CEO of Crosschq Michael Fitzsimmons has a “long history of creating companies that disrupt the status quo to create change that benefits consumers and businesses alike.”
Michael Fitzsimmons is also the co-founder of the company. He had been frustrated with “failed hires,” and he decided to start Crosschq to disrupt the status quo.
With Crosschq, Michael Fitzsimmons wanted to “pioneer a new category for talent acquisition that harnesses the power of people to help companies better source, match and retain the best people.”
Michael Fitzsimmons has a mission to “build better and more diverse businesses.” Crosschq “takes a talent-first approach that prioritizes trust and transparency.”
Crosschq’s approach also “minimizes bias and protects privacy.” Before Crosschq, Michael Fitzsimmons was the founder and CEO of Connekt, Inc., and Delivery Agent.
As an executive, Michael Fitzsimmons has tons of “corporate business expertise, from finance and sales to technology and development.”
This expertise has made Michael Fitzsimmons “a thought-leader for entrepreneurs and sought-after expert for CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, New York Times and Forbes.”
Likewise, Michael Fitzsimmons has “partnered with top companies like Comcast, CBS, Fox, Disney, HBO, Sony, Amazon, LG and PayPal.”
Michael Fitzsimmons has also “successfully raised over $200M in capital from financial and strategic investors.”
Our mission driven product and our team make us stand out. Michael Fitzsimmons, Crosschq
Jerome Knyszewski: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Michael Fitzsimmons: Our mission driven product and our team make us stand out.
We are tackling a massive $74B industry with a truly disruptive platform that will level the hiring playing field forever.
We have early data to show that it is working; increasing diversity hiring by as much as 32% for our partners.
In addition, we’ve built a dynamic, diverse and cohesive team at Crosschq that works hard and really likes each other.
I’m proud too that our leadership is 50% non-white and our entire company is 80% diverse. If you have a solid team and a great product, you’re set up for success.
Lastly, in addition to our for profit mission, we are also committed to donating our technology to organizations that are focused on second chance and fair chance hiring.
An example of this is 70 Million Jobs which is the leading job board to help the ex-incarcerated re-enter the workforce.
For decades this population has struggled to get a fair look at new job opportunities due to their criminal records and fragmented resumes but using Crosschq we are helping to knock down these bias’ by giving future employers additional hiring from this group of job seekers.
Jerome Knyszewski: Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?
Michael Fitzsimmons: I had an early mentor who taught me that the hierarchy of my priorities should be these three things in this order: investors, customers and employees.
This advice came from a very successful executive from the 80s and 90s and his logic was that “Without investors, you can’t get customers, and without customers, you don’t have employees.”
Early in my career, I probably followed that too much and didn’t put enough emphasis into my employees.
Now, in my wisdom, I believe your team should be at the top of that list and it should be completely inverted.
Jerome Knyszewski: You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Michael Fitzsimmons: Grit. Determination. Humor.
When you’re creating a new market, and trying to sell your vision to customers for that new market, the fail rate is extremely high.
You’re going to tell your story a 100 times before they say they’re going to buy your product. If you don’t have that mindset, you’re going to struggle.
I always say you have to be able to take the punch. When my sales team loses out to a competitor, I tell them it’s like chopping a tree down.
You need lots of chops. You gotta keep swinging that axe and sometimes when that tee is just too stubborn, you need to slow down and simply laugh. It’s a long life.
Jerome Knyszewski: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Michael Fitzsimmons: Burnout is real. Leading a start-up can be lonely and stressful. What keeps me going is exercise and spending time with friends and family.
I also think its critical to control the controllable to help offset the lack of control you have in a startup.
If you limit the variables outside of work, you will be better prepared to deal with the invariables during your work day.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Michael Fitzsimmons: It’s hard to build big businesses as a gap in a market. Make sure you’re building a market in a gap.
You gotta keep swinging that axe and sometimes when that tee is just too stubborn, you need to slow down and simply laugh.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
Michael Fitzsimmons: That it’s fun. It’s not.
The stress is so personal and you carry a disproportionate amount of weight of the success of the company and stress on yourself.
If you don’t figure out how to manage that, it can be really destructive in other parts of your life.
The best advice I can give is to trust the process. Don’t don’t allow the Gartner Hype Cycle “trough of disillusionment” impact you more than it.
The best advice I can give is to trust the process. Michael Fitzsimmons
Jerome Knyszewski: You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Michael Fitzsimmons: The world is so messed up and there’s so much anger and time spent on the wrong things.
If we could focus on using technology to create a KPI to drive global kindness, and find tools to help us accomplish this, that would be it.
A global kindness index and hold us all accountable like we do with a credit score.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!