Employee Spotlight: VP of Operations Richard Fusco

Employee Spotlight: VP of Operations Richard Fusco

EDITOR’S NOTE: Learn more about the people behind recruitAbility. We’re profiling each of our employees to shed light on their career paths, what they do in their free time, lessons they’ve learned, and much more. View all profiles here.

Our latest employee spotlight is on Richard Fusco, VP of Operations at recruitAbility. Richard joined the company in Nov. 2017 after working in various product management and consulting roles in New York City for 10 years. He studied at UT for his undergraduate and MBA degrees.

Richard FuscoAn archer in training, Richard names China Family and Milano Cafe as his favorite places for takeout in Austin.


How did you end up at recruitAbility?
My family and I had moved to Austin, and I was looking for a new role. Nad Elias and I have been friends since college. Hard to believe that was back in the ‘90s. He had started recruitAbility earlier in 2017 and was looking for someone to head up sales. I was looking for a role with a lot of opportunity for career and personal growth. This was a perfect opportunity to get both. It was a great situation to be in the early stages of a company with a great friend. 


Describe your role at recruitAbility.
Currently, I am the VP of Operations. In a small business, this can cover a lot of things. At recruitAbility, I am primarily responsible for enabling the recruiting team to fill our client’s job orders. I hop in to recruit on a job once in a while to make sure I have a good understanding of our process and see where we can all improve. I also work with our marketing team to get our message out to the world. We have a pretty unique offering, but it is a crowded market. It’s important to get a clear message to the right people. 


What’s surprised you the most about working in the recruiting industry?
On the outside, it seems pretty straightforward, but it is WAY more than just quickly reviewing a few resumes and sending them to clients. You have to pay attention to all of the details. There are a lot of moving parts in a search, and we always have a lot of different searches going on at any one time. You find that the best recruiters are those that listen 90% of the time and really understand a person and client in their entirety. They work hard and they work smart. Hustling makes all the difference in this industry.


Since the last time you lived in Austin, what’s changed for the better (and worse)?
It is great to see much more diversity in Austin these days. People from all over the world are moving here, slowly making Austin more of a melting pot. This brings great food and entertainment along with it. 

Traffic is probably everyone’s biggest complaint. For me, it’s kind of sad to see downtown transformed so much. It used to have a sleepy, chill feel to it. Now it has been overrun with high rises. Cool to look at, but it starts to feel like every other place.


What was it like working in the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP)?
A great experience that I can’t recommend enough for everyone to check out and support. PEP is a program that takes prisoners that are close to their parole date and puts them through an entrepreneurship course. They start with a business idea and work through all the things needed to start and operate a business.

I helped a few participants with their business plans during the course and then went to their final presentations. They are eager, hard-working people like the rest of us. They typically had tough childhoods and are now looking for a way to get a step up when they are released. The program has changed the lives of thousands and started some great businesses.


What’s the most common mistake you see companies make in the hiring process?
Putting too much faith in resumes and past company names. It is an easy thing to lean on, “Well, if they worked at ‘X’ then they must be great.” That isn’t always the case. Their personality and talent have to align with your company’s culture and role. They could be a great fit in one situation and not another. Talk to them, learn about them, talk to their references. That’s my advice.


Where do candidates trip up most frequently in the interview process?
By not preparing! It is so easy to find background information on a company – news, team, hiring manager, interviewers, everything! There is no excuse for not doing this. You can never be over-prepared with information. If you want the job, do this. Make it difficult for them to say no. Someone coming unprepared indicates you aren’t interested in the role or you aren’t the type of person that would excel in the role. Either way, not good.


You have an opportunity to watch any band perform live (past or present). Name the band.
I’ve seen a lot of shows in my time. I’m a big fan of concerts. Of the shows I’ve seen before that I would love to see again, Rage Against the Machine and Rammstein were by far the craziest and most exciting. 

It’s always hard to tell what bands I haven’t seen that would be good live. I’ve been disappointed by some of my favorite bands’ live shows even though I love the music. I’m thinking Hendrix or Led Zeppelin would be amazing.