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Small Batch Recruiting - Philz approach

After leaving my last job, I thought...

What I love is helping people find jobs that make them happy. Why not just do that?


Finding a job sucks Like most of you, I know what it’s like to just not feel happy at your job.

I’ll never forget the story a college professor told me about his experience at McKinsey. After 5 weeks straight in the same rental car and single suitcase, he had hit his 27th factory within upstate New York. Having pulled four all-nighters in a row, he stopped at a local motel and passed out for a solid 24 hours - straight. The date was June 17, 1994…and he missed the entire O.J. Simpson car chase. He put in his notice to leave the next week.

Nowadays with LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed and Angellist, it’s easier than ever to get a sense of what’s out there. Yet finding the right opportunity is still a full-time job.

It’d be nice to send the task off to a recruiter and just wait for the job interviews to start pouring in. But as you probably know, it never quite works out that way.

Somehow, an industry that is all about people has turned into one of the most transactional businesses out there.

What’s wrong with Recruiting The most common complaint goes something like this “They just don’t get it. Recruiters can't seem to send along jobs that I actually want.”

Here’s an email to a friend of mine who’s an HBS grad living in San Francisco...

Though part-time work at an Ice Cream Parlor would be a great job for some, it wasn't exactly what a recent HBS grad and former management consultant was looking for in his next role.

To be sure, there are some wonderful recruiters out there. I’ve met plenty who really care about their clients - and it’s reflected in the thoughtfulness of their work. But truth be told, many have earned the nickname “headhunter” for spamming thousands of candidates, addressing half of the recipients by the wrong name, and randomly throwing jobs around in hopes that something sticks.


My first interactions back when I was at Bain went something like this:

Recruiter: I have this fantastic private equity job in Boston with a top-tier fund! Phil: I don’t think this is the right opportunity for me. But I am starting to think about new jobs, so let’s stay in touch.

And then?

If you’re not a match for that specific job at that specific time, then as with the worst first dates, you get ghosted. Why?

The recruiter is paid by the company to place a candidate in that specific role at that specific time - not to help candidates find a role that’s right for their long term success. Thus, they are often caught up in metrics like outbound calls or number of phone screens.

These recruiters have lost sight of the fact that the people they’re working with are, well, people.

Helping friends find jobs Helping friends navigate the job search has always been a hobby of mine. And frankly, I get a lot of pleasure out of connecting folks with one another across a variety of things in life.

As the saying goes, “good people know good people.”

So...if you know good people, I'm always up for a chat. So after leaving my last job, I thought:

What I love is helping people find jobs that make them happy. Why not just do that?

  • I got into this business to make the job search process easier.

  • I got into this business because I wanted to be an advocate for the job seeker.

  • I got into this business to help folks figure out what they actually wanted to do in life.

Moreover, I got into this business to build long term relationships with individual people. Relationships that go beyond immediate needs for a job or an employee. Philz Small batch approach

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

We take on a handful of candidates and work closely with them to understand what they can offer to the job market - and exactly what they’re looking for in their next job.

We never settle for simply being the matchmaker. We work with candidates to fine tune their resume and personal story. And we work to go beyond work experience requirements and dive into cultural fit.

We are agents for the job seeker. We are representatives. We care about building long-term relationships that go beyond a simple paycheck or a job placement.

Think of this as a small-batch, “artisanal” approach. We are based in San Francisco, after all! (Philz was unfortunately already trademarked.)

Along the way, we will provide resources to candidates such as an overview of the different roles that are available for former consultants or the skills required to do product management. And that’s where this blog comes in. Blog and Content This blog is intended to bring the voices of experienced business analysts, product marketers, and customer success managers who have their own unique experiences transitioning into a new career path. We will learn what a product manager actually does and a few stories about whether taking the leap from finance to a startup was the right (or wrong) decision. I’ll be inviting a guest to share his/her experiences with a few words of wisdom every two weeks. Stay tuned for the first guest post coming July 26.

Interested in being a writing contributor or know someone who might be? Send us a note here and we will get back to you.

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