Well, it looks like this "folks you should know in the job biz" feature is likely to be running on an every-other-week cycle. I find I'm having to do a bit more "leg work" on these than I'd anticipated, so my schedule hasn't filled up with them the way I'd expected.
This week we're taking to Courtney Davis, an account executive with the Onward Search group, a provider of internet marketing and creative services talent working with B2B and B2C companies over a broad range of industries and organizational sizes. They primarily work with a referral-based talent pool, having found that the best candidates are the ones recommended by their peers and co-workers.
Courtney has been in the staffing business for 6 years, and says her biggest successes come from placing people in jobs they love, whether contract or permanent, and that her passion is for the "interactive space" where she gets "to talk to talent who are hands on and really learn about what projects they get to work on and what specific skill set is needed for each role".
She says that Onward Search is a great setting for this, and that their team is a group of seasoned staffing professionals, each with over 5 years experience, who understand how Marketing and Creative work together, what specific roles are incorporated in each project, and how to best help their clients fill the missing gaps with talented people. Courtney is involved in a multitude of networking organizations (which is how I met her) along with a multitude of social media channels that help her reach out to candidates and clients involved within the interactive field.
After the break are her answers to my The Job Stalker interview questions:
Q: Briefly, what's your background?
A: I graduated from college with a BA in Communication Research and then worked in an ad agency in DC for about a year as a creative assistant. After the bubble burst in 2001, I found myself within the creative field again at a health care think tank in DC (The Advisory Board Company) working within print production and graphic design. I was putting in a lot of hours in front of the computer and realized I loved just working with people and managing projects, so I then I found myself as an Account Manager at Aquent. I've been in staffing every since (that was late fall, 2004).
Q: Have you had notable job-transition experiences?
A: I realized that I loved to manage projects and working with people and sharing ideas more so than being a graphic designer, so I met with a few staffing/recruiting companies and realized the staffing industry was a great transition as I could work with people within the creative and marketing field.
Q: What brought you to the staffing industry?
A: See above.
Q: How do you see the job market in the next 3-6 months?
A: I think more companies are going to be hiring as they realize that the economy is turning up and more money is being spent within marketing. Contract assignments/temporary resources seem to be prevalent now and increasing, especially within online marketing and social media as it is so new.
Q: If you had just ONE piece of advice for today's job searcher, what would that be?
A: Network, network, network and be open to meeting new people. You never know who you'll meet and how they can help you down the road. I was laid off twice in my life and the second time I was on a train from DC to Baltimore reading Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and a marketing manager from Verizon started to talk to me about the book. Two days later he had passed along my resume to their corporate office and I had an interview for a Marketing Assistant. I didn't take the position, but it solidified the theory that you never know who you'll meet in life who can help you.
Q: What do you feel makes Onward Search unique?
A: Onward Search is the only staffing company that focuses directly on the interactive space, specifically search/online marketing (that's where the word SEARCH comes in on our name :) ) .
Q: Aside from your services, what resources do you recommend?
A: I recommend Indeed.com which is a job search site that incorporates postings from all types of niche sites. Also, utilize LinkedIn by strategically reaching out to those you know really well and build connections through their network. Choose 5-10 companies you would like to work for and find out who you know who might be connected to those companies and start networking/making connections. A cup of coffee goes a long way :) Also, read Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. Keith is extremely motivational in regards to understanding that if you ask someone for help in your job search and they say No, then don't take it personally.
Q: Any additional words of wisdom?
A: Stay positive. Things always work out, it just sometimes takes time.