The Mix Tape: Ep. 6 — Building Resilient Teams Through Diversity of Thought

When your life calls for a major occupation change, how do you persevere amidst the obstacles of starting over? Mix Talent's Chad Thompson (previously heard in Season One) sits down with Rob Jindal to talk about his experience with resilience. Jindal is the ReadyNow Business Director at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals. ReadyNow is a unique 18-month development program that offers an opportunity for individuals from a variety of backgrounds to start their careers in the pharmaceutical industry with a world-class organization.

Transcription

Unison:

Welcome to The Mix Tape.

Valerie McCandlish:

I’m Valerie.

Natalie Taylor:

And I’m Natalie.

Valerie McCandlish:

Today is pretty special. It’s not every day that our guest joins us on their birthday.

Natalie Taylor:

Yeah.

Valerie McCandlish:

So we’re excited to welcome Rob, who’s celebrating his birthday. And don’t worry, I’m not going to sing to you.

Natalie Taylor:

Not this time.

Valerie McCandlish:

I’ve already sang once on this podcast and that’s enough. So just know I’m thinking it in my head, and we’re all wishing you a big, happy birthday here from Mix Talent.

Natalie Taylor:

Absolutely.

Valerie McCandlish:

Today’s, Rob is joined by Chad Thompson, a season one alum. And you may remember him from his episode speaking to his wife, Lauren, which was a fan favorite episode.

Valerie McCandlish:

And we’re excited to expand more on the topic of resilience, today, with Rob.

Natalie Taylor:

Yeah, Val. Rob Jindal has been with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals for about nine and a half years, and is currently the business director of ReadyNow.

Natalie Taylor:

Rob is really proud of the work that has been done with the program, and he’s going to be sharing a little bit about his as well.

Valerie McCandlish:

We’re so excited to have Rob and Chad with us today for a little Chad chat, if you will.

Natalie Taylor:

We love a Chad chat.

Valerie McCandlish:

So with that, we’ll turn it over to Rob and Chad.

Chad Thompson:

Rob, buddy, how’re you doing?

Rob Jindal:

Hey Chad, how’re you doing?

Chad Thompson:

Good. Thanks so much for joining us for this most recent episode of The Mix Tape. I appreciate it.

Rob Jindal:

No. Absolutely. Thank you for having me.

Chad Thompson:

We’re super excited to have you here. I got a ton to talk to you about. But maybe some introductions to start with; to get everybody on the same page. Tell me a little bit about your background, how we got to know each other, and we’ll jump into it from there.

Rob Jindal:

So thanks, Chad. My name’s Rob Jindal, I’m the ReadyNow business director here at Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals Incorporated.

Rob Jindal:

How I started in the career of pharma was pretty traditional. I was a bio major out of Rutgers University. I wanted to get into sales. And at that time, you needed to sell something.

Rob Jindal:

So I started selling copy machines. Got my first pharmaceutical sales position and really worked my way up into sales training.

Rob Jindal:

I was a district manager before joining the ReadyNow team. And then I’ve been here since. I fell in love with the program and all the things that my leadership team and I have accomplished, and it’s been a great journey.

Rob Jindal:

How you and I met, was through a mutual friend, and we started really working on this resilience project, and really level setting people’s internal intangible level of perseverance and/or resilience. And that’s really how we started talking and getting together, and working on some projects.

Chad Thompson:

Yeah. It’s been great having a number of those conversations over the last couple months, probably I should have recorded those for the podcast. But here we are.

Chad Thompson:

So talk to me a little bit about the ReadyNow program. What is that designed to do? How does it fit within the overall talent strategy in the organization? Give a little bit of background there, if you could.

Rob Jindal:

Sure. So what the ReadyNow program is, it’s a way for individuals without any pharmaceutical experience to get a job. We originally started in sales, we’ve recently moved into our patient support team.

Rob Jindal:

We cover all the brands from a sales perspective, as well as now patient support. And I think the sky’s the limit as far as where we can grow to. As long as again, we keep bringing in what you mentioned earlier, “The right people to join the team.”

Rob Jindal:

So from a talent strategy perspective, it’s really allowing the company to be nimble, really flex to all the new changes in the industry by bringing in just a different type of talent.

Rob Jindal:

When you bring people in with a non-traditional pharma mindset, they challenge the status quo. They ask the difficult questions that we typically won’t ask.

Rob Jindal:

Even if it’s just a simple, “Why do you do it that way?” And I got to be honest. I find myself most days, Scott, my head like, “Yeah. Why do I do it that way?”

Rob Jindal:

And then here you are, looking at something and going a different route. So I think it’s opened a lot of opportunities up for the organization to really get Otsuka projected into the road to 2030, as we call it, as well as being business forever.

Chad Thompson:

Great. Obviously, the talent selection question is near and dear to my heart, given the work I do. If not looking at previous president’s club wins or therapeutic area experience, clearly, folks without a pharma background, don’t bring those into the role with them.

Chad Thompson:

What are some of the things you look for in those in individuals? What person stands out as a good candidate for the ReadyNow program?

Rob Jindal:

So Chad, you’re asking me the secret sauce question about, what makes ReadyNow successful? And I can’t divulge that information. I’m teasing.

Rob Jindal:

The things you mentioned related to experience and winning awards, a big part of that is a lot of different things that people can be trained to do or trained to learn and be successful at it.

Rob Jindal:

So it boils down to intangibles. What we really look for are the things that… And again, in all of our candidates, they have these intangibles that either they were born with or their life environment just cultivated throughout their life experiences to bring them to who they are today, when we’re ready to bring them on board and bring them through our recruitment process.

Rob Jindal:

Because what we see, those are the things that you cannot coach. Specifically, what we’re talking about today; resilience, perseverance. That’s something you can’t teach somebody. They have to have that.

Rob Jindal:

So what we really do is peel back the onion; a proverbial corporate quote there, and really try to get down to these intangibles, like their level of resilience or perseverance.

Rob Jindal:

Because we’ve found that those two things specifically really help lead someone down the path of success, and those awards always seem to follow.

Chad Thompson:

Rob, a lot of companies, I think, understand the importance of having a diversity in backgrounds, in terms of the folks on their sales forces.

Chad Thompson:

Was that one of the driving factors for the organization deciding to go down this road, or was there a different endpoint in mind there?

Rob Jindal:

So I can’t take credit for inventing ReadNow. I got to give a shout out to the original people that were around back in 2013, when this all started.

Rob Jindal:

Sean Martin, Kevin Donovan, the late Dr. Taro Yamamoto, were part of that original group of folks that really conceived this concept of, “How do we bring in people without pharmaceutical experience and train them on the things to do the job well? And then we’re really going to make these home grown Otsuka people.”

Rob Jindal:

When you start looking at culture, which has become such an influential part of the success of an organization, I bring culture from my other previous pharmaceutical companies.

Rob Jindal:

But when you have the opportunity to grow people from the ground up, their overall buy-in to the culture is huge. Not being there, I can’t comment.

Rob Jindal:

But I would guess that was a huge part of the decision to do ReadyNow, at that time. Is to, “How do we get this different level or another pipeline of talent into the organization that are just going to be 100% all in on our culture?”

Chad Thompson:

How have you seen the fit with that culture or maybe the cultural enlargement. I think that’s oftentimes what you get from folks with different backgrounds, to your point, they question things, they bring a different way of looking at issues or challenges, to the table. How have you seen that bear out once these people get on board, get trained up and are out in the field?

Rob Jindal:

It’s been fantastic. When you look across all of our friends and colleagues at different companies, everybody’s trying to do culture initiatives.

Rob Jindal:

We create ambassadors, and we do different workshops, and we send everybody out there to entrench the culture out into the field team, across the home office.

Rob Jindal:

And that’s really the main tactic and consistency that I’ve seen through just speaking with people at different organizations.

Rob Jindal:

But when you’re putting somebody like a ReadyNow alum out on a team and they’re getting a full experience and they’re really bought in on a company culture, they’re going to be talking about it all the time.

Rob Jindal:

They’re going to be weaving it into different meetings, and local conference calls, and every chance that they can.

Rob Jindal:

Which I think has a longer level and a higher level of impact over time, than if you’re just doing that one workshop or one exercise to get people entrenched in our culture.

Chad Thompson:

It’s a process, not an event. It’s something you have to be thoughtful and mindful of at all times. Not just when the trainer’s in front of you or whatever that specific initiative might be.

Rob Jindal:

Yeah. What we’ve seen, it’s like, “You’re creating your own ambassadors.” That’s some of the output or the… I always call them the remainders.

Rob Jindal:

Of when you’re doing something like a new program or any type of change management initiative, you get these remainders or these other outcomes that you didn’t anticipate.

Rob Jindal:

You mentioned diversity before. But when you really get a chance to open up your pool of candidates beyond the folks that have pharmaceutical experience, we’ve seen that pond; we’ve fished to that pond before, and we know what fish we’re getting out of the pharmaceutical industry.

Rob Jindal:

But what I think makes our team special is, when you really open up the candidacy pool, our lead recruiter right now, Jillian, does an amazing job with her outreach on social media.

Rob Jindal:

Just joining different groups and winning different teams, and schools, and associations, and all these things.

Rob Jindal:

And next thing, we get all these applicants flooding in from different backgrounds. And I think that’s what makes this special.

Rob Jindal:

Diversity of thought for somebody having no experience, but then when they’re bringing all of these different experiences and backgrounds from where they came from, it’s pretty cool.

Rob Jindal:

I look back at the 175 ReadyNowers we’ve hired, we’ve hired everyone from a nurse practitioner all the way down to a college graduate that was an Olympic alternate a swimmer. The variety changes so vastly.

Rob Jindal:

But using those two candidate profiles as an example, who has more discipline or time management, somebody that’s a collegiate athlete, that’s balancing classes, working to pay for school, all those different things, or somebody that worked in the medical professional field for six years? Who technically has the higher level of discipline and time management, Chad, who?

Chad Thompson:

I think what’s interesting about that is, it speaks to the importance of understanding the connection between behavior and performance, and using behavior as the mediating factor there.

Chad Thompson:

So what you’re looking for, as I’m hearing you describe this, is someone who has a ton of initiative, can bounce back when things get difficult.

Chad Thompson:

They faced failure in some degree or another in their life, they can manage their time. They can do all of these things. That’s the behavior that leads to the performance.

Chad Thompson:

Whatever experiences they had prior to that, are informative only in so far as they describe someone who has those behaviors that then lead to the performance.

Chad Thompson:

And so, you can work backwards from what behavior are we trying to get at here? You can look at other experiences and go, “Maybe they don’t have pharma sales experience. But man, this experience really required them to manage their time well.”

Chad Thompson:

Or this aspect of their background was really challenging. It’s something they had to learn how to overcome obstacles or find meaning and purpose in their work.

Chad Thompson:

Or whatever other things we might think about as underlying that perseverance and resilience behavior that we talked about.

Rob Jindal:

There’s so much people can learn from their life experiences, especially with overcoming obstacles. I know you and I have spoken about that in the past.

Rob Jindal:

And that’s something that I look for in my leadership team. It’s what we all look for together in our ReadyNow candidates.

Rob Jindal:

We want fighters on our team. You need people that are going to not shy away from a challenge and really face it head on.

Rob Jindal:

And again, not be, “What was me, what am I going to do now?” Not getting knocked down and then figure out all the excuses to not push forward.

Rob Jindal:

We want people looking at it and being like, “All right. I see you in front of me. How are we going to get past this and move forward?”

Chad Thompson:

What advice are you giving folks coming into the program? What do they need to know, what things do you tell them to really anchor on?

Chad Thompson:

What things do you tell them not to worry about? If you’re the guide for all these folks, Rob, what are the things you’re encouraging them to be mindful of?

Rob Jindal:

Enjoy the ride. ReadNow was conceived around fulfilling vacancies. So when we have somebody out in the field… Chad, if you’re one of my ReadyNowers, I call you up, I’m like, “Hey man, you’re heading to Portland, Oregon, or you’re heading to cover for a maternity leave.”

Rob Jindal:

And then three months later, you may get a call and you’re heading to Hawaii, or you’re heading to Florida, you’re heading to Maine, in the middle of the winter.

Rob Jindal:

I always laugh at one of the stories. We send somebody up to Traverse City, Michigan, in the winter, and they got frozen into their storage unit. But that’s a whole nother podcast.

Rob Jindal:

I think enjoying the ride. But that really boils down to being flexible. You’ve got to look at it. If you and I started in pharma when we did, and we had the opportunity to travel around the country and learn from so many different leaders in so many different markets, and be able to take that and bring that back to your final destination; the geography that you want to earn permanently, how cool is that?

Rob Jindal:

And to top it off, we’re covering your corporate housing. You’re able to travel around the country, learn new things, meet new people. It’s a really great experience.

Rob Jindal:

But that, you have to be flexible. You got to come in and enjoy that opportunity to travel like that, for the 18 month duration of the program.

Rob Jindal:

But I think with that, the typical, be the sponge, always learn, always ask the question that everybody else may be afraid of asking.

Rob Jindal:

I think those are really the key of when people are first entering. But then, typically, the speech I give at the close of every one of our onboarding sessions is about choices.

Rob Jindal:

There’s no guarantees in the pharmaceutical industry. And I usually tell them, with the leadership team support, is, “The one guarantee is, we are going to give you everything you need to be successful, but you have to choose to use those things.

Rob Jindal:

You’ve got to continuously make good choices, continuously learn and grow, and you’ll be okay.” I think that’s where the success lies, is making good choices with all the resources that we put around at ReadyNow, is in everything that we teach them.

Chad Thompson:

And you mentioned the role of the managers being able to see how different folks go about doing things, learn best practices from, the folks who are on your team while you’re in Honolulu, or wherever you might be.

Chad Thompson:

The manager’s an important part of that equation. So what are you telling the managers of these folks to be cognizant of as they’re, maybe working with folks who, by definition, have a bit of a different experience set than what they might be used to?

Rob Jindal:

It’s really this lean in concept that everybody’s been talking about lately. There’s books, podcasts, everything about in leadership.

Rob Jindal:

What that means to me, I think, is, don’t be afraid. I think it’s a challenge, I’m not going to lie. A little bit more of my story.

Rob Jindal:

I was promoted to a district manager only to get caught up in a reorganization, I was laid off. And when I was interviewing to get another job back at Otsuka, ReadyNow was the one that they wanted to hire me for, and I was like, “No, no, no, no, no. I’m all set. Thank you.”

Rob Jindal:

And they were like, “No. You got to come in. This is it. This is the opportunity we have.” And it was scary. But when I boil that down, when I’m talking to a leader for getting their first ReadyNower for the first time, it’s, “You can’t be afraid.

Rob Jindal:

You have to look at this as an opportunity to mold somebody. You’re going to be able to teach them everything that you learned to be successful.”

Rob Jindal:

And I don’t know, to me, it’s so much more rewarding when you see someone that you really molded them from the get-go, and you see them walking across a stage, winning an award. Or you see them getting promoted.

Rob Jindal:

To me, that’s so much more rewarding than when you hire somebody in with five awards already. You’re expecting them to win another award. So when they do it, of course it’s exciting, but, “High five.” But it was expected.

Rob Jindal:

Humans are creatures of a few things. We can talk about habits. We always love rooting for the underdog. When you think about it, doesn’t everybody always?

Rob Jindal:

Even over these last Super Bowls, everybody’s rooting against poor Tom Brady, just because they don’t like Tom Brady. They don’t want him to win anymore.

Rob Jindal:

We always root for the underdogs. So I think that’s where anytime we’re talking to a new leader or a leader that’s going to be getting to ReadyNow for the first time, it’s really just, “Lean in and embrace the opportunity to really mold somebody, and coach them, and teach them.”

Rob Jindal:

We’ve always laughed at the meetings. You’re in the car as a rep and your manager’s giving you feedback, you’re like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, buddy. Have a good day. I’ll see you in a couple of months.”

Rob Jindal:

It’s always great when you’re trying to give feedback to one of the ReadyNowers, because, A, they typically ask for it. B, they have a notebook ready.

Rob Jindal:

They’re diligently writing everything you say down, taking it word for word, and then they’re like, “Okay. I’m going to change everything you just said about me.” So it’s cool.

Rob Jindal:

You just have to look at the positivity of that and not look at it as, “They’re going to ask a silly question. Or, “They don’t know what they’re doing.” Or, “This is going to be extra work.”

Rob Jindal:

Is it a little extra time? Of course. But how would it not be? When we look back at all our first years, I’m sure there were people looking at us like that just as well.

Chad Thompson:

No one’s born into working in the pharma industry. Everyone had a first job.

Rob Jindal:

You weren’t?

Chad Thompson:

I certainly wasn’t. Certainly, everyone has a first job in the industry somewhere. And so, the ability to have a structured program where you can and bring folks in, get them trained up, leverage the things that have made them successful elsewhere in their lives, I think is really interesting.

Chad Thompson:

You said something, a second ago, Rob, that really jumped out at me, in terms of the eagerness of these folks to learn.

Chad Thompson:

And I think, maybe that’s a recognition that they don’t have a ton of industry experience. I would also suggest that it’s probably indicative of someone who possesses a tremendous amount of resilience.

Chad Thompson:

What we find in this research, in this space and things you and I have talked about in the past, is that people who are resilient, one of the things that makes them resilient, is their belief in themselves and their ability to learn, and grow, and develop, as a function of their effort to do exactly those things.

Chad Thompson:

That eagerness, I’m envisioning your person in the car with the pen ready to go, I think really speaks to this idea of, “Okay.

Chad Thompson:

Maybe I didn’t handle that interaction or that objection from the physician as well as I would’ve liked to. But man, I’m going to learn, and I’m going to practice, and I’m going to do something different next time.”

Chad Thompson:

That growth mindset, I think, is super critical to this idea of, “How do you bounce back when maybe things don’t go exactly as you had planned?”

Rob Jindal:

The growth mindset is key. You have to have people that are joining at any team. And it doesn’t matter if it’s new to industry or you’re hiring people with experience.

Rob Jindal:

That should be more of the interviewing and the more of the tactic that you’re trying to uncover with them, is, what’s the level of their growth mindset and their resilience?

Rob Jindal:

Because those are the things that you can’t teach. And just because somebody’s done something before, and maybe at another company or even in another industry, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be able to repeat that.

Rob Jindal:

Which I think is an automatic expectation if we see that in somebody, like, “Oh yeah. Sure. They’re going to come in here and do it.”

Rob Jindal:

But I think we should be resetting ourselves and really thinking about, “Okay. Is this person going to learn our culture? Is he going to learn the way we do things which may be a little different?”

Rob Jindal:

Our marketplace may be a little different, and all of those things which lead right back to the resilience piece, as well as the growth mindset.

Rob Jindal:

I’ll also add, with the eagerness piece. And I’ll give some shoutouts here to my leadership team, Tana Perricone, Alicia, Cortaro, Mike Satz, Jason Lawson, Nakala Washington, Andrew, and Harmon.

Rob Jindal:

And I hope I didn’t miss anybody. But that’s the team. I report into a nice guy, Mike Cohen, and he’s going to laugh now at that one.

Rob Jindal:

But when I get text messages from them where one of the ReadyNower said, “You changed my life.” I just was able to buy my first home. Or, “You changed my life. This opportunity afforded me the opportunity to get my daughter back.”

Rob Jindal:

“Hey, you changed my life. I was able to provide for my mother that I’d been taking care of working on jobs.” Somebody just said the other day, they won an award; they won the Otsuka [inaudible 00:22:38] share, and we’ll give all those congratulations out at the meeting.

Rob Jindal:

They were loading trucks a day before the interview with us, and now they’re here winning awards. So that eagerness is something that I think we’ve seen it. We’ve seen it work. We’ve seen it work well.

Rob Jindal:

This is a message to all the ReadyNow alumni, keep that eagerness. Don’t let go of that fire, because it drives you to your success. And I know a lot of you have seen it already. And that’s always what’s amazing to us and what always touches our hearts.

Chad Thompson:

You said something else, I think, that is absolutely dead on and has informed a lot of our thinking, that we’ve been doing here at Mix, around understanding the role resilience plays in pharma and biotech sales.

Chad Thompson:

Look, there’s a lot of things that vary in roles and in selling environments. A launch is very different than selling an established truck that maybe is coming off patent in a couple of years.

Chad Thompson:

Therapeutic areas are wildly different. Different areas of the country can be super different depending on coverage, and access, and those things.

Chad Thompson:

But as we thought about it, the thing that actually does seem to be pretty consistent, is this idea of resilience. It doesn’t really matter why it might be that the selling environment is super difficult.

Chad Thompson:

It might be you’re in rare disease, and you may go weeks between actually talking to someone who even knows what you’re talking about.

Chad Thompson:

But that idea of sticking with it when things are hard, is super important. I know that’s played a big role in your own life, Rob. If you’d like to share, maybe, why that resonates with you to a degree more so than other folks?

Rob Jindal:

It definitely does. So before I get into a little bit of what makes me, me. I think it’s the evolution of… We used to ask, “I wonder if they have thick enough skin?”

Rob Jindal:

And to me, it’s evolving into this, “Do they have this resilience, do they have this ability to keep going no matter what they face, no matter what challenges are in front of them?

Rob Jindal:

Again, and I give all the credit to my leadership team doing the interviews. That’s what they focus on. It’s not so much the thick skin, it’s this ability to keep going. When going gets tough, not to be cliche there.

Rob Jindal:

To your question about, where that mindset comes from? It drives my mom crazy. I’ve been knocking on death’s door, it seems like, my whole life. I got really sick as a young child.

Rob Jindal:

Going back to when I was born, I was like 11 pounds. So I was very difficult. My mom’s a hero for that one. I had some bad infection when I was like 10. When I was 15, I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, had a year of experimental chemotherapy and a bunch of surgeries.

Rob Jindal:

Was able to get through that. And then, as of recent; a little over two years ago, right before the pandemic, I had a stroke. Hopefully, that’s it.

Rob Jindal:

I just turned 42 to today. So hopefully, that’s the last bout of stare and death in the face. But it’s been a journey.

Rob Jindal:

But I think nothing changes. Again, through these life experiences, you can’t lay there in a bed in a hospital and wonder, “Why is this happening to me? Why did this happen? Why, why, why, why, why?”

Rob Jindal:

And then make all the excuses of how it’s going to be so difficult to get back. The quicker people can accept it and then figure out the game plan to get you back. That’s what, to me, is the heart of resilience and perseverance.

Rob Jindal:

And I know you and I spoke about a recent post I had on LinkedIn, my two year anniversary, that was it. I was laying in the hospital.

Rob Jindal:

I lost all my vision, the left side of my body was feeling a little weird. And it wasn’t, “Oh my gosh! What am I going to do? Why did this happen to me? Why, why, why?”

Rob Jindal:

It was like, “Okay. What do I need to do to get my vision back? What type of therapies are out there? What do I need to do to start walking again and get back to work?” And that’s really it.

Rob Jindal:

It’s this forward thinking and putting the onus on you as much as possible. I also think a big piece of it too, is, you have to focus on what you can control.

Rob Jindal:

There are so many things going on in our world today, and if you get distracted with all of these things that you can’t control, you’re going to distract yourself away from what you really want to do and what you’re really passionate about. It’s been a journey.

Rob Jindal:

Most people will look at my medical history and say, “Man, he’s a fighter.” And that’s why I mentioned that earlier. That’s why I look for my leadership team, they’re all fighters.

Rob Jindal:

And that’s who we look for, that’s who we want to join the team. When you look behind a fighter, what keeps fighters going is the resilience piece.

Chad Thompson:

I appreciate you sharing that, Rob. There’s a lot of powerful, very important stuff in there that I think folks can take away when they’re confronted with a major challenge like that, or what, in comparison, may seem like a not major challenge.

Chad Thompson:

Maybe they had a doctor that wasn’t nice to him or something, that day. But I think the underlying things that you talked about the, “What can I do about it?

Chad Thompson:

Not what can other people do about it for me, what can I do about it? How do I exert effort and control over this situation?”

Chad Thompson:

And remaining focused on why you’re doing what you’re doing. I think, are always really good things to keep in mind when things get challenging. Absolutely.

Rob Jindal:

When you’re finding people that, and again, based on these intangibles, it’s a commonality. You can talk about the same commonality between one of these intangibles, specifically today, we’re talking about resilience.

Rob Jindal:

But you could hear two completely different stories of how two different people from two different parts of the country, or even worlds, for that matter, had great resilient stories, but completely different ones. And I think that’s what makes this special.

Chad Thompson:

Awesome. Rob, thanks so much for taking some time out. And you didn’t give up too much of the secret sauce, so I appreciate that. I’m sure everyone else at Otsuka does as well.

Rob Jindal:

I’m sure somebody’s going to be asking, “What are you looking for, what are you looking for?”

Chad Thompson:

No answers to the interview questions, if you listen to this podcast. Right?

Rob Jindal:

Yeah.

Chad Thompson:

Two questions that we ask everybody on the back end of this. The first, actually, I think is probably very germane to this.

Chad Thompson:

What’s your favorite interview question that you ask or you have been asked? And maybe I’ll narrow it for the purposes of this conversation around resilience.

Chad Thompson:

Are there questions you like to ask people to get a sense for where their head space is in that area?

Rob Jindal:

Yeah. It’s simple. Share a story with me of something that you had to fight for in your life. And I’ve heard everything from battles with cancer, battles with lifelong diabetes, to something about, “As a kid, I was convincing my dad to give me a nice pop before dinner.”

Rob Jindal:

You’ve heard such a gamut, but when you really can dig in about that fight, it’s, A, a great way to get to know somebody. And, B, start digging into that fight or that resilience that you’re talking about.

Chad Thompson:

That’s awesome. And then, the second question is, this being The Mix Tape Podcast, we pull together song recommendations from all of our guests and put them on a Spotify playlist. So what’s the Rob Jindal song we’re adding to the playlist?

Rob Jindal:

I’m going old school, and only because I was forced to sing it at my wedding, it was House of Pain, Jump Around. And I had nothing to do with St. Patty’s Day this weekend.

Rob Jindal:

I know they’re an Irish hip hop group. It’s old school, it ties into my basketball days, and it’s always a song that gets me pumped up. So that’s what I’d have to go with, House of Pain, Jump Around.

Chad Thompson:

Excellent. Co-sign, I agree. All right. Thanks, Rob. I appreciate it, man.

Rob Jindal:

Thanks, Chad. I appreciate you. Thank you.

Chad Thompson:

All right. Thanks, man.

Natalie Taylor:

Thank you to Chad and Rob, for joining us today on The Mix Tape. I really appreciate what Rob shared with us about his personal health journey.

Natalie Taylor:

Because I think going through an experience like that can certainly change your perspective of who you want to work with every single day.

Valerie McCandlish:

Agreed, Natalie. And I just really have so many takeaways from what Rob and Chad had to say, because I loved so much of it.

Valerie McCandlish:

But one thing I really want to it to call out. First is just that in my experience, as a recruiter, really hiring a diversity of backgrounds enriches your team and brings so much value from different types of lived experiences.

Valerie McCandlish:

And that can be sometimes the biggest bump to get over when you’re working with a hiring manager. Because they can get a little bit out of a blinder, action going, where they know the type of experience they are looking for.

Valerie McCandlish:

It can be more of that traditional background, they’ve been in B2B sales, they’ve had consistent success, they’ve had these pinnacle awards, and then they don’t always look at people who have an experience outside of that framework.

Valerie McCandlish:

So then it really does fall on the recruiter or those that are working with the candidates to advocate for them, and really demonstrate why they can be such a great value-add to their team when they come from a non-traditional background.

Natalie Taylor:

That’s a great point. I love hearing your perspective from a recruiter too, after hearing this episode.

Valerie McCandlish:

I have a lot of them. Another point I’d like to touch on is Rob’s point about building a strong culture, and how you need that buy-in from everybody at the beginning.

Valerie McCandlish:

This hit home, for me, especially being a part of the Mix Talent team, because we are so strong in our culture and our values. And that foundation was really laid by our leadership at the beginning.

Valerie McCandlish:

And that’s a really big part of who we are. And I think we really try to encourage our clients to take that approach as well.

Valerie McCandlish:

I might be jumping around here, but one last takeaway I just wanted to mention was, when you do bring on people from a nontraditional background, I love what Rob said about how they can challenge the status quo, and that like, “We’ve always done it this way.”

Valerie McCandlish:

Mentality doesn’t have to be the mindset. Because when you have, so somebody asking questions, why things are done a certain way, or does it have to continue to be like this? Maybe there’s a better way to do it.

Valerie McCandlish:

You’re just bringing such a new, fresh lens to the work that you’re doing, and probably can find a better way to do it.

Natalie Taylor:

Absolutely. And as Val was alluding to, Jump Around by House of Pain, will be joining The Mix Tape playlist. So as a reminder, you can find The Mix Tape playlist on Spotify, and listen to our podcast episodes wherever you get your podcast.

Valerie McCandlish:

Thanks for being in the Mix. We’ll see you next week.

 

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