Nate Smith: Leading with Values, Recruiting with Empathy

How does a company lead with their values and, as a result, achieve phenomenal success for itself and its customers? Today, I talk with Nate Smith, the CEO and co-founder of Lever, a leading talent relationship management solution that makes it easy for talent teams to reach their hiring goals and to connect companies with top talent. Lever leads by example by leading with their values, both internally and externally, Nate and I talk about how they have weathered the storm and come out stronger than ever over this past year and how the company’s value of “cross-functional empathy” engages both employees and customers and helps them do their jobs better. He shares what leading with your values looks like and offers practical tips on what to think about, define, and share for your own organization. We also talk about the recruiting industry in general and how making this process more empathetic leads to better relationships between hiring managers and recruiters, and better brand experiences with candidates.


Key Takeaways:

  • Start conversations with a pause before launching into the topic and give people space for those in the conversation. 
  • When you’re going through times of difficulty, making people feel heard is just such a significant way that you can show kindness to each other and provide strength.
  • When you are interviewing a candidate, it’s not just about what they can do for you, but what you can do for them. They are interviewing you as well. 


“Cross-functional empathy is understanding that we all have different things that we bring. When we can work together, we can leverage those different perspectives to be more successful together in a way that we can never do on our own.” —  Nate Smith


About Nate Smith:

Nate Smith, CEO and Co-founder, Lever

Nate leads Lever in its mission to offer talent leaders the reach of a marketing leader, the forecast of a sales leader, and the insight of a finance leader in a unified TRM platform. He’s passionate about enterprise software’s potential for business transformation, user experience, and human connection. Prior to Lever, Nate was a product manager on Google Analytics and the Google Search team. He led the first major redesign of Google’s image search UI, which launched in July 2010. Nate received a degree in electrical and computer engineering from Olin College, at which he was a member of the school’s second-ever graduating class.

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