Ken Eslick Discusses the Art of Connecting Companies with Top Talent

Ken Eslick, Founder of Leaders Lab, was interviewed on Mission Matters Business Podcast by Adam Torres.

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Ken Eslick works with businesses large and small to help them find talent across the country. Throughout his career, he has trained hundreds of sales executives, sales leaders, and operational leaders from all over the US. A lifetime honoree in Who’s Who in Business” and winner of multiple Outstanding Achievement and Presidents Club awards, Eslick is also part of a small group of trainers worldwide with The Anthony Robbins Companies, traveling the globe to help people maximize their potential both personally and professionally.

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What mission matters to you?

Eslick says his mission is to help great leaders find good companies and vice versa. Leaders have a lot to offer, he notes, and Leaders Lab’s mission is to find talent in leaders and nurture it to create greater impact.  

How did you start Leaders Lab?

After serving in the U.S. Army, Eslick says he wasn’t getting reasonable job offers, so he decided to start his own business: a first aid and safety supply company in California alongside his wife, Shannon. He eventually sold it to Cintas, a Fortune 500 Corporation, and worked with them for 14 years. While there, he realized that his favorite role involved finding talent. When he left the company, that’s what he set out to do on his own: find and nurture talent to its greatest potential. He poured all his life experience into the creation of the Summit brand in 2012, which became The Leadership LAB in 2021. 

What should employers be thinking about when it comes to winning talent?

Eslick says companies should follow three basic rules:

  1. Be clear about the roles they’re offering. Responsibilities should not be compromised or sacrificed based on business culture, and roles should be realistic for the current environment and flexible to make them more appealing. 
  2. Create a transparent and defined hiring process. A company should be able to streamline its recruitment process, screening and interviewing candidates on the same day, for example. This way, the hiring process is sped up in a defined and structured way that benefits all involved. 
  3. Clearly communicate the company’s growth story, business culture, and other relevant information; don’t make candidates dig for it.

How should employers portray themselves to attract potential candidates?

Eslick says it’s a bitter truth that people generally don’t want to work for small businesses. So, if you’re looking to recruit talent for a small brand, it’s critical to prove what makes you unique and worth working for. Companies need to define their demographic targets and connect with them by narrating an appealing story. He says every company should have an exciting story to tell, and with time, it should evolve to remain relevant to the modern environment; it should include elements like work ethic, culture, and growth perspective.

On the other hand, he notes, candidates are also look for opportunities within an organization. Nobody wants to work for a company that has job instability, so companies have to tell their stories in a way that makes them attractive to candidates in the long-term, too, drawing them in with a strong sense of sustainable opportunity.

Tell us more about Leaders Lab.

Leaders Lab was initially called Summit Careers, Eslick says, and it now has recruiters all over the US, recruiting people for mid-level to executive-level management positions. Different recruiting teams handle various geographical locations and also work with sourcing teams. 

Although Leaders Lab generally works with larger companies, they do also work with some small businesses. For larger companies, management notes, it’s an easier proposition because people know the brands by name, while small businesses can be a tougher sell when they’re not well-known. For those clients, Leaders Lab helps to shape their stories to help them recruit top-tier talent. 

For both, he says, Leaders Lab focuses on candidates who are trying hard to rise—people who aren’t satisfied with their current jobs and have tremendous potential to propel them forward (and upward). 

What should companies look for when working with recruiters? What questions should they be asking?

Eslick says a business owner should always ask the following things about a recruiter:

  1. What is their niche expertise?
  2. Who have they placed in the past in that niche?
  3. What level of placement do they provide?
  4. What recruitment process do they follow?
  5. Were the candidates placed previously in the same industry?
  6. How often does the recruitment company place people in the same industry? References? 
  7. How well is the recruitment company connected to the current market?

What’s next for the Leaders Lab? 

Eslick says he’ll continue working as a trainer with Tony Robbins, and Leaders Lab will continue partnering with companies that share a vision of recruiting the best talent possible. To date, the firm has placed more than 400 talented leaders and plans to continue doing more the same.

To learn more about Leaders Lab, visit www.theleaderslab.co or email Ken Eslick at [email protected] to set up a call.