Faces of HR

Faces of HR: Eryn Marshall on Prioritizing Humanity, Building Teams & Enabling Managers

Meet Eryn Marshall, Senior Director of Global Recruiting at Oyster – an employment platform dedicated to creating a more equal world by making it possible for companies everywhere to hire people anywhere. We recently connected with Eryn to discuss how she got her start in the industry, her biggest influences, best mistake, as well as the top priorities talent are seeking in new opportunities.

Eryn Marshall Oyster
Eryn Marshall

“As recruiters, it’s critical that we deeply understand that society is still dealing with the effects of the global pandemic,” Marshall shared with HR Daily Advisor. “People’s priorities have shifted, with workers around the globe seeking opportunities that foster improved work-life balance and offer mental health support. In fact, a recent survey we conducted revealed that 50% of global knowledge workers prioritize their mental health above all else—including career advancement.”

In our latest Faces, meet Eryn Marshall.

How did you get your start in the field?

Like almost every recruiter I’ve ever met, I landed here by chance. One of the things I realized shortly after graduating college was that without a network, I would struggle to find a career path. In building out my network, someone referred me to an entry level recruiter position at a Recruitment Process Outsourcing company where they offered extensive training to junior level people. While there, I got to recruit across industries and roles which was an amazing opportunity.

Who is/was your biggest influence in the industry?

The person who has influenced my career the most was a VP of Sales that I reported to in one of my early roles. Building a seamless partnership and learning to use data to analyze the pipeline and essentially, drive hiring like a sales leader would drive revenue, was a true game changer for me.

What’s your best mistake and what did you learn from it?

My biggest mistake was coming into a startup as a new TA leader and immediately trying to fill roles because that’s what the executive team were asking for. What I learned from that is how important it is to set the agenda. There’s a way to balance the needs of the company in the short term with what I know will set the company up for long-term success. It can be hard to do that as a new leader, but it’s a mistake I’ll never make again.

What’s your favorite part about working in the industry? What’s your least favorite part, and how would you change it?

My favorite part about recruiting is the people. That’s why I’ve stayed for so long! I love building teams and enabling managers. What I dislike is how commoditized jobs have become. On the one hand, it’s easier than ever to find your dream job and on the other hand, the number of applicants per job opening has become unmanageable, making it harder for the great candidates to stand out.

It sounds like through your experience you really care about people, and you want to help them feel safe and comfortable, which is important in the industry. Please elaborate here.

I’m naturally a very empathetic person, which I think is one of the things that has kept me in this career for so long. It’s also a reason so many people come to the profession.

How can HR most effectively demonstrate its value to the leadership team?

I think the best way to demonstrate value is by being able to quantify and articulate it to the leadership team. Beyond standard metrics, what was the impact of the work the team did? Did you save the company money? Did you increase retention or time to fill open positions? Having the ability to measure those things and speak to what the leadership team needs is a key to HR’s success.

Where do you see the industry heading in five years? Or are you seeing any current trends?

My function is Talent Acquisition and I see this becoming more of a Talent role that doesn’t end at the time an offer is signed. I think we’ll see more TA leaders get involved in organizational design, succession planning, talent reviews and performance management moving forward. I love the 360-degree possibilities of this as it will no doubt improve the quality of hires. I’m also curious to see how AI will shape the future of the industry. We’re already seeing great gains with the technology at the front end of the recruiting process (job descriptions, interview design) and it’ll be interesting to see where else we can leverage the tech.

What are you most proud of?

I’m incredibly proud of the work that the Oyster team has done to live out our mission of hiring people everywhere. We’ve hired 650 people in 70-plus countries over the last 18 months. We’re proving that great talent is indeed everywhere and we’re giving people career opportunities that they might not have otherwise, thanks to remote work and our focus on elevating talent.

Do you have any advice for people entering the profession?

Keep an open mind and be gentle on yourself. We’re in the people business and it’s critical that we prioritize being a human first, that’s what will make for the most impactful connections – whether it’s with candidates, recruits, your organization, etc.

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