Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in human resources but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Danielle Rutigliano, Founder of Talent Unicorn, located in North Bergen, NJ, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Boutique talent advisory that focuses on three pillars: talent acquisition (i.e., recruitment), talent development (learning and development, coaching), and talent management (HR + DEI&B programs). I work primarily with progressive new media companies and companies in other innovative spaces to hire CEOs and other C-level positions for their company to accelerate to new heights. I have always been known for recruiting unicorns, and I help these organizations gain clarity on business objectives, role clarity, ideal candidate profile, inclusive interview process, and structured interview guides for each step in the process.

Tell us about yourself

I didn't intend for it to happen! I decided to leave my last job after getting tired of the golden handcuffs, burnt out from working in HR/Talent in Recruitment during COVID and then during the Great Resignation. That same day I texted a mentor and former boss of mine to let her know that I was taking some time to rest and figure out my next move. She said to me don't rest too long because I have a friend who needs help. The next day I started working with an incredible entrepreneur who just raised the largest capital fundraising ever by a Latina founder and was looking to change the world. Since then, I've been privileged to grow my business as her business scales and grows in turn and be referred out by word of mouth to other organizations who are looking to make a positive impact on society and the world. What motivates me is being able to work with mission-driven organizations not just to lead the way in creating the future of media or the future of their industry but also to make a better world for all of us - whether its around racial inequity, justice reform, climate or combatting mis and disinformation.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Hiring a Latina CEO and first-ever Afro-Latina CRO to lead Latino Media Network within three months!

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Scaling yourself and letting go of the things you need to let go of to run your business best.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Leverage the power of your network and ask for help.
  2. If you're going to do something, make sure that you do it well or don't do it at all. Whether it is a side hustle or you're all in - make sure you are able to execute and deliver for your client and for you (your reputation). Too often, I hear from clients about side hustles gone awry where what is considered fun for the entrepreneur is serious for the client when they are relying on your deliverables to support their business.
  3. Hire smartly, not swiftly. Make sure you really take your time in doing your due diligence when hiring for your team, and be super clear about the day-to-day responsibilities, decision-making rights, and what success looks like. Sometimes when we grow quickly, we hire in a reactive manner which can cause more harm than good for the client, your business, and you.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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