No matter the industry, leaders need to hold these things dear: Who we serve. How we serve. Why we serve. This is "People. Process. Service.," a Frontline Source Group podcast.
The Post-COVID-19 Future of the Hiring Industry with Bill Kasko
The hiring industry, like every industry the world over, has been forced to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and find unique ways to come out of this unprecedented period stronger than ever.
“The effect of this on the employment side has been, obviously, devastating,” said Bill Kasko, Frontline Source Group President and CEO.
“This has been so much different than a recession that we can kind of see coming over the hill. As the clouds roll in, we can prepare for it, and we know what’s coming. This just hit us all out of the blue.”
For Frontline, itself, that’s meant adapting to remote work requirements, assessing the implications of returning to the office across a wide range of industries, and more.
While Kasko said the industry effectively “fell off a cliff” in the wake of the pandemic, six months later, there are signs of hope.
“I’m happy to report that, six months into this, recovery is happening,” he said. “It’s slow, and it’s in different sectors. … But I will tell you that Texas is very strong. Texas is back on the right path, and it’s happening. It’s just not happening like we want.”
In particular, the hospitality, restaurant and travel industries are still struggling to rebound, exemplifying a more widespread impact that previous economic events, which often targeted fewer sectors.
To continue working toward recovery, Kasko said the emphasis needs to be on the portion of the population still working and on the people, processes and service that have enabled some companies to weather the storm more effectively than others.
“There wasn’t a book on this, so we’re doing the best we can to get people back to work. … I told someone the other day, we’re at 11% unemployment,” he said. “That’s still 89% of the people working. We need to focus on that.”
Entrepreneurship is About Cleaning Toilets and Negotiating Millions
For Michael Gorton, summing Mt. Kilimanjaro was his second largest accomplishment while on his journey to Africa. That week-long trek to the top resulted in the formation of Teladoc, a telemedicine company that connects patients with remote physicians.
Gorton joined Tyler Kern, Bill Kasko, and April Melton on this episode of People, Process, Service, a Frontline Source Group podcast.
“In the beginning,[the idea] was that every downtown should have a room where people can walk in and see a remote doctor,” Gorton said. “We spent two years building and testing the model, because we knew it was going to be controversial.”
Gorton noted how he and his collaborators tested the model for years, nailing down their processes. He admitted that they took the controversial perception very seriously.
“We knew we were going to change the world. The board of medical examiners knew we were going to prison,” Gorton said.
The Teladoc team decided to approach the various state boards of medical examiners by taking every concern as seriously as possible and consulting with the most talented and respected clinical physicians and doctors in public service.
“We got some of the best doctors in the country,” Gorton said.
Now, Gorton is focusing on much larger goals, literally. His current operation, Back To Space, is aiming to motivate young people to return to space the way they did in the
heyday of the Apollo missions to the moon.
He motioned that, to be an entrepreneur, one needs to be willing to clean the toilets in the morning, negotiate the million-dollar deal in the afternoon and, perhaps one day, even walk on the moon.
Creating an Experiential Restaurant with the CEO of FreeRange Concepts, Kyle Noonan
Kyle Noonan is the CEO of FreeRange Concepts. FreeRange owns The Rustic, Mutts and many other restaurant concepts. He is a pioneer in the hospitality industry with a large social media following. FreeRange Concepts knows how to use its following to its advantage to bring in customers to experience their unique restaurant concepts. Noonan joins Tyler Kern and Bill Kasko, CEO, Frontline Source Group to talk about the history of his business partnership and running a successful restaurant experience.
FreeRange Concepts now has restaurants open in three major cities - Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, Texas. Noonan said they are staying away from Austin, Texas at the moment because of the huge competition there. Noonan gave some advice when growing a business, saying that it is important to have good consultants and people. Early on in the business, they used their budget to pay people who know what they are doing and worried about making money, later. Noonan said that they modeled their work after the military’s structure and way of management. Another piece of advice he gave was that it helps to have top-level talent to promote the business, adding not to be afraid to pay extra for that promotion.
Noonan talked about his business partner and how to cultivate a healthy relationship. He said that two partners have to have different skill sets and respect each other’s decisions. An issue the company constantly addresses is finding the right people to hire because of high turnover. The conversation turned to the fact that, at some point, this is just part of the industry. Noonan said to take time to write and rewrite the mission statement and let employees and customers know what it is.
The History of MStone Stone and Tile with Founder TJ Mehta
TJ Mehta started MStone Stone and Tile Company when he was only 22 years old, and now the company owns some of the largest quarries in India and sources from China and Europe, as well. Mehta joins host Tyler Kern and guests Bill Kasko and April Milton of Frontline Source Group to talk about the history of MStone Stone and Tile and how he started a successful business in his 20s.
Mehta was only 22 years old and going to medical school before he decided to go another route, but this was not without scrutiny. Mehta said, “when I declared to my family that I was not going to get into medicine, they just went into scramble mode.”
His father was a doctor, and he had planned to follow in his father’s footsteps until he realized he didn't want to go through school and residency.
After starting his business, Mehta quickly learned as he went. His first shipment of materials had him in a scramble and, when he asked advice from his family, they said, “We have no clue what you are doing. You started a business, figure it out.” He did not even have a place to put his materials or an office at the time.
Eventually, Mehta hit his stride. His company now is very successful, and he has figured out where he fits in the industry.
"The reason why someone like me has an opportunity in this industry is because people like to avoid dealing with people directly overseas," he said.
Listen to the full interview for the rest of the story.
Entrepreneurship is My Jam with Cortney Baker
Dr. Cortney Baker is an award-winning entrepreneur, the host of the podcast "Women in Business: Inspirational Stories of Women Entrepreneurs with Dr. Cortney," a TEDx speaker and a nationally recognized authority on women’s leadership. Baker is also the CEO of KidsCare Home Health, a multi-million-dollar healthcare organization with 12 locations across Texas, Colorado and Idaho. She stopped by Frontline Source Group's, People, Process, Service, podcast to talk about her journey and her passion for entrepreneurship and mentoring future women leaders.
Asked about the No. 1 thing she’s learned when it comes to working with people, Baker said, “Hire smarter than you. The people you surround yourself with in your organization are so important, and they need to be intelligent, driven, and determined.”
Baker wants to hire people who could work for any healthcare organization, but choose to work for KidsCare Home Health.
In the past several years, Baker’s company has grown to multiple locations and more than 650 employees across several states. What was the secret sauce that made her company so successful, while similar, more established companies did not experience the same growth?
Baker attributed success to several factors, including the company’s process of hiring the best people and providing the best service.
Baker’s passion is entrepreneurship, and she takes pride in mentoring women to become the leaders of today and tomorrow.
“What are the challenges we face as women in the workforce?,” Baker said. “When I looked at the research and the four most common factors contributing to these challenges, the common denominator was confidence, (and) 80% of the women I talk to say they lack confidence.”
That's what drives Baker to help other women start and scale service-based businesses. Entrepreneurship is Baker’s jam, and she may have the perfect recipe for success.
What a Country's Beer Selection Can Tell You About Its Economics
This week’s episode of People, Process, Service found hosts Bill Kasko, President and CEO of Frontline Source Group, and Tyler Kern, Publisher at MarketScale sitting down with economics professor, Bob Lawson, Director of the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom at Southern Methodist University. Lawson’s book, Socialism Sucks, was the topic of conversation.
Lawson and his fellow economist, Benjamin Powell, set out on a world tour of socialist countries to find out what works and what doesn’t about them. The results? Lawson appreciates the economic opportunities of America, and he won’t be teaching in Venezuela anytime soon. But the most important discovery for Lawson was, the beers in these socialist countries are terrible—and such few options.
To spice up the pot for this lively conversation, Kern, Kasko, and Lawson drank their way through the episode, sampling a dozen beers, while they each guessed what country from which each beer came. Kern’s strategy: guess Heineken®️ every time, and eventually, he’d be right.
So, what exactly makes a country Socialist? Lawson dispelled some myths for Kasko and Kern. Sweden and Canada may have socialized medicine, but they still have a free market economy. Even China enjoys the benefits of the free market, albeit with government control. Lawson described the process of writing Socialism Sucks, and he shared his stories of visits to socialist countries such as Cuba and Venezuela, where government economic control results in limited choice and freedoms. And one constant remained above all—the beer in the socialist countries Lawson visited, sucked.