Are you looking for ways to design a winning digital marketing strategy that drives meaningful revenue growth? In this episode of The Staffing Show, Jared Hummel, president of Parqa Digital Marketing Agency, dives into what it takes for modern staffing firms to create a thriving, data-driven digital marketing plan. He shares the tactics, tools, and technology proven to generate results — and grow your business.


David Folwell:
Hello, everyone. Thank you again for joining us for another episode of The Staffing Show. Super excited today to be joined by Jared Hummel, who is the president of Parqa Marketing. Jared, why don’t you go ahead and give a quick introduction about yourself and how you got into the staffing industry.

Jared Hummel: Hey David, thanks for having me. I appreciate you having me on. How I got into staffing. Accidentally. So about four and a half years ago, I was actually reached out to by a recruiter at our sister company, at Versique Search and Consulting and about a CFO role and happened to meet with Tony and Chris, our owners, and decided that joining as the CFO of Versique would be a great career move. And then shortly after that, ended up getting involved with Parqa, which is what we’re chatting about today. A digital marketing agency that services staffing or recruiting firms across the nation. And so it wasn’t necessarily the career path, but it’s definitely been awesome to learn not only about the staffing and recruiting at Versique in the Minneapolis market, but getting to know from executive search firms to high-volume staffing firms across the country.

Folwell: Oh, that’s awesome. And tell me a little bit about, what is Parqa?

Hummel: Yeah. So Parqa, our mission is to train, teach, educate, and help staffing and recruiting firms understand the power of digital marketing in today’s world. And so about three and a half years ago, we set out on that mission, and today it’s evolved a lot. It started out as mostly doing some high-level tactics like SEO and PPC, which most people nowadays are familiar with, to really today we’re a fully outsourced performance marketing agency. So everything from marketing technology, marketing automation, we have a content team, a website development team. More the traditional side we have branding, marketing collateral, all of that.

And so how we talk about it is really, staffing firms in general are known to invest heavily in marketing activities. And as we help define the future of the staffing and recruiting market, companies don’t really know if they should go out and hire a $150,000 CFO that doesn’t necessarily want to do the tactics, or they hire a $45,000 college graduate that might be able to do the tactics, but provides no strategy. Coming to Parqa kind of blends the world together. And even if they have one or two internal marketers, digital marketing is so wide and deep now that it’s really hard to be an expert in all of them. And so even supplementing companies that have a marketer too, with our expertise. And so, yeah that’s where we’re at today.

Folwell: Yeah. And could you tell me a little bit about the size of the team and what your growth has looked like at Parqa?

Hummel: Yeah. So, like I said, we’re at about year three and a half now, and we are at 23 internal employees, and then part of finding the best solution for our client is we have a whole network of freelancers and consultants we work with on specific projects. And every year we’ve seen well over 100% growth. So we started the first year, I think we were under 500,000 and this year we’ll be over three million. So every year we’re looking at close to doubling in size. And I feel like the industry hasn’t even been tapped yet. I think we have a long way to go, and as marketing goes from… not that it’s not important, but individual recruiter brands or organic social media, to actual strategic performance marketing, being able to actually have attribution down to the candidate or to the client of where your business is coming from, even the 500 million plus companies that we’re working with are doing that.

And so what we’re really focused on is taking high-level employees from outside of the staffing industry and bringing them in, because, for example, Toby is our director of automation and technology. He was a global automation coach for Thomson Reuters where Thomson Reuters is, I think it’s a fortune 500 company, but Toby there managed 144 different technologies and coached all the automation managers on how to better service Thompson law, Thomson Reuters, all of that. So bringing that in house, like he always tells me, “I’m not reinventing the wheel. There’s industries out there that are 10 years ahead of most staffing and recruiting firms. I’m just trying to educate the market on how to do these things.”

Folwell: I think that’s such a great concept and something that we talk about a lot with our team is just, not what is the best in staffing, but what is the best overall? And I really think there’s big opportunity for staffing firms to look at what’s going on in Silicon Valley, and what are the fastest growing startups doing? How are they operating? What technology are they using? To figure out how do you replicate, implement those strategies? Do you have any specific examples of… I mean, you’ve talked a little bit about automation there. Sounds like you guys dabble in quite a bit, but do you have any examples of either technology or marketing tactics that you guys have been deploying for staffing agencies, that’s been working well?

Hummel: Yeah. We talked about it a little before. The thing that honestly I’ve learned, I guess, ignorance is bliss a little bit, not coming from the industry, is just how many different types of staffing and recruiting firms there are. From the Korn Ferry executive search firms at a high-volume staffing. And so it’s very dependent on which industry it is, and we don’t take a cookie cutter approach of one size fits all. But I can tell you part of why Parqa exists is our sister company Versique, and one of the stats that we pride ourselves on is that, every year about 35% of Versique’s revenue comes from inbound marketing. And so as an employee of Versique, if 33% of most people’s business is traditional staffing and recruiting, 33% is we’ve created a very collaborative workforce where it’s not as cutthroat as a lot of old school staffing industry or staffing agencies.

And then third is, 33% is basically handed to them on a silver platter through paid advertising, content creation, building the brand on social media. And so, again, it’s not like a silver bullet technology, but it’s a company that was set up to literally… Tony, our owner, says Versique is really a marketing company that happens to be in the search and staffing business. And I think that mindset is really what drives Parqa. But on the other side, we’ve had some very large staffing companies that we have run paid LinkedIn or paid Facebook ads for hiring internal employees. They’ll come to us and say, we want to hire 50 recruiters in the next six months. And we want to put a strategy together to bring them in house for some of these rapidly growing enterprise staffing firms. And then the one I was telling you about before is we have a high-volume staffing firm that actually a couple of years ago, literally let go of their entire sales team and put all of that money into Google paid advertising.

And to this day, we’re their single sales arm in the… we’re running paid advertising. So I always say no industry is unique, but every industry has unique parts of it. I think the cool part about staffing is that you have the B2B client lead generation side, you have the B2C candidate generation side, and then you also have the talent acquisition employer brand side. And so we’re constantly working with our clients on, we’re all very aware of the current situation in today’s market with the Great Resignation. We had 40% of our clients called us in like a three week time period and said, move all the money from client lead generation to candidate lead generation. And that’s what, I feel like, has made us successful with our clients.

Folwell: Yeah, it’s amazing to think we’re sitting in pretty much the opposite spot from a year ago. A year ago it’s like, I need job orders, need more clients. And now it’s, need to find talent and can’t get anybody to work regardless. I know a lot of people are increasing pay rates and doing whatever they can. We’ve talked about that challenge. Are there any other common challenges that you’re hearing from staffing firms that you’re working with?

Hummel: Yeah, definitely the biggest is not only finding candidates to place at their clients, but also internal hiring to… You need more recruiters, right? To find more people and you need more… Well, most people don’t actually need a bigger sales team. Right now a lot of people are turning away new business because they want to provide a great experience for their long-time client. So I mean, talking the industry as a whole, the industry as a whole is just, we say five to seven years behind a lot of other industries in terms of their sophistication. And it’s not a knock on anyone, but I say staffing recruiting is a consummate sales profession. I’ve never polled it, someone probably has, but I would guess that like 70% to 80% of staffing firms are owned by a sales person that moved on to something bigger and better from where they started.

And I know that’s the case with Tony and Chris, our owners. And one of the quotes I had the other day was just, if you look at hiring 10 recruiters for your team. Fully loaded benefits and everything like that, you’re probably looking at, at minimum, $100,000 per person. That’s a million dollars a year. And I think that’s been the staffing industry’s traditional way of scaling their business, is just bringing on more salespeople, bringing on more recruiters. And the world that we live in today, if you gave me a billion dollars at Parqa, the things that we could do to make your company more efficient, make your website your best salesperson, automate processes, create a better candidate experience, bring on technologies like Staffing Referrals and other people that are bringing on technologies to make staffing firms more efficient.

I think that’s the struggle right now, is everyone is in this war on talent to find more recruiters. And I’m not honestly convinced that hiring more recruiters is the way of the future. Like you said, taking some of the cues from the Silicon Valleys of the world, or even some of the big companies that some of our employees have worked with. Nestlé, and Behr Paint, and some of these big global brands, they’re looking at things from a much different perspective. And I don’t think you really have marketing and then delivery now, I think they’re integrated. And I think, David, you would probably agree with what you’re doing at Staffing Referrals.

Folwell: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s funny that you bring that up. So the conversations we’re having with staffing executives and people that are in our audiences most recently, I heard somebody say that they need to double their recruiters, they’ve got three times more job orders than they’ve ever had, they could double their recruiters today and they still probably wouldn’t have enough manpower. And I always think it’s funny, is it’s like that’s one approach and that is the traditional approach or the way it’s been done.

And actually some of the larger agencies are really looking at the online staffing model, and how do we have this go end to end with recruiters focusing on the relationship, the success of the candidates. And I think that there’s really going to be a shift in the business model for staffing firms as a whole. And one other thing that you brought up, but we have brought this up a few different times on this, is I do think that marketing as a whole is pretty underserved within staffing. I think the stats are, on average for businesses, somewhere between like 8.5% to 15% of spend is what it should be. I know a few staffing firms that are like the 300 employee or 500 employee size and they have one marketer.

It’s just interesting to see how companies are operating today and what they’re going to be operating in just a few years. I think as these new entrants come in and disrupt the market, I think there’s going to have to be some pretty major change. And there’s probably some big opportunities for those that are willing to go out there and make adjustments now.

Hummel: Yeah. It’s changing whether people like it or not. I did a presentation a while ago and someone just brought it up the other day that they asked me, well what should I spend? And I’m like, I can’t tell you what to spend and it’s not my company, but I can tell you that, generally speaking, B2B businesses spend 3% to 5%. I don’t exactly know where Kelly, our head of sales, got it. But somewhere she got that the average staffing firm is 0.3% of revenue- 

Folwell: That’s amazing.

Hummel: And the Toptals and the Upworks and the people that are digitalizing the process, traditionally those unicorn-backed, private equity-backed groups are spending 25% to 35% of revenue. And so I can’t tell you, every industry is a little different in staffing and different people, but I can tell you that it’s changing and people that don’t get on board… Like you said, we have multiple $100 million staffing firms that don’t even have a marketer. We’re their agent of record, we’re their entire marketing department. And I think what probably scares owners or salespeople is just this like, what’s the movie Boiler Room, where it’s like, you get the blue slip from marketing of your sales lead, and then you go pound the phone to get it right. If you look at other industries, they all have CROs now, chief revenue officers. And there isn’t this line between, oh, here’s your ticket to call on this group. It’s literally an efficiency effort to drive revenue. And that’s what we’re trying our best to educate the market on.

Folwell: Yeah. Well, I think that the old way of the smile and dial, 120 calls a day… Not saying that doesn’t work in some industries and that should go away completely, but I think it should probably not be the entire strategy. Having some other approaches is probably a good thing. One other component that you talked about a little bit earlier, but I think is something that’s interesting for the audience and something that people should probably be digging in a little bit more, is really identifying what is the total cost per placement based off of the source of that lead.

And I think that a lot of agencies look at, oh, well, if I’m getting it from Indeed, I know I paid this much, but then how much time does it take the recruiter to actually follow up on that? And also what blows me away is there’s still a lot of agencies I don’t really think, know what the cost for placement is based off their different sources. Here’s what, it’s $500 to get a placement from job boards. It’s X to get it from this source. Is that something that you guys are working with agencies on?

Hummel: Yeah. I would love it if today that was a mandatory to work with us. It’s not yet. But that’s something that’s coming down the pipeline. Right now, Parqa, we would call ourselves a digital agency. I hope that six months or nine months from now, we’re not a digital agency, we’re a performance marketing agency. And if you’re going to put performance in the name, you’d better be able to quantify your performance.

And that’s why we went out and, like I mentioned, we got Toby who’s now our director of automation and technology. Just last week we hired Julie Halderson, who is our executive vice president, but she has spent most of her career at very high levels of high-performance marketing agencies, with this exact goal that you’re talking about David, of, we want to quantify every single part of the staffing process in a way that we can quantify it back to the client. And you probably know more staffing agencies than I do, you’ve been around it a lot longer. But I don’t know, one, honestly, that has true attribution from front to back. I mean, even to the point as Toby and Julia have got here, we’re trying to work with the Bullhorns and Aviontés of the world because a lot of their systems aren’t even set up for full attribution modeling. It’s that new to the staffing and recruiting industry.

Folwell: Yeah, absolutely. And I do think that we’re seeing people move in that direction. I think it will continue to move faster in that direction as it catches up to what we see in other industries. And we’ve already talked about this a little bit, but are there any other things, if you’re a staffing agency owner, any other words of cautions or things that you’re seeing agencies doing wrong or incorrectly, that you think they should be doing differently?

Hummel: I don’t feel qualified to tell…because I’ve done plenty of things very wrong. No, I just think it’s the realization that everyone says, “Well, what’s the effect of COVID, what’s the effect of COVID?” What a lot of people don’t realize is, forward-thinking staffing companies existed before COVID. COVID just accelerated everything and made the people that weren’t paying attention, pay attention to what was actually happening in the industry. And so whoever you talk to, there’s this “change your diet” mentality going on in the market right now. And sounds like overkill. And like you said, cold calling will never necessarily go away 100%, but I think people have to understand multi-touch attribution doesn’t mean that you have to change everything. It means that you have to be strategic about everything.

And when you make that cold call, you should have a process of sending them a LinkedIn message and then two days later having an ad that re-targets them. And then two days later having an email that goes out to them, personalized to talk to them about… give them something value added that they might find value in your staffing agency. So it’s really that multi-touch attribution and going at it as a strategic approach, that’s what’s changing in the market. And I think people get scared of this, “Oh, digital transformation, what’s it mean?” Or, “I’ve been in this industry for 30 years, why would I change now?” It doesn’t have to be this absolute, it’s a smarter way of doing business. And I would just mostly encourage people to explore it, learn about it and invest in it, because it’s happening.

Folwell: It is happening for sure. And I also think that, to second what you said, that it’s good for people to find ways to do small tasks, try new things. You also brought this up before, what I think is interesting and something that I dealt with having the marketing agency, finding one person. If you run a staffing agency like, oh, we’re going to hire this one person that’s going to solve our marketing problems. Well that one person better have the budget to hire a bunch of freelancers, because the number of specialties and areas of expertise in digital marketing really require that. And there really isn’t a one person to solve it all unless they’re managing a team or working with somebody like Parqa to help with a bunch of those different aspects.

Hummel: Yeah. It’s crazy to me as a recovery and finance guy. When I took over running Parqa, I was like, marketing is just branding and that’s not really my jam. You can’t quantify that. And then fast forward three and a half years, it’s a very analytical, very mathematical, very strategic… There’s all these pieces and you can’t be a great — well, you can — but there’s not a lot of people that are a great designer and then love spending eight hours a day in Google Analytics. You’re talking left brain, right brain stuff here. And like I said, a business owner wants a 22-year-old to come out of college where they didn’t learn Jack about anything and be like, “What’s our marketing strategy?” And they’re like, ”Well, we’ll write a blog a month and post on social twice a week.” That’s not going to keep…in the world today with that.

And so obviously Parqa was built in a way that, even if we don’t have the expertise in house, you can’t even build… A lot of websites are built on WordPress. If someone builds a website with us, it’s on WordPress. But early on in Parqa’s days, people come to us and, “Well our site was more built on Drupal, our site was built on Squarespace.” And all of a sudden we were like, “Well, we can’t just service WordPress. That does not work.” There’s all these people doing all these things, and some staffing agencies are putting tons of money into LinkedIn, others into job boards, others into Facebook.

There’s just way too many things unless you have a budget, like you said, for 10, 15 marketers. There’s more economical ways to go about it, and the way I always explain it to staffing and consulting companies is, you’re literally in the business of placing people on a temporary basis to achieve an objective that isn’t worth a full-time hire. And that’s why Parqa exists. We’re not a staffing agency, but we’re still a consulting agency, so that staffing firm owners can focus on awesome staffing firm owners and you outsource it to us and you don’t have to think twice about it.

Folwell: Yeah, no, that’s a great point. And I just want to shift gears a little bit to, you mentioned earlier that with the marketing that you’re doing for Versique for your guys’s partner or staffing agency, that you had about 35% coming inbound. Do you have any examples of what type of tactics or content you guys are using for that, that you’d be open to share?

Hummel: Yeah. And again, I want to asterix this, because Versique, as a predominantly direct hire search firm, is much different than a high-volume, industrial staffing firm. So what works for one doesn’t work for all, but really at Versique SEO and paid advertising is something even before Parqa existed. When Tony started Versique, it was, hire good people that provide service worthy of a referral and own the internet. That was the founding principles of Versique. And so early on, they got into PPC and SEO. And so to this day, I think… I don’t have the exact number, it’s probably behind me somewhere. But it’s like 870 keywords Versique ranks number one for in the Twin Cities market. So anyone that types in job seeker, executive recruiter, head hunter, any of those words, Versique is coming up number one, as the trusted source in the market.

And then, like I said, in today’s world, paid advertising, you almost have to pay to play nowadays. As Google slowly moves organic rankings down the food chain so that they can make more money, strategically run paid advertising campaigns are important on a… I guess you’d call it the more sophisticated side quote unquote is we focus on webinars and value added piece of content, whether it’s salary guides or ebooks. But you’re creating those in the middle of the funnel of marketing, and the goal isn’t necessarily to get a new lead. The goal is to get people’s names and information to continue to nurture them. And so, through COVID we did three or four webinars with our HR consulting team, and each of them had over 600 attendees to it. And when they have those attendees, then you have their information and you can start to build a relationship.

And then that’s where it goes back into that multi-touch attribution, where our marketing strategy and our sales strategy then started to go together. The sales manager would look at it and divvy out a hundred to each of the account executives. And then we would build an automation system that would nurture them on the topic of the subject that they watched the webinar on. And then we would move it into a sequence where maybe they would get a call…then they would get an email a month later from us. And then the recruiter would get a task three days later to like something of theirs on LinkedIn, and so on and so forth. I mean, I know everyone is pretty much having record years this year and Versique is no different, but we used COVID to slow down and build our database, so that on the other side of it we had the relationships built to grow at an exponential level. And I think we’ve seen that come to fruition.

Folwell: That’s great. And one thing that you brought up, I don’t know what the number of people that listen to this podcast would have an answer to this, but the fact that you guys are tracking 835 keywords, and that you’re number one for those. As you brought that up, I was just thinking about how many staffing executives actually know how many keywords they come up for or are tracking that. This is something that we track with our companies and we have been for a few years, but it’s something that I think most probably don’t have their eye on the ball. And it’s actually fairly critical in terms of making sure that you’re being found when people are actually out there searching. And truly in organic search, those leads tend to be the hottest leads you can possibly have, when people are actually finding you versus doing paid or other activities as well.

Hummel: Yeah. I would say that there’s some very large companies we work with that when they started working with us, didn’t have a search result on the first page at all. They had a certain level of pride that they had a search query that returned something on the second or the third page. And I’m like, dude, when is the last time you went to the second page of Google? I don’t even know if I’ve ever made it to the bottom of the first page. And so, again, you have the big players, but also the market leaders that are investing in it. And so you have a handful that you continuously see at the top, but it’s crazy that within a few months of working with Parqa, we’ve had some very big wins on the SEO front, just because it’s not super competitive in staffing recruiting yet. You can get a company that’s been around a long time, not in the first position but on the first page in a couple months, because the competition’s so low.

Folwell: Yeah, absolutely. And just to your point on the, how far do people go down and search? This is maybe a stat from a couple of years ago, but it was like 67% of all clicks go to the top three results on Google. So if you’re not in the top three, don’t expect it to have a huge impact. And then I also just have a quick, funny story, is actually I had one company that we were doing marketing for years ago, it was probably five years ago. But I remember they were like, “Well you know what, if you Google our brand name, if you just Google our company, we’re number one for that. So we’re good.” I was like, okay, well you’re missing the point. You’re missing the point.

Hummel: That’s hilarious.

Folwell: Yeah. It was pretty amazing, pretty amazing. So we touched a little bit on the digital transformation and we’ve talked about some of the major trends. Are there any pieces of advice that you would want to share in terms of how to approach the digital transformation from within your organization and/or different ways to look at how you’re approaching buying new technology?

Hummel: Yeah. I feel like I’m a broken record, maybe that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But to me it all starts with strategy. If you don’t have a strategy, invest in it upfront. That’s something Parqa obviously is priding itself on, but there’s a couple of other players in the market that are very talented as well. But don’t go at it backwards. I can’t tell you how many people that I’ve talked to over the last couple of years that are like, “I bought Herefish, what do we do now?” Do you have content? Do you have a strategy? Do you have people that are leveraging it? Is your database clean? And David, you and I, and Joey, and Toby talked about it a while ago. It was just like, there’s so many ways to leverage Staffing Referrals, just beyond Staffing Referrals.

Staffing Referrals is a great product and you guys automatically have some of the out of the box content and all of that, but you’re also a Bullhorn partner. You also partner with Great Recruiters. You also integrate with Herefish. You also have relationships with Parqa and probably other digital agencies. It’s bringing that all together that makes it quantifiable. And so for digital marketing specifically, not as much technology per se, but we came up with our proven process of brand credibility, online visibility, and lead generation, solely out of the fact that so many people called us looking for the silver bullet of, “Well, what’s the one thing I can pay you $1,500 a month and we will grow to $10 million in three nights?” That’s not… Staffing Referrals is great, but you guys aren’t going to promise that. Parqa’s sure as heck not going to promise it. If you want paid advertising to work, you can’t have a website from 1972 because when you pay for people to go to your website, they’re going to get credibility.

And so with Parqa, we don’t let people buy single services from us anymore because single tactic marketing doesn’t work. If you’re not going to invest in a website that’s going to have a high conversion rate, I refuse to steal your money and make you pay more money to Google, to something that I know isn’t going to get results. And I think that’s why we built the relationship with you, David, and Staffing Referrals, and a lot of the other technology partners, just because there’s a lot of awesome technology entrepreneurs in the market right now, developing really cool things. And Parqa really exists to help amplify those. As you guys are blazing the trails, we want to be a partner with you guys to really help the staffing firms that probably don’t have the CMO or even a CEO that’s vested in marketing really get that change management buy-in. And you and I have talked about that. You’ve had clients that have had awesome results, but the change management wasn’t there and it makes it hard.

Folwell: Yeah. It’s funny, is when you look at… I’ve learned this with my marketing agency days is, when you buy a product like Herefish, HubSpot, Sense, whatever it may be, you do need somebody… what I always compared it to is, it’s like buying a great gym membership, but if you never show up, you are not going to lose that weight. And you need somebody that’s willing to show up and go push some weight around.

And I think a lot of these platforms, everybody’s trying to make them work as quickly as they can out of the box, but there is some effort, there is some strategy that connects the pieces, make sure everything’s right and make sure the data’s correct. And there is some effort that goes into that. And I think sometimes agency owners — and I think this goes across, this spans outside of it as staffing is — people, everybody’s looking for the silver bullet and it really is having a comprehensive strategy in place. I think that’s a great thought. With that I was going to go ahead and jump into some of the more personal questions here as we wrap up. 

So what is advice that you wish you were given before you entered the staffing industry?

Hummel: I would say investing in infrastructure. And I don’t know if that’s my advice to the industry or just something I observed, but to me it works a little bit both ways. It’s such a revenue, sales-generated industry, and I think where people get caught up and something I’ve really learned is if you don’t invest in the infrastructure to scale, it’s very hard to scale. Obviously marketing is a part of that, but it’s also the technology, the ATS stuff. It’s your corporate service team, it’s your AP and AR. All of that, it’s very easy to hire another salesperson or another recruiter, but as soon as those people get bogged down in administrative tasks, A, they’re not good at it. And B, they’re 100% commission, and, heavily commission. But I think that’s something that I have learned that I probably… I mean, out of manufacturing, it’s all fixed assets. You have millions of dollars of equipment and 10% of your revenue is payroll. And it was the opposite here.

Folwell: Yeah, absolutely. And next question. So in the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

Hummel: Honestly, why I feel like I can evangelize Parqa and marketing is because, again, as a recovering CFO, I never really believed in marketing. Because it wasn’t easily return on investment when you’re talking PR, or a billboard, it’s all abstract brand building. And I think just fully understanding how scientific marketing is in today’s world is earth shattering to me. I always say, I feel like I’m on the cutting edge of technology for the first time in my career. Which is exciting, but I don’t feel like it should be because marketing has existed for a long time. So yeah, I think even to bring it back to life is, my wife bought a business a year and a half ago, and a lot of people in her industry are also pretty outdated. And so just having the knowledge I have now, most of the people in her industry are still showing up at trade show after trade show every single weekend working 100 hours a week, and we’re running paid ads getting 30 to 40 new clients a month. And so-

Folwell: That’s amazing. That’s great.

Hummel: So it did change my life outside of Parqa too.

Folwell: That’s fantastic. And what is the book or books you’ve given most as a gift, and why?

Hummel: To be honest with you, I’m a huge fan of Tim Ferriss. Tools of the Titans is one of them. And why? Maybe it’s because I have a short attention span, I don’t know, but literally it’s like a page or two of the most influential people in the world from Bill Clinton, to Nelson Mandela, to Tony Robbins, to Derek Jeter. It’s just totally sporadic, but he asked a set of 20 questions and each person only gets three or four of them, but you get to see… I believe it’s Tools of the Titans that’s split into three parts and one is religion and faith, health and wellness, and then business. But when you can ask the same questions to the most influential people, you get common denominators out of it. And so it’s just one of those things. The book itself, I think, is like 700 pages, but you can just go five minutes by five minutes of just being inspired by people that look at things in a unique and different way.

Folwell: Yeah. Well, and you might notice some of these questions from that book, so I’m also a big fan. So that’s great. So last question then we’ll wrap it up, but how has a failure or apparent failure set you up for later success?

Hummel: Oh my gosh. I literally had this conversation on a one-on-one this morning. I said, if I look back… With Julie starting as our new executive vice president, I just feel like I’ve been through this enough to know that when you have someone of that caliber starting, you’re onto the next evolution of your business. And so me and one of our employees that has been here basically since it started, we had a one-on-one today, where we were just reminiscing about the past. Honestly, business is probably like 10% business intellect and 90% resilience. We’re like, remember when we hired this person or, remember when we failed at this or that, or that. And we’ve only been at it three and a half years. Tony and Chris have been at it 30 years. And so I just think that… One of my favorite quotes is life is moving from failure to failure without losing optimism. And I think that’s something I could probably spend days, way more time than we have today, on just everything that I’ve messed up along the way. So from a truly business perspective, you have to have a vision.

If people aren’t inspired, it fails. You have to have adequate liquidity. People sit on their Excel spreadsheet of, we’re going to start up in January and by June, we’re going to be making a quarter million dollars each. And then the business doesn’t even start generating revenue till August and a little panic sets in. So really having the liquidity to make things happen and to invest wisely is a big one. Hire good people. That’s probably the number one. And we didn’t talk a lot about it today, it’s probably the thing that I’m honestly most passionate about, is building teams. And I have had the blessing and the curse of never working in an industry where I was a subject matter expert. And when you do that, you’re vulnerable, but you also are forced to surround yourself with great people. Because to this day, I don’t know how to go into Google analytics, I don’t know how to go into Hootsuite. I don’t know how to build a workflow and marketing automation. So hiring good people is allowed. We’re going to grow, like we said, over 100% every year that we’ve been in business, so.

Folwell: That’s amazing. Great advice and really enjoyed the conversation. Jared, any closing comments that you’d like to share with the audience?

Hummel: I always like talking. Ah, I don’t want… I’m not ready to be done. No, I just think the thing that inspires me is getting to know people like you, David, and we’re all fans of Adam and Rob at Great Recruiters, and the guys that started Herefish, and the guys that started Sense. And there are these awesome entrepreneurs that are building technologies to transform this industry. And so whether that’s through Parqa or not, honestly, I would love it, but I don’t care. But I get to know these technologies, get to know these people because they will be the ones that are carrying the next generation of this industry. And I think there’s a lot to be learned from you guys.

Folwell: Awesome. Well, thanks so much for joining Jared. Really enjoyed the conversation. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Hummel: Yeah, you as well. Thanks for having me on, David.