10 Questions & Answers by Elaine Bellio, Toronto Sales Recruiter
IQ PARTNERS would like you to get to know some of our recruiters. Each month we ask one of them the same 10 questions about their lives, the headhunting business, and what you should know as a talent seeker or candidate in the current job market. This month, meet Toronto Sales Recruiter, Elaine Bellio.
1. What’s the first or oddest job you ever had?
I worked at Lady Foot Locker when I was 16 as a sales associate and cashier. I was on commission, so I quickly learned the fundamentals of sales; finding out what customers want by asking lots of questions, talking to them, being friendly… and then providing that to them. It’s simple but you really can’t go wrong sticking to those fundamentals.
2. Who are your heroes in business?
The person who had the biggest influence on me and my career was an old boss of mine, Nigel. He had placed me at one of his clients’ firms as an advertising sales rep. I hated it there, so I called him one day and just said, “You have to get me out of here!” He offered me a job and I ended up working for his firm for eight years. The reason I stayed so long is I was so inspired by his tenacity to never give up, to never stop pushing forward… he taught me if you believe in something you can make it work no matter what.
3. How do you think the recruiting business could be improved?
There’s a problem with ‘high volume – low margin’ types of roles. As a recruiter it’s easy to get overly concerned with speed to market and a ‘just get someone in front of them’ mentality. What ends up happening is they never really get a good understanding of what their client needs… and it makes us look bad as an industry.
4. What’s your secret in connecting smart people and great companies?
My secret, if I have one, just comes down to those fundamentals of sales; the more people you talk to, the more you listen and learn, the more you are able to connect with them, the more success you will have as a recruiter.
5. If you could only ask clients one question when getting a recruiting brief, what would it be?
What question do I need to ask a candidate to find out if they’re a good fit for your organization?
Believe it or not it actually stumps the majority of my clients… I usually get “Oh, I don’t know, let me think about that…” And then when they do, whatever they come up with is almost always the key to successfully recruiting on that role.
6. What question should every candidate ask when a headhunter calls?
What’s the manager/corporate culture like?
I find that for most people, if they don’t have a good rapport with their manager or it isn’t the right culture-fit then it doesn’t matter how much the job pays or how great the company is.
7. What trait do you most like to see in a job-seeker?
Because I recruit for sales directors who tend to all be personable and charismatic, I want to get past how they sell themselves and into how they are going to sell the product or service. So if I had to pick one trait it would be good metrics – what their on-target earnings were last year and did they hit them?
8. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen in an interview or on a resume (no names please)?
Years ago I was interviewing for a customer service rep. role and I had a young woman show up dressed like a cat – she was wearing a headband with ears on it and a tail.
9. What’s the one quality companies should look for when hiring a headhunter?
If I had to pick one it would be a proven track record of success; find out how many similar roles they have filled recently, past clients, and how successful they’ve been.
10. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Selling mangoes on the beach in Thailand. I lived for a while in Southeast Asia… when it was time to come home I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life but knew I was good at sales, so the joke was “I should just stay here. I could sell mangoes on the beach”. But in all seriousness, perfect happiness to me is just freedom.
IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm with offices in Toronto and Vancouver. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have teams of specialist recruiters in Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, HR & Operations, Mining & Engineering, Life Sciences, and Construction, Property & Real Estate. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.