Female Focus: Profhire Opens to the Door to Better Teachers for University Students

Lesa Hammond always knew she wanted to help people, and while entrepreneuriship is a great way to touch the lives of many, it didn’t immediately occur to her to start a company. Her path to entrepreneuriship was definitely a circuitous one. 

After earning her bachelor's degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice, Hammond entered the military, and then spent more than twenty years working in various roles in human resources, acting as Chief Human Resources Officer for two different universities.

However, it was in her human resources role that she discovered that there was a dire need for innovation. Working at the university, she found that it was incredibly hard to find quality part-time faculty members. However, at the same time, she also saw a huge demand for talented teachers and executives trying to get into those same positions. Plus, in her experience, part-time faculty (typically professionals from the corporate world) also provided some of the best practical training to prepare students for the real world. Things just didn't match up. 

Thus, ProfHire was born. The company takes on this problem by connecting hiring managers to possible teaching candidates, while also making it incredibly easy for talented candidates to apply. Additionally, ProfHire increases the diversity within the hiring pool and provides better-vetted candidates than those available before.

The company was launched in the Silicon Valley Founder Institute, which had a great impact on the current success of the company.

Founder Institute is a bit like Basic Training. You are pushed to stretch your comfort zone and accomplish things you didn’t know you could do. With both, the pace is fast and you have to keep up. If you don’t keep up you may not succeed”

Since Graduating, ProfHire has raised funding, built a strong team, signed customers, and was even named one of the Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America by Entrepreneur magazine.

Hammond, a passionate, principled, and resourceful entrepreneur by nature, describes the company's vision as:

To create HR software solutions that help transform higher education. We believe that quality part-time faculty have the ability to bring relevance to higher education in a way that academics alone don’t. We also believe that a diverse pool of qualified candidates leads to diverse hires.

After looking back at her company's quick ascent, and considering the temporary roadblock a bad co-founder decision incurred on her growth a few years ago, Hammond has the following advice for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to follow in her footsteps: 

As a result of my experience I would say, choose your co-founder(s) very carefully and get true expert advice. Get advice ONLY from people who have been where you are going and who know the ins and outs of the landscape.
Founder Institute