Meet Nicole Adams Kraus, Chief Talent Officer at SmarterX:

Nicole Adams Kraus, Chief Talent Officer at SmarterX, merges diverse experiences from consulting and tech startups. Raised globally, her passion for diverse perspectives shapes her approach to problem-solving and teamwork.

Her career spans operational leadership in startups and strategic advisory roles in consulting, offering a unique blend of guidance and execution understanding. Nicole’s focus shifted towards people-centric roles, dedicating the past decade to aligning teams with business goals.

A specialist in global hiring, remote work, compliance, and tech leadership, Nicole leads innovative talent strategies at SmarterX. Her expertise bridges individual growth with organizational success, making her a guiding light in HR’s evolving landscape.

Listen Up: Nicole Adams Kraus, Chief Talent Officer at SmarterX — Full Podcast Episode on Spotify

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Quick Read: Nicole Adams Kraus, Chief Talent Officer at SmarterX, Interview Highlights

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Nicole Adams Kraus, Chief Talent Officer at SmarterX, on my Default Global podcast. Nicole is a seasoned HR professional with a diverse background in executive education, consulting, and product development across various industries. Her unique journey has given her a well-rounded perspective on talent management and the importance of aligning people strategy with business strategy.

Nicole’s Journey to SmarterX

When I asked Nicole about her professional journey, she emphasized the value of diverse experiences in shaping her perspective and approach.

Nicole said, “The common thread was always the people and wanting to engage and understand what motivates people to work, whether I’m in an operating role, leading product, or whether I’m in an executive education and consulting role.”

Her passion for people development and strategic team deployment led to her current role at SmarterX.

Parenting and Leadership

I was intrigued by how Nicole’s personal life experiences, specifically parenting, impacted her approach to working with people professionally.

She shared, “As a parent and a manager, you realize you only have so much control over how your children behave or how the people who report to you behave…it gave me a much greater ability to be accepting and know that I can’t control every single situation just by sheer force of will.”

Nicole believes she is a better manager because she is a parent and vice versa.

SmarterX: A Pioneer in Retail

Nicole then enlightened me on SmarterX’s mission. The company’s ground-breaking technology can read the entire chemical and physical makeup of all retail products. This data-driven approach helps retailers make informed decisions about their products, resulting in better business and environmental outcomes.

Data-Driven Approach to Recruitment

In terms of talent strategy, Nicole explained how SmarterX uses a similar data-driven approach. They use AI-enabled tools for resume screening and reaching out to passive candidates, and also track metrics such as internal referral rates and speed of hiring.

Hiring Internationally

On the topic of global hiring, Nicole shared that SmarterX has always worked with global partners across a variety of fields. While they currently have no employees outside the US, they do hire contractors globally. Nicole sees the potential for full-time global hiring with business expansion, but emphasized the importance of understanding the local retail market.

Employee Benefits Evolution

Finally, Nicole discussed how SmarterX continuously updates its benefits to match the changing needs of today’s workers. They use a combination of employee feedback, market monitoring, and unique business considerations to refine their benefits package. Their innovative benefits include a Costco membership and a state parks pass, embodying their business values and mission.

The Future of Tech Talent Market

As I wrapped up our conversation, I asked Nicole for her predictions on the tech talent market. She anticipates a more balanced market between employers and employees and expects finding talent with both deep technical knowledge and an openness to AI will be a challenge going forward.

In conclusion, my conversation with Nicole Adams Kraus was insightful and thought-provoking. Her experiences underscore the importance of diverse experiences, personal growth, and a data-driven approach in shaping effective talent strategies in today’s ever-evolving digital landscape.