Jeffrey Shapiro

Director of Talent Acquisition, RadNet

1. When did you first stand up to your parents… what was the issue and...were you right?

Dropping out of college was a decision that was not taken lightly in the Shapiro household. I remember the dreaded feeling of shame and the look of disappointment when the fact that for an entire year I lied about attending class for not only my first but second semester my Freshman year, 415 miles from home. The fact is I cruised through high school, having never studied a day in my life and was BOTH ill prepared and too immature for the freedom and responsibility that came with pursuing higher education. Was I right…? Absolutely, 100% I can safely say I do not wonder if I have the approval of my parents or they speak about with me with pride because I know with great certainty, they do.

2. What seemed like an inconsequential decision at the time, but in hindsight turned out to fundamentally reshape your life?

Telling my childhood best friend I thought his neighbor was cute.

Well what do you think happened next? He of course tells her.

Her reply… ‘No way, I think he’s cute too!’

Friend gives me neighbor’s number.

Jeff and neighbor date for 2 years in high school.

Jeff takes neighbor to her senior prom. Jeff and neighbor break up, ‘cause you know college.

Fast forward 5 years, Jeff and neighbor randomly email each other about some new music they are into.

Jeff and neighbor start dating again.

Neighbor turns out to be Jeff’s wife for 11 years now and all their friends refer to them as the “American Dream”

High school sweethearts, married, two kids with a white picket fence.

3. Name a well-known person you admire and explain why you hold them high esteem?

Dr. Michael Gervais, with zero hesitation. The man is a virtual mentor of mine. He studies the psychology of those who thrive under high stakes circumstances. Driven by the question, Is there a common thread connecting how the greatest performer in the world use their minds to pursue the boundaries of human potential. I cannot recommend the podcast Finding Mastery enough. All I can say is, you’ll thank me.

4. What is your untrainable superpower?

OOO! this is a tough one. I’m going to cheat and give you two answers. One, my sense of direction. It is almost impossible for me to get lost. Secondly, charisma. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told “I feel like I’ve known you forever” or “you really should be a politician” Having once been called the Oprah of recruitment, not only am I going to find out what I need to know, but you’re going to willingly tell me, with a smile on your face.

5. What are the three books that you would unhesitatingly recommend to others? Why?

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Having worked in a toxic environment, I have always known the leader I didn’t want to be. Kim taught me how to trust being my whole self while caring personally and challenging directly.

The Wax Pack by Brad Balukjian

This book is my childhood passion for baseball intertwined father son relationships.

Replay by Ken Grimwood

It will remind you that life should be lived to the fullest, that you shouldn’t ever waste a single day. It will teach you about true loneliness. And finally, it will teach you about acceptance.

6. If you wrote a ‘user manual’ for how people should interact with you, what would be the most important point in the manual?

Warning, do not make vague, arbitrary statements with sweeping generalities. Is this really the worst old fashioned you’ve ever had? Why? Prior to right now, what was the worst one? Why was that one so bad and what makes this one ever worse? Also, please be timely, specific, accurate, objective and actionable. While we are at it, pointing out a problem without offering any type of solution, is just complaining!

7. What do you think is acceptable today but will become taboo tomorrow?

Sharing every detail and every thought of your daily life with the world via social outlets. At some point we are all going to regret it! Besides, if you didn’t post to your social media page for 7 days straight, do you think anyone would notice? Spoiler alert… they wouldn’t. All of us are not that special.

8. When was the last time you felt like an outsider in a group? What/How did you learn?

If fairly comfortable in almost any/all social situations. Revert back to my answer to questions #5 and my political prowess. #Oprah. That being said, the last time I remember feeling like an outsider would be… Company paid team building evening event. My first time in a role having direct reports. My team all hanging together, laughing over libations… I approach and…. crickets! Can you say awkward. Nonetheless, did gossiping or joking about me unify the team? Maybe… and if some, I’m OK with that.

9. What is your most prized possession? What’s the story behind it?

Wayne Gretzky was one of my childhood idols. I spent more money than I care to add up on packs of 1979 Topps and O-pee-chee hockey cards, chasing my purple squirrel, his rookie card. One random day at the card store, I pull a Paul Kariya Acetate card out of a pack and a Shaquille O’Neal gold rookie card from another pack. The next weekend I went to a card show, using those two cards along with some others I don’t remember, or just don’t care, I traded and landed my 1979 Topps Mint Gretzky rookie card.

10. What is the best purchase you’ve made recently? Why?

Working from home is not new to me by any means. That being said, having a home office is a very fresh concept. It took a global pandemic for me to realize, we don’t need a guest bedroom, what I need is an actual home office. Did I mind sitting on the couch with my laptop or setting up shop at the dining room table? No, not at all. Now that I’ve officially converted the room, I’m back to multiple monitors, a docking station, etc. What the room really needed was some décor. Those of you who know me, know I’m a PHan. Hands down my best purchase recently would be this art work! Yes, I was at all three of those shows. These pieces not only bring me joy, but (don’t tell my wife) I think my office is my favorite room in the house now!

11. Which fictional villain do you find yourself sympathizing with most? Why?

It might be the child of the 80s in me or the fact that we’ve been dealing with the pandemic for 6 months but damn Cobra Kai has me seeing Johnny Lawrence in a different light. I mean F you Daniel LaRusso. You move into Reseda and steal Ali Mills from him. Then years later you take his estranged son under your wing and move him into your house. Dude boundaries!

12. If you could invite any 3 people - living or dead - to your final dinner party before the end of the world, who would they be and why?

My Paternal Grandfather

He passed away before I was born and had a tremendous impact on my father, who in turn has molded me into the man, husband, father I am today.

Drazen Petrovic

The one and only celebrity/athlete I have ever cried over. I think I was 14 when he tragically died and he is the sole reason I became a Nets fan.

Brene Brown

An iconic idol of mine. Her teachings motivated me to face a toxic environment as well as heavily influenced not only my professional leadership style and parenting style but the vulnerable objective man in the arena I am today in my everyday life.

13. What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?

I live for questions like this! Motivational quotes and clichés are a hobby of mine.

‘There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs’

‘Grow through, what you go through’

‘Maximum effort yields ultimate success’

And my absolute favorite, ‘Earn Your Scars’

14. What's a skill that isn’t on your resume, but your former bosses would recognize as one of the reasons you are successful?

Easily, I’d say my ability to remain objective. I don’t need to be right, my way isn’t the way and I almost never assign blame. What is the issue, what went wrong, why, how do we fix and lets move forward. PS, I’m never offended if you don’t take my suggestion, use any of my edits or find my ideas to be inconceivable.

15. What role do you find yourself playing when you join a newly formed team? Can you explain why this happens?

Note taker and accountability holder. I possess a bias to action and find when taking notes, it will help generate questions. These questions obviously produce answers, which should lead to actionable items. Great! Now who’s going to take ownership of this item and realistically, how long do you think it will take? When should the team expect an update? Also, I’ll be providing the group with a recap at the conclusion of this meeting. I’m going to trust you’ll follow through, but you should know, I’m also going to verify it. As for the why…. Call it my time spent in a start-up as employee #70 and growing it to 3000+ in 5 years.

16. Have you ever been the weakest member of a team? How did you handle it?

Yes, of course! Is it realistic to think anyone is the top performer on every team they’ve ever been a part of? As for me, I’m a sponge. I love to learn and will openly admit, part of who I am and what makes me tick, comes from learning and observing from some damn impressive high performers.

17. When it comes to our work and industry: what scares you most?

I should preface this by saying, I am indeed a data geek but I’ve adjusted my thought pattern. I used to only care about the numbers and never want to hear or listen to the narrative. I fear performance metrics are taking the human element out of our industry. Now more than ever we need to humane. I know some great HR pros who I consider friends. From recruiters to employee relations and they’ve been sharing some horrific interview stories and candidate experiences. To that I say… Knock It Off. Do Better. Be Better. Don’t lose sight of the fact that we’re talking about people here folks.

18. What changes to our industry would you like to see post-Covid19? What changes do you think we will see?

I would love to see transparency in compensation. I don’t care if you believe it not, wage gap issues are real. Also, stop requiring 3 years of experience for an entry level position.

As organizations continue to figure out how to effectively cut down on brick & mortar real estate expenses. I think we will continue to see an increase in remote work/work from home.

I also believe contract/temp assignments will be trendy, out of fear of another wave of COVID coming with flu season. No company wants to bring on FTEs to then immediately have to go through another round of layoffs.

19. If you could add a question to this selection for the next person to answer, what would it be?

Tell us your story. How did you get into recruiting? (it was by accident really…)

20. Who would you recommend to do the next 20 Questions With … ?

Jackye Clayton. While we’ve never met in person. Over the past 6 months Jackye has become someone I’d consider a friend. Thanks to social media and zoom calls. I’d love to read her take on these 20 Qs.

Thank you to Jeffrey Shapiro taking 20 Questions for The Brainfood Tribune.

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