Playing The Guitar Is Good For Business

Ben Martinez Business Development, Culture, Dress Code, Hiring Managers, HR, Leadership, Pop Culture, Recruiting, Talent Acquisition

I learned how to play the guitar a couple of years ago, ironically at the same time, I decided to start my own business. I can play about three songs on the guitar before I have to seek outside help. With my recruiting and HR consulting business, I can handle about three clients before I have to look for outside assistance.

Since recruiting and consulting pays the bills, I work on my three clients more than I do my three guitar songs, but playing the guitar sheds light on the dark spots of running my own business.

  • Guitar Example – I can comfortably play one song – “Renegades” by X Ambassadors. I am comfortable playing this song in front of people, I can play it with my eyes closed, and I know the song well, but there is always room to improve.
  • Recruiting Example – I can comfortably recruit for one client. I know their culture, company mission, and the nuances of their office personalities. I am comfortable talking about this company in front of any candidate, but there is always room to improve my relationships with the hiring managers and leaders at the company.

Taking on a new client is like learning a new song on the guitar. There is a learning curve with every new client, and each has their own unique style and culture. Whether they are aware or not, you can typically see the culture play out in what the CEO and executive team values.

I have one client who is into the dress code. I play the game. I shave and dress up for them. I have a different client who likes people who dress down – shorts and t-shirts type of place. I play the game and dress down with them.

The more you work with people, the more you will find that other people are not against you. They are just for themselves. Like playing a song on the guitar, find the chord in their company that they like to hear on their music playlist for themselves and play that chord. If they need help with onboarding and training – focus there. If they need help with hiring more diverse candidates – assist there.

Playing the guitar – play until you are satisfied with the sound you hear and see what resonates with your audience.

Recruiting people – recruit until you are satisfied with the candidates you find and see what resonates with your hiring managers. Adjust as needed.

Song over.

Ben Martinez

Ben Martinez – family guy, coffee critic, planker, and HR & Recruiting journeyman. He has successfully worked in HR leadership roles around the US and Mexico for Fortune 500 companies (Pepsi, Honeywell, and Energizer). Most recently he was the VP of People & Culture for HireVue, where he hired 400+ people in almost five years using video, social media, and created the employment brand, VueNation in partnership with HireVue.

Ben now runs his own consulting company, Ramp Talent, where they ramp recruiting and HR for startups. From recruiting ready-to-go talent to implementing ongoing best practices to preventing legal headaches, we build the first HR and recruiting systems for fast-growing startups.

PS – coffee is for closers – Ben founded an e-commerce subscription coffee company focused on re-imagining coffee in the workplace and home – Sumato Coffee Co. They only roast your beans within 48 hours of your order.

Ben lives in the SLC, Utah area.