Being An Empathetic, Impactful Leader with Gerardo Interiano
“I want to hire people that are humble, hungry and smart” – Gerardo Interiano
Last week, the Notley Fellows gathered at Galvanize in Downtown Austin and engaged in an electric conversation with Notley cofounder Dan Graham and Gerardo Interiano, Head of Local Market Staffing at Google. Interiano has a long history in politics and is a self-proclaimed tech outsider with a long-standing passion for community work, government relations, and hiring great talent.
Interiano grew up surrounded by politics. His family has a long history of political involvement in El Salvador, where his uncle was president from 2000-2005, and his brother now currently serves. Once he graduated from the University of Texas School of Law, Interiano was fortunate enough to serve for Congressman Lamar Smith and Speaker Joe Straus, where he drew the Texas redistricting maps in 2011. While he left politics because of the increasing viciousness, noise, and polarization, he remarked that these two men “showed him what it means to be in public service,” and that “95% of those in office are good people who are doing good things in the best interest of their constituents.”
After leaving politics with no desire to run for office, Interiano helped create and manage Google’s public-facing government relations. His biggest criticism? “Tech [in general] is afraid of government.”
Six years later, Interiano wanted to reinvent himself within the company and add additional skill sets he didn’t have in his job. Realizing that “your company is as good as your people,” he set off to fully examine and break down Google’s incredible hiring process. When asked why he wants to break a system that seems to function properly, Interiano responded – “if you don’t innovate, you get left behind.”
With his innate abilities to lead and develop creative new approaches, Interiano has been dissecting the hiring processes at Google. He wants to fully understand the traits of the best performers and how to track them with data and metrics, including quantifying traits such as humility. To fundamentally change the hiring process, he is invigorated to find a solution of how to screen the right people into the candidate pool. It’s his mission to unearth candidates that might have traditionally be left out of the process - the ones that possess the soft skills necessary for today’s dynamic business environment.
Interiano left the Fellows with a challenge of using a soft-skill both politically and in technology. By integrating empathy into political discussions and problem solving, Interniano believes the largest problems will be slightly easier to tackle.
We loved gathering at Galvanize, an urban coworking space that cultivates entrepreneurs, startups, Fortune 1000 companies, and tech professionals in the heart of Downtown Austin. Galvanize is on a mission to make growth and education accessible in underrepresented groups in the tech industry by forging a diverse community of eclectic entrepreneurs, programmers, and industry experts united by common values. Thank you for having us, Galvanize!