We recently sat down with Randall Hopkins, Senior Director of Talent Solutions in Kirkland, WA and conducted a short Q&A to hear about his experience at Xtreme Consulting. Randall focuses on delivering solutions for the XtremeTalent division and recently celebrated his two year anniversary with Xtreme.
What attracted you to Xtreme? I was attracted to Xtreme because of the people I met while interviewing, the relationships I had for a few of the employees and the strong reputation it had in the marketplace. From my conversations with the CEO, Greg Rankich and the CDO, Dale Johns, I knew that it was a company that cared about the community, but also one that fostered an entrepreneurial environment. Having spent time in both Corporate and Agency environments, it was refreshing to hear about partnership, customer focus, employee satisfaction and an emphasis on getting stuff done. Two years later, I still see it every day and feel that it strongly exists at Xtreme. The culture is not one that embraces meetings for the sake of meetings or an overabundance of bureaucracy, but rather about pushing each other to get results and contribute towards individual, team and company success. The people I have worked with have been wonderful and the relationships have been great. These are the kind of people that you want to hang out with after work.
What are some of the overarching business trends that you're seeing right now in the Greater Seattle area? Seattle is a hot market and I think it will continue to remain hot for years to come. Seattle continues to attract many of the top technical companies, but also we are seeing some groundbreaking work in the biotech and healthcare fields. Seattle is also continuing to see a great incubation/startup environment created by former Microsoft, Google, Amazon, etc. innovators and sometimes with the assistance of VC money. Seattle also has a strong retail presence with Starbucks and Nordstrom leading the way. All of these existing and new companies and industries have one thing in common. The need for talent! That is where Xtreme Consulting comes into play. More and more we are seeing that companies need to have a nimble workforce that can respond to ebb and flow talent demands. Companies also are seeing the value of having an external partner, one that they can trust, to take on certain projects and outsource services/solutions that might not be their core strengths or they simply do not have the resources to focus on those issues. Overall, we see businesses be selective and work with those that not only have a reputations of excellence with delivery, but also those that are part of their communities, have a strong employee base and that are “customer first” mentality. I’d like to think that companies will continue to seek out partners that are large enough to scale, but small enough to care.
How would you describe your own leadership style? I would say that I am grounded in a few fundamental principles that help form my leadership style.
1. Perspective – Having spent a fair amount of time in law enforcement right out of college, I witnessed some of the hardship (sometimes just downright ugliness) that exists in everyday life. It has given me both perspective and appreciation for what I do now. The “having a bad day” in the corporate world cannot even begin to touch some of the “bad days” that our public service professionals see on a regular basis. With that, I have found myself reminding others that “nobody dies on the operating table here” and that most of our problems are opportunities to solve in creative ways.
2. Have fun - I find that laughter is super important for all of us to leverage. While I am not a prankster, I do enjoy making sure that we are having a good time and I very much enjoy a team that can laugh a lot.
3. Results - At the end of the day, we need to create value and show results. I have managed some very nice people in my years, but ultimately nice alone is not enough, we need to deliver and hold ourselves accountable. I do like the idea of making each other great, pushing each other to evolve and learn, but also doing it in a manner that motivates people vs. deflating them.
What motivates you, professionally? I really love to get things done, partnering with clients and ultimately help solve problems. I have been known to ask a lot of questions in order to really identify the problem(s) that we are trying to solve. With that, come up with creative and effective strategies and then executing on those strategies. I love hearing when our clients tell us that not only did we help them solve a problem, but they enjoyed working with us and cannot wait to work with us again…this really keeps me motivated. I will admit that I also still love it when we make a hire, no matter the position, from entry level or senior level, I embrace each win that we get for our clients. While I think I am an intrinsically motivated person, I still find that my family continues to keep me inspired. As the father of two boys, I want to set an example of a person that has hopefully worked hard, helped others and has never given up. I made them watch the movie “Rudy” a thousand times to emphasize the never given up part.
Okay, just a couple fun questions now. What is one food that you can't live without? Pizza! I even have a wood fired oven…I am kind of addicted to the stuff.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, which actor would you want to play you? George Clooney, of course (inside joke)!