Posts Tagged: interview


Keep Your Couch Full: Interview All the Time

August 20th, 2014

My friend and colleague Eric Herrenkohl interviewed me for the following article on the importance of interviewing all the time and keeping your couch full to attract A-players. It was then published in the Philadelphia Business Journal and featured it in his company’s monthly newsletter, Hiring A-Players. 

Chris Burkhard is a friend and colleague of mine and is president of CBI Group in Delaware, a full-service recruiting firm. Chris tells a great story about the importance of interviewing all the time if you are serious about consistently hiring A-players. Chris started his company about the same time that I started mine, about 14 years ago. CBI has grown tremendously over that time, but recruiting was a tough business back in 2008, when the financial collapse caused almost all hiring to come to a grinding halt. It was the first time that CBI had to lay people off.

Right in the middle of one of these tough periods, one of Chris’ executives came to him and said, “A buddy of mine who is in our industry wants to interview with us — and he really is an A-player. Should we interview him?” Chris had constantly preached to his people that they needed to be looking for A-players to join their team — and this manager had chosen the middle of a recession to begin taking his advice!Chris Burkhard is a friend and colleague of mine and is president of CBI Group in Delaware, a full-service recruiting firm. Chris tells a great story about the importance of interviewing all the time if you are serious about consistently hiring A-players. Chris started his company about the same time that I started mine, about 14 years ago. CBI has grown tremendously over that time, but recruiting was a tough business back in 2008, when the financial collapse caused almost all hiring to come to a grinding halt. It was the first time that CBI had to lay people off.

So now it was Chris’ decision: Should he take the time to interview his manager’s friend amid such a bad business environment? He had just laid someone off that morning. The chances that he would hire this guy were almost nil. The last thing he wanted to do, or felt he had time to do, was conduct a job interview.

Yet Chris, to his credit went, ahead with the interview. Why?

ID-100147739He later told me that he learned this lesson early on from working in his father’s business. As his dad would say, “You always have to keep your couch full.” His father meant that you always have to know where your next hire is going to come from. If you can’t picture in your mind the faces of several A-players who are qualified potential new hires, you have no one “on your couch.” This means that when an employee leaves your business (and sooner or later someone always leaves) you have no one to take his or her place. You have to start from scratch to find a new person. And often, when companies have failed to recruit before they need someone, they hire a warm body rather than an A-player just to get the position filled.

Did he hire this particular guy? I don’t think so. But Chris demonstrated a commitment to hiring A-players as well as modeled great behavior to his management team. Even in the midst of the toughest economy in decades, he was committed to keeping his couch full. He made sure that he and his management team interviewed job candidates all the time, whenever they could, rather than waiting until they had an open job to fill to get into hiring mode. Now that the economy has turned back around, and CBI’s business is back to its usual strong growth, those habits are helping the company to hire more A-players.

Picture that couch in the waiting room of your business. From a recruiting perspective, who is sitting on it today? Can you tell me by name the A-players who are sitting on it? These should be currently employed people with whom you have established some kind of relationship and at least broached the idea of working for you one day. These are people who work for someone else today but with whom you have discussed the idea of coming to work for you either formally or informally.

You don’t have to hold formal job interviews in order to keep your couch full. You can meet people at a bar, at a trade conference, at a continuing education event. Anywhere qualified people hang out is a potential recruiting ground for you. If you have established a relational connection, discussed someone’s past accomplishments and future goals, and discussed what would entice them to make a career move, that qualifies in my book as someone who is on your couch. It’s a lot more fun to have that conversation on the golf course than in your office anyway.

With that, what does it look like to interview all the time? Here are some ideas.

Personally commit to interviewing (formally or informally) at least two people per month.

Have your management team make the same two interviews per month commitment.

Hold your managers accountable for this two-interview/month goal. At your regular managers meeting, have each person discuss the new people they interviewed as well as where and how they could fit into your business.

Keep your couch full by networking and referrals. Let your referral sources know that you are always interested in meeting A-players.

If you are impressed with someone but don’t think they are a fit for your business, make sure to refer them to other executives for whom they might be a good hire. This obviously sets the stage for you to ask for their help in recruiting people who are a good fit for you.

Take notes on people’s goals and experiences during or after every interview and record them in your database. Then you can go back and refresh your mind on what it will take to recruit them to your business.

Use your company’s electronic newsletter or other existing communication tools to stay in touch with people after you interview them. Just as in marketing and sales, regular reminders that you are around will prompt A-players to contact you when they are interested in making a career move.

Most business people view recruiting as an interruption to their job. The ones that always seem to be surrounded by A-players believe that recruiting is their job. If you’re part of the latter group, your competitive edge comes in part from the habit of keeping your couch full.

To read the full article or to subscribe to Herrenkohl Consulting’s monthly newsletter click here.

CBI Group Recruiter Sees Networking as Path to Your Next ‘Great Adventure’

May 10th, 2013

One of the most influential ways to approach a job search is through networking.  But how and why invest your time in networking?

“In 2012, networking accounted for more than one in four hires at major companies, the most of any strategy used in job hunting,” says David Vander Does, President of the National Search Advisory and a Recruitment Consultant with Gore Medical Products and CBI Group.  “And if a candidate has a referral from inside a company, he/she is 70 times more likely to be hired than a candidate without this connection,” Dave adds, referring to a finding published by Career Xroads.

So how do you network?  Where do you start and what are the tools to help you?

“Networking is all about relationship-building.  It’s who you know and who they know that can really make the difference in your search” Dave says.

The first step is to make a list of current and prospective contacts.  “Think about the relationships that you already have (family, friends, previous co-workers, etc…) and add them to your list.  Then do your research and identify others that you need to know (company contacts, business leaders, others in your profession) and add them to your list.   Think beyond the obvious, be strategic,” Dave advises.

There are lots of tools to use in building your network with www.LinkedIn.com as one of the best places to start.  “If you don’t already have a LinkedIn presence, establish one,” Dave says.  “This serves as your professional profile for recruiters, hiring managers and all the current and potential people in your network.  Think of it this way: if you don’t have a presence on LinkedIn, you don’t exist.”

Once you’re on LinkedIn, you can conduct searches by company name, industry, through current and former co-workers and through your network of LinkedIn contacts that you should be continuously growing.  Similarly, using search engines like Google can provide great insight into your field, and help you identify prospective companies and professional associations.

Dave says your next step is to divide your list of contacts into three groups: warm (people who know who you are and can give you a good reference), casual (people you may need to reconnect with) and cold contacts (people you haven’t met yet, but you need to meet). “This will help you prioritize and maximize your efforts as you begin to work your network”

Develop a database or a spreadsheet with of course names, titles, e-mail addresses, etc. but then leave a column for “Notes” where you can track of your progress with each networking target.

Now you’re ready to get out there and network. Dave says to practice these four steps with each person you meet:

1.  Make them aware that you are looking for your next “adventure”

2.  Guide their thinking about what that “adventure” could be

3.  Be confident and specific

4.  Give them permission to share your name or resume as they see fit

Dave also encourages job hunters and net-workers to develop a script and practice in your home or office.  “For most, networking can be overwhelming and frightening.  But remember, it’s really nothing more then the act of building relationships one contact at a time.  The more you do it; the easier it becomes.”  Keep these elements in mind:

1.  Intro- who am I and why am I calling or e-mailing?

2.  Your mission- I’m pursuing my next best adventure and thought you could help…

3.  Give them permission to say “no.”

4.  Provide something of value in return.

5.  The sensational close- share your plans for follow-up and ask if you can keep in touch.

“Most people will encourage you to stay in touch… do-so, you’d be surprised at how many people never get in touch with these prospects again,” Dave says.

When reaching out to a networking prospect you haven’t met, start with an e-mail introducing yourself and making a connection (Our mutual friend Sam Jones suggested I contact you; we attended xx college at the same time, I’m also a member of your professional association…). Then state your purpose and tell them when you’ll follow-up.  Then when you call, say “I’m following up on the e-mail I sent you on…this process helps to eliminate the “cold call””

Remember to say thank you. “People in jobs today are busier than ever and even if they only give you five minutes, it’s important that you acknowledge their time,” Dave points out.  “And if they help you make a good connection, let them know how grateful you are.”

And remember; always try to provide value in return.“Good relationships are not one sided; do what you can to help others in your network in return for the help they provided to you. It makes all the difference and will help to strengthen your network for the future.”

CBI Way: How to Handle Hiring Bias

April 17th, 2013

CBI Way blog spot by Lisa Van Ess, Recruiter On-Demand and Managed Staffing Practice Leader

So as a recruiter your #1 goal is to find the best fit for a position. You assess the position requirements, responsibilities, team and company cultural fit and interpersonal interactions with the manager and the team, you begin recruiting against all these hard and soft responsibilities, and find the perfect person. How’s that for a happily ever after?

So what happens when this top candidate gets in front of the hiring manager and the message back to you is: I want someone younger/older/male/female? We all have or will have to face this at some point. Below are three suggestions on what to do when the inevitable occurs:

1.      Ask why - There are sometimes valid (and lawful) reasons to ask for an otherwise protected characteristic. For example, if the job requirement is to model women’s dresses, the most ideal candidate may very well be a woman, or if a job is to design apps targeted for the under 30 market’s use, a Millennial may be the most qualified candidate. It never hurts to ask questions to gain clarity.

2.      Educate – In the absence of a valid reason, it is always recommended you educate (teach don’t preach!) your hiring management about non-discriminate hiring and most importantly the value to the organization of having diverse teams. (Start by reminding them their clients are diverse!)

3.      State your purpose and get back to the first sentence – your job is to find the best fit for the position — to enable the new hire’s, team’s and company’s success! If the first two suggestions don’t yield any traction from your hiring manager, it might just be best to go back to the drawing board and find the best fit!

The CBI Way blog series explores the tools and practices used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.

CBI Way: Managing the Nightmare Candidate

February 27th, 2013

CBI Way blog spot by Glenn Koetz, Search Practice Lead and Lisa Van Ess, Outside-In® Group Lead

We have all had those days when we are sitting with our trusted colleagues talking about the nightmare candidate who came to the interview with a bulls-eye tattooed on his forehead, or the one whose answer to “Why would you like to work for us?” is “I am eating dog food at this point and will have to change to cat food if I don’t get a job”, or the one whose interview turns into a disaster right from the start. We all chuckle and agree that if we wrote a book on what we have seen throughout the candidate management process, we would make millions and could all retire… Yet sometimes in that same conversation we actually get to the, “Well, how did you handle that?”, and the wisdom shared at that point is a rare gift.

One of my favorite sayings is “You can’t manage crazy.” Unfortunately, if you have chosen a career in HR or recruiting you are called upon to do just that. Here are some proven tactics I have found helpful in managing Candidate Crazy.

Remember, as a recruiting professional you have the ability to say No.

This means you can tell the person who comes in for the interview with the bulls-eye on their forehead, “No, you are not meeting with the hiring manager.” It is up to you to screen out candidates and not waste your hiring manager’s time. In this case, I took the time to meet with this individual and tell him that the position required the quick building of face-to-face relationships in a very conventional firm and that he would be better suited to work in a more casual environment; mentioning both he and the company would be happier. The candidate thanked me, we parted ways and all lived happily ever after…

Educate, coach, and use a personalized No Thank You letter if needed.

For my dog food gal…she was a really talented, experienced candidate who made it beautifully through the phone and in-person recruiting interviews. When she got in front of the decision makers – the dog food versus cat food answer was the one she gave when asked why she wanted to work for the company. I called her to let her know she did not get the job and specifically why. I will tell you that I was very sympathetic and agreed to present her to another hiring manager with the coaching, even direction that she answer the question with why working that job for that company was important to her – we even rehearsed her answers. (File this under no good deed goes unpunished).

Fast forward to interview number two: Interviewer: “Why do you want this job at our company?” Dog food Gal: “To keep me and my kids from living in a refrigerator box in an alley.” This is when the call explaining to the candidate she did not get the job (and why) is followed by the specific No Thank You Letter to ensure that they understand they will not be coached any further and that the official rejection is required.

Maintain control when an interview starts to unravel.

And then, there are always those interviews that are complete disasters right from the start. The candidate comes in an hour and a half after the scheduled time and fails to communicate that they’re running late…or the candidate becomes emotionally unstable halfway through the interview because they realize they are not going to make it through to the next round…or maybe, the candidate becomes desperate and starts to beg you to review their resume credentials when both parties know the damage has already been done.

In these situations, it’s important to communicate to this person that the mistakes they’ve made, can be used as lessons learned or motivation for their next job interview. If they’re going to be late, they ought to communicate it! There’s nothing worse than a no-show, without any reason for it, right? When emotions get out of hand, its important to remind them that this interview is not the end-all be-all, and that the reason they are not moving forward is not because of something they lack. And finally, when it comes to credentials, (this scenario is often found most with recent college grads or young professionals), tell them that its about their potential value and capacity to grow within an organization that’s important, not always what they’ve already accomplished. Reinforcement is key to managing this type of nightmare candidate.

I am sure we have all been on either or both sides of this, the moral to the story is to take a proactive, openly communicative position with all your candidates to ensure the very best time, energy and matches among hiring managers and hire-ees!

The CBI Way blog series explores the tools and practices used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.

CBI Way: Enhance the Interview Experience

December 5th, 2012

CBI Way blog spot by Lisa Van Ess, Outside-In® Group Lead

Have you ever interviewed for a job, met with five people (four are late), one reads your resume in front of you, and – get this – all five ask the same exact questions circa the 1990’s? Wow! Everyone already knows your strengths and weaknesses! They even know why there is a three year break in work on your resume! You leave thinking, “Why did I bother coming in at all?!

Yes, I have had that interview, too.

One of the great things about CBI Group is that we view our candidates and our applicants as our customers. Therefore, we work to make sure the type of interview experience mentioned above does not happen within our conference room walls. So let me ask you this, as a recruiting professional, how often do you think of the hiring manager as the client? Candidates are probably viewed as inventory, right? Well, if they are, they shouldn’t be….

There is a lot of hype in the ATS community about the Applicant Experience. The movement considers everything from the time it takes to apply online for a position, to the number of times duplicate data entry is performed, to those horrible “Thanks but no thanks. Your resume is on file.” automated responses. So what if you are not the CTO and are dealing with some restrictions on the automated front? Let’s not forget good, old fashioned human touch. Let’s look at planning the interview process.

Here’s a simple and effective way to enhance your client’s and candidates’ interview experiences:

  1. Have an agenda. Make sure each interviewer has a subject to cover with the applicant.
  2. Provide sample questions to each interviewer. These sample questions should be different and unique. This ensures that the hiring decision is made from a fully informed, and well-rounded collection of  perspectives, covering all aspects of the job and cultural requirements.
  3. Leave time for questions.  Give the applicant time to ask questions and/or to wrap-up.
  4. Enclose a rating form for the interviewers. This will accelerate the speed of decision making. Speedy decision making makes applicants happy!
  5. Enclose an Interview Experience Form for the applicant to share with the interview team. (Uh oh! Peer pressure and a little friendly competition to consider!)

Taking one (or all) of these steps will markedly improve the applicant experience. While an interview does not guarantee that the applicant will get the offer – it may mean that they are not the “right person, right now”.  However, your candidate may very well become a paying customer, vendor, partner, or competitor in the future, so be sure to leave every applicant with a great experience.

The CBI Way blog series explores the technology tools used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.

Recruiters Attend RAPS Virtual Career Fair (Interview)

August 30th, 2012

By Kelly Murray

When Linkedin arrived on the social media scene in 2003, many of those in the recruiting and staffing industry did not anticipate how much it would impact the way they recruited. A whole new way of networking had been introduced and candidates could quickly be found literally at one’s fingertips. Nearly a decade later, recruiters are taking advantage of another medium to meet job seekers and network with them: the virtual career fair.

Just last week, CBI Group’s team of recruiters attended a virtual career fair sponsored by the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS). I sat down with CBI Group’s Recruiting Guru Dave VanderDoes to discuss his experience with the recent fair and get some insight on what he foresees in the recruiting industry’s future.

Kelly: Thanks for sitting down to talk with me, Dave. Can you tell me a little bit about CBI Group’s experience with virtual career fairs?

Dave: Sure, no problem. This is the second career fair sponsored by RAPS, and the third virtual career fair overall for the team.

K: Tell me about this one in particular – the RAPS Virtual Career Fair.

D: Six other companies were in attendance including some healthcare and manufacturing companies. The fair lasted from 10am to 6pm. Three recruiters from our team, Colleen, Karesa, and myself, attended through out the day.

K: How many people came into your booth?

D: There were 800 people registered to attend the fair. Two-hundred people stopped by our booth. Attendees had the option to not go into the booth, but were able to just look at the jobs posted and could submit their resume if they were interested. Last time, they could “drive through” the booth without submitting any information – not the best feature. But this time we had the option of getting their information.

K: Wow, that’s a ton of people. Any luck with the resumes you received?

D: We already have one candidate submitted for Regulatory Affairs that [our client] is interested in speaking with. From the last Fair, we had a candidate hired within three weeks of contacting them at the fair for a position that had been open for a few months.

K: Any likes or dislikes?

D: Yea, the first thing I liked about the fair is that it allows you to brand the company by building an actual [virtual] booth. Attendees can come into the booth, see our logo, see videos, company literature, employee testimonials, look at all our openings, and apply directly through the fair. It’s a great way to see the company.

Because it is virtual, it allows individuals to come in from all over the country, and its something they can do from their desk at work, or their Iphone/Ipad. It’s a much easier way to get in. I had the ability to initiate some chat conversations, gauge interest, and schedule follow-up conversations.

K: How do you feel about this type of recruiting – the virtual aspect – do you embrace it?

D: This type of recruiting is good. In a chat session its hard to get a lot of depth but its a good way to make initial contact. Overall, its a great way to recruit.

K: How do you feel recruiting will change in the future?

D: I think there will be more recruiting events like this in the future. It’s another tool for recruiters and it will probably catch on quickly. The key is, if its sponsored by an association [such as RAPS], it will likely be more successful.

For more information on the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society and their upcoming events please visit www.raps.org.

Outside-In® is the Power of Intention

June 6th, 2012

Outside-In® is blowing the customers mind. Every nuance of the experience, every moment, every touch point, every moment of truth is the best it could be. Did you ever stop to think that it was intentional? Outside-In® experiences must be planned and well-orchestrated. They do not just happen with “Rah! Rah!” speeches and directives from leadership. You must have the power of intention.

This power of intention applies to any and all business situations. Picture the college I mentioned a few blogs ago, Messiah College. They recruit with intention. This is a Division III school without scholarships, mind you. Yet kids go there willingly and have to pay full freight. Why and how can they do this? First of all, it takes years of practice. The key? — the power of intention. The coaches and existing players plan every single detail of a recruit’s visiting weekend. This is not just video games and a party….which most schools do. No, this is well thought out. This is stuff of legends. Players spend the entire weekend with the recruit. They get to the kid, they see the strength, bonds, and team chemistry and want to be there. Captains take parents to dinner. Seniors spend real time with the recruit. They don’t assign the recruits to lowly freshmen, instead it’s a privilege.

Now imagine your business. Imagine how you handle a day of candidate interviews in your business. Or what you do when a client is coming to visit. Does everyone know their role? Is their intention to create an unbelievable Outside-In® experience?

All of us know the answer: Sometimes… or: It could be better…, or: Wow, what a great concept! Imagine getting everyone to be intentional and contribute to these moments? I am never surprised at what is possible and what can get done when everyone is clear and excited about creating a unique experience.

Remember this is about recruiting the best talent or customers to your business. You can’t afford not to do this. So now that I may have ruined your day, go examine how your last guest was treated. It always gets worse before things get better.

  • Did you greet the guest on time or late?
  • Did you have their first name somewhere to welcome them?
  • Were they offered refreshments? Made to feel comfortable or offered any creature comforts like bathroom locations or water fountains?
  • Was your team on time and prepared?
  • Did each of your team members know their role?
  • Did you send thank you’s? You do want to make a unique impression right?

I am pushing the envelope to prove a point. Your intention can be what fits your world. Just know there is an experience that can be bettered in your building. What is your power of intention?

The Outside-In® Interview

January 12th, 2011

Employers invest heavily in the costs and resources that are necessary to have the right people in the right role at the right time. Lately, friends and clients have begun to re-examine their hiring processes. It makes sense to me – there are more openings, more phone screens and more interviews taking place. This is a great time to look at your process.
 
Most of us interview as a part of the hiring process. It does not guarantee a good hire; nothing does. But it is considered a standard part of how we evaluate talent. Many organizations make the mistake of interviewing for a match of skills and experiences alone. That is critically important, but frankly, a computer or clerk can make this kind of match. Most ask questions that are technical in nature hoping to determine whether a candidate meets a minimum standard for the role. But where is the opportunity for improvement in our hiring success? Try interviewing for culture fit. Your staff and your candidates will love it. And it works.
 
CBI Group Core Values At CBI Group we consider ourselves a culturally led business. We have firmly established core values. In addition to the technical questions, we ask situational questions relating to our culture. To find the right people, we must determine if candidates are a good culture fit by asking the right questions.
 
For example, we know working in a fast-growing, small business is unique. To recognize whether a contender can handle the pace, we ask questions like, “talk about the differences you have in working with small and large business?” As we listen to the answers, we look for people who understand that small business gives you a voice and an opportunity to develop different skills and experiences than big business offers. We want a staff that appreciates the breadth and depth that small business jobs tend to offer.
 
Culture-based interviewing does not guarantee a successful hire and our example may not necessarily align to your values. So take a look at your values and examine your process. Develop situational questions and add them to your evaluation of talent. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at our Cultural Questions by downloading this PDF. Adding a cultural approach to hiring will be a terrific team building exercise and as a leader, you will experience true alignment. By making your culture part of your hiring process, 2011 will not only be the year you begin to hire again – but you will hire a little better than you did last time!

The Powers of Observation

December 9th, 2010

As a talent acquisition organization we are constantly asked for the magic formula when it comes to making hiring decisions. Are interviews effective? Do you perform reference checks? What assessments do you use for sales people? There are progressive theories and best practices for just about every single part of the hiring process when you are evaluating talent. When asked for my favorite, I think I surprise customers.


Allow the talent to observe the job. All things considered, when someone has been phone screened, interviewed several times and evaluated, I find there is one step that strengthens the process. Sit them next to their new potential peer group. If they are a receptionist, put them on the switchboard. If they are in sales, have them attend a meeting or go on the road with someone.


This is an expensive and time consuming extra step, who has the time? I won’t bore you with a lot of statistics — we are all hammered with the costs of a bad hire and the time it takes to replace open slots on your organization chart. But to let a prospective candidate see your “warts” and learn all of your trade secrets before they are hired? How racy! So out there! Hiring is a two way street right?


Imagine if the candidate discovers that they would really hate the work. When I was in high school I wanted to be a stock broker and my parents arranged for me to spend the day with a family friend that was in the business. To my 16 year old eyes, at first I saw the glamor of the BMW and a great lifestyle. Then I went to see the work site and spending ALL day on a head set making cold calls seemed like nothing I wanted to be a part of.


Allow me to share a story from my past on this concept. A friend was hiring for a role in his firm and the two finalists had run the gauntlet; weeks were spent attracting, screening, qualifying and netting candidates for this important role in the business. I recommended that the finalists be allowed to observe the role and spend time with staff. My friend thought it was not necessary; there was a clear number one candidate. Why bother? They took my advice and during the observation time with “ideal” candidate, the applicant admitted to an employee that they had misrepresented their resume. See?


During an interview process people are always on their best behavior. During time in the office, they relax and get comfortable. They are themselves and you can see if they are what you really need them to be.



I know hiring can be fraught with (unforeseeable) mistakes, so why not do something simple to strengthen your process?


If you have another simple, practical point of view on all things leadership and talent related drop me a line.

Words from a Serial Entrepreneur

May 21st, 2010

Did you ever stop to think where you got the drive and initiative to start your company? To work for an entrepreneur? I recently had the opportunity to be a part of a Leadership Interview Series in Philadelphia, PA. This was my second time around with Herb Cohen, an angel investor and entrepreneur in his own right, who loves to ask questions of people that run and grow companies. What makes them tick? What prompted the entrepreneurial process?

The catch? I brought my dad, Alan Burkhard for a talk on multiple generations of entrepreneurs.

I had a paper route. When I was 14, I worked in a pizza shop. I worked 80 hours a week as a teenager moving furniture. I had a lot of early influences. The most influential was my Pop. Serial entrepreneur six, seven, eight times over, but who’s counting? As you will notice I was more of a side kick than the main attraction this go round.

The best part of listening to this is I get a constant reinforcement of the foundation of my early leadership education. The hallowed grounds for me. It is about starting a company that competes on culture. That has operating philosophies that focuses on the employee. That focus the business less on the product of the business and more on the customer experience around it. That wins by unleashing the inner talents of average employees, they embrace it and become extraordinarily productive.

I hope you enjoy.

By the way — we were invited back for round 2 soon. Maybe I will get to say a few more words!

Business getting better? Drop me a note. I am hearing from readers that the jobless recovery is starting to create some jobs. What do you see?

CLICK HERE to listen to the webcast.
 

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