My favorite way to end interviews is asking: “What’s one question you’ve always wanted to be asked but nobody’s ever asked you?”
From dream karaoke songs to what founders do on the weekends, the question gives individuals an opportunity to end on the topic of their choice.
Often times, we assume drive is self-explanatory. For Jason, it’s simple to state that his drive is aligned with Yello’s mission – Creating software that enables companies to efficiently and effectively access talent.
While he’s certainly committed to the job, Jason’s true north is pleasing people; Going out of his way to help team members, clients, family and friends feel valued.
The same holds true for his leadership at Yello, where his role as CEO has shifted from being an operator to a conductor.
Yello, formerly known as Recsolu, was founded in 2008 by Jason and his co-founder and college roommate Dan Bartfield.
What began as a recruitment platform for organizations to keep college students in the hiring pipeline has evolved to serve enterprises and small businesses as well.
To accompany their recent rebranding, Yello now offers Recsolu Campus, Yello Enterprise and Yello SMB.
With numerous hiring platforms competing for marketshare, Yello’s decision to go mobile-first – which Jason first announced standing on a soap box in a basement – has had a transformative impact on their success.
The software is platform agonistic. Thus, available on iOS, Android and Windows. A quarter of Fortune 100 brands currently use Yello.
From the basement soapbox, to a $6 million Series A and the startup’s shift to hyper-growth Jason shared an in-depth look into his evolution as CEO.
“In 2008, I was good at everything but I wasn’t great at anything. I would work on a project where I was the business analyst, the designer, the project manager and the solutions consultant,” he shared.
The heavy commitments made it difficult to be detail oriented, a skill Jason’s happy to have cultivated over the last seven years.
“I can break any feature we build,” he remarked. “ I’m an honorary member of our quality assurance program.”
Jason’s most recent project was leading the company’s rebrand from Recsolu – which was too difficult to pronounce – to Yello.
The team partnered with an agency to help them make the shift.
These are some of the questions they asked to uncover the team’s mission:
- Why did you get into this business?
- What do you like about your job?
- What are the end results to the solutions that you provide?
- Where do you see the industry in five years?
“It’s less about features and more about emotions and impact,” Jason shared, reflecting on the process.
“Yello is a more playful, better representative of the culture we’ve created here.”
Today, Jason’s main focus is shaping company communication, vision and culture.
I have to take a step back and pinch myself. Two years ago it was 12 people in a basement.
Between celebrating birthdays with chocolate covered crickets to the annual Rexxies gala, Jason’s dedicated to building an environment where individuals are excited to come to work every day.
The camaraderie spans to the senior leadership team who’s equally close.
“I can’t have a business conversation with him [Dan Bartfield] exclusively because we know way too many secrets about each other,” Jason shared, on his co-founder and college roommate.
Beyond the camaraderie, transparency is the foundation of Yello’s success.
Whether it’s their quarterly town hall meetings, where anyone can anonymously submit questions to Jason, or their unique bonuses policy, Jason’s adamant that the team’s decision making process is exceptionally clear.
“I answer every single question – whatever they want to ask – Nothing is off limits. That level of transparency enables trust that the organization is moving in the right direction,” he shared.
The democratized approach to Yello bonuses is directly in line with Jason’s assertion. The same metrics must be met for any team member to receive a bonus.
“I believe it’s very important that when we make a decision, the decision isn’t based on what one person’s goals might be or what one team’s goals might be,” Jason explained.
It’s not the title. It’s the team effort.
Here’s a glimpse of what we discuss:
- How Yello enables SMBs and enterprise companies to effectively access talent
- Inside the company’s rebranding process, including questions to ask to identify your core
- How to navigate a CEO’s evolution from launch to hyper-growth
- Why transparency should be the core tenet of your culture
- Yello’s democratized bonuses policy