Maven Recruiting Group

Admins on the Rise Part III

Written by: Haley Garrison

Written by: Haley Garrison

TOPIC: Now You’re Working With Your EA…

When evaluating the pain points you’re running into as an Executive, what comes top of mind and how can your EA help to alleviate those pain points? 

“Time. The causal time. Conversation. If you free up time then you have face time to actually talk about the hard stuff (or not the hard stuff). When you’re changing context a lot or if I’m traveling a bunch, I need to be able to have a strategic conversation. It’s the softer stuff that adds context and helps me pick up on the other details. - Eric, Mapbox 

What does an EA need to do to gain your confidence to demonstrate they are capable of more? 

“At FRB, we have a lot of Executive Assistants who have evolved into Executive roles. We know somebody is ready because they’ve never checked out. If it’s not going well, tell your Executive what’s not going well. If there’s something you want to improve, talk about it. Have the courage to say, ‘this should change’ or ‘I’m not happy with this, here’s what we can do better.’ It’s okay to say that because it’s a partnership.” - Beth, First Republic Bank 

“Ask for specific things you want to do and have good reasons for them. Just saying, ‘hey I want more or hey I want to be more...’ it’s hard to know what to do with that sometimes. It’s a lot more compelling if there are specific tasks and evidence behind those and maybe some sort of framework for how they might work. Have a plan. Then we’ll know that you’re ready.” - Alex, Founders Fund

“One thing I’ve noticed with Admins and EAs in general is that they feel their value is tied to their proximity to the C-suite. They forget how powerful they can be depending on where they are in the hierarchy. Be ambitious. Be curious. Be courageous. No one is going to stop you if you’re effective. I know an EA is ready for something else when they’re super passionate and super thoughtful. … They are already fulfilled by what they are doing now, but they know they can evolve.” - Annie, Postmates 

“Working closely with other people and not just on the leadership team. When we started working on projects together and really quickly, I was able to actually start hopping out of projects and to be able to have that trust...now I’m actually able to delegate a bunch. The downside of that is you gotta make sure you create the right air cover.” - Eric, Mapbox

If an EA needs to challenge you or give you feedback on something, what is the best way for them to do that? 

“Directly.” - Alex, Founders Fund 

“Don’t throw tact out the window, but don’t throw personality out the window [either] because the relationship is built up on context. Actually, if you’re saying it with that kind of flavor, it will help me better understand what the problem is.” - Eric, Mapbox 

Eric, you recently made the comment that your EA (Paige) is “nothing short of transformative.” Can you qualify what behaviors, attributes and actions Paige exhibits that make her transformative? 

“Very quickly I felt how much more follow-through I had. It wasn’t just that I was able to do more, but more was getting done because of a higher degree of accountability. To be honest, this instantly brought a great sense of reward to my effectiveness. I’m just like, ‘awesome.’ Not only can I have a meeting, I can actually work with people who are accountable and get shit done. That starts having a flywheel effect. To be able to solve stuff that was gnarly for a while… I personally feel that I’m happy because I’m actually doing more. I’m doing more because we’re doing more together, and people like working on these projects better because we’re getting it done. Oh shit, we’ve just built momentum!” - Eric, Mapbox 

How do you know if you’ve outgrown your EA? On the flipside, what can your EA do to ensure he or she continues to grow and groom his/herself with you as you grow? 

“First part of the question: You know when you know. Second part of the question: By definition, of having to work together, you know where the person could go crush it.” - Eric, Mapbox 

“I know someone is going to grow with me when he/she continues to gain parallel context and continues to engage with his/her team. Having interface with your team is actually what’s going to keep you relevant. I know someone will grow with me when he/she is telling ME stuff that I didn’t even know about. I love that because it means someone else has their ear on the ground when I can’t. When you fill in my gaps, I’m going to keep you for as long as you continue to fill in the gaps.” – Annie, Postmates

Hope you enjoyed our recap – and we look forward to you enjoying our next event!

At Maven, we believe that meaningful, in-person connections are invaluable. If you haven’t yet had the chance to participate in one of our events, we encourage you to do so. By participating in this truly collaborative and candid forum, you’re able to quickly gain context and insight, build rapport, and access others you might not have the chance to do.

The proof of this was connecting one of our attendees that evening to her (now) new boss, Annie, at Postmates. When she arrived at our event, this attendee had a competing offer on the table, but after meeting Annie and hearing her perspectives on the EA role, she was able to confidently move forward with her choice to join Postmates. Talk about a meaningful connection!

See You Next Time!

Thank you again to all who participated and attended. We look forward to seeing you at our next Admins on the Rise 2019!

Admins on the Rise Part II

and here’s what we learned

Written by: Haley Garrison

Written by: Haley Garrison

TOPIC: You’re Interviewing Your Next Executive Assistant… 

More and more we hear our Clients talk about wanting a strategic EA. What does being a strategic partner mean to you? 

“Being a strategic partner means filling in the gaps your Executive didn’t even know existed. It means looking at the organization at large and having the courage to speak up in a profession where you’re supposed to be invisible... but that’s the old world! When you do something, how does it help change the bigger picture? Are you creating static solutions or are you operating for scale? That’s what a strategic partner is to me.” - Annie, Postmates 

Being strategic means exhibiting “proactive versus reactive behavior. Are you just doing what’s asked of you? Are you just thinking transactionally and checking boxes off your list, or are you thinking ahead and being proactive? For instance, what does my Executive’s whole week look like? What does their month look like? Who do they need to be checking in with? It’s about owning your role and having the managerial courage to make decisions on your own.” - Beth, First Republic Bank 

Taking a different spin on the question, Alex Silverman of Founders Fund made the important observation that “some [EA] roles are strategic, some are not. Not every administrative role we have at Founders Fund is necessarily strategic.” She went on to say that whether a role is strategic or not in no way negates the value that person brings to the table. Being “strategic” is not the only barometer for measuring value in a support relationship. 

You’re interviewing your next EA. What’s most important to you? 

“I want to see the raw, authentic and unrehearsed YOU.” - Alex, Founders Fund 

“Writing. Granted, hiring a former journalist [to be my EA] was the ultimate cheat.” - Eric, Mapbox 

TOPIC: You’ve Hired Your EA. Now What?

What’s impressive to you about how an EA onboards and gets up to speed in a relationship? 

Knowing how to “navigate or manage something yourself, and then when to ask for help (and who to ask for help from). This is a situational awareness type of skill... high EQ. Being able to decipher what you can execute right off the bat and what you need more information for.” - Alex, Founders Fund 

“I don’t analyze by 30-day, 60-day or 90-day... I actually don’t care about that at all. I care about how a new EA engages with their immediate team. It’s important that before you reach out to me, you have the courage and initiative to get some context outside of me. Ask a co-worker to grab a cup of coffee and get the download for how things run and how they can be better. This sideways context is HUGE. When I see someone take the initiative to learn from their team as opposed to sitting back and waiting for me to give them context... my heart sings!” - Annie, Postmates 

What are the daily practices that you and your EA have established that allow for a successful partnership? 

“If you get specific enough, it’s impossible to not be aligned. One of our tricks is Dropbox Paper. You look at it and it’s like, what do I owe you, what do I owe other people? If I’m going to push one thing at any point during the day, it’s this paper. The cool part is, you can edit it all. I can highlight it, ask questions, delete stuff throughout the day. It’s a constant context piece we can pull up which radically reduces my need to ping others throughout the day because I know what I need to do [….] it’s all right there. It allows me to change context so much faster and that allows me to stack a lot. It also allows me to contribute – it really is a two-way conversation. Dropbox Paper is magical for many reasons.” - Eric, Mapbox

“Never discount the power of a collaborative document. I created a dashboard that serves as a foundation for everyone coming in. It gives them context and resources immediately at a glance. I created this because at the time, I was solo, and I was afraid that if I got hit by a bus the entire leadership team would fail because they were leaning on me and I’m a single point of failure. [It] gives someone the ability to gain the context.” - Annie, Postmates 

More questions and answers to come tomorrow!

Admins on the Rise

Behind the Velvet Rope: Demystifying the Executives You Support

Written by: Jessica Vann & Haley Garrison

Ever wondered what the person sitting across from you in an interview was really thinking, or wished you could demystify your new boss? Or maybe you’ve wrestled with how you can best stand out during the onboarding and initial periods of your new job?  

It was in a quest to get these and other critical questions answered for our admin followership during Maven’s latest Admins on the Rise event, hosted at the iconic Hotel Zetta in downtown San Francisco! In case you missed it, here’s a virtual recap of what was a massively entertaining and informative evening. 

Those who bravely battled the apocalyptic fire skies and 221 air quality index on November 15th were generously rewarded by the witty and insightful commentary of our incredible panelists: 

  • Eric Gundersen: CEO of Mapbox 

  • Annie Wu: Executive Operations at Postmates 

  • Alex Silverman: Director of Operations at Founders Fund 

  • Beth Vasquez: Director of Talent Acquisition at First Republic Bank 

These esteemed business leaders and executives shared their perspectives on everything from how to stand out in an interview to what can distinguish you during the onboarding process, and as you solidify your new relationship, to how to stay relevant over the longer term.  

As always, our goal with this event was to create a candid, vibrant and rigorous dialogue that can both inspire and aid you as you navigate your own career trajectory.

Stay tuned over the next few days to see what we learned!

In the meantime, if you have a topic in mind you’d love to hear about at our next event, send your ideas to mavenrecruitinggroup@gmail.com. Our intention is to implement the topics YOU want to hear and learn about. After all, our Admins on the Rise events are for YOU, so tell us what you want to see, Admins. :)

We have an Exciting Announcement!

Written by: Haley Garrison

Maven Recruiting Group is Expanding!

We’ve launched a new location in SAN MATEO to better serve our Peninsula candidates and clients.

400 Concar Drive, Suite 4-112, San Mateo CA 94402

Know of anyone looking for an admin or HR job in the Peninsula? Or any companies looking to hire for admin or HR roles? Click below to send us your friends!

New to our referral program?

Here’s the deal:

We’ll pay you a $250 referral bonus for each person you refer who we place in a permanent role and a $500 referral bonus for each company you refer once a placement has been made (once the candidate reaches 90 days of employment).

Come by and say hi to us at our new San Mateo location starting December 2018!

Front Lobby Etiquette for Interviewers

Written by: Leslie Crain

Written by: Leslie Crain

Welcome to the Office!

You’re ready to go. You’ve researched the company, practiced interview questions in front of a mirror, picked out the perfect outfit – and now you open the door and walk in.

But wait! Your first step into the lobby is actually the first step into the in-person interview. What you do in the lobby counts.

Your initial impression on the office is made with the person sitting at the reception desk, and as the first point of contact in Maven’s reception area, I can give you some tips to help you navigate the Front Lobby.

1.       Walk in with confidence!

I can’t tell you how many people walk into our office frowning, expressionless, or looking confused. We’ve given you our address and explained how to get to our office; you’ve found us, now own it. Walk in with a smile and say hello – no need to ask if you’re in the right place when there’s a sign on the door!

2.       Show up on time.

Everyone knows not to be late to an interview, but no one talks about exactly how early to arrive. In general, shoot to be at the office no more than five minutes early. Ten if you have to, but anything more than that, go walk around the block again or find a coffee shop. Your interviewer has a set time allotted to speak with you, and not all front lobbies are conducive to long waits. It can sometimes feel uncomfortable having someone sitting right next to me for an extended period of time while I’m trying to get often-confidential work done.

3.       Polite conversation is good; lengthy conversation, not so much.

The person at the front desk is most likely busy. Yes, we’re greeting guests and of course we love to chat for a bit, but no, we probably don’t have time for a conversation longer than a few minutes. Gauge the level of busy-ness: if the receptionist is answering a constantly-ringing phone, or concentrating on typing, you don’t have to make small talk. If you’re chatting, but s/he keeps looking at the computer screen, cut the conversation short. It’s a fine line between being friendly and taking someone away from work, but it’s important.

4.       Act like you’re in the interview.

What I mean by that is to treat the front lobby as a precursor to the interview itself. Don’t smack your gum; spit out gum before coming into the office. Don’t chat on your cell phone; texting and emailing is fine while you’re waiting, but if you need to talk, please step out. Put your fancy shoes on before coming into the office; don’t change footwear in the lobby. We notice these things.

My colleagues often ask what I thought about certain candidates, and front lobby behavior is what I have to go by. If they’re on the fence about someone, and I remember he came in and was really inconsiderate, even if he was polite in the interview, that’s an insight my colleagues will keep in mind. Similarly, if I have a great interaction with him, that could help push a hiring decision in a positive direction.

That being said – welcome to the office! How can we help you?

The Art of Negotiating

10 Tips We All Need

Written by: Haley Garrison

Written by: Haley Garrison

Most job seekers would agree that negotiating a job offer can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be! Having a few of Maven Recruiting's insider tactics in your back pocket will make all the difference the next time you're talking numbers with your current or potential employer. This is a discussion that all of us will have at some point in our careers, so why not prepare?  

As our CEO Jessica Vann says, "You are what you eat, and you get what you negotiate!"  

1. Every Negotiation is Different

First things first, no two negotiations are the same. Although we all wish there was a "one size fits all" way of approaching this conversation, there's just no such thing. Not to worry: there are few tactics that will help you navigate with ease. 

2. Show Your Interest Before Talking Numbers

If your potential employer asks you for your targeted compensation before he or she tells you anything about the role – now is not the time to give them a number. Instead, let your potential employer know that you'd prefer to get to know the role and its expectations before talking numbers. Show that you care about more than just money; this gives you the opportunity to convey your skills and prove your value first. People are much more likely to invest in you after they get to know you! 

3. Consider the Whole Package

Your salary is not the only thing to consider when negotiating. When examining an offer, consider the benefits – is there a significant bonus opportunity or generous commuter benefits? How about a 401K match or equity in the company? Will this company allow you to bring your dog to work with you? When you ask yourself these questions, you begin to understand what's most important to you and how the puzzle pieces of an offer fit together. Maybe this opportunity can't quite match the cash compensation you were originally looking for, but if you can negotiate a space for your dog, the $6,500 annually you'll be saving on dog-walking and the extra QT you'll be getting with your cutie pup might be worth it!  

4. Do Your Research

Remember, employers can't ask you what you're taking home in your current role, but they are usually aware of what the market bears. There's nothing worse than throwing out a number that is either outrageously high or, ever worse, too low in comparison to what the market drives. In fact, doing such may cost you the offer altogether. Before talking numbers, make sure you're prepared. Have you done your research? Are you confident that your salary expectations align with the market? There are tons of resources out there – use them! 

5. Partner with a Recruiter

One of the best ways to get the most up-to-date information is to partner with a recruiter who's an expert in your field. As a specialized agency, we at Maven know what the market drives for Administrative & Human Resources staffing. We thoroughly understand these roles across various industries, which means we can tell you what type of compensation you can expect depending on your background and experience level. If you run your salary expectations by a recruiter first, you'll have a much better idea as to whether your number is in line with the market and as a result, you'll feel significantly more confident asking your potential employer for a competitive, yet reasonable number. 

6. Give a Range, Not a Number

If you've done all your research and you're still not sure what to ask for, try giving a range rather than a firm number. This allows you to test the waters without locking yourself in at a specific target salary. Doing this shows that you are open to the whole package and everything they have to offer. At the same time, you get the benefit of potentially getting an offer at the higher end of the spectrum!  

7. Your Counter-Offer Isn't a Weapon

Say you get an offer from a potential employer and are presented with a counter-offer at your current company... now what? I'm sure it can be tempting to launch a bidding war, but using a counter-offer as a weapon to get more money is not the best way to start out a new employment relationship. Employers are used to this game and believe us when we say – they don't want to play it. Advocate for what you want but keep it professional.   

8. It's Not All About You

Negotiation requires a conversation—some give and take. You should feel like you are getting what you need, but your potential employer should also feel like they are getting what they need, too. Take the opportunity to remind your potential employer of what makes you unique and what you plan to bring to the table: how you can make their company better. In other words, highlight yourself, but bring it back to them!  

9. Take Money Off the Table

Money will only go so far. If you take a job solely because of the money, you likely won't be happy in the long run. If you are having a hard time deciding whether you should jump ship or keep sailing with your current employer, try taking money off the table... where do you want to be? Think about the company culture, the quality of work and the mission of the brand. Which role lights you up? Which office would get you excited to leave your bed in the morning?  

10. It's All in the Framing

Like your parents once taught you, it's not always what you say, but how you say it. The same rule applies to compensation conversations. Whether it's negotiating with your current or potential employer, you should be cautious of your verbiage. You are your own best advocate – but think about how the other party's needs are and frame your asks to address them.  

You'll survive the negotiating convo, we promise. And with that, congratulations on the offer – it's time to celebrate!  

 

PS: If this article helped you, share it and stay tuned for more career insights from your Maven Recruiting Thought Leaders.  

 

Client Appreciation Mixer Recap

  5 Reasons Why We Love Our Clients

-by Haley Garrison

In honor and celebration of our esteemed clientele, we threw a Client Appreciation Mixer to say thank you for being a part of our Maven community. We had a blast showing you our new office space, and as a thanks to all of the clients who were able to join us Wednesday evening, we'd like to take a minute to brag and share the top 5 reasons why we love our clients. To those who couldn't make it to our penthouse suite this time around, here's a peek at our new office space! 

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1. They hustle (with heart): Our clients are the definition of hard workers – these are laser-focused professionals who spend their day-to-day shaping a better, faster and stronger future. They are shaping the way of tomorrow, but they are intentional about taking time out of their hustle and bustle to show their support for the partnership we've created together. In the midst of back-to-back meetings, traveling to conferences and managing tight deadlines, our clients magically make time to celebrate our joint successes—how could you not love them?

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2. They value relationships: Our clients firmly believe that finding the right person for the job goes beyond glancing at a resume and making a business transaction. Our clients support our expertise in identifying the intangibles and getting to know people outside of fancy titles, company names and LinkedIn profiles. They know that we foster authentic relationships by uncovering what motivates people to get up in the morning and what activities they like to pour themselves into after work hours. We truly believe that this is what ensures a seamless fit for both the client and the candidate—and our clients agree!  

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3. They are authentic: Our clients are wildly successful, but they don't take themselves too seriously. They are authentic and personable, and they certainly know how to have some fun! They talk about their families and show us pictures of their French Bulldogs. And let's not forget, they know how to indulge in some delicious sushi, too! We can strategize with our clients about the best way to approach Q3 growth, but we also enjoy relaxing on our balcony with them and soaking up the views of San Francisco with a cup of green tea in hand. It's not all business around here. 

4. They embrace connection: Our clients are just as committed to connecting as we are, which probably explains why we partner so well together! They believe that the power of connection and fellowship is the key to how individuals learn from one another and thrive within their own roles. They know that meeting new people with unique perspectives and different backgrounds is essential to growth and with that, opportunity. Expanding your network and building quality connections with real people is extremely important in this job market and our clients are living and breathing examples of this.  

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5. They trust us: At Maven, we focus on creating a solid foundation through candor, transparency, experience and expertise which is why we have formed long-lasting relationships with our clients over the years. Hiring in the SF Bay Area is a unique challenge and our clients trust both our judgement and our ability to navigate the ever-changing landscape. Our clients rely on us to think outside the box (or outside the resume) to find the hidden gems that others may have overlooked. And... they trust us to throw an epic party with a private sushi chef!  

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We're Already Looking Forward to Our Next Client Mixer!
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