Interview with Kristin Barbato, CEO of Build Edison
Part 1 - Debunking common hiring advice
Part 3 - Diversity in candidate pools
Part 2 - Face to Face vs. Remote
Part 4 - #1 Tip for women candidates
Part 1 - Transcript
Catherine: Hi, I’m Catherine McLean, managing director of Dylan Green and I’m here in New York city today with Kristin Barbato, CEO and founder of Build Edison and cofounder of Dynamo Energy.
Kristin: Yes. Dynamo Energy Hub. Thank you. So nice to be here with you today.
Catherine: What’s a common piece of advice that you tend to disagree with in recruitment process?
Kristin: I don’t necessarily agree with all of the standards that we have to have for college, master’s degree, years of service. I think that there’s a lot of experience that we’re leaving on the table because we don’t have people who are checking every single box on the skills and requirement table for that job.
Catherine: I totally agree. I mean, it’s my professional opinion that if they need 75% of the criteria, especially if they’re a tenant that takes a lot of the diversity boxes and these companies are really struggling to meet those requirements, that it’s at least worth bringing in for an interview.
Kristin: I agree. I also think that as we were discussing earlier, if you’ve got 10 things on your checklist for this hire of requirements that you need to fulfill, what makes you think that in two years that that list isn’t going to have different things on it? So it’s not necessarily perfect that you have the perfect candidate that might be the perfect candidate that you think with those parameters and those assumptions for now. But as your company and your team and your market and your client base grows and has different needs, you want somebody that can actually grow with them as well.
Part 2 - Transcript
Catherine: How do you balance the remote working element that people find important and then people wanting that face to face time?
Kristin: I don’t think there’s any recipe for the balance that we’ve been able to strike either for build Epson or Dynamo Energy Hub or for the clients that we work with and others that are our members. But I think what we’ve found is that there’s a few things, this is going to sound so cliche, but communication really is key. Developing those relationships of trust so that you actually know that you can rely upon somebody and doing what you need to do from a remote distance. But the capability of having the, the reliability of a place that she can go to right is very important. And I think that what we’ve been able to see from the innovation that’s happening from technology or even policy and finance is happening in the workplace. So the relationship, there’s an innovation of how we work together. And I think going forward there’s going to naturally be a blend of the workforce that is doing remote, flexible as well as the necessary face to face.
Catherine: No, I totally agree. I think that it’s nice just to have the option. As someone who used to do setting up my own business a couple of times. It’s just nice when you wake up in the morning and your days are different. Not every day’s a scripted. Sure.
Kristin: I mean, when I first started Build Edison, I was working out of my living room. Yeah. And I was staring at my dog all day and it was kinda get a little stir crazy, but then you start to develop and I started to build the team and have more clients are getting more engagement and that variety of the day we have like for me is, is very beneficial for my, my personality type. And there’s other personality types that really like to sit down and do their work very quietly. So having that option, I mean there are days when I need to have some of that quiet time as well. So, but it’s, it’s being flexible about the options technology, workspace and the mindset to have that type of openness that it’s a blend.
Catherine: I think it’s about also hiring grownups that can make those decisions about what their day should look like.
Kristin: But not all the same types of grownups. That’s diversity. I like the fact that at build Edison, we have people who are at all stages of their career. Great. Cause it’s fantastic dogs with cats. And they all get they get along together.
Part 3 - Transcript
Catherine: So the last advert that you posted, I’m curious to know what’s the difference between male-female split and more importantly, what’s the difference of people from various backgrounds?
Kristin: I’d say it’s, it’s been a couple of years but, and it depends a lot on of course different types of technology or technical posts that we do our jobs posting for. But I would say maybe it’s about a 30 to 70 split women to men. I would let, and still that’s improving. It’s not there yet, but we’re getting better. And I’d also love to see some more diverse backgrounds in the applicant pool. So we wind up having to, when we post, when I have posted in the past, putting that posting out to our networks to get as much of a rich, diverse applicant pool as possible.
Catherine: Right. I think there’s real benefit to me in cities like New York, DC, London because we really are at an advantage with all sorts of people from all over the world here.
Kristin: And what you really want in building a business in a city like that is to have your company represent the area that you’re, you’re in. It’s a great fit culturally. It makes doing business easier and understanding some of the local flavor of things and getting some of the diverse perspective into your, your team.
Part 4 - Transcript
Catherine: What is your #1 tip for women who are applying for a job that they don’t feel they are qualified for?
Kristin: Two, ready? Go for it.
Kristin: Ask about it. Do not be afraid to call up and ask about what that person needs.
Catherine: You heard it here first.