Why Would You Be a Recruiter? Featuring Ken Pao

Why would someone want to be a Recruiter? What's it like to act as a Talent Rep in a big city? What do they do all day? What does an external Recruiter do?

Here's a primer from Rasmussen.edu:

When you hear the word Recruiter, you may immediately picture a smooth-talking scout for a sports team. But talented individuals aren’t only sought out for the field or court. Recruiters are employed in the corporate world as well to seek out high-caliber candidates to meet companies’ needs.

A recruiter is the matchmaker between candidates and their next job and companies and the perfect future employee.

So what's it like to be a talent matchmaker? We asked one of our own great Artisan team members, New York Talent Representative and Creative Recruiter Ken Pao to give us a "New York Minute" of his time and talk recruiting.

A Q+A with Creative Recruiter Ken Pao

Artisan: How did you end up in recruiting?

Ken: In my past two roles at startups, I did elements of recruiting and hiring. I found that I really enjoyed that aspect of my job as I loved sourcing and meeting creatives. I've also found that I've always had a knack for connecting people whether it be for making new friendships or professional connections. As a result, recruiting came pretty naturally for me! 

Why Artisan?

I was actually working with Artisan previously as a Freelance Photographer talent! I always had such a great experience working with Haris and Caroline who are both my co-workers now.

What's the most rewarding part of your job?

Being able to place talent with a dream job and helping them achieve their professional goals. There aren't too many jobs out there where you can help both talent and clients at the same time!  

Describe your typical work day

We usually start our days off here with a morning meeting to go over jobs/placements and what their statuses are. From there, we figure out what the main focus of the day should be.
I usually have 1-2 talent meetings where I meet in person or chat on the phone with new talent that are interested in working with us and want to learn more about how we work. That also gives me the chance to get a better feel for who they are and what type of career goals they are looking for. The rest of the day is usually spent sourcing talent for job placements we get in so we can find the perfect people for our clients! 


What's the most important part of recruiting?

Empathy and being able to have a good judge of character.
It's easy to look at a resume or someone's profile and see what their past experience is and what they are capable of, but what about their personality? How would they work on a team or in a small work environment? I always like to jump on a call or meet talent in person to get a better feel of who they are and what they are looking for. This helps immensely when I am placing jobs for clients based on very specific needs the client is looking for based on cultural fit.  


Do you have a favorite job type or position to recruit for?

I love working on design roles specifically focusing on fashion/beauty or editorial since that was my background before I started at Artisan.  


What's the biggest mistake you see from job applicants?

I think one of the biggest mistakes I see from applicants is having too lengthy resumes and having too much information on them. Hiring managers look at resumes all day and want to be able to clearly see exactly what the applicant does and is looking for.
Keep it short, clear and concise.  


What are some of your favorite ways to meet potential job candidates?

I love meeting talent from referrals from other talent* we work with. Those type of meetings are always very positive and result in great relationships since there is already a common connection. 
It's so important to keep on producing your own personal creative work that you can showcase in your portfolio.
For a lot of students or junior designers that come in, they only have what they did for assignments or client work. When you're at that level you won't have a lot of commissioned work, it's the best time to work on some personal projects that you create for yourself.
Whether it be a typography poster that really grabs the eye or a faux branding project for a restaurant, those are gold in any portfolio since they will showcase your skills and aesthetic as a creative.

Want to Work with Ken and Artisan?

We're always looking for great talent! Stay in touch and let us help you find your next dream job.

Connect with Ken on LinkedIn, follow Artisan, or submit your portfolio here.

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