Recruiting As a Career: Being the Brand Ambassador

In many ways, we as recruiters are brand ambassadors for both our clients and the candidates we present to them. This gives us the unique opportunity to represent both sides of the equation. For us, that means being a market knowledge expert and representing our clients with passion and enthusiasm, as well as presenting the unique skills and needs of each candidate.

At Rivi, we have our finger on the pulse of the technology landscape, and it’s up to us to share this market knowledge with the people we work with in order to give them the best insight, service and experience possible. These days, engineers are bombarded by recruiters, so we want to provide extraordinary service, and we really care about building relationships. We strive to learn what motivates a candidate and what’s most important to them, whether it’s holding the number one spot in the engineering org (e.g. a step-up) or perhaps just a shorter commute.

To be a great recruiter you need to understand all the different reasons why this person may switch from job to another, and often it’s even one great company to another. By taking the time to understand people and really getting to know their personal interests and career goals, we can best represent all the things that matter to them to our clients. Each candidate brings something different to a prospective employer--no two people are the same.

With our clients, we have an in-person kickoff and work closely with them throughout the process to get a good grasp of what they care about and truly become a part of their hiring team. This allow us to fully show our enthusiasm for our clients and the passion around their business and product.

We take pride in representing our clients both accurately and positively. This starts with diving into the minds of the founders and leaders of these companies to understand from where their passion for their product stems. We get a complete picture of their vision for the product and company, as well as how they see their employees contributing to that vision. In doing so, we become invested in their vision as well, and we’re able to represent them to candidates with excitement--and complete transparency. This lets us inspire interest and excitement in the people we approach as well.

And the best part? We get to be actively involved in building some of the most innovative and influential technical teams and companies while working with some of the smartest and most passionate people in the industry.

Aaron Ho, Dylan Hanour + Erin Jensen contributed to this piece

Recruiting Relationships: Helping People Reach Their Full Potential

One of the things that’s exciting and rewarding about being a recruiter, is that we can play a significant impact in changing people’s lives.  Most of us spend the majority of our working hours at some kind of a job, so the level of job satisfaction has a huge impact on each person’s overall well-being. Even when we may not be involved in the ultimate change of jobs, we can still play a part in how they think about their career development by coaching candidates and  helping them think carefully about their next career moves. There’s a bit of an art to the process, and it requires investing time to get to know and genuinely care about people.

As a recruiter, it’s important to ask yourself the following: Why do we reach out to potential candidates, what’s the objective and what do we hope to get out of it? What are the best practices before reaching out? You should always put yourself in your candidate’s shoes.  Do your research, figure out what they want and be respectful of that. Think about why a new role might be interesting to them, and why they should invest any of their precious time and effort to look at it. Most importantly, go in thinking: what is the kind of long-term relationship you would like to build with this person?  This is a very different mindset from just reaching out to folks on a transactional basis, because they appear to have the requisite requirements of the role and you are under pressure to fill a role.

When I meet with candidates, I like to come prepared, having read all internal notes and any other information I can find. The point is to make the meeting a mutually beneficial one, that is  good use of both of our time. Remember that a big reason candidates come to Riviera is for a deep and informed view of the market with unique insights, and a strong eye when it comes to judging talent.

Given that we specialize in VP Engineering and CTO roles, many people who engage with Riviera are looking to move up into leadership roles. To help people in this phase of their career development, it is important to spend time to dig deep into their background, and why they chose this career path. This involves asking the right (and sometimes tough) questions to really figure out their motivations, aspirations and concerns. We can then give an accurate assessment of their strengths and weaknesses. I’m a big believer in giving honest and constructive feedback, and that’s a lot easier to deliver once you’ve established a certain level of rapport and trust. Once we understand their career goals, we can give advice on ways in which he or she might get there.  There are times when a candidate gets offered a dream job but hesitates due to family, commute or other personal reasons. We work with them to find creative solutions to these stumbling blocks.

Having insight into people’s career goals also means we can refine our future communication with the right options for them. At Riviera, we work on a ton of diverse roles at any one time, but what we want to avoid is sending candidates random opportunities which don’t match what they want or kill them with deal fatigue.  Our goal is to only send each person a carefully curated list of deals.

When you build long term relationships, people end up approaching you for advice. We want all potential candidates to think of Riviera as a great resource and to feel free to approach us for information on the market, a company or compensation-related questions--and many do. Some candidates for example ask us to look at their offer letters from companies that Riviera doesn’t even work with, and we’re happy to do that for them.

There can be an overwhelming array of job choices and information overload out there in the market. We provide the service of filtering through the noise for people, so that they can identify the best opportunities for themselves and reach their full potential.

Cheryl Liew is a Director within Riviera's executive search practice.


Recruiting As a Career: Making an Impact

We’ve been in this game for a while now--more than 20 years--which means we’ve had time to build relationships with some of the best talent around, not to mention garner “get sh*t done” reputation in the tech industry. Thanks to this, recruiters at Rivi have the unique opportunity to network and build relationships with some of the best-in-class talent innovators, game changers and VCs. Ultimately, this means you can make a big impact on clients’ and candidates’ success with a successful placement.

As soon as the investments roll in for a startup, the investors bring in recruiters because, now, the company needs to build the team. Often these hires are mission critical, so if a company doesn’t get it right, they could miss huge market opportunities. They’ll hire recruiters like us, because we’re connected to the individuals they need to build companies. We worked early on with companies like Uber and Dropbox when they had less than 100 people. Our recruiters will work directly with the board and CEO to find execs these startups are looking for. You get to help formulate thoughts on what’s important in the role and who will be the best fit for the organization.

A good placement can be hugely impactful for a company: if they get it wrong, they lose time. They lose time, other people can enter market, and the market opportunity might be missed. Which is why we put so much emphasis on getting matches right at Rivi--if we don’t, the whole investment may tank. Time to market is a critical variable, and we strive to place the right person so companies and candidates can get to where they want to go, and be able to execute on their vision. At the end of the day, startups are talent-driven: people are the fuel that makes them prosperous.

Ali Behnam contributed to this piece.