By Dave Mendoza, Master Cybersleuth, Affiliate Partner, JobMachine Inc.
HCI- Capital Management, for Humans
Meet Maren Hogan, RecruitingBlogs Cheerleader from Omaha and Professional Social Butterfly. She is my friend, actually .. she is EVERYONE’S Friend.
I still recall the first time I hear of the name â€œMaren Hogan.â€ I was planting Colorado Spruce seedlings in my backyard on a brisk Colorado morning when I received a call from Jason Davis, aka, the Slouch â€“ who was clearly animated. Maren had professed her passionate enthusiasm for all things related to â€œRecruitingBlogs.comâ€ and it appears that the end-all-be-all she expressed to Jay Dee was her hop to someday attend a conference. Jason made a dream come true that day and offered Maren an attendee pass to the ERE Conference last month in San Diego, to which an elated Maren dubbed our â€œSlouchâ€ with a new moniker â€¦ â€œFairy GodFatherâ€ â€“ yes my friends, this is not an analogy â€¦ true story.
It was at the ERE Conference that I met Maren and within 5 minutes smiled and looked at Jason and subtlely acknowledged that I could see what he heard in that phone call â€“ this was one clearly a personality that made a wonderful and lasting impression. IT never faded. Maren was the ultimate social butterfly, developing relationships â€¦. Actual friendships that lasted beyond the conference everywhere she came in proximity with someone. She infected everyone with laughter at her expressive stories and her sincere comradery. I can attest personally, that within a day she was everyoneâ€™s little sister â€¦. You just had to have her near you at the table or asking her what was up later â€“ we all just loved her company that much.
Out of nowhere â€¦ aka Omaha (jk!), Maren carved a niche of friendship at the table(s) â€¦. Sharing chicken skewers and with Jason Davis, David Manaster, and a host of other luminaries all while enjoying Michael Homulaâ€™s wine selection sealed away in his own bomb proof casing. You have to visualize this folks â€¦.
I was happy to hear â€˜everyoneâ€™s lil sisâ€™ was going to join us again at the Kennedy Expo Conference in as Vegas (May 13th to May 15th). Maren will be sure to be putting everyone at the spot with insightful questions, and bringing relevance to what we all share â€¦ recruiting life is about learning among new friends.
Q&A with Maren Hogan
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
Maren: I am married to the most wonderful man in the world. We respect and complement each other in nearly every way. Jeremy takes care of all the tactical stuff, Iâ€™m the strategic one. We have three wonderful boys: Jackson, who is 8 and our little sports fanatic who likes to rub momâ€™s shoulders when she gets tired; Quinlan, our six yr old, who loves Legos and makes comic books in his â€œofficeâ€; and Rocky Finn, who is our completely delightful nearly two year old, whose read hair and incredible smile make him friends wherever he goes. We have a dachshund Quotations and a cat Mischief.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your life of adventure, couch potato habits and your inner core, Maren
Maren: Well, I grew up a military brat, have been on several missions trips to Albania, am a speed-reader, love Jesus Christ, believe in three-dimensional time, I am one of five sisters, love the show LOST, am a great and adventurous cook, not the greatest housekeeper.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your job at HCI, Maren.
Maren: We are only five at this point, although we work with quite a few agents across the country to fill reqs. My official position is Managing Partner of Business Development but thatâ€™s really long so I am going to say Iâ€™m just the general â€œfaceâ€ of HCI. If you want to deal with us, you come to me.
Six Degrees: How many years have you been recruiting?
Maren: While I have been exposed to the recruiting world for some time now (my uncle, father, and husband are all recruiters) I have only been actively and engaged full-time for the last eight months. However, I have helped in limited source and search capacity for the last four years.
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
Maren: I got started through popular demand! My husband and father in law asked me to come and be in charge of business development at HCI. Since weâ€™re a small firm, I had to learn fairly quickly about the search and recruit space and analyze what worked and what didnâ€™tâ€™. Fortunately, since I gravitate towards technology and social media and Patrick Hogan (my father in law and recruiting genius of 15 years) has more traditional but incredibly valuable skills, weâ€™ve been able to really support one anotherâ€™s roles. We recruit primarily for information technology positions. My responsibilities include client development, marketing collateral, branding for the firm and selected clients, education and resource development and internal hiring and training.
For our clients (we are a third party consulting and recruiting firm) we are often asked to go outside the realm of technology into finance and sales primarily. I find these searches a little more exciting because you have to use alternative means if you are not already plugged into those communities. From my limited experience as a recruiter, I imagine thatâ€™s what true recruiting is all about.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
Maren: I actually have two. First, when I was asked to do an sales search for a very high level position. I was not ready to source/recruit at that level but we were (quite frankly) at that point broke and really needed to high dollar commission that a placement like that would bring. It was the most exhilarating ride. I loved the idea of my standard tools being taken away and having to do a totally organic search. Fun stuff. The second was likely my first conference. Realizing that recruiters look out for each other and that we have similar issues regardless of our chosen industry, made me think of recruiting as its own industry, a viewpoint I am sorry to say I didnâ€™t have before.
Six Degrees: How did your expectations of being a recruiter compare to the actual, first time you got on the phone or in the cubicle? In your opinion, how do people’s assumptions about our vocation differ from reality?
Maren: Wow, thatâ€™s loaded. Well the experience for me was very humbling, because I had been giving my husband advice for several years on how he could be a better recruiter. That all came back to bite me, lemme tell you! I think the public views us as mostly helpful, but they think our job is really easy. I know I did. However, getting a strong placement can be so exhilarating that it wipes out weeks of nothing. That part is really cool.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didnâ€™tâ€¦and how that was a learning experience?
Maren: When I first started, I was stymied by the HR Tales I would hear. Since a lot of the HR professionals in our area are women, I thought that the all-male recruiting team was simply going about it the wrong way. So developed and marketed the HRAdvantage package. It was basically an incentive to improve communication between external vendors and Human Resources but for whatever reason was not at all embraced. I donâ€™t think the idea was incorrect but maybe the timing or the marketing? I learned that while not all stereotypes are true, some exist for a reason and there are solid reasons for a seasoned pros opinions. If I would have listened to the older, wiser recruiters on my staff, I might have saved myself a lot of time and energy.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
Maren: Not really one, no. I love all the giants, Lou Adler, John Sullivan, and Penelope Trunk. I read a lot of blogs and try to find the little nuggets in each of them. I am modeling my career after myself. As you can see from my resume, marketing is where I am most comfortable. As I learn more about recruiting, I think I will build my career somewhere in that intersection
Six Degrees: How have you extended your personal brand as of late professionally?
Maren: Well, I am part of a few local groups. The chamber of commerce in Omaha is particularly strong and I really love being a resource for them. We have assisted with some site selection work, which I love, especially because Omaha is growing so fast. I think pretty much all our exposure has been self-generated in blogs, online forums and local speaking engagements.