Aug. 10, 2022

How Successful Brands are Coping with Staffing

How Successful Brands are Coping with Staffing

In this episode, we have invited Dax Moreno, an organization wizard to talk about how to find and acquire the right talent solutions for your company. As the Managing Director of Technology at Vaco, he stresses the importance of integrating new market conditions into your business models and shares powerful ways to empower employees.  If you are struggling to find or retain staffs, then this episode is for you.


Thank you for listening,

Zahra Cruzan

Founder, The Brand Collaborative And Brand Author

The Brand Collaborative      Brand Author

Transcript

Zahra  

All right. So welcome, everybody to today's episode, I am so excited to introduce you to my friend Dax Moreno. So Dax is a genius in so many different ways but I've connected with him through businesses and the way that I know Dax. Dax has a knack for going into a company and I'll give the official like, I'll read exactly who he is and what he does. And before we do that, I always like to just, you know, talk, introduce the real reason why I brought him on the show, right? It's, of course, we're all the accolades and everything but like, really, Dax has such an amazing way of going into an organization, understanding which of these is not like the other, and either weeding it out or making that lineup, and then moving forward. And like, in a nutshell, that's what he does, he goes in, and like a surgeon, he picks out what's there that shouldn't be there, and brings alignment to it. And so I've seen him do this for organizations, at all different stages, I've seen him do it for organizations of all different sizes. And so as we're building up, right, you know, I always say this, in branding, of course, we do the fun stuff and the creative stuff. But the root of branding is really weeding out everything that's unclear, everything that's clutter, everything that's inconsistent and just finding that singular position. And really getting clear and focused and consistent with you know, who you are, what you do, who you do it for, and why it matters to them. And so obviously, I just had to have Dax on the show, because he is a master of doing that, from an organizational standpoint, like going in and from an SOP from a nuts and bolts from a people, you know, the people on the bus standpoint, figuring out where those inconsistencies lie. So I'm so excited to have you Dax, welcome. 

 

Dax  

I'm super excited to be here and that is one of the best openings. I can't wait to get that transcribed, because that's going on my LinkedIn profile.

 

Zahra  

Take out all the likes there you got it. Yeah, so Dax is coming to us today as a representative of Vaco. So talk to me about Vaco, who they are, what they do and what you do within within the company. 

 

Dax  

Yeah, so Vaco is a global talent consulting agency. So basically, what we do is we help connect really, really great people, generally career consultants, but we also help find people there kind of forever jobs or direct hire, as you would call it. But our main focus is really connecting fantastic people to opportunities where they can do what they do best, solving problems, helping businesses grow, overcome challenges, erase technical debt, or in our instance, for what we do Ivanka, we really specialize in accounting and finance, or in technology. So we love helping people solve those problems inside of their business when it comes to tech. And my role, specifically here at Vaco in San Antonio, is the managing director of technology. So all of those years of infrastructure and cloud hosting and all the other work I used to do at Rackspace and in the past have very much come in handy going in and exploring the world of software development and big data, project management, all those other things. So yeah, that's what we do here at Vaco.

 

Zahra  

That that is amazing. So the reason I think this is such a great time to talk to somebody from a place like Vaco, because, well, staffing, right now, finding people, great people to bring onto the best, having great people that you want to onboard onto your team is so difficult right now, between COVID and the work environment shifting. So just to kick us off here what are your thoughts on all of the stacks? Like what do you what do you see happening and where do you see this going into, you know, the next couple of years.

 

Dax  

You know, there's a ton of stuff that you could say that this is such a great question that I think is something a lot of people are starting to really think about, especially business leaders or organizational line leaders, or even C suite. The seams of kind of the talent game are really shifting. It started with the great resignation during the pandemic but I think something really special has happened, which is there's been a little bit of equalizing pressure inside of the workforce, which is talent is starting to identify if they have skills, expertise and capabilities that help businesses do what they do best or do what they need to do to serve their clients or end users, there's real value to that. So the secondary component that becomes, well, what are the benefits that you're going to provide me as the talent to go and do that with you and are we in sync in our values, our mission, or in the benefits and value exchange to do that work and that's really shifted. And it's been really interesting to see, because a lot of companies right now, have not, I think, embraced what this means as an opportunity. They're not looking at this as a fresh start to reimagine their culture or reimagine how they can take care of their employees or attract that talent. Some folks are still thinking, like, it's the 1980s 1990s and it's, you know, butts in seats, 8:30am. And if you're not there, you're going to be in trouble, versus those employers who are embracing all the lessons learned from the pandemic to say, we're hybrid, we're remote, you can come into our office or satellite location, if you want to collaborate. Here's the space to do that because everybody works differently. We just want the best talent from you apply to our work here so how do we make that exchange happen. And that, to me, is really the biggest, I guess, math equation for companies to start solving right now. And it's been really interesting to see in the market, because the number of jobs that are available, are in greater numbers than the people in the workforce working them. So talent really does have the opportunity to be selective about who they want to work for, why they want to work for them, and what they're going to be doing in that work. And that is a big pill to swallow for some, and others love it, because they know that that's a chance for them to get talent that they couldn't have imagined getting even a shortlist three years ago. So there's a lot of shifting perceptions and norms that I think are still kind of shaking themselves out. But it's exciting for Vaco and for us, because, you know, I kind of view us in the consulting in this staffing place, or helping with staff augmentation opportunities, because we're getting to talk to people about what really matters to them about what matters to their work life, integration and how that happens. And the demands that they want to be able to have on their time versus employers and what they're looking for, from those special people that they either want to hire full time, or the type of work that needs to get done and who can come in and do that to the best level. So it's just a lot of changes happening and it still feels like there's still more change to occur so a lot more. A lot more things that need to be settled down before, you know, we kind of can really start saying what was the impact of the pandemic. It's like, well, it's still ongoing, it's huge and it's going to have lots of repercussions and ripple effect. I think for the next year or two, especially with some of the economic winds that are blowing right now.

 

Zahra  

I agree. You know, it's so funny, because, when you said that, one thing that I immediately thought of is it feels like there's kind of two camps, right? There's the bigger businesses that have such huge volume, it's huge demands that are kind of like, holy crap, I don't have enough people to produce, you know, or people that need, there are people or even companies that we do a lot of food and beverage and franchise and so now it's like, well, I need people physically, here. And so they're kind of, you know, struggling, you got to break the mortar, they're struggling to keep bodies. They're people who are willing to come in physically and put on grownup pants. And then there's, you know, there's that kind of like, this is terrible, this is awful. This is like a awful thing we have to overcome, right? Obstacles we have to overcome and then there's the startups and the launching brands. And kind of we're, you know, another camp that we have, which is why I've been able to see on both ends is the Challenger brands. So the smaller guys a scrappy guys who, up to this point, their lack of ability to be able to have 10 people on payroll with full benefits, make an ad a year, starting out in the first two years and have that same talent that established brands, you know, with decades in the business have This is their chance to get that same level of talent but in you know, micro doses, right that meet the level that they can produce is like a huge opportunity. Like somebody just the you know, the business fairies just came in like game. And so, talk to me a little bit about your thoughts on that and, you know, for these companies that have a bricks and mortar, you know, what are some things that you think they can do as far as being attractive, you know, like attracting talent, you know, there's some people that want to go to work. And there are some people that want to work from home so how do you know? You know, because I always feel like, it's not like nobody wants to go to work anymore it's just it's a certain kind of person. So how do we identify that person and what kinds of things can we do to be highly attractive to those types of people. And then for the startups, who this is like, a gift for them, how do they maximize this opportunity and how can they really use this as a leveraging point, you know, to really stir up some some dust here. 

 

Dax  

You know, that is such a great question because it gets right to the heart of the matter, which is, this is an opportunity and I think in some ways, I'll start with that kind of f&b hospitality, opinion, just an opinion. But when I hear that, I think of the traditional ways that the f&b space brick and mortar retail, we're attracting people in the past, it was an ample workforce, you know, in terms of people who could go in and do it, there was an accepted wage level, and kind of stratification that occurred and that's kind of all gone to dust. It's all shifted, you know, look, starting wages here. And in Texas, you could say our Texas minimum wage is 7.25 an hour but we all know, you're not going to be able to hire somebody unless you're paying at least 15, that's just the reality. That's the market setting itself so I think there's a little bit of the reality set of saying, okay, if I'm in this space with a brick and mortar, and I survived the pandemic, I've got a strong client base, it then becomes a matter of, where is my investment best suited. If I have a strong client base, and people love my product and services on delivering, that means I have brand alignment, mission alignment, I just need people to help me here. Which means you don't actually need to be investing extra money in some of those other business components, the real thing that's going to scale your business is putting the dollars into the people's hourly wages. Now I know that that could be blasphemy for some that are very operationally focused when it comes to running a bar or restaurant or anything else. But if you really think about it, you have to kind of toss that out the old way of thinking in the old market, because it is completely shifted, if you can't find those workers who want to be there, and feel valued working there and excited to do it, because they're getting paid the living wage, but everything else is there, it's a cool place to go, or it's the next new bar. And, you know, all of those things are already in alignment for it, that would be the next place to invest to be able to create your next scale of growth. So explore that, explore what that means, or go and find those people in the community who want to get careers into that and give them their start. So much of these things are cyclical, I think when it comes to thinking about our workforce and development, you could probably call them like little mini revolutions, which that word might not, you know, appeal to everybody. But there's turning points, let's, let's call it that and we've reached a turning point and how people view their time and their work. And each successive generation, from here on out, is going to have a greater awareness of their value than any generation prior to them me included, right? I'm 41, I'm gonna be 42 this year and really, it's still a very difficult equation for me then to figure out what's my value in the marketplace. But when I talked to my 20 year old son, he 100% knows his value in the marketplace, and he will not settle for less. If it's not settled for less than he won't go and do it, it will stay doing what he does now, until that value is met, then he'll move on to the next thing and I just I love that awareness. But I also am very clear, when I talk to people that run, you know, the brick and mortar, anything else hey, that's who you're working with. Now, it's not the people who are grateful to have a job that 3.25 an hour plus tips, that ship has sailed, you have to integrate the new market conditions into your business model, the same way you would account for, you know, the cost of goods rising and some of the inflation components or the rents that's probably increased because of some of the stuff going on or the pandemic and the commercial real estate space. Those are all factors that you have to really be thinking about but at the end of the day, you have to decide I guess, ultimately, are there other avenues for you to get into to do what you're doing with your business as a small mom and pop shop and what I think of that is going if you're a retail and you have a brick and mortar. Do you really need to have a brick and mortar or can you go direct to consumer? Can you invest in a website? Can you limit your operational expenses in a way that maybe you hadn't considered in the past, because it didn't feel like you were a real business. But again, you're holding on to old methodologies and thoughts about what constitutes business. Same thing, the way that employers are having to grapple with the fact that what constitutes an employee being present at work. For a lot of people, now it's working from home, you know, integrating their work and life and getting their shit done in the way that they would if they were in the office, but actually probably a little bit more productive. The hang up isn't on them, it's on the employer, and the model that they're grabbing. 

 

Zahra  

Yeah, I love that you said that. So one of the things that we talked about with bricks and mortar, you know, we talked about their brand and what's happened since the pandemic is we're seeing kind of like a line drawn in the sand, where, you know, you got to commit, if you're going to commit. So if you're going to say a bricks and mortar, which is a perfectly great thing, and we'll always, you know, we're never gonna like, no matter what YouTube says, we're still gonna want to go to a place to get a haircut, right? But we've got like, the metaverse coming up, and we've got ghost kitchens, and we've got all these new iterations, right, and varying experiences. But what's become abundantly evident is that if you're going to be a physical experience, if you're going to be a bricks and mortar, then you need to be all in on that, that experience can't just be you've got burgers, and cool music. That's not the experience, if that's not good enough anymore to be a restaurant, or to be, you know, a spa, you can't just have like, the yoga music playing in the background and some essential oils like you've got to have, you've got to be fully committed from beginning to end every moment of that experience. Because inevitably, that is, the physical experience will always be more expensive and as long as it's more expensive, in order for you to be solvent, you've got to be able to charge more for that, it's got to cost more, you got to be able to raise that price point. And people have to be willing to pay that and so like to your point about the employees, that that's part of it, if you want to stay in bricks and mortar, then you're going to have to level up the experience, which means you're going to have to do the things like hiring better talent, which is going to cost you more by spending more time to train them on the brand and culture, which is probably going to cost you a little more. But in exchange for that you've created an elite and exclusive thing. It's not just pick it up in to go containers and head home, you are giving someone a date night, you're not giving them a steak, you know, and so now that's much more valuable. And so like just hearing what you're talking about, like sometimes we miss that we buy the nicer China we buy, we spend more on, you know, Spotify Premium, I don't know, do all these things but like, are you spending on the people that are creating that experience? 

 

Dax  

And that's exactly it because in to make it from a consumer side, right? The experience is what drives the memory creation. No one that's watching this, however many because I'm sure I'm not exactly a draw so I apologize to the podcast, but anyone watching this? What was your last maybe four Amazon purchase experiences like you remember any of them, you may know what you bought. But you don't care about what you did, clicking on the thing, buying it going to the shopping cart experience. But what about that last dress that you bought for the wedding? Or for your friend's dinner or my wife just went on a trip with some friends of hers to Mexico. And she got some nice things and we were out shopping for them physically in person, not just buying through Amazon, she'll remember that the experience was created and there are people who will still and always actively seek those experiences. So as a business and as a brand, you have to have that stuff aligned all the way through to create the experience that makes the memory for your client or end user. If it's food, I can pick up to go anywhere but I love going to Al Forno in San Antonio. It feels like I'm transported to this amazing little place. I remember every visit I go the smell the site, I see the staff making the pizza. I see the stove brick oven and it's it's just fantastic and another kind of example keeping with the pizza thing because a pizza guy is we went to Mod pizza there was one that kind of opened up near us and the experience of interacting with the staff they were excited happy to be there. They were bought in on the Mod brand. Yes, they had it but they were making fresh pizza and they made us a part of the experience in the fun. So when we got our pizza, it tasted that much better, just that much better because we had a great experience going through the light watching and get assembled. We saw the stove, it came out now, it's not nearly as good as a foreigner pizza. That's still number one in my book.

 

Zahra  

Michael's a genius. 

 

Dax  

Yeah and but it but it does speak to it's a different version of the experience that we could have closer to home instead of ordering delivery because we didn't want to do that. Anybody can deliver it and drop it off on your driveway, right or at your doorstep. But to go and have that experience and have great. Now when we want pizza, we go to Mod Pizza, we don't do you know the other places, we go there and have it if we can't get over till for now. And I think a lot of people vote with their dollars in that same way. What's the quality exchange, time and convenience, obviously. But those really special things where you have a great experience, you're willing to go the extra yard and go into the restaurant into the store, have a drink at that Jeret Pena bar, and have the experience that he wanted to create for you because it's worth it, it's worth the time, it creates the memory, and it's all aligned and you feel it. Conversely, you can feel it when you don't, because you never want to go back there again, or go through that experience. 

 

Zahra  

That's, that's so true and I think, you know, it's just like you said, the people are such a huge part of it, like as you're talking. So my husband's a chef and so most of the places that we go, he either knows the chef, they're the owner, they're somebody who you know, so we get like, cool stuff off menu we get like, it's super fun. Like, it's such a part, right but I'll tell you that even when we go to a place and and so we kind of like we had that experience of like the extra mile and then we have had the...

 

Dax  

 Bare minimum. 

 

Zahra  

Yeah, we even the other the other extreme of that but then also we've had experiences where we didn't know anybody, you know. And we've stopped by to try out a new restaurant and there's such a different like, even in that exchange, like, hey, what do you recommend, what's good here and somebody instantly gets excited about a dish, and you just that excitement catches and then they remember to ask you like, how was it was as good. As I said, I was a little nervous suggesting if you because everybody's taste is different, like, oh, it was great and then you're talking about it again. And so now as a consumer, you've confirmed twice, aside from the actual enjoyment of the meal, you're now already talking about it and enjoying it and so how much more likely is that? How much more sticky is that and so that human that gave you that experience has added to the brand loyalty they've added to the experience itself, you know, and that's huge and like so having the right people. So, in my humble opinion, the people that make up your team are not an expense, they're an investment and they're your best salespeople. I don't care if they're CSR, I don't care if they're gender, I don't care if they're DEOs, like these are the people that are either selling you internally or selling you externally. And they're the people that are going to execute the ideas and principles that you hold in your messaging, it doesn't make sense for you to spend $80,000 on a rebrand. But you know what you're trying to spend $7 in that hour to get somebody to execute it just, you know, it doesn't it doesn't compute.

 

Dax  

There's this, it's really interesting, you said that because there's this thought that I've had, and I've articulated in different ways with some other clients, or like startups and founders and stuff that I've worked with. But when I say know your audience, after you get your brand sorted, and you kind of can figure out what your North Star is, and you know, working with, like Brand Author, obviously, would be the preferred way to do that if you're not sure. But if you don't, or when you do, and then the next step is knowing your audience. Your audience is not just your customers, this is something that I've really tried to drive home with people, your audience is also your employees. So you need to be able to know what it is that they want in the same way that you know what your clients want. Like, there's this amazing thing that we always did that was just just stupid, simple at Rackspace, which is with Lanham and Graham, especially during their leadership tenure. They focused on taking care of Rackers, Rackspace employees, that's what we call ourselves. But if they took care of the Rackers, the Rackers took care of all those clients. And we ran through brick wall after brick wall after brick wall because they understood who we were. What motivated us, what incentivizes it incentivized us and allowed us to grow and that's really, I think, was a very special part of the formula of what made Rackspace grow so well during that time was, we had a really charged employee base, we were the audience, Graham and Lanham didn't bifurcate that and say, what's good for them and not good for you, it was what's best for you employees, because you're gonna go and serve up the best to our clients and that's really where it is. You're all collectively, Rackspace is audience, you're just at different stages of the journey, right and I think a lot of people forget that, or they don't think about it. And when you start doing it, you're gonna unlock some, you know, some things that were questions before you're gonna go, oh, maybe that's why we're not having, you know, a better take rate, or, you know, table conversions or shopping carts left abandoned, when they call into customer support, you know, any of those, take your pick. But knowing your audience and having that alignment into the brand, from the employee to the client side, it's just, it's huge.

 

Zahra  

And I would even take it, you know, a step further and say, the byproduct of what you're doing, when you're investing in your people in that way is your the example for how you want them to show up for the customers, as you know, a teammate because, it's so funny, because sometimes, you know, we talk to CEOs, and, you know, or leadership or deals or, you know, even CMOS sometimes and they say things like, you know, my people, they don't get it, they don't have any common sense, right. And so even when I do a talk for like a startup group, right, I always ask this question, how many of you have ever had an experience, where you've got drawn into a conversation with a very angry customer and the employee tells you what happene and you're just dumbfounded. You're like, what were they thinking, do they not have any common sense and I always challenge that and of course, all the hands go up, right? Like, yeah, you know, it's like, well, I challenge that, and I say, Isn't that they don't have common sense, or they don't have a common understanding because what we teach our employees when they onboard, we show them a cool, snazzy video, or we give them an employee manual that's got our mission statement and our vision statement, and it's rah, rah. But then we proceed to spend the next several weeks and months training them on the protocols for everything and so what these employees know, is that this is my box. These are my rules. If I step outside of them, my job is in jeopardy. They don't understand is it that they don't have common sense or common understanding. Because if they don't truly understand not just that they've read it once or twice in onboarding, they don't understand what the brand is big picture, what are we trying to accomplish. Then, how can they make those decisions they just can't write so they've got us they stick to the script, because that's all they know. That's, and so this is how it works in a perfect scenario, when all things are going well. But when something off script happens, they have no idea how to adjust for that, not because they're dumb, not because you know, they have no common sense, but because they don't truly understand the objective. If you know what the goal is, you can adjust and make the method squiggle a little but still get there when the environment shifts. But if you have no idea where you're headed, then how can you make those so it's more a lack of common understanding. And if you're embedding into the culture, you know, and you're treating your people that way, then they have a natural, almost instinctive, right, because they know how they're treated and it becomes instinctive for them. Have you ever been in a room where everybody's whispering and talking nicely, and then you start yelling like, instantly, you hear your own voice, you're like, whoa, that's intense. So like, as employees, we provide those opportunities for them when we're setting a consistent tone and a consistent culture. They know what feels right with that and then what feels like whoa, what just happened here, what am I doing that's outside of that.

 

Dax  

One and that's, I think those are those kinds of things as well, when you're also as you nailed it, you're establishing these norms that start having a lot more repercussions than you expect. So I'll use the Rackspace example again we were all empowered to take care of our of our customers, or if there were issues, we were empowered to own it right and do what was needed. And that started with as employees feeling valued, trained and aware of the people and things that we could access to help solve those problems, or be creative in the problem solving. It wasn't a call center, it wasn't press F4, if client says yes, and then F5, if no, and it wasn't a decision tree already predisposed for us, it was actually on us to listen to the client and make our best designation as to what kind of course of action we should take escalation or other things that we could do. And I will be honest, it created some amazing client moments for people that would get really stuck, or get in over their head, or something would blow up later on. But we would have all of this amazing goodwill to fall back on because we had taken care of them in what I would consider non traditional ways versus the rest of the industry at that time were when people were hired, this is what you're allowed to do. That's what you're not allowed to do, do not deviate from that plan and for us, we were just slaying. I don't know, we're like we, I mean, some people will get a little nervous and say that, but like, a lot of times we winged it. Yeah, it always worked because we all put our client first because our leaders were putting us first because they had established that Rackspace was a place and a brand alignment, where we were going to do things to support each other, to ultimately support our client and we all understood it from day one, when we came on there. It was understood. So I think when I think you're totally right, that a lot of those experiences that people have with either bad customer service, or maybe just poor user experiences, they all kind of stemmed from a misalignment of either the value, or the brand and identity and mission misalignment, that's happening somewhere along the line, it's getting mistranslated, or not translated at all and that's when people start really, really struggling and finding themselves, you know, up a creek.

 

Zahra  

And I think it's like crazy, because we start with that information and then it trickles down into data. So like leadership, we get the heat maps, we get the adjectives, we understand the feeling but we don't translate those same information down to like CSR. They know that they've got to answer the phone, within, you know, four rings or whatever, 10 seconds, they know that they don't want to be on a call, they shouldn't be on a call for more than seven minutes. They know that they have to ask at the end of the call, would you give it a five or not before they can hang up right. Like those are the technical things you got to do. Would you say that I solved your question if you're gonna serve? Yes, I would right. So we know the technical things that we have to do but where does that stem from? Where do we get those metrics from and it's coming from a sense of like, okay, well, the person who's calling is clearly frustrated, they've already been on hold for quite some time. So by the time it kicks on to your call, you don't want to make them wait any longer. Secondly, maybe, you know, the timing thing is like, well, ultimately, they've tried to fix it on their own, and they've wasted a lot of time doing it. Now they're frustrated to the point where they're calling you, they don't want to be on the phone for another 40 minutes to try and figure this out. They want a quick answer because they're out of time and so if you understand that, then, but they want it solved completely, they want to solution they don't want, they don't want to just you know, so when you understand like, where they're at and where they're coming from, then you understand that, yes, they don't want to be on the phone forever. But more importantly, they need a resolution so if you get them off the phone in the seven minutes, but they don't feel like they learned anything or that next time it happened, they don't have to call back because you've gone in, you didn't just do it for them. But you showed them also like next time, here's a Loom video or screenshot video of like, where to go, so that you don't have to call us back next time we on hold for another 40 minutes. It took another maybe minute to get that done but hell that saved for 40 minutes for the next time. So if this call lasted 10 minutes instead of the seven, we've accomplished a greater good here and without the understandings of in the training for our people of like this is yes, these are the technical indicators that we're missing the mark but what's the mark and sometimes you gotta go a little outside of those specifics to get it done.

 

Dax  

Yeah and I think that there's also an awareness and honesty about where you're at as a company with your brand, right. So I'll use another kind of like restaurant example for I guess locals here in San Antonio, that may be listening to this. I think of like turning tables in the restaurant industry, right. So in gyms I had in high school and kind of posts, I had a friend who worked there worked the midnight shift, so plenty of time going there and hanging out at the gyms late night. But in the earlier evening when it was busier on a Saturday or even at a breakfast time or something when there's a rush the behavior of people to sit at a table for four hours during a meal rush right at gyms, that was way more allowed, because like, Hey, your gyms, if you order a cup of coffee for 79 cents, as long as you want your coffee, you're a customer and you can sit there. Yeah, that's not necessarily going to be expected etiquette right at a newer restaurant that's launching or one that is like a chef based restaurant or anything else. Because you want to turn tables, you want to create an experience, but you walk this fine line of the experience with the operational efficacy of making a profit in your evening. But creating the memory for people at gyms, they're not there to create a memory, they're there to have a coffee and study for a lot of UTSA students used to go there. So they're there to study for four hours, right and here are hanging out, that's not the experience they're going for at the other restaurant. And sometimes some restaurants get themselves confused and think they're up here, when in reality, it's like, Hey, you're actually know your audience that's coming here, make the adjustment, or you're gonna find yourself very unhappy or creating unhappy experiences for your staff, or ultimately for your clients and then you're going to lose your only audience or keeping you in business. So I think there's like, I think of it in that kind of context and I think business sometimes really try to church it up for themselves, they kind of lie to themselves, they don't have that difficult conversation about who really are we serving here or who are the people finding us organically that our best customers. How do we serve them better, and maybe we have to adjust our mission or expectation of our mission to better align and create that straight line alignment from our brand all the way down to the delivery of our employers to our end users.

 

Zahra  

And it's such a crazy, because they're simple questions, but they're not simple to answer. And I think that you know, and I think that so often we use these things as crutches so okay, so I waited tables almost entirely to college. And so I always say like, the biggest lessons I've ever learned in life are waiting tables. You learned so much about people and so much about experience and I was one of the top earners, I worked with this, like, you know, nicer restaurant. And, and here's what I learned. I'll tell you exactly how I made money. And I would walk out of there with like four or 500 500 bucks a night, right just be a waitress, not even a bartender. I mean, just and this is what what it was you had to read your audience, you had to know so we have the same rules that have been in the restaurant industry since the dawn of time. You got to do your greet your your drink order within two minutes your to bite checks to suggestive sells for appetizers, you know all of the nonsense, right? The scripts and and now that it's nonsense, it's just not always applicable to the situation. And so ultimately, why do people go to experience to restaurants, it's not the food, it's the experience, plain and simple. If you understand that, then you know exactly how to make money with what you're doing. So I knew when in the middle of the day, I had business people having lunch, trying to get stuff done, stop talking to them, be make sure their water glasses are filled, make sure they have everything that they need walk by frequently so that they can always grab you if they need you but stop talking he's trying to make a pitch right now. And he doesn't need you interrupting every two seconds asking him is everything, okay, is everything okay. Like, he needs you to be quiet and present, he needs you to be representation of trying to anticipate needs and impress whoever he's there with. But he doesn't need you talking and he doesn't need you as an entertainer. He needs you to execute a service and that's it and if you can do that, they're very, very happy. And water glasses were full, you took care of my client, which helped me make a sale here's your tip, right? If it's a birthday, totally different, though, right? The experience they're looking for, is let's bring all the servers to your table so we can make a big deal about you and seeing you happy birthday and let me ask my neighbor server to like run by and you know, tell the birthday, like that's the birthday cake just run by walk by and tell them Hey, happy birthday man. And so then it's like, you know, make them feel special, like everybody knows, and you know, like that and for them that's a great night, you're entertaining, and you're there often and you're, you know, doing this thing. And if it's a date night is a different approach, right? Like, you're you know, and so like understanding the end gain, the goal isn't a two bite check. The goal is an amazing experience and sometimes it looks like a two bite check. And this, that and the other and sometimes it looks a little bit different but if you understand, like, what that goal is, then it becomes very clear when the script works. And when you gotta go a little bit off script, and it still makes sense because you're still on brand with what you're trying to provide.

 

Dax  

And I think that goes into I mean, look, whatever that restaurant was, I'm sure they would have loved to have four of us and chances are they stumbled upon selecting you right? 

 

Zahra  

You are super close to my university.

 

Dax  

By luck of draw, they found somebody who was a value added asset to their business that they were happy to have created. All use that old movie, the animated movie like core memories on birthdays, you were helping create the happy core memories for people. And I'm sure at times they went we need like four or five stars, and we could have like eight fright franchises. But then they stop there and didn't explore knowing your audience and going Zahra, why do you do what you do? How do you always walk out? What like, how are you viewing this and how do we help get everyone else on your level. And I think of that, when you were telling that story, it resonated with me because I wish when I have an Uber driver or Lyft driver experience, where they can just tell I'm like on the phone or whatever and I know that's rude. But my schedule, sometimes when I travel is like that they are just quiet and they take me to where I'm at. Okay, bye no like big tip. Here you go, thank you, when I'm in there, and I want to be quiet and I haven't said anything. And they're just talking I'm like, please read the room. I'm not here to have the conversation. I'm like deep in thought or something's going on, or I'm trying to write an email and like that you're not paying attention to me, you're paying attention to yourself. And that's where it's just like, but but if you really think about that, when you're doing your work, and you have those people connecting the personality types, and the working types of engagement types like that, with the right kind of opportunity and environment. When those things meet up the right way, like magic happens, you'd like you at that restaurant. And I just think when leaders see something like that, dig in, I don't understand why people don't like there were some wonderful experiences I had where I learned so much from the reps that worked with me on my teams, and I would get to know them better and understand, like, how do you think like that, how did you do that. And then I put it into my matrix, because I was trying to get better and understanding that they've got a worldview, I don't. And if I can glean even a little bit from it, I'm going to create some better experiences, or have more sales or you know, be able to help the team at a different level. So it's funny, that story has so much meat and weight to it. That's a really great story.

 

Zahra  

You know, and I want to tap into like a little bit of what you said, because like, you started to talk about it and I was like, Oh, he's gonna go there, he's gonna go there. So I was just kind of thinking about that so like, for instance, with me, we're talking about the waiting tables. And I did similar things in my marketing, and they treated it differently. And I know what you're gonna say, so I'm not going to talk about it and let you talk about it. But it because you started to tap into it so as a server, the response to like, you know, to what I was doing, because back then I won't date myself back then that was a lot of money to be making, you know, intense waiting, you know, tables, especially in a place like that. But what they did was they just gave, they gave me better sections, which I appreciate the time, they gave me more table they gave me. I got my pick of schedule, and whatnot, if there was a big talk of a VIP group, I always got selected and that was great for me. But it didn't help the company, if you know what I mean, like, they were only that good, as long as that person is there and it what didn't become part of the standard. So when I left, they were then missing that so talk to me, like you start to talk about that about taking something that people are doing, right. And I think that's kind of like where a lot of employees are coming from these days where they're like, well, I have to buy talent and then they feel like now this employee has an over a barrel. Because they have this magic that they're doing and they're producing, but nobody else is so like, how do people like how do you coach and how do you talk to companies that have some people that are just rocking it. And how do you explain to them how they can leverage that instead of being fearful now that like, oh my god, if I you know, if they move on and, you know, making that part of the culture exploring what that is.

 

Dax  

That man, these are really great questions so, you know, what I what I've seen and experienced here, not just in my past work as the CRO but even specifically here in Vaco. There's really examples of that and what I've always he's noticed is my clients here at Vaco that are aware of their audience, not just again, not just the audience of the clients, but actually of the employees as well. They're always thinking about, how do I improve that experience for my audience? How do I listen and create better dialogue with my audience, right and again, if you're aligned with your mission and your brand, and everything else kind of coming through with that, then you should naturally be thinking about what's the next evolutionary scale or growth opportunity that we can organically step into, with a minimum amount of investment. And this is where I think that the companies that are going to be really successful, not just here locally, but I think on even larger scales are the ones that are engaged in direct dialogue with their employees and their clients. And I'll focus on the employee one, because I think this is where it really hits, which is, instead of just seeing that and going, Ah, let's put Zarah into the big table, and like put her in the VIP room and everything else instead of going, you know, if we can pay czar a little more, and have retrained all of our waitstaff, we could have eight mini Zarahs running around even on the days when she's not here. We're going to sell more appetizers, we're going to sell desserts, we're going to have people walking out taking pictures, and like tagging us on things and again, not to date, but I don't know what platforms were around or anything else.

 

Zahra  

I had a MySpace, let's put it that way.

 

Dax  

But if you do that, right, you're now creating impact versus impact and I think those clients are my clients are the employers or companies that are out there and it can even be individual leaders or executive leaders or whatever, but it's somewhere in the chain. There are people who are going, you know, we need people that can do this, that understand who we are the mission that we're on, and they're bought in. And we should be constantly looking at how we find more of those people or what's not resonating or not, or maybe we're not explaining it right, or training to it, and really build and train those people to that mission alignment. And I think honestly, to answer your question as succinctly as possible, after the little preamble is it's creating a dialogue. So many employers do not talk to their people, not in a real way. They talk at them, they tell them what needs to get done, but they never listen. And right now what we're seeing inside of, I think, in the challenge in the workforce itself and that shifting change we started talking about at the beginning, is the result of that. No one's been listening to them and I'm sure there are people sending reports up saying there's unrest, we probably need to do something, it's not about the foosball tables anymore. It's actually about the 401 k's are about, you know, connectedness or like, EQ training or mental health benefits or mental health days or other things, right. There's all these things that the people who are creating those experiences, and they are responsible for taking your business and brand and delivering on it, or executing on it every day, whether it's project managers, or you know, cashiers at the register, if they are not aware, and you're not in dialogue about their experiences and what they're hearing and seeing, and you don't have a process for that, you're already dead, your business is already shrinking and it's going to continue to shrink. Because everybody talks, everyone communicates and now more than ever, those things are really valued when you talk to people. And I think anyone listening to this that goes think of the person that's happiest at their job right now. How often have they told you about how happy they are? How often have they advocated and told you about it and made you feel a little like, oh, man, that would be cool if I could work there versus how many people complain about not being heard, or having ideas or just the experience going downhill or it doesn't seem like there's there's connectedness, from leadership to the people doing the work every day, and truly responsible for creating those experiences. There's a huge difference, way more weighted to the bad experiences and then the good and that's to me, when companies can start doing that work that is where real traction and scale opportunity gets unlocked. So many of the ideas that we had, again, I'll use Rackspace as an example because we've already used it. So many of our ideas were amalgamations of ideas from our frontline needing a new service product or a service product not fulfilling client need, and US escalating and having the conversation and dialogue to go, this isn't working, stop, or I'm going to stop taking care of it. That's how bad it is or I had an idea. You know, this happened to me, I had an idea about how to serve an audience and I was given runway to go and see what that looked like. And it turned into a massive piece of business for Rackspace later on under a future leader after it had already been built by me and I love that like, so when I look at those things. When I talk to my clients, I talk a lot about how honest and transparent are you being in your self evaluation, as well as your dialogue with your audience, because that's going to tell you who you need to hire, where you need to hire and the kinds of people you need to be looking for, based on what you need, not all what you want. Because those are always different things until you become honest with yourself about it.

 

Zahra  

I think that's huge and I think specifying because I know a lot of people will say to me, like I have dialogue. But I think what is it like what was striking about what you said is it's the quality of the dialogue, because they do feel that like, historically, over decades, there has been this kind of the employer, like you said, talks, ask the employees. So it's very much a sense and I remember that I remember having my first job, and thinking like my first professional job, like, you know, straight out of school being like, okay, don't mess this up, keep your head down and your mouth shut, try not to get noticed, don't get fired. And take as many notes don't ask questions more than once, you know, like, take a note, if they ask, and it was on me to keep my job. That's the feeling that I had walking into ii and in part that was part of the company. And in part, that was just how we were raised, like, you were lucky to get a job and you were darn lucky to keep a job that actually had benefits and things like that, you know, it's a very different world back then. And so and then, but that's not, but that, but that's kind of like the the what, how it was set up back, then your company set an expectation they set, you know, and it was very much on what was done wrong, you know, like, let's talk about things that are done wrong things we need to fix within the company, you know, and all of that. And that's because I had a really good working as an employee, I always maxed out my bonus, I always four to five, like, so I wasn't a troublemaker and still I have that feeling of fear. Like can you imagine someone who's maxing out the bonus every year, who's creating macros and who's volunteering to be on like, it's still a feeling, you know, like my job, you know, like, if I can solve the wrong person, I could be gone tomorrow. You know, it is but it's so crazy that and that was kind of like the way it was set up to be because we were being talked out and told and set an expectation that we're quite sure. I think I'm doing it right, my measure of doing it right. Do I get my bonus and do I ever get called into the principal's office, right you don't get in trouble.

 

Dax  

Performing out of fear.  Performing, because you're engaged and happy to be doing that work and you see the value it creates for yourself or for the client, whatever motivates you.

 

Zahra  

Yeah and it was a very one way dialogue and then I feel like in the last several years, the dialogue has still become one way. It's just in the opposite direction. And that's what's me companies so uncomfortable, because now it's employees, giving their list of demands and expectations and employers are frustrated. Now they're feeling the frustration that employees are feeling because they've got to appease the employees to keep them or you know, and so both of those scenarios, it's not really a healthy dialogue, right. And so I think what you said is not just about, like, mouse moving, and TPS reports and memos like filtering in both directions, but it's like, what's the quality of that dialogue, what are we really getting at the root of issues and is there an open space to hear and be heard.

 

Dax  

And that's that equalizing pressure I talked about right at the beginning, which is we're finding that balance, or we need to find that balance, much quicker, if at all possible, because that's, I think, what's really going to be one of the key balancing forces to the stuff of what's going on with the economy, it's got to get a little bit better. It can't be one side demanding to the other, it's got to find an equilibrium, or at least a point of balance, where it's understood, that times have changed. We've now shifted here, now let's go produce and create at that next level, until again, naturally, things will always get out of balance, and then it gets equalized again. But right now, it's a very strong sentiment from what you just described, which is I am not going to work the way I saw my parents or grandparents weren't full stop. It ain't happen because I saw how little they were valued or devalued at the conclusion of their career, or as they enter the twilight of their career, and that's not going to happen to me. So here are my listed demands and I will go where I want, and I will work how I want, you know, all the things that we talked about, but, and that's really where it goes, again, the employers who are not scared of that, and in fact, embrace those conversations. They're winning, they're winning, I talked to him every day, those are the folks who are really looking at this as an opportunity of, like we said, at the at the kind of kickoff of, I can now as a startup, or as an emerging business, that's 10 mil get access to people who used to only work for 100 200 or $500 million, your company's mission aligned, and they're listening to me, and I'm hearing them and creating an environment that's a destination that they want to work at, not just a workplace where they have parameters to meet payroll, or get a paycheck, that kind of thing.

 

Zahra  

Yeah. Oh, my God okay, so let's tie this all up because I think we've come full circle here and, you know, talking about this and talking about like this open dialogue, and, and really, in my mind, what makes us successful, you know, it kind of works in every relationship, I think of it in terms of like, when I'm negotiating with my child, when my husband and I are making plans. It's always like,  when you're finding a way to work cultlike, collaboratively, it's always towards a common goal. And, you know, it's always if my husband wants to do X, and I want to do Y, then it's very hard to have open dialogue, because he's got an agenda that's separate than mine. But when we have a common goal, and we agree that these are the best way, now we can really like Alright, how are we going to get there and how are we going to beat the system. And how are we going to gamify it, and what's the reward when we get there? And you know, like, there's a very different synergy energy that happens around, you know, common goals, right, that then competing goals. And so, you know, one of the things that I hear a lot from companies right now, is their fear of tapping into this kind of like, temporary or contractual or gig, you know, or, you know, staffing agency kind of employment, because they're worried that they can't keep a culture intact, if the work is remote. Or if the work is they're not like a full on W2 from them and so what do you say to companies, you know, to explain to them, how this is different? And how cultures can be created and common goals. You can find that commonality there and with employees that don't look like they've always looked in the past. 

 

Dax  

Yeah, you know, so there's a couple of different angles, right? There's the Vaco specific way that I talk about this, with clients that are understanding it. And what I'm finding is, there are still a lot of, I would say, misconceptions, or just limited awareness about how you can solve your business problems right now, with people like, that's kind of what we're in the business of getting really great people connected to opportunities where they can solve problems from their expertise. And what I've talked about quite a bit is it's not just a question of solving a need that you have with like, let's say, your software application, with full time hires, and staffing with three or four developers or whatever it might be. The question then becomes is, what's the challenge? Are you in the software development business or not? What are you trying to do during this next year? Is the larger thing for you? What's your mission? And if it's not mission aligned, to do software development as a core piece of your business, but you are offering software up? Well, why don't we open up the toolbox and find or expose you to as many tools as possible to solve that problem, because if we solve it for you, you're now more mission aligned to provide the actual service that you're looking to provide, rather than trying to now do that and incorporate becoming a software development agency. And if that's not really what you want to do, for example, well, then I have some things that can help. And what we can do and the way we work at Vaco, is we find those people who are aligned culturally, not just with the software requirements or the development or skill, setting the expertise, those are kind of hard and fast. You've got to be able to develop in that language or whatever else but what's important to us and how we look at that here at Vaco is two things. When we place people in kind of those consulting pathways for the six month are kind of 12 month project deployment, they're career consultants, full stop. They're not they're doing this work until they get the full time operation and they're there because this is the style in which they like to work. And they are a W2 employee of Vaco and they're just deployed in this shorter term kind of project or campaign based approach. So there's that and then the secondary part to it, which is really the best part is the fit as a leader, how do you like to have dialogue with folks who are coming in, to do the work, not to be the perfect employee, but to do the work, and cultural acclamation and awareness, and even just the style of worker communication are super, super important. So we really do pair that, along with it. And we ask that of all of our clients, we make sure that we understand that your cultural norms are respected, honored, and kind of front and center when we're talking about solving a problem with folks kind of coming in. And with that, we'll be exiting and we have found this approach to work just really, really well, they integrate wonderfully within larger technical teams, people know what's expected of them. And also, they communicate in a way that's very employee centric with folks that are full time employees there. So we always try to make a very clear delineation that we are not just finding a warm body with that skill set to go do the work for as long as they're around. But rather, we want to find the right fit for you to solve the problem. If you think it's six months, great, we're going to get them there six months, and it's going to feel like they're a part of the team, day to day one is, of course, you know, getting set up. But so I think so there's that approach from the Vaco side of it, which is, you know, the business side that I'm always proud to present on it. And then the other flip side of it is, for folks where they're weighing consulting, or contractor, or, Hey, I do want to kind of hire a team, but I don't know where to start. This is still where it's about, okay, well, how are you looking, what's the problem you're really trying to solve. And in some cases, it may not be that you really need the software developers in this case, you may actually be trying to solve for a larger thing, which is your growth has stagnated. And you're trying to figure out a means of getting to a new market, and you think that that application is going to open up the market. It's like, okay, that's a different problem. And what we need to do is, you know, I need to just let you know, I can find you three software developers that are going to do the work that's needed. But they're not going to be the reason that solves the problem of your growth challenge. That is a were you thinking, yeah, do you have a product? Is there a larger strategy that you have in play? Let's start talking about that so, you know, to me, I think it's just one of those things where so many folks thinks it's full time employment, or it's offshore developers. And there are these huge swathes in between the people who are really that, I guess, in the way that I would characterize it for people. Think about, there's some early adapters, right, that this is how I think of consultants right now, myself being one of the early adapters, I would not say the real true trailblazer, because those are folks well in advance of us, but early adapters to the method of I want to go and work and learn some things and help someone and be rewarded for my time and effort, and then go solve a new challenge after I solved that one. And if I'm at that place, and there's another challenge for me to solve, wonderful, but it doesn't mean I have to be tied there for the next eight to 10 years, solving mundane issues that have already been solved are not really exciting to me like that never works. So I think there's those elements of people in the next generation that have been, I think, raised in the gig economy, they're all going to grow up. And they're going to be looking for gig careers. And I think that's really the kind of the conversation where I'm excited to start talking to businesses about which is your concept of what an employee is or isn't, is now forever changed. And while consultants have always been around, they have never been as widely accessible or embraced in the mainstream as they are today, or will be in the future. Because people want to work the way that they want to work, who they work for, and how they work, you know, that that's we can't put that back into the box. It's out now. So for me, I really enjoy having that conversation and asking people those questions and posing those thoughts because, in my opinion, it's going to help them be better prepared and aligned and thinking about the reality of the market. And the reality of how they can solve problems without just throwing full time headcount or potentially not solving a problem because they don't have the budget to hire the full time person. This is a way to solve that problem and keep your business going without sacrificing anything but still keeping you moving forward and growing.

 

Zahra  

I think tools, the perfect word, you know, since COVID, we actually launched the agency in Smackdown and COVID, during COVID so that was fun, just prior to. So it's been a learning curve all the way around but, you know, just to say we have full time employees, we have part time employees, we have offshore employees, we're about to get our first gig, the staffing firm. And so we have bricks and mortar office, and we have everybody's allowed hybrids, like we have unlimited PTO and hybrid for people and so a lot of that is a learning curve, learning everything. But I'll tell you what, what I thought was, and I was raised in that same tradition of, you come in, in the morning, you work nine to five, eight to four, whatever that is. And you come into the office and I've seen for myself, that I'm able to do more, my company has seen more growth with me working some days from home, some days in the office with my team, you know, the office is somedays, a ghost town, and sometimes not, with people taking the days off whenever they need to take them off. With different types of employees, I am working less getting more done and so it really is a huge asset, if you're willing to step outside your comfort zone, I think for some of us that maybe are a little bit older that, you know, it's not anything like what we were used to or raised on just a really cool thing.

 

Dax  

Yeah, I guess to, like you said, circling back and putting a bow on it. The thing I enjoy the most is helping people see the opportunity of embracing the change, seeing what the change is bringing forward, it doesn't mean that productivity goes down because someone's not in their seat at eight to five, and they took a 30 minute lunch, it's actually seeing the opportunity of, there's a different way to do it, there's a happier way to do it. And that when you have, again, knowing your audience and engaging with your employees, or your contractors or consultants in a way that creates dialogue and engagement, you're gonna win, you're gonna win in the long run, and you're gonna win by margins far greater than the folks who are trying to constrict and build very tight rigid parameters around the old way of working. It has changed technology has changed the pandemic forced us to all embrace zoom, virtual meetings, accessibility, it's just all shifted, and the folks who have not recognized that still, I worry about because man Oh, man, it's gonna pass by at lightspeed it already is. So I'm trying to encourage people to jump on the train before the caboose hits and they're going to be watching it from another area trying to figure out how to adapt to this new world.

 

Zahra  

I agree, I agree. Okay, so I have some rapid fire questions for you qre you down?

 

Dax  

Yes. Let's do it.

 

Zahra  

All right, let's do it. Okay, dream vacation.

 

Dax  

Go to Hawaii with my wife.

 

Zahra  

Okay, I like that. Habit that boosts your confidence.

 

Dax  

A habit that boosts my confidence, reading.

 

Zahra  

I like that one. Okay, what is a hobby that you adopted during COVID?

 

Dax  

A hobby that I adopted during COVID would be going on walks, hikes with my wife and our dog.

 

Zahra  

So, I want to ask you for who your favorite boss plug was because that can be tricky right now. But what is the favorite trait of your favorite boss? What was something that they did that you always loved?

 

Dax  

I will actually answer that. I'm going to name names so it's two bosses. It was Robert Megan's and Dominic Monkhouse. They were two bosses that I followed from Rackspace over to another hosting company and they were builders and innovators. They listened to people, they listen to their team. They're constantly learning and constantly looking at things from a perspective of how do we do more with what's going on today, rather than trying to hang on to the past, and it's, as we just talked about, it's clearly a lesson I've tried to keep close to the close to the chest here, but those are definitely two of the best bosses. They were mentors in so many ways for me.

 

Zahra  

That's cool,  book you're reading right now.

 

Dax  

Book my meeting? 

 

Zahra  

A book you're reading right now.

 

Dax  

Oh, I would say it will be this one which is always on it. It's the Daily Stoic. If you can't read it, Ryan Holiday, it's an amazing book on stoic philosophy. It's a just a daily reading and it kind of gives you a lesson on stoic philosophy around how to manage yourself, your emotion, your thoughts as the uncertainty the world's rolls around you.

 

Zahra  

Alright. Digital, or paper planner, important one for me or no plan, are you an anarchist?

 

Dax  

Paper planner, I have a surface I'm trying to go digital. I'm shifting but there's something about writing pen to paper that just makes it stick in my brain better.

 

Zahra  

Same. Favorite software that you use, can't live without?

 

Dax  

Ooh, that I can't live without whoa, man, this is so shameful but I'm gonna have to be honest, it's TikTok. That is where history influencers I feel so connected to the under 25 set and what they're thinking in the generation and how they approach things. It's a fantastic tool, not just for funny dog pictures and videos, but just a ton of learning and exposure to different people in their perspectives. I cannot get enough of it. 

 

Zahra  

Oh, that's so fun. Okay Dax, thank you so much for joining me today. I know this ran long but I just thought it was so hugely important and we get questions on this topic all the time. People are just feel like they're in a freefall when it comes to staffing and employment, what the future of that looks like and so I just really wanted to get into the nitty gritty, you know, and go beyond just like a couple hacks and tips but like really talking and thinking through a mindset about what teams and cultures look like moving forward. And I knew you were the perfect person to go into it with so thank you so much for giving me so much of your time, I really appreciate it. If we want to contact you, how do we get in touch with you?

 

Dax  

It's really easy, you can just send me an email dax@vaco.com. And it is Vaco, I know it looks like Bahco just like a taco. We're working on it but it's vaco.com you can just shoot me an email and I'm always happy to connect on LinkedIn. So if you just search Dax and San Antonio, not a lot of us, you'll see my giant head on the picture. Just click connect there and then I'll see you on LinkedIn.

 

Zahra  

Awesome, thank you so much again, for those of you guys listening we are going to have all of doctors information in the in the on the landing page on the show notes page. So we'll get the links for his LinkedIn and email so that we know how to contact him and get in touch with him and his company and get started on your new dream team. 

 

Dax  

Thanks very much.

 

Zahra  

All right everybody, take care.

Dax Moreno Profile Photo

Dax Moreno

Managing Director, Technology

A native San Antonian, Dax has held Sales, Marketing, and People leadership positions at local tech organizations such as Rackspace, Peer 1 Hosting, Geekdom, and Tech Bloc. Currently, he serves as the Managing Director of Technology for Vaco in San Antonio and helps businesses of all sizes overcome their most challenging technology & people challenges. Previously, he served as the Chief Talent & Recruiting Officer (CTRO) of Tech Bloc, where he led efforts to recruit and develop tech talent in San Antonio to fuel the continued growth of our local tech ecosystem. Dax has also led various initiatives and programs that support the economic and workforce development of San Antonio.

From a personal perspective, Dax is dedicated to building the San Antonio community which led him to active mentorships with Geekdom, Venture for America, and Trinity University as well as numerous entrepreneurs and other emerging leaders in our community. His current board work includes serving as Vice President of Spurs Give, the Chair of VIA's Transit Community Council (VTCC), is a member of the SA Works Industry Council, and proudly serves as the Board Chair for the Promesa Academy Charter School located on the westside of San Antonio.