Women Of The C-Suite: “Don’t worry about who gets the credit for solving problems-just solve the problem.” with Claudia Hurt and Chaya Weiner

The advice I would give may sound trite, but always lead by example. Be willing to do any job that is needing to be done, be a team player, don’t worry about who gets the credit for solving problems-just solve the problem. Above all, you must believe in the worth of what you are doing. As […]

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The advice I would give may sound trite, but always lead by example. Be willing to do any job that is needing to be done, be a team player, don’t worry about who gets the credit for solving problems-just solve the problem. Above all, you must believe in the worth of what you are doing.

As a part of my series about strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Claudia Hurt. Claudia attended Purdue University where she studied Organizational Leadership and Communications. During her studies, she worked in a variety of small mercantile settings where she discovered she enjoyed customer service and public interaction. During this period she also organized and ran a local summer youth camp, co-taught a church youth group, and spearheaded the planning and organization of a county-wide Beautiful You conference for teen girls while serving as an early morning D. J. for a central Indiana Christian radio station. While working and helping to manage a family-owned gift shop, she began to help with the planning and operation of an annual 3-day Midwest Pastor’s Conference that serves upwards of 400 people every year. When asked why she enjoys working at Safe Hiring Solutions Claudia readily admits that she loves the idea of providing a valuable service that plays a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of others. She enjoys the opportunity to interact with people from all over while bringing her combined experience in organization, problem-solving, and customer service, to a thriving mission-oriented workplace.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I got to know Trish McCarty (wife of Founder/CEO Mike McCarty) through my job at a local retail shop where I had worked for many years. I would like to believe that she recognized me as someone who enjoyed always adding something extra to Customer Service. Through our local church, I also got to know her husband Mike. I admired both of their characters and found their business interesting. So when I was approached about the possibility of employment, I immediately jumped at it. The more I learned about the importance of background checks in creating safer environments, the more I embraced it as a way to serve others. It is truly a rewarding job!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

Schools are supposed to be islands of security and safety for the children that attend them. I have come across many situations where we have identified someone through our comprehensive background checks that ought not to be in contact with children for a variety of reasons. I recall one particular situation when a school transitioned from a limited background check to our comprehensive background check. We were able to uncover that a significant number of existing employees had not been properly vetted for their positions. Our recheck service was instrumental in bringing this problem to light for the administration.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When it comes to background checks, mistakes are not really funny, but there have been many times that I have learned to be thorough and to check carefully when closing out a report. In one situation, further searching revealed that three of the locations provided for address verification were all penitentiaries where the applicant had been serving time for a violent crime. Needless to say, attention to detail is really important.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

What makes us stand out today is Mike McCarty’s background, and his approach to SafeHiring Solutions. He has been the driving force in providing a service that was not being met, but would increase the safety and security in our schools, churches, and workplaces. He has built a team with the same mission. We are all passionate about the safety and security of our customers and our communities. In reality, our business is not as much about background checks, as it is about finding ways to make lives safer.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

That is a great question! We are constantly working on ways to make lives safer. We are excited about our new ArrestAlert Service, which is a real-time arrest monitoring service. We have a reference checking service that we are in partnership with, RefLynk! This is a great character reference checking service. We offer a Scan in/Scan out Visitor Management System for checking in visitors, volunteers, and vendors. We are constantly vetting and partnering with other like minded companies, while maintaining our original purpose: providing a thorough and comprehensive background check to our customers.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

The advice I would give may sound trite, but always lead by example. Be willing to do any job that is needing to be done, be a team player, don’t worry about who gets the credit for solving problems-just solve the problem. Above all, you must believe in the worth of what you are doing.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

The advice I would give here is that it is all about collaboration not competition!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

That is very true. When starting this job, my mother who is a retired teacher, advised me to find the team players that I admire and imitate them while staying true to myself. This job is full of great leaders and I am fortunate enough to have worked directly with Brigitt Klaum, our VP of Customer Advocacy, and Teia New, who has been with our company the longest and knows our services inside and out.

Brigitt, has a high energy level and that alone inspires others to rise up. She pushes our team to constantly be customer driven and focused. Making the customer a priority in all areas. Even if that means helping them to download a browser, walking the customer through the ordering of a background check, or even teaching them how to scroll using a mouse. Her mission is customer first, and everything else is second.

From Teia, I learned to be patient when answering customer questions about our services and that requires a thorough understanding of our services, rather than pawning them off to someone else. Teia taught me that if you don’t know the answer, you make the effort to find it.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I tell myself that if I have been able to provide the information that has kept someone from harming another person at a school, workplace, or church, then I have done a good job. My job is just one small piece of helping the world to be a safer place.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

1.Pay attention to your customers. Put the emphasis on what they need, not what you think they need, and you learn that through communicating with them

2. Be solution-driven and positive. There is no problem that cannot be solved.

3. Treat your fellow workers well.

4. Recognize and applaud the talents and abilities of others

5. There is no work that is beneath you!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would start a movement that would inspire the people around me, so they are loyal, honest, and ethical in their dealings with one another and customers.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Luke 6:31 and Matthew 7:12

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would say Dana Perino. She is an outstanding communicator. However I believe my mother would hurt me if I didn’t bring her along!

Thank you for all of these great insights!

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About the author:

Chaya Weiner is the Director of branding and photography at Authority Magazine’s Thought Leader Incubator. TLI is a thought leadership program that helps leaders establish a brand as a trusted authority in their field. Please click HERE to learn more about Thought Leader Incubator.

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