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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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Sep 18, 2018

It takes a lot to convince a successful entrepreneur to trade in their “Founder/CEO” title for employee status. You know that must be one pretty special organization.

Following a homerun experience starting, building, and selling Caring.com to a public company, Andy reconnected with an old friend from his time at Intuit.

And he became hooked on the shared vision.

Andy now leads sales at 350-employee Bill.com, one of Silicon Valley’s fastest-growing companies.That's one of the hardest recruiting & leadership challenges in business.

He inherited a mixed team.

But with upgrading, restructuring, and just plain caring, the team has gone on to incredible accomplishments. In fact, he’s scaled the business that now moves over $60 Billion per year.

Incredible.

In this 20-minute conversation, Andy reveals step by step how he’s build this high-performance salesforce.

Sep 13, 2018

Alex Salkever is a confessed former tech addict who had a near-death experience texting while driving.

That event got him fascinated by the topic of how tech affects our brain.

And it ain't pretty.

So, he just published his conclusions in the new book "Your Happiness Was Hacked: Why Tech is Winning the Battle to Control Your Brain"

And there are many implications for how - and who - you hire. It's vital to find compatible working styles, with regard to inescapable technology.

He is a columnist for Fortune and Guest Researcher at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering.

Alex has been a senior executive at a number of Silicon Valley startups, most recently at Mozilla.

 

Sep 11, 2018

Precision targeting… Imagine if you had a map that showed you where your target customers actually made their decisions to buy. 

Christopher “Toph” Day is Co-Founder & CEO of DemandJump.

Based in Indianapolis, Toph’s team helps marketers outmaneuver their competition & double their marketing performance using the Traffic Cloud Customer Acquisition Platform. 

With $6M in venture capital from Revolution, Flyover Fund, and Hyde Park Venture Partners, DemandJump is out to make customer referrals far smarter.

What’s not to like about that?

In this 20-minute conversation, Toph reveals how he’s building the organization that’s building one of Indy’s fastest-growing companies.

Sep 6, 2018

It’s not every day you met an entrepreneur who bootstrapped a company to $13 million revenues and 130 employees.

I just met one.

Tyson Quick started Instapage. 

And he’s on a mission to personalize & optimize online experience for all of your customers. In short, they make your marketing landing pages smarter.

They already have 15,000 customers.

Now he’s raised $15M in venture capital from Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital to scale the business.

In this 20-minute conversation, Tyson reveals how he’s building the team that’s building these customized landing pages. (Hint: they’re located in San Francisco, Poland, and Romania)

Sep 4, 2018

As Denver suffered in its third year of drought, Chris Klein saw an opportunity.

So he co-founded Rachio, where today he’s CEO, leading 60 employees.

Rachio is the personal watering assistant that automatically adjusts for the weather & improves the water efficiency of your home.

Installation takes less than 30 minutes and you begin saving water & improving your yard's health immediately. And of course, its smartphone-controlled. 

Rachio is “blossoming” thanks to venture funding from top investors like Arborview Capital, Amazon’s Alexa Fund, and Bonaventure Capital.

I was blown away by his “First of Four” & “Hiring Sprint” process. In this 20-minute interview, Chris shares how he’s growing the organization that’s growing lawns everywhere.

Aug 30, 2018

Malvika Jethmalani has never backed down from a challenge.

So when she joined a turnaround CPG company 2 years ago, she was ready.

As VP of Human Resources of Flavors Holdings (you know them as the makers of the Equal sweetener you use in your coffee), she’s helped rebuild the organization bottom to top.

Not an easy task… because Flavors has 600 people across 21 countries.

Business turnarounds have been compared to changing the tires on a car that’s speeding down the highway at 70 mph.

Malvika’s experience at Danaher & CareerBuilder, and her Kellogg MBA, prepared her for the task.

In this 20-minute conversation, Malvika reveals how to tackle the people part of a turnaround.

Aug 28, 2018

His grandmother in Barbados was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Which inspired Gil Addo to start a company.

So, in 2013, RubiconMD was born. It’s goal is to connect primary care physicians with specialist doctors.

Why?

Believe it or not, your family physician doesn’t have all the answers. 

So RubiconMD gives them instant online access to top specialists all over the world. This way, they can provide better care, improve their patient experience, and reduce healthcare costs.

No more driving all over town from specialist to specialist.

RubiconMD’s no typical startup. It’s based in NYC already with 50 employees.

And Gil’s no typical entrepreneur. He holds an MBA from Harvard and Biomedical Engineering degree from Yale. He was named one of Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” in healthcare. He’s raised $13 million from HLM Venture Partners & Optum Ventures.

In this 20-minute conversation, Gil reveals how he’s building the team that’s building this life-saving company.

Aug 23, 2018

Jett McCandless is CEO & Co-Founder of project44, one of Chicago’s fastest-growing companies.

Launched in 2014, project44’s technology provides companies with increased visibility into their supply chain.

In addition to tracking shipments from port to loading dock, the company’s technology provides solutions for pricing, payments, scheduling, and analytics.

And it’s working…

Revenue reportedly increased by a whopping 400% last year.

And recently, project44 closed a $35 million venture funding round & announced plans to make 200 hires over the next 2 years.

So how will Jett attract that talent?

In this 20-minute episode, he reveals his plans.

(And he tells what the ’44’ is all about.)

 

Aug 21, 2018

Sahil Sahni is doing the impossible.

After leaving McKinsey & Company and Techstars, he’s co-founded a fast-growing AI company.

And against the odds, he’s recruiting top-talent in Silicon Valley…ground zero of the war for talent.

AllyO is an AI technology company that is transforming recruiting through intelligent automation. It’s an AI recruiter that utilizes natural language processing & machine learning to automate the end-to-end recruiting workflow. 

This removes the traditional inefficiencies of lost applicants & conversions due to poor candidate experience, and the high cost of recruiting due to administrative tasks. 

AllyO has already processed millions of job applicants for Fortune 1000 companies, such as Walmart, Hilton, AT&T, and Arby’s.

Sahil and his team have raised $14million in venture funding from Google, Bain Capital Ventures, Cervin Ventures, Gradient Ventures & Randstad Innovation Fund. 

Even if you’re not based in Silicon Valley, you’ll get a ton of recruiting wisdom from this 20-minute conversation.

Aug 16, 2018

Following a successful career in investment banking, and an MBA at Chicago Booth GSB, Ryan Crane developed a thirst for entrepreneurship.

Now, he’s CEO of Tempo Tea, the fast-growing beverage company in Chicago. It helps you beat the mid-day slump.

Tempo is a new line of organic, unsweetened sparkling teas crafted to provide a guilt-free & uplifting boost of natural energy. Think tea meets 5-hour-energy.

0 calories. 0 sugar. 0 sweeteners. What’s not to like?

In this 20-minute interview, Ryan reveals how he’s building the team that’s building this disruptive business.

 

 

Aug 12, 2018

Legendary business author Tom Peters once said that “you are your projects.”

Natalie Steck is on a mission to help you manage those projects far more easily.

She recently joined Viewpath as CEO. 

Based in Seattle, Viewpath markets an enterprise-grade project & resource management solution to Fortune 1000 companies. Their cloud-based SaaS software is a proven, robust, and scalable technology platform which integrates with Salesforce.com

In this 20-minute interview, Natalie reveals how she’s building the team that’s building this project management tool.

 

 

Aug 9, 2018

Michael Winnick & his team at dscout have a passion for understanding what makes people tick.

So, they created a research tool that captures thoughts, reactions, and behaviors in the moments as they happen. This way, smart researchers can gather qualitative feedback–in the form of rich video, voices, images, and text–and then analyze it within a quantifiable framework.

Based in Chicago, Michael founded dscout in 2012 with the mission of leveraging technology to make in-context research everyday accessible for organizations.

As dscout’s tools have become commonplace at progressive companies, their leaders regularly tap Michael to help make sense of it all. 

In this 20-minute conversation, Michael reveals how he’s recruiting the team to build this curiosity business.

Aug 7, 2018

Imagine if printing a wallet (or a lamp, or a birthday card, or a sushi wrap) was just as easy as printing a résumé.

That’s the vision of Dan Shapiro, CEO & Cofounder of Glowforge.

Based in Seattle, Glowforge has created the 3D laser printer. It also holds the record as the biggest crowdfunding campaign in history, with $27.9M in preorders in 30 days. 

Put simply, Glowforge makes it simple for designers & engineers to take products directly from digital design to reality.

Before starting the company, Dan was the CEO of Google Comparison, which operates comparison shopping products. Before that, he was founder & CEO of Photobucket.

He’s also the author of Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook. And has been awarded a dozen US patents.

Whew. Busy guy.

Glowforge has 75 people & $70M in venture funding. In this 20-minute conversation, Dan reveals how he’s scaling the organization in a few remarkable ways.

Aug 2, 2018

Nolan Mondrow is CEO of LockState. 12 years in the making, his persistence is paying off.

Based in Denver, LockState is at the heart of the Internet of Things.

It’s the first company to create software in the cloud that controls multiple connected locks. 

Yes, many connected lock companies make a web or mobile application that is focused on controlling their own device. 

Instead, LockState puts all of these connected locks on to their platform so–no matter what type of door or lock you need–the platform is able to control it from the cloud.

This solves the problem for property managers & owners who need to give access to their properties for guests, renters and service people, even when they are off-site. The software eliminates the expense & hassle of key exchanges, the disruption of early check-ins and overstays, and the security risks of unauthorized access. 

With funding by Iron Gate Capital, Nolan is opening doors.

And in this 20-minute conversation, he reveals how he’s recruiting the team to ‘lock up’ the category. And as Nolan explains, it hasn’t always been straight up & to the right.

Jul 31, 2018

Matt McCambridge is a VC turned CEO.

He founded Eden Health 3 years ago to elevate the health & wellbeing of employees everywhere

Based in NYC, it’s a personal health platform comprised of providers & benefits experts. Eden is the starting point to help companies & their employees navigate today’s complicated healthcare landscape across insurance, in-person, and virtual care.

Matt intends to eliminate the hassle of healthcare for employers & employees. This new kind of doctor’s office combines a private primary care practice, 24/7 telemedicine, and personalized insurance navigation into one simple platform.

Prior, he was with Insight Venture Partners.

In this 20-minute conversation, Matt reveals how he’s building the team that’s building this gamechanging company.

Jul 31, 2018

Matt McCambridge is a VC turned CEO.

He founded Eden Health 3 years ago to elevate the health & wellbeing of employees everywhere

Based in NYC, it’s a personal health platform comprised of providers & benefits experts. Eden is the starting point to help companies & their employees navigate today’s complicated healthcare landscape across insurance, in-person, and virtual care.

Matt intends to eliminate the hassle of healthcare for employers & employees. This new kind of doctor’s office combines a private primary care practice, 24/7 telemedicine, and personalized insurance navigation into one simple platform.

Prior, he was with Insight Venture Partners.

In this 20-minute conversation, Matt reveals how he’s building the team that’s building this gamechanging company.

Jul 28, 2018

If you don’t think Ohio’s a place for startups…

Or if you don’t know what a startup nursery is…

Then this episode is for you.

Flavio Lobato & John D’Orazio are Co-Founders of IKOVE Capital, which fills the gap between the Lab and the Market.

As a “venture developer,” IKOVE has already commercialized 10 disruptive startups. They partner with inventor & scientists to bring their intellectual property to market.

With decades of experience in alternative investments & traditional securities markets, Flavio & John have partnered to find a whole new way or bringing innovations to life.

In this 20-minute conversation, they explain how they’re doing it, and of course, the people part of the startup nursery.

Jul 24, 2018

How does a company that started as a simple New Jersey mom & pop storefront in 1956 build a national cult following, willing to travel miles for a taste of its submarine sandwiches?

In case you hadn’t noticed, Jersey Mike’s Subs is now the nation’s #1 fastest-growing sandwich chain, with 1,500 locations. (They opened 173 just last year alone.)

And John Hughes, Brand Ambassador, is part of the secret sauce.

John joined Mike’s 35 years ago in its very first location.

And since then, he’s been helping hire, train, develop, coach, and lead the staff of this rocketship.

In this 20-minute conversation, John reveals the secrets of the DNA that Jersey Mike’s seeks in all of its recruiting efforts, where they find the best candidates, and how they train them to provide a remarkable customer experience.

In short, this episode is Yummy!

You’ll eat it up.

Jul 19, 2018

After working in the medical transportation field for 10 years, Mark Switaj saw a glaring need & decided to do something about it.

So he started RoundTrip.

Based in Philadelphia, RoundTrip is the single touchpoint for non-emergency patient transportation. 

Sure, there are plenty of ambulance services - car & helicopter - for getting a patient to the hospital. (I’ve even seen some blood on the back seats of Ubers.)

But 78% of Americans over the age of 55 require ongoing medical treatment for a chronic condition. And they need wheels for these NON-emergency appointments.

RoundTrip now works with such greats as Mount Sinai in NYC, Cooper/MD Anderson, Crozer-Keystone Health System, Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, and others.

They provide the full spectrum of on-demand and scheduled trips, from lyft rides to wheelchair and stretcher transports via partnered, credentialed transport companies, through a simple, powerful portal. Riders are connected to the right driver.

In short: it saves lives.

In this 20-minute conversation, Mark reveals how he’s building the team that’s building RoundTrip.

Jul 17, 2018

Sandra Gault is CEO & Founder at True Gault, the high-tech fashion company. Using super-cool technologies, True Gault delivers custom-made women’s designer dress shoes in 4 weeks. 

Based in NYC, True Gault addresses 2 major problems: standardized shoe sizing leads to ill-fitting shoes; and shoes are nearly impossible to buy online with confidence.

To solve the problem, True Gault uses 3D imaging software & patent-pending fit formula to create custom-fit shoes, hand made in Spain.

Her customers simply take 3 pictures of each foot via the iPhone app. The smart technology generates her unique size & a 3D model of each foot, obliterating past reliance on traditional sizing. 

The result? An innovative shopping experience & a custom pair of heels, made to order, delivered in 4 weeks and backed by a 100% Fit Guarantee.

Sandra took her experience as an executive at Kodak Imaging & applied it to making high heels more comfortable.

She & her team recently secured funding from legendary venture capitalist Tim Draper, who invested via True Gault’s innovative equity crowdfunding campaign.

In this 20-minute conversation, Sandra reveals how she’s building an organization combining left-brained & right-brained talent.

Jul 12, 2018

Stephen George is CEO of Surkus, based in West Hollywood.

And he took an unusual path. Starting as an investor in Surkus, he then joined full-time as Chief Operating Officer once he saw the magnitude of the opportunity. He was later named CEO.

Previously, Stephen served as head of operations at Groupon.

Surkus is a 2-sided marketplace for events & experiences on a local basis. It connects its clients (major brands) & consumers.

The platform curates a targeted group of tastemakers for client events - such as nightlife, comedy shows, classes, product launches, etc. In turn, Surkus members are invited to explore & discover these new experiences, with invitations tailored just for them. 

In this 20-minute conversation, Stephen reveals how he’s building the team at Surkus, now backed by $20M in venture capital.

Jul 10, 2018

Guy Friedman was fed up with waiting to see his physician.

So, he set out to reimagine the process.

He started the company SteadyMD, based in St. Louis, which recently closed a sizable round of venture capital.

After a comprehensive 1-hour video appointment in which the SteadyMD doctor & patient get to know each other, that same doctor is available anytime via secure text messaging, phone calls, and video appointments. 

The SteadyMD platform hosts all the patient's medical records, including those from past doctors and hospitals.

This is - literally - a physician in your pocket.

In this 20-minute conversation, Guy reveals how he’s built the team behind SteadyMD. Full-time employees. Software developers. Contract physicians. The whole enchilada.

And he didn’t have to be in Silicon Valley to do it.

Jul 5, 2018

If you’re tired of your opened wine bottles going bad - and you’re tired of hiring B-Players - this interview is for you.

David Koretz is the Founder & CEO of Plum, the company that makes the first automatic wine appliance that lets you enjoy a bottle, one glass at a time, preserved for up to 90 days. And it’s automatically served at the perfect serving temperature, just as the winemaker intended.

David was previously the Founder & CEO of Mykonos Software, which was acquired by Juniper Networks in 2012 for $80 million. Mykonos was awarded the Wall Street Journal Innovation Award.

The inventor of a dozen technology patents, David was recognized as an innovator by Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Under David’s leadership, Plum has raised $19M in funding by Khosla Ventures & Las Olas Venture Capital.

In this 20-minute interview, David reveals how he’s built the team that built this super-cool product.

Jul 3, 2018

We have Brendan Carroll to thank, for safeguarding our nation’s crops of grapes that become wine.

He’s President & CEO of Skycision, which offers a solution to the global agriculture industry that helps farmers identify crop stress weeks earlier than the naked eye can.

By analyzing aerial spectral imagery, Skycision’s drones aid growers in responding faster to threats, save them time in scouting, and enhance the scouting coverage of their operation to ensure the security of their bottom line.

And it’s not just wine. 

Brendan is on a mission to help the global agriculture industry grow more efficiently. Food production needs to increase 70% by 2050 to feed the anticipated 2B increase in the global population. 

In this 20-minute conversation, we cover a lot of ground - pun intended - including how Brendan is building a bi-coastal company of Pittsburgh & Silicon Valley.

 

Jun 29, 2018

If you’re not worried about your top-performing employees leaving you, I’ve got bad news: 42 million employees will leave their jobs in 2018.

While we’re at a record-low unemployment rate, we’re also at a record-high employee disengagement rate. Many are miserable.

And it’s not Money. That’s only #5 on the list.

So I wanted to find out specifically why they leave, and what we leaders can do about it.

Fortunately, I found Danny Nelms. 

He’s President of Work Institute, which just released its “2018 Retention Report” - the only one of its kind, a study of national workplace turnover & retention.

Using a scientifically valid methodology & data from over 234,000 exit interviews, this report uncovers the root causes of turnover to reveal the real reasons employees leave their jobs for better opportunities.

Remember: recruiting actually starts with retention. 

In this 20-minute conversation, Danny shares the real reasons that your best people will leave. The answers will surprise you.

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