Why I joined Herd Freed Hartz

by Ross Fletcher

Why don’t you meet my buddy who’s an executive recruiter – I think you’d get on really well.’  And just like that, over a Starbucks with a good friend, a great idea was born.

After more than 25 fulfilling years in broadcasting, I was ready for a new challenge.  With that one suggestion, my next career move had just slipped into view.

The next coffee was a little stronger, and at higher altitude.  The pourer was Kevin Hartz, as we settled into the Herd Freed Hartz conference room on the 71st floor of Seattle’s iconic Columbia Tower.  As a managing partner of the firm, Kevin regaled me with stories of how he and his colleagues had got into the business of Executive Search.  I listened intently, soaking up the ways in which this industry-leading team had come to their profession. The more Kevin talked, the more intrigued I became about his world and the parallels to mine; storytelling, research, interviewing. We parted with the intention of regrouping in a couple of weeks’ time and although just a casual conversation, my mind kept whirring. Things flourished from there as I started meeting the rest of the team, learning their culture and how impressively they lived their company values.

I’d been thinking for some time about a change of career, having accomplished more in broadcasting than I could ever have hoped. During my initial conversations at Herd Freed Hartz I kept hearing the phrase ‘executive recruiting is a people and relationships business.’  Broadcasting is very much the same; whether it’s your interviewee or your audience.  My love of storytelling was forged while working for the world’s leading broadcaster, the BBC, covering politics and breaking news, while I was fortunate to travel the globe, reporting on location at 7 Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup.

Interviewing a rich variety of top-achieving people was a highlight of the job – from the British Prime Minister Tony Blair during the second Iraq war to the fastest man on the planet Usain Bolt on the finish line of the Olympic 100 meter final, and Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey on the edge of a favela in Rio de Janeiro (that’s a story for another day). But the majority of my work has been rooted in the Pacific Northwest and I’m excited to use my skills in a new form, with my new teammates.

As I see it, I’m moving from collaborating with one type of top-tier talent to another, tied together by a common thread – that everyone has a story to tell. I’m ready to tell your company’s story, and share with you the story of your next great hire.