Recruiter Interview – Tammy Hammond
Tell us a little about yourself.
TH: I am a true Aries, through and through! I live at the beach and love the So Cal lifestyle! I am a hippy at heart and love a good throw-back 1970’s inspired outfit.
How did you get into recruiting?
TH: I am a Fashion Design major, and worked in retail during and after college. I started in retail because I loved fashion. I ended up in Recruiting because I discovered that I was good at matching people up with their dream jobs! I am able to blend my love for fashion and apparel, with match-making, and it has been the perfect career for me!
Tell us about Pacific Sunwear
TH: PacSun is a great place to work! It feels like a family here, and we have a great culture! Employees can bring their dogs to work, we have a café on site, music outside in the courtyard, a basketball court, volleyball court, and skate ramp. Plus- we can wear jeans, shorts, tee shirts, flip flops, and tennis shoes to work! No trips to the dry cleaner needed!
Why would a fashion industry job seeker want to work at Pacific Sunwear?
TH: We focus on the LA Lifestyle, and keep a close pulse on what is happening in the LA fashion, music, and street scene. We travel to the fashion hot spots in New York and London, as well as Asia and India, for inspiration. We offer the hottest trends in fashion, following celebs in pop-culture, at an affordable price.
Tell us about the hiring process at Pacific Sunwear
TH: We post all open positions on our PacSun career page. We ask applicants to apply online, so that we can capture their documents electronically. The Recruiters pre-screen all applicants and send qualified candidates on to the hiring managers for review. Once they are reviewed, the hiring managers decide who will come in for a face to face interview. There is a Skype call set up for out of towners, and we will fly candidates in to HQ for a face to face meeting, after a Skype call-if they move on to the next steps. There are usually at least 2 interviews here at HQ, with a line-up of folks from the team they would be working with. We make verbal offers and then route the official offer letter electronically to the candidate for e-signature. We do a half day new hire orientation each week, for all new hires at HQ.
What types of fashion industry positions do you recruit for?
TH: We recruit for all levels of Design and Merchandising positions, in Men’s and Women’s, including Buying, Planning, Ecommerce, and Product Development.
What sources do you use the most to find fashion industry talent?
TH: LinkedIn is our number one resource. Next would be StyleCareers, Malakye, and our PacSun career page. About 35% of our hires come from industry or employee referrals as well. We also partner with all of the fashion schools, as well as many of the 4 year universities, all across the US.
What are some common misconceptions job seekers have about your job?
TH: I think a big one is that they don’t understand how many people I talk to in a day/week.
It can be 100’s sometimes, and when people leave a voicemail saying their first name only and that they met me at the last job fair..it is unlikely that I will remember exactly who they are.
What should job seekers know about your job as a recruiter?
TH: I think they should know that we look at over 100 resumes per day, per job posting-so the more detail they leave when following up, the better. I encourage people to be pleasantly persistent when following up. I am so busy and sometimes a week will go by and it seems like a day! If they are serious about a job, they need to be proactive. There is a fine line however, between being persistent and a being a stalker.
What are some of the most common mistakes fashion industry job seekers make when looking/applying/interviewing/etc… for a job?
TH: One of the biggies is that some of them insist on wearing a suit to an interview. I think that agencies and some colleges coach on what they think the proper interview attire is. Candidates need to do their homework and research what is considered professional for each company they are meeting with. For instance, our “professional attire” is jeans, converse or vans tennis shoes, and a nice tee shirt for men, and jeans, sandals, and a cute fashion top, or dress for women.
What’s the craziest thing a job seeker has ever said to you?
TH: I remember a young man asked me if I was single. It was awkward, and not professional!
What’s the most inappropriate thing you’ve seen on a resume?
TH: I think the most inappropriate thing was an obscene email address. I can’t remember what it said exactly, because I think I blocked it out! Candidates need to clean that up before they start their job search. Also- I don’t like to see photos or listing their date of birth, age, etc.
What advice do you have for younger job seekers?
TH: Showcase your school activities, if you don’t have a lot of job history. Do an internship or two even if your major doesn’t require it, so that you have it for your resume. Don’t forget to list your volunteer work and even waitress or waiter jobs. It shows responsibility and ability to work with the public, which is not an easy task sometimes.
What advice do you have for older job seekers?
TH: Don’t list the year you graduated college, just leave that part off. Only go back 10 years on your job history, unless you have a great job to showcase, that was 15 years back. If anything else beyond that is relevant, just list it as “other experience” in Retail, apparel, etc.. list company names and your titles, but keep the dates off.
What are some common mistakes fashion industry job seekers make during the job search process?
TH: The big one for me is when they address their cover letter to a recruiter at another company! I don’t think it is necessary to even do a cover letter, but if you must- make sure you are addressing it to the right recruiter!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
TH: I would say to target the job or jobs you want to seek out and go with it. Some applicants apply to all open jobs and they are clearly not focused on one department or career path. Even if you are open to multiple areas, be selective as to which jobs you apply to. If you apply to 2 different Buyer openings-that is acceptable. (for instance, one in Men’s and one in Women’s) Don’t apply to a Finance position and then to a Technical Designer position. 🙂
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