16: Effective Company Culture and Employee Satisfaction: Mike McDonald’s Approach


In this episode of the Business Superfan Podcast, Michael McDonald, a recruiting industry veteran, shares his insights on building a strong company culture to attract and retain talent. He draws parallels between sports team recruitment and corporate hiring, emphasizing the assessment of skills and potential. The host and Michael discuss the importance of aligning candidates’ personalities with company culture and the costly consequences of poor hiring decisions.


Michael McDonald possesses over 25 years’ experience delivering value-added executive search services to high-technology companies ranging in scope from venture-backed start-ups to industry leaders with revenues over 1 billion in assets.

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Bullet Points

  • Importance of building a strong culture and value proposition to attract talented employees
  • Strategies for attracting and retaining talented employees
  • Michael McDonald’s journey into the recruiting industry
  • Hiring process similarities between sports teams and companies
  • Strategies for identifying and hiring the right individuals
  • Impact of hiring the wrong person on productivity and company culture
  • Developing a culture of loyalty and retaining employees
  • Importance of appreciation, recognition, and rewards in creating a culture of loyalty
  • Understanding and adapting to different organizational cultures
  • Insights on the hiring process and assessing candidates’ traits

Best Quotes

Michael McDonald, 00:03:01, “I realized pretty quickly that the culture wasn’t going to allow that; they were going to hire people in their family.”

Michael McDonald, 00:03:49, “I didn’t have the technical skills, but eventually they liked my tenacity.”

Michael McDonald, 00:04:42, “What kept me motivated and moving forward were that I liked helping people, I liked creativity, and I liked problem-solving.”

Michael McDonald, 00:24:34, “As you experience, and I in my career, in companies I’ve worked where you’re dealing with people that are micromanagers, it extinguishes people. They certainly don’t feel valued.”

Michael McDonald, 00:28:57, “I can tell you that after hiring many people over the last 30 years, the glue that holds people together is feeling valued, and money isn’t the only driver.”

Michael McDonald, 00:28:26, “Culture is everything in a company, and people will stay in an organization because it’s a great culture and they feel appreciated. They’re happy to do their jobs, and it becomes not so much about money anymore.”


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Episode Transcript

16: Effective Company Culture and Employee Satisfaction: Mike McDonald’s Approach

Mike McDonald (00:00:00) – Well, I think companies that are very good at building the kind of culture and value proposition that people want to be a part of. Right. So it’s that culture that builds that. And I think of it in terms of, well, in terms of sports, you know, recruiting in in individuals for a sports team, the first you’re going to look at first element is going to look at somebody that has the skills right to perform. But you’re also looking at performance skills. So there’s two components. There’s the technical skills. Can you throw a ball up. But then there’s a performance. How do you interact. How do you feed. How do you work in in in situations that are always changing dynamic. And they also the third component that I think sports teams use or look for is potential. Potential is key. And especially because you have to build different layers of of capabilities, but you have to find that potential.

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Freddy D (00:00:59) – They bridge the communication gap, empowering you to connect and root for 400 languages and enhance your services and your ability to achieve greater success. For over 29 years, the Foreign Language Service has been Arizona’s top language interpreting and translation agency. They offer high quality interpreting and translation services in over 400 languages, including American Sign Language, ASL nationwide. With a strong commitment to quality, they have become a trusted provider in the industry. They provide a wide range of services, including on demand, 24/7 telephonic and video interpreting. Connect with the live interpreter in just about 60s pre-scheduled telephonic and video interpreting, onsite in-person interpreting document coursework, translation software and website translation, transcription, and voiceovers. Their offerings cater to diverse language needs, ensuring efficient communication and accurate translations for your business. For all your language communication needs, trust a foreign language service to help you communicate effectively. Reach out to them today at (844) 813-4242 or visit their website at 400. That’s 400 languages. Com welcome to the Business Superfan Podcast. Our guest today is Michael McDonald with m w m search.

Freddy D (00:02:09) – Welcome Michael.

Mike McDonald (00:02:10) – Hey thank you Freddy. Appreciate it. Thanks for having me on. So Michael.

Freddy D (00:02:13) – Tell us about how you got started into the recruiting industry.

Mike McDonald (00:02:18) – Right. How much time do we have here? I guess a half hour. Right. Well, let me kind of bring it down and synthesize it. I started while I was in school. I took a position in retail and that helped me pay my tuition. And so I was a retail salesperson. And so after school, after I got my degree, I found a company, a family owned business, and they had 20 stores in the Midwest, Wisconsin, Illinois. That’s where I’m originally from in Chicago. And so I took a position with them and started as an assistant store manager. And then I moved into retail store manager. But I saw that it was a family owned business, so I wanted to move up in the company. And I realized pretty quickly that the culture wasn’t going to allow that they were going to hire people in their family.

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