YPD: Sharon Alderson

Sharon Alderson is equally passionate about unearthing hard-to-find skill sets that meet the precise needs of her clients. Always trying to pair the right jobs with the right people from as close as Toronto to as far as Amsterdam, read about the stresses and successes this YP sees with Creative Niche every day…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
As a recruitment lead at Toronto-based creative staffing and workforce management firm Creative Niche, I focus on understanding the needs of our corporate clients and creative talent before matching both parties to produce dynamic, industry-leading work. I’m also responsible for leading recruitment for the east coast of the United States and managing recruitment for our brand new Amsterdam office.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Once I decided I wanted to be in creative recruitment, I met with a lot of companies. But when I met Creative Niche founder Mandy Gilbert and president Stephen Hodges, I knew this was home for me. You could tell it was a positive work environment and that the leaders really invested in their employees.

As for the inspiration for my career route, to be honest, I was like a lot of people and really didn’t know what I wanted to do after I graduated. I fell into recruitment by accident and I’m lucky that it worked out and I was to make a career out of it. But this didn’t happen without effort. After being in this tough industry for a few years, I made a conscious effort to seek out a company that would let me focus on the type of recruitment that I enjoy (creative) and one that allowed me to work in areas that I believed to be my strengths.  I always tell people who are lost in their career or current position that it is possible to turn it around as long as your focus is on the right things.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The most rewarding part of my role at Creative Niche is finding new ways to impact candidates’ lives and the success of businesses on a daily basis. The most challenging is providing negative feedback to a job candidate. I focus on keeping it constructive, but it’s still difficult to highlight areas where people need to improve their skills to obtain their preferred position.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I eventually see myself leading global recruitment for Creative Niche.

What does success look like to you?
It’s all about waking up in the morning, smiling, excited to get to the office because you love your job. There’s no better career success than that.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
It would be the day when Taylor, one of our junior recruitment leads who I’ve been coaching, made his first candidate placement. That day I knew I had taught him the right things and had a direct, positive impact on his career. It was so rewarding!

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I would advise them to focus on their strengths when searching for their ideal career, and also to get creative. If they’re lost and unsure of their career path, it’s always best to be open minded. There was a time when I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be in recruitment, but I believe that if you’re positive, have the right leadership and focus on what you’re good at, you can make any job your dream job.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
As a company, Creative Niche is a supporter of many charities including the Toronto-based Remix Project, which supports disadvantaged youth hoping to establish a career in the creative industry—and Evangel Hall Mission, a local homeless shelter. I’ve also personally volunteered at an old age home in my neighbourhood for 2 years.

What to you is notable?

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