In today’s spotlight, we have awesome advice from Emily Levine. Emily is a Vice President at Career Group, and has learned and grown in various roles with Career Group in both NYC and most recently managing a team of recruiters in LA. Emily tells us more about key trends she’s seen over the past five years in the industry, and shares great advice on how to nail your interview by calming your nerves, connecting with the culture and most importantly, being yourself!
Educational background: Bachelor of Arts in Communication, University of Pennsylvania
Can you tell us a bit about your background? How did you land in your current role?
I graduated from Penn in 2010 and moved to New York City, where I started to interview for talent agency positions. I was excited at the prospect of representing talent. I started temping at Career Group while interviewing for those jobs, and quickly learned that I loved the world of recruiting. I felt that I was essentially doing the same type of work that a talent agent would do, but I could have a larger impact much faster. My role is extremely rewarding. I spend my days meeting with candidates – listening to their past experiences and developing a strong understanding of what they are looking for. I also spend a lot of time learning and understanding the needs of my clients who are hiring – meeting with them, seeing the office culture and finding out what the perfect fit would be for their firm. I then essentially play the role of a match maker. I work for both the candidate and the client, to find people their dream jobs and help to build the leading companies with the best talent. I worked in the New York office for three years, partnering with the leading companies in fashion, finance, real estate, consulting, entertainment, and tech and then relocated to the Los Angeles office. I am now a Vice President at Career Group in Los Angeles, where I also manage a team of recruiters.
Have you made any really special or impactful hires? Or is there a person you feel like you really influenced during your career? We’d love to hear that story!
I have made some very special internal hires, as well as impactful placements with my clients. It’s really rewarding for me to see the people I place/hire grow professionally. Internally, we really love to reward hard work. We have had so many success stories of entry level candidates starting at the front desk or in an assistant capacity and growing into recruiters who now have their own book of clients and candidates. It’s always so great when I place someone and they send me their network of friends, family, etc as referrals – it’s very rewarding to help someone and have them trust you to also assist the people they are closest to. I feel very lucky that my job allows me to influence others and be a coach to my candidates, who come to me for advice on how to interview, what to wear, what questions to ask (or not ask), and so much more.
What changes have you seen in the industry, or what trends do you predict in the coming months?
I’ve seen many changes in the recruiting field over the last five years. It is definitely a candidate’s market, and I’m seeing candidates turning down positions with large salaries in order to really find the right role in the industry of their preference. In an effort to win the best talent, companies have started to offer higher salaries, bigger bonuses and I’m seeing benefits becoming more comprehensive. For example, I’m working with a lot of companies that offer unlimited vacation days, 100% covered benefits, gym membership, pet insurance, tuition reimbursement, etc. I’m finding that candidates who recently graduated from college want to align themselves with companies that will allow for a trajectory/growth, whereas companies who are hiring are really focused on making sure that candidates applying have an understanding of paying their dues in the position before being promoted.
What is your favorite piece of advice to give job seekers?
It’s important to be authentic. Staying true to yourself, always being honest, and being optimistic are key to landing the job that is right for you. Hiring managers want to like the person they are hiring, and they may take a chance on someone who doesn’t hit every single criteria or requirement if they feel that you would be a good addition to the team and a good culture fit in the office. Ask insightful questions, come prepared to the interview, and do your best to be comfortable. Interviews can be nerve racking, so try not to let it get the best of you. Stay focused, and make sure to remember to always interview for the job that you are applying for, and not the position that it will lead to years from now.
When you’re not helping candidates or people within your organization, how do you like to spend your free time?
I love to travel, I’m an avid Scrabble player, and I love interior design. I also love trying new restaurants and scouting for the best soup dumplings!
Here’s a question we love to ask everyone who visits the WayUp office – what was your favorite job in college?
My favorite job in college was working at Harper’s Bazaar in Sydney, Australia through my study abroad program. I gained international work experience and made some great friends.