The Fundamentals of Having Fun

Ken Loyd, 41

Los Angeles

I’ve been an executive recruiter for seven years, and self-employed for the last five. My clients include Cheesecake Factory, Jamba Juice, Panda Express, 1-800-FLOWERS and Sylvan Learning Centers. My office is in my home, I rarely put clothes on before noon, I drive a new Porsche 911, I own my house and I really feel like I haven’t “worked” since I became a recruiter. Unlike the usual recruiter, who just runs the numbers, I have fun with my job. And I’ve been successful because, in my opinion, the fun way to work is the right way to work.

The key to my success is that I look for a good “fit” between a client company and an employee candidate. Most of my clients can talk about their culture, but few can express what makes a good fit. Candidates have a similar problem. Most can only use generalizations when talking about what kind of company they want to work for. So a big part of my job is getting both client and candidate to fully verbalize their values.


For the candidate, these values go beyond the traditional career fulfillment checklist of paycheck and promotions, and such ego rewards as a bigger office. Now “quality of life” is at the top of the list, and candidates are looking for companies that meet their employees’ personal and family needs. For the client company, these values go beyond simply hiring someone with the right skills.

For both, these values include a recruitment process that’s more fun than work. And this is how I make a good fit with the clients I serve and the candidates I recruit. By being a little irreverent and a little witty, I make the process fun for everyone involved.