Lynn Hazan has been an Executive Recruiter for 33 years, specializing in marketing and communications. For the last 18 years she has owned her own recruiting firm, Lynn Hazan and Associates. Going solo was a particularly gutsy move. Lynn knew that her unique way of operating meant she had to create her own firm.
“I love working with talent to bring out the best in them. My passion lies in mentoring candidates so I can find the match that helps them move onto the next stages of their careers. As a recruiter, my goal is to find a match as close as possible to the ideal candidate that fits what the client needs. Before I started in the recruiting business, I worked in the Jewish community with students on college campuses and ran summer intern programs. To this day, working with career-seeking students is a high point in my business.”
Hazan has been an Executive Recruiter for 33 years, specializing in marketing and communications. For the last 18 years she has owned her own recruiting firm, Lynn Hazan and Associates. Going solo was a particularly gutsy move. Lynn knew that her unique way of operating meant she had to create her own firm.
Lynn is known as the relationship recruiter.
She works with her candidates throughout their careers. She keeps in touch at industry events and is accessible. During the recruiting process she encourages candidates to follow-up with her. She wants to get to know the candidates beyond their resumes. Says Lynn, “If you’re not a fit for a current position you might be a future placement down your career path.”
Lynn goes on to say, “Candidates know how well I approach and prep them. Example: Most candidate resumes are awful. Most resumes don’t spell out what the candidate really does or how he/she thinks. A resume should include case stories about accomplishments and what made candidates successful in their roles. They need to shift how they see themselves.
The majority of candidates need to revise their resume. Lynn works with them to learn how to tell their stories. And, most importantly she spends time teaching them interview skills. Everyone appreciates the time they spend. Winging it isn’t a good philosophy. She loves to present and tell stories; real life stories. Some are funny, some are sad. All of them teach valuable lessons that the candidates remember.
I asked Lynn what it felt like to leave the comfort of being an employee at another search firm and start her own business. She told me that in January, 2000 she was at a point in her career when her friends and colleagues began asking “how come you don’t have your own recruiting firm?” She said she had the drive and vision so knew it was possible. Ultimately, she found the confidence to do it and off she went.
In her own words, “I worked for two different search firms over 15 years. I learned everything I could from these agencies. I had a vision of how I wanted to be seen in the industry and the value of professional recruitment, including getting to know your talent and your client’s needs. When I first meet with the client I really ask a lot of questions which allows me to be able to find the right candidate.
The Rule of Three
I’ve developed a philosophy I use called the rule of three. Of the first three resumes I send to the client, I anticipate that one will be a hire. In reality, that’s not always possible. If we don’t have the hire in the first three, the feedback is really critical; why these candidates didn’t fit and what does the client really want. This helps refine my search and find the right candidate to meet the revised specifications.
The client might have a long wish list of skills and other extenuating circumstances. For example: cutting edge technology. I manage the client’s expectations to make the best placements.
What are your areas of expertise?
Marketing and communications. We recruit in many verticals, including heath care, real estate, business to business and consumer. I do a lot of work for Fortune 500, corporate, PR and ad agencies, not-for-profit and trade associations. My specific expertise and ability to screen clients at a much higher level gets me a steady stream of clients, a lot of them in the suburbs where placements can be more difficult. My involvement in Women In Bio and the American Medical Writers Association keeps me on track for hot trends in healthcare. I learn what’s going on in the marketplace and what I need to know. It’s a constant and ongoing educational process.
You are heavily vested in working with interns. Is this how you’ve grown your firm over the years?
Because I’m a sole proprietor, I’ve always counted on interns. Most of my interns come from DePaul University. My office is close to the campus. I’m a Board Member for the Marketing Council for its Marketing Department. I enjoy developing relationships with the Board members, students, faculty and human resources. I even put on my recruiting hat to find new Board members!
I love working with interns. I’ve always attracted a high range of talent. My philosophy is, “you teach me I teach you”. These interns are social media and technology experts. They know and understand the newest technologies. Example: We introduced Survey Monkey to survey our clients. This became an undiscovered resource – another key way to work with and involve our interns. She already knew how to use it from a class project. Done!
My interns have great work ethics. I suggest that students get as many internships under their belts as possible. They help produce weekly blogs, visuals, website content and conduct research online to source potential candidates and clients. I hire anywhere from one to four interns at a time. They can work at the office or at home. We all have more fun working together at the office! One scenario: I often find myself with many slots to fill and not enough time. The interns keep me on track so I can provide the best service to my clients. Their value comes back in multiples. I can place more candidates this way. Because of the interns’ strong research abilities, I can tell right away if a candidate will be a fit or not. My business is all about quality and not the sheer number of placements. I’d rather develop high relationships and high placements.
You are a member of Wonder Women Mastermind?
Yes. I joined because as a business owner there is a lot that can contribute to my growth. I’ve been involved with other groups in the past but none of them quite met my expectations for the kind of feedback I was looking for. When you’ve been in business for a long time you need someone who’s traveled a similar path to turn to with questions, for referrals and expertise – other entrepreneurs, business owners. Wonder Women really struck a chord. We understand how to do a lot of basics – but we have to adapt to changing times. Peer to Peer: We’re all business owners, women who continue to strive for success. We share similar issues. We need a safe environment to discuss growth, lifestyle, legacy and love as they relate to our current stage in business and in life.
With Gail as our facilitator, things move much faster. We can be of service to each other, personally and professionally. When we’re at our sessions, it’s scary to sit in the “hot seat” but I’m committed to be successful. Example: I was talking with the group about my healthcare coverage for next year. Right away someone said, “Here’s my broker.” Suddenly I had all kinds of resources. We are each other’s trusted advisors. They support me with the help and resources that I need, like technology and healthcare insurance.
I’m a person who values person to person. I spend too much time in my head. Wonder Women is a safe space for us to help each other in a human way. We meet in person once a month and also schedule phone calls. This keeps us accountable for results every two weeks. I sleep better after our sessions! It’s a plan and directive. My fellow members count on me to be successful: to come up with my action plan and deliver on my results.
Do you recommend Wonder Women Mastermind to other women business owners?
Think about being in a room with women. With Wonder Women, we’re not in competition with each other. There’s a level of support and caring among our women business owners. No one is there to dominate the other – take the wind out of their sails. We’re there to support each other. I help others as a recruiter. Also, being a story teller, I can reach the heart and soul. We’re holistic – we look at life – women business owners – we see things differently.