Melanie Courtney

Executive Recruiter,
Experis


A Day In The Life of an Executive Recruiter at Experis

Bio

Melanie is a Full-Cycle, Permanent Placement Recruiter. She works with both companies looking to fill Accounting and Finance roles and candidates seeking opportunities in these respective positions. Melanie is involved in the entire spectrum of the hiring process and balances the delicate world of recruiting by finding opportunities for new clients while sourcing her own pool of candidates.

ADITL

Wednesday

6:30 AM

Melanie woke up and jumped out of bed. She skipped the caffeine, checked the unpredictable, Texas weather and fawned over the high of 69 in December. She has two kids, ages 12 and 15 who participate equally in the flow of the family’s morning routine. Her daughter decided what she wanted for lunch, adhering to Melanie’s rule of, “if you want to take it, you make it!” 

Her son took their bald, miniature dachshund, Liesl, outside on a walk. Afterward, Melanie’s daughter fed her breakfast. The three discussed the day’s busy agenda, as Melanie’s son, who plays the trumpet, had a band concert that night. Melanie made sure (again) that his tuxedo was ready and the three hopped into the car to head to school. Melanie dropped off her daughter first and afterward, her son.


7:45 AM

Melanie drove her 30-minute commute to work.

Melanie’s mornings vary depending on her schedule. She will listen to music on the radio, stop to see her boyfriend and share a cup of coffee or run to the local Starbucks drive-through before heading into the office.


8:30 AM

Melanie was the first one to arrive at the office.

She arrives before most of the staff because she believes recruiting to be a field in which success is reliant on time. Melanie explains that the more focus you put into the work, the more you will receive from it. 

She spends 80% of the workday at her desk and is grateful for the window view. Surrounding her, are the necessities; a vision board with family photos, a space heater—it’s a thing that women perform better in warmer temperatures—and a 50 oz. water jug. She finds that keeping these crucial elements nearby allows her to stay efficient with her work while fulfilling her basic needs throughout the day.

Next to Melanie’s tangible necessities are certain software applications that aid in her success. For her to gain and maintain momentum with leads, LinkedIn Recruiter sits as the MVP, supplying 95% of Melanie’s candidates. This module allows recruiters to see deeper into candidates, send unlimited messages and connect with a wider range of individuals. 

Accompanying LinkedIn on Melanie’s list of ‘must-have’ applications is the candidate tracking tool of OneNote. Melanie has recently made the switch from paper to electronic files and OneNote has been along for the journey. She is able to take notes on all candidates seamlessly, while maintaining organization and productivity.


9:00 AM

Melanie started the day by checking her calendar and email to see what was scheduled. On her agenda this day was training with a new colleague followed by an interview with another potential candidate to join her group.

Melanie received an exciting email from one of her clients expressing serious interest in a candidate she sourced for a role at a video game developing company for a Finance Management opportunity. The company was in the process of scheduling a final interview and trusting that all went well—an offer would follow.

Although eager, Melanie has learned through experience to postpone excitement until the end of the deal. She explains nothing to be over in recruiting until the hire’s first day! Melanie relates recruiting to “carrying an egg in a spoon and walking over broken glass to get a deal to go through.” In other words, recruiting is a delicate process needing careful handling. The many moving parts come with the industry and in order to remain steady, embracing the unknown is a crucial component to the role. 

She finally got the interview scheduled after a few back-and-forth emails between the client and candidate, which allowed her to move forward with other tasks.


9:30 AM

Melanie spent the rest of the morning sourcing.

Matchmaking the perfect candidate to a respective job, or sourcing, is a huge part of the recruiting process and can fluctuate as business peaks. On this day, Melanie was sourcing candidates for a heavy 15 jobs. The lowest she will balance during one time is five with 15 being the max. To source effectively, Melanie sorts through current candidates she has already connected with while also scanning sites like LinkedIn. After viewing a fitting candidate, she will send a message, asking the individual if they are open to new opportunities.  

Melanie’s approach here is important to intrigue the candidate, but overall, she is seeking a mutuallybeneficial situation. Melanie is never pushy in her initial approach. Her strategy is to craft each message with information that would genuinely appeal to the candidate, while being honest about the role’s location or unique details. Trying to bait a candidate on an unrealistic or accentuated first glance would end the deal short. Melanie is keen on transparent expectations and honesty with both the clients she sources for and the candidates. 

While sourcing, Melanie looks for candidates that are interested in making a move for the right fit as opposed to a hasty or short-term intention. She has connected with candidates and placed them upwards of 8 months later. The length of the partnership allows for a bond to form between her and the candidate while providing a pipeline of talent for future roles. In this process, Melanie relies on organization and OneNote to harvest and track these numerous relationships. The candidates Melanie remains in touch with usually strike her with their personality and stand out among the sea of other professionals. 

After spending the morning sourcing, Melanie reached out to roughly 500 candidates and scheduled three calls for the following day. While 500 appears to be a significant amount of individuals, Melanie explains recruiting to be a numbers game. Reaching out to just one candidate could be a win, if it’s the right candidate.


12:00 PM

Melanie attended a working lunch for the team to train, discuss best practices and bond with the new employees. In an industry that is continually evolving and saturated with competition, staying relevant through group training is crucial to succeed as one company. The team worked through collaborating success strategies and problem solving together. 

In training this day, Melanie and team focused on marketing to acquire new clients and jobs while utilizing OneNote as a tool. Melanie spoke to the team on the benefits of OneNote and a few key factors of the application. Marketing is 50% of the job and Melanie suggests cold-calling to be a vital interest and necessary skill for anyone interested in full-desk recruiting.

OneNote fits into the marketing strategy as the primary tool to organize the entire candidate tracking process. Once Melanie lands a job or finds a potential client, all of the related details are noted into the application and outlined to view throughout the life of the project.   

There are a total of 20 permanent placement recruiters sourcing for accounting and finance roles in the entire company. In the Dallas office, Melanie’s group consists of three accounting and finance recruiters, including herself and one more joining soon. The group is predominantly males, while in the past, has been mostly female. Each individual balances fun energy with a  ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality that drives their success as a team. There is no competition in the group, rather an understanding of working as one.


1:00 PM

After the training session and working lunch, the Dallas group’s potential new candidate came to the office to meet Melanie and the rest of the team as a formality to his interviewing process. This particular candidate was competitive, money-driven and a relationship-builder; all great traits to have in a recruiter although challenging to gauge someone’s success until about 6 months in role. The recruiter has this time to build their pipeline and make something happen.

Melanie believes a few other traits make a successful recruiter. Some of which include being processdriven, having great timemanagement skills, being personable, enjoying helping people and maintaining a level head. Melanie’s degree in education provided her with a significant amount, if not all, of these traits and made her journey connect from start to finish. She remains balanced while juggling and maintaining the composure of each step of the process. 

Melanie later discovered that her team will be moving forward with hiring the candidate they met and she hopes that he will be successful in the role!


2:00 PM

Melanie made time for a workout at the gym in her building.

She values her afternoon workouts, as it gives her body the ability to move around after sitting for most of the day while simultaneously resting her brain to return to work and end the day refreshed. 

For the past several years, Melanie has been going to a CrossFit gym but has stepped away from the facility with a peak in her schedule. To compensate, Melanie has combined a bodybuilding routine that ends with a low intensity version of a CrossFit WOD (Workout of the Day). This day, Melanie worked out her arms, shoulders and upper back. She ended the workout with ten squats, ten V-ups and ten box jumps for as many sets as possible in 12 minutes.

She had a great workout and felt refreshed, fully ready to finish off the day.


3:30 PM

This afternoon, Melanie picked up new clients and job orders. 

This is another vital, although not easy, component of the job as Melanie is responsible for finding companies who need help recruiting. Hearing “no” is common in this process, but understanding the business allows her to press on without becoming discouraged. 

One strategy Melanie implements is including a highlight of a few talented candidates that she has already connected with during the sourcing process that could spark an interest in the pitch. This strategy proved successful for Melanie on this day, as a candidate she highlighted caused an uproar of responses that she engaged with for the remainder of the afternoon. 

Melanie responded and scheduled calls with certain companies to discuss more details of what they were needing in the role.


4:30 PM

Before she left for the day, Melanie received a call from a client that was interested in extending an offer to her candidate.

When Melanie sends candidates into a client, compensation has already been agreed upon and is typically within the client’s range. This is to ensure that when an offer comes about, there are no surprises. However, unfortunately at times, the client will present an offer that is under what the candidate was originally presented. 

It is the job of the recruiter to return to the client and ask about the reasoning for the compensation difference. If the compensation is too low, Melanie will often push back on the client. On the other hand, sometimes, the candidate will come back and want more money. Melanie will then listen to the reasoning and return again to speak with the client.

Thankfully, the offer this day was a match to what the candidate had been initially presented with. Melanie called the candidate and gave him the verbal offer. He was ecstatic and promised to let Melanie know the following day. Later on, he accepted.

Although a candidate accepts verbally and even a signed offer, Melanie is not fully compensated until the candidates first day of work. This highlights again the fragility of the industry and showcases handling each process with attention and care, as Melanie does incredibly well.


5:00 PM

Melanie left in a hurry to head to her son’s band concert. She rushed home to her kids and parents, who had already arrived at her house to join the family for dinner and her son’s concert. Plans took a turn—Melanie’s son left his pants at home. The family made a mad-dash back to the house, retrieved the pants from the floor and hit the road for her son’s school.


11:00 PM

Melanie returned home after the concert and took off her heels with a sigh of relief. She had a glass of wine with her parents and decided to go to bed early, anticipating another crazy, although totally different, following day. 

Melanie practices having a work-life balance by removing distractions and remaining focused in the present moment. While she is at work, she focuses on work. While she is at home with her kids, she focuses on her kids. She is intentional with her time, but is cognisant of remaining ‘on’ to be available for her candidates should something arise while she is out of the office. She has developed her own style of balance and is grateful for each component of her day.

Generally, Melanie’s evenings are seldom identical with the inevitable fluctuations that accompany teenagers. She frequently drives them to and from various places, attends a choir or band concert, soccer game, or school event. She tries to fit in time with friends, when possible. Melanie and her kids also decided to join service organizations this year and they spend a large portion of their free time volunteering at different charities. They love every minute of it!

Which job do you want to experience next?

Experience

Melanie graduated with a degree in Education and after student teaching, decided to make a pivot and stray away from the field she initially intended to pursue. After college, Melanie landed a gig as a receptionist at The Richards Group, an advertising agency. 

Over time, she evolved to take on a role in account planning where she learned the research component of the industry. Melanie met her then-husband not long after and the two moved to Austin where Melanie worked for a software company in the finance space. From here, Melanie moved to Dallas where she supported partners with tax and audit at Arthur Andersen until the Enron scandal resulted in the demise of the accounting company. 

Melanie’s journey circled back to The Richards Group, where she stepped into a recruitment role and began gaining insight of her talent in this particular area. After Melanie became pregnant with her second child, she spent a few years at home to focus on motherhood. She went on to teach preschool, despite her post-collegiate doubts until an out-of-the-blue call altered her path, once more, to lead her to another recruitment opportunity at Experis.

What is something you would tell your 18-year-old self? 

Melanie would tell her 18-year-old self to “explore and become informed about everything that is out there.” Melanie sees many individuals stick to what is known and stay within the parameters of what is understood to be available. 

She remembers being young and naive to possibilities and advises that young people entering the workforce remove limitations. Melanie suggests focusing on finding what is enjoyable and thinking about what might be a strong match to individual personalities… which might be more than one thing! All in all, don’t take the easy way out.

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