Business

How Kimone Napier Connects Entrepreneurs to Diverse Talent


Kimone Napier, founder of Hire Breakthrough, supports startups in strategic talent acquisition to help founders find the right employees for their business.

Kimone’s interest in talent acquisition stems from her parents’ personal experience in the workplace. During her maternity leave, she took the opportunity to officially leave the company she previously worked for and devote herself entirely to building her business. Today, Kimone helps business owners save time, money, and energy by guiding them on how to effectively hire and train employees. She also teaches founders how to build strong, diverse teams through an intentional hiring approach designed to find the best and brightest talent.

We asked Kimone what problem Hire Breakthrough aims to solve, what she sees as the biggest misconception about entrepreneurship, and why she thinks support systems are critical to any entrepreneur’s success.

Q: Tell us the story of how your business was founded. How and why did you start working on Hire Breakthrough?

A: I was a freelance consultant for a few years while working 9 to 5. In 2018 I realized that I wanted to settle down and start my family, but I couldn’t see how to get there. I commuted two hours a day and worked until 7 p.m. Also, I felt like I couldn’t have the impact I wanted in the company I was working for at the time. All of these reasons gave me the boost I needed to work on my business. I found out I was pregnant a month later and used my motherhood to double my business. It was the best decision I have ever made.

Q: What problem does Hire Breakthrough solve?

A: Hire Breakthrough is the intentional answer to the recruiting challenges plaguing pre-Series A founders in the business world. We are not hiring to fill a seat. Instead, we hire with the intention of connecting founders with the right talent – ​​talent that paves the way for your Series A. are asked to hire a “unicorn” to fill short-term positions. long-term needs rather than hiring the right talent for the sustainability of the business. Additionally, the recruiting industry has been plagued with the idea of ​​simply filling vacancies rather than focusing on the needs of both the candidate and the founder to create a long-term solution. Hire Breakthrough goes against this status quo. Our intentional approach shines a light on outdated and disproportionate recruitment tactics including radio silence, interview bias, discrimination and lack of inclusivity. We focus on impact, not false urgency, which is what sets us apart.

Q: How has your education or past experiences contributed to the way you operate as an entrepreneur?

A: My education had a big influence on my desire to be an entrepreneur. My parents are entrepreneurs themselves. They have always emphasized the importance of owning a business and having something that belongs to you. When they immigrated to the United States, they were shocked by the treatment of employees in the workplace. Their experiences really pushed me to make a change in this area.

Q: What is the biggest misconception others have about entrepreneurship?

A: Most people think of entrepreneurship as having all that free time or sitting at home doing nothing all day. Entrepreneurship is one of the most difficult things you have ever experienced. As a founder, you have to answer everything, especially at the very beginning. Yes, entrepreneurship allows a little more flexibility and freedom. But that can only happen if you have boundaries and a support system. It’s a different level of responsibility compared to a traditional job.

Q: Did you feel like giving up? What made you persist?

A: Several times. Entrepreneurship is an endless struggle. You constantly have to face obstacles, even if you don’t feel like it. Managing the ups and downs of your life outside of business can be just as difficult. In difficult times, I always think of all the benefits my business has given me. Most important is the impact I can create for the people I serve through my unique gift. Creating a legacy for me and my family, especially as a black woman, is an added bonus that drives me to never give up.

Q: What did you learn about building a team and a support network around you?

A: Building a supportive team and community is the best thing you can do in your business. When you start your business, you wear all hats: marketing, HR, sales and everything in between. The key is to understand the strengths and get support for your weaknesses. This will help you speed up and reach your goals faster and easier. Having a supportive community is an added bonus, especially since business can be lonely. Your support system will give you more power when the going gets tough.

Q: What would you say to your younger self if you were to start your entrepreneurial journey all over again?

A: I would tell myself to do it sooner. I always wanted to be a founder and start my own business, but fear and comfort stopped me. I had a steady job and a steady income, and the thought of disrupting that got me thinking. Since I started my business, it has opened up a world of new opportunities, connections and fulfillment for me. I work on my goal every day, which is a gift for many. Dark.

Q: What’s next for you and Hire Breakthrough?

A: We are working to talk to and teach more founders about the power of the team and build a bridge to connect diverse, flexible, and inclusive companies with diverse talent. We’re excited to launch our incubator program designed to help more founders attract and hire diverse, long-term talent.

Kimone is a member of dreamers and doersa private collective that amplifies the entrepreneurial pursuits of extraordinary women through thought leadership opportunities, authentic connection, and access. Learn more on dreamers and doers and subscribe to their monthly The summary for the best entrepreneurial and professional resources.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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