CEO, MCX Technologies
Each week, we interview proven leaders from our network, to learn from their experiences, and share their Talent Attraction and Candidate Experience stories with you.
- Our mission is to promote the accomplishments of our guests
- Highlight the companies where they work and the services, and products that they offer
- Share success stories from their experiences and, most importantly
- Provide strategies for job seekers and advice to talent seeking to accelerate their careers.
Today’s guest is Matthew Kruchko, President & CEO – MCX Technologies
- In our continuation of our chat with Matthew, he shares suggestions for experienced candidates evaluating their next move.
- Focus on measurement of success
- The importance of impact vs hours and effort
- Interview the company! Evaluate the culture and core values of a company vs only the role description
- Once the candidate is in the door, both the company and the candidate should throw the resume out the door…focus on expectations and the business fundamentals / alignment
Summary transcript of our interview below:
RON: Talk to me about experienced candidates, whether you’re in a position and thinking about maybe doing your next thing or you’re actively in the interviewing process and trying to differentiate yourself against other other candidates, what advice would you give somebody from the perspective of somebody who’s hiring other people?
MATT: Yeah, definitely. Well, I’ll take it from my position now is President CEO of a publicly traded company and the type of people that we need.
And I think you have to take a step back before you think about the skillset and the role. I think this is about culture. This is about talent strategy, not about not selling a role. I think too many companies and too many candidates think about the role. And I believe that companies need to think about account strategy. Overall, applicants need to think about is that the type of culture company I want to fit into? Not just “that’s a cool job.”
And so for us, we were remote based business before COVID, and now we’re seeing this funky environment of do we all go back to the office or not? We have offices around the country. We’re also down in Argentina, Chile and Australia, and we have people in offices. But right now, no one’s in an office. And someone asked me the other day, how do you do this and how do you build that culture?
And I think this goes back to your experience question about talent. We are not micromanagers. We look differently at performance. I think this is a key thing is understanding both on the company side and applicant side How is performance going to be measured? You can’t grow in a company without understanding how you’re going to be.
Our success is going to be measured. We measure success by impact, not 9 to 5, not 40, 50, 60 hours a week if it takes you 10 hours one week and 100 hours of next week.
As a CEO, I don’t care. What I care about is did you have the impact on the project you’re working on or the client or your team members? Now, if it takes 200 hours every week, then we have an issue. Or I think the key thing is as an applicant, if you’re experienced, say you’re 35, 45, 55 doesn’t matter You have experience. And as you go up, do you understand the culture that you’re about to jump into?
And culture is a very trendy word, and people talk about that.
And so you need to be an investigative reporter.
You need to go on LinkedIn.
You need to go on Glass Door.
You need to go on social media.
You need to look at your network and find out if you know people at that company.
If you don’t get people to invite you to meet people at that company, I think it’s a really key thing.
I think secondly, is that when you do come in for the job interview, you’re being interviewed, you should be interviewing me (as the employer). And I think too many even seasoned applicants come in and they’re ready to answer questions on their resume.
Okay, you’re in the door. Stop talking about your resume. You got at the door already because of your resume. Throw the resume out in the conversation. I’m not looking at that anymore.
I’m looking at you the person, because our approach and maybe we’re a little bit different, but we’re building.
I’m responsible for families.
So if I’m hiring you, I’m making an investment in you and your family because I want you to do well.
So I need you to understand expectations.
So I need you to come to the table with a lot of questions.
Now, you need to know the business side intimately. So we’re publicly traded. You should be able to find a lot of information.
If you’re interviewing at a private company, do the research, understand what their supply chain looks like.
Who are their partners?
Who are the customers today?
Who is the customers tomorrow?
If I sit in this role and I’m 45 and I’m coming in for a VP of marketing, okay.
How seasoned is the EVP or Cam?
How long are they going to be in that career for?
So if I I love this company, I think it’s really cool. I love the culture level, but the CMO is 45, he’s not leaving or she’s not leaving, potentially.
Are you hitting your ceiling right away? I think we’re too quick to grab a job because it sounds like a great job. So if you’re seasoned, are you looking for a career for the next 10, 15 years?
If that’s the case. Understand who your team is going to be above you, below you, left and right.
Can you help grow that help scale the company? And I think that’s a key thing.
What are you going to do for me?
Don’t tell me what they’re going to do for me. What are they going to do for our company?
Because it’s an investment. I mean, you might be making 100k, 200k, whatever the number is, it doesn’t matter what the cost.
But what’s the impact you’re going to have on our company?
And you need to have that story. You need to have that story. And I think it’s key to talk about how you play in a team because the best companies or teams and are you going to fit in and that team?
Are you going to lead that team?
We have some seasoned people that are great who will never be leaders. That’s okay. Not everyone can be a leader.
So I think taking a step back, I’m not going to say you should use the DISC analysis, but understand who you are.
Are you a super, very analytical, rational thinker?
Are you very creative challenge and you push understand your personality attributes?
And then how do you layer that into your story of where you want to take things and how you can help us?
I think that’s a key of component, but I think again, I’ll just finish something.
This answer our question is that you’re selling yourself to me. And I think that’s a key thing.
And I think you’re also to think about who you interviewing with. Are you interviewing with HR?
Well, and your advice and you’re looking for the Vice President of Marketing.
Is this the first interview? Second view? So how you getting through that path? Is it going to be six interviews and what do you need to get to the next interview?
And I love it when someone asks, what do I need to do to get to the next interview? Ask the question.
Don’t sit back and expect them to come back to you. I might say aggressive.
What I really mean is I want people who are not shy, that they want to be part of my company.
What do I have to do to get to the next interview?
What do I have to do to get in a room with the CEO to talk about where we’re going to go ask that question.
If you don’t ask that question, the next applicants going to and you’re going to miss out.
RON: I love how you also you brought up the company’s role in all of that, and I’m with you…throw the resume out the door. Once the person gets in the in the four walls of your company and start interviewing, talk about how they solve problems, learn about their brand into your point. I love the word impact.
And then the second part of that I just wanted to kind of come back to is you and I have talked about this word, the whole talent experience or the candidate experience part of it.
I think companies are forgetting that. And the best ones, the most competitive ones are actually starting to learn.
MATT: Let me turn it into positive that to get the best people, you have to create a better experience. It’s not about the companies need to sell their brand and sell their opportunity and sell their chance to make an impact just as much as the other way around, too.
So I’m going to make a comment about the previous question, and then comment about that. I think also, as a candidate you should ask questions like:
- Tell me, what makes an employee successful in this company?
- What are those attributes that you see that you define as success?
- Understand how the company looks at their employees and you’re going to understand, are you and they talking about seasoned people who are looking to be an executive?
- Are you part of a team or you still just a number?
- And I think it’s important to understand how they evaluate success and how they evaluate really good employees
(as a company) Yes, you need to have a better talent experience through that. But I think you got to take a step back. I think the interview process is a mere reflection of your culture and how work is going to happen at that office.
So if you’re in an interview process and it’s bureaucratic, and I have, like, 15 people in the room, and I have to try to appease all these people. That’s how your day to day job is going to be working there.
It’s going to be a consensus building environment. Is that what you want to be part of?
I’ll just give an example. When I sold my agency in San Francisco, I took a break or after the company of England, we went private. We all left. I ended up interviewing with a public traded security company based in London and Boston to be there, had a brand. And just really quickly, if you have a minute to kind of share that experience, it was a unbelievable.
So I had an interview with someone from talent strategy. I was on vacation. And she asked for 10 minutes. Cool.
She didn’t ask me one thing about my resume. She didn’t ask me one thing about what I thought about the company. She goes, “Where are you on vacation? What are you doing? What are you guys doing?”
That’s what we talked about! I was like, Okay, that was pretty cool. She is trying to understand who I was as an individual.
Then they flew me to Boston, put me up. But before, two weeks prior, they said, We want you to do a presentation on why you be the right fit and where the company brands should go.
A little bit of spec work. Well, I actually reached back out to the head of marketing and strategy, and I had a list of about 20 questions. I needed some data so I could inform my story.
Well, before I did that, the CEO jumped in, said, Hey, I want to talk to you first for an hour. But we ended up talking for two hours and it was casual. We went to lunch, had a conversation.
The point I’m getting at is in that process, I was able to get a peek into their culture. That’s how they work. They’re very collaborative.
Hey, Let’s have a conversation about this.
Let’s figure out where we want to go.
We don’t know all the answers.
We need you to help inform and what impact can you bring into the solution?
So I think it’s really key. You really are able to identify as a company what your culture and work environment it is. And then you need to reflect the interview process.
To support that as an applicant, you need to be cognizant of this. You need to take notes and saying this is bureaucratic or this is a very super creative, open environment. Maybe that’s not for me. Maybe I’m more of an analytical person because you’re as an applicant making an investment in time to increase your career and the job might sound awesome, but the culture is not going to be good for you.
RON: I think I’m already thinking in my head. I think we’re going to have to create two different parts of this interview because we started to dive into the talent experience part of things, and that gets me pretty excited as you know.
So I’m looking forward to sorting this out and hopefully talking again soon.
MATT: I agree. I love to say something on those. You’re a talent strategy expert. You understand business and talent and where things need to go. Whether you are graduate from College, your Director of marketing, your VP of Digital Marketing, you’re a CMO, you have to grow as a talent strategy person yourself.
And what I mean by that is you need to understand how you’re creating your own brand and how you’re going to sell yourself within your company or to the next company.
And as you start taking leadership positions and your team grows, you need to understand the talent strategy of your team and how that talent strategy of your team fits in the overall talent strategy of the company.
So if you’re a seasoned executive, going back to that question about the seasoned applicant, what’s your talent strategy to grow your team? And you better have that answer.
RON: Yes. Agreed. We’ll leave people on a cliff hanger for now, and we’ll com back to that another time and talk about how to do that.
Matthew, I really appreciate your time. And more than anything, I appreciate you being the kind of mentor to me and pushing me to always trying to get better and think differently. So you can’t even put it into words how much I appreciate the back and forth.
MATT: I think that’s a key to find people outside work that are symbiotic that you can push each other.
But you need to find what wakes you up in the morning and get you going. And I think that’s the thing.
I’m going to dismiss that conversation on that topic. People say, find your passion and find a way to make money at it. Now find out what, just gets you excited and then become an expert at it. You don’t necessarily have to be if you’re a biologist is different genomics or wireless engineering, that’s very niche.
But in marketing, digital marketing, the faster you can get to a customer in the conversation, the faster you’re going to win as a company, whether it’s B2B or B2C, I have a philosophy.
In a B2B, business, you’re selling to a person. You don’t sell the Cisco. You sell the John at Cisco or Janet at Cisco.
And so you need to be able to get to a conversation as fast as you can.
I use a “brand of one.” How quickly can you get your brand that you’re the head of marketing for digital marketing?
How quickly can you get in front of somebody with all the noise to tell your story? That’s one way.
Then two, that goes back to the data science side. You need to understand data. How you mapping the behaviors, understanding how you need to adjust. And so you need to take that agile development that developers
have in developing software and bring that into your marketing. You doing Sprints. And I think that’s another thing I was saying about. You need to understand how other people work in your environment. Are you in an agile Sprint environment, or are you in a long tail, consensus decision making company? You can be a great marketer in that way, but you can also be a great marketer in the agile environment.
RON: Matthew, thank you so much for your time today.
June 17, 2021