you're doing is super fascinating to me. I think it's part of a larger shift in, you know, the, the future of work, which we're not going to get super deep into, but you know, I'm curious with your company when you started it, what was the, we don't have to go through your entire entrepreneurial journey, but just really around specifically around this company, what was it that, what was the problem that you saw that you, you wanted to address?
companies are just having a lot of trouble hiring and retaining talent. Right. This was very early on in the pandemic. We didn't even have the term great resignation yet, but, um, you know, I was just seeing that in my own work and, you know, the company I was working at and, and colleagues, you know, just talk about it, we were all talking about how we are having trouble finding, you know, filling certain roles and then in particular, retaining people. So people were.
we're leaving and then obviously that became known as the sort of great resignation, where everyone is understanding that trend. But that's what I saw early on. And then I started to think, okay, well, what can we do to address that, that sort of gap in the talent market? And of course, you know, sort of offshore talent is nothing new.
Right? That's not something that happened in the pandemic as a new phenomenon, but it became much easier. Companies became much more accepting of remote work and started to look to regions of the world that they may not have focused on as much in the past. And Latin America is one of them. Right? Again, there's been what's...
known as nearshoring for a long time. But, you know, a lot of companies started to want to diversify away from, you know, let's say they had all their offshore presence in India or the Philippines, they wanted to, or Eastern Europe, they wanted to start to diversify and look at other areas and Latin America has, has advantages and benefits that, that other, um, other parts of the world don't have for a U S for a U S market. So, um, so that's where, that's where I focused, uh, because I have.
experience in the region and we started to fill that gap and started to see that there was quite a demand there.
Brett Trainor (02:56.576)
Got it. Now, did you have any experience in staffing or temp staffing or anything in those areas recruiting when you jumped into this? Or was it, Hey, we got a problem. I think I can go solve it.
Oh, yeah, no, we didn't. And I did, I'm sorry. And it was more, yeah, jumping in, here's a problem, we can solve it. We I had experience, I had just, you know, what I come from was digital marketing. And so actually, initially, we, you know, we had focused the company partially on digital marketing talent.
We've moved away from that and now we focus on IT and development talent, software engineers on one hand, and then contact center talent on the other hand, as well as a number of other sort of back office administrative positions, right? But those are the two main areas and our clients are in healthcare, insurance, tech, financial services in the US.
So that's sort of our sweet spot. But yeah, it was more about feeling the demand that we saw at the time and still see.
Brett Trainor (04:11.036)
Interesting. Yeah. And, you know, I've had some folks on definitely in the VA space, right, which made a lot of sense early on. And I don't say there's challenges, but you have to know what you're doing with the VA in the sense, right, they're very good at taking very specific actions say, I need you to do this, right. But for a lot of us that haven't run marketing teams or other areas, I don't know what to tell. Right.
Brett Trainor (04:37.3)
that you're, I need somebody with that expertise. And I know in our conversations in the past, that's another gap that you guys are filling is you're actually providing more skilled. Is that, maybe not skilled isn't the right word, but you know what I'm saying, more knowledgeable that know how to do these things, right? That can come in and act as part of the team versus just being a contractor. Is that fair?
Yeah, that's right. It's staff augmentation, right? So we will augment, we augment the company's staff by basically giving them a team or a group of individuals that integrate into their existing team. Now, sometimes it'll be a brand new team that we're building, but that's still augmenting the overall staff of the company. And so these are these are people that work.
Just as if they were employees in the US, you know, sitting in the office or headquarters working with that team, but they're distributed, so they're remote. And they just integrate right in. So they, you know, into the client base. Sorry, into the team.
Brett Trainor (05:47.048)
Yeah, no, it makes sense. And are you seeing a more enterprise level or mid-market small? Where have you seen the initial acceptance?
Well, I think the acceptance is everywhere. We're mainly in mid market, small to mid. We're not an enterprise yet, although we're moving in that direction. But there is demand in all three. Absolutely. It just depends on what the capabilities are. And in each one of those sectors, the demand is different, right? But there's demand all across the board.
Brett Trainor (06:02.706)
Brett Trainor (06:27.38)
Yeah, I think one of the, I spent a lot more post corporate, I spent a lot more time in the small, a little bit on the midsize with some of the fractional work with some of the consulting. And one of the things that stalls or takes down a company is the wrong hire, right? Especially as these small companies are starting to grow and all right, we're ready, they think they're ready for their first employee, right? I still hear a lot, well, I need chief revenue officer. I'm like...
Brett Trainor (06:55.228)
maybe that's not where your first hire should be. And so that's what I absolutely love about this service is it doesn't take the risk completely out of it, but you're not, you know, it's not an 18 month, right? I hired this person six months later, it's not working. Three months performance plan, another three months out. Right, that could have sunk the business where you've got, I want to say plug and play expertise.
Brett Trainor (07:20.872)
within the areas of a business. So I see, to me, it just makes perfect sense as you're starting to build or scale that this is the type of service that you'd be looking for, right?
Yeah, for both. I mean, for somebody who is starting a new company as a startup, as well as for established mid-market companies, it's the same actually for both. This model provides more flexibility. So to go through the entire recruiting and hiring process and onboarding process for an employee in the U S is quite an involved process. It requires a lot in
in time, effort and resources. And it's a lot of work to see if the person is the right fit, right? So this model offers more flexibility. You know, we have flexible contracts. It's very easy to scale upward down anytime. And our competitors in the space, you know, a lot of them do that as well. And, and I think that offers a, you know, a big advantage, right? To be able to.
not only try out the specific person or people that you're bringing in, but also get an understanding of whether having this role in general makes sense, right, for your company. So yeah, it provides you that kind of flexibility.
Brett Trainor (08:44.672)
And I guess we should have probably started with, maybe explain a little bit how the model works, because I'm sure there's folks out there thinking to Mike, do I hire them and pay them or is your company? So maybe walk through how the model actually works.
course. Yeah, so it's a contract staffing model, long term contract staffing is how you would refer to it in the US. And what that means is the company that our you know, our client does not employ the person or the people, they have a contract with us as a Malaga, our US entity. And it's a there's a there's a monthly fee or an hourly fee, depending on the contract.
for each person and there's an invoice once a month. And that's the extent of it. We take care of payroll benefits when benefits are involved, any kind of compliance or legal issues. All of that onboarding, at least to the extent of the initial onboarding, right? You're gonna want, as the company, you're gonna wanna train the person in your systems, right? So of course you're gonna handle that. But...
But all of that back office HR is taken care of. And that's a huge benefit because number one, you don't have to worry about that in any case, but number two, this talent is not in the U S, right? This talent, we're in Latin America. So this talent is Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, different countries in Latin America. And our clients don't have business entities set up in those countries.
They don't know how to hire in those countries. And to be frank, labor law can be complicated in other countries, right? So all of that's taken care of. You don't have to worry about it.
Brett Trainor (10:34.636)
Brett Trainor (10:39.016)
Interesting. And so if I'm thinking, if I've got a small business, you know, again, part of the challenge with these small, even midsize, right, as they go through the recruiting process or hiring process, uh, before we even get to the onboarding process, right? Is there, I guess I'm going towards, is there best practices? I mean, you guys have done this for a while now with a lot of different companies. What is, if somebody's thinking about this, what, you know,
Brett Trainor (11:05.548)
How do they think about how they define what the requirements are that they need? Is there a process you go through where you scope it with them? Maybe just share. So if somebody's thinking about it, how do I, before I either approach you guys or somebody else if they wanna go down that path and or make sure that this is a need within the company, is there any recommendations you'd have on how to do that, right? What should I be thinking about? What are the questions, right? The bigger picture.
Yeah, I mean, the very first thing is to have a job description, right? And if you're an established company, you're going to have that. If you don't, that's okay. And we'll hop on a call and we'll flesh out what it is that's needed. What are the responsibilities and requirements that you want this talent to have so that they can contribute to the maximum amount to your company?
But even if you don't have the job description, I do recommend just writing one out anyway, because you always realize there are things you need in the position that don't immediately come to mind. And so when you write it out, that those things tend to come out. But then we help sort of flesh that out as well and make sure that we understand exactly what's needed. So we're a bespoke service and we tailor the sourcing and the recruiting and the candidates that we.
bring to you or to our clients to exactly what they need. So we're not just throwing mass amounts of candidates that vaguely meet the job requirements. We're really trying to understand exactly where this person is gonna fit in, where this time is gonna fit into the team and are these the right candidates that are gonna do that? Oftentimes and as much as possible, we are giving our clients candidates that are already on our roster of talent.
We've worked with them before. Our clients have worked with them before. We know them. So that provides a level of certainty, right? That the person is going to be reliable, professional, and is going to be what their resume says that they're gonna be. Sometimes we have requirements that, you know, we don't have someone on the roster, and then we have a team of recruiters who are very skilled and they source great candidates, and we have a vetting process. We have a filtering process.
several layers of interviews, talking to references, doing assessments, understanding the level of English, all that stuff is done on our end so that these people that we provide our clients can contribute and can basically meet the expectations. One of the, yes, how do you go about this? Another option for this is platforms like Upwork or Fiverr, all these things where you can just hire here and hire there.
that doesn't have the vetting in the same way, right? And that is an important thing, especially when you're hiring outside of the US, or even when you're hiring inside the US, so you wanna understand that the person you're bringing on is the right fit. So we put a lot of effort into that and build that kind of trust with our clients.
Brett Trainor (14:21.648)
And you look at the skills, cultural fit, everything, I mean, are you looking at the full picture? Cause I think, you know, when you mentioned fiber and upwork, I mean, to me, that's just, I got one project. I need to get this done, right? Do you have the skillset to do it? I look at the VA role as more tactical, right? I've got a number of tasks that need to be done in a specific thing, right? I'm going to do something in marketing or video. That person's probably not going to help me with, you know, customer onboarding or different. So it's very.
Brett Trainor (14:50.624)
very tactical and where we start to move to the full, because I'm assuming most of, almost all of your folks are then full time, right? Even though, so 40 hours, right? Which makes sense. So once you get to that level of capacity and need, then these are the folks that you're bringing in. So a lot of contacts behind, right? So you're looking at, and if I'm the business owner, I should be looking at skills, right? Will it fit in with the team? And again, two probably looking at.
Brett Trainor (15:20.72)
Should they start with outcomes and work backwards? Right? So this is where, or I guess what I'm asking is I've just seen so many of these companies that really struggle with, with the hiring and finding the right need. Right? So I'm hiring a marketing person while they needed a branding person versus a tactical lead gen. Right? So once you start to define these roles, they get very specific. And if they don't have a skillset in one area, then right. You time, money, wasted energy. So.
Brett Trainor (15:49.724)
If I'm, uh, again, I don't want to scare business owners cause I think this is the only way that you're going to, at some point you're going to have to bring folks on to scale the business. There's just no, no way around it. So what are some of the things that you're better run your better companies that are been using this? What are the, what are the questions they're asking? What are they doing? Um, again, I'm just trying to help these folks shortcut, you know, any potential hurdles as they're starting to bring folks on board.
Yeah, I mean, you hit the nail on the head, you have to really understand exactly what the outcomes you want. And based on that, what are the skill sets you need? And the more detail you give to that, and the more time you spend really refining that, the better the outcomes will be because you're the one who knows what you need more than anybody else. And we consult and we advise, right? Because, oh, it sounds like what you need is X, have you considered Y?
But at the end of the day, you're the one who knows. And so, so yeah, if you have that clear and you work with a company like ours, then we'll have that clear and then we'll be able to deliver on what it is you need. If it's not clear, it's harder, right? Because, you know, we're kind of shooting the dark there and that's not, that's not good for anyone. But, but you also mentioned soft skills and soft skills are very important part of the equation that are harder to quantify. It's important to have those you defined as well.
Brett Trainor (17:01.248)
And those are things that we put a lot of effort into understanding about the talent that we work with and particularly if it's not what we've worked with before or we have a better understanding of that. Even if it's not, even if they're not, we'll do a lot of interviews to really try to get to know the person as a person, not just a resume. Cause resumes are really about what you have done. They're not about who you are as a person, right? You don't really put that on a resume.
Brett Trainor (17:39.404)
Thanks for watching.
very much. And so our team puts a lot of time as well into understanding who you are, right? Who the talent is. And then we communicate that and it makes sense for your team. And then when you interview them, you get a sense, right? You get a feel for them. So yeah, those are all very important parts of the equation.
Brett Trainor (18:06.988)
selection process and then maybe we can just touch briefly on some of the best practices for onboarding, right? Because I think you get the right person, everything there, but then if you stumble and don't get off on the right foot with maybe expectations or what are some of the core things that we should be thinking about, I'm guessing you probably have an onboarding process. But again, as a business owner, what should I be thinking about?
Yeah, well, we, so we have an onboarding process for our, our talent consultants, specialists who work with our clients and we put a lot of effort into creating a community for them that that's an Amalga community, right? So that they feel like they're part of a broader community. And you know, our company Amalga comes from the word Amalgamate. So our mission is to unite the U S and Latin America more. And so how do you do that? Will you bring great job opportunities?
from the US to Latam and you bring great talent from Latam to the US, but it's more than that. It's really helping people not just get, let's say a better job offer, but have a greater professional path where they can grow more, feel like they're part of a community. So those are things that we do a lot on our end. We find that leads.
our specialists, our consultants to be happier in what they're doing in their jobs, which is great then for our clients, right? Because everyone's happy. It's a win-win for all. So there's that part of the onboarding that we take care of. But then there's the onboarding that you as the client takes on. And that mainly has to do with training, right? You have to have clear SOPs in place, clear processes that this...
the talent of these consultants, these specialists are going to work within. And that has to be clearly defined before they start. Ideally other members of your team have already been using them so that you've been able to work out the kinks and then you're able to just integrate the new augmented staff right in. But communication. So once they're in and you have these SOPs in place, you have to have, you or members of your team have to have meetings to go over them.
Never assume they understand something just because it's written there. Um, there can be small cultural differences as the parts. It's important to, to put a lot of effort on the front end into making sure that the training is there and that, you know, they understand your systems and how your company operates if they're learning a CRM or their, whatever it is, you know, that you have to make sure to put it, you have to invest time into that and have those check-in calls and there are lots of.
You know, tools, right? You can use Loom to record your screen, right? You can visualize your workflow in Miro or, you know, use one of the many, many project management systems or CRMs. Yeah, there's, there's all sorts of ways of doing it. Um, but, um, but making sure you expect responsive communication from them. Um, and, and then following up and checking in, um, and, uh, and, and constant feedback, you know, that's which, you know, I think this isn't.
unique at all to near short or offshore talent is that you would want to do this with a, with an employee, right? And, you know, in your physical office, right? Yeah, exactly. Now there's an extra layer when they're remote, right? So that's why, you know, it becomes even more important to have the communication and the check-ins, but, you know, it's not reinventing the wheel. This is, you know, it's just, it's just maybe a extra emphasis in it.
Brett Trainor (21:31.056)
In theory, you should be doing this.
Brett Trainor (21:47.872)
Yeah, it's such a good point. And two, as you're starting to look at where your needs are, I think we were talking before maybe it was offline, the Who Not How book. I'm a huge believer of Dan Sullivan and Hardy's book, just because when I read that the first time, man, that's just so true, right? You don't, the old model was, well, you need sales, we need marketing, we need the silos, we need full-time employees across the board. And now it's, man, what's the best resource to get that job done?
And like I said before, I think the gap was right. The Delta between a VA and then the full-time employee, there really wasn't anything in there, but as I'm starting to see more and work with, you know, fractionals that are companies are bringing fractionals on. So they don't need a full chief marketing officer yet or chief revenue officer. But they got somebody that's coming in to help them put the infrastructure into place for a company, right. As they're starting to grow. And again, I'm
not putting words in your mouth, but to me, this seems logical where you, this is a good interim step, right? Or maybe full time. I'm like, said, I'm, I'm a big believer that the future model works. There aren't going to be silos. It's going to be an ecosystem of specialists plugged in, but you got to have your shit together within the business and your processes and those things. So, um, am I reading that the right way? I mean, are you, cause I know you work with some of the traditionals, but are you starting to see.
Brett Trainor (23:11.412)
Or I guess, let me just ask you your take on kind of the future, right? Where is this thing heading, right? You're filling a gap now, but are you looking forward to see where these models are going? I'm always curious to hear from folks that are kind of on the front line with talent.
Yeah, well, first, let me address something you said in the beginning. Who Not How is a great book, had to dance a little bit. I mean, it's a great concept. And, you know, I think as business owners, as entrepreneurs, as, you know, people in general, we tend to, we have a problem and we want to fix it. So we, oh, I have to, I have to figure out how to fix it myself. So let me learn how to fix it and then I'll fix it. But really oftentimes that's not the right way to go. The right way to go is to find, you know, the who.
who already has the expertise, bring them in so they can do it. They're gonna do a better job. Unless you invest a lot of time into learning yourself and practice and experience, which is great. And if you really wanna develop that skill, excellent. But oftentimes, you don't, and oftentimes, there just isn't the hours and the day to be able to do that for all the skills you need to run a business. So it doesn't make sense. So you bring in a great who, who can jump right in, has the skillset. It may cost you a little more.
than doing it yourself, but in the long run or the medium run, it's going to cost you less because you spent less time trying to figure it out yourself. And when you're trying to figure it out yourself and it's something you're not used to, you can make mistakes. It's much better to bring the person in. So yeah, so this model, this staffing model is a model where, yes, you're basically bringing hows. Sorry, not hows. You're bringing who's onto your team.
in different areas of the company whenever and however you want. It's a model for that. And I think that is where we're going, or at least I hope it's where we're going because it makes for a more efficient, you know, more efficient management and more efficient running of a business than I would do everything myself, but this doesn't make sense. It's not practical for anyone. Yeah.
Brett Trainor (25:17.564)
Yeah, 100%. Or as they say in the book, right, it's either you don't do it well or you just don't do it at all. And so it never gets done, which is more in my thing. If there's something that I'm not strong at, I may mess around with it, or it just sits there. So again, I think for companies and owners that are serious about growth, one, I encourage everybody to read that book because I do think Dan was onto something.
Well, that's, yes. Yes, that's another thing.
Brett Trainor (25:46.516)
what bigger picture with where we're going with this. And two, like I said, I hadn't really put two and two together until we were talking now, but one of the things when I was working with some of these companies and Fractionals was starting to put teams together for these companies that were growing. So you need a chief marketing officer, but you're in healthcare, so you need a part-time project manager or a product marketer with specific skills in these areas.
Brett Trainor (26:15.028)
that you need this team, you will hire all three of those. That's $350,000, right? And your business can't support that out of the box, but you need that expertise. So like I said, I think your service, this type of service is gonna fill an important gap out there, right? As you need the full time, you need the steady, but maybe not quite ready for that.
full-time staff. And again, part of it, I'm also curious too, that are you seeing with your folks when they get staffed, in the typical corporate, again, I like to paint the big picture that, with all the different meetings that we had, and the unnecessary work, right? In our own office space, it said, at any given week, I think I do 15 minutes of real work, just because of all the other stuff. Have you seen businesses that are using your folks?
Brett Trainor (27:05.948)
much more intentional about the work that they're using on and keeping them out of the non-value added stuff. It may be a hard question to answer, but I'm curious.
I think our clients do a good job of that. I mean, at the end of the day, it depends on their management style, right? But I think that they, yeah, I think that they do a good job. It really depends on how you implement this model into your team, right? And really, I mean, this is the day, staff augmentation, right? So, the people you're bringing in should
Brett Trainor (27:24.693)
Brett Trainor (27:43.37)
probably be managed in a very similar way to the people who are in house, right? I mean, because they're on the same team. And so I think that it sort of depends on how the whole company is run and whether that's done or not.
Brett Trainor (27:58.78)
Yeah, I think I may have to do, I'm going to do some more digging research into this to see if it's just a, you know, a psychological phenomenon. Cause it just seems when you have full-time employees or you've hired someone, you're just less focused on how efficient that you shouldn't be less efficient they are. But when you start to pay a fractional or, you know, a VA in these cases or a staff hog or what you guys are doing, there just seems to be more of a, an intentionality of.
about not getting them involved in some of the non-value. I don't know, it's more often a little bit of a tangent, but I'm gonna do some homework in there. Yeah.
Well, maybe also they're remote. Well, they're remote, right? So in that case, maybe that is easier. But yeah, I think the answer might be different depending on the company.
Brett Trainor (28:49.716)
company. Yeah. But the warning or the message, all these companies make sure you're utilized, make sure your employees as efficiently as possible. They'll be happier, right? That you're going to get more productivity out of it. But that's my challenge with some of the larger companies. It's really hard for them to change practices and silos that they've done. And so that's why I'm so excited for the small and mid-sized companies, because they can really take advantage of some of these new ways of doing business, right? And new resources that are
Brett Trainor (29:18.248)
or valent, as you said, it's not, you know, staff hog isn't new, but I think providing these types of specialties and these skills is newer, at least I wasn't aware of it. So if I'm not, then I'm guessing there's quite a few people that weren't aware of this.
Yeah, I mean, it's very skill specific. I mean, mainly we are working on the operational level, right? You know, and that's where this works very well as opposed to high level management. You know, this is, you know, we need a team of developers, software engineers with these languages, you know, in their skillset, you know, this experience with these databases and, you know, we need to work, need them to work on, you know, this project and that's a very specific.
You know, need, right? Call centers, right? We need people to do 80 inbound and outbound calls a day, you know, for in this industry, you know, with this, this sort of outcome. Well, that's very specific. data entry. And we need a data entry specialist to, to work, you know, on this project. I mean, they're very specific roles and outcomes, right? And so I think that most companies come in already knowing.
Brett Trainor (30:03.84)
This is what I need them for, right? And, and, uh, and so they're clear on what the KPIs are. And that measurability also is a very, going back to your question about, you know, how to onboard, that's a very important part of the process. You have to have very clear KPIs and objectives that you want everyone to meet, and then you're able to determine whether they do or not.
Brett Trainor (30:34.752)
Brett Trainor (30:56.36)
Awesome, awesome. Well, Gens, I wanna be super respectful of your time and the time actually flown by. So is there anything that we didn't touch on today that you think we should have touched on or anything else the audience should know as we're thinking about this?
It always does.
Um, no, I don't think so. I mean, I just, you know, so Amalga is at Amalgagroup.com. Um, if you're interested in chatting more, um, with us about the different types of talent we provide, it's on the website, but you know, we can also chat and, um, what services or talent you may be looking for. We're happy to have a introductory chat or just a consult and, you know, see if something like this makes sense. Um, and you can get more information there, amalgagroup.com.
Brett Trainor (31:39.352)
Awesome. And that was going to be my last question is where do people find you? But you've beaten me to the punch and you know, we'll make sure that we put all that into the show notes as well. But what I find is with the podcast, they're already, if they're interested, they're already Googling you off of the conversation. So, but, but we'll make it easy for everybody. So, so Jen's thank you again for, for the time today. I appreciate it. Best of luck as this grows. Like I said, I think you guys are going to be super busy. You're well positioned in a good area and we'll check in with you in the future.
Yeah, that's where.
Well, thank you so much, Brett. Thanks for having me on and have a great rest of the day.
Brett Trainor (32:13.792)
You do the same, thanks.