Equipping you with the tools to land a job during challenging circumstances.
If you are currently navigating the job space, this article is definitely for you. If you aren’t, make sure to share this post with someone who could benefit from the wisdom of an expert in the recruiting space. Landing a job isn’t easy in a stable environment, making securing a position in our current circumstances an exceptionally difficult feat. My 6 month long job search was one of the most challenging and emotionally draining periods of my life. It can be a battle everyday to wake up with motivation to continue networking, emailing, and applying for positions with hundreds, even thousands, of other applicants. If you are someone who is looking for a job yourself, don’t give up! You are strong, capable, and resilient. A position will come along and, with enough hard work, you will be the one to fill it. Keep going.
I have shared this with someone who needs it!
A daughter, pop culture junkie, friend, movie lover, and fiancé, Lauren MacArthur is many things on top of being an expert recruiter at Veeva Systems, a cloud-computing company focused on pharmaceutical and life sciences industry applications.
Lauren graduated from Muhlenberg College with a Major in English and Minor in French and Creative Writing. When looking for jobs right out of college, Lauren always thought that she would work in public relations or publishing. While looking for opportunities in these fields, however, a staffing agency that she was working with mentioned that she would be a great fit for recruitment. Lauren had no idea what the profession of a recruiter looked like beforehand, yet, once she began investigating a bit further realized that recruiting could be a good fit. Lauren is a people lover at her very core and an opportunity to connect people with opportunities to help their personal growth sounded like an incredible role.
When interviewing a candidate, here are some things Lauren looks for:
A team player
Comfortable navigating ambiguity
In-depth knowledge of company overall
If she is recruiting for a client facing role, Lauren looks for a strong communicator and the ability to engage well with others. While, if Lauren is looking for a data scientist or a software engineer, she looks for someone who has a strong understanding of specific technical skills.
For each role that opens up at the company, Lauren meets with hiring managers to get an idea of what they are looking for, what the process looks like, and to ensure she moves through efficiently. Then, Lauren interviews the candidates that have applied. Common questions that she normally asks are (subject to the role):
“What are you hoping for in your next role?”
“Tell me about a time where you had to work with someone difficult and how you navigated that?”
“Tell me about a time when you had to build a product from the ground up?”
Lauren tries to avoid using yes or no questions, making the questions more situational and open ended in order to get the most qualitative information from the candidate.
Having been a recruiter for some time now, Lauren notes that she has seen it all, including candidates who forget what role they are interviewing for or what company she recruits for. To avoid awkward interactions with your recruiter, Lauren recommends doing your research when it comes to the company you are interviewing with, enough so that you can have a thorough conversation about it.
“It’s always the best when someone has a lot of questions or fills the full 30 minutes. It is also great to see when someone is truly passionate about their work, where before you can ask them about a certain situation, they tell you about it first. Just be your authentic self.”
One of the most challenging aspects of Lauren’s job the push and pull between being honest with candidates in helping them on their career journeys while also valuing the vision of the business and what works for each group. Additionally, Lauren finds that, at times, giving feedback to candidates can be tough, especially when she connects with someone within the recruiting process. Those rejection conversations can be difficult, but transparency is the most important for the candidate experience.
In terms of advice she has for individuals looking for a job right now, Lauren mentions that persistence is key as well as maintaining the connections that you have in your network. It is a long game, not a short one. Any connections that you can make now are going to be beneficial so that when a position does open up, you will be first on their mind, says Lauren.
One of the most rewarding aspects of Lauren’s job is seeing everything come full circle, when she ends up working with the individuals that she screened for hiring. Veeva is a talent partner based company, which really looks for individuals whose values align with the company, making true fits difficult, but well worth it. Veeva looks for individuals who are not only qualified for the position based on their skillset, but who also align with the values and vision of the company. Engaging with and learning from others on a daily basis is what really makes her job enjoyable as well.
Lauren has seen recruiting change over the years drastically, given that there are so many more platforms, such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Cardea, out there for job seekers. There are a multitude of places that you can get your applicants from. Diversity is also more important than ever before, as there is a greater prioritization in creating a more inclusive and equitable process.
What does the future of recruitment look like to Lauren?
Lauren sees more systems and automation being incorporated into the process.
“I think in the future there is going to be a day when a computer reads and processes almost all of the information for prospective employees, where applicant tracking systems can help evaluate role alignment. Also, we will be able to have more data and metrics to track performance, productivity, and further perfect our process to attract talent.”
Additionally, Lauren mentions that talent marketing will continue to grow and expand, companies focusing on emphasizing their talent brand. Sourcing talent is great, but it’s always better to have job seekers coming to you to want to work at your company, Lauren cites. The prioritization of certain benefits has also become more popular, as people have started to care a lot more about work-life balance, benefits, culture, diversity, and resource groups, to name a few.
We live in an ever changing world that continues to require adaptation, resilience, and flexibility, qualities of every good employee. With a little bit of persistence and hope for the future, we will all make it through this challenging time. One day at a time!