AMA with Tanya Chawla

Tanya is a life and career coach with many years of experience as a recruiter. Her background spans across global organizations such as Google, Facebook, and Disney as well as small startups of 15+ people. As a recruiter, she has primarily focused within the technology industry on both west and east coast. Having experienced the epic battle of guilt and emotions that rise between career ambitions and motherhood, Tanya has found ways to harness the advantages of both. She has taken that knowledge and guided many people through major life changes in career, marriage, and children. Tanya’s ultimate passion is about helping people find harmony among their many roles personally and professionally.

Her AMA will be held on Olmo on 10/8, 8pm ET. Read below for her thoughts on her career and what she sees is a big misconception about corporate recruitment.

1. What piece of advice do you wish you knew when you started your career?

Trust your gut and be confident you’re bringing a fresh perspective. Early in my career I would sit back and absorb everything around me without contributing new ideas or creative solutions to problems being faced in the business.  I would wonder what I could possibly say that they haven’t tried already since they have so much more experience.  I wish I knew, having a fresh perspective and out of the box thinking is valuable to the company rather than trying to emulate the success of the senior employees or simply following their direction and footsteps.

2. How do you define success?

My definition of success has changed overtime. I used to believe moving up in titles defined success. I experienced that and realized it wasn’t fulfilling. Success is knowing what you want in your career and personal life. The ability to go after your dreams fearlessly and do your best is truly fulfilling.

3. What is the biggest misconception about what you do?

There are so many misconceptions about recruiting! This is specifically regarding corporate recruiting (a recruiter who works for the company they’re hiring for). Candidates often believe as a corporate recruiter, my job is to get them the lowest possible salary to save the company money. My role is to fill roles with the best possible candidates. I don’t receive compensation that’s dependent on the candidate’s salary. As an in-house recruiter, I’m on your side. I want to make sure you have the salary you need to feel comfortable and happy about joining the company for the long term.  It’s ok to tell me what’s holding you back and what you need for me to help you make your decision.  I also want to make sure my hiring managers are happy with me by ensuring you pick us over any other company. In fact on a few occasions, I’ve seen a candidate who was significantly underpaid for their skills and provided them with a base salary I know the company can afford and what is fair in the market.  It’s rewarding and fulfilling to know that I am also helping these people with the most important aspect of their lives and well being.

4. What traits or skills do you believe one needs to have the same job title as you or to do what you do?

Listening is the #1 skill in my book. Too often, recruiters are constantly selling. They’re selling the company, the opportunity, the candidate, etc. Taking time to just listen and let the other person talk can reveal interesting motivations from both the hiring manager and the candidate you’re considering submitting. This is also crucial as a Career Coach. Your clients may be hinting at some struggle they’re experiencing but may not say it out right. Being present and listening can help you be creative in understanding the core of the issues the client may be facing. Additionally, knowing when to walk away is an important trait. Whether it’s a technically-talented candidate who may not be a good fit for the company/hiring managers or an interesting coaching client who is just not interested in implementing any of the strategies you’re suggesting, it’s ok to walk away for everyone’s benefit.

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