Episode 010 – Charlie Lewis – CEO BlueWave Resource Partners

This episode brings me to the downtown Orlando office of Charlie Lewis, founder and CEO of BlueWave Resource Partners, one of Orlando Business Journal’s 2019 Best Places to Work.  Charlie is also an investor with his other venture BlueWave Investment Partners, an organizer of Orlando Tech and Beers, and supporter of the Orlando entrepreneurial and tech community, and he talks with me about how technology affects and is affected by the recruiting industry.  Blue Wave has worked with local employers such as CareStack: who just went public with their cloud-based dental practice management software, amusement-industry e-commerce company accesso, digital health innovator ProAct Health Solutions, and cloud computing service leader Astadia.

Charlie discusses the talent needs for companies with AI, machine language, and blockchain applications.  Blue Wave uses AI and other automation technologies for applicant tracking, reach-out and sales automation to improve the way they connect those applicants to opportunities.  Blue Wave plans to open other offices in locations like Atlanta, and will join them through some innovative uses of video conferencing technologies.

The difference between social media and older type of online resource for job-seekers (Monster, CareerBuilder, etc.) shows how technology is affecting the recruiting world.  A modern education now involves more accelerators and software development programs, replacing or in addition to more traditional, 4-year university degrees.  The speed at which technology changes makes the value of that degree different, although Charlie acknowledges that a degree does still have value, not only to show maturity, work ethic, and perseverance, but also to provide an understanding of basic business concepts.  That being said, the focus of what candidates are good at has a higher importance than necessarily what they have learned in school.  He emphasizes how going in with a passion to learn is more attractive to many employers.

One area where Charlie feels technological advancement is still needed is in the government sector where county, state, city verticals are still the slowest to adopt new technologies.  Charlie is helping to support Orange County’s recruitment of a Chief Innovation Officer, which he believes is an excellent step in the right direction.

Crowd-sourcing and organizations such as Desk Pass offer new options for workers and investors.  From an investing perspective, as Charlie has discussed in other podcasts, he looks to technology as his angel investment group explores new opportunities with faster exits and higher risk/reward factors.

Correction to the dialog – the accesso TE2 purchase was $80mil