Nadine Rubin is the founder and Managing Director at Adam Bryce. A highly experienced and insightful executive search leader, Nadine brings natural aptitude to supporting companies through rapid change and growth. Over the past 5 years, she has focused on developing clients such as IBM, Teradata, Wolters Kluwer, RMS, Deloitte, Fujitsu, Nielsen and Viacom. She is focused on understanding the clients’ business and partnering with the leadership to identify key needs and the strategy in support of filling these needs.
Assignments worked on have been in the Americas, EMEA, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. She is known for combining insight and action to benefit her clients and aid their navigation through the ever-changing demands placed on their firms. Throughout her career Nadine has had the opportunity to serve startups to Fortune 100 companies and prides herself on being a strategic and trusted advisor.
Personally, Nadine is passionate about building equality and diversity in the workforce, particularly in disciplines surrounding STEAM. She believes that in order to accomplish equality and true diversity, we as a society must focus on engaging girls and minority groups as early as possible in their education, and exposing them to the career possibilities available to them.
She has worked with three organizations in support of this goal: Girl Rising, The Queens Foundation and Dress for Success. She also started a not for profit, Papilio, which is an organization whose members are senior level female executives in STEAM. The purpose is to build a strong network of women that can collaborate and discuss issues faced in the workplace and to support young women rising in the field.
Follow Adam Bryce on LinkedIn.
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s time for GWBC Radio’s Open for Business. Now, here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:18] Lee Kantor here. Another episode of GWBC Open for Business. And this is going to be a fun one. I have with me today Nadine Rubin. And she’s with Adam Bryce. Welcome, Nadine.
Nadine Rubin: [00:00:30] Thank you. I’m excited to be here.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:33] Well, before we get too far into things, tell us about Adam Bryce. How are you serving folks?
Nadine Rubin: [00:00:38] Okay. So, Adam Bryce is an executive search firm. We’ve been in business for many, many years. Basically, what we do is we help organizations hire key executives in emerging technology, strategy, and innovation. And we focus on diversity in the workforce, predominantly female diversity.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:00] And then, is your work changed because of the coronavirus? Has things changed for you?
Nadine Rubin: [00:01:08] Oh, my goodness. Yes, it has. And it started changing many months back.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:14] And what was-
Nadine Rubin: [00:01:15] Would you like me-
Lee Kantor: [00:01:16] Yeah, what was the first change? We’re all in suspense.
Nadine Rubin: [00:01:21] Yeah. So, basically, when you think about what we do, we get executives from one company to consider going over to a different company and doing a job. So, the process is very heavily laden with face-to-face interviews and a lot of travel. So, many months back, when signs of COVID came upon us, and we work globally, by the way, clients started putting travel bans in place, particularly for non-essential work. So, interviewing was considered that. So, a lot of the interviewing practices that we used previously, which were face-to-face, and multiple interviews, and panel type interviews got changed to telephone interviews and video interviews. The travel was cut out. So, we had to scurry in the beginning to make a lot of different plans, and cancel a lot of things, and change a lot of things up. And as you can imagine, the human element is a bit more difficult to evaluate and to get your hands around if you’re not in a face-to face-situation. So, we had to work with our clients and our candidates on how to project themselves, and their needs, their personality, their want verbally without actually being in the room.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:52] So, those were kind of new skills, or you were kind of … When you’ve been spending a lot of your career helping people perform in person face-to-face. And now, there’s slight changes. Okay, now, you have to create that same amount of charisma and confidence virtually. So, there’s some tips or tactics that you can share to help someone try to present themselves more effectively virtually?
Nadine Rubin: [00:03:19] Absolutely. I think that by being virtual, you need to project a lot of your voice, and you can’t rely as much on eye contact and body language, even though you may be using video. The camera catches you at an angle. So, if you don’t have it perfectly positioned, you’re really not looking in somebody’s eyes. So, you need to be more cognizant of facial expressions and aware when somebody wants to interject or make another comment. And take a pause between sentences and gives somebody else an opportunity to speak. It is different. It’s very different. You have to have more content. You can’t fluff it. You can’t lose somebody over just with your personality. You have to have the good because, otherwise, you’re not going to hold somebody’s attention. It’s pretty hard to hold some attention for an hour. That’s another thing we adjusted a bit too.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:19] You adjusted, you give them some strategies, so that they can create kind of a compelling conversation?
Nadine Rubin: [00:04:30] Yeah. We had them do a lot of homework. So, an executive should do this regardless by the way that they present the information that changes. When you are interviewing, you need to be selling yourself. And most people rely, as I mentioned previously, on personal interaction to sell. When you’re selling remotely, virtually, video phone, you have to do it in smaller snippets to hold somebody’s attention, be more content-laden, and your cadence of speech needs to change.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:11] Now, has there been any silver linings? Do you see any of the things you’re doing now, are they going to be able to transfer after this pandemic has kind of played out?
Nadine Rubin: [00:05:21] Yeah, I do. I think that not only in the interviewing process. And quite honestly, I took this assignment. I looked past the interviewing and on to the onboarding and the actual working environment, I think, as workers today, we will start to be more concise in our conversations, more content-laden. I think our cost of interviewing will go down dramatically because we’re learning that you can gather a lot of information in other ways besides getting on a plane and being in person. And I think that transcends the interviewing process. I think it goes and spans the entire life cycle of employment to the onboarding to actually the work environment.
Nadine Rubin: [00:06:12] A lot of the people that we get jobs for are on the product or services side of the business, heavy travel jobs, heavy customer interface jobs, engagement, relationship management jobs. And people are learning how to do that without living on a plane and traveling 80%-90% percent of the time. I also think people are learning how to work remotely, and how to engage your team, and keep a cheap team feeling that they’re not isolated and alone during this time. We’ll be able to use those skills to allow people not to go into the office so much. It will save on office rents. It will save on commute time. It will improve efficiency and it will decrease cost.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:01] So, you’re finding that clients are becoming more comfortable with remote workers as opposed to maybe previously, they used to have everybody come in. They’re getting more and more comfortable with working virtually. And like you said, that opens up a lot of disruption later on if they do decide, “Oh, I need less office space,” or “We need less travel budget, because we can get the job done virtually.”
Nadine Rubin: [00:07:30] Yeah. And it’s also changing the way people sell. And that’s important as well. What we’re seeing is the selling tools and methodologies are turning more towards using technology and innovation as an assistant, as an enabler. And for the people that we mostly focused on, that’s great because it’s more demand on their skills, and people are looking to understand, how do I sell through a mobile channel or a digital channel as opposed to going face to face? How do I service my clients without being on site?
Nadine Rubin: [00:08:15] I was speaking to a client just maybe an hour ago. They put devices on site to monitor their customers’ responses and they had a major outage in a data center that was remote, and they had to repair it remotely, and it tested their skills, but they did a fabulous job. And their technicians had spent 100% of the time on the road installing these devices are now parking within a safe distance of the customer, logging into the wireless, and remotely managing the devices through the wireless without going on cram and utilizing the customer skills to do some of the work on site for them.
Nadine Rubin: [00:09:06] So, we’re changing the way we do business. And I don’t think it’s such a bad thing. And don’t get me wrong, COVID is an awful thing. This pandemic is something I never thought that I’ve experienced in my lifetime. But I think there’s always a silver lining and good things come out of every situation. And this is forcing us to use other skills.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:28] Now, let’s talk about the people that you are looking, like … what do you call them? The candidates. Like how does a candidate stand out, so that they can be found by someone like you? What are some of the things they can be proactively doing to bubble up to the top when you are searching for an executive?
Nadine Rubin: [00:09:50] It’s again, social media, and evangelizing. People need to publish. People need to do speaking engagements. People need to get their opinion out there and make sure they’re visible. They can’t hide behind their desk. If they want to be recognized, they have to put thought leadership out there, so they catch people’s attention. And they can’t do it just by sitting behind their desk and doing their job.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:22] So, the days of being-
Nadine Rubin: [00:10:24] They have to promote themselves.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:24] That’s not going to work. So, the days of being a good kind of soldier just in the background, doing everything you’re told, that’s not going to work if you want to really kind of future proof your career?
Nadine Rubin: [00:10:37] No. And especially if you’re working remotely, because nobody’s going to know. Unless you affect change outside of your individual role that impacts other areas in the business or other people, people won’t know. People only know when something is broken, or you promote it, and you tell them what you did well. That old adage that what bubbled to the top. So, if you just do your job and everything is status quo, people take it for granted. You need to differentiate. And you don’t want to differentiate by having a problem. That always comes to the top executives’ attention. You want to differentiate by doing something well, or doing something good, or being innovative, and you might have to do some self-promotion.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:27] Now, what are some things a person who says, “I don’t feel comfortable tooting my own horn either. It sounds like I’m bragging,” how do you help them get over that kind of limiting belief?
Nadine Rubin: [00:11:41] Well, you have to start thinking a little bit differently. It’s not bragging. It’s sharing, sp that other people can take the benefit of the work that you’ve done. So, if you had built this terrific collaborative tool or installed this terrific collaborative methodology, so that customers could engage more effectively with your sales team, you aren’t going to say, “Oh, look at what I’ve done to make you gain more revenue,” but you can say, “This is an opportunity for you to engage with your customers in a different way. Let me share with you how you can use it.” And the fact you’re introducing it, you’re not bragging on yourself, you’re sharing with them, you’re helping them, you’re helping them to learn new things. Even if it’s one-on-one, you’re moving the needle forward, you’re making yourself known. So, by no means am I suggesting that people should go out, and pound their chests, and talk about how great they are. I think they need to talk about what they’re doing and think about the impact it has on others and share that information, so others can take advantage of it, and then they’ll remember them.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:02] Now, I’d like to talk a little bit about maybe negotiations, salary negotiation. I read a study, I don’t remember the details, but it was that women don’t negotiate or pushback when it comes to salary as much as men do. Do you have any insider tips you can share for the woman executive?
Nadine Rubin: [00:13:21] Oh, my God. I suffer the same problem. So, I don’t know what it is. But this may be popular, unpopular with our audience. Women and men are not the same. That’s why diversity is so important. We have different DNA. And there’s things that we can do the same, there are things we can do better, there are things that we don’t do better, and that tends to be an individual thing. But there is something to say about genetics, right? And women don’t promote themselves as effectively as men do. And I’ve seen this throughout my career.
Nadine Rubin: [00:13:59] And one of the things, and it’s not to every person, is negotiating for themselves. They’re great at negotiating for others, they’re great at negotiating contracts, they’re detail-oriented, but when it comes to themselves, I don’t think, for most women, that’s the thing they think about first, I know for me, when I’m put into a situation that I need to negotiate, I’m always taken aback when somebody wants to pay me less, and they say, “Well, oh, if I had to pay you that much money, I could hire Korn Ferry or Heidrick.” And I say, “Well, then, go ahead,” whereas, years ago, I’d say, “Oh, really? Am I going to lose the deal?”
Nadine Rubin: [00:13:21] Women just have to realize that they’re worth it and recognize that they should be paid for the job that they do. And if they don’t ask, they won’t get. I think women tend to assume, “They’ll be fair. They’ll pay me what the job is worth.” And in most instances, that is the case. But again, if you don’t ask for it, you’re not going to get it. So, you have to realize what you bring to the party, how relevant it is to what that individual needs to have done, and what the market is paying for those skills, regardless of what you’re earning today, and ask for it.
Lee Kantor: [00:15:30] Great advice. Now, where you going to look for inspiration during this time? Do you have some go-to resources that help you kind of battle every day?
Nadine Rubin: [00:15:43] I actually really do. I look at other senior executives, I look at, for example, David Kenny at Nielsen, who I think is a wonderful leader, is the CEO. I look at many other leaders of big corporations to see how they are managing, how they’re doing their business. I look at Johnson Controls. I look at Protiviti. These are all kinds of minor. And I ask them, how are you managing during this? Are you going to be furloughing people? Or what are you doing to assure people their jobs? How are you looking at the future? Are you concerned about losing people? Are you not going to be hiring? And I listen to them. And to a person, I’m hearing from the leaders, “We’re going to keep our staff in place. We’re doing other things that will allow us to save money to offset the costs of the employees during this downtime.”
Nadine Rubin: [00:16:50] For example, their go-to market strategies are changing. The cost of going to market for a lot of these organizations was extremely expensive because they would have multiple people selling to the same client. And going there, and wining, and dining them, that’s changing. And believe it or not, that’s a blessing in disguise because that cost is paying somebody’s salary. So, I’ve gotten some suggestions from other clients, I’ve asked them what they’ve done to keep their people from feeling isolated during these times, and they’ve increased the amount of videos. They’ve also started having virtual happy hours, and virtual lunches, and virtual open forums. So, people are being creative. They’re also meeting in smaller groups, and they’re spending more time thinking about what they need to communicate.
Nadine Rubin: [00:17:54] I had an example given to me today that you’re in a big meeting, and you have a little question. You grab that person for a few seconds after that meeting, and you get your question answered. Well, you can’t do that at the virtual meeting, can you? So, instead of shooting from the hip so much, people are thinking through their questions and qualifying whether they really need to be discussed or not before they take somebody’s time, and then they’re reaching out. They’re using tools like Skype, and WebEx, and Zoom to get to people. They’re chatting on text, using Facetime, but they’re being more judicious about using other people’s time is where they spend their time. And I think people are getting more efficient.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:43] Yeah. Humans are very resilient and we adapt pretty quickly to whatever’s in front of us. So, it’s exciting time. And there’s change happening and people are doing the best they can. And I’m optimistic that we’ll get through this. I’m sure you are as well. Is there a website that someone could reach out to you and have more substantive conversation about your work or talk?
Nadine Rubin: [00:19:11] We do have a website, but I do want to make one other comment that I think is very, very important. One of the things that I’m seeing is happening during all this is people are becoming more human. They’re relating to people on multiple levels rather than just the business level. They are in their homes. Their children are around. Their dogs are around. Their spouse is around. They’re gardening. They’re walking their dogs when they talk. People are becoming people. They’re humanizing their roles. And I think that is going to help a lot in building relationships and getting work done in a collaborative way.
Nadine Rubin: [00:19:51] So, as far as reaching us, we do have a website and it’s adambryce.com. If you’d like to reach out to either myself or one of my colleagues, first name, which is Nadine, or go on the website, and you can call Nick, or June, or Patrick. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org. I return all my emails. I do not link to anybody I don’t know. So, if you ask me the link, expect me to say, “Okay, but let’s have a conversation first.” And I welcome you to reach out to me.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:30] Now, before we wrap, Nadine, can you talk about the GWBC? How has that organization helped you?
Nadine Rubin: [00:20:38] Well, it helped me to see what other senior women are doing, and how they’re getting out there. I am the subject of my own criticism. I tend to focus very heavily on my world and don’t reach outside of it enough. And I’m finding that this type of organization is making me look outside of my world into other people’s world and making me more aware of business and how business is done.
Lee Kantor: [00:21:09] Good stuff. Well, Nadine, thank you so much for sharing your story today.
Nadine Rubin: [00:21:14] You’re welcome. And thank you for having me.
Lee Kantor: [00:21:17] All right. This is Lee Kantor. We will see you all next time on GWBC Open for Business.
About Your Host
Roz Lewis is President & CEO – Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC®), a regional partner organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and a member of the WBENC Board of Directors.
Previous career roles at Delta Air Lines included Flight Attendant, In-Flight Supervisor and Program Manager, Corporate Supplier Diversity.
During her career she has received numerous awards and accolades. Most notable: Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2018 Diversity & Inclusion award; 2017 inducted into the WBE Hall of Fame by the American Institute of Diversity and Commerce and 2010 – Women Out Front Award from Georgia Tech University.
She has written and been featured in articles on GWBC® and supplier diversity for Forbes Magazine SE, Minority Business Enterprise, The Atlanta Tribune, WE- USA, Minorities and Women in Business magazines. Her quotes are published in The Girls Guide to Building a Million Dollar Business book by Susan Wilson Solovic and Guide Coaching by Ellen M. Dotts, Monique A. Honaman and Stacy L. Sollenberger. Recently, she appeared on Atlanta Business Chronicle’s BIZ on 11Alive, WXIA to talk about the importance of mentoring for women.
In 2010, Lewis was invited to the White House for Council on Women and Girls Entrepreneur Conference for the announcement of the Small Business Administration (SBA) new Women Owned Small Business Rule approved by Congress. In 2014, she was invited to the White House to participate in sessions on small business priorities and the Affordable Care Act.
Roz Lewis received her BS degree from Florida International University, Miami, FL and has the following training/certifications: Certified Purchasing Managers (CPM); Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD), Institute for Supply Management (ISM)of Supplier Diversity and Procurement: Diversity Leadership Academy of Atlanta (DLAA), Negotiations, Supply Management Strategies and Analytical Purchasing.
Connect with Roz on LinkedIn.
The Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC®) is at the forefront of redefining women business enterprises (WBEs). An increasing focus on supplier diversity means major corporations are viewing our WBEs as innovative, flexible and competitive solutions. The number of women-owned businesses is rising to reflect an increasingly diverse consumer base of women making a majority of buying decision for herself, her family and her business.
GWBC® has partnered with dozens of major companies who are committed to providing a sustainable foundation through our guiding principles to bring education, training and the standardization of national certification to women businesses in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.