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Ep 46: (Ultimate Hiring Funnel Series 6/6) Expectations Meetings: How Drawing the Line Early Breeds Success – James Dale

What’s the Job Offer Call and why do you need to conduct one?
How to get your candidate excited about the job they are about to start
The best way to reinforce the positive attributes of a new hire while prepping them mentally for inevitable on-the-job coaching
The prep you need to do BEFORE you go into an Expectations Meeting
The 5 parts of the Expectations Meeting that allow a really strong start for any new employee
How to come across as a strong leader a new hire can trust

Watch Episode 46 of the Contractor Evolution ShoW

Listen to Episode 46

Read a Summary of Episode 46

Welcome to our sixth and final episode of the Ultimate Hiring Funnel series.

If you’ve followed all the steps from our previous episodes, you’ll be ready to close the process with the all important Job Offer Call and the Expectations Meeting.

No great hiring process is complete without this step!

Let’s be honest, one challenge contracting leaders face is holding people accountable (everyone wants to be Mr/Ms Nice Guy), but the fact is, as Igor says: “You cannot hold the line with someone, if you never drew it in the first place.”

This is the perfect time to do that.

To walk us through the final UHF process we are joined by James Dale, director of training and development here at Breakthrough Academy. James has conducted 1000s of expectations meetings for staff of all levels. He’s also the brains behind the BTA management system.

James has such a great way about him. The way he conducts this is part of the process gets people stoked to work with him.

Here are his insights . . .


Prep For The Job Offer Call

Before you pick up the phone, make sure you tactically think through the start date (and don’t make that start date tomorrow)!

High performers will want to know the next steps, so be ready: know the exact start date and when you want the expectation meeting to happen.

Walk them through the employment agreement. You don't need to read it verbatim (gawd forbid). Instead, start with the values/the role scope then move onto the deliverables and accountabilities of the role. You will want to spend time on this because you are setting the stage. “Tell people the ‘why’ behind things,” says James.

The Job Offer Call

This is where you want to build excitement (so the candidate doesn’t get cold feet).


James says instead of just calling the candidate and offering them the job, build the anticipation. He sends a text or email saying he’d like to connect with them as he has an important update about the role.

Once you’ve agreed on a day and time, this is how he conducts the phonecall:

Check They Are Still All In: First, you need to gauge to see if the candidate is still interested in the job! You need to understand the lay of the land before you proceed.

Offer The Role: Energy is important here. Be present and intentional with your tone and energy. You need to exude excitement (and you SHOULD be excited if you picked the right person).

Feedback: Once they’ve accepted the role, it’s time to tell them some of the reasons WHY you hired them. This sets the tone for the future and reassures them they have made the right decision in you, too.

Talk About The Opportunities Ahead: High performers aspire for growth. Let them know some of the opportunities ahead for them, or the gaps in the role where they might feel challenged and how you will support them.

Leave Room For Banter: Be sure you set aside time for general chit chat. You want to come across as a great leader: both firm and friendly.

Set A Date & Time For Both The Expectation Meeting & The Start Date: End the conversation by setting up this next step. The expectation meeting should be within days to maintain excitement. Continuity through this whole hiring funnel is important.




Prep For The Expectation Meeting: Set aside a couple of hours to ensure you have the Employment Agreement/Job Description finalized, as well as a rough outline of the onboarding plan.

(For a great template of a job description/employment agreement click here).

Print out 2 copies of the agreement: one for you, one for them (you don’t want to be breathing over their shoulder reading it).

Contact the candidate to get them to bring along their SSN/SIN number to the meeting.


THE BIG DAY: The Expectation Meeting

This is a pivotal and high leverage moment!

You’re about to hire that high-performer and set the stage for what’s ahead.

Start with rapport: Remember, if it all works out, this will be an ongoing relationship. They are part of the team now, so don’t just rush in with business talk.

Bring Out The Employment Agreement: Walk them through the employment agreement. You don’t need to read it verbatim (gawd forbid). Instead, start with the values/the role scope then move onto the deliverables and accountabilities of the role. You will want to spend time on this because you are setting the stage. “Tell people the ‘why’ behind things,” says James. And explain the more legalese sections in layman’s terms.

Remember, says James, “There should be no new information here!” They should know the compensation and bonus etc. before this meeting.”

Onboarding Talk: Now you can get onto the fun stuff. This is when you tell them what that first week generally looks like. “It doesn’t need to be in detail,” says James. They want to know, is this leader setting me up for success?

(For a great resource on onboarding, check out episode 6 of Contractor Evolution with Kurt Jansen)

Your John Hancock: It’s time to sign (or not). For simpler roles, the candidate can sign it straight away. Be sure both of you initial every page and sign the final page. For more complex roles, James advises the candidate to go away and have a read through on their own. 

Make sure you ask them to return the document to you, asap. “Give a tight timeline, within two days to sign the agreement,” says James.

The close: Always end the meeting on a good note. You should be super excited to have them on your team, so tell them that so they are pumped to start.

Taking these steps makes the performance management cycle easier over the long term. If you’ve set these expectations now, you’ve got them to fall back (and it prevents miscommunication hurdles along the way).

Building a world class hiring funnel isn’t easy, but nothing important ever was.

Benji Carlson

Benji Carlson

As the son of two proven entrepreneurs, Benji’s spirit for self-starting business runs deep. Since he was a young teen, Benji has been starting and running profitable small businesses; most recently culminating in a highly successful 4-year career as a franchisee with College Pro Painters. Benji’s enormous heart and passion for people is what drove him to produce over $1,000,000 in revenue while taking the highest quality care of his employees and customers. He was consistently acknowledged for having the most productive staff in the company, while leading more junior franchisees to fulfill their potential. Benji’s uncanny ability to find the right people and put them in the right place make him a natural fit for Breakthrough Academy’s Assessment Team.

Upon finishing up his career with College Pro, Benji set out on the ultimate victory lap: a nine-month transcontinental motorcycle trip from Canada to Peru.

Benji lives in beautiful Kelowna BC. During the summer you’ll usually find him on two wheels: either bombing down a trail on his mountain bike or cruising the pavement on his motorcycle. When the snow falls, he escapes to the mountains for steep and deep powder.

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