Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Roy Baladi, CEO of Jobs for Humanity.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Jobs for Humanity is an end-to-end platform for diversity recruitment. We offer a job marketplace, a volunteer-led community for training, coaching, and support, and a hiring solution to enable employers to hire and relocate job seekers globally. Booking.com, Virgin Hotels, Contentful, TurnItIn, NielsenIQ, Spectrum, Morgan Stanley, and 100+ others
Tell us about yourself
I used to volunteer at Pelican Bay State Prison and witnessed how grown men can dig so deep into their own emotions as to really become model citizens. But after spending 10, 15, or 20 years in prison, there were no job outlets for them, which was the biggest barrier. I also volunteered with Lighthouse for the Blind and learned about the invisible wall that exists between the sighted and the visually impaired. Again, jobs were so hard to land.
I had the opportunity to organize a global recruiting conference called Hiring Success that brought together 1000+ recruiting executives in a multi-day conference. We introduced them to people from underrepresented communities: refugees, neurodivergent, people who grew up in poverty, and the elderly and saw the synergy between job seekers and recruiters. Many got hired from these events.
Then when covid hit and the world moved to an online world, I decided to dedicate my life to creating a global movement of job creation for underrepresented communities, and since then, more than 100 people from all over the world and from all walks of life reached out help make this vision come true.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Helping 400-500 people find quality jobs during the pandemic and when the odds of finding work were completely stacked against them.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Staying focused on the task at hand. Organizations touch so many disciplines: community building, product building, sales, partnerships, accounting, recruiting, fundraising, and operations. Each has people working in it, and they often have ideas that make it too hard to take on. In the end, you can easily find yourself spread too thin working on too many commitments. I found that the key is to write down the vision and operational plan, communicate it often and stick to it. Any adjustment should come with descoping something else from the top priority list.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have a vision. It's a long journey that starts with an adrenaline rush. At some point, this rush can fade, and the only thing that will keep you going is your conviction in your vision.
- Don't spend too much money. Money is the enemy of time. If you don't spend more than you earn, you have time to iterate and refine. If you do, then the clock starts ticking because you'd be in a financially unsustainable situation. So be wise about your cost.
- Be transparent. Don't hoard your ideas to yourself because they'll never grow and blossom. They'll rot. Sharing your vision and plan with your team and friends allows you to think it through. Being a good listener will allow you to gain from other peoples' perspectives.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you're interested in joining Jobs for Humanity's movement for job creation for underrepresented communities, please visit our site and consider signing up!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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