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7 Questions with Ninh Tran
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7 Questions with Ninh Tran
Name: Ninh Tran
Current title: CEO and Co-founder
Current organisation: Snapbrillia, Inc.
Ninh Tran is the CEO and Co-founder of Snapbrillia, a “Hiring Manager’s Best Friend” and an AI hiring platform, that accelerates the quality of hires and DEI by enabling teams to interview better and hire the best people faster. Ninh is also a SourceCon and ERE author and has spoken on various subjects such as “AI & the Future of Recruiting” and “Today’s Inclusive Hiring Technology” at the UC, Berkeley, Stanford, and global conferences. As Cal alumni, Ninh founded Trucksome to empower emerging local food economies to thrive and create jobs for the previously incarcerated in the US. After a year of resting at Google, Ninh co-founded an executive search firm HireTeamMate placing hundreds in a year while building Hiretual, an AI recruiting platform used by Google, Facebook, Amazon, and thousands of others, to hire millions of people every year. Reach Ninh on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ninhtran08/
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
As the CEO of a large enterprise, I have found that hiring the right people is the most challenging task to get right. Recruiting itself is broken in many places, especially with the bias in the interview, selection, and screening processes. On average, most companies have a 56% positive rate in terms of hiring and a 35% false-negative rate, meaning that those that get hired are those with good interviewing skills, but not necessarily high-performance skills. On top of this, companies miss on smart and talented people who are high performers or have the potential to become high performers rather quickly who can’t even land an interview let alone a job.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I built a company from the ground up, starting with the problems that no one else was working on and building from there on out. I started with myself, employing my skillset to the extent of my ability and to see if the mission is worthy of venturing on and making humanity a better place. When I thought about the issues surrounding ethnic and racial bias, gender disparities, and so on, I knew I had to do something to focus on that social problem in hiring specifically.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I wake up looking forward to developing and launching my ideas and I go to sleep knowing that my work isn’t going to keep me up. My primary principle: going to sleep right after the most urgent tasks are done. This allows for two things: I am able to work in sprints since the tasks are urgent, focused tasks and I get a sound, comfortable sleep. A couple of things I’ve realized from this process are that even if I worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, there is more work to be done, which means I had to realize that being the master of my own time was one of my biggest priorities.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
It’s always better to face the truth, no matter how painful it is, because it starts the journey of finding the solution to the current problems. Facing the truth allows you to work through the root causes and face the challenges. The truth will catch up to you, no matter how much you ignore it. Whether it be market changes, shifting customer needs, brand sentiment, or even hiring the wrong person, it is imperative to face that fact rather than avoid it. When you start facing the truth, things start to shift towards the positive and you are able to make decisions based on reality and not a cloud-nine sense of that reality based on your ambitions.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The Book of Proverbs from the Bible has had the most profound impact on my leadership so far. It is full of truths and wisdom that lead people, teams, and companies through turbulent times and it helps me lead my own life.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
My main tactic to build leadership is providing consistent, useful feedback to my team and my new hires that are growing into their positions. Consistent feedback can never go wrong and it empowers my employees to go above and beyond in their strategy and fill in the gaps of their prowess by engaging in professional development. By engaging with my team on a constant, daily basis, I can touch base with their challenges, their ambitions, and their incredible efforts to grow the company. And, by showing my team ways in which they can grow, I ensure that they are supported in taking initiative to become leaders in their role and escalate through different positions.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
When we started our company from nothing and scaled it, one thing that has blessed us a lot is people, customers, and partners in the industry embracing us as individuals and investing in us as individuals but also our vision for the company and the industry. What has worked really well for us is letting our users in progress know who we are as a team and inspiring others to not only do business for us but also join our social mission. I see our users and customers as an extension of our teams because they are the ones that our employees get to partner with to drive more value, impact, and change.