Office Hours: I’m the Head of Global Recruiting at Notion. I’m Kate Taylor. AMA!Featured

Hi Elphas!

I’m Kate Taylor, the Head of Global Recruiting at Notion - a connected workspace where modern teams create and share docs, take notes, manage projects, and organize knowledge. My team is focused on hiring for all disciples across our global offices.

Before Notion, I was building out product and sales teams at Dropbox. I built out the early Sales Development teams and then transitioned to Product where I built out a global high velocity sales team that worked within the self serve function. In the last few months, I pivoted to run our Global Recruiting team to diversify my operational experience and scale Notion to over 1000 employees, one of the biggest challenges for any scaleup.

During my downtime, I love playing sports and running with my dog! I also have 3 kids who keep me very busy across their activities and sports. I also went to USC and am an avid Trojan fan!

Ask me anything about self serve businesses, scaling sales operations, customer experience, mastering cold emails, my pivot from sales into recruiting, navigating career transitions, or anything else!

Thanks so much for joining us @katetaylor!Elphas – please ask @katetaylor your questions before Friday, November 10th. @katetaylor may not have time to answer every questions, so emoji upvote your favorites 🔥👍🏾➕
Hi @katetaylor 👋 I'm such a huge fan of notion so love to have you here on Elpha!I'm a freelancer (content marketing and social media strategy) trying to master cold emails to find new clients. I'd love to hear your best advice for those of us who are one-person operations wanting to create connection in that first touch but might not have the resources to do a company deep dive of suggestions.
Hi Kate! First of all - I love Notion! Best tool ever. So here's my question for you: My situation is that I'm a US citizen whose principal residence is Chile, though we travel back and forth quite a bit. I'm currently seeking remote, global or US job opportunities in L&D / EdTech and am often not sure how to approach my geographic situation, particularly when applying for remote jobs in the US. Specific questions: 1) Given that I have residence, citizenship, SSN in the US - do you see living in Chile as a major blocker to employment from US companies seeking remote roles? 2) What advice do you have on standing out during recruitment processes when there are high volumes of candidates (as I'm seeing in many of the positions that I've been applying for). Thanks!
Hey Emily, I know this post is a bit old but it is very relatable. I am a US citizen but my principal residence is Mexico City. It has been tough navigating the job search as I seek to pivot into EdTech as well. Have you learned the answers to your questions?? Would be great to connect. Thanks! -Marcy
Hi Marcy! So I´ve actually been hired at a US based company since writing this question! Here are some insights: Advice from recruiters (mostly tech industry):-Don't lie, but don't draw attention to the fact that you don't live in the US. -Remove indicators of location from your linkedin job experiences. -Add that you are able to work in US + Mexico legally and that you are bilingual. -Set your location in LinkedIn to where you want to work (that way recruiters can see you). What worked in my specific case was being 100% honest and looking for organizations where my location would be a benefit for them. For example, with the job that I ended up accepting, they are a global, remote organization that was looking to hire experienced people but kept running into the obstacle of salary expectations, as in the US people were asking 200,000USD+. Since I live in Chile, I´m able to charge WAY less, still bring the experience level they're looking for, and maintain the lifestyle that I want to. Win-win.Reaching out to contacts via family, friends, ex-colleagues was the most effective. And doing content for LinkedIn. Good luck, amiga!
Emily, thank you so much for this! First of all, congratulations on accepting a position that meets your needs and is the growth you were seeking. I know it's not an easy search! I took note of your guidance and will use this in my own career search journey. Muchas gracias,Marcy
Hi Kate!What a great tool!! I see on your website and as you noted a massive scaleup. It does appear that most are in-office or does Notion also support remote work? I am specifically interested in the Brand Design Lead. Thank you for your time :)
Thanks for joining! What is your top tip for cold emails? I work in PR so I send a lot of these -- part of the routine! Any help you can provide will be valuable. :) Thanks!
Hi @katetaylor thank you so much for joining us! As the head of global recruiting, what are some qualities you look for in international candidates? I recently transitioned into data analytics from accounting and I am curious to learn about what would make me the best candidate for hiring tech companies.
Hi there! We really look for someone who first aligns with our company values and then is also best in their craft. I would really think about if you align with the way the company operates and what is important to them. If so, keep honing your craft! We love hiring mission oriented folks who love what they do!
Thank you Katie!
No questions, just saying hello! Similar to many folks here, Notion is my favorite tool! I use it to organize my entire life, haha.
Oh wow! We love to hear that! Please let us know if we can do anything to help as you learn and keep using Notion!
Hi Kate! Thank you for being here to address our questions! I'm a really big fan of Notion's product and brand. As I'm looking for a new role, I'm thinking a lot about what sets me apart as a candidate in order to get noticed. What are your major tips for following up / standing out in a recruiting process?Also thinking a lot about hiring calendars/seasons. Would love your honest opinion on where you think hiring across tech will be in the coming months (pace, number of roles available, timing, etc.)?Thank you! :)
Hi Natalie - don't be afraid to be persistent! Emailing us is ok! We really look for people who have shown a strong background at previous companies and have a mission driven approach to their work. Right now, we are heading into planning for the next fiscal year. I always recommend looking at new roles in February or March / August or September time frame. That is usually when new roles pop up. That said, we do post roles as our business grows and shifts. We always invest heavily in our engineering and product teams so expect to see new roles coming soon!
Hi Kate! I love Notion! Your product is awesome! I'm a software engineer in my early career. Not sure if you are also hiring engineers, but I'm wondering what kind of candidates Notion is looking for, based on your experience in scaling teams? I really wanna join in Notion but seems that you are prefer to senior/experienced engineers now. As a new grad aspiring to develop leadership skills in the tech industry, what would be your top advice for someone just starting out? Thank you!! @katetaylor
Hey Melody! We often have new roles popping up so keep in touch with us! Right now we are more on the senior side but often add roles on the site. I would recommend looking at companies that have great mentors and senior engineers to learn from. We aspire to have great engineering mentors for this reason! Please feel free to reach out to us anytime if you see a role that might work with your background!
Thank you so much Kate for being here this week! You have an incredible background as an early stage tech investor, I love partnering with people who have a deep operating experience!I have so many questions but let me start somewhere1) What do you think startups get wrong when they go from the seed to series A/B stage (effectively when they go from "toddler" stage to "product market fit"/teenager) as often that time this coincides with when the founder is no longer just a founder but becomes an actual CEO? What tips and tricks do you have?2) What advice do you have on scaling culture? One of the things that I see some of my portcos struggle with is once they reach a certain stage it becomes quite hard to identify who the best talent/fit is for them. Are there processes you use to measure that?3) What are your tips on writing the most effective cold emails that will yield the biggest response rate ? :) Thank you so much! :)
I'd love to hear the answer to question 3 as well. Thanks for raising it @iynna!
Great questions! 1) I think Founders really focus on going too quickly and forget the brilliant basics like building a great product, a lasting company. Slowing down to move faster really works!2) We have a very focused values interview that has been part of Notion since day 1. That interview is really an honest 2 way conversation to see if Notion could be the right fit. We go through each of our values and talk about experiences from the candidate that may align to those. It is conversational!3) I would say that reading emails is all about timing. People open emails when the time is right. Keeping it short and sweet, not getting worked up about if they opened it, is key. I focus on the value prop, and try to just see if it is the right time!
Hi Kate! Why did you pivot from sales to recruiting?
Hey Kate! I'm also a mama of 3 and a huge sports fan - soccer and pickleball mostly. I'd love to hear more about your pivot. I've been in marketing for 10 years and want to return to a corporate tech role. I'm ex-BlackBerry with my most recent work in the startup and nonprofit space. How did you position your skills for your new role? And what helped you the most during your application and interview process? Thanks! Cathryn Love
Hi Cathryn - great to hear from you! I think the biggest thing I did was to reflect on where I wanted to go. I found a switch in careers was actually really aligned with where I wanted to go! I talked to mentors, managers and collected a lot of feedback ahead of the change. In my change, I did have a sponsor who really was interested in me making the change. Having their support was everything. I would recommend finding someone in the new space you want to move into and asking them to help advise as you go through the interview process!
Hi Kate! Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise with us. I'd love to learn more about your plans to scale - what tech tools are you looking at to help scale the recruiting function or process improvements are you looking to implement? What are some helpful metrics that you plan on utilizing to demonstrate success?
Welcome, Kate! I'd love to learn more about navigating a career shift from PR to marketing. Thank you!
Hi @katetaylor! Thanks for taking the time to give us your insights! I graduated into the current job market and have been struggling to find a job. Right now I work as a freelance graphic designer and I have completed some internships in UX/UI and Product Design. I am a Canadian citizen, however the job opportunities are more limited then the US. I am ideally looking for something remote, either Canada, US, or Global remote. So my question is, how do I stand out as a more entry level individual to recruiters in order to land an interview, especially when the competition is high for remote positions?
Hi there! I would really try and message folks that work at the company you want to get to - you can do that on Linkedin! Finding someone who can sponsor you or refer you will really help you get through those initial screening phases. Even if you don't know someone, reach out and ask to learn about the company culture. I also do recommend starting as a contractor. We see that a lot in UX where people do temporary work and then can extend to full time!
Hi Kate, thanks for taking the time! for context, I'm employee at a company.- between cold emails and referrals, which are more effective from what you've seen? - could you give a quick rundown on mastering cold emails (for landing a job) - do people read cover letters any more?
Watching all these questions! Such good ones.
Hi Jean! I would really try and look for any common ground when sending a cold email. Could be as simple as a shared interest or hobby. Finding that ground allows you to be more human when you are exchanging emails and that is really what helps with open rate!On cover letters, we don't require them. I don't think they are that helpful but sometimes can provide great context on someone. I think it depends on the situation and role you are applying to, but generally I would say it isn't worth the effort.
Thanks for sharing Kate. What are some of the lessons you learnt during your transition, what worked and what didn't? What are some of the strategies you have seen when scaling sales operations?In recruitment what is the one thing you wish more women would know?
Hi Kate (fellow Kate here) - any advice for someone looking to break into recruiting? Also, love Notion! I do people operations generally but am interested in moving into more of a recruiting role.
Hi Kate! Recruiting has so many parallels to other roles. I think it's really about outlining what your skills are and how they could be applicable to a recruiting role. Starting as a recruiting coordinator is always a great way to learn the ropes!
Hi Kate, I'm a US citizen interested in living abroad, more specifically Latin America. How might I explore global opportunities with a company like Notion?
Hi Erica! We don't have any plans to open an office in LATAM yet but stay tuned. We are always looking for ways to better serve our global user base!
Hi Kate! Thanks for sharing your energy and time with us. I left the corporate world in early 2020; and now, as I'm planning for my return, what are some qualities and hidden skills that are important these days so I can frame my candidacy both authentically & in the best light? Put differently, what are some leadership gaps that, if filled, would make a dream team for you? Trying to get an understanding of what's important for someone like you, in your unique view of the world. Thank you.
Hi there - wow great question! The biggest thing to us is having a candidate who is aligned with our values and best in what they do. One of our core values is being a Truthseeker. We see this as someone who asks questions, is naturally curious, really digs into problems and asks "how should I solve this." I would look for companies where you feel drawn to their mission and curious about solving the problems ahead for them!
Hi Kate. As a recruiting professional, i'm interested to hear your take on what has surprised you the most about recruiting in the SaaS space?
Hey @MelanieMalott - I think the biggest thing has been how deeply my recruiters know our business! I feel really lucky that they are invested in understanding the core business, what teams do, and how we can contribute to the success overall. Knowing the business makes recruiters true business partners!
Hello @katetaylor, thank you for sharing your experience here. I am also a mum of a 10 month year old :) and I love Notion, it’s one of my favourite products for work and personal life! What would you advise for an individual contributor in principle product manager role who wants to move to a group product manager/ people PM role? What experience is important? And do you advise to apply cold or try to reach out for informational interviews? Thank you for any advice , Maria
Hi @katetaylor Thanks for your time. I am running two startups one in India and one in Canada trying to build The Next Innings to support women for career and entrepreneurial opportunities through online platforms. Scaling is a challenge for me. You have accomplished scale in Notion. I want to get your insights to move the needle. Thanks for your time.
Hi there! I would first focus on building a product that users love. Once you have that love, even from a select community, you can take that to other areas using your users as your advocates. I think a lot of folks just believe they have fit without actually engaging and getting signal from users. Once you have those champions, scaling becomes necessary!
Hi @katetaylor - my question is when transitioning from being a founder back into a corporate leadership role, what is the best way to address a resume without being weeded out.
@elysekaye same! As a founder, I feel like we look like "generalists" on a resume and how do we overcome that?
Hi there! I would recommend leveraging investors to help make intros. Not sure if you had funding in previous startups, but we have found investors are great at placing and recommending founders to other portcos. That said, we really honor and respect the founder journey. I think when you are applying or finding a new spot, find companies who have founders that would understand and respect your journey
@katetaylor Thank you for sharing your time and wisdom this week! I'd like to know how you maintain team cohesion when a start up is growing from the founder and a bunch of friends to a serious business with "strangers" joining the team. I see that some small companies struggle with this transition, and I am interested to hear your take.
Hi @katetaylor, thanks for offering your time and sharing your experience! My questions are below:- Have you encountered any unique or challenging situations in your role since you’ve transitioned from sales and if so, how did you handle them? Do you have any lessons learned or insights from those experiences?- Given your experience in hiring and building teams, what are some tactical ways you’ve stayed organized as a leader and how have you approached problem solving? Curious to hear of any frameworks and methodologies that you’ve found most valuable.- How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in recruiting, and what resources do you use to continue learning? Any emerging trends you’re excited about?Thank you so much!