Monthly Archives: July 2014

Why Top Recruiters Want Teachers (for Non-Classroom Positions): Clue Goldilocks and the Three Bears

For teachers upset about not getting the pay they feel they deserve in the classroom, they may be intrigued to learn that outside of it they could do a lot better: A cadre of top recruiters are looking for them for a range of positions – with lots of upside for performance.

Part of the reason why many companies switch (from job boards, open calls, and other traditional recruiting platforms) to Apploi is because they greatly value personality and other soft skills (communication, language, friendliness etc). That to them is often even more important than the hard skills and experience listed in their resume. Indeed when a customer is upset that they’ve been waiting in line for 15 minutes, a soothing voice and friendly smile without a degree is far more effective than a scowling MBA.

One of my favorite examples of a client using Apploi to tease out personality is Dennis Conklin, an entrepreneur on the West Coast who runs around 40 stores, across 3 concepts. For his receptionist and sales team, he asks them to submit through Apploi – along with everything else in the traditional resume and other soft skills questions – a video of them reading from Goldilocks and the Three Bears.


  1. It shows confidence.
  2. It shows personality.
  3. It shows a willingness to have fun.

Another top recruiter, Amanda Boone, I spoke to last week told me that for a long time she’s been recruiting teachers for leading positions in her call centers. Why?

  1. They’re great at explaining things.
  2. They’ve got remarkable patience.
  3. They’re used to dealing with a range of personalities.



It makes complete sense. Indeed the best sales people, the best customer service reps, all have qualities teachers have: Enthusiasm, credibility, knowledge, and relationship building skills.

The more time I spend with top recruiters, the more I learn about the untraditional (and unexpected) avenues they source from. It’s a lesson to jobseekers of all kinds: think outside the box, you may be more valuable in another profession.

I’d love to hear other examples of “surprising” career changes, let me know.


photo credit: <a href=””>Keith Williamson</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>


Breaking: Apploi in White House Report with President Obama – Delivering what Jobseekers need

WH signing

A few hours ago Apploi CEO, Adam Lewis, sent out the following very exciting announcement:

Hi All,

Today is an exceptionally exciting one for us all at Apploi: President Obama and Vice President Biden delivered a report and signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which I’m delighted to say Apploi is a part of.

We are truly honored, and are looking forward to working on this with the White House over the next year and beyond. We will be working together with Fortune 500 companies and CEOs, as well as heads of talent from some of the world’s leading and most innovative brands, to build new developments to strengthen the workforce and provide companies with the talent they need.

I would like to personally thank Daniel Freedman and David Clements on my team for their truly outstanding efforts with this.

Please read the release here: and to access the fact sheet and report here: 

Best regards,


The full report can be downloaded here.

On a personal note, a big thank you to: Adam, for his absolute support, commitment, and tireless work on making this initiative a reality; to the recruiters, managers, talent heads, CEOs, and other executives we’ve been working with, who are big part of this journey for us; and the amazing staff behind this report (the unsung heroes) – including for their understanding of the game-changing nature of Apploi.

Screenshot 2014-07-22 21.25.46

It’s going to be an incredibly exciting next few months with Apploi as we add new features to better the experience for the jobseekers – from showing in real-time where the job demand is and what the skill requirements are, through to how they can upskill to reach the positions of their dreams – and for the companies looking to employ them. Everyone, indeed the whole country, benefits from a more skilled, better-matched, and employed, population.

We are always looking for ideas and partners to better the experience for our community members, and to enact our vision, so if you would like to get involved in anyway, please reach out!

Thank you.



Six Lessons to Guide You to the Top of Your Game (or your destination of choice)

On Tuesday I spent a great afternoon with Bob Ravener in Nashville, TN, interviewing him for the Apploi Observer. The interviews were centered around his book “Up! The Difference Between Today and Tomorrow Is You,” and advice for veterans re-entering the workforce.

The interviews will be worth watching – and his book (telling his story from childhood to the pinnacle of his profession) is worth reading. It also comes with endorsements from highly accomplished figures in corporate America, the sports world, the military community, and government, including Joe Gibbs, the three time Super Bowl Champion Coach, General Terry “Max” Haston, and Dale Nees, Assistant Dean of the Business School at Notre Dame.

Some readers may pick up the book, looking at where Bob’s career trajectory, curious about the secret of his upbringing. Indeed he’s worked in senior positions at top companies, including PepsiCo, Home Depot, and Starbucks, and Dollar General. He’s got a beautiful family, has been on a presidential commission, volunteered extensively … you get the picture.

But Bob’s childhood was anything but picturesque: By the time he was eight, his family had lived in three different houses in two different towns, and he had attended four different schools. His father was an abusive alcoholic who couldn’t hold down a job – and would take his anger out on his family (he and his brother would step in to block his parents lunging at each other with knives). His accompanying his father on “errands” usually ended with him watching his father get drunk in a bar.


His upbringing was the polar opposite to the type of upbringing that Amy Chua espouses in “Tiger Moms” as being critical to success. And his later experiences were filled with many more challenges and heartbreaks, from the personal (including the tragedy of a lost child) to the professional (the first company he went to work for after leaving the Navy went bankrupt just before he was due to start).

It’s precisely because Bob’s life was filled with more than his fair share of obstacles that this book is so valuable. It’s accessible. It speaks to those both in difficult situations or who have been through them, and shows a better future can be ahead. The book is filled with valuable pieces of advice to get there. Among my favorites:

·      Go to bed early, and wake up early (per Benjamin Franklin)

·      Stay organized: Make lists and write things down, it’s the surest way.

·      Surround yourself with good people and good friends: it’ll help shape and educate you.

·      Have a positive attitude: It’s critical to the success of an individual and a company.

·      Practice “finish-line thinking”: Know what you want to accomplish, and design a strategy to get there. Don’t live just day-to-day.

Each chapter starts with an inspiring quote, and perhaps the one which is most fitting for Bob’s story is attributed to Marcus Aurelius:
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

One of Bob’s favorite pieces of advice, while advising people to master their emotions is:
“I can’t control 100 percent of what happens to me, but I can control 100 percent of how I respond to what happens to me.”

And that’s not just good advice for those struggling on the bottom – it’s important for everyone.

You can buy the book here and the interviews will be published on the Apploi Observer here.