Leveraging a recruiter for your job search with Gaelle Mair

Ep. 124: Leveraging a Recruiter for your job search

Haitian American Executive Recruiter Gaelle Mair has been in the recruiting industry for over 10 years. She is CEO of UCare Staffing, a company that specializes in direct hire staffing solutions while giving back to the community. In this episode she discussed how to leverage a recruiter in your job search as well as other tips and strategies during the job search process. 

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Kerry-Ann:  Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Carry On Friends, the Caribbean American podcast. I’m your host if this is the first time listening, my name is Kerry-Ann. And today, our guest is Gaelle. Gaelle, welcome to the podcast. How are you today?

Gaelle Mair:  I’m doing well. Thanks for having me.

Kerry-Ann:  Awesome. So I met Gaelle a few weeks ago at the Africa Future Summit and we got to talking about what she does and invited her on the podcast. So Gaelle why don’t you tell the community a little bit about who you are a Caribbean country, you represent and some of what you do?

Gaelle Mair:  Yeah, so my name is Gaelle my family’s from Haiti. So for those who are Haitian sak pa se. So I’ve been in the recruiting industry for the past 10 years now. And I just recently decided to start my own staffing firm right here in Manhattan. I am the founder and CEO of UCare Staffing, and what we do is we specialize in direct hire staffing solutions while giving back to the community. So for example, for every successful placement that’s made, the portion of the sales will go towards people who are battling pancreatic cancer and diabetes, because unfortunately my dad passed away with that it also go towards helping low income families with fresh food within the five boroughs, and last but not least, the money also go towards rescuing homeless animals in New York City, because I rescued one that changed my life. So that’s where I stand at the moment. 

Kerry-Ann:  Thank you for sharing that. And that’s exactly what Gaelle told me and I’m like, yeah, you need to be on the podcast. Let’s talk about you know, the staffing company. And you know, someone might be listening like staffing companies, those still exist in the age of, you know, LinkedIn and the age of you know, Whatever job board is out there. Where does a staffing company fit? I remember when I’ve always used staffing companies for a very long time. So tell me a little bit about the landscape.

Gaelle Mair:  Sure. So, believe it or not, the staffing industry is still growing super lucrative. As you know, when I mentioned at the Africa Future Summit, the staffing industry is actually projected to make an additional $4.3 million in 2020, right. So I wanted to go into the industry kind of revamping a few things that I wasn’t really happy about. And one of the things that that I had a huge problem with is the lack of empathy in the industry, especially with third party staffing companies, where they’re so commission driven, they’re only they only care about making a place and making a paycheck. They don’t consider Hey, you’re in Boston and your relocate relocating to New York City and not thinking about or not factoring in your family, how’s it affecting them or affecting your new lifestyle now, when you’re relocating to a new position, knowing that that position is not even a good fit, all they care about is when is my next paycheck? How many people I could place this month? So at the time, I felt like you know, after losing my father as well, in my mind, life was too short. And I wanted to be the change I went to see the world so that’s why I started UCare staffing, because not only we care about, you know, finding, you know, your dream candidate. We also want to find candidates their dream jobs, right, treating both of them as clients. And you know, worst-case scenario I interviewed a few people who I felt like I couldn’t help them. I will refer them to other agencies because I honestly don’t see them as competitors. It’s more like I’ll scratch your back, you scratch my back. Because at the end of the day, these job seekers are human. And they just, it’s really, really hard. It’s really hard to find a job these days. So as much as I want to help them if I can’t, I’m more than happy to refer them to different company. That’s pretty much it, just you know, making sure that we’re ethical and being empathetic with people’s situations when you’re seeking for a job. Right?

Kerry-Ann:  So let’s take a step back, right? So the job, the job hunt cycle, and it’s like, Hey, I’m interested, I want a new job. And I could go to any one of these job boards and there’s a job I like, and oftentimes a job could be posted by the company directly or by a recruiting a staffing company like yourself, trying to fill a role for an employer that is hired you to find candidates. So those are typically the two that we see when if you go on a job board, 

Kerry-Ann:  right?

Gaelle Mair:  Absolutely.

Kerry-Ann:  So what? Okay, so other than the empathy, let’s start with the candidate. So, so most of us listening on the podcast, we’d be the candidates, not necessarily the employer, or maybe we have some HR specialists where we would work with you to find candidates. So let’s take it from the perspective of, I’m someone and I’m looking for a job. The first phase is, and it’s interesting, you said that jobs are hard to find yet we are constantly hearing that people can’t find, you know, employers can’t find people for the jobs that they have. So what’s the first thing that I or anyone listening needs to consider? Or do when we’ve decided you know, what, I need to find a new job?

Gaelle Mair:  Right? So I guess all depends on the industry and your position right? From my experience, I would say is very important to establish a really good relationship with recruiter that you can trust, especially if they specialize in your industry. Just you know, doing your due diligence researching the staffing firm that they’re representing on Glassdoor, Google, what are other candidates saying about this company? Right? I also tell candidates is good to work with one recruiter. But at the same time, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, because one recruiter network might be different than another recruiter. Right? So but we want to focus on quality versus quantity. So it’s very important that I would say the max would be two to three recruiters. Because what’s going to happen is if you’re working with too many recruiters, especially the ones who are not ethical, they will send or submit your resume to any opportunity that’s in front of them to see if the hiring manager will hire, hire anyone that they send. So right now they’re operating as a factory and not more so as a strategic recruitment firm. So I was as a kid, I will do the diligence to see if the recruiter is a good fit for you if they can find what you’re looking for in the beginning of the year, because it is a little challenging to find a job around the summertime, because a lot of hiring managers are most likely taking vacation, they’re out of the office a lot. You know, some organizations have, you know, summer Fridays are not in on, you know, on Friday, they only work four days versus five. So you want to just consider all those obstacles when you’re searching for a position. That’s why it’s very important to establish that relationship at the beginning of the year, talk about your career goals and what you’re looking for. So this way, you have a good head start on the job search. In addition to that, I feel like because I’ll use human resources as an example. Human Resources is a very saturated industry. So when you’re submitting a resume on a job board, what is going to make you different or separate you from the two 300 people who are applying for the same role? So what I always tell people in addition to working with recruiters, why don’t you utilize your network on LinkedIn? Do you have a friend or former coworker or manager who used to work with? Who’s currently, you know, Friends with the hiring manager at a company or you’re actually applying for? Hey, Bob, can you please introduce me to the hiring manager at XYZ company? Because I’m really interested in doing this position, or can you recommend me to this person, in addition to applying for the job, I think it really increases your chances of meeting the hiring manager than you just submitting your resume.

Kerry-Ann:  So for many people may not have considered working with recruiters because they just go on whatever job boards do the posting and their first entry to the recruiter may be just responding to a job that they’ve submitted for and that’s how they realize like, Oh, it’s an employment agency and not the actual company. So how do you go about finding a recruiter and Building the relationship with the recruiter, are there certain places that you could search for recruiters? What’s? What’s your commendation? 

Gaelle Mair:  Absolutely. So first you want to narrow down Do you do your research or Google? What are the top agencies who specialize in whatever industry that you’re in? That’s step one. So when you find your top, you know, two or three staffing agencies that you’re considering, go on LinkedIn and find out who is working, which recruiters working at that company and send them a message directly or even call the company and ask for that, personally, hey, I’m really impressed with your background. I really think you can really help me find what I’m looking for. Can you help me? So first finding out which agency you want to work with, depending on your reputation, and then also contacting the recruiter that you feel confident that can help you find the Find your, your next job, 

Kerry-Ann:  job opportunity. Great. So all right. So in addition to, okay, so finding a recruiter, establishing a relationship with a recruiter, that recruiter and leveraging your network is another option. So in terms of Okay, so I’m looking for a job… … … and so establish a relationship with a recruiter, what else should I be thinking about when I’m ready to be in the market for a new opportunity? What’s realistically, the length of time that people are looking at when they’re looking for a job?

Gaelle Mair:  Honestly, it really depends, right? It literally can take two weeks to six months to a year. Unfortunately, it really depends on a, like in the industry that you’re in. Like, for example, if it’s a very specialized industry, it’s probably very limited the job opportunities for you, right because you don’t have a lot of options, right? Um, I would say there isn’t. It really depends there’s people who are, you know, obviously a clearly a good fit and they’ve been looking for a job for six months to eight months. It’s really hard out there. So I always tell people, you know, think outside the box, you know, do you have other friends who are in the industry as well who are working with recruiters successfully, they can refer you to the people that they’re working with, like, hey, which recruiter replaced you at this company? Can you connect me with that recruiter to see if they have any opportunities on the table? A lot of people would. When you work with recruiter, it’s like having a lawyer for a job, right? Anyone can write a resume. And a lot of hiring managers have their own objectives that they deal with on a daily basis. They don’t have the time to go through two 300 resumes, right. What they’re doing is they’re relying on a systematic a process where they have an applicant tracking system who is or it is automatically rejecting your resume because you didn’t put the right keywords on your resume. Or you didn’t match what you’re looking for based on what you wrote in your resume. So having a recruiter is like representing you as a lawyer. So they’ll say, okay, Gaelle, in addition to whatever she also mentioned, she’s able to do X, Y, Z, something that’s not on your resume. So increases your chances, especially if you have a really close relationship with the hiring manager increases your chance to get your foot into your foot in the door in that organization, than you just submitting your resume and hoping for the best. So and also, I know this might sound obvious for some people, clean up your social media. A lot of hiring managers are professional stalkers. I’m serious, they’ll go the extra mile to see if they see like If they see something on your social media, they’re going to ask themselves, can I see this person representing our company outside of work? Right? So you have to ask yourself, Google yourself, honestly ask yourself, would I hire me? And if not, you got some cleaning up to do. 

Kerry-Ann:  Hmm. Would I hire me? 

Gaelle Mair:  Yeah, Google yourself and say, Okay, if I was looking for a position, and I was a potential candidate, and I saw whatever I saw Google would hire me. And if that is the answer is no, you need you got some cleaning up to do. 

Kerry-Ann:  Wow. Very interesting. From my personal experiences I’ve had, I’ve gotten into a lot of jobs, thanks to recruiters. And based on that I’ve had a network that has allowed me to not necessarily need a recruiter, but the HR manager knows someone and they’re like, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. But I’ve switched industry. So that luxury that I had, is not the same where it’s now I have to build From Scratch because the recruiters I know specialize in one industry and I’m in a completely different industry. So going back a little bit, the resume, what about the resume? Are we doing wrong? So first we tackled, okay, I’m interested in getting a job. We don’t only tackle job boards, we create relationships. And we don’t only leverage our network; we should also make sure that we’re creating a relationship with a recruiter. So those are three, we want to tackle it from all three points. And we should work with more than one recruiter and a good recruiter will do this. They will say, tell me all the jobs that you’ve applied to, because they want to make sure that they’re not sending your resume to a job that you’ve already applied to. So that’s a really good sign of a thorough recruiting agency because they don’t want to duplicate efforts

Gaelle Mair:  Well also You shouldn’t work with a recruiter who’s submitting your resume without your permission, because you could qualify for a role doesn’t mean you’re interested in working for that company. So this is this goes back to what I said, treating the candidate as clients as well. So I might have an opportunity on the table that fits your background, but you might not like the work culture there. Or you had a friend who used to work for that company, and didn’t have anything good to say about them. Right? So they want they need to go the extra mile say, Hey, listen, I have this opportunity on the table. I’m working with x, y, z. is this an opportunity want me to submit, you know, you know, present to a hiring manager. And after, you know, they agree to it, then that’s when they would submit your resume. If you ever recruited listening your resume, without your permission, you should be looking for a different recruiter because at that point, they’re commissioned driven, and they only care about making a placement and they don’t care about, you know what your thoughts are, because what if the hiring manager actually wants to meet with you and not recruit comes back to you and say, Well, you know, I submitted your resume, the hiring managers is really interesting meeting with you, you’re like, Well, I’m not interested in meeting with them. It makes you look unprofessional as a candidate. Yeah. So it’s kind of like a bad rep on you, because of recruiting and take the extra step to even ask you to begin with before wasting their time

Kerry-Ann:  It’s a good point. Really good point. So quickly, let’s go to the resume. What are some things or mistakes that people are common mistakes on resumes, especially now in the age of applicant tracking systems? And all these AI’s that are scanning for keywords? What are what are what are things that you are seeing? And what are tips that you can offer in terms of resume?

Gaelle Mair:  I’ll use Indeed as an example. So indeed, has an algorithm where it picks up all the keywords to match the job description of what you’re applying for. Right? So, I’ll use I’ll use a real life example. So you know, we’re searching for a real estate paralegal just an example. And a lot of these paralegals would put RE paralegal assuming that the system will pick up real estate. So it’s very important that any abbreviations, any acronyms that you have, just write it out on your resume. And if you need to put in parentheses, you know, real estate parentheses RE, you can do that. But just putting, you know, acronyms over your resume, the system’s not going to pick it up, especially if it’s not on the job description. So, and it’s really important that every job unfortunately that you apply for, you kind of have to make a few tweaks on your resume. So if you see a lot of keywords that are being thrown, thrown around the job description, you want to make sure it’s listed on your resume. So this way, whoever’s reviewing it, they can see that you had that experience and don’t assume they’re going to know that you have the experience.

Kerry-Ann:  Okay, that is a very interesting point because the jargon or you like you said the acronyms. The system doesn’t pick up. And now let’s say you’ve gone through this process your job hunting, and what do you say to the person that has applied to over 100 jobs? And they’re like, you know what, I can’t even be bothered and feel like I’m just giving up. What do you say to that person?

Gaelle Mair:  Um, I mean, don’t give up, right? I know, it’s tough. But you really have to, you know, a lot of people, one of the biggest mistakes people do is they do the same thing and expect different results. So after you apply to, you know, 30 or 40 jobs, and you haven’t heard anything back, you need to sit back and say, What am I doing wrong? You know, like, is there something I could do differently or write differently on my resume to stand out? You know, are you searching to you know, let’s just say you’re human resources or legal. Look up the top legal, you know, paralegal or attorney resumes in your City and tweak your resume like there’s what are they doing differently? So you’re obviously doing something wrong if you’re applying 100 jobs and no one is calling you back.

Kerry-Ann:  Or maybe you’ve gotten callbacks or interviews, but you still haven’t landed an opportunity.

Gaelle Mair:  I always tell people first impression means a lot. Right? So as a recruiter, I’ll call someone a potential candidate. And they don’t answer the phone professionally. They’ll say, Hey, who’s this? Or how can I help you? I’m busy. And they don’t realize, you know, there’s someone on the line that that has a position for them. So getting that first impression. During that call, you lost the opportunity right there. Um, so making sure that you’re always picking up your phone as professional as possible, because you never know who’s cool who’s calling you. I’m

Kerry-Ann:  so not even beyond that. Let’s Talk about, you know, recruiters just ghosting candidates you’ve, you’ve gone through the process of you’ve done a phone screen, you’ve done a follow up interview, you’ve gone, you’ve had at least outside of the initial scheduling of the initial interview, you’ve done an initial screen. And the next phase you hear nothing. I mean, after a while, you assume that you didn’t get it. But why? Why the ghosting?

Gaelle Mair:  Yeah, don’t assume I mean, at the end of the day, recruiters are humans, right? They tend to forget, especially if you work at a larger firm, you have a lot of clients. So a lot of these candidates. They’re kind of like a small fish in a big pond, right? Because they’re working with so many clients and meet candidates, they it’s impossible to follow up with everyone. So I would always tell candidates, don’t be afraid to follow up with your recruiter and see where they are in the process. Because honestly, there’s a lot of qualified candidates that they wanted to move forward with. They just didn’t have the time to reach out to feel free to just reach out to them. And if they don’t reach out to you, and they’re not being responsive, then that’s when that’s your, you know that that’s a sign to work with someone else. If they’re not being responsive, definitely follow up with them. Because they can be busy. They’re human, you know, they have other things that they’re working on. It could happen sometimes it’s the employer that’s dragging their feet because remember, recruiters are liaison between the candidates and the employer. Sometimes the employer is delaying the process. Right. You don’t want to have an update. 

Kerry-Ann:  Mm hmm. All right. So I there are a few other questions I wanted to ask you. So salary requirements and education requirements. So lately, you know, I’ve been to I’ve been talking to a colleague and sometimes they’re asking literally for a masters and a PhD, just to do an office coordinator position. Why is the industry what’s this heavy placement on these advanced degrees for I don’t Want to say low jobs, but for an office manager office coordinator position?

Gaelle Mair:  It’s funny because I used to recruit for those roles in my last position, a lot of care coordinators. I don’t know. I mean, in my last position that wasn’t a requirement. From my experience A degree doesn’t mean anything if you can’t do the job. Right. And you also can’t train personality. So I would rather be in a position like that I would rather someone who has transferable skills with an amazing personality, that someone who has all the skills and degrees with no personality in that type of position, especially if you’re dealing with client facing and stuff like that, I don’t understand other organizations who are asking for PhDs and stuff like that, unless there is unless they’re paying more for the position. 

Kerry-Ann:  No, 

Gaelle Mair:  then 

Kerry-Ann:  no I literally saw the job description and it literally was, hey, Greet clients do office inventory, blah, blah, blah. And they said, well, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree Master’s preferred. I was like what?

Gaelle Mair:  You know, so a lot of a lot of these organizations don’t have, you know, someone like my background to tell them like, this is not a requirement for position like this. They’re just assuming, you know, the higher education the better for this role, and it’s not the case. So I think it’s just a lack of knowledge on their end, especially if they don’t have someone in house, teaching them. The best way to find the best candidate because it’s really beyond a degree, especially in a position like this. So I just think it’s a lack of knowledge on their end for that organization.

Kerry-Ann:  All right, so my final question we’re in fourth quarter year-end review time. Is now a good time to be job-hunting in terms of starting for the new year and what should anyone be doing to prepare? For you know what, I’m gonna see what bonus I’m gonna get at the end of the year. I’ll see what the New Year holds, how can we start preparing for the new year in terms of looking for a new opportunity?

Gaelle Mair:  a great question. Depending on your position I would have if you have the leverage to have a conversation with your manager, like, Hey, listen, I’ve been here for, you know, x, y amount of years. Where do you see my position the next two, three years from now get a sense of where you’re going to be with that current company. If you honestly don’t see a future there. I would say that and it brings me back to developing a relationship with the recruiter early on, because usually during wintertime, a lot of hiring managers are also traveling as well. But it’s very important that you do establish a relationship with the recruiters this way, maybe the beginning of the year, maybe from you know, January, you know, to March, they might have something lined up for you based on what you told them. But I’ll definitely have a conversation with your current manager to see if there’s any future there in the first place. Because sometimes a lot of people will leave and say, Well, I just find an opportunity and they’re paying $5,000 more, but what they’re not looking at is Okay, is there any work life balance there? Or am I working extra hours now? Oh, actually don’t have this benefit anymore, like my last job. So you want to make sure that you’re not making mistakes based on just a salary increase. So just looking at all those aspects and make sure that you know, what are my deal breakers? What would I What, what are the positions I will accept it will definitely not accept, just write that down and say, Listen, if they don’t have this work culture, I’m not going to work there. Because you want to make sure you’re not downgrading at the end of day when you are searching for a new role. That’s the advice I’ll give for job seekers.

Kerry-Ann:  You just said something that made me pivot to another question. So, um, you know, companies go through different cycles and stages. Some A lot of times, you know, I’ve seen I’ve spoken to recruiters who are like, Well, yeah, this company is going through restructuring. So if you’re if you are looking for a job and a company says they’re going through restructuring, you, you may you have a choice whether to stay at that job. But what if you are an employee at the company that’s going through the restructuring? Is the strategy to jump ship the herd effect because everybody’s leaving go out the door or what is a strategy that is there a good strategy to staying and leveraging a new role, a different role? What are your thoughts on that question?

Gaelle Mair:  The, it really comes down to your position right there. Sometimes where you reached your cap where you can’t move anywhere in the company and most likely will get laid off during that restructuring. And there is opportunities for people where they could transfer to a different division or department where they don’t have to completely leave, they might have to start fresh in a new position. So it really comes down to your position, right. And the department that you’re in an organization, the size of the organization, I’m trying to use a real life example here. I will say human resources because it’s very; it’s very easy to, you know, move from one position to another in human resources. Let’s just say they no longer need, you know, a business HR business partner for some reason they thought they needed it two years ago, they don’t need it. But there’s always a need for an HR manager at a company. So there is ways where you can say, Hey, listen, I know my position is no longer needed. But is there a way I could kind of transition to more of an HR manager, or maybe Can I join the talent acquisition team to be an additional resource instead of me looking somewhere else, you know, but if you are in a position where there is no way for you to transfer to a different division, because to specialize, or they just don’t have that type of flexibility, I’ll definitely keep your options, open it and look immediately. Because I’ve been in day companies date, they really don’t care to replace the next day if they need to. Right. You have to look out for yourself and just make sure you keep your options open, even from when you’re not even looking for a job, if a recruiter reaches out reaches out to your LinkedIn. At least hear them out.

Kerry-Ann:  Yep, I learned that.

Gaelle Mair:  Don’t shut them down because you’re not looking because you never know what they’re presenting you. So that’s the advice I would give for a job seeker. Whoever is, you know, panicking if there’s some restructuring at their company. I’m pretty surprised we didn’t touch on during the interview process. But maybe that’ll be another time.

Kerry-Ann:  Yeah, because I think during the interview process is just a An entire episode of its own, because you think of prepping for the interview people asking you questions, but we could definitely talk about like the illegal questions. Most people know that. But I think the issue that I find people are having, they’re not even getting to the interview stage yet. It’s everything before the interview stage. So that’s why I wanted to touch on. You know, what are people you know, first, if even if I’m not looking, entertain a recruiter reaching out to you because you don’t know what they’re presenting. You started to look make sure that you are spreading your options where you’re doing the job boards you’re doing. You’re leveraging your network and you’re reaching out to you’re building a relationship with at least two recruit, at most two recruiters. And then you’re making sure and if you have a good recruiter, good recruit recruiter, in my experience that will tell you what needs to be updated on your resume. So that’s one benefit of really having a recruiter because you have those eyes. If it’s this role that you’ve had the conversation I let’s say, Gaelle, I’ve had this conversation with you. This role comes across your desk and you’re like, hey, Kerry-Ann, you don’t have this on your resume but I know you’ve had this experience. You need to make some updates to your resume so I could submit you for this because I know you could do this right. So those are like the conversations that I wanted us to have here in this episode. Because for whatever reason, the applicant tracking system situation is real. You can’t get past that. If you don’t have the right words, so another episode we could talk about the interview it’s just that, you know, we’re most people aren’t getting past the phone screen. You know, and the phone screen is literally the other person depending on the time of day. You know, is it morning is it afternoon? Is it evening? Did they eat lunch, is it too late. Is it too early, you know, and depending on their mood doing this phone screen, and, you know, I’ve had phone screens in the past that went great. And then it was like, I hear nothing, I send a follow up email nothing. And then, you know, so getting to getting past that to the interview stage is like a whole different conversation. But I really appreciate that, you know, this information in and of itself, because year-end is typically the time when people look to jump. And it’s also the time when companies set budgets, so they kind of have an idea of what they’re looking for in the New Year in terms of hiring needs. 

Gaelle Mair:  Absolutely. And also just touch on just one more thing on LinkedIn. A lot of one of the biggest mistakes I’ve noticed with job seekers is that they write this generic, long message to get the hiring managers attention. And you don’t want to do that right. At the end of the day, people work with people that they like and trust. So you want to you want to go the extra mile and say, Wow, I’m really impressed with your background, I will love to have the opportunity to be under your leadership, I think I learned a lot from you, point something out on their LinkedIn, and make a personal connection and say, you know, it’s always good to put a face to name, you know, I would love to meet with you and discuss this position. You know, like make it more personal and not just write this long, you know, email or message just at you know, just find something there, even if they went to the same school as you. I’m also alumni and, you know, Boston University, you know, like, Can I please, you know, meet with you for this position, because I really think I’m a good fit for these following reasons. Are you open to having a conversation with me? And when you add a question to your message, you increase your chances by 55% of them responding. What is not a question, it’s like they’re not obligated to respond. If you put a question there, they feel like they’re really kind of to respond to this now.

Kerry-Ann:  I think the challenge is that issue of that cold reach out, you know, that cold message on LinkedIn? Because we don’t you’re never really taught how to do that. How do you reach out to this hiring manager say hey, I like I mean, the way you’ve worded it is just it’s perfect but I think the practice of how do I reach out to a hiring manager borderline like, Hey, I’m interested in this job Can we talk about it? Versus you know you saying something like, I noticed that we have this in common would love to connect with you to learn about this job? When would you be available something it’s that art or that practicing that muscle of doing a cold email and then I think the other part of the cold reach out or message via LinkedIn is that rejection, the instant rejection 

Gaelle Mair:  Well listen, the worst that can happen is rejection, right? No one shot you. At the end of the day you have to take risk, especially if you’re in a market that’s super saturated. Right? I mean, I mean, a lot of people say, Well, I don’t like sales; I’m not in sales. In reality, you are in sales, you’re selling yourself, you’re selling your resume, you’re selling your skills, right? If you get your foot in the door, sometimes you’re not selling yourself properly, because you feel like your qualifications are enough. And it’s not, you know, so making sure that when you do get your foot in the door, you’re giving them real life examples that you actually could do this job successfully. And not say yeah I am a hard worker, I’ve been doing this for 10 years. Yeah, but you’ve been doing this for 10 years wrong it don’t mean anything, it’s just clichés. You want to you want to sit there and say things. If you are the hiring manager, what would you want to hear? What do I have to say for them to hire me? You know, like, one of my what the beginning of my career, you know, one of the you know, and I and I and I have fun with it, right? Because my personality,

Gaelle Mair:  so I’ll sit with the hiring manager at the end. You know, they’ll see if you have any questions, I’m gonna Well, have you heard of build a bear before? Yeah I’ve heard of build a bear. You know, if you can build your own candidate right now, how would they look like? And they’ll say whatever they’re looking for, I said, well, look, you’re looking at your bear. I have everything that you just you know, and then I’ll reassure them everything that they said it, like you said, you know, the payroll thing. I did this for x, y, you know, amount of years at this company, and I executed, giving them examples of what they said. So you’re just building credibility that way, giving examples? Yeah. So that’s pretty much it. 

Kerry-Ann:  I like that question. I’m not gonna frame it, like build a bear, but I do like that question. And I mean, a lot of times, you the approach is, you know, you sell yourself but I always try to find opportunity to say, you know, one of the questions that I’ve asked is like, what, what is it? What is it that you’re looking for this role, looking for in this role that you feel that I have because then I also want to gauge like, what strengths they’re like, relying heavily on, because it gives that sense of Okay, they really like the strength and then I’ll also know without them answering what part of this job that they’re like, maybe she don’t have this just yet because there’s an opportunity to say, Well, yeah, you know, I’ve done this you know, I’m, maybe you want to play up your fast learner, but I like that build a bear thing. I think it’s slick. I love it.

Gaelle Mair:  Because sometimes I like to have fun with it, you know, because at the end of day, you know, you want to show them your personality. Like this is a person. It’s like, you know, it’s like a marriage, right? And I always tell people, I rather wait long than marry wrong because you’re, you’re in a marriage with someone with no benefits. 

Kerry-Ann:  You come in with the sayings today, boy, 

Gaelle Mair:  I want to make sure that you know, if you don’t see yourself working with that hiring manager, it’s on to the next because it’s a two way street. At the end of the day they need you. Yeah, you are what they need for them to function. So don’t ever you know, remove the title, you know, CEO, CFO or director at the end of day they’re human. Right?

Kerry-Ann:  And the question is, can I see myself working with these people 

Gaelle Mair:  Yeah absolutely. Like, you know, how’s the work culture like these are the questions should be asking, what do you expect this candidate to accomplish in the next 30 to 60 days because you want to know what their expectations are. So the and also this is going to help you with your thank you email, which people always forget they send this just generic. Thank you for meeting with me. I hope to hear from you soon. No, no, you want to say it was great meeting with you. And I love the fact that you were discussing the 30, 60-day plan and this is what my thoughts are, how I can accomplish these goals and next 30, 60 days you want to show that you’re listening during the interview process. 

Kerry-Ann:  One of one of the things I wanted to touch on so part of the interview process is Now people are asking you for sample plans or sample based or examples of that. And how do you balance? Because I’ve definitely heard rumors of companies using the interview process to get fresh ideas with no intention of hiring.

Gaelle Mair:  Umm yes and no. Right. Um, some companies just did just really want to know if you can do the job. And I think that’s a really great interview practice for a hiring manager, because it really shows like, Can you really do the job? You know, my last company? I did that? They told me Hey, can you tell me if you if you were hired today? What? What are you going to do the first 30 days, 60 days and 90 days and you’re comparing it to the other candidates. They want to see exactly. What can you bring to the table? So it’s actually a really good practice for the hiring manager. And you’ll see me thousands of dollars each year if you do that, depending on the role.

Kerry-Ann:  That’s interesting. But yes, I, I’ve used that strategy a couple of times.

Gaelle Mair:  It’s a great strategy. 

Kerry-Ann:  All right. All right. Well, Gaelle, thank you so much. I know again, this is we’re in that critical third quarter, fourth quarter. And you know, this is the time when everyone gets antsy and starts looking. And, you know, I’ve been part of conversations where there’s a struggle in terms of people’s experience and finding a job. It’s overwhelming. It’s stressful. And, you know, just sharing your thoughts on what that industry looks like. Definitely the strategy of don’t only tap the job boards or your network, build a relationship with a recruiter like yourself, and so tell everyone where they could find you.

Gaelle Mair:  Sure. So, our office is on 800 Third Avenue, right in Manhattan between 49th and 50th 28th floor You can also visit us at U just a letter ucare staffing.com as well goes to find me on LinkedIn as well. Gaelle Mair, I’m the only Gaelle on there on LinkedIn. And that’s pretty much it. You know, if I can’t help you I know someone else who can. I’ve been industry long enough, I build a lot of meaningful relationships. I’m all about just helping people regardless, it was not through my company, but somewhere else. And that’s pretty much it.

Kerry-Ann:  Again, Gaelle, thank you so much for being on the podcast, lots of great information and again, just kind of phase one of looking for a job and then we deal with the interview process because that’s a whole beast in and of itself. But again, thank you so much and until or as I’d love to see at the end of the show, walk good.


Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown is Founder & host of Carry On Friends one of the first podcasts dedicated to the Caribbean American Experience. She is leading the way for Caribbean Podcast as the founder of Breadfruit Media, the first Caribbean podcast production company; and founder of the Caribbean Podcast Directory a place to discover podcasts by people of Caribbean Heritage.