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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Oct 13, 2016

If you hire - or you’re going to hire - sales reps, you can’t afford to miss this interview. Dr. Christopher Croner is author of the best-selling book “Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again.” He’s also creator of the assessment test SalesDrive. He’s advised over 600 sales organizations and tested tens of thousands of salespeople. Along the way, he’s identified the 3 essential criteria that every successful sales rep must possess. They can’t be trained or coached — a rep has them or doesn’t. Find out the 3 all-important characteristics.

Oct 11, 2016

20 years ago, Ted Martin founded Martin Partners in Chicago. Since then, he’s become one of the nation’s leading executive recruiters. Ted specializes in searches for CEO candidates & the “top table” of an organization. In fact, he’s become a “go-to” guy for VC & PE firms nationally. In this 20-minute interview, Ted reveals: How to reduce the risk that a new hire won’t succeed / #1 variable to find in Rockstar leaders / Risks of big-company candidates moving to smaller-companies / How & when to do references the right way.

Oct 6, 2016

Dayton Ogden is of Head of Talent for Summit Partners, the legendary $16B VC & PE investment fund. He’s responsible for scouring the world in search of rockstars, who build successful companies. In this 20-minute interview, Dayton reveals: The #1 killer interview question to ask / What to look for in a Rockstar / Why recruiting millennials is a totally different animal / How long to wait before terminating a non-performer / How to recruit board members & advisors.

Oct 4, 2016

I named this episode after my guest, Clem Johnson. And we discuss the highs, lows, risks, and rewards of Passion in your company. More isn’t always better. Clem is one of the nation’s leading executive search consultants. He’s Managing Director at Crist Kolder Associates, where he completes CEO, CFO, & Board searches for companies large & small. Prior, he was trained at Heidrick & Struggles and Russell Reynolds. In this 20-minute episode, Clem reveals: How to uncover passion in people / How to assess passion in an interview / When too much passion is a bad thing / How to leverage passion to drive your business / Healthy tension between passionate CEO & dispassionate CFO

Sep 30, 2016

How to know for sure? Karen Bloom started Bloom Gross 25 years ago, one of the nation’s largest recruiting firms for P.R. folks. Whether you’re hiring your first P.R. manager or you already have a team, you can’t afford to miss this 20-minute interview. Karen reveals: Most important qualities when hiring P.R. people / How to assess P.R. candidates / Should your P.R. person also manage social media / How to compensate P.R. folks / The responsibilities of the 21st century P.R. manager.

Sep 27, 2016

My guest today is Joe Flanagan is CEO of Acquirent, the Inc 5000 company, that helps companies build their sales pipeline. His team of works with companies and he hires, trains, and manages the sales reps for you. In this 20 minute interview, Joe reveals: the 5 things to look for when hiring rockstar sales reps / Optimal design of a sales comp plan / How to know you’ve hired the wrong sales rep / the perfect time to put in a CRM system.

Sep 22, 2016

How’d you like to cut thru all the interview BS? John Younger is CEO of HireMojo, the first recruitment automation platform designed for the non-recruiter. He’s started 5 successful recruiting companies. Along the way, he’s figured out the best practices and mistakes to avoid when hiring. In this 20-minute interview, John shares: How to disarm candidates so they’re fully truthful / How to use social media to find them / The #1 reason that people are going to leave your company.

Sep 20, 2016

If your industry is changing rapidly, you can’t afford to miss this episode. Tuck Rickards is Managing Director of Russell Reynolds, one of the world’s top executive search firms. He’s part of the CEO & Board services practice so he recruits top executives. He also is a leader of the Digital Transformation Practice, where he recruits disruptive leaders. In this 20-minute interview, Tuck reveals: The 2 characteristics that are possessed by every disruptive founder; what’s truly predictive of success in the interview process; and how to know when it’s time to step aside & make room for your successor.

Sep 15, 2016

Pat Friel is a leading headhunter who has interviewed over 10,000 candidates. He’s Managing Partner with the retained search firm Lochlin Partners. Prior, he led the Washington DC office of legendary Heidrick & Struggles. In this 20-minute interview, Pat reveals: Why resumes are now useless / Biggest mistakes to avoid when checking references / Exact interview questions you must ask / When & how to bring up the compensation topic.

Sep 13, 2016

Jason Weingarten is the CEO & Co-Founder of Yello, the leading talent acquisition software suite. He’s raised millions in venture capital funding & hired over 100 people. In this 20-minute interview, Jason reveals 2 huge things: How to build an effective employee referral program, which can save you a fortune of time & money on recruiting. Plus, How to hire & lead Millennials (his company is filled with them). They’re a unique breed - you’ve got to get this right. 

Sep 8, 2016

Lou Adler is one of the biggest influences in my Talent work. I had to wait months to land him as a guest, but here he is! Lou has taught 40,000 recruiters, invented Performance-Based Interviewing, & wrote the best-selling Hire With Your Head. In this 20-minute interview, Lou reveals: the 3 things you must do to hire a Rockstar every time / how to describe the job perfectly to attract rockstars / how to interview candidates step-by-step / the single most important interview question on the planet / Much more.

Sep 6, 2016

Kristi Ryan runs her own recruiting firm, Ryan Recruiting Resources. She’s been recruiting for more than 15 years, working with top firms like World Kitchen, Echo Global, and even one of my own companies. In this 20-minute interview, Kristi gives an insider’s perspective on what you need to know about hiring a Rockstar head of Human Resources (or Talent or People). She reveals: how to build an HR team/ what to look for in your first HR person/ how to get the most out of them / how to define an HR Rockstar, who can then recruit other Rockstars to your company.

Sep 1, 2016

How’d you like to learn the secrets on how to assess & predict whether a candidate will succeed at your company? Sara Coffou founded Coffou Partners, a leading retained executive search firm, 20 years ago. She’s seen this movie over & over. She recruits all sorts of executives across many industries. In this 20-minute interview, Sara reveals: the 3 levels of the candidate you must assess / How to check the elusive culture fit / How & when to use reference checks / Interviewing Sales candidates ...who are often good talkers.

Aug 30, 2016

Amy Frink created Victory Search Group more than dozen years ago and has recruited more CFO’s than anyone I’ve ever met. In this 20-minute interview, Amy reveals: the most unique aspects of hiring a CFO / how to create the perfect relationship between CFO & CEO / the perfect interview questions to ask your Finance candidates / when is the right time to share your company’s numbers with candidates.

Aug 25, 2016
Barry Asin is President of Staffing Industry Analysts, the leading consulting & publishing firm that tracks the talent industry. In this 20-minute interview, Barry reveals the major trends that are taking place in Talent. You need to know this stuff. Also, we dig into the “Gig Economy” & what it means for your company. Are we all going to contractors, just like Uber drivers? Find out how to prepare for the coming changes.
Aug 23, 2016

Stacie Blair is a pioneer in the recruiting field. 20 years ago, she created The Pacific Firm based in San Francisco. They recruit for companies of all types of roles in all sectors. With a specialty in VC & PE funded startups. And Pacific has a very unique business model. In this 20-minute interview, Stacie reveals the secrets: the problems with contingency & retained recruiting models / how to find a rockstar / how to keep a rockstar / how to avoid the mistakes that most recruiters make.

Aug 17, 2016

She knows the secrets! Because Cynthia Karr was one of Silicon Valley’s top headhunters before coming a leading career coach. She recruited a ton of top Finance executives for rocketship startups; now, she works with up & coming rockstars to advance their own careers. In this 20-minute interview, Cynthia reveals: how to keep your career moving / what employers truly look for / how to make sure people know you’re a Rockstar / and more.

Aug 16, 2016

Trisha Degg is Director of Talent Programs for Illinois Technology Association (ITA), the organization that helps great tech companies scale. Trisha helps ITA’s 500 member companies navigate the talent pool to find the best of the best. She’s got 10 years of corporate recruiting, campus recruitment, and HR experience. In this 20-minute interview, Trisha reveals how to get your early-stage company on the map without spending a fortune / how to compete with Google & Facebook for rockstar talent / how to easily setup an on-campus recruiting program.

Aug 12, 2016

I’m beyond thrilled to spend a few minutes with Jim Jonassen, Founder of JJA Venture Search. Jim has executed over 700 Chief & VP search assignments, having built out the leadership teams at companies like HireRight, FastPay, and Cornerstone OnDemand. He’e started 5 successful executive search firms since 1983, and he’s passionate about recruiting for fast-growth startups. Jim brings a rare blend of experience, having also founded & built 2 successful software companies. In this 20-minute interview, Jim reveals the biggest mistakes that startups make when hiring and how to avoid them / what makes a startup Rockstar / and where to find them.

Aug 9, 2016

Recruiting rockstar IT & Software Developers to your company can seem impossible these days... But it’s not. While we're essentially at zero unemployment for this profession, you can attract them. You just need to know how. Ryan Pollock is Partner with Objective Paradigm, a leading recruitment firm specializing in IT rockstars which he started nearly 20 years ago. The firm has done thousands of searches for this rare talent, and in this 20-minute interview, Ryan reveals precisely how it’s done. If you’re hiring tech folks, you can’t afford to miss this one.

Aug 4, 2016

Kristy Nittskoff is the guru of candidate communications. She runs the firm Talent Savvy. How do you engage Rockstars? They’re currently employed & happy. But you want them to take a look at your opportunity. So, how do you get them to pay attention? Kristy is the expert in employment branding and in this 20-minute interview, she shows how its done. How to breathe life into your current recruiting practices & how to engage Rockstars? She reveals: the biggest mistakes that employers make / how to fix a broken interview process / how to build an employer brand with no budget / what you need to know about Glassdoor.

Aug 2, 2016

Gautam Gupta is Co-Founder & CEO of NatureBox, which he's built from scratch to 100 employees. It’s now one of fastest-growing food brands in the US. Gautam lost 70 pounds as a teenager and wanted to create healthier snacks & deliver them offline and online. Earlier, he was a successful VC at General Catalyst Partners, the $3B venture capital firm. In this 20-minute interview, Gautam reveals: the talent mistakes he’s made / when it’s time to upgrade an employee  / how to part ways with underperformers / his talent secrets.

Jul 28, 2016

The war for talent is underway. With 1% unemployment amongst college-educated white-collar workers, how can you possibly compete? Don't let Facebook, Google, and Uber hire all the Rockstars. You can do this, and I've got you covered. But you don’t stand a chance if you don’t build a unique employer brand. Today, I interview Mike Dwyer, the head of talent & employment branding at (the leader in online car shopping with 30M visits/month). He’s building a brand to attract Rockstars, just like he did at NowSecure. In this 20-minute interview, Mike reveals how you can do it too (even on a limited budget).

Jul 26, 2016

Yves Lermusi is CEO & co-founder of Checkster, a social rating tool for your employees. It's supercool & streamlines the interview, referencing, and 360 feedback process. He started Checkster 10 years ago and has seen so many of the mistakes that employers make. Yves was recently named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the Recruiting Industry." In this 20-minute interview, he reveals: getting 360 feedback the right way / biggest mistakes to avoid when checking references / how to use tech tools to save time recruiting / and more.

Jul 21, 2016

I’m privileged today to a best-selling author who has studied what sets apart great business leaders. It’s vital to understand so that you can become an amazing boss, and also so that you can recruit great leaders. Sydney Finkelstein is the Steven Roth Professor of Management at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, where he teaches leadership & strategy. He’s also Associate Dean for Tuck’s Executive Education program. Sidney holds degrees from London School of Economics and Columbia University. Sydney has published 17 books including one of my all-time favorites, Why Smart Executives Fail. Recently, he followed it up with Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent. In this 20-minute interview, Sydney reveals: what is a superboss / how to become one / how to hire superbosses that will propel your organization.

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