Strong Suit Podcast

Strong Suit is the playbook for recruiting Rockstars. You'll learn how to hire twice as fast. With half the mistakes. No more bad hires. ... Ready! Aim! Hire!
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Strong Suit Podcast




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Now displaying: 2016
Jun 21, 2016

Today, I interview Raj Sheth. Raj is CEO & Co-Founder of, a profitable company that he started in 2011. Based in San Francisco, it's one of the top recruiting software companies. They’ve got 1,600 paying companies - employers like MIT, Choice Hotels, US Department of Energy. They use Raj’s software to manage their hiring pipeline. Raj sees recruiting from many angles, including the mistakes his customers make along the way & the patterns of what works best.

Jun 16, 2016

20 years ago, Geoff Smart created ghSmart, a remarkable firm to advise Venture Capital & Private Equity firms on their hiring choices. Since then, his firm has interviewed & assessed 15,000 executives. (…Oh & along the way, he’s written 2 best-selling books including the legendary “WHO”) In this fascinating interview, Geoff finally reveals: What defines A-Players & how to hire them / The biggest interviewing mistakes that we make / Why hiring A-Players needs to be your #1 priority / Which interview questions are most predictive of success / How to close an A-Player candidate so they say ‘Yes’

Jun 15, 2016

I was privileged to meet Mats Lederhausen, who’s gold-plated resume is surpassed only by his passion for building world-class cultures. For 20 years, he has preached “purpose bigger than product"

He started at BCG before building a key part of the McDonald’s empire. He & his family built the Swedish affiliate of McDonald’s from scratch. He drove innovation in recycling and health and built the division to many units. 

Mats was promoted to head of Global Strategy for McDonald’s and moved to the US.  He overhauled the menu, R&D, and real estate. He then ran McDonald’s Ventures, which spun out Chipotle, Boston Market, and RedBox DVD. He even served as Chairman of Chipotle.

Mats is one of the finest thinkers on culture, recruiting, talent, leadership, and global business. You can’t afford to miss this interview.

Jun 9, 2016

Imagine your job was to recruit the best recruiters… Debra Jerome is Chief Human Resources Officer at Witt/Kieffer, one of the nation’s leading retained executive search firms (offices in 17 cities). In this role, Deb has recruited an all-star team of recruiters. She teaches us a ton about recruiting, the executive search industry, and what to look for in a headhunter. She reveals the characteristics that define the most talented recruiters. We also discuss how to build an effective employee referral program, which is how Deb finds most of her candidates. And she shares the gotchas you must avoid when hiring a Rockstar. Don’t miss this 20-minute interview.

Jun 7, 2016

After a great run at headhunting firm Korn/Ferry, Simon Mullins joined Microsoft where he successfully recruited 500 executives. He now runs ESIX, which teaches best practices to headhunters. He knows the recruiting business inside & out. In this 20-minute interview, Simon takes us behind the scenes of the headhunting business. He reveals: When & how to use a search firm / How to pick the right one / How to manage them to keep the search on-track / Best practices for negotiating compensation with candidates.

Jun 3, 2016

If you think that creating a healthy culture means buying a ping-pong table, you’ve got to catch this short interview. I interview Anne Nimke, who runs a fascinating company called The Good Jobs. TGJ advises companies on how to create a magnetic culture & environment that will attract & keep outstanding talent. Anne’s seen the mistakes that so many leaders make. This interview will help you avoid them. She reveals: How to articulate your mission & get everyone aligned around it / How transparent to be with your team / Designing an environment that lets people do their best work / Developing healthy communication (even when its bad news) / How the best companies create a culture that people never want to leave. We spend so much time, energy, and money recruiting people. But it’s all for nothing if the best people don’t stay. This video will show you how to make sure they do.

Jun 2, 2016

Wyzant is the leading online marketplace for tutors & students of all ages. They’re venture-funded & growing like a weed. As Director of Talent, Carrie McComb has led the charge in bringing a team of Rockstars to the company. She’s mild-mannered … but highly-competitive. In this 20-minute interview, Carrie reveals her secret formula including: How to spot a Rockstar when you see one / Using short ‘homework’ assignments to assess a candidate / The single-best source of candidates these days / Putting together an employee referral program that actually works.

May 31, 2016

There’s no harder candidate to recruit than a tech & software development leader. But today’s guest does it all day every day. Jason Kranz leads the Silicon Valley & San Francisco offices of Heidrick & Struggles, the world’s preeminent executive search firm. His focus is on recruiting rockstar CTO’s and CIO’s, and in this episode, he walks us through how he does it step-by-step. Avoid the posers! If you’re going to recruit a technologist for your company in the next year, you’ve got to listen to this 20-minute interview with Jason.

May 27, 2016

I just had a chance to interview Stuart Frankel. Stuart is Co-Founder & CEO of Narrative Science, one of Chicago’s fastest-growing Startups. He’s hired 80 employees & raised $30 million in venture capital to build this artificial intelligence company. So cool: their enterprise software instantly turns piles of data into fully-written investment research reports. In this 20-minute interview, Stuart reveals: How Not(!) to build a Startup culture / How the kind of employees you need changes as your Startup grows / What to look for when recruiting Rockstars / How to know when to raise outside capital, and how much.

May 26, 2016

I know you’ll enjoy this candid conversation with Mark Achler, Managing Director of MATH Venture Partners, the $28M venture fund based in Chicago. Mark pulls back the curtain on: What VC’s really look for in an entrepreneur / What sets apart the entrepreneurs who make it & those who don’t / The single-most vital skill of an entrepreneur / And how Founder/CEO transitions can go smoothly… or terribly

May 23, 2016

Mark Jacobson is a Partner at True, the nation’s 12th largest executive search firm. In this role, he’s retained by companies to find only the top talent. In fact, Mark has interviewed thousands of executives. In this 25-minute interview, he reveals what sets apart the Rockstars… top 10% performers. How to identify them quickly in an interview. When is your candidate’s failure a good thing. When to pick the up-and-comer over the seasoned veteran. And Mark busts many of the myths of successful recruiting. If you’re going to hire at least 1 person in the next few months, you can’t afford to miss this interview.

May 20, 2016

Imagine banning all annual employee performance reviews from your company...forever. Jennifer Shoop CEO of Fizz shows us how to do it. No more scrambling to write reviews for each employee between Christmas & New Years. She's pioneered a much better way to assess & manage people.

May 19, 2016

Entrepreneur & CEO Art Papas has built Bullhorn to 600 employees. Because many of his 10,000 customers are Recruiters, he's seen hiring from so many angles. In this 20-minute interview, he reveals the biggest recruiting mistakes that people make & how you can avoid them.

May 17, 2016

Reid Carr is Founder & CEO of Red Door Interactive, the 90-person firm based in San Diego. He's built a robust & vibrant culture that's been recognized nationally. In this 20-minute interview, Reid reveals how he did it, how he keeps near-zero turnover, and how to build a jerk-free culture. You can do the same... recruiting begins with retention of your Rockstars.

May 13, 2016

Lisa O’Keefe is Talent & Engineering Culture Advisor at Pritzker Group, Chicago’s leading VC & PE investment firm. She’s also served as VP Talent & Culture at Signal, the fast-growing tech company based in Chicago. She joined when Signal had 4 employees and it’s now over 150, thanks to her incredible recruiting skills. Despite Lisa’s modesty, she’s achieved remarkable success with both recruiting (96%+ offer acceptance rate) and retention (virtually 0 undesired attrition). In this 20-minute interview, Lisa reveals: How to spot an A-Player in just minutes / How she reaches out successfully to engage candidates that aren’t actively seeking a job / The exact step-by-step of her recruiting process / How to handle those delicate compensation discussions

May 12, 2016

She’s placed 100’s of rockstars at Google. In 1996, Martha Josephson founded the digital media practice at Egon Zehnder, one of the world’s top executive search firms. After McKinsey & Harvard Business School, Martha pursued her passion for recruiting. Since then, she’s interviewed thousands of top digital experts, and placed many of them… Including hundreds at Google! So, she’s uniquely qualified to tell us about how to recruit gamechangers, the disrupters that can help your company remake your industry. In this 20-minute interview, Martha shares: Conducting an interview that is predictive of a candidate’s success / How to do reference checks the right way / If personality tests have changed the hiring game / The importance of the 5-minute “Sniff Test” / How Google has remade its recruiting process

May 10, 2016

Susan Rosenstein has been recruiting marketing rockstars for her clients for 30 years. Big CPG companies, startups... she does it all. From CMO to Brand Manager, Susan reveals the secrets in this 20-minute interview. What to look for in a Rockstar? How to assess culture fit? Should you care about the candidate’s education? What interview questions to ask? If you’ll hire a marketing person in the next year, you can’t miss this interview. Susan is one of the nation’s top marketing headhunter.

May 6, 2016

Legendary executive coach Marty Nemko reveals how to be a great entrepreneur. Today, I had the opportunity to interview Marty Nemko. He’s worked with nearly 5,000 executives, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian named him 'The Bay Area’s Best Career Coach.'  Marty’s written 7 books on the subject.  We discuss: who should and should not become an entrepreneur / whether entrepreneurs are born or made / the no-bulls*it way to interview candidates / how to build a culture that your staff will love & never leave

May 5, 2016

Over 25 years, Cassie Marrone has interviewed tens of thousands of candidates. She's Head of People at LOYAL3, the groundbreaking FinTech company that lets regular people invest in IPO's at same time & price as Wall Street. In this short interview, Cassie reveals where to look for Rockstars & how to know when you've found one.

May 2, 2016

Rich Lear is Managing Director of Vantage Partners, a leadingS.F. headhunting firm. He's completed over 300 searches &specializes in recruiting people to help scale early-stagecompanies. In this short interview, you'll learn the secrets torecruiting rockstars to take your business to the next level.

Apr 29, 2016

I just had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Michalowicz, top business author of “The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur” (BusinessWeek calls it a ‘cult classic’). Mike built 2 multi-million dollar startups, sold them, and then lost it all. He’s back with a new startup… not to mention 3 business bestselling books.  In this interview, Mike shares: What toilet paper has to do with Startups / The biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make / How to develop a Profit First mindset at your startup / How entrepreneurs can fight depression & anxiety

Apr 28, 2016

He recruits the unrecruitable…Silicon Valley CTO’s. How do you recruit & keep a Chief Technology Officer, when they receive 5 headhunter calls a day? Mike Morell is one of Silicon Valley’s hottest executive recruiter. He co-founded Riviera Partners, which specializes in recruiting the most elusive talent … Chief Technology Officer, VP Technology, VP Product. These folks are hard to find. But Mike does it every day in the Valley, NYC, and L.A. In this short interview, Mike reveals: What to look for in a Rockstar CTO / Hidden places to find CTO’s these days / Which to prioritize: people skills vs. technical skills / How to know it’s time to make a change / What to do when CEO & Board disagree

Apr 26, 2016

Would you like to hire Rockstars just like an award-winning Startup? Based in Chicago, ContextMedia created the largest national network of ad/content-based video screens in physicians offices. Eric Olson leads the entire customer success organization, which works with customers from the moment they sign on. In this short interview, Eric reveals: the first thing that ContextMedia looks for in candidates / what body language can tell you about a candidate / how much to “sell” (or not) during the recruiting process / how quickly you can tell you’ve made a bad hire.

Apr 21, 2016

The secrets from a Podcasting legend. It took me 4 months, but I finally landed him as a guest for our video blog… You probably know the name John Lee Dumas. John’s following is undeniable:
– A recognized pioneer in podcasting (EOFire: Entrepreneur On Fire)
– Over 1 million unique listens per month
– 1,200 podcasts completed… one every single day for the past 4 years
– Over $500,000 revenue per month just from his podcast business
In today’s exclusive interview, John reveals:
– How podcasting can explode your business
– Why audio podcasts over video
– Building your base of followers step-by-step
– How to break through the clutter of so many podcasts
– What it’s like to work from home, put on a hat, and generate massive income

Apr 20, 2016

I just had the privilege of meeting with Brian Ascher. Brian’s a tenured Partner at Venrock, the legendary venture capital firm. In this interview, you’ll find out: The one key attribute VC’s look for in entrepreneurs (and why it’s so rare) // How to know you’re ready for an outside investor // How a VC sizes you up during your pitch meeting // Factors in building a great relationship with your investor // The connection between depression, stress, and entrepreneurship

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