We sat down with Wendy Kerkhoff, President and CEO of Intellidig to learn more about her business, her methodology and her experience with AWE and the PeerSpark™ program.
Q: Wendy, tell us, how did you end up becoming an entrepreneur?
There’s a part of me that just always knew that I would start my own business. While I was working the recruiting industry, I honestly felt there was a lot of dissatisfaction about how the service was being traditionally provided. I knew there had to be a better way, so I went out and started working to fine-tune my efforts.
I knew that eventually, companies would reach a point where they would recognize that all of their prospective talent came from the same data and talent pool. It was becoming a race to see who could get to that person and people became tired of it.
That’s where research came into play. I knew that we had to find the people who weren’t looking and that the internet was an amazing place to find everything about people. This targeted approach about identifying candidates is what makes us different and is also why we have been in business for 15 years.
Q: Wow, 15 years! That is incredible. How many people do you have working with you now at Intellidig?
It ranges depending on the size and scope of project we are working on. On some projects, I’ve had as many as 20 contractors. My core team is made up of five to seven people.
Q: What are you most proud of in your business?
There’s a lot of things that I look back on and am proud of, but I have to say surviving in business is something to be very proud of in itself. Many businesses don’t make it past the five year mark, it’s a milestone.
I’m really proud of what I have developed in the business and the high-profile organizations we have served. I’ve built a company that’s both functional and operational while surviving the odds.
Q: Would you recommend entrepreneurship to a friend?
It’s definitely not for everyone, but for me it’s the right thing. It’s something I was always trying to work towards and identify the right time to do it. Eventually, I just took the leap of faith and decided I was going to do my own work.
I would recommend it to people who feel they can think outside the box and wear many hats. I love the freedom and flexibility it provides.There’s really no constraints of job or position. It really is what you make of it!
Q: What would you say you have learned from other entrepreneurs?
Definitely how lonely it can be. You don’t have the same support that you get internally in a corporate job when you’re an entrepreneur. Being involved in entrepreneur organizations, like AWE, really surrounds you with other like-minded people. There is so much value in that. You begin to recognize that everyone has challenges and that regardless of industry, my challenges are not much different than other entrepreneurs.
Q: How did you find out about AWE?
I’ve known about AWE for many years, but became more involved a few years ago. When I found out about the programs for established businesses, like PeerSpark™, I joined right away.
Q: What do you want Intellidig to be know for?
I want us to be known as a trailblazer. We really started with the concept of providing something different, a different model to a traditional industry. The most consistent challenge has been trying to break the mold and let people know that there are alternatives to recruitment. It’s been a challenge, but I’ve stuck with it and paved the way!
If you have questions regarding AWE or our PeerSpark™ program, visit our PeerSpark™ page to learn more.