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Sometimes, All You Need Is Someone to Believe in You

12/11/2014 By Mehren Clegg

I’d been working on finding candidates for a BSA position at one of our clients and had seen some impressive resumes in my search.  One candidate’s resume caught my eye, but not for the reasons you might think.  Michelle’s most recent position was teaching tennis and there was a pretty large gap since her last BSA role.  Her technical experience wasn’t the reason I called her; the variety in her work experience and the versatility that she had as a result is what stood out to me.

The first time Michelle and I spoke was in mid-January.  We talked about her work experience, and I had to ask about that time gap since her last position as a BSA.  Michelle shared that she’d made the decision to stay at home with her kids while they were young. Is there any better reason to have a gap in your resume?  During the 13 years that she stayed at home with her kids, she also became a part-time tennis instructor before deciding it was time to refocus on her career.  I loved Michelle’s story, her grit and her attitude and knew that she would be the perfect fit for our client and what their culture stands for.

I submitted Michelle to the position and worked on getting feedback and an interview time setup for about two months.  At this point, I didn’t know if our client was interested since it’d been so long since we’d submitted her.  We did finally get feedback and they wanted to setup an interview.  Michelle interviewed for the role on Monday and we received an offer for her by Friday of the same week.  The feedback that we received along with the offer was that “she’s going to be a big player for us because she knows how to drive things and get things done”.

I had never been more excited to call a candidate with feedback and an offer than I was with Michelle because I knew what this opportunity meant to her.  It wasn’t just a job for her, it was an opportunity to reenter the workforce and regain focus on her career.  As I spoke with her and delivered the news, she was overcome with excitement and joy.  I could tell that she was getting choked up as she asked, “… are you serious?”  I told her that of course I was serious!  She shared with me how grateful she was and how overwhelmed she felt because she assumed that the answer would be “no”.

Want to know the best part?  Because Michelle was able to demonstrate the value she would bring to this role and to our client, we were able to offer her compensation that exceeded her expectations.  For Michelle, it wasn’t about the money. It was about getting back into the workforce and into a position that would allow her to use her skills and passion, and to provide for her family.  This experience was very humbling for me as I was able to have a real, positive impact on Michelle and her life with her family.  And to think it all started with one phone call and the desire to give someone that opportunity to succeed.
Mehren Clegg

Get to know Mehren:
As a Technical Recruiter for Populus Group, Mehren consults with candidates to understand their career goals and top skills for their next opportunity. As a member of the business development team, she also partners closely with clients to help them attract and retain the best talent. Internally to PG, Mehren enjoys participating in the success of other employees through training, development and creating long lasting relationships.

Outside of recruiting, Mehren soaks up every minute of sunshine during the short Seattle summers, by spending time with family and playing with her new puppy, Soda. She and her husband are working on lots of renovation projects on their house, both inside and out. Though it takes up a lot of weekends and evenings, Mehren is learning lots of handy-man skills!