YEDaily: Tanya Lehrman

Tanya Lehrman is a recruiter specializing in the fashion (needle trade) and retail industries. She’s passionate about what she does because it gives her the chance to symbiotically elevate the situations of people looking for the right job and bolster companies by connecting them with the best people out there…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I work with the top employers in the nation to find talent with relevant experience to fill their job openings. As a passionate recruiter with an expertise in the fashion and retail industries, I focus on finding the right fit for both my clients and candidates.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I launched Prestige Recruitment in July 2011. After working for a couple of other recruitment agencies, I saw a gap and identified a need for a boutique firm that was “in it” for the sake of the clients and candidates, not the fee they were billing. I won’t pretend that money is not important, but we’re dealing with people’s livelihood and happiness and these are matters that should not be taken lightly. Many recruitment companies run like a cut-throat sales office, or are not honest about what they can do; letting every candidate believe their dream job will be handed to them, meanwhile their application actually ends up in a desk drawer. I offer tangible and honest advice on how to improve people’s job situations. If I can’t help, I will at least try to help my candidates empower themselves. 

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of what I do is helping improve people’s situations and elevating companies by providing them with top talent.

I meet so many people every week, some of them break down in tears in my office because they aren’t working or stuck in a miserable, sometimes under-paid situation. The most gratifying thing, more than anything, is receiving positive feedback from someone who was in one of these situations and thought they would never love a job as much as the one I placed them in, or who followed my advice which led them to find their dream job on their own.

One of the most challenging parts of what I do is to convince job seekers to have fair expectations of what I can deliver. I always try to be clear from the beginning that I’m hired by companies to recruit talent and I do not spend my time shopping CVs around to companies. So many recruiters fill people with false hope. I feel, as a recruiter, if you can set fair expectations, you will avoid disappointment. In this market, there are more no’s than yes’s. We are all working twice as hard for the same results. This can leave a jobless candidate feeling lost and bewildered. It takes a thick skin to be a recruiter. I think anyone would struggle with the “no’s.” 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I expect to have grown my business with offices across the nation to better serve our clients.

I also expect to have grown my Montreal team and could spend some time focusing on philanthropic work. I have always dreamed of starting an organization in line with my deep-seeded belief in education as a form of empowerment and using that power to pay it forward. 

What does success look like to you?
Success is waking up every day and looking forward to work, then going to bed every night knowing I’ve done my best to approach what I do with the utmost honesty and integrity. 

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I knew I had built a name and reputation for myself when I switched jobs and got calls from clients who used Google to track me down because I was the only one they wanted to work with.

The next milestone was starting Prestige Recruitment and making it a profitable success within a year of operations. This is proof that hard work really does pay off!

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Honesty, hard work, integrity and passion mixed with a little tenacity and patience will pay off.

Keep smiling! 

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you? 
Yes, I personally donate to several charities over the year.

I’ve always been interested in the issue of people trafficking and find it’s a taboo topic that no one wants to discuss, but is happening in our backyards. I commend Somaly Mam Foundation for their work.

I support several Kiva loans that I constantly role over. Federation CJA, Alzheimer Society, SPCA.

Last year, in lieu of typical, client holiday gifts, Prestige Recruitment was able to send over two dozen kids to school in developing countries through Care Canada. These kids were sponsored in our clients’ (company) names.

This holiday season, I decided to keep it local, and will be giving a substantial donation to Dans La Rue, our clients’ (company) names as well as separate support from Prestige Recruitment.

What to you is notable?
Honesty, integrity and doing the right thing, even when it doesn’t pay.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone, I have my work, music, pictures and recipes all at my fingertips!