Thoughts On Business Leadership By Jamie Hoobanoff

Small Business Canada

Jamie Hoobanoff

Founder | The Leadership Agency

Jamie Hoobanoff is Founder of The Leadership Agency, the recruitment partner of choice for North America’s fastest-growing startups. With a mission to help build the most impressive companies of our generation, The Leadership Agency helps startups find and hire best-in-class talent. As HRD Canada’s Best Service Provider of 2019, and the winner of the 2020 Canadian SME Best Professional Services Award, The Leadership Agency has truly become the one-stop-shop for startup recruitment. Working exclusively with startups, The Leadership Agency reaches all lines of businesses, including C-level, sales, leadership, tech, finance, marketing, and HR. Coming from the corporate world, Jamie recognized a gap in the market for startup recruitment. With this, she founded The Leadership Agency in 2017 and has continued to grow it ever since; expanding into the US in just 18 months and opening an office in NYC. As an industry disruptor with over 15 years of experience working with North America’s most fascinating companies, Jamie has interviewed over 10,000 candidates has helped make 2,000 hires across North America, and has worked with over 500 startups through North America. Being SVUS’ Female CEO & Entrepreneur of the Year, Jamie has become trailblazer within the HR and recruitment space, and continues to contribute her expertise to notable publications such as Forbes, CBC, The Globe and Mail, Inc., and HRD Magazine.

What is your definition of Leadership?

The definition of leadership is different for everyone. To me, leadership doesn’t have anything to do with a person’s job title, seniority level, or years of experience. Though we are naturally drawn to these kinds of quantifiable measures of leadership, they do not always deem someone a great leader. A true leader is someone who can demonstrate and prove that they continuously put people first. They instill values, their mission, and opportunity for growth in their people, and inspire innovation and disruption.

What are the most important values and ethics you demonstrate as a leader?

As a leader, I am very mission focused. This is the foundation for how I conduct myself as a leader and founder, ensuring that employees feel completely supported in our organization. Making those around me feel safe and comfortable is my top priority and helps create speed and efiiciency within day-to-day business functions. These qualities have allowed me to take risks, and empower my team(s) to take the best risk of all…on yourself.

How do you encourage the development of your employees?

Leading an organization that has always maintained the core value of transparency has led to people feeling both safe and self-expressed. Providing employees with a platform and opportunity to express their needs in terms of support, growth, and learning has created excellent dialogue and development throughout the company. Its important to leverage subject matter experts, whether for sales training or psychometric testing. Listening to your employees and providing learning and development resources will maintain diversification amongst your team. A team with diverse perspectives, experiences, and training will allow you have a leader to stay positively challenged.

What is your advice to Canadian business owners during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

This time of uncertainty poses many challenges for Canadian business owners. It is very important to be proactive. Communicate and then overcommunicate with your employees, clients, partners, and community. Identify immediate areas of weakness and how they’ll affect your business. This could include accounts receivable, HR related matters, supply chain, and internal processes. Keep in mind that although we are all in this together, no two businesses are the exact same in how they react to this situation. Identify the gaps, strategize, and be fast and proactive in addressing them. Do not stray away from your core values or your mission and maintain what is important to you and your organization. This time will also cultivate opportunities and resources. Be wildly creative and resourceful and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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