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We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Darrin Carr: A lot of my working career in the Death Star, working for big corporations. Luckily it was in publishing and that was super interesting. I started off as a sales rep and then was promoted to a district manager, then to a regional manager, and therefore started hiring hiring managers in my 20s.
This taught me a lot about what it takes to hire great people, perhaps the most important role being a players hire a players. I figured out quickly it was important to get the best talent to attract the best talent.
I got out of corporate nine years ago and started this recruiting and HR agency called carr talent acquisition. We specialize in steering entrepreneurs to talent that drive growth. We do industries and positions but what we do specialize in is understanding entrepreneurs, their strengths and their challenges, and knowing how to match them up with employees that raise the bar and lift profitability at their businesses.
This can be anything from operations to sales to marketing. When I am not working I am usually doing something with my 10 year old twin tornadoes as a single dad I am in constant motion with football, basketball, volleyball, pickleball, kickball and you name it!
If you were in an elevator with Warren Buffett, how would you describe your company, your services or products? What makes your company different from others? What is your company’s biggest strength?
Darrin Carr: We are a special kind of recruiting agency that specializes in Helping Busy Entrepreneurs Hire Growth-Minded People who are growth-minded – personally, professionally, and to the benefit of your business.
Our biggest strength is poaching A-Players on a national (even global!) scale and hiring guarantees for 90 days and ONE YEAR while we provide White Glove Customer Service, including unlimited tools and guides to build and support your hiring process.
Quiet quitting, The Great Resignation, are an ongoing trend causing many businesses to struggle to keep talent engaged and motivated. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued, and misunderstood in the workplace. In your experience, what keeps employees happy? And how are you adapting to the current shift we see?
Darrin Carr: Actually I can add a bit on why employees are leaving their companies. According to a study just out from Harvard University, cited as the biggest cause of employees leaving companies is because of the lack of clear career path and/or where their future employability seems murky.
I believe this and lack of company culture or enacting core values are the top two. Here is what we counsel and work with our clients on to help them retain the best employees. How to provide:
- Flexibility in work location and times
- Supportive, appreciative company culture & morale
- Wellness and well-being
- The workplace as a learning environment
- Consistent feedback and connection
- Ability to grow in the company/more responsibilities
- Ability to make meaningful contributions to community
- Reward for effective work/industry specific perks
- Inspirational leadership
Here is a two-fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Darrin Carr: The book I have read the most is The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni. In it he explains how to identify and cultivate the three essential virtues of the ideal team player. Hungry, Humble, Smart. I add Good Cultural Fit to that list of what we search for.
When gifting books I take a lesson from Phil Jackson former head coach of the Chicago Bulls. He chose carefully a different book for each player on the team dependent upon what they needed in their life at that point to further themselves or their career.
The show Ted Lasso on Apple TV followed up on this same idea, and that’s what I have preferred to do myself. Not one book for many different kinds of people.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Darrin Carr: In my opinion is the continued war for great talent, which I only expect will intensify. And in fact this was listed as one of the seven biggest business challenges by Forbes magazine recently.
Unemployment is currently at 3.6% around the level that it was during the first moon landing in 1969. I believe the true unemployment number is even lower. Millions have dropped out of the workforce and people have reassessed work, what it means to work, where they want to work, how much they want to work, under what conditions they want to work, if they want to work.
A company needs to reassess some of the things I’ve mentioned in an earlier question to determine if they are going to truly meet the needs of the employee in a way that is going to result in their long-term happiness and retention.
In your experience, what tends to be the most underestimated part of running a company? Can you share an example?
Darrin Carr: In my own thing that companies can often overlook that is critical to their success is gauging and analyzing and understanding what makes their employees happy and how they can keep them. This needs to be regularly assessed and addressed.
It’s something we’ve come across fairly regularly from time to time. That’s where there isn’t any or not enough machinery around employee acknowledgement and appreciation – or to demonstrate their core values.
We will commonly ask clients how they do this and how they exemplify and illustrate what is in their core values. We want to know how they are putting their core values into real use. Often we find leaders who aren’t even 100% sure about core values or about how they are or should be celebrating successes. Underneath all this lies a foundation of inspirational leadership.
What that means to me is that a really good leader understands that there are different motivations for different types of people. That leader will learn what is important to that employee and connect the dotted lines between what an employee wants and the company’s goals, to a place in the middle, that sweet spot where everybody is getting what they want.
What does “success” in 2023 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Darrin Carr: Success in 2023 means to me that come January 1st, I will look back as a single dad on the development of my 10 year old twin tornadoes and see that they’ve become even better, kinder humans equipped to both take on the world and help the world at the same time.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Darrin Carr for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Darrin Carr or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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