On Monday, January 29th, PRSA Boston is hosting a panel discussion called “New Year, New Career”. The panel is designed for any PR professionals who wants a grow his or her career or take on new and exciting challenges in 2018. The event will offer an all-star panel of talent recruiters including Norine Shults, VP at Chaloner, Tara Goodwin Frier, Founder & CEO of Goodwin Group PR and a special guest from MullenLowe.
Shults joined Chaloner in January 2017. Prior to joining the firm, she spent her career in communications and PR, both on the agency side and corporate side with 10 years at Fidelity Investments. We recently spoke with Shults on why she joined Chaloner, how she works with job seekers and what are the top skills that companies want from employees.
Q: What landed you at Chaloner, and what do you like about it?
A: When I was looking for a new job after leaving Fidelity, I signed up for the Chaloner monthly e-newsletter which lists job postings. I’ve known Chaloner for years — since back in the day in NYC — and had always had great respect for the firm. In the October 2016 newsletter I saw a posting for a “VP of Chaloner,” which intrigued me. After reading the job description, I was even more interested. While I thought to myself I’ve never been a recruiter per se, I had been a hiring manager (agency and client side) for 25 years and clearly understand the communications discipline and what it takes to succeed. So, I thought this could be a really neat turn in my career and submitted my resume and cover letter. After four interviews, I was even more convinced this would be a great move and I was thrilled when Amy Segelin made me the job offer last January. What I love about the job is that it allows me to use my communications experience and skills in helping companies and candidates come together for their mutual benefit. I feel such an incredible sense of satisfaction when my client is happy and ready to make an offer, and the candidate, who I am 99 percent confident will be a great asset to the organization, accepts it. In essence, I thoroughly enjoy being a matchmaker!
Q: How does an executive recruiting firm like Chaloner work with job seekers?
A: We meet and talk on the phone with job seekers on a daily basis. People approach us for informational purposes or to apply for and/or discuss one of our job postings. It is our longstanding practice to always follow up and have a conversation even if we don’t have a current search that is a match, we want to learn about them, make sure they are in our database and keep in touch for future opportunities. We also proactively reach out to prospective candidates who we believe look like a good fit for a particular search we have underway. The tools we use include our 100,000+ candidate database, LinkedIn and our own professional networks. We are extremely thoughtful and deliberate working with candidates to ensure that the job opportunity is right for them, and that the candidates are right for the clients. This means that we have regular and thorough conversations/meetings. We can’t be 100 percent sure, of course, but we probe and vet to the best of our ability. Chaloner’s and our own personal reputations are on the line. Again, our goal is to ensure a long-term, mutually rewarding relationship between the client and candidate. We want to see that it’s a win-win.
Q: What are the top three skills in demand by your clients?
A: Excellent writing and editing skills. It seems like a no-brainer but they are a universal must. Be prepared to provide samples and/or take a writing test, even at more senior levels. 2.) Collaboration/teamwork; no lone wolfs need apply, and leave your ego at the door. Every team player is expected to pitch in and do whatever it takes to get the job done, no matter how “lowly” the task. 3.) Outstanding client service skills and the ability to influence and earn the respect and trust of senior executives. Our clients are looking for professionals who have the gravitas to stand toe-to-toe with executives, albeit in a respectful way.
Q: What’s your guilty pleasure?
A: I hate to admit this, but I love watching the “Housewives” shows on Bravo. It drives my husband nuts, but I think they are hilarious and make for a nice escape from the seriousness of the real world.
Q: What’s changed the most since you began your career?
A: Everything! Seriously, technology. When I started in 1984, we were still using typewriters and then moved up to DEC machines and floppy disks. It was all old school: mailing press kits, faxing press releases, pitching the media by phone or taking an editor or reporter to lunch or dinner, cutting out press coverage or getting clippings from Bacon’s. There was no email or social media or BlackBerries or cell phones. And the measurement of results was in its infancy; the sophistication we have now is extraordinary.
About Fast 5
This is a feature of PRSA Boston’s Hot Topics blog page. The expert subject is someone who is clearly in demand, on the go, and nailing them down for a conversation is about as easy as … winning Powerball at $1.5 billion! But we know leaders like to share, so check back for insights, wisdom, author’s books about to hit the stands and other valuable tips. @prsaboston #prsabos
Do YOU have a candidate for a FAST 5 interview? Email: Joshua Milne at firstname.lastname@example.org and pitch your subject expert!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author or the individual being interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRSA Boston, PRSA National, staff or board of directors of either organization.