This episode of the Ecommerce Coffee Break Podcast features a conversation with Nerissa Chaux, co-Founder & director of Filta (filtaglobal.com) and host of the world's largest Official Shopify meetup. Join the conversation with Nerissa Chaux as she reveals how to turn staffing headaches into a thing of the past.
On the Show Today You’ll Learn:
- Uncover the top recruitment challenge faced by online merchants.
- Gain clarity in the recruitment process to find the ideal candidate.
- Locate the perfect fit for your team with Nerissa Chaux's expert tips.
- Discover crucial interview questions to ask after the first stage
- Learn how to align in-house and outsourced teams with Nerissa Chaux's seamless strategy
Links & Resources
About Our Podcast Guests: Nerissa Chaux
Meet Nerissa Chaux, a seasoned ecommerce expert and the co-founder of Filta (filtaglobal.com). With over 10 years of experience in the industry, she has a comprehensive understanding of the obstacles and possibilities facing online businesses looking to expand. Prior to launching Filta, Nerissa established a successful tech recruitment company, which she transformed into a nationwide executive search firm. Under her leadership, the company established its distinctive recruitment methods before being sold in 2017. In addition to her work at Filta, Nerissa is also the host of the largest Official Shopify Meetup, attracting over 1000 retailers both in-person and virtually.
Listen & Subscribe on your Favorite Podcast App:
Please support the show if you liked today's episode:
- If you love the podcast, please get someone else to listen, too!
- If you enjoyed this episode of the Ecommerce Coffee Break podcast, please head over to Apple Podcasts, leave a rating, write a review, and subscribe.
- Share the podcast with your family, friends, and co-workers.
- Tag the podcast on Instagram @clauslauter and let me know what you like about it.
- If you like the content and would like to support the podcast, you can buy me a coffee here.
- Become a guest on the show or sponsor an episode.
[00:00:00] This is episode 1 47 of the E-Commerce Coffee Break. Today I talked to Nerissa Chaux, co-founder and director of filta, and host of the world's largest Shopify meetup about how to find and manage global talent. So let's get right into it.
Claus Lauter: Hello and welcome to another episode of the E-Commerce Coffee Break. Today we want to talk about a topic that pretty much every business has to deal with, and that is finding the right people to work in your business. So when it comes to staffing to re recruitment, , not an easy topic, specifically if you are a founder, and start as a solopreneur or a small startup, something that might be a new topic that you haven't dealt with before.
And there's so many things that go into finding the right people, and obviously that has. Impact on the results and the success of your business. I have been there , we wanna find out more about this. So, as an expert today on the show, I have Nerissa Chaux. She's the co-founder of filtaglobal.com, a company that specialize in helping e-commerce business, find and manage global talent.
With overeducate of experience in the industry, Narissa has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing e-commerce merchants looking to expand the operations. Before starting Filter, Narissa [00:02:00] launched a tech recruitment businesses and grew into international executive search firm, helping to find the company's .
Unique recruitment strategies and ultimately selling it in 2017. Narissa is also the host of the world's largest in-person and virtual office Shopify meetup, which has attracted over 1000 retailers. Sohi has a huge background when it comes to Shopify e-commerce and recruitment. Let's welcome Narissa to the show.
Hi, Nerissa. How are you today?
Nerissa Chaux: What's up? Hello.
Claus Lauter: . , great to have you on the show. Tell me a little bit what's the biggest challenge of fast growing companies, Shopify businesses, e-commerce businesses when it comes to recruitment?
Nerissa Chaux: They move too fast. They make decisions too fast. And what I mean by that is most people don't take the time to actually understand what success and failure is in the job. So they go, I need someone on live chat. . That's great. Right, and I need 10 people. But I always say the first thing you should be asking yourself is what is success and failure for you as the owner?
Then what are the metrics? [00:03:00] Every job should have metrics, regardless of it's reception, designer, warehouse, logistics, accounting, , and then how do you qualify success? I would also say when you're preparing your job description, so before you hire class, before you do anything, It's actually uncover what are the outcomes, what are the KPIs and how will they know they're doing their job and how will I know doing their job? So take the time to really uncover that. And that's where most people go wrong. The second thing I would say is, People don't ask the right questions, not, They're not interested. So I say great interviewers and as business owners, I mean, I've been doing this 20 years, I've interviewed over 8,000 people in my career. So again, that's a skillset I have, but it was a business owner. Being curious is important.
Probing, asking specific questions, taking time. So the amount of people that literally spend 10 to 30 minutes interviewing someone and thinks that's [00:04:00] sufficient to make a hiring decision. Totally don't recommend that. So ask lots and lots of questions. Listen to what they're saying and get outcomes.
I think it's asking the right questions. And thirdly, and a really specific thing about recruitment, a hundred percent believe in reference checks. Hundred percent believe in it. People have this thing of, are they gonna tell my friends? But the purpose of reference checks is to uncover how to best manage that person. If you find out some little things on the way that can help you make that decision, that's important too. But fundamentally, it's being curious, taking the time to build, like, understand what you wanna achieve in your business with your people, , and do your due diligence.
That's the first step.
Claus Lauter: Yeah, there's a lot of things in there and I have been a victim of that. I've grown at, at a couple of companies, so, and I always came to a point, we need to, as you said, I need someone now, and then it's easy to write down basically the task, sort of like the features of that person. But you touched on a couple of things, and I wanna dive a little [00:05:00] bit deeper into that, is actually, actually asking the right questions, doing the reference checks and all of that.
There are coming skills , into the game that usually a founder that has a e-commerce store and, , focusing on selling products or services does not have. So from the process, from, I do my list on this is the things that , a person should do for me, what's the next step to ask the questions and what questions would that.
Nerissa Chaux: in the job description or when I'm interviewing you
Claus Lauter: Exactly in the job.
Nerissa Chaux: Most business owners, and we've all been there. We are hiring something and we've done it all ourselves, right? So we do everything and we may never have hired anyone in our life. Google is your best friend, the Shopify community are your friends.
So I always say like, think of it literally is the easiest way. So I'm gonna go back to cost, customer support, because what I've seen globally in with merchant, Is customers want responses quickly. You will lose existing customers and new customers if you're not on. a lot of smart [00:06:00] merchants are investing their people resources in that support mechanism.
I'd be looking at my data. So how many tickets do I get a day? What are the main questions? What are the complexities? Is at 80% I can get, , a platform to help me. And it's automated and sometimes you go, yes. And so you don't need a person that stage. , so again, it's being smart.
Sometimes I'm expanding to a different market and I'll need people on the ground. , again, how many tickets, how many escalations do I need to do? Upselling. A lot of merchants do not train their teams about how to upsell. You can do that effectively really well with your customer support team.
So again, how do we drive more sales to the cart? So when I talk to merchants who are like, oh no, I'm about my brand philosophy and I just want, , my customers to feel good, that doesn't help anyone. Right? That's a nicety, and of course that's [00:07:00] what we want. But you have to go, Ray.
I would love my customer support team my average customer might buy one product in a card at any one time. I want them to upsell. And that's a target. So again, it's really thinking through in your business what's important to me before you get into, try and find the right person. So I think it's spending time and then I think it's also asking the Shopify community and people like yourselves and myself, , to say, what do other people do? What do other merchants. Using as metrics, how do they define like what's a good person or not before we start advertising? So definitely I'd say don't be shy. We've all been there and the community is happy to help.
Claus Lauter: I think that helps a lot. There's a lot of gold nuggets in there. one word that you mentioned a couple of times is the team. So it's not just a person, an employee, where staff are outsourced. You wanna build up a team. Now, a team might be difficult if you have your [00:08:00] local team and then you have a outsourced team.
What's the key to make this work?
Nerissa Chaux: excellent question. Generally owners and management of a merchant, they understand when you're thinking about, I'm hiring different people in different regions. The colleagues underneath don't see that. So there's fear, it's are they gonna take over my job? they speak English if you are an English speaking, there's all these subconscious fears.
So what I always say to. Business owners or management managers within merchants is get everyone involved. So for instance, we do workshops. So just say we're doing, you know, a designer or a developer role. I would always say get the owner in. Get the manager in, and then get a colleague directly and they feel part of the process.
And then get them to sit on the interviews. Now they don't have to be involved in do we hire them or not. But again, it's part of that feeling comfort. Oh, this person's like me. They care about me. They just happen to live in Columbia and I'm living in South Africa. Right? But we are the same and we have the same goals [00:09:00] and we're the same core people.
And then the other thing that we found really effective, what we've built into our business is we do, live framing with local teams. And that way they get excited and they, feel empowered about great clowns are starting with me next week, you are teaching me practical ways of how to best engage them when they're not sitting next to me. So always say, acknowledge people's fears and be really like, treat your colleagues and your staff as part of your community and get them involved. And also it's language. A lot of people now don't go, I've got a South African team, or I've got a Vietnam team, or I've got a Philippines team. They're like, I have satellite offices. I have international offices, Philippines, Columbia, Australia, South Africa. So again, if you position as a merchant, as we are global and we are passionate about getting the best. We don't care where or not that is, that messaging [00:10:00] will resonate not only internally with your current team, but also with your customers.
Claus Lauter: No, that's awesome. Now you had filter, obviously are helping with the whole selection process, with the recruitment process and so on, so forth. From the. Technical side or technicalities is like, , you mentioned time zones is a thing, language is a thing. Give me a bit of ideas on what are the criteria are you going through to find the right person for the job?
Nerissa Chaux: Yeah. Fantastic. in our business, all our clients say the same thing. We have a lot of merchants who are small, you know, they've got a small local team, they can't afford to get it wrong. And then of course we work with the big global merchants as well, who still have the same philosophy as I wanna invest up.
The biggest thing I say, besides technical, you must test. Okay. People can show you beautiful portfolios, , of work, you know, development, design, digital marketing, regardless of the job, I always say build your own test and get them to see so you can see in real time. Do they follow briefs?
Is this the same with customer support as well? , do they follow briefs? Do they follow deadlines? , what's the quality like and then of course on [00:12:00] our end we are testing behavioral side. We all want good technical people, that's a given. Okay. But where we come in is we say, what are the behavioral traits?
So the biggest things in these countries is we want people as owners, we want people who can think critically, solve problems, have high initiative, have great verbal and written communication skills. Which is predominantly English. , and so we do a lot of testing behind the scenes and we present it to a client so they can kind of see how are they writing, how are they communicating.
We send videos of the people so they get a, glimpse of, ah, that's klas. , we can get along. So I always say, do video interviews just like we're doing now. Some clients don't care, like they're Spanish speaking themselves, and they're like, you know what? That person is an amazing developer.
I don't need them to have great English. Their coding is amazing, and I can communicate with them. , if that's important to you, that's fine. But I would say the majority are looking for [00:13:00] average to advanced English skills. our philosophy in recruitment globally is head hunting. So it's not just let's you know, let's put up a job ad somewhere and hope for the best.
It's where does the best digital talent lie? Are they on TikTok? Are they on Reddit? Are they on Facebook? , are they at dance parties? Right? It's where are your digital and e-com talent, living and breathing, and that's where you need to be as a me.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Makes perfect sense now. You already said that, , you're sourcing people from all over the world, predominantly from Colombia and the Philippines. Now, worst case scenario, and I have been there, is you go on Upwork or free dancer, you put your job at out there and you get 700 applications you don't know where to start.
So obviously you help with that. What's the right number, or where do you create the most clarity to find the right person?
Nerissa Chaux: Yeah. The biggest thing is , you don't have time to be overwhelmed. Like you said, 700 resumes, who has time to look at it? And you get lost in [00:14:00] it, and half the time you don't know what you're looking for anyway. I always say when you're engaging a recruitment firm or a provider such as ourselves, you probably don't wanna look at more than five. when you look at the first few, you really need to have great relationship with the people you're working with and going, yeah, they hit the mark, but I'm concerned about this. Or they look, , technically great, but , they're failing my test. So we need to recalibrate. So the main thing, which we all know with our world, it's communi.
If you're getting like, here's 50 resumes and just pick one that company or that service is probably not looking after your best interest. It's all about how can we make your life easier.
Claus Lauter: My premise on finding a job is I try to do every job in my businesses for a time by myself because I wanna understand the process and then I go and find someone who's better than me, which has usually happened very, very quickly, whereas so many people very specialized on that. Now you are running these, , huge Shopify events, , virtually and in person, [00:15:00] and obviously, you know, a lot of.
Merchants are really searching for and when they start searching for new staff members. What's the biggest pain point from all the merchants that you are working with when it comes to recruitment?
Nerissa Chaux: They dunno what they're doing. , that's a really broad statement. They dunno what they're doing. They don't invest the time. it doesn't mean you don't move fast, right? I think it goes back to that pre-work, which is, like you said, you are doing the job, so you kind of know what you're looking for, but just do your , pre-work, , and do your due diligence.
there's a saying that, you know, like, higher, slow, fire, fast. I don't believe in that, , in this climate. , great people will not hang around so that, so mine's higher, fast fire, fast. It's also appreciating in this market there's labor shortages globally. In all disciplines.
I mean, Shopify developers at like hen's teeth globally, you cannot afford to wait. When you're hiring a Shopify developer [00:16:00] for your site a week to review a portfolio, they're gone within 24 hours. Good people. So I think it's moving fast, treating people with respect in that process. don't just wing it like, well, the amount of people I'm like, I don't even know who I'm meeting.
I haven't looked at their resume. I'm like, that's so disrespectful to the person you're meeting. But not only that, how you are not preparing yourself to have the best person in your team for success to help you alleviate. The pain of what you're going through right now and it's stopping you from growing.
Claus Lauter: No, I can relate to that. And I think, , was working like global.com, , taking my pain away. I mean, that's probably , the best sort of wording on what you do and where you help. , and you mentioned a couple of things. , tell me what kind of different stages global.com helps on the whole process.
It's not only recruitment. Do you do it so much more?
Nerissa Chaux: Oh, absolutely. I think recruitment is a big piece of the puzzle. Where companies get wrong. If they think, if I hire the right person, life will be great, and they forget about [00:17:00] the onboarding and that process when they come on board. So the biggest thing is we talk about is setting both parties up for success.
what happens is from our end, they've hired this wonderful person and then they're like, what now? So we set up their it. We set up welcome gifts. Coordinate with them about what they wanna do, merch. So we've got some fitness clients who will go, you know, I will send them out some, , fitness gear so they can wear and wrap ourselves for their first day, which is lovely.
it's actually embedding people in the business culture and the way the Western world works. So from an employee standpoint, we actually do a lot of training about how to work for Western countries. How do Westerners operate?
We have a different style and we have a different communication style. For instance, US is a very different operating system to even in Australia where I'm from. So we are teaching people about how do you be successful in your job and the same with the clients. How do you understand that country's culture? And then [00:18:00] how do you engage and embed them into your business? And then I think the biggest thing that we do clouds is our business is all about being proactive, not reactive. we do monthly live review. It's like, what's going on? What's working, what's not working from both parties? Because distance creates risk. How do we help you as a merchant mitigate your risk? So that way we are solving things fast. And as we all know, 99% of the issues is communication. So I'll give you a perfect example. Actually. My executive assistant is in Columbia. We flew him to the Philippines recently, so I got to spend three weeks with him in person and he met our Philippines team.
We had other people from Columbia, our Australian team. It was fantastic, our clients on site. , but still sometimes we laugh because we don't understand each other. So last week, , I'm a very practical, pragmatic person, so he was sending me updates and I would just, you know, do the emoji button. Yep. Yep.[00:19:00]
And he said to me, after three days, I'm worried. And I'm like, why are you worried? He's like, because you just gimme thumb that up. I'm thinking you're amazing cuz I don't have to drag myself into any drama. Like, you're a hundred percent on point. I'm loving this.
Something so small was causing him. And that's why I always talk about, it's the simple things that you both have to be on the same page to make sure it's working for both of you.
Claus Lauter: I think that's a very good example. , years ago I was flying to the Philippines to meet my own team there, , for a workshop, and they were completely surprised, but usually does not happen. , they're with me now for six years. This bond that you can build up with, People, meeting them in person is , such a strong bond and makes such a difference.
And obviously if you go through this process of finding the right person and you want to keep the people on your team as long as possible and really make them part of the family. you are also running these Shopify meetups and I wanna know and touch a little bit on this. , what are you doing there?
Nerissa Chaux: Okay. So as everyone probably in the community knows, , You have to get permission from Shopify, Canada to run the events and they send you branding [00:20:00] guidelines and it's run in 92 countries. So there's agencies, , it's predominantly digital agencies around the world who run them, which is amazing for our community cause it's free.
That's what's the power of Shopify is. , they're very much about education and UPS skill. The filter has the exclusive rights to represent Shopify in a meet up capacity in the Philippines. So even during Covid, , I was the only one globally. Who still did events every three months. we are really passionate, and I think anyone in Shopify is, if you're in the community, you are passionate about giving back , to the local community.
with ourselves, it's , obviously understanding. So I don't live in the Philippines. I am not a Filipino yet. I run the world's largest. So it's all about getting great speaker. And oftentimes I try and get merchant owners, , who this is their first speaking event and helping them going, , what does the community wanna hear?
What are the current trends locally? What are the biggest bug [00:21:00] bears? How can you help other merchants solve these problems? Let's share knowledge. Let's not hold it in. In terms of the Philippines, the e-commerce environment is thriving. It's very buoyant. , when we did the live, you know, pre covid, in person, we would have mothers like with brand new babies.
Luckily we have mother's rooms in our offices who would come and they would have their mother and their husband with them and they would be like, you are looking after the baby, literally next to them while I am taking notes and networking. What's the community? , it's when you're giving back, like what you are doing with your merchants and educating merchants. Being genuine and giving real things that , someone could take away immediately and will change their life. , not preppy little things, that's not gonna help, but sharing secrets. Your secret source, it could be an app. It could be a logistics supplier in the Philippines. , cash on delivery is a huge problem.
They don't have a lot of the payment, , [00:22:00] opportunities that other merchants have in the rest of the world. There's a lot of different issues sometimes it's highlighting those issues. And to give you a sense of the power of these communities, there was a major, , issue that the rest of the world with Shopify had access to and the Philippines did not.
And we were able to create a petition and do a business case to Shopify to say, Hey, what about us? And it was approved. And then , their development team, so again, When you are giving back and you're being genuine and you understand what your local community wants, they'll come and support you, and that's how we built it and lot
Claus Lauter: Every, every, everyone likes free food. But also I think, , mingling with Philippines and people from Colombia, the sweetest, nicest people that you can imagine. So it's also a very nice. The sweet environment there. Now, as we come slowly to the end of our coffee break, give me a bit of an overview. , how can I approach filter?
What's the pricing? What else do I need to know?
Nerissa Chaux: Everyone, you get to [00:23:00] meet me. Haha. I'm the first person you get to meet. So definitely connect with myself, directly to my email. I'm on LinkedIn, I'm on TikTok, I'm on Insta. , we are everywhere, but LinkedIn's probably the best place to connect with me and have a chat. In terms of pricing, it is very customized to you what you want.
Say, do you want an employee of record only? Do you want facilities? Do you want equipment? So that's with, on like a discussion point of view, and it also is in direct relation to the type of person you need. A developer is always gonna be a lot more expensive , , than a customer support person. But in terms of, , just have a chat.
I'm happy to answer any questions. , we've just released our 2023 Colombian digital and e-comm salary guide, which we're just launching tomorrow. , so again, if you want information, if you wanna understand how it works, please reach out to me. LinkedIn or email.
Claus Lauter: Okay. What are the, , web addresses where people can find you?
Nerissa Chaux: Narissa n e [00:24:00] rsa filter global.com, or check us out on our website, filter global.com. And of course, it's the same for Instar, LinkedIn, TikTok, wherever we are.
Claus Lauter: Okay, I will put the links in the show notes. Then you just one click away. Narissa. That was awesome. A lot of gold nuggets in there. It became very clear that, , having an. Expert on your side when it comes to recruitment. Finding right person, , takes away so much pain from you as a founder, as a startup founder or e-commerce merchant, and it's definitely worth to look into that.
Thanks so much.
Nerissa Chaux: Thank you so much for having me. Loved it. Thank you. Great questions.
Today’s episode is made possible by our friends at AccessiCart.
AccessiCart helps with accessibility compliance and making your site work better for ALL your customers.
Estimates are that 20% of all adults have a disability that requires accommodation. If a blind person can't enter a payment, you've lost a sale.
AccessiCart can help. They work alongside your in-house teams to help you identify issues so your site can work better for more people, including people with disabilities.
Get $250 off an audit of any size, including a mini-audit on your checkout -- a common place to find issues. At accessicart.com use the code "COFFEEBREAK".
Get notifications when new episodes are released. Unsubscribe anytime.
Join 3,000+ Ecommerce Marketers and Merchants getting our free Marketing Optimization Ideas to scale a growth-focused business on Shopify.
Continue the Conversation
In our ECOM MERCHANT PRO community, you can connect with our podcast guests and continue the conversation.
Our community is also a great place to get advice from other Shopify merchants who have achieved what you are aiming for.
This is your safe place to actively grow your online retail business with the support of the most amazing and helpful group of ecommerce entrepreneurs behind you.
Join the only Marketing Optimization Community where Shopify merchants go pro – together.
Running a Shopify business is tough, don't go at it alone.
DISCLAIMER: The content in this podcast episode is provided for general informational purposes only. By listening to our episode, you understand that no information contained in this episode should be construed as advice from Claus Lauter, idube Pte Ltd, or the individual author, hosts, or guests, nor is it intended to be a substitute for research on any subject matter. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Claus Lauter, idube Pte Ltd. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. The views expressed by the Claus Lauter, idube Pte Ltd, do not represent the views of their employers or the entity they represent. Claus Lauter, idube Pte Ltd, expressly disclaims any and all liability or responsibility for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or other damages arising out of any individual’s use of, reference to, or inability to use this podcast or the information we presented in this podcast. We feature sponsored interviews with guests who paid an appearance fee that supports the maintenance of the blog or podcast. Affiliate links – if you click on my affiliate links and sign up for the products and services I trust and recommend, then I will earn a commission. Although we may receive a commission from the affiliate, the cost of the product for you will always be the same or often discounted. All affiliate products are vetted by me and my team, and we support and recommend these products because we find they are worth it.