Meet Kathy Rapp – Covering Talent and the World of HR for Fistful of Talent…

Kris Dunn Uncategorized

Kathy Rapp is a Managing Director of hrQ in Texas, where she helps progressive companies find groovy HR Talent to drive business results.  Prior to joining HR Search firm, Kathy booked more than 15 years of progressive human resources leadership experience working for such companies as Morgan Stanley and First Data Corporation.  A connoisseur of the intersection between pop culture and business, Kathy believes many talent issues can be addressed via the succession planning lessons experienced by Van Halen (David Lee/Sammy and sadly, Gary Cherone). 

See Kathy’s Riffs and Rants on Fistful of Talent by clicking here



1.  The elevator just closed and you’ve got 30 seconds to pitch the random reader on who you are and why they should read your rants.  Go..

Do you ever wonder what the HR people in your organization do all day?  Do you even knowRapp,Kathy56color what “HR” stands for?  No, not “Hyper Retentive”… but close.  You should really check me out along with the rest of the FOT gang; we’re not your normal “HR” types.  I have a warped sense of humor and a pragmatic view on the profession – which all in all makes for entertaining reading.

2.  Now for the mundane – break down your location, title, company/firm and what you do for a living..

I’m the lead singer in a rock band and if I’m feeling frisky will jump on the drums.  Oh – for real?  I’m the Managing Director of hrQ in Texas.  We are a boutique firm focused exclusively on identifying HR talent for our clients – and yes, only HR (some people get really confused by the name of the company??!!)  We work on a national scale and not only find top notch passive HR candidates, but also help clients in need of interim HR professionals:  contract recruiters, generalists, compensation specialists, benefit gurus, etc.  We also have a bench of true HR consultants that we refer for strategic project needs.

Previous to launching HR Search Firm in Houston, I was a HR leader with stints in multiple industries:  hospitality, financial services, technology, entertainment and health care.

3.  One more question that everyone expectsWhat’s the reason you’re in this game? (why do you do what you do?)

The WNBA didn’t pay enough.  But seriously, I love what I do and I always have.  After deciding in college that psychotherapy really wasn’t my game, HR was the next logical career choice.  I jumped in with both feet and never looked back.  Now sitting on the executive search side of the desk, I’m having a blast running a business and keeping more than a toe in the profession that I have a true passion around.  I see my job today as helping to elevate the profession – and that feels really awesome.

4.  If you’ve ever been to a professional baseball game, you know batters from the home team get to pick their own theme music as they walk from the dugout to the plate.  If we ever have a FOT convention, what theme music will you come out to to pump the crowd up and why?

This really resonates with me as I used to pick the music that my high school b-ball team would warm up to – much to the chagrin of my coach (and probably my parents).  Somehow Sammy Hagar’s “Baby’s On Fire” was slightly inappropriate for high school girls. Who knew??

So, after much thought I really can’t narrow it down to just one song.  This was also tough because some of my favorite tunes have questionable titles, and I’m trying to be somewhat professional here.  In no particular order:

-“Back in Black” – AC/DC – If you’ve seen my wardrobe, you get it.  I also like the P&L connotations.

-“Black Dog” – Led Zeppelin – “ah yeah, ah yeah, ah, ah, ah., ah yeah, ah yeah, ah, ah, ah”

-“Lick It Up” – Kiss (ok, so I may be slightly on the line with that one)

5.  Let’s stick with the baseball theme.  If you’ve ever been to a pro game, you also know that the visitor doesn’t get to pick their own music.  The home team picks that for them, and it’s usually less than stellar as a means of attempting to crush them.  If you could pick theme music for your arch-rival to walk into a conference room to, what would it be and why?

This is too easy – “Muskrat Love” by Captain & Tennille!!  Come ON!

(LOL to those that thought I’d dip back into the ’80’s hair bands for this one)

6.  Finish the following sentence – “When I’m interviewing, I can tell within one minute that this thing isn’t going to work out because _________…”

The person loves the fact that he is a “strategic business partner” but cannot tell me how he demonstrates what that actually means.

If you asked me 10 years ago, it was anyone who told me they were a “people person”.  If I hear that today, I might just hang up on you.

7.  Name the actor/actress that will portray you in the movie about you.  Why the heck is that a fit?

Sandra Bullock – she’s a klutz, she loves her own jokes and she can pull off cowboy boots – a must for anyone playing a native Texan.

8.  List three of your favorite books to pander to the educated segment of our readership…

-“The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference”  by Malcolm Gladwell.  Common sense is always attractive.

-“The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable” by Patrick Lencioni.  I can’t tell you how many CEOs would benefit from this quick read.

-“What Should I Do with My Life?” by Po Bronson.  Transformational true stories that cause you to rethink your priorities.

9.  List three of your favorite movies to connect with the segment of our readership that doesn’t like to read…

-“Caddyshack”- I have the dancing gopher in my office.

-“The Big Lebowski”  “Yeah, well, the dude abides”

-“The Sound of Music” (threw ya with that one, huh?)  I can sing every song – not well – but I can do it.

10.  Let’s reach out to what remains of our readership.  Who’s your favorite Old-School Rapper and why?

“Kick It” – – – Beastie Boys.  Why?  Probably because of their flippant attitude towards interviews and interviewers and who could not LOVE the anthem, “you gotta fight, for your right, to paaaaaaaarty!”

A close second  – LL Cool J, but probably for less than musical reasons.

10.5.  My first car was a <blank> and here’s how it defined who I am….

A 1986 candy apple red…(wait for it)….Mercury Capri.  Yeah, sweet huh?  I’m not sure I believe that a car defines who you are until later in life when you buy the red corvette with t-tops.  When I reflect back, the interesting thing about the Capri was that it looked like a Mustang coming at ya which was cool, but the rear view revealed the rounded hatchback!  Hmmm….guess that could say something about me after all!

Kris Dunn

Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.