She’s the Chief Executive Officer for Kinetix. She’s got a background as a finance executive for companies that do hundreds of thousands of hires annually. She rode the corporate wave. She had a big expense account. Then she opted out to do her own thing. For you. For us. For the kids. Shannon founded Kinetix with the goal of creating a firm that could help growing companies get the talent they need to compete. She had a dream. She thought she’d get more sleep by running her own company. She was wrong. Luckily, that’s not contagious.
In her role as CEO, Shannon is responsible for overall operations and leading the strategic direction of Kinetix. In real talk, that means she creates the foundation for company strategy, delivers new business for the company, keeps up good relationships with existing clients, manages the leadership and sales teams, and drives the overall vision and culture of the Kinetix brand.
Prior to forming Kinetix, Shannon held various positions throughout ten years at Spherion Corporation, a Fortune 500 staffing, recruiting and workforce solutions company. Without breaking out her entire resume, let’s just say she knows a thing or two about how to make the trains run on time.
Prior to Spherion, Shannon held various positions at large, public and privately traded companies such as W.R. Grace, M&M/Mars, Inc., and Kidder, Peabody & Co. Incorporated in the US and overseas. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics Management from Ohio Wesleyan University while running track and playing field hockey and achieving academic All-America status.
Specialties: Financial chops. Deal-maker. Eye for talent. Lack of need for sleep.
10 Questions with Shannon Russo
1. It’s hard on a recruiter/HR pro out there. Tell us why you’re in the RPO game…
A crazy passion for what happens when you do talent acquisition right—everybody wins. It’s sad that we see so many do it stupid and wrong, from candidates, to companies, HR, recruiters—you name it. Plus, I do love the hunt; I love seeing a deal/match happen when no one thought it could.
2. Finish the following sentence: “People want to hang out with me because…”
It’s so easy to seem normal and calm in comparison. My energy and that I am genuine are the things I hear most, so I will go with that—final answer.
3. First thing that comes into your mind when I say this: “RPO works because ____…” First thing. Don’t plan it.
Because of the focus and leverage we have… that other companies don’t.
4. What’s your favorite HR/recruiting buzzword to openly mock and why? It has to be…
“Seat at the table” and anything related to that discussion… ugh! Too many of the HR peeps literally aren’t even in the right building and are so clueless that they even miss the point of the conversation about it—which kills me, by the way. Two thoughts here, ahhhh, get a life, for one; and if you have to ask, you are clearly not in the game. Make it happen, people. Move the business forward every day and it will happen… geez. (I know, so tell me how you really feel…)
5. Let’s face it… there’s a lot of humanity out there in the recruiting scene. What’s the sure sign in the first 3 minutes you interview a candidate that it’s not going to happen?
There are soooooo many. Let’s see… completely unprepared (not sure what they are interviewing for, have not researched the company, etc.), nothing to write with or on, no copy of their resume, cell phone ringing, snapping gum, dressed like they are _______ (fill in the blank with something not work appropriate) are all good starters. But my favorites have to be around over-sharing on personal stuff you should never tell me (or perhaps anyone, ever, in a work setting), and old company/boss bashing, I mean, really?
6. Who are your favorite two recruiters—RPO, sports, entertainment, whatever—and what makes them rock stars from a recruiting perspective?
Easy: 1) KD/Ari Gold, with his take-no-prisoners mantra (besides, who else knows where all the .net developers in Birmingham are?) and 2) Lou Holtz, especially his story around the magic of thinking big and his list, focus and approach.
7. We’re midstream in this interview, so let’s give a shout out to the intellectuals. What are the last three books you’ve read? Why did you choose those books and what did you learn?
The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott. Love his blog and knew the book would be awesome. It did not disappoint. Great perspective on the changes in how we all research, buy and should market, whether to clients or candidates. Serpent by Clive Cussler. I am a huge Dirk Pitt fan from way back; this is the first of another set of books by Cussler with a different protagonist. I like the connection to the characters that proceeds book to book and the technical details always included as part of the marine settings. No learning, just fun reading. Try Not To F**k This Up, But If You, Do Call Us by Starr Tincup. Good stuff on the human capital space, shout out to both William and Bret—love you both!
8. Enough with the book learning. A great tradition in Major League Baseball is that each batter for the home team gets to pick his own intro music as he’s walking up to the plate. If you could choose a song to play as you entered the Kinetix HQ, what would it be and why? Feel free to give us 2-3 choices, and you can’t say the uber-lame “I like all types of music… “
Eminem, “Not Afraid” because I’m not (which can sometimes be construed as stupid, crazy btw). My old-school shout out is “More Human Than Human” by White Zombie. Number 3 is a tie between ACDC’s “Thunderstruck” and Sheryl Crow’s “A Change Would Do You Good…”
9. Describe your first car to us. God, please let it be a junker that embarrasses you…
The follow-the-rules-answer: A burgundy Chevy Impala like this (although I don’t think I had those stylin’ hubcaps); it was the year they downsized the body and kept the 305 V8 (pretty lame that I know this)… it was fast.
Real answer: A 15-year-old gelding named “Butterscotch” (yes, he was that color, and no, I was not lame enough to name him that). I even rode him through the drive-thru at Burger King (he liked french fries). Sad fact that my “Freshman Facebook” at college has a pic of me on him, like this:
10. Give it up—2 things that the last 10 people you’ve talked to outside of Kinetix don’t know about you…
I have actually ridden an ostrich and my wedding included 900 wild elk, 5 Percherons and a handful of people…