How to Hire an Excellent VA for Your Online Business with Noel Andrews from JobRack

Episode 90

Noel Andrews is an entrepreneur and the Owner/Chief Executive Officer of JobRack. Noel helps online business owners to hire great team members from Eastern Europe. JobRack’s mission is to break open the highly-skilled, intelligent autonomous working Eastern European employee market for digital businesses, all while providing the easiest access to this workforce as possible.

Listen to Noel and learn how to hire the best VA for your online business!

[00:01 – 05:40] Opening Segment

  • Let’s get to know Noel Andrews
  • He shares his inspiring journey to becoming an entrepreneur

[05:41 – 11:15] Pursuing an Entrepreneurial Life

  • Here’s Noel’s thinking process when he left the corporate world
  • Noel talks about his experience in hiring people for his team
    • He shares a “light bulb moment” you shouldn’t miss!
  • Don’t miss Noel’s message for his younger self
    • Will he go through the same process?

[11:16 – 21:41] Paying the Best People Right

  • Are you planning to quit your job to pursue e-commerce?
    • Here’s Noel’s piece of advice for you
  • Why ecommerce business owners should hire from Eastern Europe
    • Noel reveals the region’s history and educational system
  • Want some Amazon refunds? Check out Getida
    • Promo code: FTM400

[21:42 – 35:03] Hiring the Right People

  • Noel shares how you can utilize JobRack for your business
  • He gives an interesting insight about the future of remote work
  • Is Noel recommending tests during the application process?
    • Find out his recommendations

[35:04 – 39:05] Closing Segment 

  • Know more about Noel in the Fire Round!
  • Connect with Noel. Links below
  • Final words

Tweetable Quotes:

“Figure out the life you want, and that gives you the motivation to dig in and do the late nights, the early mornings, the weekends, and whatever it takes.” – Noel Andrews

“When people have been through real hardship, then it creates just this kind of determination to succeed and to do better.” – Noel Andrews

Resources mentioned

Email to connect with Noel or follow him on LinkedIn and YouTube. Do you want to hire the best remote talent for your business from Eastern Europe? Check out JobRack!


Send us a voice message and let us know how we can help you!




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David 0:00
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Noel Andrews 0:46
Yeah, so a good solid kind of virtual assistant that has got their own initiative that’s going to kind of really drive things forward for you, they’re going to start at about eight or 900 US dollars a month, maybe go up to about 11 or 1200, at the pretty senior end for like a really good executive assistant, probably covering some project management at that point, maybe they’ve got some kind of graphic design skills and really is, you know, kind of running your life at that point. So very, very cost effective, we typically see salaries, somewhere between, you know, at least 40 to 50% lower than kind of US and UK and Canadian salaries, but very, very kind of cost effective. But it starts with figuring out, like, what do you really need, what’s going to really move the needle. Sometimes it might be get hiring someone that can take some tasks off your plate to free your time up, so that you have more time to do the really important things, or other times, it might be that you hire someone to do things you can’t do and that just aren’t in your skill set. And figuring that kind of priority out is that’s the first thing to kind of really flesh out. Once you’ve got an idea of that, then it’s you know, talking to people like me browsing kind of existing job ads on the kind of job boards like job rack, figuring out alright what’s the role called? What are the kind of things you want to do. And you can then start to flesh out your kind of your job ad and your job posts from there. Keeping in mind that, you know, we work to live not the other way around. So you know, what are you doing it for what’s the life you want? Figure out the life you want, and that gives you the motivation to dig in and do the late nights, the early mornings, the weekends and whatever it takes, but it’s all about the life. Figure that out first. And that’s what a lot of people don’t do. And often they get kind of burnt out and have kind of troubles or they never quite get that courage to kind of fire the man. So think about the life that you want and then the rest will flow.

Intro 2:24
Welcome everyone to the firing the man podcast, a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and know you are capable of more, then join us. This show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your hosts, serial entrepreneurs David Schomer and Ken Wilson.

David 2:48
Welcome everyone to the firing the man podcast on today’s episode we have the privilege to interview Noel Andrews. Noel is an entrepreneur and owner and CEO of job rack. Noel helps online business owners to hire a great team member out of Eastern Europe job racks mission is to break open the highly skilled, intelligent, autonomous working Eastern European employee market for digital businesses all while providing the easiest access to this workforce as possible. We are incredibly excited to have Noel on the show. Noel welcome.

Noel Andrews 3:22
Hey, Thanks, David. Really good to be here.

David 3:23
Absolutely. So first things first, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Noel Andrews 3:27
Yeah, so based out here in London, England got a kind of bit of an addiction to kind of rooftop bars and the summertime here in London is a good time to be testing those out. I like all aspects of kind of watersports, things like that. And been kind of in the entrepreneurial game for kind of a fair while now and having some good fun building and scaling jobrack along the way.

Ken 3:44
Awesome. So Noel, you said, how long have you been an entrepreneur?

Noel Andrews 3:48
Well, if you count washing cars, washing planes, small planes, but washing planes and all that kind of stuff, then probably about 33 years, and then certainly kind of it was born at that level. And then seriously kind of full time for about the last kind of 10 years or so.

Ken 4:02
Okay, awesome. So I got to go a little bit deeper into that one. So washing planes, I’ve never heard that one before. So how did you fall into that gig?

Noel Andrews 4:10
Yeah, so I wanted to be a pilot since the age of either like four or five. So I started doing some flying lessons when I was about 11, I think it was. I was doing like lots of kids do and teenagers do you know kind of do things to try and make some money kind of washing cars for neighbors, things like that. And after one of my flying lessons, I’d got chatting to the instructor and I think I’ve mentioned something about washing cars. And he’s like, Oh, we need someone to wash the planes. And I was like, Yeah, that sounds great, because I get to be around planes. Although I think they got a bargain because they had me like waxing, all the fuel stains off this particular plane. And I think I’ve got the same as like your average station wagon, but it was a lot bigger than a station wagon.

Ken 4:44
That’s awesome, very cool story. So it sounds like you’ve been an entrepreneur for a really long time. Did you ever have like standard corporate job or any kind of job like that?

Noel Andrews 4:53
Yeah, absolutely. I spent 12 years in the corporate world and so I went to university aerospace engineering was my third degree and then jumped in very heavily into the corporate world. So into the IT space kind of project management and kind of team leadership and, earned my stripes as it were in that very corporate world. So lots of growth, hiring building teams from kind of like 30 people up to like 130, then going through that kind of more difficult times, when you’re reducing the team size back down to 20, as the company in that instance, kind of had some real big challenges. With all the kind of exciting and kind of interesting events that that kind of like brings, so yeah, the corporate life is kind of where I was trained, in a sense. And that’s put me in really good stead for the entrepreneurial world. It gives me a good blend. But yeah, I kind of lived that, working for the man, as you guys talk about so much. Yeah, I kind of lived and breathed that for a long time.

David 5:40
Let’s dive into that transition period from when you’re working for the man versus, as we call it on the show firing the man. So talk us through your thought process, how long you contemplated it. Was there any fears that were holding you back? Let’s dive into that.

Noel Andrews 5:57
Yeah, there’s always fears, right. So there was a pivotal moment, I had been with this company for 10 years. And like I said, I’d always been entrepreneurial, and always been kind of looking for ideas, but got to have the right idea, the right level of confidence and courage, the right amount of money in the bank. And when you hit 10 years in this company, you got a pen. That was like the celebration, right? So you’ve got a pen. And I remember getting this pen and I was like, oh, I’ve been here too long. I’ve been here way too long. I never expected to be here for 10 years. And that was quite a like catalyst moment. And I started like seriously kind of pushing myself then. And it came at the same time as a realization that I did not want my boss’s job. So you know, the corporate world, the whole point is you’re like you’re ascending the ladder, right? You kind of moving on up. And the moment I realized I’ve got you know, as it kind of head off, and director level, and look to my boss, and I was like, yeah, the extra money is just not worth, I don’t want that gig at all. And so if you don’t want to go up, then the only other way is out. And so I spent some real time thinking about it, trying to kind of think about ideas, and then like, how can I build up the money to kind of give me that confidence. And I ended up actually leaving permanent corporate life to go into into interim like contractor kind of work. So still working within corporate businesses, but with a lot more flexibility, and generally a lot more lucrative as well. So I took a kind of a stepping stone, so that that would let me build more money up, but while still giving me a reasonable level of security, and then that was my kind of transition through and then about a year or so later, put some good money away. I’ve come up with an idea that I wanted to pursue. And yeah, then that was that jump out of corporate life completely.

David 7:32
Very nice. I’m glad you shared that path. Because I think a lot of our listeners think you know, it’s either all or nothing, right? You’re either working for the man, or you fire him completely. And it sounds like you made a pivot that pointed you in the direction of where you ultimately wanted to go. But it wasn’t that immediate, you know, firing of the man, right? It was it was a slow climb. And I really liked that. So that idea that you had one year into your contracting work was that jobrack?

Noel Andrews 8:00
No, it wasn’t. So at the time, I was doing a lot of hiring of people, I needed to build up a pretty large team. And I’d had a day where the interviews were, you know, they were all lovely people. But the interviews were terrible. They just hadn’t put themselves across well, and I was driving home. And I think you know what happened now? Why was that so bad. And I had literally like, it’s really kind of cliche, but I had this light bulb moment. And I was thinking, well, people aren’t taught how to be good at interviews, right when they’re going for a job interview. And I was like, well, I’ve done like hundreds of job interviews, and I’ve done a bunch of interviews on both sides so I was like ahhh, I wonder if I could coach people, I wonder if that’s a thing that people would pay for. And so that was where the business called interview confident was kind of born off the back of that. So helping people coaching people to kind of do much better at job interviews, typically in the technology in the IT space. So that’s what I jumped out to do. So I kind of put aside some money. I spent a year trying to build that up. And it was successful in that we helped a lot of people get jobs, but it wasn’t successful in me, or it was unsuccessful for a better way saying in the you know, actually scaling making this kind of a sustainable business. Yes, I did that for a year, and then realized that the money was running dry. So I actually had to then jump back into the contracting world. And I think, again, that was kind of good for me as well, it was good to fail at something and it was good to try something and kind of jump into it. And there’s always if you’ve got a good set of skills, good set of experience, and you work hard, you can always jump back into that kind of the corporate world. You don’t want to generally but you always can do for a period of time. You know, do what you need to do get the next idea and you know, whether you drop down into part time whether you do contracting, there’s lots of flexible ways. It doesn’t have to be like you said all or nothing.

Ken 9:32
Yeah, that’s an interesting part of your story. And I think it’s very common for entrepreneurs to go out on a limb, try something and then I don’t like the word fail, but like lessons learned. There’s peaks and valleys and pivoting and all that. And so it sounds like you had to pivot and kind of go and lean back on your skill sets. So now looking back on that, what advice would you give yourself and for all the listeners to take that leap of faith. Like, would you still do it? Would you do it differently? Or what do you think?

Noel Andrews 10:04
I’d definitely still do it. And I think I’m with you, I do I see it as a failure? No, not really, I learned a ton, right? So it was just me, I had a year’s worth of money in the bank. And I learned how to do webinars, I learned a whole bunch of stuff around kind of how to set up landing pages and websites, and you know, how to talk to customers and how to do advertising. And you’ve got to learn these things somewhere, right? You know, yes, you can outsource to a point, once you’re at a certain scale, and you’ve got certain amount of money you can hire and help yourself grow. But you’ve got to understand there’s a load of things, as an entrepreneur and a business owner, you’ve really got to know. And so my biggest tip is just try it. And there’s never been, I always say this, you know, but I don’t think there’s ever been an easier time to kind of pursue an idea. You’ve got an idea, you can get it in front of people, you can get conversations with people, it’s really, really straightforward these days. And I just think you have to just jump in, give it a try, don’t necessarily bet the house on it as it were, try and have some bit of savings there kind of that you can, you know, you can afford to kind of give it a try. But again, if you really want something, then you know, evenings, weekends, you know, maybe drop down to part time to kind of help give you some time to kind of build something up. But just try it, whatever happens, you’re going to be learning. And if it doesn’t kind of go quite perfectly in the first thing, it’s going to teach you things that you can use in the second, the third or the fourth thing.

David 11:15
Very nice. Now, I heard you mention having one year’s income in the bank. And I really like that that’s really thinking ahead right. Now, what advice would you give people that are considering quitting their job to pursue e commerce full time? What advice would you give them based on your background?

Noel Andrews 11:33
So hang out with the right people. Surround yourself with the right people. So I think it’s Tim Ferriss that gets credited with you know, you’re the average of the five people you surround yourself with. And it is so true. So I joined an online community of kind of entrepreneurs and online business owners, I used to travel from the southwest of England, where I was living three and a half hours up to London once a month for drinks on Thursday evening, just to hang out with people that were doing this kind of stuff online, because that little kind of wonderful part of the world that I lived was not an entrepreneurial hotspot by any means. And so that is just so so key just to be and you can do it online. But actually, there’s nothing that replaces being able to kind of just hang out with people face to face and chat. But you know, if you are in a place and you can’t travel, then do it online. There’s so many communities now, so many groups, and that’s the biggest thing, you just need to be around the people having the right conversations that, you know, similar stage a little bit further ahead than you just to give you that motivation, because it’s tough, right? If this thing was easy, we’d all be multibillionaires, right? And we’re not. Not yet. So that’s the, yeah hanging out with the right people getting that kind of motivation and getting the input. You know, being able to ask questions. I think that’s the key. You’ve got the financial side. And then it’s just about, you know, getting the support and then just putting the hours in, it’s like bum on seat time. Right. That’s what it takes.

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Ken 12:44
Yeah, that’s solid advice. I definitely agree. Great advice. David and I met at a meetup, our significant others were tired of hearing us talk about business and everything else. And like, go surround yourself with like minded people. So yeah, solid advice. Awesome. So Noel, I’d like to pivot a little bit. And let’s talk about jobrack.

Noel Andrews 13:03
Yeah, so job rack, I actually bought job rack. So another kind of entrepreneurial ticking the box. So jobrack was started in 2015. Some guys that started it’s kind of saw a real opportunity, but at the same time had like a much bigger business they were focused on as well. So it’s kind of, they kind of grew jobrack, custom tech stack, built the team got some good kind of brand awareness out there. And then their bigger business was just taking off. And so it kind of, jobrack got sidelined for a little while. And then it was either gonna get shut down or sold. And this was at the point, I’d done a year of the interview coaching, I then spent a year back in another contract of building up the bank a little bit again, at the same time, I was still kind of hanging out with entrepreneurs, and a lot of people this is 2018. And a lot of people were all talking about how hard it is to hire good people. And so I started doing a little bit of consulting a little bit of helping kind of entrepreneurs and business owners with this, you know how to hire better. And then job rack came up. And it was just, it was an instant, hell yeah, without any doubt at all. And it was a very rapid, I think three and a half, four weeks, it was from them initially posting that it was coming up for sale to us completing and transferring it across. Yeah, it was a bit crazy, especially with the custom tech stack, because you’re never quite sure what you’re buying. You can’t really know all the details of it. But yeah, it’s been great. I love the fact that and the big attraction for me was the fact that it was niche down into Eastern Europe. You know, there are there’s hundreds or 1000s of job boards and job sites out there. But for me if you can be in a business that’s niche down and is really focused on one area that just makes everything so much easier from fulfillment through to marketing and sales, and just your focus is much clearer. and Eastern Europe particularly it’s just this absolute hotspot of incredible talent. So that was really, really appealing. It was tiny, it was really, really tiny when I bought it so which is probably a good thing because it meant it wasn’t too scary or too intimidating. And then we’ve just been kind of building up over the last kind of two and a half years. And then things have really gone crazy in the last kind of five or six months now. Kind of five x’d revenue this year so far which is exciting and slightly crazy and slightly challenging, but makes for some good times.

David 15:02
So let’s dive into the people. Right. And I agree with you finding great people is one of the biggest challenges that we find in our business. And so to kind of have you as the ambassador of folks over in Eastern Europe, why should we be looking there in terms of for help?

Noel Andrews 15:19
So there’s a couple of key things. So first off, is the education system is just amazing out there, the vast majority of candidates that we see who’ve got at least one degree, and a lot of them have got two, it’s really, really common. So as an example, I’ve recently hired an assistant for me, so an executive assistant, and she handles all kinds of things. She’s training to be a judge in Serbia, and she has a finance degree and a law degree. And she worked part time as a court clerk, and she kind of wanted some extra money, and she wants to be doing some interesting work. So she’s now my assistant. And she speaks English almost better than I do a super, super smart as you’d hope for someone who’s going to be a judge. And it’s just incredible. And we see this kind of story kind of again, and again, from like software developers that are studying, you know that have really grasped so many different kind of coding languages, through to kind of graphic designers or operations managers that just are incredibly, incredibly well educated. And then that gets coupled with an incredible work ethic, you know, these people are about as far from the entitled generations that we’re currently seeing in the Western world right now, you know, in the US and the UK. And this kind of sense of entitlement is, in some ways, it’s a good thing. In some ways, it’s really, really tricky. And it challenges me a lot when I’m, I’ve got two step sons that I don’t think they’re too entitled. But certainly, you know, it’s a different kind of culture generationally right now, I think, is what we’re seeing. And I hear a lot of my kind of customers and kind of friends talking about the same thing. Whereas in Eastern Europe, you know, 15 years ago, there was full on civil war between a lot of these countries, literal war, you know, we were seeing it, when I was growing up we were seeing on the TV. And so when people have been through real hardship, then it creates just this kind of determination to succeed and to do better, you know, and thankfully, you know, the wars have ended out there, you know, things are being rebuilt, but it’s still very much in the kind of recent history. So there’s this determination, that then translates into an incredible work ethic that they want to do good work, they want to work really hard, and they want to have, you know, a better life and kind of earn more money. And ideally, what a lot of them want, or most of them want is to do that without leaving their country, it’s really, really well known the kind of brain drain of so many of these countries have lost so many people historically coming out to the UK or to the US or kind of Western Europe. And so now with the ability to work remotely, they’re able to kind of apply this, you know, incredible work ethic, these incredible skills to businesses all over the world, but still staying and living in the country that they love, and, you know, some beautiful countries out there. So you’ve got this kind of like really, really kind of struggle, education, incredible work ethic, their English language skills are really, really strong. And then you’ve got like a cultural alignment that is just a lot closer with the US, UK, Canada, Australia, etc. They’re much more closely kind of culturally aligned, then kind of people from some other countries in the world. And that makes it just a lot easier from kind of a communication and kind of fitting in with a team, etc. That’s not to say that you want homogenous team where everyone’s the same. But it certainly does kind of make things easier because you don’t have to be quite so kind of sensitive about talking directly. And in fact, most people from Eastern Europe, are really, really direct with it, you know, they’ll tell you, if they think you’re wrong, they’ll tell you if they think there’s a better way, they don’t have that quite that kind of subservient approach that’s common in many other areas of the world, which can be really, really frustrating, because as business owners, we’re not always that great on being clear about what we actually want.

Ken 18:38
Yeah, I agree that’s a really good quality to have versus someone that’s just real, timid and not communicating very much. So I’m not super familiar with the, you know, Eastern Europe, and maybe some listeners as well. Can you list out like, maybe four or five of the countries that you work with?

Noel Andrews 18:57
Hmm, yeah, sure. So we covered like 22 countries that we’ve kind of loosely grouped as Eastern Europe, but there’s about six or seven that we do most of our work in. And this is where we find the sweet spot of really, really high quality people. And also low cost of living, that translates into, you know, kind of a much lower salary cost than we pay kind of locally here. So we do a lot in the Balkans, so places like Serbia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, Croatia, Albania, Romania is kind of a good hotspot for us, Bulgaria. So they’re the kind of countries that we look at. And we cover wider than that, but that’s probably where 80% of our job seekers come from.

Ken 19:32
Okay. And one quick follow up on that one, it’s gonna be tough because, you know, you probably hire for all different positions, but maybe like a salary range for like, let’s say, a general VA, could you give us a just a standard or something?

Noel Andrews 19:45
Yeah. So a good solid kind of virtual assistant that has got their own initiative that’s going to kind of really drive things forward for you. They’re going to start at about eight or 900 US dollars a month, maybe go up to about 11 or 1200 at the pretty senior end like a really good executive assistant, probably covering some project management at that point, maybe they’ve got some kind of graphic design skills and really is, you know, kind of running your life at that point. So very, very cost effective, we typically see salaries, somewhere between, you know, at least 40 to 50%, lower than kind of US and UK and Canadian salaries, but very, very kind of cost effective. So you can hire a part time assistant for like four or $500 a month, and get a huge amount of value from them. And that translates through, you know, kind of software engineers, software developers, even a senior JavaScript developer, kind of react skills are really kind of hot skills right now, that in the US would be, you know, maybe 120 to $150,000 a year kind of salary. You know, we’re talking kind of half that then for really, really good quality people really, really, you know, we’re not compromising on the skills you get, it’s just a lower cost of living.

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David 20:49
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Ken 21:42
Nice. Yeah, that’s an incredible value right there.

David 21:44
Yeah. And I just wanted to clarify so that 800 to 1200 an hour, that’s a 40 hour work week?

Noel Andrews 21:50
Yep. 40 Hour Work Week. Yeah, so and working hard as well, we’ve got we supply a lot of us based agencies and companies that are, you know, what we often find is that we, there’s kind of two types of people that we tend to work with. So sometimes they’ll come to us for their first hire, because they’ve heard that actually, the with the costs in Eastern Europe, they can afford to hire much earlier, that means they can kind of really be scaling their business. So if you’ve taken that jump, and you’ve kind of fired the man, and you’ve managed to get out of your corporate gig, and it’s typically just you, or sometimes maybe before you kind of jump out of a corporate gig, maybe you’ll hire someone to kind of be doing the admin and kind of doing the task, maybe get some marketing going to make it transition easier. So we see some people that are start with hiring in Eastern Europe, because like I said, it’s so much more cost effective, they can, you know, kind of grow and scale quicker. Or we find people that are quite established that are then suddenly struggling to hire, especially these days, locally in the US, right, they just can’t find the talent they need. They’ve heard that Eastern Europe it’s a hotspot, and they come out to us for one person initially to kind of scale and augment their team. And then they come back for more. And in every single case kind of people start with one and then they just kind of build out from there. Because Yeah, the quality is amazing. And they integrate really well with an existing team as well.

David 23:00
Nice, very nice. So Noel, there are probably some people listening, thinking to themselves. This sounds great. This is what I’ve been looking for. I would like to hire somebody to help out with my business. And so they’re gonna go over to Can you kind of walk us through those steps and provide any pro tips on hiring the right employee for your needs.

Noel Andrews 23:23
Yeah, so the first thing is to figure out what you need so before you even think about posting a job. Before you think about kind of buying and paying for a job ad or paying someone to help you hire. First thing is figuring out what do you actually need. And so I spend a lot of my time with kind of entrepreneurs and business owners just helping them figure out what’s the right role for them to hire next, it’s not always the one that we think is. So yeah, there’s a full kind of how to hire remotely guide on the website at that kind of talks you through every single step in the whole process. But it starts with figuring out like, what do you really need, what’s gonna really move the needle, sometimes it might be get hiring someone that can take some tasks off your plate to free your time up, so that you have more time to do the really important things. or other times it might be that you hire someone to do things you can’t do and that just aren’t in your skill set. And figuring that kind of priority out is that’s the first thing to kind of really flesh out. Once you’ve got an idea of that, then it’s, you know, talking to people like me browsing kind of existing job ads on kind of job boards, like job rack, or figuring out right, what’s the role called? What are the kinds of things you want to do. And you can then start to flesh out your kind of your job and your job posts from there. It’s making sure you hire and then you advertise in the right place, you’ve got to fish in the right pond if you want to find the right fish, and then go from there. So we give a lot of advice around that. And we also actually help people hire so yes, you can post a job ad on job rack, but we get a lot of people coming to us, either that they’re really busy. And they know that hiring is hard, or just that they don’t know how to hire and they go just how can you help me. And so we actually have a range of service where we actually do the kind of the hiring for you, working very, very closely to get the right person but we kind of take all that kind of the hard work out of the process. Just And then kind of work as like a hiring partner or kind of your own hiring expert inside your own business really helping you do that. So they’re the first things, you know, start off thinking about what you need, and then figure out kind of what help you need to actually get the right person. And, you know, talking to people like me, is the first step. And I’m always happy to jump on calls to chat this kind of stuff through.

Ken 25:18
Yeah, that’s super cool. So it sounds like there’s a lot of different ways a small business owner could go to the website and kind of facilitate their own hiring process. They could also reach out to your team and you guys know the system. No, that’s really cool. You mentioned earlier that you guys were super busy. And I think you’d mentioned like you’re like 5x revenue and everything. Is that the company’s growth? Are you seeing more outsourcing? Or where do you think that’s coming from?

Noel Andrews 25:43
So, it’s a busy time, right now, for the whole the hiring market worldwide, whether it’s remote or not, what we’ve seen over the past 18 months is, you know, with the pandemic is that people have now shifted to remote work, people that previously were very desk bound. Some companies are now trying to force people back into the office, and some people are going, yeah, I don’t fancy that commute anymore. And then we’re equally seeing kind of businesses realize that well hang on a minute, if my people can be at home, and I need to find more people, and I can’t find them. Because there’s just such a shortage of skills in the US, UK, Canada, etc, then I can look elsewhere. Because actually, if they’re on Slack, it really doesn’t make any difference where they are, if they use Slack, or teams or, you know, whatever productivity tool you use, it ceases to make any odds. And so that’s really kind of driven a lot of kind of people to us, in terms of revenue growth, it’s the big for us, it’s the big shift from you know, just being $199 to post your job kind of job board into hiring services. So we had a lot of people all throughout last year that were asking us to help them hire, which we kind of did, but we just did it for free. And we didn’t charge them. And then all the time, there was no no, we want you to kind of really do it for us and kind of do even more for us. And so we launched that kind of late December, the end of last year. And that’s what’s really fueling the growth because it’s really good for us. It’s really, really successful. And you know, the people really like it. So we’re getting 85% of our business through referrals at the moment. And that’s making for some interesting times.

Ken 27:07
Wow, yeah, that’s a really high referral rate. You guys must be crushing over there. Yeah. You mentioned that the pandemic and everything and corporate life is changing. You mentioned like some people are, oh, they don’t want to commute or, you know, maybe they don’t want to go into the office. And so companies are pivoting now and outsourcing more events. Yeah, it’s a really interesting change to kind of see it progress. And maybe, you know, so do you see it continuing down this path for the next 12 18 months?

Noel Andrews 27:34
I think we will, I think there’s still a lot of things are not settled down yet, by any means, I mean still, so much of the world is still struggling for starters. And we’re definitely going to see this kind of shakeout more and more businesses are going to realize that, you know, they’re not going to go back to the way it was. And then for the kind of businesses that we talk to, that we spend our time with, they’re going to kind of start up and they’re going to think to themselves, well, you know, where is the right place for me to hire my first hire from, you know, should I wait an extra year until I’ve got more revenue, which slows my growth down to hire locally from the town or city that I live in? Or should I look further afield to you know, a place where there’s, you know, whether it’s Eastern Europe or elsewhere in the world, naturally, I think Eastern Europe is the sweet spot. And so do many of our customers, it just gives opportunity. And so, you know, we’ve got more and more people kind of going, you know, firing the man and jumping into entrepreneurship, you know, every day. And so I just think it’s gonna keep building and building and more and more people want to work remotely and want to have flexibility, but maybe not run their own business. So then they become our new workers.

David 28:31
Very nice. Yeah, it kind of does address that nice middle ground for people that don’t want to have the typical corporate life. But you know, also want to have a little bit more control over their schedule. So I like that very similar to the path that you took Noel. So in my previous profession, I was involved in hiring quite a bit. And there was a certain personality type that we often joked about that we would describe as the only thing more impressive than my background and experiences is my resume. And I’ve run into this before where I have, you know, I’ve hired off Fiverr before, and I will see a profile that looks absolutely awesome. This is the answer to what I’ve been looking for. And then I hire them. And the what has been promised and what is delivered are two different things. There’s a giant mismatch there. So when people are hiring, do you recommend like, during the interview process, having some sort of testing, do you recommend like a 30 day trial period? What would be your recommendation on you know, hedging your risks of hiring the wrong person.

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Noel Andrews 29:36
So both of those, but way before that, there’s a few things that you can do that are going to save you a whole kind of heap of time and money. So the first one is, in your job post be really clear, be really, really clear about what it is you want and what they’re going to be expected to actually do and what their kind of outputs are going to be. Then when it comes to them applying for the job I always, always recommend use an application form and in the application form make it quite long and quite hard. So I expect people to need to take maybe 20, maybe 25 minutes to fill in an application form for one of our jobs. And at the top, I kind of make, I almost put, I do put a comment in there that says something along the lines of hey, we’re going to pay you more than 10 or more than $20,000 over the next 12 months, if you come and work for us, this application form is going to take some effort, if it’s not worth it for you, no worries, good luck in your job search. And that is the first thing that they read on the application form. So then the only people that bother to do it, the ones that go, Yeah, I do want to work for Noel or for jobrack or for one of our clients, I’m going to put the effort in. And we then include questions in there that require them to kind of write full sentences, right. Not masses and masses of paragraphs, but we kind of refer to it as a slightly long form application form. So things like we’ll ask a lot of questions like Tell us about your experience with ecommerce, for instance, or tell us what you enjoy most about graphic design, for instance, if it’s a designer, so things that it’s a slightly longer answer, and we’re going to see their personality come out, people like you’ve seen, you know, they can kind of BS on a CV or on a resume. But when you actually ask them to write answers to questions out, you start to very quickly see how much effort they’re really putting in. And that brings out the real person. There’s a whole bunch of other things we do through the flow from you know asking them to record videos, things like that. But that’s the first thing that I always recommend people to do is make the effort in the application form, then you can really see the real person.

Ken 31:26
Nice. Noel, I wanted to follow back on a comment you made earlier. On the website, you mentioned you have a bunch of resources for finding talent and, and everything. And so a lot of the listeners to our show, they’re either just starting a business, or maybe, you know, a year or two in. Pulling from the resources in your experience, when is it time for a solopreneur to expand the wings and hire that first hire? Is there a magic lightbulb? Or what are the signs? Can you help us out here?

Noel Andrews 31:55
Yeah, typically, it’s about three or four months before they actually decide to hire. That’s normally what it is. It’s really, really tough, right? Because there’s so many things that you’re juggling, it’s like, have I got time to hire? Have I got time to find the person? Have I got time to manage them and train them and kind of teach them what they need to know? Can I afford to do it? And then you get to that stage of can you afford not to do it. And so it’s pretty personal and tailored to kind of each entrepreneur. And each business. The main thing is be always thinking about it. And always thinking and saying, right, you know, you don’t want to get to the point when you are working 80 hour weeks before you then think about hiring because your fulfillment your service is going to suffer. So ideally be thinking about it from the very start and always having a weekly check in with yourself and saying, right, you know, what could I do if I had another 20 hours a week, or if someone was doing 20 hours a week of work for me? I kept a list for a long time of tasks to delegate. You know, at the start, I thought I’m not ready yet. I haven’t got enough work. And then I would keep this list and then I’d review it every week or two. And I’d be like, okay, it’s building up, now it’s probably time. But again, that’s something else that I help people with, we talk it through, especially when we talk about kind of salary like rates and how much they need to pay. And can they hire part time. So you know, the combination of you know, low cost of living, that translates into low salaries, or lower salaries, I should say, because they’re very good and very fair for the people in the countries that we deal with. But that kind of lower cost to the employer, coupled with the ability to go part time means you can get a really good level of help for not, not significant amount spent. So very kind of personal, always happy to help chat people kind of chat people through and figure it out. But yeah, normally a lot earlier than that then actually end up hiring.

Ken 33:28
Okay, yeah, fair enough. David, any other questions for Noel, before we head into the fire round?

David 33:33
So Noel, what type of roles Can someone go to and find suitable candidates for?

Noel Andrews 33:41
We cover a really, really broad range, we are really well known and Eastern Europe is really well known for developers and for technical roles, really, really high quality kind of software engineers and developers. We do you know, really, really kind of great trading kind of graphic designers UX UI, people like that. And then over this last few years, we’ve grown out a lot in terms of really high quality, kind of virtual assistants, executive assistants, a lot in the SEO space. And we’re increasingly very recently over those last six months, lots people are coming to us for operations managers, so people that can kind of not only manage projects, but help you to kind of manage your business. So in the e commerce space, they’re kind of managing inventory, managing kind of Amazon managing the kind of order fulfillment side of things, but pretty much kind of anything and everything we do some really, really kind of weird and wonderful roles. So we had one person come to us and she wanted content writers that had medical degrees that were actual doctors that also could write content for her kind of, you know, medical focused business. And we wanted someone else in the content writing space again wanted content writers that rode motorbikes because they wanted them to be really passionate about it. And then we had we needed to find a French speaking ecommerce inventory manager recently so you know, we do some kind of quite nuanced roles, and that makes it quite good fun because if we can find people that are already passionate about the, the area, the industry, the product, things like that, it you know, they’re going to kind of be so much better at the role. So it’s not essential but It does add a little bit of fun for me and the team at jobrack to kind of find these slightly tricky ones.

Ken 35:04
Awesome. Yeah, never the same day twice in the office. Right?

Noel Andrews 35:08
Definitely, definitely not.

Ken 35:09
Awesome. So Noel, are you ready for the fire round?

Noel Andrews 35:14
Definitely. Let’s do it.

Ken 35:16
Awesome. All right, what is your favorite book?

Noel Andrews 35:18
Anything by Michael Crichton. Jurassic Park’s a favorite.

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Ken 35:21
Okay, awesome. What are your hobbies?

Noel Andrews 35:24
Snowboarding, Kite surfing, rooftop bars.

Ken 35:28
Love it. I saw kite surfing for the first time last year. That was really cool. I just got a quick question for you on that. What happens if like the wind catches you, like, because I saw one guy go way up. I’m like holy cow.

Noel Andrews 35:43
Yeah, you can jump pretty high. It’s pretty intentional, like generally. And not always. And you have an element of control. So you can steer the kite around you can reduce the power. So there’s the modern kites are really technically very, very clever. But yeah, some people do. You know, here in the UK, some guys a few years ago jumped over a pier, kind of at the beach and just crazy stuff. Crazy stuff. But yeah, I’m not quite at that level, kind of 10 12 foots about big enough for me and I can do jumps really easily. landings are a little harder.

Ken 36:12
Nice. All right. Yeah, I’ll continue to watch that sport. What is the one thing that you do not miss about working for the man?

Noel Andrews 36:20
The meetings, the relentless endless meetings normally with a bit of death by PowerPoint thrown in for good measure, right?

Ken 36:29
Awesome. What do you think sets apart successful entrepreneurs from those who give up, fail or never get started?

Noel Andrews 36:36
Keeping in mind you know, we work to live not the other way around. So you know, what are you doing it for? What’s the life you want? figure out the life you want. And that gives you the motivation to dig in and do the late nights, the early mornings, the weekends and whatever it takes, but it’s all about the life right and figure that out first, and that’s what a lot of people don’t do. And often they get kind of burnt out and have kind of troubles or they never quite get that courage to kind of fire the man. So think about the life that you want. And then the rest will flow.

David 37:02
Very nice. Very nice. Now, Noel, how can people get a hold of you?

Noel Andrews 37:07
Yeah, so head to kind of And there’s kind of very easy to get in touch with me there. You can always book a call. And yeah, I’d love to hear from you and kind of help anyone out that I can.

David 37:16
Awesome. And we’ll post links to all of that in the show notes. Noel, thank you for joining us on firing the man podcast and I look forward to staying in touch.

Noel Andrews 37:23
Yeah, it’s been great guys really enjoyed it. Thanks, David. Thanks, Ken.

David 37:26
Yep, you bet.

Ken 37:27
Yep. Appreciate it, Noel.

David 37:28
Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s firing the man podcast. If you liked this episode, head on over to and check out our resource library for exclusive firing the man discounts on popular e commerce subscription services that is\resource. You can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business, for that head on over to Lastly, check us out on social media at firing the man, and on YouTube at firing the man for exclusive content. This is David Schomer.

Ken 38:08
And Ken Wilson. We’re out

David 38:25
Before you go Fun fact for all you Amazon sellers out there when you start selling in international marketplaces, all of your reviews come with you. At the beginning of this year, Ken and I sat down and talked of ways that we could double our businesses in size and landed on international expansion as our number one initiative this year. We partnered up with Kevin Sanderson from maximizing e commerce and he has made the process an absolute breeze walking us step by step through the process. If you want to grow your revenue and reach new customers head on over to and connect with Kevin Sanderson today. Now back to the show.

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