Meet the Headhunter: Sarah Brekelmans, PR & Marketing Recruiter

March 17th, 2016

Sarah Brekelmans Toronto Marketing Recruiter
10 Questions & Answers by Sarah Brekelmans, Toronto Marketing Recruiter

What are the most important traits of a job seeker? What should you ask when a headhunter calls? Every few months we ask one of our recruiters the same 10 questions to help you get to know who you’re working with. Meet Sarah Brekelmans, Toronto-based Marketing Recruiter.

1. What’s the first or oddest job you’ve ever had?

I was a bagel girl at Great Canadian Bagel throughout high school.  My boss was extremely difficult at first, I was terrified of him.  It wasn’t until I started pushing back and sharing my ideas that he started respecting me more.  I actually still talk to him to this day… he ended up being a mentor for me in my career.  It was a real lesson on getting to know people, not being intimidated, and pushing back when you need to.

2. Who are your heroes in business?
Meet the Headhunter Sarah Brekelmans

I don’t have really one prime hero in business, but if I had to choose – probably Kristine Stewart, the VP Media at Twitter. She really defines what I think a strong female leader looks like in today’s business world. What a like about her is that she’s not just a leader, but also down to earth and cognizant of her skills as a woman, and why women can do well in today’s business world.

3. How do you think the recruiting business could be improved?

I think it could be a little bit less “sales-y” on the recruitment side.  There are some recruiters that push jobs when they barely know anything about the candidate, and are really just trying to sell the opportunity regardless of whether or not it’s a good fit.

It’s important to present both the pros and the cons of a company and job, as well as really understand what the motives of the candidate are.  This approach might not result in the quickest fill for you right at the time, but it is best in the long run – for the candidate, client, and recruiter.

4. What’s your secret in connecting smart people and great companies?

Relationship building.  I’m a very honest and transparent person, on both the client side and the candidate side.  I believe honesty is always the best policy and will always tell the truth.  It’s not always easy and they may not even always like it, but in the long run it helps them, and it helps me have the trusted relationships I have in the industry that are built on respect.

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5. If you could only ask clients one question when getting a recruiting brief, what would it be?

‘What does success look like? What will this person have accomplished in 6 months? 1 year?’ I find questions like this really help paint the picture of not only the role, but how it will develop when the client actually has someone in the seat.

6. What question should every candidate ask when a headhunter calls?

‘Why do you think this could potentially be the next fit for my career based on my profile?’ At the end of the day your career is about you, so you need to find out if the opportunity really is the ideal next step for you.

7. What trait do you most like to see in a job-seeker?

Meet the HeaMeet the Headhunter Sarah Brekelmans

Communication.  If candidates don’t get back to me in time, I see that as a lack of interest or a reflection of what they’re like in a work environment. Timelines are super important in this industry, so if I’m consistently having to chase someone down it is a red flag.

8. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen in an interview or on a resume (no names please)?

I have a few actually.  I’ve seen quite a few emoticons on resumes lately – smiley faces and wink faces mostly.  I once saw a resume with a picture of a cat.  I’ve also seen a LinkedIn profile listing all the things the person didn’t like about each of their past bosses.

9. What’s the one quality companies should look for when hiring a headhunter?

Background and experience recruiting for the type of role they’re looking for, and complete transparency from the get-go on what they can deliver.

10. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Paddle boarding – any ocean, anywhere.

Get to know more of our recruiters by checking out our Meet the Headhunter blog category.  Also, learn more about Marketing Recruiter Sarah Brekelmans, and connect with her on LinkedIn.


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, Energy, 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.

Jamie Danziger

Jamie operates in the COO capacity at IQ PARTNERS, with two primary areas of responsibility; the first is overseeing the day to day operations of the business, and the second is helping set and execute on IQP's corporate growth strategy.

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