Guest post by Adrian Weber
At the end of 2014, Courtney Meyer took some time to reflect on her 20+ years as a recruiter, as well as the experience of running Menlo Partners. In today’s post, she discusses her journey to becoming a successful recruiter, as well as offering advice to those entering the field.
- How did you get started in recruiting? Shortly after getting married, my husband and I relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area. I had studied accounting in college, so I applied for an operations position with accounting duties. The hiring company turned out to be a recruiting firm that specialized in financial placements. During the interview, the manager asked me, “Have you ever considered becoming a recruiter?” I hadn’t, but I was open to the opportunity. Recruiting isn’t something you dream of doing as a child. It finds you later in its own way.
- What happened next? The company where I received my training was locally-owned, and they had a very hands-on approach to doing business. All of our interactions with clients and applicants were highly ethical and guided by best practices. I’m thankful for many things in my life, but I’m especially grateful that I learned the “right way” to be a recruiter from the very beginning. If I hadn’t been coached and mentored by excellent people, I probably wouldn’t have found the career to last my lifetime. I am thankful and in touch with my mentor to this day. My gratitude also extends to those who allowed me to tackle many different roles in the industry. This all led to the founding of Menlo Partners.
- What is it about recruiting that excites you so much? Being a successful recruiter requires ingenuity, creativity, patience, and deep listening skills. Certain aspects of the work are quite challenging and sometimes frustrating. Having said that, when I do my job well, I know I have impacted someone’s life in a meaningful way. And people are so appreciative of my efforts. It’s extremely rewarding to hear from someone who is enjoying career and professional success, and knowing I had something to do with that. There aren’t too many professions where you can have that kind of direct effect on people and receive feedback in that way. It really is exciting to get to work with people over many years. Often applicants become clients, and, in Silicon Valley often become applicants again. The fulfillment of making a successful placement more than compensates for all the headaches and frustration.
- What advice would you give to someone entering the field today? Here in Silicon Valley, it’s easy to become overly reliant on technology. It’s true that technology has transformed recruiting, and recruiters must be comfortable communicating with their clients and applicants across a range of devices, platforms and media. Having said that, I can’t emphasize how important it is to have face-to-face time and telephone conversations. The information you learn and the relationships you build through low-tech communication are invaluable. There’s no technical shortcut to success when it comes to relationships. From an industry perspective, recruiters should regularly invest time and energy in their education. Try to study trends within the staffing industry as well as topics that impact the industry. For example, I don’t work as a freelancer, but I’m familiar with Elance-oDesk and what it does. That knowledge helps me better understand my applicants who freelance. As for client companies, they want partners who will add value to their recruiting process. The more a recruiter knows about what’s happening in recruiting, the more value he or she can offer.
Start the New Year with a Call to Menlo Partners
Whether you’re ready to hire a new employee or are looking for a new job, Courtney and her team are available to assist you.