Who: Barb Karlin
Company: Intuit Inc.
Has Held Title For: 10 months
Previous Title: Director of direct marketing (at Intuit)
Degree: BA, Bradley University
Intuit competes in a tough arena: the market for PC software. But Barb Karlin competes in an even tougher arena: the market for talent. Her challenge is to recruit and retain stars. Her strategy is to emphasize the Intuit culture — why it's fun to work there.
What makes great people great?
Great people are results-oriented, and they love what they do. When you get lots of great people together, the end result is great things: Everyone inspires each other.
How do you fight for great people?
I spent 19 years in marketing, bringing in new customers and keeping them. Now I do it with employees instead of customers. The stakes are equally high: If you lose great people, you lose success. It's that simple.
How do you attract great people?
You open up your company. Last fall, for the first time in years, we held an open house at Intuit. More than 500 people attended. I got an email from a hiring manager who told me that the event lured in a candidate whom the company had been trying to recruit for the past six months. The hook, according to this candidate, was being able to see inside our company's culture.
A version of this article appeared in the Feb/March 1999 issue of Fast Company magazine.