Shannon Toomey, Senior Manager, Recruiting @Descript. How to be the first recruiter in a startupA-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers
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- 18 May 2022
For episode 6 of my podcast “A-players”, I received Shannon Toomey, who explained to me how to be a good first recruiter in a startup.
Shannon was a Senior Tech Recruiter at Dropbox, and was also most recently the first recruiter at Descript, where she had to hire 50 people in 1 year.
Here’s what we discussed (among many other things):
-What are the 3 key questions to ask to be sure a candidate is a good fit?
-Why you it’s not always efficient to use scorecards to assess candidates?
-What are the advantages of being the first recruiter in a startup, and is it for everyone?
In the world of recruiting. Some people have seen it all. They build recruiting teams from the ground up, hired hundreds of people in the best companies in the world, developed their expertise year after year. I'm Robin Choi and I'm on a mission to collect their learnings. These are their stories. Hi, everyone.
Today we're having Senate Sumi. She's a senior manager recruiting at the Script. And she'll be talking about her experience as a first recruiter in a startup. So Shannon has a lot of experience. She worked in bigger companies like Dropbox. Now in all your stage companies like this script and Desk is actually the SAS company behind the most amazing and product video I've seen in the past ten years. Everybody to check them out on YouTube because that video is very impressive. So thanks a lot for being here sending today. Can you tell us a bit more about you and about the topic that we decided to cover today?
Yeah, absolutely. Thanks so much for having me. Yeah. As many would probably say, kind of fell into recruiting. I think a lot of us do actually went to College for thinking I was going to be in social work of some kind. After a couple of job hops, landed in a contract recruiting job, learning about the kind of ins and outs of intern recruiting at Microsoft, then another contract job at Google, doing more industry level recruiting. And in both of those, the lovely thing about contracts, you just learn the language, the way of the land, kind of get the feel for the industry itself. Definitely fell in love with it pretty quickly. Joined Dropbox on an initial team that was primarily focused on more deifocused recruiting, which is where my heart really lies. And that was great to just start getting a lot more depth in the recruiting process. The team I started initially as a source, I believe the team was probably somewhere between 15 and 20 sources at that time. This was probably about a year and a half before IPO, so just really inefficient growth mode and then moved into a full lifecycle recruiter position, which the team of engineering recruiters was probably closer to around eight at that time.
And I really love getting the whole picture, getting the deeper relationships with candidates, getting to understand how team alignment works and how it all started to kind of work towards a greater business strategy. And that's where I started to feel like my interest and passion started to really lie. And in that time was thinking about what was next. And it was really clear to me that if I was going to stay at a bigger company as a recruiter and Dropbox wasn't huge. But I think it was still really obvious that if I was going to stay in recruiting, I was going to need to specialize in something like either get really technical in a particular type of role or move into a different type of role or move into total compensation or immigration. And I just really wasn't looking for depth. I was really looking for Brett. And through some conversations with close friends of mine, someone ended up telling me, like, you might want to think about startups. It's a little bit hectic, but you kind of start to get that wider view of how this all works. And through that ended up taking an interview and a role with Visco, which at the time was about 150 people.
It's a mobile app for photo and now video editing and came on as one of four recruiters. And that was the first time that I started working on non technical roles too. So I was doing leadership roles in product and a little bit in marketing and finance and just totally fell in love with that type of role. Like in those smaller companies where you start to become not just a recruiter, but they're really a true strategic partner to your hiring managers, finance the business. How does this affect product roadmap? How does it affect the bottom line? And just really fell in love with recruiting all over again. I think it really extended my lifeline or my tenure in recruiting to start getting that diversity of how I was spending my time. And VSCO unfortunately went through some layoffs in 2020, as many did. I was not effective, thankfully. But as I was thinking about what was next, I had this idea in my head that I might want to try being a first recruiter at a startup, being the one who comes in and sets it all up. I thought that I had started getting some good experience in scaling and optimizing and efficiency, and what I felt like I was really missing and longing for was building.
And that's how I ended up going into finding a role at description the first recruiter, which was about a year ago, almost to the day at this point. So happy to talk more about that actual jump, but it's definitely been so amazing and interesting and the hardest job I've ever had to be a first recruiter. And I'm just having a blast and thought people might want to hear about it and kind of figure out if it's something they might want to do.
Cool. And so when you join the script, how big was the company? I'm checking on LinkedIn with about 50 people and hundreds.
Yeah, exactly. So we were right around, I think myself and one other person who started, I think one of us was employee 50, and right now today we are 85.
Okay. Would you say that it's rather late to hire a first recruiter? Usually I see companies hiring at about 20 to 30 people in the team. Who did you say that it was?
Yeah, I think that it depends on the values and the strategy of your leadership team at the time and the experience in hiring that leadership team has. I think that Descript as a whole, we have this philosophy that I really resonate with, especially even though there's so much to do, there's a lot of growing happening. We will take the pain of not having someone in the role over hiring the wrong person. And I think they felt that especially for these first enroll types. So I think they wanted to be pretty picky. They wanted to find someone who somehow had both big company and startup experience. Would it have been easier on them to have somebody a year before me? Probably. But they do have some very thoughtful, tenured hiring leaders who were able to when I joined, they already had Greenhouse set up, which I was blown away by. I was like, wow, that's really amazing that you already have Greenhouse. And I think they were able to use their networks to get what they needed and get that first round of hiring done. And they had an acquisition in there as well to help.
But I think by the time I got to come in, I got to just come in and go on engineering, but then start building up how our hiring philosophy would work outside of engineering as well and kind of get everybody onto the same page. So it really depends on what your team is wanting to spend their time on. If you have an executive that's like, yeah, series A to B, I understand that probably 50% of my time is recruiting, then they could probably do it. They'll make their lives a little easier to do it earlier. But I think that it just comes down to those values and where they're wanting to spend the time.
Got it. So this creep about a year ago, 50 people to 100 people. So that means 50 hires, right? Even though you mention that acquisition was before you joined or after.
Before I joined. Yeah.
So 50 hires in a year as a first recruiter. So what's that and what's your advice for people that join us first recruiters and need to balance both delivering on the recruiting roadmap and also while doing everything else, as you mentioned, like being a business partner, challenging the hiring manager. So how do you do this?
I think that the most important thing. I'm probably going to use the word values like a million times. So I apologize in advance, but I think it really comes down to really understanding your own superpowers as a recruiter. And what is the company optimizing for as well? If Descriptor or any company, if they were looking for an extremely efficient hire as quickly as possible, close at all costs recruiter, that wasn't going to be me. If they were looking for someone who wanted to do the day to day, do the IC recruiting world, get people hired and think about culture, how are we going to scale this? How do we think about building the team that we want and all of these other nontechnical ways. That was the work that I was really excited about. And I think where I tend to straddle both being an advocate and a champion for the candidate but also being able to play that role for the business and hold that tension sometimes instead of just like no, this is a good candidate, they're ready to go, you have to hire them. That's definitely a role that first recruiters could play also.
So in terms of advice, I think it's man, it's a lot of just go, you know how to do it. You just have to kind of get in and start running and name when you're stuck and name when you're confused. And the biggest thing that I think I've learned in the past year is one setting boundaries which is harder than it sounds. You can always do more in recruiting. You can always reach out to more people, you can always take more calls. You do have to set some limits and also within the internal company like communicating that out to your partners of like, hey, my priorities one, two, three and four are these roles. Because of that I don't have the capacity to source for customer support or whatever the role might be and being really transparent and communicative about that and building up a system so that those partners can also look at how I'm spending my time and chances are high when they look at the prioritization of roles. They'll be like yeah, that makes sense. I get why your time is being dedicated towards that and having that not be off limits to people like no hidden work, no invisible work.
Everyone has to be aware of what we're in and what we're doing down to what our acceptance rates are looking like and what pass through rates are looking like and really sharing out that data so that everyone is aware of the kind of machine that goes into recruiting. I think that builds a lot of rapport so that when you are starting to straddle the more business strategic role, you're able to point back to that data and be like hey, remember when this happened? You know, remember when we had to change this search or try something else and offer except for it's not new information for them and eventually get into that space where you're able to push back on the hiring partners too and find the times and build those relationships so that they have the trust in you. So that when you say, I'm not sure I would recommend hiring this person even though they are qualified in XYZ ways, that you have a real seat at that table and that they're looking for that help too I think just makes a huge difference when there's so much going on.
That advice could actually work for anyone in the first step role.
And that advice is you need to build trust as fast as possible. And you mentioned that several times that you said you need to be transparent to be communicative. There is no invisible work. So it's very important to be transparent and to show what you are doing and to give reports. You mentioned acceptance rate as well, right. How did you do it and how do you do it at the script? Because it's sometimes hard to do the work and to report on the work as well. So do you have any tips on that? When do you do this? Do you do this like every week, or do you give access to a software that you use so that anyone can check themselves? How do you do it?
Yeah, absolutely. So we use screenhouse as our ETS, and that's a good starting point. I live and breathe in Gem pipeline analytics for sure. I think that's where the meat of my reports come from. So we do monthly business reviews within the company itself, where I come in and just give a quick overview. How many hires were made in each Department, where did they come from, what was our offer accept rate in each Department, and any interesting insights from the past month that's recorded and shared out with the whole company so anybody can see that top line level information. I have more granular reports built out for different hiring managers, some of them that they all have access to around just general activity. How many people have been in each stage in the past 30, 60, 90 days, but also really using those reports as an answer to a question that somebody might have? If someone says what's happening, why are we seeing less people in on sites than we were a month ago? I'm probably going to go into phone screen data in pipeline analytics, go through rejection reasons and see like, oh, actually it looks like for some reason in February more people said, hey, not right now.
Let's talk again in May or hey, we didn't move quickly enough. We had people withdrew for timing. Looks like we need to kind of cut out a stage or two and being able to come back to what is the data show? What inferences can we make? What small tweaks do we want to do? I think when you're running this quickly, a lot of times you don't necessarily have time for a huge overhaul, but you do have time for these kind of little marginal gains changes of okay, let's try so and so doing this phone screen instead. Or let's make sure that at the end of the phone screen we're getting availability for the next round in the moment or whatever we need to do to address those changes that we see in the data without dropping everything and starting over, which I think can be tempting at times, but sometimes you just don't have that kind of time.
So it's a mix of sharing that monthly report with the entire team giving access. I guess the hiring manager scan, access greenhouse and gem themselves. But do they actually or do you mostly reply to their inquiries by sharing data, maybe screenshots of reports?
It's a mix of both. It kind of depends on the role and what type of hiring it is. I would say for those that are in, quote unquote evergreen roles full stack software engineers, back end software engineers, research engineers, we're just hiring all the time. Those hiring managers are probably much more familiar. I'm walking them through it in a lot more depth of, hey, I want to make sure that you can also pull these reports at any time if you need it. For folks that are more working on oneoff type roles, like a product marketing manager for business teams, they're going to hire one person. They may not need to dig into the data quite as much. The weekly check ins, the sharing of screenshots is probably going to do. They might have follow up questions from there, and that's great, and I encourage it, but it depends on what role that hiring manager is really playing and if it's a long game, but sometimes it is. So I think that makes a pretty big difference, too.
Okay, so there's not any formal process beyond the monthly report, right?
Not at the moment. Other than the standard weekly hiring manager check ins for engineering, we have a shared slack channel since the interview process is very fairly general. So a candidate could technically land on any team. So instead of meeting with them individually, we do that one async and then maybe over Zoom every month or so if we want to take into something. But usually MBR or monthly business review is capturing a lot of that information since they're a bulk of that hiring. So it depends on what's needed.
Okay. And that's interesting in your async debrief, where you say, like, what type of data do you share? I'm guessing status of the candidates in the process, but you also share data on the acquisition, on the number of emails sent on.
Yeah, I think about it as working backwards, starting with what's the closest to an impact on the business that's candidates that offer. Right. And working backwards. So starting with candidates that offer or recent declines, is there anything we need to be doing? Hey, Sarah, can you get time with them, too? I'm going to schedule time, just making sure everybody is extremely aware of what's happening with the people who are so close. They're right there. They just see the sign. And then we work backwards into here's things that are happening in on sites we're going to experiment with, making everybody do it in two days versus just in one or whatever we're kind of playing with and then working all the way back to reach out. What are we seeing in campaigns? Has our interest rate increase? Has our click through rates increased or dropped? What do I think might possibly be happening, but we're always starting with offers and going back from there.
Okay, interesting. And when it comes to the offer, did you implement things in the Debrief process in the offer expansion process because you came with those big companies ideas? So what did you implement at the script?
Yeah, absolutely. Debrief is, funny enough, my absolute favorite step of the recruiting process. Like second to the relationships that you have with candidates and hiring managers from there. I love Debrief and I think it is skipped or not skipped, but breezed through too quickly sometimes when it's such an important stage. So when I was at Dropbox, actually I was nominated, I guess, to become a moderator, which meant that I was kind of taught the Dropbox way to moderate Debrief decisions for non engineering. So because I was a technical recruiter, it was a little bit conflict of interest, but I would moderate the marketing roles that we would have or the design roles or whatever it was. And it was like a crash course in Facilitation. And this understanding of what do we need as a hiring team to make a decision? And the best thing that I learned there that I have used at every role since then is treating Debrief as is this candidate eligible to receive an offer? And then we can decide from there, or the hiring manager can decide if we actually extend that offer. Basically, we want it documented in greenhouse or whenever ATS yes, this person can receive an offer from us.
So that way if you're debriefing four candidates for the same role, it immediately takes off the pressure of Stack ranking or I like this person more than that one. It's like, no, we interviewed four people. All three could be eligible to receive an offer. We want that in the system. So once we move forward with one person, if they decline, we can immediately move on to the next person. Or maybe we extend the first offer and then we have three candidates that I'm going to check in within six months when this role opens up again. And the way that you get to that decision is it's really clear with the interviewing team that the three things that we need to answer in this room or Zoom or whatever it is together is what are the strengths of this person? What are the risks of this person? And can the team handle those risks? Those three questions I have found to be so helpful, whether you're in pre IPO Dropbox and kind of starting to grow, but not at a super rapid scale at VSCO or starting to double in size at the script. Because if we can identify those three things, it gets us out of comparing candidates.
It gets us out of really indexing on things that maybe aren't as helpful for the hiring decision and also helps us be like, yeah, I mean, this person the risk here is that they haven't worked with X system before. Can we handle those risks? Yes. There are tons of people on the team who are incredible at it. They can probably get up to speed in two months versus a risk being like, I really worry that this person isn't going to be able to work autonomously or that they need a lot of help. Can we handle that risk? No, we don't have a lot of help to give them right now. This might be someone that might make more sense when we're a little bit bigger. So we're also trying to think about what's best for them once they get here. Do we have what we need to make them successful, too? And sometimes, especially in startups, that answer is no. So that's been I think I completely got off of your initial question, but that's how I've been to get that was a good answer.
And those three questions, you actually took them from Dropbox and implemented them at the script.
And we sit on the debrief meeting. How do you do this? Do you do this at the end of the process? Like intermediate debrief, every interview stage. When do you do this and who sits on that meeting?
So for the most part, huge majority of our roles. It's at the end of the interviewing process and every interviewer is there. So if they did a phone screen with me and then a hiring manager call and then a virtual on site with four people, all six of us are in that debrief.
There are times when maybe debrief is a little bit earlier. Like if, for example, in those more one off hiring where we might only have one role for somebody and we have four candidates, we might do debriefs kind of right in the middle to figure out, well, the next step from here is they're going to do an executive interview with the CMO and the CEO. Let's put our top two candidates through that. And what do we need to hear to say yes to this person from that follow up interview. But other than that, it's at the very end.
Okay. And you have everyone even just for a brief 30 minutes interview, they will be here for the meeting. Okay. And why not do this again? Asynchronously like asking for people to write their feedback in greenhouse before the meeting, right. Okay.
Yeah. We strongly encourage them to get a time before debris. Sometimes I am asking for forgiveness and, you know, scheduling an hour after the interview ends because that's what we have to do for candidate timing. But the reason that I don't just use scorecards is one nobody's amazing at writing square feedback, myself included. I think that especially for people who are maybe a little bit newer interviewers at a startup, this might be some of their first interviews. Maybe they've done this a million times. I want to make sure that they are not being too nice is probably the biggest thing or that they're not focusing on one thing too much. And the only way to do that is to look at it holistically. And that's why you start to see how things balance out. So let's say someone was a no and they were like, here's all the things that went really well. But I'm a no because their communication was really not clear. But then we have this other person who was like, wow, incredible communicator. I just really followed everything that they said. I don't want to do that conversation in slack. I want to get them in the same room and say, okay, what specifically came up?
Like, if this was on the front page of the Wall Street Journal tomorrow, what would you point to? That was the negative signal towards communication. And then you have the same thing with the one who is positive. And then you can kind of be like, hey, do we cancel each other out? Do we have enough counter signal? And also, I think in person it's a lot easier to Hone in on. Did we get negative signal on something or did we get neutral or not enough signal on something? Are you a no because it didn't go well, or are you a no because you didn't have enough information to be a yes? I think that's really hard to capture and written feedback alone. If all the scorecards are a no, we won't do debrief. If all the scorecards are a yes, we'll do debrief. And I'll just say, hey, I didn't notice any flags. Everyone seems really on board. This is the moment. If you want to say something and you also want to make sure that the hiring manager doesn't accidentally bias the decision, you want to make sure that this person who said yes, but they're actually on the fence.
If they read that the hiring managers a yes and they don't get a chance to speak up, they might just not say anything. Versus in a space where everyone is able to kind of walk through what went well. Did they pass my round? They might be able to name something, and then suddenly you have someone say, you know, that actually came up in my round, too. I didn't really think about it. But then when you hear it happening in five different people, then you can maybe point to like, oh, this might actually be a pattern and something that we should think about a little bit more carefully.
Got it. We don't do this at Harry Street ourselves. We mostly rely on notes. But that's interesting that notes are limited in it. And the score card, did you change it when you joined the company, or did you keep the process that was here before? And if you change it, what did you change?
I haven't changed anything. I'm thinking about it. The thing the only thing that I did was basically explicitly call out what these ratings mean. So in Greenhouse, it's definitely not no yes and strong yes.
Would you mind sharing? Okay, so you're scaring just on one dimension, right? Should we hire that person? Is that right?
No, actually. So when someone writes a scorecard, what I want them to answer is, did they pass my round?
So again, we can look at it kind of more holistically and takes the pressure off someone of like, they didn't pass my round. So I'm a no. But then if we come back to the risk peace, and actually, it's not that big a risk, I think we're okay, we can move forward with them giving us a little bit more comfort of moving forward with people that weren't strong yeses all the way across the board. So that was one. And then the second was actually being really explicit of what does a strong yes mean versus a yes and trying to portray it as like, hey, I want you to hold on to your definitely not so strong yeses. A majority are going to be yes or no and then your strong yeses and you're definitely not. So like, I would fight for this person. Like, this person has to work here or they're definitely not is this person will detract from our culture or I have serious concerns for XYZ reasons because then at least everyone's a little bit more on the same page of how they're thinking about that yes or no. And again, takes that pressure off, which I think allows them to be more honest and authentic about how their conversations with and is there anything else that you changed during your 1st 30 days of the script?
So you mentioned that the company already added an ATS with Greenhouse. You also mentioned that he used a recurring serum. So did you implement it yourself?
I implemented, Jim. And the other thing that I implemented was modern loop, which is like a scheduling automation system. I don't have a recruiting coordinator background. I'm pretty organized, but it's not what my expertise is in. And it was just like, oh, man, I am not efficient at this. I guess it's my job to schedule people, but it's hard when it's such a huge percentage of my time to schedule. So flag that to my manager and my partners just to be like, what do I do here? And thankfully, they were kind of like, well, you have three options. You can basically ask the kind of write up a proposal to hire somebody and hire recruiting coordinator. You could contract somebody or you could automate it. Which one do you want to do? And I was like, well, I don't quite have enough information to make that decision. Let me see what's out there. I had used modern loop before, so demo that again. And it's just been an extreme game changer for me of onsite scheduling on sites used to be the most stressful part of my job, which is so silly when I have so many challenges.
That should be a nobrainer. So just getting that off of my not completely off my plate. I still have to press the button schedule. But other than that, it's really all done for me. And that has allowed me to think about my head count and be like, oh, I have headcount. I'm going to hire recruiters. I'm actually going to wait until I hire an operations or recruiting coordinator person.
And do you have any advice? You were obviously very lucky that you had those three choices and budgets, but sometimes also when you join as a first recruiter, well then the company will say, well, you're here to hire people and make it cheaper than with agencies because usually agencies before and it's harder to negotiate for budgets. So do you have any advice? Like people that want to use scheduling systems or Atscs or CRMs? They have usually built pretty strong business cases.
Yeah. I mean, two things. One, that's the Cheesy compound answer is start info forming your partners that there's going to need to be a higher recruiting budget whether they like it or not. So that's kind of like cool. I understand that's where we're at. I'm going to ask again in three months and just be in that mode of like, I'm going to be talking about recruiting budgets a lot. If this is our top priority, our budgets have to match it. But the non cop out answer is I think that it kind of comes back to that no invisible work thing of if truly it is just you. There are no options. You have to do this. You are spending more time than you're wanting to on X task. I think take a week, do a time audit, truly diligently map out what you're spending your time on. Be honest, don't cut corners, show it, and be like, hey, just wanted you everyone to be aware. This is what my week looks like. Does this look right to you? Is this how you want me to be spending my time? If not, what do I need to deprioritize to then increase my time for something else?
Because there's only so many hours. Maybe you're in a culture where you work tons and tons of time and weekends and maybe when you first start a job, you just work more hours than normal because you're just in sponge mode. But I think again being really clear, there is no collaboration without transparency. If you want me to be spending more time on my task, then one of these has to change. Do you want me to stop working on this role or do you want me to stop or do less time on this other piece and make sure that you feel really aligned? Even now, having a recruiter on my team, which I'm so grateful for, and having these deeper relationships, I'm still fairly frequently beginning of a quarter, checking in with the VP of Engineering being like, hey, here's what I'm thinking about for priorities for the coming quarter. Does that map to how you're thinking about it? Just want to make sure we're still on the same page. I'm going to be spending more time on employer brand and less time on events or whatever it might be. And again, it just really comes back to you cannot make assumptions that anybody knows what you're working on and how hard this job is of the market changing all the time.
There's just so many unknowns you have to be diligent about communicating that out just so everyone is aware of what's going on. Because a lot of times when you get a hiring manager saying, hey, why don't we have more candidates in process guaranteed that person just doesn't have access to the right data. Because if you have a report for them, that's like, hey, remember when we looked at this thing here's all the phone screens, our interest rate has dropped. But here's the 200 recipes that just went out. If they can access that themselves or you show it to them, they'll just be like, oh, cool, got it. Sounds good. And that fear just immediately starts to decrease. So no invisible work.
That's actually two very important and interesting pieces of advice. First one being and that's almost as important thought to inform people that you're going to need a recruiting budget. And that's almost something you can even say during the interview process. Right? You can say, what do you think about recurring budgets? What type of tools do you use today? It's actually a very good signal that the company was already using Greenhouse as an ATS before they joined. So they invested in it and in a good software. So that's a good one. And then the second one is when you start, probably not the first week, but after a few weeks, do a really deep and honest time of it and share that with your managers and share that with the team even more as you're the first recruiter, because people don't know the role. Right. Most of the time, they don't exactly know what a recruiter does in that day. So that's a very good one. And then the third one is built on transparency. Show what you're working on, show your work and share excesses to the tools that you're using. Show reports on your outreach, on your conversion rates, because that will just keep people off your back.
Yeah. And I don't mean for that to come across as like, so that they're not micro managing me. I think it's actually like it's a huge empathy builder. Right. It's so wild. I mean, I think the script or even at VSCO when I was being in a smaller startup, you have the spectrum of hiring manager experience of some who have done this a million times. They get it. They know your role is hard. They're like, whatever you need to do, I'm in. You have the way other side of the spectrum of I have never hired before. Please tell me everything I need to do. Write me a script. And they are just like little balls of clay ready to be molded. And the hardest hiring manager is actually in the middle of someone who's done it before. But maybe they're not familiar with how strategic recruiting needs to be. They can be like, well, we'll pulse the role and ten people will apply, and we'll do three on sites and we'll offer one of them, and they'll accept. Maybe, probably not, though. And that bucket of hiring managers are so well intentioned and are the best receptors of like, I'm just going to flood you with some data to just kind of rip this bandaid for you so you can see what has to go into this.
And being really upfront of when someone's I want to work, I want to open this role being like, cool, that's awesome. I'm super excited to work on that. I just want to be really clear that I've worked on that role before, and the last time I did it took six months. Hopefully it takes less than that. But we should kind of talk about what happens in your resource capacity plan if this role doesn't show up for six months instead of three or two. How big of an impact is that going to have? Which comes into the prioritization conversation a little bit.
It's also a bit about underpromising and over delivering. Right. Like, let's think that that person doesn't join in six months. She was earlier, she was in four months. So good job.
You can take some rest. Okay, well, I think that's very good, very good advice for a person joining as a first recruiter, and then we'll stop there. That will be my final question. Is there any cons of training as a first recruiter? Any downsides? Would you recommend it to anyone? Obviously, he's very happy in that role, but is that a role for everyone? It's just a dream or other consultant for me.
I don't have a lot of cons, but I definitely know I talk to people all the time who are like, I would never do that job. And I think that I feel very lucky because I have so much support and a really strong team that I work with that just they see recruiting as a strategic role, not a support role. So it can really depend on the company. But in general, for the people who are thinking about it, I love ambiguity. I love here's a tiny, tiny bit of structure. Just get in it and go and tell us when you get stuck. That's my absolute favorite thing. I'm in a place in my life where I am able to take some risks. I'm able to try jobs that I'm not positive I know how I'm going to do it, but I'm just going to try. Whereas there are some people who are there. Recruiting superpower is efficiency, right? Like, I work on these really hard, really deeply technical roles. I know exactly how to find a staff level site reliability engineer. That person would probably not like this job Because you don't go really, really deep into one space.
You really want to prioritize breadth and how does it fit together? If you're looking for a lot of depth, this is way too early. That's probably the biggest one. And I think being comfortable with naming when you don't know how something works or that you're lost or that you're stuck, I'm extremely comfortable doing that, Which I think some people might not be. Some people want a little bit more clarity. Like, yes, we want you to come in and have a really high, close rate and be a really strong superstar. I see. Recruiter. I think you could do this job for a little bit, but eventually you'll get into a conversation of, like, headcount planning over the next year and the prioritization of rules that I think would maybe not be as interesting. So that's the first thing that comes to mind.
Okay. My understanding also is that you really need to be a good communicator, otherwise the drink can quickly turn into a nightmare. Right. And you just get those roles and you're working hard.
But nobody knows that you're working hard and keep pushing and that can be totally I read two years ago or so, maybe three years ago. I read the book nonviolent communication. Nonviolent communication. Oh, man. I read it every year. I learned something new every year. Just that you have to be able to challenge people in a way that they're not going to get defensive. You're trying to get people on the same page. You're coming back to what you both value and feeling comfortable. It's really hard, but the more you can lean into that, the more fruitful those conversations are. So, yeah, communication is huge.
It is. Thanks a lot, Shannon. It was great having you. Thanks for learning.
Hey there. This is Robert. Most of our listeners come from word of mouth, so thanks a lot for your support. And if you enjoy the players, please keep on sharing it with your team and friends. Stay tuned for the next episode and if you can't wait, follow me on LinkedIn for more content on recruiting next week. Bye.