Recruiter Interview – Shellie Simpson
Tell us a little about yourself.
SS: I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and attended the University of Utah with a BS in Marketing. I have always had a passion for fashion and after graduating decided to try my hand at retail management. After 8 years of experience in retail management in Salt Lake, San Francisco, and New York City; I found a new passion in recruiting on the Fashion & Retail team at Atrium Staffing.
How did you get into recruiting?
SS: After spending 8 years on the retail side of the fashion world, I wanted to move into the corporate sector. I came to Atrium to help me with my job search and after a great experience I had an epiphany,
I wanted to be a recruiter for the fashion industry!
Tell us about Atrium Staffing
SS: Atrium is a full service talent management firm with over 20 years of experience. We partner with the most in-demand brands and fashion houses in the world placing freelance and full-time talent. Whether you’re an intern trying to take the leap to employee or a fashion veteran looking to make a calculated move, we have the connections to get you there. Our Recruiters are industry professionals themselves, who guide candidates through the interview process, review their portfolios and truly get to know them.
Why would a fashion industry job seeker want to work at/with Atrium Staffing?
SS: As simple as it sounds, we approach hiring from the perspective of the candidate. By getting to know them and listening to what truly motivates them, we are able to build lasting relationships and find our applicants jobs they love.
Tell us about the hiring process at Atrium Staffing
SS: We have a thorough screening process and want to make sure that we really understand our candidates needs and goals. We bring all of our applicants in for an in-person interview to help assess their skills and ultimately find a good culture fit for them.
What types of fashion industry positions do you recruit for?
SS: We work with a wide array of clients on temp, temp to hire, and direct hire jobs. Roles we hire for include, but are not limited to: Designers, Tech Designers, Production, Merchandising, Buying, Planning, Sales, Logistics, Operations, and many more.
What sources do you use the most to find fashion industry talent?
SS: Our unique philosophy and approach has led to a 73% referral rate from past and current candidates. We create long lasting relationships with the candidates we place and are fortunate that they send their friends and colleagues who are job searching to us. We have a strong presence on social media and also supplement with sites like Stylecareers to help in sourcing for difficult positions.
What are some common misconceptions job seekers have about your job?
SS: I have candidates ask me all the time if we charge for our services. Our services are completely free to job seekers and we are here as a resource to connect companies with top talent in the industry.
What should job seekers know about your job as a recruiter?
SS:We are here to help our candidates. Ultimately, we want to place our talent in positions where they are happy and fulfilled. Think of us as the match makers of the job world. We want to assist our associates in finding their future careers where they can achieve their full potential.
What are some of the most common mistakes fashion industry job seekers make when looking/applying/interviewing/etc… for a job?
SS: I think job seekers can underestimate the power of researching a company beforehand. I always tell my candidates to research the company online and be able to speak to any newsworthy topics about the company. I would avoid bringing anything negative up in an interview, but it will make you stand out if you mention an award the company received or a new line they just acquired. Companies want to hire associates that are passionate about the company and their product.
What’s the craziest thing a job seeker has ever said to you?
SS: I asked a candidate about a gap in their resume and they told me that they had a bad break up and needed some time off to regroup. Bringing up personal information in an interview is a big red flag! Companies want to know that you are not going to be distracted at work by your personal issues.
What’s the most inappropriate thing you’ve seen on a resume?
SS: My colleague received a resume from a candidate highlighting their skills as a mom and household manager. We all know being a mom is one of the hardest jobs but it is not appropriate to put on a resume. Balancing the household budget does not qualify you to be a merchandise analyst.
What advice do you have for younger job seekers?
SS: Treat every job as your dream job, regardless if it is a one-week assignment or ongoing. Sometimes just getting your foot in the door is all it takes. Companies want to hire candidates with a strong work ethic and if you can show that in an assistant role, you will be sure to move up quickly.
What advice do you have for older job seekers?
SS: Always keep an updated portfolio! I have Designer candidates who come to me wanting to search for a new job but have not updated their portfolio in 10 years. It is important to keep your work relevant and on-trend. The same applies for your resume, every year you should update it, regardless if you are looking for a job or not.
What are some common mistakes fashion industry job seekers make during the job search process?
SS: Don’t underestimate the power of networking. I think some candidates will rely on one avenue to find a job but sometimes it can take a village. Reach out to your network and let them know that you are actively seeking a new job opportunity. You would be surprised how a friend-of-a-friend is just the connection you need to get your dream job.
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