Scaling UP! H2O

368 Adapting to the New Workforce: Attracting Top Talent

We’re excited to bring you insights from a recent interview with Tim Fulton, President of Small Business Matters, Vistage Chair Emeritus, and Executive Coach. Tim is a returning podcast guest and a favorite among our listeners, bringing his wealth of knowledge to help you attract and retain top talent in today’s evolving job market.

Labor Market Insights: Navigating the New Normal
Tim starts by addressing a common observation: “Most business owners would tell you the labor market has improved over the past 12 months.” This improvement is particularly notable for small and mid-sized companies. Businesses have adapted post-COVID, finding innovative ways to attract candidates from diverse backgrounds, different markets, and varying levels of education and skills.

Flexibility is Key: Adapting to Workforce Needs
A critical trend highlighted by Tim is the increasing need for flexibility. Companies are shifting from rigid work schedules to more adaptable models, such as offering hybrid work options and flexible hours. Tim emphasizes that the question shouldn’t just be about remote vs. in-office work but rather, “Do I trust my employees?” This trust-based approach focuses on outcomes rather than the specific logistics of where and when the work is done.

Embracing Modern Work Policies: Unlimited PTO and Remote Work
Pre-COVID, concepts like unlimited Paid Time Off (PTO) and remote work were often dismissed. However, Tim believes that with the right employees, processes, and procedures, these policies can be effective across various businesses. The modern workforce, especially younger employees, highly values remote work options, making it a crucial aspect of job listings today. As Tim puts it, “Today ⅔ of employees are knowledge workers and work from home. The train has left the station, we are not going backward to office life as we knew it.”

Crafting Compelling Job Listings
Job listings must reflect the current job market’s demands. Tim suggests including clear expectations regarding work location, flexibility, and growth opportunities in the description and the job results in the job heading. Additionally, platforms like Indeed, LinkedIn, your own company’s website, and local colleges/universities are excellent for reaching a diverse pool of candidates.

Effective Interview Strategies: Finding the Right Fit
During interviews, it’s essential to assess if the candidate can perform the job, fit within your company culture, and work well with you. Tim advises using behavior assessments and post-hire evaluations to ensure you’re making the right choice. Group interviews can be beneficial when you have multiple strong candidates, and using a scorecard can help in making objective decisions.

Ensuring the Right Hire: Comprehensive Evaluation
To confirm you’ve made the right hiring decision, involve various stakeholders in the hiring process, conduct thorough reference checks, and use behavioral assessments to gauge the candidate’s fit within your team.

Conclusion: Prepare to Transform Your Hiring Process
Tune in to the latest episode of Scaling UP! H2O to dive deeper into these insights and more from Tim Fulton. This episode is packed with practical advice and actionable strategies that can transform your hiring process and help you secure top performers for your team.



01:00 – Trace Blackmore asks you to submit your show ideas

04:00 – Upcoming Events for Water Treatment Professionals 

08:15 – Interview with Tim Fulton

59:00 – Closing thoughts with Trace

1:06:25 – Drop by Drop With James McDonald 



“Most business owners would tell you the labor market has improved over the past 12 months.” – Tim Fulton

“When interviewing someone ask yourself: “Can they do the job, can they do it here, can they do the job with me?” – Tim Fulton

“As a manager, you need to ask yourself: Do I want to manage someone’s time or their work? Do I want to manage compliance or performance?” – Tim Fulton

“Today, ⅔ of employees are knowledge workers and work from home. The train has left the station, we are not going backward.”  – Tim Fulton


Connect with Tim Fulton







Tim’s Resources:

Tim Fulton’s Small Business Matters Podcast

Small Business Matters Newsletter

SBM Mastermind Group

SBM Boot Camp

Vistage Group

Vistage Chair Executive Coach in Atlanta, GA, Tim Fulton

Vistage Speaker Top Performer Award for 2023, Tim Fulton


Links Mentioned

The Hang July 11, 2024 at 6pm EST

Ep 22 with Tim Fulton

Ep 114 The One Where We Talk Masterminds

Ep 280 The One About Retaining Top Talent

Ep 353 Steam Boilers Essential Checks with Barry Higgins Part 1

Ep 354 Steam Boilers Essential Checks with Barry Higgins Part 2

The Rising Tide Mastermind

Scaling UP! H2O Academy video courses

Submit a Show Idea


Books Mentioned

Foolproof Hiring: Powerful, Proven Keys to Hiring HIGH Performers by Brad Smart and Chris Mursau

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey


Drop By Drop with James 

In today’s segment, I have a challenge for you. The challenge is to ask your customer what you can do better? I mean to walk up to your customer, look them in the eye, tell them not to hold back, and ask them what you could be doing better for them. If they give you positive feedback, great!  If they unload all their pent up frustration upon you. Thank them for taking the time and caring enough to share their thoughts with you. Then take the time to give careful consideration to the feedback you received, even if it offends you at first. Try to have empathy with the customer to understand where they are coming from. Then use this moment to grow and become better. Communication is a two-way street, so be sure to let them know how you have reflected upon and implemented any relevant advice. 


2024 Events for Water Professionals

Check out our Scaling UP! H2O Events Calendar where we’ve listed every event Water Treaters should be aware of by clicking HERE.


Water Treatment education

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