Written by HRCap, Inc.
April 13, 2022
Have you ever wondered how CEOs think? What motivates them to start and grow their company? How they manage their time? How they build stamina? What they eat and drink for breakfast?
We have started a bi-weekly series, "Leadership Table Talk," which will be devoted to engaging executives to offer personal experiences and leadership advice. Our CEO, Andrew Sungsoo Kim, openly shares his passions and insights on his leadership journey as the CEO of HRCap, Inc.
1. Why did you create HRCap?
My passion has always been in connecting people and creating meaningful opportunities. At that time, very few opportunities allowed for making such "connections" in the United States. Then I thought if there was no such service, I should create my own.
Leaving behind my stable job, I pioneered the premium headhunting service for our niche Korean-American community. I knew the unique business needs of global Korean conglomerates and U.S.-based Korean-American entities and understood the career desires of job seekers in the U.S. I wanted to help anyone urgently looking for a job or displaced by their employers. I wanted to support an organization eagerly trying to scale up its operations in unknown territory – simply by focusing on making a meaningful connection.
My strengths were identifying strengths in people and building sustainable talent strategies for companies. I'm extremely grateful that HRCap has now become a talent partner, not just an HR vendor or recruiting agent, well trusted by our client companies and job seekers across industries, functions, geographies, and levels.
2. What were some of the greatest challenges creating HRCap?
In the early stages of HRCap, it was challenging to recruit outstanding talents to join Korean and Korean American companies because these companies, at that time, had lower recognition and market share in the U.S. Our clients also did not invest in career growth and development systems. Things started turning around in 2003, when many Korean companies became more market-competitive through brand investment and product enhancement. Being leaders in the mainstream market, they began to create greater value through customer satisfaction and leading product innovations.
Internally, we also needed to better strategize on how to recruit strong talent at HRCap. Headhunting may not be for everyone, as it is highly focused on people and heavily driven by the market dynamics. Just like many organizations, we continued to have turnover issues and needed a unique brand proposition to compete with other global mainstream competitors. We assessed our strengths and weaknesses to identify new market opportunities. We focused our efforts on instilling greater vision and people solutions to retain our top employees. With a more committed team, we specialized and diversified our business to offer the best-in-class reliable service with the highest quality and speed.
3. What are some of your greatest joys as a CEO?
Despite many challenges and obstacles, I had just as many great joys as a CEO. The People business is indeed one of the most difficult businesses to be in, but also, the most rewarding career to be in.
I am truly proud of our global teams and the unique services and powerful brand we have built together at HRCap. I am grateful for our committed and passionate teams and how many see their career jobs as vocational callings. I am humbled to receive positive feedback from our clients and candidates on how our teams have accelerated their careers, enhanced their families' livelihoods, and transformed their organizations.
Most recently, HRCap was selected as "New Jersey's Best Places to Work" in 2021 by NJBiz and named "Top 10 Executive Search Firm" in 2022 by Manage HR Magazine. These recognitions show how HRCap went from a simple business serving a niche Korean-American market to the largest global Asian-American Executive Search firm in the U.S. sought out by all clients and candidates alike. My greatest joy is that we are all continuing to grow, develop, and innovate as a learning organization.
4. What is one piece of advice you would give to those starting a business?
Truly know yourself. Understand what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. It will be difficult to start a business and continue to grow it, without the expertise and the genuine passion.
Make connections with people. Intentionally reach out to people, be willing to serve and help selflessly, and put your best foot forward. Provide a white-glove service or present the most competitive product with a clear value proposition. People will be highly satisfied and will remember and refer your services, which will drive brand awareness, business expansions, and greater fulfillment.
Andrew Kim has pioneered and paved the way for many Asian American professionals and companies in their journey toward localization and globalization. Despite market industry challenges, he has persevered and succeeded and continues to create HR solutions and give back to the community. With his passion, he was able to turn his challenges into opportunities.
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