In this interview Salvador Klein teaches us what progressive employers are looking for in candidates.  As an employer of 35 people, although only being 33 years of age himself, he has some great insights to share on communicating and understanding your own value.  Salvador has an incredible amount of both energy and wisdom to share with our listeners.  He talks to us about the importance of connecting to our why and how this can assist you to build both a successful career and business.


Salvador grew up and was home-schooled in Canada.  He moved across to Australia when he was in High School.  He found the Australian High School system very constrictive in that it didn’t promote creative thinking.  He un-enrolled and did his HSC at TAFE.  He qualified for Uni at 17 and enrolled to Sydney University in Astrology.  However, prior to commencing he was offered his first job at Fairfax at the age of 18. He quickly advanced in his roles because of his open mindedness. He thought differently. Salvador believes that if you think differently about things, then you’ll be able to connect the dots a little bit faster. To him business and success is all about the challenge and not the politics, money nor power. He really enjoyed his work and the people he worked with. This inspired him to do things quickly. Challenge has always driven him. Wherever he works, Salvador always sees to it that he learns something. The faster he learns the better. He always tried to understand what delivering value meant for every role.

What was the catalyst for the change from switching from a corporate job to an actual start up business?

  • Salvador worked his way up the corporate ladder. He was being groomed for a large role and then the business venture that he was going to lead fell through.
  • He tried to pitch a business ventures to his previous employer but they didn’t want to resource the project and that’s when he decided to quit his job and give it a try himself.

Where did you get the courage from to make that change?

  • In all honesty, Salvador found going out on this own really scary at first.
  • He believes that it all comes down to simply doing it – you find within the amazing drive to do things and become resourceful when you really don’t have anything to loose.
  • When all the success, risk and failure was on him he found it very liberating and terrifying at the same time.
  • Though it was very challenging, initially he funded himself and didn’t seek any investment.

Tell me about the most challenging situations that have resulted in some of the biggest lessons that you’ve learned?

  • Salvador found it a crushing realization when he realized he no longer had anyone else to do things for him.
  • He realized that when you’re already out on your own, doing your own thing and you no longer have any bosses or superiors to vindicate your choices and you no longer have resourcing underneath you to do something for you – it’s all you. You have to learn to trust your own judgment.
  • Salvador came to understand that running a business and making it grow is a totally different skillset to the one he had previously employed. He soon realised that to commercialize a business, you have to familiarize yourself with other stuff that you’re not really familiar with as quickly as possible. If there’ are things that you’re not really good at, you need to find someone to do them for you instead. He believes this is better than wasting your energy and time. You should play to and work with your strengths.

What does success means to you?

  • For many years success to Salvador was all about challenge – challenging himself to see what he was capable of achieving.  Now, it is about being incredibly innovative and having members of his staff in a state of flow to make the business succeed and scale.

What is your view on the importance of having your personal values aligned with your career?

  • Salvador believes that you spend half of your waking life working you need to have the outcomes of that endeavor aligned with your own values. It depends on how much you let your work define you and who you are. The manner in which you go about your work is very important. A project doesn’t need to make money, though at some point an incredibly well thought-out, well executed product generally will.
  • Salvador believes that if you love what you do you’ll eventually find a way of making money out of it because you’ll be creating true value.

What are you looking for when hiring the right person?

  • At first, Salvador checked if the candidate had the right experience for the job. But he soon realized that an individuals’ experience doesn’t really matter as much as their attitude and their ability to learn and problem solve.
  • He has found that the employees that didn’t succeed often overestimated their level of experience and knowledge and didn’t accept the way the company did things.
  • He believes that people who have an open mind, learn, are humble enough to ask questions and say sorry when making mistakes are the people who grow faster because they don’t waste time with politics or fear making mistakes. He values individuals who are genuine and authentic.
  • Salvador believes that if a candidate has the right attitude, commitment and investment into the role that they’re in – the employer will reward employees and help them succeed in their career.

What really impress you and seal the deal to hire someone?

  • Salvador highly values confidence, he believes that if you have confidence and you can communicate effectively you are off to a very good start. You should be confident enough to know you strengths and honest enough to recognize your weakness. You should also demonstrate authenticity in the interview.

What wisdom would you like to pass on to someone that’s looking to make a career change?

  • Salvador encourages the candidate to think from the employer’s perspective. He believes candidates should  go into a job interview and talk about what they can do for the employer.  He believes in a fair trade between the employee and the employer and that candidates should demonstrate the value they can add to the business.

Further Information

Both Kylie and Salvedor highly recommend the following TED Talks

Simon Sinek

In this talk Simon discusses the principal behind every successful person and business. A simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?"  -

Scott Dismore

In this talk Scott talks about how to find a job you love and the importance of surrounding yourself with people that energise you.