Strong Suit Podcast is the playbook for recruiting Rockstars.

New episodes debut each Tuesday & Thursday

Strong Suit 122: Using Your Company’s Unique DNA as a Competitive Weapon

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You know that your company is unlike any other. And now – for the first time – we know exactly why.

My guest today is Maddie Grant, founding partner of WorkXO which pioneered the Workplace Genome.

Just as with a human gene, Maddie has dissected workplaces for years to discover the 8 unique Markers that describe the DNA of a company.

Once you know them, you can activate your culture to attract the right people, increase employee engagement, and unleash human potential.

In this 20-minute interview, Maddie reveals the 8 markers, and how to use them for your competitive advantage. You can’t afford to miss this one.

 

 

Strong Suit 121: How Groupon finds rockstar candidates to win the war for talent

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Groupon is one of the biggest names in technology. Yet, finding great talent isn’t easy for any company.

Stacey Kraft is Groupon’s Global Head of Talent Acquisition & HR Operations.

So she’s responsible for filling the funnel with amazing candidates. I was fortunate to have Stacey keynote at my Jan 2017 Talent Conference – she’s the real thing.

In this 20-minute session, Stacey reveals what to look for, where to find it, and how to engage candidates that aren’t even looking.

 

Strong Suit 120: Which People Processes should you put in place First?

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You’ve recruited a bunch of rockstars to your company. Now what?

Put the right people processes in place early. Because the longer you wait, the harder it becomes.

My guest today Mike Prokopeak tells us which ones & how to implement them.

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of a number of publications… Chief Learning Officer, Diversity Executive, Workforce Magazine, with millions of readers. So, he knows today’s best practices.

In this 20-minute interview, Mike reveals the people processes that you’ve got to setup early in your business – such as learning & development, succession planning, and how to protect your culture.

Hiring great people is not enough.

 

 

Strong Suit 119: The 8 Immutable Truths of Recruiting

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Strong Suit Podcast is the playbook for recruiting Rockstars.

My goal is to teach people how to hire twice as fast… With half the mistakes… Before paying a headhunter.

In this 15-minute episode, I reveal the 8 immutable truths of recruiting. These are the painful lessons I’ve learned through hiring & placing thousands of people.

Get these things right & your business issues will largely take care of themselves. Or ignore them at your own peril.

 

Strong Suit 118: Her trick will double your hiring accuracy

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What must you do after the interview to ensure that you hire a rockstar every time?

My guest today is Mary Beth Wynn, SVP of People at Jellyvision, one of Chicago’s hottest technology companies.

Jellyvision’s been recognized as having one of the most unique & healthy cultures in the tech industry.

In this 15-minute segment, Mary Beth walks through the “job audition” that made Jellyvision famous. Every candidate for every role completes a real-world task, relating to the actual function of the job.

It gives Jellyvision & candidates the chance to see what it would be like to work together. And it’s highly-predictive of success. Skip it at your own peril.

 

Strong Suit 117: The Surefire Ways to Screw Up Your Culture

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Want to know how to build a rockstar culture at your company? And the pitfalls to avoid?

PowerReviews, one of Chicago’s fastest-growing companies, is known for its healthy vibrant culture.

As VP of Human Resources, Kira Meinzer has fostered a collaborative & innovative environment through strategic hiring and training.

In this 15-minute episode, you’ll hear words like accountability, transparency, and collaboration. But more importantly, Kira reveals how to actually operationalize it.

When you create a strong healthy culture, it’s far easier to attract Rockstars to your business.

 

Strong Suit 116: What a Leading VC Looks for in Talent

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Ever wonder what venture capitalists actually look for in the CEO’s they fund?

Sach Chitnis, Managing Partner of Jump Capital, tells us in this episode.

Chicago-based Jump Capital invests in data-driven technology businesses. Average investment range is $3M-15M, typically in Series A or B

Sach is one of the midwest’s most active investors, completing 19 deals in 2 years. They include big-data software maker Narrative Science, parking-app provider ParkWhiz, and marketing software seller SIM Partners.

In this 15-minute episode, Sach reveals what he looks for in CEO’s, and what he expects CEO’s to look for in their teams.

 

Strong Suit 115: Skip Reference Checks at your own Peril

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Your candidate did great in the interview. But how do you know if the story was fact or fiction?

Reference checks. They’re not fun, but they’re vital. So if you’re going to do it, do it the right way. At the right time.

Katie Lieber Grinberg heads H.R. for Narrative Science, one of Chicago’s fastest-growing companies.

In this 15-minute episode, Katie reveals the secrets to mastering the reference check. Who to speak with. What questions to ask. And the most common mistakes to avoid.

 

Strong Suit 114: The Remarkable Story of a Remarkable Entrepreneur

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At roughly half my age, Neal Sales-Griffin makes me feel woefully inadequate  🙁

He’s a two-time CEO (both of leading coding schools), a Professor at Northwestern University, a former venture capitalist, and one of the nicest guys you’ll never meet.

But more importantly than what Neal does is who Neal is. His backstory is remarkable, filled with obstacles & adversity. The kind of man that I’m proud to call a friend  🙂

In this 20-minute interview, Neal shares his incredible story and what he’s learned about creating a vibrant culture, hiring Rockstars, and keeping life in perspective.

Strong Suit 113: How She Created a Remarkable Culture for a Remarkable Startup

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Katy Lynch is a Chicago legend. She’s Co-Founder of Codeverse, the just-launched world’s first fully interactive coding school for kids. Her mission is to teach 1 Billion kids to code.

Before that, she was CEO of Techweek, the nation’s largest traveling tech festival. And CEO of SocialKaty, Chicago’s largest social media marketing agency.

So she’s uniquely-qualified to teach us about building a winning culture. In this 20-minute interview, Katy shares her secrets to recruiting rockstars, even before you’ve got revenue or funding.

 

Strong Suit 112: How to Beat Google for the Best Software Developers

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Recruiting rockstars software developers may seem like an impossible task. There’s infinite demand.

But you can do it, if you follow Allison’s advice.

Allison DiDominick heads talent acquisition at Civis Analytics, the rocketship company based in Chicago.

She finds & hires the best developers for Civis. And she’s done the same for Groupon, Avant, and Enova.

In this 20-minute interview, Allison reveals her secrets. If you’ll hire at least one software developer this year, you can’t afford to miss this episode.

 

Strong Suit 111: Candidates visit your Careers site everyday. Are you converting them?

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Derek Nelson is founder and head of Clique Studios, one of the fastest-growing website creation firms in Chicago.

With 400 new websites under his belt, Derek has mastered the science of converting visitors into qualified leads.

In this 20-minute interview, he reveals:

– The first thing to do when designing your next website

– The myths of website conversion

– Why video is so important to driving conversion

– How to avoid groupthink in website design

 

 

Strong Suit 110: Leverage Your Top Performers to Attract Even More

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If job postings aren’t working like they used to, and headhunters are too expensive, you can use your existing employees to attract more rockstars.

Erin Wilson is Co-Founder of Hirepool, the online CRM tool for job seeker. Previously, he was Talent Engineer at Yahoo

In this 20-minute interview, Erin reveals how to leverage your existing employees into a vibrant community to attract more top performers.

 

Strong Suit 109: How She Recruited 100 Rockstars to a Rockin’ Startup

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Reverb.com is the super-cool eCommerce platform for buying & selling musical instruments, with a swelling community of musicians & content.

Gina Contella, Director of Talent, has built most of the team. In fact, she’s already recruited over 100 folks to this fast-growing Chicago company.

In this 20-minute interview, she reveals how she built the amazing Reverb.com team, and the mistakes to avoid as you build yours.

 

Strong Suit 107: How he Built a Company that Salesforce.com Acquired

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What’s it like to start a business from scratch & build it to acquisition by Salesforce.com?

Until recently, John Roa was CEO & Founder of AKTA, a leading digital experience and engagement consultancy based in Chicago.

In 2010, he started AKTA, which led initiatives for top multinational brands to help innovate, design and engineer forward-thinking mobile products

After 6 years of growth, last year AKTA was successfully acquired by Salesforce.com

In this 20-minute interview, John reveals the people part of that story ? how he shaped the culture, recruited rockstars, and executed his people playbook.

 

Strong Suit 106: Why Does Your Business Even Exist?

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The French call it Raison D’être. Every company – raw startup or Fortune 100 – must figure out its ‘reason for being’

This isn’t just mission, vision, values. It’s the whole enchilada – WHY are we doing this?

If you get this wrong – or don’t have one at all – good luck recovering. Because you’ll never be able to build an energized team of Rockstars.

Mert Iseri is CEO & Co-Founder of SwipeSense, a VC-funded company. His company has a HUGE mission: To eradicate medical errors & infections in hospitals. This would save countless lives every year.

In this 20-minute interview, Mert reveals how he & his team crafted this Raison D’être. And how they operationalized it.

Dream big. Mert is.

 

Strong Suit 105: How to Find Balance in a Rocketship Startup

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Balance is everything when building a company.

My guest today is Divey Gulati, Co-Founder of one of Chicago’s fastest-growing companies, ShipBob.

ShipBob provides a direct-to-consumer fulfillment service for websites that want to ship directly to customers.

In this 20 minute interview, Divey & I discuss 2 topics:

  1. Co-Founders – how do you start a company with someone who’s been a friend for 30 years & still stay that way
  2. How to build & lead a startup that has 2 distinct subcultures (white collar & logistics warehouse)

 

Strong Suit 104: How to Win the War for Talent when you can’t Pay like Facebook

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Make no mistake. The war for talent is on. You’re competing for talent with Uber, Facebook, and Google. And their pockets are deeper than yours.

So how to do it?

Roger Panetta runs the firm Nimble At Work, which provides executives with tools to attract rockstar talent.

In this 20-minute interview, Roger reveals the secrets to using non-$ rewards to attract rockstars. How to build a culture that keeps them. And the mistakes to avoid along the way.

 

Strong Suit 103: Shatter the Glass Ceiling at your Company

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My guest today is a legend. Christie Hefner is Chairman of Hatch Beauty, a brand & product innovation company. Previously, she served as Executive Chairman of Canyon Ranch Enterprises.

From 1988 to 2008, Christie led Playboy Enterprises, making her the longest serving female Chairman & CEO of a U.S. public company. For three years she was named to FORTUNE’s list of “Most Powerful Women”

She led Playboy onto the Internet, making it the first national magazine on the web. Christie greatly expanded the leveraging of the Playboy brand via licensing. In 2008, Playboy generated close to $1 billion in global sales.

Christie is a passionate advocate of equal rights & opportunities for women. She was the first woman elected to the Chicago chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization & has worked hard to increase the number of women serving on corporate boards nationwide.

In this 20-minute interview, Christie shares what it takes for a business to finally balance the gender mix of its executive team & board of directors, and how women can accelerate their careers.

 

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