Recruit Rockstars Podcast

Recruit Rockstars is the only podcast on the people part of PE & VC portfolio companies.
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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 14, 2017

If your Board of Directors s comprised of old white men, don’t be surprised when you employee base mirrors it. 

David Chun is CEO of Equilar, which he started at the bottom of the dot-com bust in 2000. Since then, he’s built the preeminent provider of board intelligence solutions. 

Companies of all sizes rely on Equilar for their most important boardroom decisions, including Board recruiting & compensation. 70% of the Fortune 500 & institutional investors count on David & his incredible dataset.

So, David knows a ton about how to build the ideal board. 

In this 20-minute discussion, we talk about how to go about it. The gotchas and the best practices. 

Whether you’re a CEO, a future CEO, a board member, or an investor, you can’t afford to miss this episode.

Dec 12, 2017

I’ve got some bad news.

We’re in a war for talent. With 4.1% unemployment, candidates have the leverage. And Rockstar candidates have a ton of choices. 

Which means that you need to provide an amazing candidate experience if you want even a chance of landing them. 

So, I sought out an expert. 

Turns out it’s a longtime friend - Susan Hailey. Susan has incredible experience recruiting Rockstars in Silicon Valley (eBay), Las Vegas (Caesars), and New York.

Now, she’s VP of Global Talent Acquisition at Medidata, the rocketship public company that’s reinventing drug development with its cloud based solutions for clinical researchers.

In this 20-min conversation, Susan reveals how to engage candidates & show them a concierge level experience. Not only will it help you land your first-choice candidate, but also they’re more likely to feel engaged & connected to your company even once they start.

Find out why. You can’t afford to miss this episode.

Dec 7, 2017

In the war for talent, you need to turn over every stone. And here’s one you’re likely missing…


There are 22 million veterans in the US, and there are probably just as many myths & misunderstandings.

So I sought out an expert to fill us in.

I found him in Silicon Valley. Chris Galy is Chief People Officer at Ten-X (formerly 

After his graduation from West Point, Chris served in the Army Flight School before building a successful career as VP Talent Acquisition at Intuit.

In this 20-minute interview, Chris reveals the secrets of tapping into the veteran candidate pool. Where to find them? How to recruit them? What types of roles are the best fit?

And how to finally debunk the myths.

Dec 5, 2017

In today’s war for talent, candidates are becoming far more sophisticated and need to be persuaded to give you the “Yes!”

San Diego-based Anna Runyan has a fascinating job. 

As Founder & CEO of, she educates candidates and teaches them what they should be looking for in their next employer (that’s you!) 

The site gets 500,000 page views/month and is top-ranked by Forbes.

In this 20-minute episode, you’re going to get the behind-the-scenes information so that you can land more Rockstars. You’ll learn what questions you should expect to hear from Rockstar candidates. And the surefire way to lose great talent.

If you’re planning to hire in 2018 - particularly women - you can’t afford to miss this one.

Nov 30, 2017

Jay Goltz is the legendary Chicago Entrepreneur. He even has a block named after him … street sign & all.

He’s the successful - and often blunt - CEO behind Goltz Group, which consists of 5 companies, including Artists Frame Service (the country’s largest picture frame store) and (an online destination for business-appropriate artwork on a budget) 

His company’s culture is often cited by experts. And I’m a customer - the place is remarkable!

Jay doesn’t attribute his success in building a first-class culture to luck or chance. Instead, he points to 4 crucial characteristics of culture. He methodically put them in place over the years, and his companies are bulletproof.

Side note: I highly recommend Jay’s bestselling book, “The Street Smart Entrepreneur” - pick up a copy


Nov 28, 2017

Let’s get real. It’s a buyer’s market.

And you’re not the buyer.

The candidate is. With 4.3% unemployment (actually, 2% amongst college-educated knowledge workers), the war for talent is underway.

And you have to fight like hell to land the best talent. I call ‘em Rockstars… the top 5% in any given category.

I’ve received my fair share of rejections over time. It comes with the territory, being in executive search for 25 years.

So I sought out an expert who could set us straight.

Based in Ontario, David Perry is a fellow executive recruiter. Managing Partner & Founder of Perry-Martel, he’s been doing it for 3 decades. He’s also a fellow author, of the wonderful “Hiring Greatness.”

In this 20-minute interview, David reveals how to seal the deal. How to close even the most hesitant candidate. He explains why addressing the intrinsic needs of the candidate must come first … Even Before Compensation!

If you hope to have a chance of recruiting Rockstars in 2018, you can’t miss this episode.

Nov 21, 2017

There’s a holy grail of recruiting?

No way.

Yep, no joke. This is both faster and less expensive. And the candidates stay longer, and perform better.

What is it?

The Employee Referral Program. Unfortunately, only 66% of companies have one. And the ones that do, really make a mess of theirs.

50% (Yes, half!) of your new hires should come via your Employee Referral Program. If they don’t, this episode is for you. Because you’re missing a trick (or your culture stinks… in which case you have far bigger problems).

Laura Bilazarian shows us the way. She’s CEO of Teamable Software, based in San Francisco. She started the company 4 years ago to help employers hire faster & smarter thru their employees’ social network. Teamable’s clients now include Uber, Lyft, Oracle, and ESPN.

Invest 20 minutes with me & Laura, and you’ll never look at recruiting the same way again.

Nov 16, 2017

Let’s face it. You’re not the perfect leader. You know it. I know it. 

And your team knows it.

And they’re telling other people.

Yikes. Anonymous employee review websites - like Glassdoor - are booming. Call it the “Yelpification” of leadership. Your employees rate you publicly for the world to see. How vulnerable!

And this isn’t going away. So, what to do?

I tracked down the authority on this topic - Joel Cheesman in Indianapolis. Joel’s worked in the online job business for 20 years. And now, he’s the Founder of Ratedly.

Ratedly monitors Glassdoor & all the other employee review sites so that you don’t have to. He’s studied this topic inside-out.

In this 20-minute conversation, Joel reveals what you should (and shouldn’t) do. How to handle the reviews - especially the negative ones. Do they matter? What are the misconceptions? And what to do about that one employee that you never seem to make happy?

If you’re planning to hire during 2018, you can’t afford to skip this episode. Because Glassdoor has become the first place your prospective candidates check you out.

Nov 14, 2017

I’ve known Lynn Perkins for 20 years & she’s the real thing.

7 years ago, out of personal need (yet another babysitter cancelled for her baby twins), she created UrbanSitter. 

It’s the San Francisco-based online service & mobile app that allows parents to search for, book, pay, review, and recommend babysitters & nannies.

Fast forward to today. She’s successfully built a robust 2-sided model … with sitters on one side and parents on the other.

But how did she do it? 

How do you recruit Rockstar talent when they’re not employees? How do you build a healthy culture that pervades both sides of the marketplace? And how do you land the early believers when the business model is still just a concept?

In this 20-minute discussion, Lynn reveals the secrets of how she pulled it off. 

By the end, I’m sure you’ll agree she is the epitome of a Rockstar.


Nov 9, 2017

There are tens of thousands of recruiting and HR technology platforms & applications. Whew!

But, are any of them actually worth the investment? Will they help you recruit better? faster? cheaper?

I sought out the one person who would know.

John Sumser is a legend of the recruiting world. He's the principal analyst for HRExaminer, the independent analysis firm covering HR Tech.

So, John conducts deep research into the nooks & crannies of all these platforms, to identify rapidly-evolving trends.

And figure out which ones are actually worth your investment.

In this 20-minute interview, John tells us where to start, what to buy, and what to skip. So, don't skip this episode.

Nov 7, 2017

I have a confession to make. And it may come as a shock.

I’ll just come right out and say it.

I’m a white male.

That’s right. White. And male.

I’m not terribly embarrassed. But sometimes I’m flummoxed. And a lot of my podcast listeners are too.

What do you do if you lead a company or a department, and you’re a white male trying to improve gender equality?

It’s well-documented that achieving gender equality isn’t just the right thing; it’s the smart thing. More than half of your customers are likely women.

So, how to know when you’ve achieved gender equality, and how do you get there? What’s the first step to get you on the path?

I went in search of a guru on the topic.

And I found one, in Sangita Kasturi. She’s CEO of Action Inclusion, which consults with organizations to build diversity strategies, cross-cultural intelligence and high impact communication. She’s an expert in leveraging female and diverse talent.

Sangita is on the board of directors of the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee and is a board director of Chicago’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She is a founding member of the Chicago chapter of Women on Boards 2020.

In this 20-minute conversation, Sangita helps this bumbling white male with some of the most important questions.

Nov 2, 2017

Wanna ruin your day?

Hire a B-Player.

You invest all the time and effort and capital landing the candidate you thought was a Rockstar. And instead…

…he turns out to be a B

I want to help you avoid this ugly surprise. 

So I traveled halfway around the world. To Edinburgh Scotland.

There, I found Matt Alder, author of this year’s book “Exceptional Talent”  Matt is the Recruitment Marketing expert with Metashift, a talent attention consultancy that can help you stand out from other employers.

He’s also host of the Recruiting Future Podcast. 

But today, he’s our guest. Don’t miss this 20-minute episode.  No More Bad Hires.

Oct 31, 2017

2? 5? 13?

I’ve long thought about what is the optimal number of candidates to interview for a position. Before choosing, how do I know I’ve seen enough? The right one?

I like choice. We all do. We want to feel like our options are limitless.

But there’s a role to fill. And time isn’t on our side. So what’s the right number?

I went in search of the answer.

And I came up with Josh Narva, Global Head of Talent, from the amazing company Sonos. I worship their products ... smart speakers installed in my home (and yours?)

Josh has been at this recruiting game for a long time. And he’s developed a surprising point of view on the question of “How Many?” His answer will shock you.

In this 20-minute conversation, we talk about how many candidates to interview, how long a search should really take, and what homework you’ve got to do upfront when hiring.

Oct 26, 2017

If you’ve ever started a company, one of the most confusing questions is when to start building a new function … Marketing, Sales, Business Development, and the like.

And which one to build first? And should you start by recruiting the senior leader or junior folks? Plus, how do you upgrade that leader when the role outgrows them?

It’s all pretty daunting.

So I turned to one of my favorite Silicon Valley venture capitalists for the answers.

Greg Sands heads Costanoa Ventures, which he created after a successful tenure as Managing Director at the legendary Sutter Hill Ventures. 

Greg’s on the board of Quizlet, DemandBase, Intaact, and countless others. And he takes a deeply personal and pragmatic approach to building companies.

A little trivia for Gen X’ers: Greg was the first product manager at Netscape Communications, where he wrote the initial business plan and coined the name “Netscape” 

You might miss that browser. But don’t miss this 20-minute fascinating discussion with Greg.


Oct 24, 2017

Leaders matter. But leadership matters ever more. Even if it means sub-optimizing the individual, in order to maximize the output of the whole team.

When it comes to leadership, today’s guest Dave Ulrich, is a world-renowned expert. 

He’s been ranked as the #1 management guru by Business Week, profiled by Fast Company as 1 of the world’s top 10 creative people in business, a top 5 coach in Forbes, and recognized on Thinkers50 as one of the world’s leading business thinkers. Whew!

He’s authored 30 books … including this year’s ‘Victory Through Organization: Why the War for Talent is Failing Your Company and What You Can Do About It’

Dave is also Professor at University of Michigan School of Business. He studies how organizations build capabilities of leadership, speed, learning, accountability, and talent by leveraging human resources.

In this 20-min conversation, Dave & I examine how you can get the most out of your team, the pitfalls to avoid, and why “How?” is the single most important question you can ask.

Oct 19, 2017

It’s always refreshing to find someone passionate, who will actually express a strong point of view. 

But when that person really knows their stuff, it’s even better.

Matt Charney is Executive Editor of Recruiting Daily. So he has an incredible view across the recruiting process. He sees the biggest mistakes that hiring managers make, and knows the best practices that actually work during this war for talent.

If you want to reduce your cost per hire, reduce your time to hire, and overall just hire stronger talent, then invest 20-minutes with me and Matt.

Get a pen. I didn’t stop taking notes during this episode.


Oct 17, 2017

Whether your a CEO, Founder, or Investor, adding the perfect independent board member is one of those rare opportunities to create immense value for your company.

Yet, most mess it up  :-(

I wanted to find out how, when, and why — to do it right. And most importantly, what type of candidate makes an exceptional independent board member.

So, I sought out the expert. 

And I found her. Patricia Lenkov heads Agility Executive Search based in NYC. Following successful stints at the legendary Spencer Stuart and Heidrick & Struggles, she created Agility and has placed a broad array of board members.

In this 20-minute interview, Patricia reveals step-by-step how you can strengthen your board. And the biggest pitfalls to avoid.

Oct 12, 2017

I’m on Millennial overload. 

12.9 million Google results for “Millennial employees” … its inescapable. 

YES, this vital group is the future of our workforce. Yet there’s likely still a large segment of your current (and prospective) employees that is older than age 36 (Generation X’ers).

So, I tracked down an expert on how to balance the two. Their needs & preferences couldn’t be more different.

Todd Raphael is Editor-in-Chief of ERE Media, the longest running & most trusted source for information about recruitment, talent acquisition, and talent management.

In this 20-min interview, Todd reveals how to accommodate & attract people GenX’ers. And how to ensure you don’t over-correct.


Oct 10, 2017

It’s brutal out there. Trying to hire Rockstars? The unemployment rate hasn’t been this low in decades.

So, it’s a seller’s market … and talented professionals are the sellers.

Here’s proof. 

Mike Podesto is Chief Career Finder at Find My Profession, a talent agency for busy executives. He’s turned executive search upside down; the agent represents executive candidates.

For a small percentage of your salary, they’ll manage your entire job search. Clients get a career advisor, a redesigned resume, opened doors, and guaranteed interviews.

I’m not sure this is the start of a trend, but it sure is indicative of how competitive the market has become. Invest 20 minutes with me & Mike, and find out.

Oct 5, 2017

You’ve hired a killer VP of Marketing. Your VP of Sales is ahead of plan. So, now it’s time to bring in your first VP of Talent … or to upgrade the one you already have.

You can’t afford to blow this decision. Because this is potentially the most vital player on your team.

So, I went in search of the expert to show you how to go about it. And I found her… in Cincinnati.

Not only is Jennifer McClure the CEO of Unbridled Talent, but also she’s CEO of DisruptHR, the information exchange that connects HR leaders nationally. 

On top of that, she’s led the HR function and been an executive recruiter for years.

In this 20-minute discussion, Jennifer reveals what you need to look for, when to hire your VP of Talent, how to interview candidates, and the big pitfalls to avoid. You can’t afford to miss this episode.

Oct 3, 2017

Why can’t companies seem to give the best talent what they’re seeking? And why do so many great candidates fail to impress employers? 

Most importantly, why is there a 50% failure rate in new hires? That’s right … 1 out of 2 new hires bomb in their first year.

So, I went in search of answers. And I found Jeff Altman, the Big Game Hunter. For years, he was a top executive recruiter - helping companies fill their vacancies with Rockstars.

Then, Jeff switched sides. And began to coach executives on their career progression & leadership. 

So he’s uniquely-qualified to diagnose the disconnect that exists top companies and top talent. Invest 20 minutes with Jeff - your company will thank you, and your personal career will thank you.

Sep 28, 2017

There’s nothing I love better than a good juicy entrepreneur story. Creating a new business, born out of personal need & frustration.

And if it helps us recruit rockstars, all the better.

Josh Tolan is CEO of Sparkhire, which he founded 7 years ago. It’s now the fastest-growing video interviewing company in the world, with over 3,000 corporate clients.

Why video interviewing? Josh was with a 5-person firm in hypergrowth mode. They needed to hire 150 people in 12 months. And the only way to get it done swiftly was by using video for the initial candidate screen.

So, Sparkhire was born.

In this 20-minute interview, Josh reveals the pros & cons of video interviewing. When to use it, when to skip it, the best practices, and most importantly, how it can shave weeks of your current hiring cycle time.

If you’re going to recruit folks during Q4 this year - or if you just love a great startup story - you can’t afford to miss this episode.

Sep 26, 2017

I’m in search of ways to make recruiting more accurate.

And I’ve tracked down one of the most intriguing thought-leaders, Dr. Frida Polli. (She’s certainly one of the most qualified.)

After graduating from Dartmouth, Frida earned her PhD, then an MBA at Harvard Business School. She then became Doctoral Research Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital… then Neuropsychology Intern at Harvard Medical School… then Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT in their infamous Brain & Cognitive Sciences Department.


Frida decided to use this deep expertise to help employers make better hires. She created Pymetrics to apply cognitive neuroscience to recruiting. Bottom line: she and her team use games & puzzles to identify better hires.

In this 20-minute interview, Frida reveals what she’s learned, what works & what doesn’t, and how using data will bolster your recruiting batting average.

Sep 22, 2017

I just don’t get it. 

Every week, I meet with growth company executives. And I ask to see their Talent Strategy. All I get is blank stares.

How can you possibly expect to grow — and have the talent to fuel that growth — without a gameplan around people.

So, I went out to find an expert on this topic. And I landed a whale!

Bertrand Dussert is VP of HCM (human capital management) Transformation for Oracle. In this role, he serves as HR transformation & executive advisor to some of Oracle’s largest clients. Prior to Oracle, Bertrand was the global leader for HR shared services, recruitment operations, and workforce planning for American Express.

In this 20-minute discussion, Bertrand and I talk about the importance of developing a talent strategy that maps to your business strategy. What does it consist of, how to execute it, and why so many executives miss the boat. 

Don’t be one of them.


Sep 19, 2017

If you’re like most managers, you have a 1:1 meeting with each of your staff members each week. You probably have one with your boss, too -- or your Board.

And you probably dread them.

So, let’s change that. I tracked down the foremost expert on getting the most out of 1:1’s.

Jonathan Raymond is head of Refound, the firm devoted to helping individual contributors make the leap to world-class people managers. Prior, he was CEO of EMyth, the legendary entrepreneur coaching company.

He’s also the author of the book Good Authority: How to Become the Leader Your Team is Waiting For.

Jonathan has studied and tested more on 1:1’s than anyone I’ve met. In this 20-minute interview, he reveals why they stink, how to change that, how to structure them, what to expect, how often, where…the whole enchilada. You can’t afford to miss this episode.

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