Telling Your Story & Helping You Win

by Ross Fletcher 6/4/24

Storytelling is one of the most important tools we have to help find your next top talent.  Crafting a compelling narrative of your company and its specific needs is a no-brainer in attracting the right caliber of person to help you move forward.  That’s where Herd Freed Hartz excels, and it’s why I’m excited to use my deep storytelling experience to pique the interest of your next great hire.

As a former broadcaster and journalist, I couldn’t begin to count the number of stories I’ve told. My career across TV and radio spanned more than 25 years. In one day alone as a BBC radio presenter, I could go from interviewing the CEO of a major airline to a community volunteer raising funds for their local non-profit.  I’ve always found a real joy in hearing stories from across the spectrum and then shaping them for my target audience – the feeling of not knowing what’s coming next always keeps you sharp.

When building a story, one of the most important aspects of any interaction I have is being a great listener. Understanding people is at the heart of it.  Being well-researched and having a solid list of prepared questions is vital, but often the most revealing information comes from reacting to something you don’t expect. I’m confident that having a natural curiosity helps to flesh out the good stuff.

That’s where my time reporting at the 2012 London Olympics comes to mind. While I had the privilege of interviewing some of the world’s most recognizable athletes, my favorite encounter was with a less well-known 400 meter hurdler from the Dominican Republic called Felix Sanchez.  At the age of 34, he’d just won gold for the second time, and I was prepared to hear him talk about his legacy of success.  But his story quickly took an emotional turn as he explained his failure at the previous Olympics four years ago.  He’d failed to make it out of the qualifiers, having learned that same day the crushing news of the death of his grandmother, who’d been one of his biggest supporters. I knew I had to pivot the nature of my interview, to hear more about his deeply emotional tale – at that point who cared about his stride pattern between hurdles three and seven?

I asked him how proud his grandma would be of his return to the top of the podium.  He explained that since the day she’d died, he’d used her memory as inspiration and that in training and during every race he’d stick a picture of her inside his vest, to feel like she was with him. I asked Felix if I could see the picture.  And sure enough, he gently plucked out a two-by-two inch black and white photo of his grandma, as the eyes of both athlete and interviewer began to moisten.

In every walk of life, from sport to business, the power of great storytelling can never be underestimated. How can I help tell your story? Get in touch:

BZ Ellis – Chief Revenue Officer @ LightScalpel

Our Herd Freed Hartz executive search team was honored to partner with LightScalpel, on a nationwide retained search to find their new Chief Revenue Officer.

“Chris Blais and his team at Herd Freed Hartz did an exceptional job on our behalf.  The recruiting process for the CRO role of LightScalpel was well-organized and highly efficient.  We had a strong talent pool to interview and select from.  I would highly recommend Chris to any organization going through an executive search.” – Richard Wood, LightScalpel Board of Directors

Founded in 2002 and based in the greater Seattle area, LightScalpel is a leading designer, manufacturer and servicer of surgical CO2 lasers for dentists, physicians and veterinarians. They offer the highest quality, state-of-the-art, precise, reliable and affordable surgical CO2 lasers on the market today. With a wide range of exclusive and proprietary technologies as well as best-in-class scalpel-like handpieces their systems enable the most ergonomic and efficient laser surgery at a fraction of competitors’ prices.

Doctors, dentists and veterinarians prefer CO2 lasers because they allow for a clear and dry surgical field providing precision and confidence in delicate procedures. Patients appreciate doctors who utilize LightScalpel’s technology because it leads to improved healing and less post-operative pain.

With its extensive technical expertise across the engineering team, LightScalpel has developed unique intellectual property based on the latest in laser-tissue interaction science across different surgical specialties from plastic surgery to soft tissue dentistry. This unique approach has enabled LightScalpel to develop the only flexible fiber CO2 surgical laser capable of serving the dental, veterinary and small office physician markets.

LightScalpel’s mission is to provide surgeons with the highest quality, state-of-the-art, precise, reliable and affordable surgical carbon dioxide laser solutions.

Learn more about Herd Freed Hartz’s:
Technology & Startups practice
Chief Revenue Officer / VP Sales practice

Ultimate Job Search Guide: Recruiter Insider Tips

As a retained executive search firm, we get hired for very specific leadership roles for our clients. While we don’t help people find jobs, we want to be a helpful resource for those in job transition. Below is a collection of job search article links and resources.

** Read these articles in order. Why? The content is crafted in a way that builds upon prior sections. This system is proven, but it requires you to take a step back before going forward. Most of the challenges in a job search is getting focus and clarity. Your resume and interview strategy success depend on gaining clarity on where you are today and where you want to go next in your career.

This insight is developed from working on the front lines of hiring for 20+ years working with for 400+ clients and reviewing resumes of tens of thousands of candidates.

In other words, these are proven recruiter insider tips on how you can stand out from the pack and land that next job you want.


1. PREPARATION // Are you ready?

  • Get recharged. Invest 24 hours to rest, exercise, and do things that clear your head and give you energy. Laugh.


  • Check your dashboard indicators. Remember the big picture and assess what you could be learning during the job search. Appreciate your blessings, take responsibility for your life, and forgive others so you can move forward.


  • Get organized. Clear out clutter and get your workspace, computer, calendar, and contacts in order. Create folders and a spreadsheet to track your job search.



2. STARTING POINT // Where are you now?

  • Know your personality. Take a quick personality assessment online (DISC, Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder) for added insight on what makes you unique and what drives you.

  • Get wisdom. Share what you been learning with trusted friends, family and past co-workers. Ask for authentic feedback from those who know you best.


  • Unpack your career. Evaluate past experience to determine what you want to continue doing (or not) in the future. Create a checklist of criteria for your next job, including: Title, location, compensation, culture, and professional development areas. Download Unpack Your Career worksheet (PDF).


3. IDEAL DESTINATION // Where do you want to go next?


  • Narrow your focus. Identify the industries, companies and role(s) that interest you most. Narrow your big list down to a top dozen target companies. Aim smart at where you target your job search.


  • Visualize your ideal destination. Think about where you’d like to be down the road in your next job. Visit someone actually doing a similar job to gain inspiration and focus.

4. BE DIFFERENT // What’s your story and how can you stand out from the pack?


  • Research your network. Who do you know? Find connections at the companies where you want to work. Look for an angle, and a way to stand out to help give you an edge over other candidates. Upgrade your LinkedIn profile (download LinkedIn Tips PDF).


  • Ask for help. Tell your friends, family and social networks how they can help you with your search. This can lead to great referrals.


5. GET ROLLING // How do you land the job?




  • Say “Thank You”. Remember to follow-up with all of the people who helped you along the way. If you are still employed, finish strong and give notice professionally.