Office Hours: I am Emarsys's senior talent acquisition partner and have worked in talent in retail, IT, consulting, and more.Featured

Hi Everyone! I’m Melanie Malott, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at Emarsys, the only omnichannel customer engagement platform built to accelerate business outcomes. I provide full cycle recruitment support and partner with hiring managers to help grow their high performing teams while also providing the best candidate experience possible.Previously, I have worked in a variety of industries as a Talent Acquisition professional including corporate retail, IT consulting and staffing.I graduated from Indiana University at Bloomington with a degree in Management. Ask me about hiring, building teams, scaleups, recruiting operations, candidate experience, and more!
Thanks so much for joining us, @MelanieMalott. Elphas: please reply in the comments with your questions for @MelanieMalott before this Friday. She may not have time to answer every single question, so please emoji upvote the ones that interest you most. Thanks!!
Hi, Melanie - How do you work with companies that may push back against diverse candidates?
Hi Morgan, thank you for thoughtful question as Diversity and Inclusion is a topic that is top of mind in our society today. I currently work for one company and hire for the roles we have open here in the U.S. which means I am an Internal/Corporate Recruiter. Agency Recruiters are typically the ones that are working on behalf of multiple companies as those are their clients. I know that an important part of me being successful as a Talent Acquisition Professional is building a level of trust with each hiring manager. Once trust is developed, this widens the types of conversation you can have with them and this includes topics of diversity. Diverse simply means differing from one another so I try to zoom out and make it as simple as possible for them. Inherent Diversity and Acquired Diversity are both important to have within a team for it to be successful. I try to first meet them where they are--sometimes that means gender or even life experiences--and go for there.
Hi Melanie! Curious to hear your thoughts on reaching out to recruiters/hiring personnel after applying to a job within their company?I've made direct contact with one or two post-applying to show my enthusiasm for the role but would love to hear from you if that's advisable or not.
Hi Molly, thank you for the question and I know it is a tough one being on the candidate side. Though we appreciate eagerness from candidates, often times it is not the eager candidate that gets the job it is the candidate who's background matches best to the job requirements for the role. It is also likely that these recruiters are one person teams and if they spent their time answering all candidates that reach out to them they would have no time to fill the role which is what they are hired to do. As recruiters we have our normal inbox, regular LinkedIn inbox and our Linkedin Recruiter inbox so it is alot to manage. Writing a cover letter to express how well your background specifically fits to the job requirements is also a great way to stand out.
Makes total sense -- thank you, Melanie!
Hi Melanie,Thank you for taking the time to answer questions. I am currently the Director of Global Talent Acquisition at a tech company. Sometimes it is easier to screen for technical knowledge than for soft skills like responsibility, communication practices, etc. Do you have any tips for this? Also, if you have aby tips to enhace candidate experience I would appreciate that as well. Also any tips on growing my skill set or career please! Thank you so much!!
Hi Vanessa, thank you for the question. My company has moved to a more competency based model for hiring. This not only leads to a level of consistency, but helps to decrease bias in the recruitment process as all candidates are getting asked similar questions. LinkedIn has a great interview question generator that helps with this: . While interviewing soft skills is hard, it is often times the reason an employee leaves an organization, be it voluntarily or involuntarily, rather than a lack of technical skills.
Thank you this is very helpful, I totally agree.
Ok one more question only because we're actively hiring so this all so relevant! do you balance sourcing and or planting seeds with potential candidates for future needs but also managing expectations about when they could see a role actualize?
I think it is perfectly acceptable to reach out to candidates and let them know you are proactively recruiting for future roles and let them know you'd be interested in learning more about what they're looking for to make sure things align when the time is right. From my experience often times this approach is how I get the best candidates. Best of luck!
Hi Melanie! I'm curious to learn about how engineering managers work with talent acquisition partners like yourself throughout the recruiting process. What levels of engineers are involved? Do you collaborate on strategies for acquiring technical talent? What are some of the common challenges you've seen and how does a successful talent acquisition partner typically address them?
Hi Lauren, thank you for the question as partnership on both sides is important for successful hiring. Alot of this will in reality depend on the size of the organization. From my perspective if a candidate is actively looking we have about 5 weeks to interview them and give them a yes or no. Anything outside of that the candidate is at Flight Risk. This typically means that we have to have an agile interview process (Recruiter Screen + 2-3 hiring manager/team interviews). As a Talent Acquisition Professional it is my role to partner with hiring managers to enable them to make the correct hiring decision for their team and the more collaboration we have the better. During my initial kickoff meeting with them prior to starting to work on a role I also use this as an opportunity to communicate my Sourcing Strategy to them so that if there is a channel I am missing they can share this with me early on in the process. One of the most common challenges I see is hiring teams stretching out the hiring process and continuously rescheduling interviews. To overcome this, I do my best to communicate to them the reality of the current job market -- particularly with engineers as they have their pick of where they can work--and reminding them that as much as we are interviewing candidates, they are also interviewing with us. Maintaining a positive candidate experience is a competitive advantage in today's market.
Hello Melanie! Thank you for your time and insight. Who is the correct person within the company to discuss their hiring processes especially when it comes to their diversity and inclusion efforts? Hope you are having a wonderful Monday!El
Hello, thank you for the question. Knowing who to go to when it comes to this topic makes things alot easier. Typically the department head that owns this piece will have one of the following titles:-CPO (Chief People Officer)-CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer)-VP of HR (Vice President of Human Resources) -VP of Recruiting-VP of TA (Vice President of Talent Acquisition) I am sure there are some titles I am missing, but I hope this will get you started.
Hey Melanie - We're a small (~10) fintech startup building our sales team currently. We're committed to sourcing and hiring diverse talent, and we're looking for folks that have some experience in tech sales and want to join a scaling startup. What are some tools, strategies, and/or best practices that you would recommend? For example, job networks/communities to reach out to, successful messaging for cold candidate outreach, suggested DEI targets to track throughout the hiring cycle. Any advice is appreciated.Thank you for your time!(Elpha job post here -
Hi Pallavi, thank you for the question around sales recruitment as this is something I am constantly working on. Initially, I would ask yourself if it is necessary for this person to have tech sales experience - could they have previous sales experience but simply sold a complex product that could translate into your business? Often times candidates that come from diverse groups have not had the same opportunities available to them that a traditional tech sales person may have had. In terms of tools, I heavily use LinkedIn Recruiter and focus on create short, compelling messages to send to sales professionals. Additionally, within your message many sales people want to know why you like their background and what you can offer them that would make them leave their company. In terms of networks/communities there are plenty of LinkedIn Groups and Slack Channels that could get you connected to the right type of sales professionals for your organization.
Hi Melanie,Thanks for your time in advance! We're a boot strapped company with over 35 people (50% US & 50% international) and we're looking to make our first HR/People ops hire.Ideally, we're looking for someone that is mix of people operations, HR and recruitment.Someone with good background in HR policy/legal admin side, help reinforce team culture by organizing remote activities, & manage our recruitment process. Here's the full job description: Are we asking for too much in one person for our first time ever HR role? 2. What is the one thing/area we should make sure this person is strong in and the rest we can either outsource/get outside support with?
Hi Amany, thank you for this question as it is rare that I get this type of question from someone on the other side! First, to answer your questions:1. Are we asking for too much in one person for our first time ever HR role? Yes 2. What is the one thing/area we should make sure this person is strong in and the rest we can either outsource/get outside support with? This will be based off of what is most valuable to you. The good news is its very common in tech for HR professionals to have a hybrid role. For example, our current HR Manager was able to balance HR and Recruitment until we got to about 50 employees and it became too much for one person to handle and that is why they brought me on to manage the recruitment piece. In my experience, I have also found there is typically a disconnect between the actual time and effort HR responsibilities take vs what those that are outside of HR perceive it to take. From looking at the role it looks like you are looking to hire one person to do 3-4 jobs. While there is someone out there willing to do the role, they will likely be very pricy! In terms of outsourcing, I would determine 1-2 aspects of HR/Recruitment that you'd like to have 100% control of right now and outsource the rest for now. Lastly, employment law varies by country around the world and in places like the U.S. employment law can vary state by state so asking someone to have this expertise is also a big ask you may want to simply outsource.Best of luck in filling the role!
What are your thoughts on snobby or bitchy recruiters? Is it a sign of the culture they’re willing to tolerate?
Hi Rachel, thank you for the question. From my experience, it is often a sign of the culture and what they will and won't tolerate. Actions speak louder than words!
Hey Melanie! I'm curious what's the best way to go about increasing representation within a company and its teams, given that for some folks (eg. LGBTQ, indigenous, veteran), so much of which is self-identified by the candidate or employee.
Thank you for the question Teresa. During the first 30-90 days an employee is with a company (depending on the size), this is not only a time to make sure they are onboarded properly but also a great opportunity to get them engaged in activities that would be outside of their day to day (Employee Resource Groups, Focus Groups, etc.). Let's use the example of Indigenous people: if you hire an employee that identifies as indigenous and is passionate about representation this might be an individual that would be interested in helping increase indigenous voices be it the creation of an ERG, attending a career fair or being featured on the company's website. Another way to increase representation is to think more broadly about where you could recruit talent that might increase your chances of getting in front of them (LinkedIn Groups, Information Sessions, Virtual Career Fair, etc.) . A great start is always to ask members of that group directly what you as a company could do different to foster inclusion and attract them.