Executive Recruiter

WayUp Staff
Executive Recruiter

What’s your name: Brielle Franklin

What is your profession? Digital Media Executive Recruiter

What company do you work for? AC Lion

How long have you been in this role? Two and a half years

What were you doing before this role? I was a student at UPenn

What did you study in college? Psychology and Nutrition (I went straight from UPenn undergrad to AC Lion)

Why did you choose this job? 

I have never once heard that someone’s dream job out of college is to become an Executive Recruiter. Most students, with the exception of those who have friends and family in the field, don’t even know this world exists. I certainly didn’t.

When I realized that I didn’t want to go to med school during my senior year at Penn, I had a full blown quarter life crisis. I had no back up plan, it never occurred to me that I might not have chosen the right career path…in my mind, I was screwed. As my friends in Finance and Consulting were securing their futures at Investment Banks and Consulting Firms, I was desperately trying to figure out where I fit in (what I found to be) the incredibly intimidating business world.

One day, mid- panic attack, I Googled the word “jobs” (brilliant, I know). Apparently AC Lion had a great SEO Manager (a term I learned on the job), because it a link to the company’s site was right at the top. I took a look at the website, liked the company colors,, thought they looked like a fun group of people, and blindly emailed the COO about their hiring needs. (I know, my rationale wasn’t the most logical, but I’m still here….)

After seven months of interviewing and convincing these experienced Digital Media recruiters that I – who had no work experience whatsoever and didn’t even know what Digital Media meant – had what it took to come on board, I got a job offer…and started one week after my graduation.

What is an average day like in your role?

No two days in this job are the same. You will never be bored. There will be times you feel on top of the world and there are days where you question your sanity. At the end of the day, Recruiting is a sales job. What makes it so interesting is that your product is a person.

Digital Media is an exciting industry to work in, as companies that were started in dorm rooms and garages are acquired and IPO. Google, Facebook- companies that some students would do anything to work for- are just two of our former clients. My job is to find the talent these companies need at an early stage to take them to where they are today.

A large portion of my day is spent on Linkedin, “sourcing” candidates that our clients have a need for (our clients being early stage startups). I am constantly talking to new people and learning what makes them tick. And I mean constantly. Whether it’s on the phone, in person, via skype, and even texting – I am always connected…with as many as 100 people at a time. If you’re not truly a “people person, as cliché as that sounds, this job is not for you.

An important thing to note about this job is that we work against a quota, which essentially makes it sales. Each recruiting firm structures their goal structure differently, so I’ll spare the boring details.

The second part of my job is Business Development, which consists of going to growing start ups to see if it makes sense to work with (meaning to hire for) them. If it does, we sign a contract in which they agree to pay us to find them top talent to scale their company.

The third part of my job is being a therapist, as you are dealing with people’s lives and careers. It is not unusual to have a candidate call you out of the blue crying about something that happened at work, and when/ if you really establish a deep relationship with this person, he/she will likely open up about his/her personal life. For me, this is the fun part.

There is no such thing as an “average day” in this job, but there is a method to the madness of recruiting.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is dealing with the emotional roller coaster that comes with being in sales. Because your product is people, it is very possible that you see a “deal” through to completion and then the “product” turns around and decides that it no longer wants to be sold. Those are bad days.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of this job is establishing deep relationships with brilliant people in the Digital Media world and never being the smartest person in the room. I also love the therapy aspect of my job, which I mentioned above (however, that job function does not apply to every recruiter). There is always something to learn because this industry is constantly changing. Again, you are never bored.

What’s a common misconception about your job?

People often think of recruiting as a mindless job. We are not “head hunters” per se (even though that term makes this easier to understand), but rather consultants, salesmen, and therapists all wrapped into one.

Any tips for current college students who aspire to be Executive Recruiters?

Go for it! It was intimidating to join a company that I had never heard of to do a job that I never knew existed. But if what I explained above sounds intriguing to you, speak to people in the industry and try your hand at it. You’ll be shocked how much you learn in this business.

If you had a time machine and could travel back to visit yourself in college, what’s the #1 piece of advice you would have given yourself?

Everything is going to be okay.  However, if you ask my future self the same question, I will likely give the same answer :)

What is a fun perk of your job?

For me, it’s networking events. Where there are open bars. And fun, young cool people who want to share their stories with you, some of which are tragically boring, but others that will expand your mind. This is a nascent industry. The people who work in it embrace that fact by acting accordingly (in dress code and alcohol consumption) and by truly thinking differently.

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