A Day In The Life of an Executive Recruiter at Sales Benchmark Index (SBI)
Executive Recruiter, Sales Benchmark Index (SBI)
Robin is an Executive Recruiter with SBI with extensive experience developing strategic recruiting and sourcing plans, diversity outreach/initiatives, client relations, employee referral programs, recruiting metrics, cold calling, and gathering actionable human intelligence. Her primary focus is sourcing and talent acquisition of qualified executives to join SBI. Her other responsibilities include external sourcing projects, filling senior-level sales and marketing positions.
Robin went out for coffee, indulged in a quick workout and checked the daily news.
Robin works independently during the majority of the week and to prevent feeling too cooped up, she makes a habit of stepping out for small gestures, such as her morning cup of coffee. She described it as a refreshing activity to ensure she remains engaged and interactive with the community. Even while traveling to other cities, Robin grabs a coffee at the local shop before beginning the workday.
Robin set up for the day at the main level of her home.
Robin works remotely and the lack of commute allows for a convenient assembly of her own schedule. During the day, she is normally alone with the freedom to work in the space of her open floor plan. She prefers an open layout compared to a tight office area, or smaller room and utilizes the entirety of the floor to move around while working.
For the next hour and 30 minutes, Robin prepared for the day by arranging her schedule to view the full scope of her agenda and inputting her expense report.
First, Robin read and responded to emails, checked her calendar for appointments and outlined the activities of her morning to support her afternoon workload. She also unloaded the dishwasher, started her laundry and put together expense and referral reports to send to the Chief People Officer of SBI.
Robin travels to Dallas every six to eight weeks with airfare, meals and hotel expenses are taken care of by her firm. These reports need to be submitted by the 15th of each month, as the firm is generous with offering reimbursements for business and personal development related affairs.
Robin joined a SCRUM call to touch base with the team and ensure everyone was on the same page regarding the daily initiatives.
If this day was a Friday, Robin and her team would be joining an “all-hands call” with the Chief People Officer to discuss the critical initiatives of the quarter. At that time, SBI’s initiatives were focused on the firm’s talent acquisition efforts, overall revenue and leadership. With scaling as an opportunity for SBI, strategies of creating “people leaders” are emphasized through the developed coaching culture. To drive the talent acquisition initiative, SBI implemented a referral contest to promote internal referrals and multiply like-minded talent within the firm. Robin leads the referral initiative, collecting data and assembling reports for the CPO every week.
Back to the SCRUM call on this day—they discussed SBI’s pipeline and the results of their recent candidate event in Dallas. During this SBI-hosted candidate event, qualified candidates are invited to the firm’s Executive Briefing Center, fondly called “The Studio,” to experience the final assessment of the interviewing process—a required component for those who have passed the prior interviewing stages.
Before a candidate is invited to the event, there are rounds of screening and an initial assignment of assembling a career matrix. This assignment is meant to assess the individual’s personal and professional values and the matrix generated allows SBI to evaluate the alignment between the candidate and the representation of the firm.
Afterward, the candidate is presented with a virtual quantitative assessment—a data-focused and analytically-driven assignment to assess the candidate’s ability to provide the level of client solutions the boutique firm requires. If the candidate moves forward from there, the candidate event is introduced where a qualitative exercise is completed.
The qualitative exercise is a business case study, where the candidate is presented with a hypothetical, but relevant, business case that showcases realistic examples of the firm’s client scenarios. The candidates have up to two weeks to prepare, followed by an hour-long presentation of the assignment to the firm’s partners on the day of the event.
The assessment is critical for the firm to evaluate how well the candidate understood the information, formulated a solution and articulated the thought process behind his or her solution. Robin facilitates the candidate events, participates in the presentations and also conducts company-value conversations with the candidates. During the most recent event in Dallas, 13 candidates attended and two were selected to move forward with roles in the company.
Robin had a screening call scheduled with a potential candidate located in London for SBI’s Global practice. However, the candidate canceled the call and Robin rescheduled for the following week. During the hour she set aside for the call, she sourced 11 additional candidates to fill the pipeline.
Although cancellations are occasionally inevitable, Robin takes scheduling calls seriously and her agenda is often booked up to seven days in advance as the bulk of her work is appointment based. This enforces the efficiency of the firm and emphasizes their keenly particular requirements for sourcing candidates and operating a smooth, high-functioning organization.
Robin was scheduled to speak with a candidate for a consultant role involved with the delivery side of the business. While sourcing for this particular role, Robin looks for skills like client relations and data and analytics experience combined with experience in management consulting, sales and marketing, and computer software.
Robin had a screening interview with a candidate located out of Boston for the firm’s associate consultant role. She passed him forward to the second round of interviews, but the candidate withdrew from the process.
During the initial screening interviews, Robin asks candidates questions including:
- What is your interest in SBI?
- What are the details of your previous work experience?
- What are your travel requirements?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What are your professional and personal achievements?
- What consumes your free time?
She also explains the interview process, including details of the various assignments ending with the event in Dallas. Initially, Robin looks for a candidate whose values align with SBI’s and one with experience in a small, specialized firm comparable to SBI.
Robin evaluates the background of the candidate and the initial interests they may have in joining the firm. These calls usually take up the whole hour with a hard stop at the end of the hour—she’s very strict when it comes to her time because there’s usually something scheduled right after.
Robin had another screening call with a potential candidate from Austin. The two ran out of time and scheduled a follow-up conversation, as the call was filled with robust dialogue. (Told you, she doesn’t play around!)
The firm seized the opportunity to acquire this particular candidate—Robin recognized his potential immediately for a senior consultant role. He moved rapidly through the entirety of the hiring process, in about two and a half weeks and joined the firm at the candidate event in Dallas. Following, the candidate was presented with an offer and accepted a role at SBI.
Robin screened her last, Chicago-based candidate of the day.
During each call, Robin follows the same format of questions as mentioned before and can experience upwards of seven interviews each day during the firm’s peak season.
Robin, like anyone else with this workload, becomes tired by the end of her to-do list! Robin makes a point to educate her candidates on the culture of the firm, providing a first impression of who SBI is. There is consistency in the style of the employees at SBI which is important for the candidate to grasp, but it takes a while to express that in these calls.
Multiply this process by several more candidates, Robin usually finds herself wiped at this point, which means it’s time to pivot.
Robin moved on to administrative tasks, replied to emails and followed up on miscellaneous projects.
SBI is a firm with a huge network of hundreds of thousands of connections. Robin and her team foster these connections by providing relationship-building services, free of charge, to provide support and advice for senior leaders or executives transitioning between roles.
The firm likes to think of this concept as “connecting the dots,” which revolves around making numerous introductions from professionals to SBI to exude the overall value of the firm and remain relevant in various industries. So, she spent some time doing that.
Robin attended a personal appointment at this time.
SBI is a workplace that condones productivity outside the normal realms of 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. They recognize people have lives to live, children to take care of, doctors to see and they’re very flexible with where and when work gets done, as long as deadlines are met and clients are happy.
After some much needed personal time, Robin spent time with her family but this doesn’t mean the work is done yet for the day. Two hours later, she browsed her inbox to see what had accumulated while she was away, attended to what was urgent and started formulating her to-do list for the following day.
As an Executive Recruiter, the qualified-candidate pool is slim, relatively-speaking. That means there’s a need in Robin’s role to always be on top of who’s available and who’s not, which also means being available when candidates are—after work. You’ll see Robin “on,” when people are typically “off” to take advantage of opportunities.
A normal nightly routine for Robin varies. After the day is over, she will often wind down with dinner or will head out for a drink. Once her laptop is closed, she does her best not to venture into email territory through any other device. She will go to sleep between 8:30 PM and 10:00 PM.
After graduating from college, Robin lived in the midwest and worked with Cardinal Health, previously known as Syncor International, where she first began as a sales representative in Radiopharmacy services. Robin experienced profound success in sales and sales management and grew into the role of General Manager, overseeing a team of 150 employees while responsible for $25M in revenue as a result.
Robin left the company to move to Seattle and work with Cultural Care Au Pair to lead their placement department. She then pivoted internally to direct the customer service department.
Robin left the Au Pair Agency to seize an opportunity to live in England with her family. Upon returning to the States, Robin was approached by a close connection of hers: the CEO of SBI. Robin was presented with an offer and stepped into the Executive Recruiter role for SBI where she’s been employed for the past three years.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Robin loves to create relationships with people. She feeds her intellectual curiosity by spotting common links between herself and the individuals she connects with and straying from “transactional” interactions while fostering depth. She enjoys helping others and acting as the connecting factor between a professional and a great fit with a valuable company.
What advice would you give to aspiring Executive Recruiters?
Robin’s advice for aspiring Executive Recruiters is to build relationships, provide value and become involved in the business. Robin advocates for exceeding limitations and doing more than what is expected. Recruiting can be an entry-level role, but with seriousness and commitment, it can also quickly turn into a prosperous, life-long career. The job shouldn’t be taken at face value and finding a company that values enthusiasm is important.
“Create your own brand, wherever you go.”
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About the Author
Consulting, Dallas, Executive Recruiter, Kirkland, LinkedIn, Marketing, SBI, Sales, Sales Benchmark Index