What Level is Your Design Business?

Overheard: Insights on Hiring Exceptional People

Episode 950 of A Well-Designed Business®
950: Overheard: Insights on Hiring Exceptional People

Today With Anastasia Harrison, Traci Connell, Eileen Hahn and Jennifer Tokatyan:

Today on A Well Designed Business, I am so happy to have our roundtable discussion with four amazing #smartladys. Leadership consultants Eileen Hahn and Jennifer Tokatyan, and award-winning designers Traci Connell and Anastasia Harrison.  Both Traci and Anastasia worked with Eileen and Jennifer to improve and solidify their hiring process and it resulted in clear and successful results. They are here to share their hiring experiences, how they worked together, and offer actionable tips that you do not want to miss.

Pick It Apart:

[11:44] Anastasia explains her situation with knowing she has the wrong team members and what she did about it.

[15:15] Eileen walks us through what to do after learning the roles we need to fill and realizing the people in them don’t belong in those roles.

[19:37] Traci shares her experience with hiring designers and when she decided to reach out to Eileen and Jennifer for help.

[26:44] Jennifer shares her experience working with Traci and the pain points she had to face with the previous use of recruitment companies.

[34:54] Anastasia shares actionable steps for those having issues with hiring and team management.

[44:18] Jennifer talks about determining the accurate fit for the role you are hiring.

[47:48] Eileen provides some tools for the hiring process.

LuAnn Nigara and Anastasia Harrison, Traci Connell, Eileen Hahn and Jennifer Tokatyan’s Ah-Ha Moments

“Eileen let me know that I had to take hold of and understand the positions I needed to fill before hiring the people to fill them. At that point, I had people in seats, but they weren’t necessarily sitting in the right ones,” – Anastasia Harrison

“Everybody wants to be happy in a job that they are good at. Employers want their employees to be happy in a job that they are good at, but many times they are in the wrong place,” – Eileen Hahn

“You’re not just interviewing the candidate, they are interviewing you,” – Anastasia Harrison

“It is an honor to be able to hire someone to contribute to your business,” – Jennifer Tokatyan.

More About Anastasia Harrison, Traci Connell, Eileen Hahn and Jennifer Tokatyan

Anastasia Harrison:

Anastasia Harrison is a rarity in the design world – she is a trained architect and an award-winning designer. Her enthusiasm for both can be seen from concept to installation, and this energy fills each of her projects. As Owner and Principal Architect at AHD&Co, Anastasia leads a creative team best known for unconventional thinking and expertise, thus providing effortless designs.

She started her career working on large infrastructure projects in the NYC metro area and worked at the original World Trade Center for nearly a decade. She then moved to Europe to do design work for brands such as Donna Karen, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, and Prada.  Once back in the US, her career focused on luxury residential and hospitality design, as Director of Sustainability in NYC for Gensler. Anastasia became a leader in sustainable design and offered a new standard for mindful living with speaking engagements across the nation.

In 2012, Anastasia shifted her career highlights and began working with high-profile clients on major architectural endeavors, designing legacy properties through her firm, AHD&Co. Her body of work now encompasses historic preservations, large-scale estate renovations, and new construction forever homes. Many of her clients return to her firm to seek her expertise when they secure an additional private residence or vacation home, building life-long relationships.

Anastasia lives in New Jersey with her husband and two Puggles and has three young adult daughters. One of her daughters has a rare connective tissue disorder, which led her to establish a charity for children in medical crisis, the New Jersey chapter of Savvy Giving By Design. Anastasia believes there is a greater purpose to what she does in her career.  Time and again, she has found that architecture and design can do more than just create beautiful spaces – beautiful design can bring great joy and great respite into the home.

Traci Connell:

Since founding her eponymous firm, award-winning designer Traci Connell is an expert in delivering tailored interiors that are as luxurious as they are livable. With her keen eye for design, space planning and art, Connell brings understated glamour and elegance to a vast range of high-end residential interiors, commercial projects, vacation homes and custom site-specific requests. Her inspiration is attained from her explorations of the world of design, travel, art, nature and culture.

With a renewed appreciation for transforming homes into an ease of escape, Connell breaks through predictability with art curation, cutting edge technologies and custom artisan talents, weaving in special, unexpected elements into every design project. As one of the most trusted design firms in Dallas, she delivers an expertly perfected, streamlined system of service that simplifies and organizes the design process. Her impeccable eye for space planning and design, combined with the team’s in-depth knowledge of project management, proves invaluable for clients ranging from busy young families to empty nesters and those seeking vacation homes.

Connell’s philanthropic work within the Dallas design community includes the Dwell with Dignity “Thrift Studio” fundraiser, a design project aimed to raise money to combat homelessness in the city of Dallas and surrounding areas. She is currently serving on the ASID Texas Community Board.

Traci Connell Interiors has proudly been named a Kips Bay Decorator Show House Designer of 2021,  D Home Best Designer in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 and has been included on the Luxe Interiors + Design Gold List in 2018, 2020 and 2021. The firm’s work has been recognized in national and regional media publications including Luxe Interiors + Design, Wall Street Journal, Traditional Home, Modern Luxury Interiors, D Home and AD Pro among many more.

Eileen Hahn:

Eileen Hahn is a leadership consultant who works with firms like Anheuser-Busch, Ericson Worldwide, General Motors, Legoland, San Diego Padres, and interior design firms, as well as smaller entrepreneurial firms. She teaches leaders in these organizations how to hire and lead exceptional employees who bring fire and energy to their work, achieve high levels of performance, and generate financial results. Eileen’s work has improved productivity, profitability, and employee work passion. It has also brought the employees joy, peace, purpose, and prosperity.

Jennifer Tokatyan:

Jennifer Tokatyan is a leadership consultant and a consulting partner with Eileen B Hahn. Jennifer has over 20 years of experience in small and large organizations across mul5ple industries in public, private and nonprofit sectors. She has worked with and for Fortune 500 companies as well as fast-paced entrepreneurial start-ups and Founder-led companies including interior design, hospitality, real estate, apparel, retail, manufacturing, non-profit and more. Jennifer provides leadership, talent optimization, organizational development, strategic HR consulting and coaching to organizations seeking to grow their people and business, deliver on their brand promise, create the culture and environment where its people flourish and achieve exceptional results. She has several ac5ve interior design clients across the United States and was on the expert panel at LuAnn Nigara’s Power Talk Friday at High Point Market in October, 2022

Connect with Anastasia Harrison, Traci Connell, Eileen Hahn and Jennifer Tokatyan

Anastasia Harrison’s Website

Traci Connell’s Website

Eileen Hahn’s Website

Jennifer Tokatyan’s Website

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Power Talk Friday

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Other Shows Mentioned:

#363: Power Talk Friday: Eileen Hahn: Building An Exceptional Interior Design Team

#525: Traci Connell: Take Your Business from Setback to Success

#554: Power Talk Friday: Traci Connell: Buy Wholesale for Profit

#589: Power Talk Friday: Eileen Hahn: Scaling from 2 Million to 5 Million

#851: Power Talk Friday: Alexis Varbero: Making Connections that Matter

#909: Power Talk Friday: Traci Connell: Normalizing Wealth With The Gloss

Other Resources Mentioned:

AHD Trade

The Job You Were Born For: 7 Steps to Align Your Work with Your Life Mission – Eileen Hahn

What Level is Your Design Business?