Profiles in Leadership: Don Charlton, The Resumator
Founder and CEO
May 15, 2014 12:20 AM
Don Charlton, founder and CEO, The Resumator
Growing up in Masontown, Don Charlton said some of the Fayette County coal mining town’s most respected individuals led indirectly through their examples of self-motivation and hard work.
Working with his own employees at West View hiring and recruiting software company The Resumator, Mr. Charlton has found a more hands-on approach to bringing the best out of his employees is what brings out the best in him as a leader.
“As a leader, your No. 1 job is to remove obstacles that prevent employees from doing great things,” said Mr. Charlton.
What would make Pittsburgh better?
“[Pittsburgh] should have the ability to train people transitioning from the blue-collar economy to a white-collar economy from across the region so they can have access to jobs that will give them sustainable livings.”
“A leader has to be that person that every once in a while people talk about when they leave the room because they challenged people to try new things they don’t perceive themselves capable of doing. Leaders help [employees] realize they can do more than they thought.”
Soaking in the lessons of his hometown elders, Mr. Charlton founded The Resumator in 2009 mainly to see through an idea he felt could even the recruiting field for the nation’s small businesses. He also wanted to operate according to his own agenda.
After an independent start, he teamed up with the Alpha Lab accelerator program in May 2009 and subsequently grew The Resumator into a platform used by more than 12,000 companies and organizations, including the presidential campaign committees of President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney.
A September Forbes Magazine profile on the company noted that it has screened more than 4 million resumes and helped to fill 36,000 jobs.
Recalling an earlier start-up effort that failed, Mr. Charlton acknowledged he wasn’t immune to the bumps and bruises typical to first-time entrepreneurs. However, he added, the qualities essential to leadership aren’t intrinsic. They are best built through experience, both good and bad.
“I don’t think leaders are born. Leadership is a skill people accrue and gain over time through hard work and a mix of life experiences,” he said.
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