A Chat with Rebecca Porter

Last week we welcomed a new recruiter, Rebecca Porter, to our team. I had the pleasure of getting to know a bit more about her: what blogs she reads, what its been like coming full circle in her career and, most importantly, her love for Bon Jovi.

SB: Our new hires answer a bunch of fun questions so we can get to know and introduce them on our website. Rebecca said her fantasy dinner guests would be Oprah, Richard Branson and Jon Bon Jovi. That would be a fascinating evening- what do you think you would all discuss? What would you serve for dinner?
RP: I think it would be interesting to discuss how, with the amount of success they have all had, they have managed to stay true to themselves, keep a positive image, and inspire others. That is something that I admire about all three of them. Oh, and I’d be sure to ask for concert tickets as well!  As far as dinner, since it’s a fantasy dinner, could I get Martha Stewart to cater it?

SB: You went from recruiting to PR and back to recruiting? What brought you back? And why to Chaloner specifically?
RP: I’ve always enjoyed helping people find jobs that they really love and often found myself doing that in my free time. When I found the opening at Chaloner, I was excited, because it provided an opportunity to use my experience and knowledge of the PR world to help clients find the perfect candidates and candidates to find jobs they love. Chaloner has such a great reputation in the PR industry and not only do they have a long history with corporations and communications firms, but I like that they also work with mission-oriented organizations like Wikimedia, Echoing Green, and the Carnegie Corporation. I thought it would be the ideal next step for my career.

SB: What’s it like to revisit something you did at the outset of your career now that you have more years of experience?
RP: I’m really enjoying it. I was young and just starting out when I worked in executive search at The Flagship Group, but I learned a lot about how the industry works and it gave me a great foundation. Returning now, I understand so much more about career paths, interview processes, and in this case, the PR industry, which enables me to offer much more solid advice to my candidates and clients. It’s fun to have my career come full circle!

SB: You are coming from a PR role, what trends do you see in that field right now? How did you see the industry change?
RP: The presence of Social Media/Digital Communications has reshaped the landscape of traditional PR. Practitioners need to be on top of how to best reach their audiences and interact with them in a more direct way than was ever possible before. They need to be thought leaders on social media platforms, offering value, and standing out. Being on the recruiting side now, almost every search that we are working on has social media experience as a key requirement.

SB: What blogs do you like? You mention Lifehack in your bio. What do you like about it? What have you learned from it?
RP: I’ve always had a strong interest in personal development and I really enjoy Lifehack’s articles as they have helpful and inspiring tips to enhance your everyday life. Things like how to reduce stress or be more productive or just tips on how to increase your happiness level everyday.

SB: Today Lifehack’s featured article is on tricks for the iPhone and iPad that most people don’t know. I should start reading! Who else do you read / follow?
RP: On the PR/Recruiting side I enjoy reading sites like Ragan.com and LinkedIn’s Talent Blog. On the personal side, I enjoy reading parenting, cooking, and travel blogs.

SB: You’ve had some great and varied opportunities; what’s been a formative experience that you weren’t necessarily expecting to learn anything from?
RP: Well, I wouldn’t say that this was something that I didn’t expect to learn something from, but working at The MathWorks broadened my technical knowledge more than I would have ever expected and opened up the world of Tech PR to me. I learned so much about technical computing and simulation software and how it worked across industries for things like designing more efficient hybrid cars to mapping the human genome. It gave me the foundation and interest in the Tech PR space and drove my PR career in a trajectory that I wouldn’t have originally expected, and I’m so glad that it did.

SB: What advice would you give to anyone else who’s just starting a new job or making a career move?
RP: My advice would be to jump right in and be a sponge to absorb as much information as you can from the start. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and most of all enjoy it!