Disrupting the Corporate Hiring Scene with Alan Stein

Karla Jo Helms
4 min readMar 1


Disruption Interruption podcast host and veteran communications disruptor KJ Helms interviews Alan Stein, founder, CEO and chief accelerator for Kadima Careers, who understands the inside scene at today’s biggest tech companies. He explains how to get hired, what’s broken in giant multinational companies and how to fix the problems.

Hiring in the tech industry continues to hit record numbers as companies added more employees for the 18th month in a row, tracking 69% higher for the first five months of 2022 than in 2021.(1) Even the recent news that some major tech companies like Meta are slowing down their hiring may not be the bad news some initially thought, with available workers in the industry reporting that they are receiving multiple offers when they are seeking a job.(2)

Karla Jo Helms, host of the Disruption/Interruption podcast, interviews Alan Stein, who shares that large tech companies are hiring machines. They are so focused on speed and quality that very few companies pay attention to their candidate experience or if they are hiring a diverse workforce. According to Stein, the founder, CEO and chief accelerator for Kadima Careers, only 2% to 4% of the employee base at the major players in the industry employee are black, while nationwide the number has risen to about 13%.

“A lot of these organizations say that they want to increase diversity, and I do honestly believe most of the leaders there actually do want to, but what’s more important is to hire quickly, to fill these roles quickly,” Stein shares. “So, if diversity can enhance the situation, great! But it’s not going to slow down the machine of just gobbling up all this great talent that is interested in working for these top companies.”

Alan Stein details:

  • The main ingredient for disruption is questioning everything and how it can be done better. Too much in the tech industry is still being done for irrational legacy reasons or misaligned incentives that don’t push companies forward in terms of diversity and inclusion.
  • The Status Quo of the hiring process or recruiting talent continues to be a numbers game because the hiring process is a huge field and there are millions of jobs out there. Tech giants are hiring machines that recruit employees the same way each year, sorting through huge numbers of applications with about one third of those hired coming through referrals.
  • While most of these tech companies are interested in investing in Black talent as that demographic continues to be the most underserved, the reality is their efforts have not kept pace with those of other industries despite significant social pressure to hire a more diverse workforce, including Native Americans, LGBTQ, military vets, Latinos, women and the disabled.
  • The big problem continues to be recruiters who are focused on hiring with speed and volume and the hiring managers who are focused on speed and quality. Too few companies are measured on their candidate experience. The result is the companies will fill in a role based on the candidates they meet first from some top universities, rather than making the effort to seek out a talented Black woman, for instance.

Alan’s main motivation to disrupt the hiring process built on his recruiting/hiring manager role to bring in a diverse workforce and expand the scope of his networking efforts. He explains it’s important for candidates applying to these tech giants to understand the process because the companies are not going to change their hiring processes. One tip is to apply in the first week or two to have the best chance of being considered. Alan also advises to always check the careers/jobs page of the company you want to work with because by the time a job listing comes on a third-party job website it’s about four weeks old.

Finally, Alan says cover letters are a waste of time. “It’s more effective to invest time in building relationships and networking instead of writing a cover letter, which will have little or no influence on the hiring process,” he explains.

Disruption Interruption is the podcast where you’ll hear from today’s biggest Industry Disruptors. Learn what motivated them to bring about change and how they overcome opposition to adoption.

Quote of the show:

6:29 “They are in some desire, a lot of these organizations say that they want to increase diversity and I do honestly believe most of the leader there actually do want to occur but what’s more important is the hire quickly, to fill these roles quickly. So if diversity can enhance the situation, GREAT! But it’s not going to slow down the machine of just gobbling up all this great talent that is interested in working for these top companies.”

About Alan Stein:
Founder, CEO and Chief Accelerator for Kadima Careers, Alan Stein helps underrepresented, underestimated and underpaid talent land high-paying jobs at the world’s best tech companies. A former employee at many major technology companies including Google, Facebook, Salesforce and American Express, Stein now uses his experience to level the playing field in tech, particularly in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion. His company, Kadima, continues to evolve its methods in this regard, including 1:1 coaching and group bootcamps initially to more recently developing software and instructional content to deliver more impact.

  1. “New Tech Hiring Data Signals Technology’s Broad Impact on the Economy and Employment, CompTIA Analysis Reveals”; CompTIA; June 3, 2022; www.comptia.org/newsroom/press-releases/2022/06/03/new-tech-hiring-data-signals-technology-s-broad-impact-on-the-economy-and-employment-comptia-analysis-reveals.
  2. Ovide, Shira. “Tech Hiring Is Still Bonkers”; The New York Times; June 14, 2022; www.nytimes.com/2022/06/14/technology/tech-jobs-hiring.html.

And lastly, if you’re a disruptor…

I would like to chat with Karla Jo about maximizing my Disruptive Thought Leadership — contact KJ Helms.

I’d like to learn about the ROI of Anti-PR — download this ROI eBook.

I would like to apply to be a guest on Disruption Interruption.



Karla Jo Helms

Karla Jo Helms is the Chief Evangelist & Anti-PR Strategist for JOTO PR Disruptors. She speaks globally on how the control of public opinion drives markets.