Wedge leaders’ book to benefit female and minority entrepreneurs

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Courtesy Wedge

The leaders of a recruiting and screening platform have pledged to support female- and minority-owned startups with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their new book.

Wedge CEO Matt Baxter and President Theo Rokos recently published a book, “The Hiring Knot: Untangling Modern Recruiting Challenges,” and they said on Tuesday, April 26, they intend to pledge a portion of proceeds to support programs of the Michigan Center for Economic Innovation (MCFEI) that assist women and entrepreneurs of color just starting out.

Baxter founded the human resources technology company Wedge in 2015.

“West Michigan as a community has supported me along my journey,” Baxter said. “From my education at Hope College to local business leaders, the community has kept me going. I hope to support emerging leaders, dreamers, movers and shakers (who might) not have access to the network that I have had the benefit of associating with.”

Devon Joslin, MCFEI board chair, described Baxter as a “doer” and said his organization is grateful for the assist.

“Very seldom do I encounter individuals who are able to synergize an incredible business IQ and desire to serve their community,” Joslin said. “Matt has a unique vision for what the future workplace will look like, and that vision has the potential to impact millions of lives. It has been a distinct privilege to work with him.”

Joslin said MCFEI will announce its program giving goals in the next financial quarter, alongside networking, fundraising and pitch competition opportunities.

Harnessing insights from industry insiders and talent acquisition specialists, “The Hiring Knot” examines the current state of talent acquisition and offers practical advice for navigating evolving labor markets.

“Always dynamic, recruiting has become increasingly complicated over the past few years despite advancements in strategies and solutions,” Baxter said. “Theo and I wrote this book to cut through the noise and give people — recruiters, hiring managers and even candidates — access to information that can help them.”

Even before the pandemic and ensuing Great Resignation, companies struggled with hiring due to inefficient and often outdated processes, Baxter said. In response, he said many turned to technologies that promise a quick fix rather than addressing the underlying issues. “The Hiring Knot” strives to offer readers insight into the candidate and recruiter experience; hiring manager influence; diversity, equity and inclusion; and building teams.

The book’s contributors include Tim Sackett, president of HRU Technical Resources; William Tincup, president at RecruitingDaily; Laura Mazzullo, founder and owner of East Side Staffing; Shannon Burkel, chief client officer of AXIOS HR; Steve O’Brien, senior vice president, talent acquisition at Syneos Health; and Rocki Howard, chief people and equity officer at The Mom Project.

“As an industry, talent acquisition has changed so much over the past two decades, but the goal remains the same: Hire the best person for the job as quickly as possible,” Rokos said. “To achieve that, we need to adopt a new mindset that combines speed with personalization, and that’s what ‘The Hiring Knot’ is about.”

To complement the book’s release, Wedge recently introduced a redesigned brand and website that offers resources to support improved hiring outcomes.

“The Hiring Knot” goes on sale through major booksellers on June 1. More details and preordering are available at wedgehr.com/book.

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