Leading the Client Engagement Team, George is responsible for maintaining and expanding relationships with existing customers.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Elmhurst, Illinois, but grew up in Wilton, Connecticut.
Married? Children? Pets?
I’ve been married for 11 years. We have a 3-year old daughter named Eve, and Colby–a Border collie mix that we rescued from a shelter.
What led you into this field?
I’ve always been a student of good hiring practices. I put a lot of effort into talent selection for teams that I build, but have always been amazed by how subjective the process is. Reference checking in particular is an area where I really tried to get to the truth, but knew it was fraught with bias and competing agendas. When I first met Greg Moran, founder of Chequed (now CEO of OutMatch), I was intrigued by the idea of automatic reference checking and thought it was a brilliant concept. I got so excited that I became Greg’s first investor. Three years later, I was working with him.
Who or what has influenced your career the most?
It’s been a combination of things, but they all relate to company culture. I’ve had the great fortune of working in multiple organizations, all with vastly different cultures. When I graduated from college, I worked for MCI. This company was an amazingly competitive one. I also worked for Scholastic, which had a very familial culture, and then moved to Tech TV, which truly had a balance of both cultures. It was the culmination of experiences at these three companies that has really shaped the way I think about the connection of culture and business.
What do you enjoy most about your job? What do you find most challenging?
I really enjoy helping clients solve big and important problems in talent acquisition and retention. What’s most challenging is finding the appropriate data to solve these problems. Hiring is a super subjective process, and always will be, so you always need more data to back it up.
What do you think it takes to be successful in your role?
Brains and good looks. LOL. Just kidding. You need to be a good communicator, have the ability to listen well, and be able to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
What are some of your most significant career accomplishments?
When I worked for Tech TV, I co-produced a TV show called Microsoft Insider Live. It was a show that bridged the gap between advertising and content. It demonstrated that it was possible to provide value to both the client (in this case, Microsoft) and the viewing audience. This show became one of the best rating drivers for the network and appealed to a wide audience that was greatly engaged. This show pioneered numerous other ad initiatives that later became somewhat of a standard in the industry. At TechTV, we used a similar approach with many other clients, and even earned a Telly award in 2001.
What are some industry-specific challenges you see for the future?
In the short-term, I believe we are, once again, entering an era where the candidate is in charge. Unemployment rates are down and the application process is easier. There’s simply more demand than there is supply. For the long-term, I think the industry needs to work on creating less friction in the hiring process. By this, I mean a more seamless process needs to be developed from vetting the applications to hiring the candidates.
What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?
It’s a cliché, but it’s true. Pick a job you love and the financial rewards will flow.
What’s your most valuable professional tool?
Passions? Hobbies? Interests outside of work?
My wife and I own a racehorse. It’s hard to live in Saratoga Springs, New York and not get caught up in the sport. So, getting into the “Winner’s Circle” is something we’re both passionate about. I also enjoy sailing and golf.
What’s something no one knows about you?
The first time I met Candace Bergen, we spent an hour over Mexican food talking about all types of shared interests–Africa, photography, living in New York, and disliking Los Angeles. It was great. The second time I met Candace? I’ll only tell that story in person.
Favorite TV show? Why?
It’s an old one–Murphy Brown. Why? My roommate at the time played the character of Miles Silverberg.
If you could order anything for lunch at your desk, what would it be?
A seafood platter from a tiny little restaurant on Taha’a, an island in French Polynesia. My wife and I sailed to it and just missed eating lunch with Bill & Melinda Gates by 15 minutes (but that’s another story).
You work hard, but personal time is important too. What’s been your best vacation spot ever? Why? Do you have a dream destination?
I have a few best places, but I’ll narrow it down to two–sailing in French Polynesia and Marlin fishing on the Great Barrier Reef. I had a Moray eel swim through my legs there. One day, I’d love to sail from Key West to Cuba.