Talking Shizzle

Get Noticed and Get Hired with Creative Recruiter Paula Kochan

November 23, 2022 Taylor Shanklin Episode 13
Talking Shizzle
Get Noticed and Get Hired with Creative Recruiter Paula Kochan
Show Notes Transcript

Howdy! Thanks for joining us everyone; today's conversation is very VERY current. We sit down and talk some shizzle with Paula Kochan, who is a former college admissions adviser, and has been working as a Creative Talent Recruiter from home for the last several years now. We talk about how Paula's experience in the admissions world has prepared her for the world of recruiting.

Learn more about the job landscape that is currently going on, rounding out the 2022 season. We chop it up and talk about how the pandemic has affected the market, and this is not necessarily a new phenomena to the recruiting world. Paula highlights how the world of recruiting is a tumultuous world right now, as you see more and more companies making these massive layoffs. It's not all gloom and doom though as Paula gives our listeners some hope, tips and tricks to get ahead.

We talk about the creative / digital world, there are many different roles that fall under the umbrella of creativity. For example, web development, design, print advertising, audio production, and video production. Recruiters in this industry typically specialize in one area or another, and use their knowledge to match creatives with the right opportunity for them.

Our conversation also dips into the role of a digital project manager in marketing, and how important it is for candidates to have the right keywords on their LinkedIn profiles in order to be found by recruiters. It is also important for candidates to have an understanding of the different tools that are available to them, in order to be successful in the role. Taylor, Paula, and Will discuss the importance of highlighting one's skillset in their profile, in order to remind potential employers what they are capable of. This is a really great listen folks, we talk about this and much more like;

- The Importance of Keywords in Your Job Search, and How to Stand Out When Applying for Jobs Online.
- LinkedIn Profiles and how to Maximize this Network.
- The Impact of Layoffs on the Job Market.
- Millennials in the Workforce.
- The Advantages of Working from Home and a Flexible Schedule.
- Unlimited PTO: A Flexible Work perk that Appreciates Life's Emergencies.

If you have any questions, connect with Paula Here:


Taylor Shanklin  0:01  
Hey Hey all you lovely people out there. You've got a lot going on in your day with big dreams and big goals for your world. Are you ready to talk some shizzle and learn some shizzle from leading entrepreneurs, changemakers coaches and overall interesting people who like to shake things up. I'm your host Taylor Shanklin, CEO and founder of creative shizzle. And I am stoked to bring you a fresh episode of talking shizzle today, this show is all about helping you think differently so that you can grow. Talking chisel is brought to you by our team at Creative shizzle where we help businesses, entrepreneurs, and social good innovators make amazing marketing shizzle happen. Check us out on the web at Creative Now, let's talk some shizzle

Taylor Shanklin  1:01  
All right, all right. Welcome. Welcome to a new episode of talking shizzle where we are talking today with Paula Kochan - whats up? 

Paula Kochan  1:10  
Hi, Team. Hi. Nothing all good here.

Taylor Shanklin  1:14  
We got sidekick. Will, on the line. What's up? Will, how's Jersey today? 

Will Novelli  1:18  

Will Novelli  1:19  
Heyoooooooooh, looking good. The temperature today? We're doing good. 

Taylor Shanklin  1:22  
You're doing good. All right. Good to hear it. Well, Paula, we're gonna talk about recruiting and the world of working from home helping people find their best life working from home. And what you're seeing in recruiting today. It it feels like a tumultuous world out there right now, as you see more and more companies kind of like making these massive layoffs. But on the flip side, there are still a lot of people hiring. So we're going to talk about kind of maybe what's going on what you're seeing trends, and, you know, give people some hope. So kick us off. Tell us a little bit about who you are. What's your story? And how you got into the world of recruiting? 

Paula Kochan  2:05  
Yeah, absolutely. So back in the day, I was actually a College Admissions Advisor, and I absolutely loved it. And I've worked from home for the last oh gosh, going on seven years now. So this during the pandemic that was not new to me whatsoever, I felt really good with balancing my day and being at home and really having that flexibility to do everything I want and work in between there. But I started off in college admissions, and I realized I really love talking to people, I love talking to them seeing how their day is I stay pretty organized. I I loved it. I wanted to do a switch in my career. And I wanted to move into recruiting. And I actually started off doing hard and fast recruiting, I worked for different hospitals, I recruited everyone from the guy that was at the security desk to the people cleaning the hospitals. And I realized I wanted to kind of switch switch industries just a little bit. So right now I'm a creative and digital recruiter, I work for a lot of great companies, a lot of great roles. I actually have a degree in marketing that I'm finally using at this point, which is very exciting. So the positions that I'm actually recruiting for I know what they do I know what they are. So it's fun. I'm happy I can finally use my degree with so many years later.

Taylor Shanklin  3:21  
That's awesome. There's a lot in creative, right. So like in that world, there's a lot that could be considered web development, design, print, advertising, audio production, video production, do you have an area you specialize in? And what are some things that you typically look for in creatives to match them to the right opportunity for them? 

Paula Kochan  3:45  
Yeah, absolutely. So I would say I don't necessarily specialize in anything. I mean, we work with UX UI designers, we work with project managers, we work with event planners, we work with marketing managers, digital marketing managers, there's a lot of positions out there that are considered creative and digital. So I can tell you my favorite one to work is actually project managers. There's a lot out there. And what's nice is once you're in that creative space, there's a lot of different areas you can go. There's a lot of different industries you can go into. We have a pharmaceutical company that we work with, and then that creative project manager can go into an agency, for example, depending on their background, when I look for candidates, though, it's really just keywords. I use LinkedIn. When I when I search and of course we have internal systems to but we get those internal candidates from LinkedIn. You know, it's really honing in on your searching skills. But for candidates, it's really making sure that there are certain words from those job descriptions that are actually listed in your LinkedIn profile. I can't find you if it's not there. That's one big thing. So as a recruiter, when I'm looking at job descriptions, I'm picking up on key terms. They're looking for someone who specializes in digital products. So I'm going to be looking for the word digital or digital project so on and so forth different variations of that just to make sure that the end of the day I'm finding the right person, but at the same time, that right person might not have the right wording on their LinkedIn profile or that resume that that can catch that search. 

Taylor Shanklin  5:12  
Yeah, it's interesting, that role of digital project manager, you mentioned it, and it is one that's growing. I mean, that's what Will does here 

Paula Kochan  5:20  

Taylor Shanklin  5:22  
WillBill, Right?!  I mean, 

Will Novelli  5:24  
yes, yes. That's me Will Bill

Taylor Shanklin  5:27  
And it's an interesting role, because in the marketing world is there's one where you need both project management skills, but also an understanding of the digital marketing ecosystems and world and the language. Do you see that as a growing field and marketing in general? Is that a good place for people to look? And if so, like, what are some of those other keywords that people should be using on their profiles to help them get found by people like you? 

Paula Kochan  5:57  
Yeah, absolutely. So I mean, I would say it depends on the position that you're looking for. So when looking to create your LinkedIn profile, my recommendation is always to go on LinkedIn and find a few jobs that one relate to your position that you currently do right now. And then you also want to take a look at positions that you would like in the future that you're aiming towards, and take a look at the way they describe the position. So for example, there's a lot of key terms as far as like what your toolbox should look like. So having those included in there, certain companies, they use certain tools, and one might be interchangeable with another one. But at the end of the day, it's the same thing. For example, as recruiters we use bullhorn is the same as iPhones, it's the same as workday. It's the same system, different nuances, the same thing. So recognizing, having doing some research in regards to what systems other What's this other systems are out there. So you can also include those two and get familiar with them. toolbox is huge, though. Recognizing what tools you have and listing those on there. As far as other terms, like you said, it really just depends on the job description. So we have some that are, you know, digital project managers, and then it goes into creative project managers. And then at the end of the day, they're interchangeable. I've also heard the term traffic manager as well, traffic managers, a project manager, who would have thought producer, that's another word as well. So those are, I mean, at the end of the day, they're, they're all the same.

Taylor Shanklin  7:24  
 It's a great pointer. And a great reminder, Paula, that you mentioned, to look at the toolbox that matters the most for your role. And to make sure that's on your profile, I'll give Will a shout out. That was one of the things that I noticed about him while I was looking for a project manager, he had listed the Adobe Creative Suite on his profile as well. So I knew that again, as someone who wants project management, but also knows that like we're a creative agency, and it's helpful when your project managers also can kind of play backup at times as needed, and understand the lingo and understand how to use the tools to I think that's a really important thing to to highlight. So if you're in design, the suite of tools, you know, if you're figma, if your Photoshop your camera, like list them all right, an audio producer lists all of the tools that you're versed in for cutting audio, and so and so it's just a good reminder, because a lot of times I think we'll use more like human centered words in our profile, like people skill, you know, people oriented, 

Paula Kochan  8:29  
the soft skills.

Taylor Shanklin  8:32  
Need to know what you can do on? 

Paula Kochan  8:34  
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. 

Taylor Shanklin  8:37  
All right, that's a tangent. Let's talk a little bit about this world. This world that we're in now, with all of these layoffs that you're seeing, talk us through what people should be thinking about what jobs are still out there, like what are you seeing as a recruiter? 

Paula Kochan  8:56  
Yeah, I mean, I know some of our I mean, luckily, I haven't had any contractors, layoff which I'm so grateful for it. But I know there's a lot, there's a lot and a lot of different industries that have with tech right now, I know a lot of marketing roles, a lot of these creative roles are going, then there's also different roles that are going to so it's just like, for recruiters. I mean, we can't recruit if, if the company is not hiring, or if their companies, you know, has a freeze. With a lot of roles, though, I would say refocus the industry that you're looking into. So, for example, UX UI designer, that's an attack, you know, see if you can get into pharmaceuticals, or see if you can get into finance, they're still hiring. I've hired three candidates just in the last three weeks all for a pharmaceutical company. So the jobs are out there. It's just a matter of refocusing on the industry. 

Taylor Shanklin  9:49  
Okay, that's a good point. You might have to switch industries learn to something different, but take your skills just to a different vertical. See if there's hope. 

Paula Kochan  9:58  
There's Hope there's hope, Yes! 

Taylor Shanklin  10:01  
They are still making pharmaceuticals there. You know, sick people still need treatments, people still need financial help. There's a lot of stuff out there. Even if some of these big tech companies while they're in the limelight in the spotlight, it doesn't mean that all jobs are going away. And you're right. Everything that I've seen has been a large technology company. So that is really good to note that it doesn't necessarily it's everywhere. Yes. All right. I want to I want to get into something. Something kind of sizzling here. 

Paula Kochan  10:36  

Taylor Shanklin  10:37  
Let's talk about those millennials in the workforce. 

Paula Kochan  10:40  
Love it.

Paula Kochan  10:42  
I am a millennial in the workforce. 

Taylor Shanklin  10:45  
I think all three of us here on this podcast today are millennials in the workforce. Now I'm like a grandma millennial. I'm like one of those millennials where depending on what year you're looking at, in like millennial research, I'm sometimes a millennial, I'm sometimes not. But I still find myself as a millennial. I've heard so many employers, you know gripe about all millennials. I just, you know, they don't want to do work. You know, they don't want to show up. I don't think that's true. Tell us what, what though, and tell us how to engage them. 

Paula Kochan  11:21  
I would say it's a misunderstanding. I think depending on what generation you're in your idea of work is you go in and not your job starts the night you go in there at 830, prepare your cup of coffee in the office. And then you get prepared for your workday. And then your workday actually starts. And you're grinding it out from 9am. to lunch, you have your 30 minute lunch, you eat your lunch, and then you grind it out until five o'clock, the five o'clock comes in, you sign off. But then during lunch, you also sign off when you take a break, you also indicate that you're taking a break. It's too structured. And I've worked from home in a structured setting like that, and it was very, you felt chained. You felt chained to your desk in my most recent role right now. I mean, granted, I have a start time I have an end time I have a lunchtime, but I don't feel tied down. I work sometimes 12 hour days, I don't feel time down. Because I can go out and I can I can walk, walk the beast barking, he needs to go out and you're not you know you're not. It's less, it's more freedom, it's definitely more freedom. If you get the right person, and they feel free and they don't feel restricted. They have that flexibility where you know, I don't have any groceries, I'm going to want to go pick up my lunch and I have my phone on me if I I'll take a client, if I need to call my client on the way there. I can do that. So I think we're more productive than the generation back then. And we're having more fun doing it too. So I will say that. 

Taylor Shanklin  12:45  
Yeah, I agree. I mean, I don't know. It's funny. You said that whole schedule. I kind of do that from my home office. 

Paula Kochan  12:51  

Taylor Shanklin  12:53  
See, I told you as a grandma millennial, Will, what's your take on this? You are a more flexible schedule person now but you didn't used to be? How has that transition been for you? 

Will Novelli  13:04  
I mean, it's been amazing. I really don't think about my eight to five or my let me let me be FurReal. My, my like six to five. don't really say I don't want to think about it. This is like nightmares. I much prefer the flexible schedule. It's much better for my work life balance. I feel like I've been healthier. Ever since then. And less stress. I've been able to attend to my family more, which is Who could ask for more than that. 

Taylor Shanklin  13:34  
Yeah, I don't think it's that millennials are lazy are millennials don't show up. I just think it's that they also realize that there's more to life than the job. And they will be able to have flexibility to have actual real balance. And that's okay, that's good. 

Paula Kochan  13:54  
And I think too, at the end of the day, I mean, I feel like working from home, you almost have to show that you're more like you have to show more work. I feel like so that person that does work from home, they might work even harder than in the office because you don't have your you know, manager or supervisor over overlooking what you're doing. So I know Me Myself, I'm very inclined to answer emails at nine o'clock at night. Just because I it's one it's just benefiting me and two, I'm just sitting here watching TV. It's not that big of a deal. But then also work work comes around and I want to watch you know, the news or something's on I turned that on and 11 o'clock and I'm sourcing too. So it is flexible. And I think if you find the right person, and I think there's a lot more people with Yeah, work life balance. But you also I don't know, it makes me excited that I can work and do anything from airport to home to cafe Starbucks.

Taylor Shanklin  14:48  
Yeah, I've been working from home for about 14 years total. I took a little stent in the middle about six or seven years ago and went into an office job and I was there for about a year and a half. I'll tell youI did not get very much done in the office. And that's just me and my personality. I think some people do better in the office. And some people work better at home. After that job, I moved back into a role that allowed me to work from home and my productivity just shot through the roof, or something about the office. And we were in an open office environment where everybody's sitting next to each other. You can't have a phone call with a client without, you know, the programmer looking next to you and being like, why are you such a loud talker? And I'm like, go get a coffee, you know, so leave me alone. It's my, it's my job. I'm like, you know, I have to be on the phone for my job you don't. And so it's so much better doing that from home. For me, and probably for a lot of people because of the flexibility for like, 

Will Novelli  15:48  
I feel like if you're working from home, you tend to bring more passion to whatever you're doing too-

Paula Kochan  15:52  
You know the flexibility is great. And I think one perk that I see a lot more of which I really appreciate. It kind of just goes back to that like, work life balance aspect. Can we can we talk about unlimited PTO? 

Taylor Shanklin  16:04  
Let's get into it. Yeah. Tell us about that. 

Paula Kochan  16:06  
I love it. I feel like I don't abuse it. But I am mindful for those days, I do take off. But it's nice to not have a cat things happen. Life happens. And I think with COVID, I think a lot more employers are realizing that you have to switch gears, you have to switch gears people are people life happens is, you know, two very cheesy things to say. But I mean, that's the reality of it, kids get sick partners get sick, you have an emergency, you know, it's nice to not have to worry about you know, I'm not, I'm not gonna be able to take a trip for my mental health, because I used up all my PTO on being sick for two weeks. So I like that. I like the unlimited PTO, I love it.

Taylor Shanklin  16:46  
I've had it before and another company, a couple of companies before starting my own, I loved it. I agree I'm with you. I did not abuse it. But it felt like it was nice and flexible to use. Now I have heard on the flip side that sometimes it makes people not take enough time off. Because they're concerned that they're going to be that person that's perceived as taking too much time off. And I get that I think it's up to the company and the managers to really help their people feel like if you're not taking enough time off, hey, go take some time off, you know, and I used to tell people that I managed to, you know, in those scenarios, like, Hey, I've noticed, yeah, haven't taken any time off and quite a while. I'm going to ask you to take some time off for yourself. Well, I don't want to Well, you should you know, and like coach them. Now I probably like I could have unlimited PTO because I get to write the rules. But I don't take enough. So I probably need to put a PTO plan in place just for my hold myself accountable. 

Paula Kochan  16:46  
Yeah, you need to give yourself a pep talk. It sounds like 

Taylor Shanklin  17:58  
yeah, it's sort of hard sometimes. But Will Will you start asking me to take PTO, please. 

Will Novelli  18:05  
I'm on it. I'm scheduling some right now 

Taylor Shanklin  18:07  
schedule a good dad joke and a PTO day for me. Put it on the calendar.

Taylor Shanklin  18:15  
All right, let's wrap it up. I've got one more question for you. Tell us what has been your favorite job you've ever had? 

Paula Kochan  18:26  
Oh, gosh, my favorite job, I would say the one I'm in right now to be completely honest, I love it. It's challenging. It takes me out of my comfort zone. I'm not a person that can do the same thing over and over. If something becomes too easy, I get bored. And then I become restless. And then I don't do as good. So the fact that I feel like every day I'm being challenged. And sometimes it's challenged. And it's not the easiest. I like that. I like being out of my comfort zone. So as fun and cool as it is to say that, you know, I work with this industry. And this is what I'm seeing and so on and so forth. It's challenging. It's a lot of hard work. You're competing against other people. But I like it, I'd really really like I guess I'm I must be sick in the head or something. But I like the fact that you know, someone could get in, someone could get in something 10 minutes before me and they can score that client and they'll get that placement. So I have to work. So I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it faster. I'm going to wake up a little bit earlier do this. I'm going to source a little bit later. I mean, I workaholic tendencies, I guess. But if you really enjoy what you're doing, it doesn't feel like work. It really doesn't. And that's what I would really love about the position I have now. 

Taylor Shanklin  19:41  
That's awesome. If you have one tip to give people who are out of work and looking for their next best life with their next best job. What would that tip Be as they continue their search? 

Paula Kochan  19:53  
Yeah, absolutely. I would say try and look and people are hiring. They're hiring. Take all interviews you have speak with a lot of different recruiters, a lot of different recruiting agencies have a lot of different positions and take a look at your own resume as well, I have to land the position I'm actually in, I used a resume writing service. And that was honestly the best investment I ever did. I'm not the best writer, but they are and you can let them know what positions you're looking for, you can send them in different job descriptions. So they too can, they too can update your resume to include a lot of those key terms that you're looking for, within your next role, update your LinkedIn, have a great picture on there, have your contact information, have your most recent contact information up and then just be active too. We a lot of the times I actually find candidates scrolling through the comments section of different groups. So like, for example, like a UX UI group, join those groups, they have a lot of leads and recruiters are part of them. One tip that I would say not to do though, and this is this is just I feel like candidates are familiar with LinkedIn on the candidate side and not necessarily on the recruiter side, which obviously they shouldn't be. But majority of recruiters, I would say they don't use their personal LinkedIn. So you'll send a message direct message to them, they might not see it for they might not see it, they might not see it for weeks, they might not see it for a number of days. And that situation, that position is gone, I do get quite a few messages. And I try my best to reach out to all of them. But the way you'll stand out is applying for the position. And unfortunately, it is you know, sometimes a numbers game. So if you see a, you see a role that has recently been posted, try and be one of those first few that apply that to helps with, you know if there's 500 applications, recruiter is not going to look through 500 applications, unfortunately. So it is definitely a numbers game, but you're gonna get it, it's going to happen. And it's just a matter of time being patient. And you know, just it's a numbers game, unfortunately. 

Taylor Shanklin  21:58  
Awesome. All right. Be patient out there people 

Paula Kochan  22:01  
patient patient. Yes. 

Taylor Shanklin  22:03  
Well, Paula, this has been a pleasure. It's been great meeting you. We are excited to stay in touch. If people do want to find you online and connect with you. Maybe they need your help. What's the best way to do that? 

Paula Kochan  22:17  
So I said not to message me on LinkedIn. But I do reply. I do reply just it just in regards to position. I don't have personal messages I love I do help with resumes as well. So if anyone needs any looking at their resume for a certain position that they might consider my best hours to actually reach me on LinkedIn for a personal message is actually eight o'clock central time. So I'm honestly I'm definitely on a late. So not during the work day, because that's I'm on I'm on the I'm on the other one. I'm on the recruiter at that point. So later in the day, the better but I'm definitely accessible that way. I would say it's the best. 

Taylor Shanklin  22:56  
Cool, awesome. Sounds good. All right, find her on LinkedIn people. We hope you learned a little bit about the world of recruiting and what to do if you're looking for a job and hopefully gave you a little bit of hope about the fact that there are still jobs out there. 

Paula Kochan  23:13  
There's jobs out there and they are hiring and worst case scenario. switch careers, you switch industries and hustle through it and then you'll be back at it. 

Taylor Shanklin  23:23  
Re invent yourself. 

Paula Kochan  23:25  
Reinvent. Yes. 

Taylor Shanklin  23:27  
All right, folks. Thank you for listening. We will see you next time on a fresh episode where we're talking some shizzle and a little is all guys.

Taylor Shanklin  23:41  
Well, hey there, that was fun. I love how much mind blowing and mind opening shizzle our guests bring to us with every episode. We hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as we did. Make sure you hit that subscribe button on your favorite podcast player so that you don't miss a beat of the talking shizzle podcast. And if you're listening on Apple, be sure to let us know what you thought and leave us a review. We'd love to hear from my listeners so that we can bring you all the good juicy Business Growth shizzle that you would like to hear about. Get in touch with us and follow along at or email us at podcast at Creative Until next time, keep making your shizzle happen.