It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly six years since I started my career in the ever changing, wonderful world of Talent Acquisition in the greater Seattle area! Like many recruiters who start off in the industry, earlier on in my career I spent some time on the Agency side. Among many of the great best practices I learned during this time, attending networking events was one of them. While networking is a huge value add when done correctly (especially if you are in the market for new clients), they can still be hit or miss. If you have been in the industry for a while, it is common knowledge that there is a hugedifference between a professional association and a networking event (this is almost a whole separate post).
When I was introduced to Northwest Recruiters Association (NWRA), I felt like I had found my networking “home.” NWRA was much more than a “networking group.” They were (and still are to this day!) an association committed to helping Recruiting professionals find work if they were out of work, improving their skills once they are in a job they loved, and give them the skills needed to continue to grow in their profession and lead others. Coincidentally, these are ultimately the very values that LinkedIn has for its members in connecting the world’s professionals. After spending a few years in the Seattle staffing market, I decided to take an adventure and relocate to the Bay Area to explore what Silicon Valley had to offer.
As I began to get settled in the Bay Area, I started to notice a trend. While there definitely was no shortage of career opportunities (I was being In-mailed on a weekly basis by tech giants and many awesome start-ups I’d never heard of before), there was no real sense of community for recruiters, at all. As a recent transplant coming from another very Technology focused market, I was shocked to find nothing like this in the heart of Silicon Valley, the worlds biggest technology hub! When discussing the dilemma with others in the industry, they would often mention that they know someone who has a similar networking group to what I would describe. The problem with this is that if the group or association is not branded as a “go-to” niche group in the area and membership is not open to the public, it is not going to attain a following and add any value to its members. I am not sure if the reason for the lack of community is because everyone is too busy, afraid to share their “secret sauce” to competitors, or simply due to the abundance of available career opportunity to make your next move. Finally, instead of sitting around and complaining about it, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
On that note, I am thrilled to introduce Silicon Valley Recruiters Association (SVRA). The objective of the group is simple: to connect the area’s Recruiting Professionals (both Corporate and Agency Recruiters) for networking and educational purposes. There will be quarterly events (a mixture of networking mixers and key note speakers to discuss industry trends in an educational setting) to provide a balance of community and professional development to our members. We are still in our very early phases, but it is my hope that SVRA will make a lasting impact on how Staffing professionals interact within the Bay Area. Our first event will be happening will be taking place in the next few months (stay tuned for location and details). If you are interested in learning more about SVRA (Board and sponsorship opportunities are available!), please visit our website and like our social pages for more information!
A HUGE shout out to my very good friend, fellow recruiting geek, and co-founder, Alison Mackay. I couldn’t have tackled this endeavor alone and am so excited to have you by my side during our journey with SVRA!