What is your life’s purpose?
My life’s purpose is twofold… one part personal, one part professional. I strive to leave a legacy by raising two fine boys and helping companies hire only the very best.
How are you living your purpose?
In terms of my two sons, I constantly seek opportunities to teach them life lessons using real-life examples. I like to give them insight into the projects I’m working on, so that they can develop a deeper understanding as to what building a fulfilling and productive career is all about. And help them create their own “stretch projects.” My 13-year-old is an aspiring architect and has already begun to email the most famous architects to get their book recommendations.
My professional passion is to help companies recruit and retain top people so that they can grow. To help companies hire smarter, I recently published the bestselling book Recruit Rockstars: The 10 Step Playbook to Find the Winners and Ignite Your Business.
I am convinced that 90 percent of business problems are recruiting problems in disguise. Organizations simply do not have the right people in the right places who can make the right decisions at the right time. Instead of dealing with the core issue – having the wrong people in important positions – companies go through all sorts of restructurings and strategy permutations in an attempt to right their ship.
Any sports fan knows that a team is only as good as the players who comprise it. Identifying the best available players at each position should be the most critical function of every team. The same is true in business. Recruiting great people is without a doubt the most important thing a company can do to become successful.
Here’s the scary statistic: Only about 50% of new hires meet or beat the hiring manager’s expectations two years after being hired. Despite this, nearly every business executive I’ve encountered believes deep down that they’re good at assessing talent. They trust their gut. That hubris has been institutionalized, which is why in most organizations there is little discussion of the 50% hiring fail rate.
The methodology I provide in my book will enable companies to achieve a hiring success rate of 80% or more. While there will always be an element of subjectivity in hiring, my approach relies on a standardized process that is based on things that are actually predictive of success. It works.
I wrote the book because I want others to benefit from my experience. I love to see people and organizations do well. I’m confident that the book will help business owners and executives to recruit and hire better – and to enjoy a much higher level of success.
How did you find your purpose?
I think for most entrepreneurs, the hustle reveals itself early in life. This was absolutely the case with me: I graduated high school having already started four business ventures.
I founded my first “real” company after graduating from the Kellogg School of Management, at age 27. Thanks to already having a fair amount of exposure to entrepreneurship by this time, I had successfully developed the skills necessary to raise $35 million in venture capital and to create the nation’s largest MBA recruiting service.
It was around this time that “Jeff Hyman” and “recruiting” became nearly synonymous. Due to the nature of my first business venture, I became fascinated with the impact that great talent can make on a business. It’s everything. Even a great product or service stands no chance without great people.
What advice do you have for purpose seekers?
I got lucky by embracing my entrepreneurial dreams as early as high school and never letting anyone dull that shine for me as I continued through college and graduate school. If you haven’t yet stumbled upon your own life’s purpose, I suggest finding an overlap of three things:
1. Something at which you have a gift (i.e. you’re in the top 5% of all people) or can become gifted at (skill can be taught). When you’re good at something, you stick with it-even when things seem impossible.
2. Something you love doing and are passionate about.
3. Something that delivers value for others, whether it’s paid or unpaid.
Think of it as a three-way Venn diagram-the key is to find the intersection of all three of these things to achieve a sustainable approach to living a purpose-driven life.
What resources do you recommend?
Finding your life’s purpose is a highly subjective & personal endeavor. That said, I have three resources to recommend:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey: This self-help book can help almost anyone in any situation. Covey’s fundamental principles about establishing habits will bring structure and clarity to your pursuit of purpose.
Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras: This book will be most relevant to you if, like me, you feel entrepreneurship in your blood. Even if you’d be happier as an employee to someone else, this book can shed some light as to how to effectively contribute to creating a visionary company.
My free weekly recruiting podcast: I speak to successful entrepreneurs twice weekly on my Strong Suit Podcast. Regardless of whether you’re an aspiring executive – or the one being recruited – my podcast sheds light.
Jeff Hyman launched his recruiting career at Heidrick & Struggles and Spencer Stuart, the preeminent global executive search firms. Today, he’s Chief Talent Officer at Chicago-based Strong Suit Executive Search. Along the way, Jeff created four companies, backed by $50 million in venture capital. He currently teaches the MBA course about recruiting at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and hosts the five-star Strong Suit Podcast. Jeff has been featured by Inc., Fortune, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Bloomberg, and other media outlets. He holds a master’s degree from Kellogg School of Management and a bachelor’s degree from The Wharton School.