Ankur Gopal is the CEO of Interapt, an award-winning mobile and wearable technology solutions innovation partner. He was named one of Business’ First 40 Business Leaders Under 40 and inducted into the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in 2014. He joins Marcel Schwantes to discuss talent acquisition and what he’s doing to make it easier.

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Show Notes

  • Interapt is an IT services firm that provides solutions primarily for large enterprises but meets with small businesses as well. [2:53]
  • Ankur hadn’t intended to start an impactful movement in helping the community when he moved back to Kentucky; it happened organically. [6:05]
  • Ankur started off acquiring talent by having a heart. [8:02]
  • We can either take the onus of building our own talent, or go out and buy it in an already flourishing market, Ankur says. [11:43] 
  • People can’t take breaks from life when you ask them to retool themselves, and they certainly can’t do that without a paycheck. [14:12]
  • There’s a bias against a non-traditional hire without a college degree. [18:01]
  • Ankur’s paid apprenticeship program is intended to launch unskilled workers and those with minimal digital literacy into a future in the tech industry. [21:23]
  • We tend to associate low income with low functioning. [24:56]
  • Giving someone a first chance or letting them know that they’re supported can lead to a ripple effect of monumental outcomes. [30:41]
  • Ankur quotes his late mentor’s advice to him during difficult times: “If you’re not ticking people off then you’re not pushing hard enough.” [36:38]
  • Apprentices are given a month per year to learn something new, with fully-funded training as long as they continue to do their jobs efficiently. [38:40]
  • Everyone has value and skills that they bring to the table. [42:28]
  • There are both business-oriented and altruistic reasons for Ankur’s program. [46:35]
  • Leaders need to create an environment where employees feel safe sharing their problems. [50:33]
  • Give people first chances and you’ll be surprised at what they can do. [53:30]

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Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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