Every entrepreneur has their own story as to what drew them into the dangerous and roller coaster world of entrepreneurship. Mine started some 25 years ago when I was dragged somewhat reluctantly to run my husband’s technology company when he was diagnosed with cancer – the first time.
After a somewhat successful career in corporate America, on meeting and marrying my late husband, I I thought that life was behind me having now assumed the role of supportive wife and gloating mother, However, that was not to be and circumstances and life intervened when I found myself once again sitting in the corner office instead of the nursery.
However, this time, it was not a world of corporate mergers and acquisitions where I had spent a large part of my career, but in a leading edge technology company that had pioneered bar code labeling and intelligent computerized printers.
Not one to be daunted, I embraced the challenge – and the technology – and soon became a true believer of the power this medium can have over every aspect of our lives. In fact, my late husband once said he had created a monster that knew no bounds to what she thought she could do with this new, at least to her, phenomenon”.
And this is where my journey started and ultimately influenced where I find myself today.
After selling that particular company – or more specifically, its intellectual property, I came up with another way in which I believed technology could be leveraged, particularly as it related to the burgeoning popularity of the Internet. However, a major area of contention between myself and the CEO of the newly formed company arose in terms of how and with whom we should staff this new entity. He was someone who truly valued loyalty and insisted on bringing along the employees of his prior venture even though they did not have the experience and skills necessary to immediately hit the ground running to execute the requirements and responsibilities to get the company and its innovative and game changing technology swiftly and efficiently developed and to market. I truly understood first hand and to our detriment the cost “square pegs in round holes” can have upon a company. That CEO was my late husband but the good news was that we did remedy the situation after he realized the lost opportunity and financial costs – and we could leave our disagreements at the office door.
So, a few years later, it was this experience that created my passion and purpose to put the right people in the right jobs which led to the next and current chapter of my entrepreneurial journey as a woman in what is still a predominantly male dominated technology space.
As someone who has had to hire people throughout my career I was extremely frustrated with agencies that inundated me with resumes with the hope from their side that if they threw enough at the wall, something would stick; with Boolean and keyword ineffective resume searches; and the ever time consuming and thankless task of trolling through hundreds of irrelevant and ill qualified resumes. There just had to be a better way to do it.
I wanted to know what was beneath the covers – not only what skills and experience an applicant possessed but also their proficiency levels and hands on experience in those that were required for the positions I was seeking to fill. I wanted to quickly and efficiently identify the round peg for the round hole!!
And that is how my first HR technology, ApplicantAnalytics™, came into being whereby every applicant was matched specifically to each unique position they applied for. That technology was used to identify and place candidates in companies such as British Petroleum, Heil Manufacturing, Georgia Pacific, Internet Security Systems and many more for some 14 years. But as time and needs have evolved, that technology has been further developed and is now embedded in my latest technology venture, the WFX Digital Talent Acquisition Platform that has been designed and developed to manage the entire recruitment process – from beginning to end – working in concert and adding significant functionalities and differentiating disruptive technologies to a company’s existing Applicant Tracking System.
The key to my entrepreneurial journey has been driven by circumstance, passion and my love affair with technology. Technology can handle process more efficiently, effectively and productively thus allowing professionals to manage areas where human interaction is critical and cannot be displaced by technology.
It is also my belief that women can look at the use and implementation of where technology can play a role through a different prism than our male counterparts and therefore the value we can bring to the table is too often overlooked in what is still very much a male dominated sector.