Michelle is a proven leader who trains and mentors associates on how to recruit in technology. She has been working in the tech space since 2011, focusing on hiring for multiple levels of technology. Currently she is building a team in Phoenix which will be primary recruiting for SaaS based companies focused within the high-tech industry.
Tell us about your first job in tech. Who did you work for, what was your role, and what excited you about the work you did?
I started my career in technology as an entry level recruiter, with no exposure to technology. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Technology is so deep and has so many layers that are constantly changing and evolving. I spent most of my time researching as well as having conversations with other successful people in technology and learned my way around having conversations with a very tough group of people. As a recruiter you are judged instantly by the amount of technology you know and if you are able to have key conversations with talent. This constant learning is what made me passionate about technology as well as some great leaders at Kforce, including Chad Heinrich whom I still speak with today!
Describe your job in technology today.
Today I am focused on keeping up with a highly changing industry as well as training and coaching others. I focus on hiring people with great attitudes and the passion for learning and train them on how to recruiting in the high-tech industry. At Verticalmove, we mostly work with highly educated Software Engineers, Data Scientist, Machine Learning experts, and Executive leadership within the tech space.
If there was point in your childhood when you first became interested in technology, describe that event or experience.
I remember, no I may be dating myself here, having our fist Mac computer at home, green screened and all! From that point further I knew technology was going to change everything!
Who has been the most influential individual or mentor in your education or career and how did this person help advance your role in technology?
I would say Chad Heinrich my previous leader at Kforce. He believed in me and gave me the opportunity to expand into a great leader and really help motivate me to become the leader I am today.
What do you love most about working in the tech world?
I love the constant state of learning and evolution. I love talking to interesting people who have a passion for technology and learning from them.
What do you believe is the biggest hurdle women face in pursuing a career in technology?
I would say specifically within technology staffing it can be a challenge for a woman to be treated equally among clients and talent. Many times women within this industry are only seen as attractive sales people but so many have a deep passion and depth of knowledge in technology and are so much more than sales people. Not only do we have to understand a wide net of technology, we have to be able to learn and speak to it constantly.
If you could change one thing about your education or career path, what would it be?
I wish I would have starting in tech staffing earlier in my career. 🙂
If you have ever experienced sexism as a female in technology, and you think others could learn from this experience, please describe what happened and how you responded.
I have been out on many client visits and have been initially judged for not understanding technology which was not the case. As a woman I have had to become more technical, which was in the end, how I earn respect and trust from my partners.
Who in the tech field inspires you and why?
So many people! I try to stay up on the new trends and best resources. I follow some great leaders in technology as well as how to have a balanced life within our tech world. One influential person I follow is Arianna Huffington and her company Thrive, which has a great perspective on how to build success with balance.
If you could give advice to other girls in tech, what would it be?
Never give up! Constantly learn and evolve.