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IAM1724 – Recruitment Expert Helps Companies Create Efficient Recruiting Processes

Podcast Interview with Jacob Darr

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: Jacob has experience from being a CHRO. He understands and has a different perspective looking at recruiting as a research sales and people attraction strategy combined with setting up their own internal recruiting marketing agency. In order to attract the right talent that solves the business problem, he understands the fundamental problem of trying to build pillars around the human power of business. We spoke about so many things including culture and how it impacts an organization.

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Jacob Darr Teaser 00:00

The right person in the business is game-changing. So my advice is to take a look and evaluate your business and what talent you have against what talent is out there and available and what it could look like. I've actually written a book, so this is the Talent Acquisition Blueprint. I didn't hold anything back in this book. There are no secrets here. All of the processes we use and teach and coach and implement in companies are here.

Intro 00:24

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs, without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:51

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. And if you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories or topics or as I like to call them business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, and what I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focused on our greatest asset, talent management and hiring. Think from great resignation to great renovation. And if you disagree with me, maybe these episodes might be especially for you. Life and especially business have changed. It has forced those that are within organizations to look differently at talent, and how it's being managed.

When we talk about change, think about it, we have to realize that business as usual is no longer here. And that's evident in attracting and retaining clients, but also in setting up people within organizations to succeed. Think onboarding, think DEI, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, how it is working from home and even going back into the office.

Things are different, in this month, We are going to explore these topics by featuring CEO hacks and CEO nuggets but also interviews that focus, is on these changes and how organizations can make sure they care for and attract the most valuable asset, their people. Sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today, I have Jacob Darr of Talent Acquisitions Blueprint. Jacob, super excited to have you on the show

Jacob Darr 02:23

Gresh, what's going on, brother? Good to see you.

Gresham Harkless 02:25

Yes, I'm excited to have you on and hear about all the awesome things that you're doing. You're doing so many phenomenal things, but of course, before we jumped into the interview, I wanted to read a little bit more about Jacob so you can hear about some of those awesome things.

For over two decades, Jacob has been a leading figure in the recruitment industry. After years spent working for Private Equity, buying companies, assessing talent, and replacing talent with the best talent available, he opened his own outside recruiting firm, Jacob Dar Associates, as well as a corporate coaching business talent acquisition blueprint. Today, Jacob specializes in helping companies create efficiency and effectiveness in recruiting processes, succession planning, and human capital planning.

He's passionate about making sure that companies have the resources they need to attract and retain top of talent. He is also a passionate advocate for succession planning practices, which he sees as essential for any organization looking to build a sustainable future.

Jacob, excited again to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

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Jacob Darr 03:23

Heck of an introduction. Let's do it.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 03:25

Yeah. Heck of an introduction. Heck of a man. So before we get into the wire, you're a heck of a man. I wanted to rewind the clock here a little bit more on how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

Jacob Darr 03:34

That's a great question. So I'll take you back. So I just hired employee number 200.

Gresham Harkless 03:39


Jacob Darr 03:40

It's only month four of operations. So I was asked years ago by a CEO of a 10,000 global company who was not in the USA yet, that they wanted me to become employee number one, massively scale people operations, 200 critical hires and serve as the CHRO. So I decided to accept that. So what did I do? I ran the numbers. I hired a bunch of softball and baseball players, and turned them into marketers. Launched multi-platform marketing campaigns with automation, which really recruiting never had. So let's break that down.

I believe in today's world, we have to look at recruiting as a research sales and people attraction strategy combined with setting up our internal recruiting marketing agency. People don't do that. So what does this mean? Just like we attract clients with research, a playbook and marketing systems, we need to attract the right talent that solves the business problem, keyword, the right talent that solves the business problem in, the same way as sales, no different.

I've been placing people in their dream jobs since I was 15 years old actually. I even forgot about that. When I was preparing for this talk today, my dad mentioned I started when I was 15 years old and I'm like, oh yeah, I forgot about that. I had a summer job at a Lake Marina, large Lake Marina, and my boss was shorthanded and he said, look, I'll give you a hundred bucks for every person you can bring me to work here. I said, okay, I think I can do that. But then I was not a recruiter, it's just something I did. My childhood dream actually was to become a police officer, and actually I did become one in Key West only to find out that I spent a lot of my free time recruiting other officers to the force. I couldn't help it.

So after three years of being in the force and having recruited almost all of my friends, everyone I knew into the local department, I realized that I loved recruiting not actually recruiting more like matching dream jobs with dream talent to do the job well. That's what I call it. So I left, and went right into HR, specifically recruiting, where I belong. Fast forward to 20 years of working for very large companies, fortunes private equity. So you see the path, right? At every company, I work for, I was able, I outperformed other recruiters on the team, 10 x 10 times faster, with better results, and better quality candidates, which is really what set me apart, from other colleagues. I'm not just filling jobs, I'm finding the best person for the job, and I was recruited out. Sometimes I did my own self-recruiting, but really where the magic began it, it was on a trip back home from Shenzhen, China. I filled 475 positions for an electronic cigarette manufacturer.

I met a CEO of a global company in an airline club room. You know those places you hang out when you're going overseas to come back to the US. Lots of conversations have always been struck up there for me, and this was a lucky one. So this gentleman was a CEO of a 10,000 in per person global worldwide company. He overheard a phone conversation that I was having with a board of directors and I was explaining my talent acquisition blueprint and how I'd systematized recruiting and what the blueprint looks like to attract the right talent. It caught his attention. He told me that they have a significant issue attracting the right talent and their recruiting firm investment was unsustainable.

Most recruiting firms in general, we always need recruiting firms. I own one. I have a team on the other side but the problem it's very expensive and the culture's never driven the same as if it is internally. So that's why Talent Acquisition Blueprint was born. We do all this. We train and teach and coach. So teams can do this internally and greatly reduce their spending. Anyway, so four weeks later from that conversation, I was employee number one. You know how that story went within 24 months, we had a full-functioning manufacturing facility in the USA.

We had 416 employees, excellent talent, and the best people we could find. And after I did that, I moved on. Why did I do that? Because I'm committed to disrupting the HR space and mindset. Mindset. Huge strategy. And the way they operate. I believe in dream jobs for dream talent, not stagnant people, warm bodies, and filling jobs. There are people out there that are perfect matches, like maybe I'm like a dating matchmaker. And all they have to do is execute something similar to what we've done, which is the talent acquisition blueprint and its predictable results.

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So my vision is to impact thousands of recruiters, HR managers, and CHROs. By 2025 and thousands of companies to run under our talent acquisition blueprint by 2030. That's why I started Talent Acquisition Blueprint. So that's a little bit about us and what I'm doing.

Gresham Harkless 08:44

Nice. It also feels like you understand that and you have understood since you were 15, it sounds like. There's also an epiphany that organizations need to have on how to approach that as well too so it sounds like that's obviously what you do. It also seems like that's a strong part of your secret sauce, your superpower, the thing you feel such a part of makes you unique.

Jacob Darr 09:01

For sure. And the problem with lots of companies, especially in the fortunes, there's a huge disconnect between leadership and talent. We're not gonna bring anything personal into the business. It's not a family. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that's fundamentally a problem in recruiting, attracting, and retaining talent because the person that works for you, it's their life. Finding someone, the right person in the right role, and tweaking the leader, making significant tweaks in leaders' minds to humbly lead is a big deal.

Gresham Harkless 09:37

Yeah, absolutely. And that's why, I love everything that you're doing and of course being able to attract that talent. But I also love the blueprint, just because it sounds like it speaks directly to that culture, that mindset, all those things that you spoke about.

I also, really wrote down the word empowerment because it also feels like you're empowering the people that are in those leadership positions to think differently, look differently, but also act differently so that they can have that really great culture.

Jacob Darr 10:02

Yeah, for sure. A bad hire cost a business two and a half times the salary minimum. It is very expensive.

Gresham Harkless 10:08

Yeah, absolutely. And I imagine too that hire can manifest itself in so many different ways, whether it's somebody leaving or just creating, maybe sometimes even poisoning for lack of a better term that culture. There are just so many things that can happen that it could be at least that costly when you don't do the due diligence, you won't have the leadership in the culture to make sure that it's sustainable.

Awesome. I absolutely love that. I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that you feel like makes you more effective and efficient?

Jacob Darr 10:37

So it's actually not related to business at all. So through my corporate career and I've read a lot of books and did all the normal things they said, there was actually a guy that I found online and he motivates and empowers you to change your health. Not necessarily an unhealthy guy, but as far as learning the raw materials that my body's missing through certain supplements.

His name's Gary Brick by the way. Awesome guy. I found him on Instagram and started to subscribe to his stuff. I feel like a million bucks. I feel like I'm a six-year-old and that helps me to be a better leader to my team. It helps me to, Conquer the day. And to be honest, that's probably one of the most game-changing attributes or hacks that I've ever found.

Gresham Harkless 11:25

Absolutely. And so what would you consider to be what I like to call a CEO nugget? So this is a little bit more word of wisdom or a piece of advice. I like to say it might be something you would tell your favorite client or if you hopped into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Jacob Darr 11:38

So for most leaders, rewire your brain for leadership. So you're not there to give orders. In reality, the CEO leads the company. But the largest disconnect of the CEOs that I have coached and tried to change and successfully did change some was you're there to help your team get to the finish line. So starting your largest job is what a lot of them hate, and it's recruiting if you own a company or if you're a CEO, or if you're a leader. I would argue that your number one job is to be a recruiter. So you need to learn how to quickly identify good talent.

Do you have a signature talk? Meaning, can you effectively communicate what you do when you find that person? And then do you have the mindset and do you have the skills? Which skills play a big part in it that you can lead by helping your folks, what do they need? Help them help you by getting what they need. Really, In my opinion, a CEO's greatest quality is the ability to coach their team.

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Gresham Harkless 12:38

Absolutely. And let me ask you this, do you feel like by, rewiring your brain, is that something that, you've found and seen like an instant process? Or is this something that it takes over time or is just very dependent on the person?

Jacob Darr 12:51

It's not an instant process, and it definitely varies by the person. But the mountains are moved. Whenever the person humbly accepts that I've failed, I have failed a lot of times. And you have to get to the mindset that I wanna be better.

What can I do? And you're open to coaching and you wanna move forward to the point when you start feening for it. I feen for it every day. I feen for it. I wanna be a better leader. That's when the mountains are moved.

Gresham Harkless 13:19

Absolutely. I love that word, feen. And, you become obsessed, with the success to wanna see that happen.

Jacob Darr 13:25

Talent Acquisition Blueprint, a portion of that we do is coaching. So for folks that we try, our job number one is to get them to the point that they feen for coaching and to better themselves. And if they don't get there, we fire them. It is so critically important that if you can't get yourself to that point, And really that's accepting failures and agreeing to move forward. You'll never move forward.

Gresham Harkless 13:51

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition, what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on the show.

So, Jacob, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Jacob Darr 14:02

So being a CEO means to me, people, and families. So I'm responsible for the family's rent, for the family's mortgage, for the family's groceries, not just the employee, the family. So I'm also responsible for the profit of the company. So to do that, I have to have very happy people and care a lot about their families. That's what a CEO means to me.

Gresham Harkless 14:28

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Jacob, truly appreciate that definition and of course, appreciate your time even more.

So what I wanted to do now was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best people can get hold of you. Find out about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.

Jacob Darr 14:43

The right person in the business is game-changing. So my advice is to take a look and evaluate your business and what talent you have against what talent is out there and available and what it could look like. I've actually written a book. So this is the Talent Acquisition Blueprint. I didn't hold anything back in this book. There are no secrets here.

All of the processes we use and teach and coach and implement in companies are here. You can buy this book on Amazon. Basically, it's the cost of shipping. It's nine bucks. It'll ship out to you. If you wanna change your company, if you wanna learn how to put good people in your seats, all you gotta do is pick this book up and read it.

If you wanna get in touch with us for more questions you have, you wanna chat the best way to reach us my line is 336-740-9635. Shoot me an email, There you go.

Gresham Harkless 15:38

Awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome. I truly appreciate that, Jacob, to make it even easier, we're gonna have the links and information in the show notes too, so that everybody can give you a phone call, reach out to you and of course, get a copy of your book and find about all the awesome things and that you and your team are working on, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Jacob Darr 15:51

Yeah, Gresh thank you. And I'll leave your group with one more thing. If anybody's struggling, growing your business. If anybody's struggling, things in your business, profitability. It is very simple. Look at your people. It is your people.

Have a good day. Thank you, Gresh.

Outro 16:05

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast, powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google podcast, and everywhere you listen to podcasts, subscribe and leave us a five-star rating.

This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless, Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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