Meet Julia Margherita-McInerny, Adobe Alum - Enjoying The Hunt As A Fearless Sourcer & Her Starbucks

By Dave Mendoza,
Adjunct Faculty JobMachine Profile
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Her favorite TV Shows: American Idol and The Oprah Winfrey Show
Fan of the following: Captain C.B. Sully Sullenberger and Starbucks Coffee Company
Admire of : Shally Steckerl and JobMachine Cheatsheets
Quote: " .. You can find us walking the dogs downtown Willow Glen stopping at Starbucks to refuel"
Community Volunteering: Human Society, ASPCA, PugPros, Local Hospital, Reading for elementary school students through a Junior Achievement program"
• Email Julia:
• Phone 408-504-4061
** Currently Seeking New Opportunities**

Q & A with Julia Margherita-McInerny

Julia Margherita-McInerny is a Corporate Sourcer based in San Jose, California. Her staffing areas of expertise are in Advanced Internet Research identifying passive candidates, full-cycle recruitment, cold calling, and networking. She has worked at prominent Silicon Valley companies such as Intuit, The Gap, and most recently, as a Talent Scout at Adobe where she worked for the last three years until this past February. Julia has experience targeting varied job req disciplines, i.e., Marketing, Product Management, Human Resources, Legal, Corporate Communications, Internal Communications, Real Estate, Corporate Architecture & Construction, Visual Merchandising, E-commerce, User Experience Designers, Visual Designers, Technical, Engineering, Finance, Internal Consulting, and Customer Support.

Life is an adventure, and Julia has a team effort supporting her latest chapter. Aside from her recent job search efforts, Julia has experienced the more satisfying life transitions that come with a recent marriage this past October with her husband Tim McInerny and building a nest with their two dogs, Carson the Mastiff and Lola the Pug.

Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.

Julia: My husband Tim and I were married this past October. We had a beautiful wedding in Los Gatos, CA with 150 of our closet family and friends. We are settling into married life quite nicely along with our two dogs Carson the Mastiff and Lola the Pug. We are working on adding to our family! Since we both waited to marry a little later in life, we feel very lucky to have found each other. I’ve always said that finding your soul mate is like searching and finding the perfect candidate -- sometimes you have to search high and low and wait for the right one!

We enjoy eating out and trying new restaurants. We also love entertaining and having friends and family over. On the weekends, you can find us walking the dogs downtown Willow Glen stopping at Starbucks to refuel or going to the dog park.

Anyone who knows me knows I am an extreme animal lover. If I could adopt all of the stray and rescued dogs and cats out there, I would! I am a strong supporter of the Human Society, ASPCA and try to help PugPros, a local pug rescue group when I can. When I was growing up, I really wanted to become a veterinarian but I think it would be too hard for me to see animals hurt and in pain day in and day out. I can’t even make it through commercials about abused animals without shedding a few tears and forget any movies where the family pet passes away in the end!!!

I also enjoy reading in my spare time. I’m always game for anything Oprah recommends! I also never get tired of a few of the classics including "Catcher In the Rye", "The Great Gatsby", "To Kill A Mockingbird", etc. For kicks, a good laugh and to keep in touch with the girly side of me, I’ve also ready the "Confessions of a Shopaholic" series!

I have done some volunteer work in the past at a local hospital as well as reading for elementary school students through the Junior Achievement program. I’ve always found volunteering very rewarding and hope to donate more of my time soon.

I try to stay active and make it to the gym a few times a week. I’ve dabbled in yoga and core training classes. I also love playing tennis and have played golf a few times but get frustrated easily!

Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?

Julia: I started recruiting in an agency in San Francisco in 1997. I placed paralegals and case clerks in some of the top law firms in SF. Prior to settling in staffing, I was a paralegal right out of college and worked for a large SF law firm mostly working on environmental and insurance defense cases. After 7 years working for lawyers, I decided it was not the right career for me -- I wanted to interact with people not documents day in and day out! I had always had an interest in human resources and recruiting so I decided to make a go of it. It was an easy and welcomed transition for me and I never looked back!

After working for the agency for a few years, I desired corporate experience and really wanted to work for an internal staffing organization so I landed at Gap Inc. as a Sourcer and stayed for 5 years. I had the pleasure of working on all of the fun, creative jobs in the company including Advertising and Visual Merchandising. My hiring managers were the brains and talent behind all the Gap commercials and photo shoots -- I thought I was the “coolest” sourcer in town!!

At that point in my career, I wanted to get exposure to the high tech and software industry and landed a contract gig at Intuit where I was hired to support Marketing and Product Management. Intuit was a wonderful experience and the free tax software was an extra bonus!!

I joined Adobe Systems in 2006 as a Talent Scout and was brought on to source for the G&A functions including Marketing, Finance, Legal and Human Resources. I was also fortunate to get exposure to many other business functions within the company including User Experience Design, Professional Consulting, Customer Care and Inside Sales. I challenged myself every day with hunting for User Experience Designers/Architects and Computer Scientists!!

Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?

Julia: It’s hard for me to narrow it down to just one event that has most impacted my sourcing career. Every company I’ve worked for has been unique from the other. Working for Gap in 1999 was really exciting -- we had prospective candidates beating down our doors wanting to work for the hip khaki retailer! Then the dotcom boom burst on the scene and we were fighting to save recent hires from going to start ups! It’s been such an experience watching the cycles of the economy and how it’s affected sourcing over the last 10 years. By the time I joined Adobe, I realized just how much I had learned about sourcing and what it takes to truly find and attract the ultimate passive candidate.

One project that does come to mind was at Adobe and I was asked to become part of a team of recruiters and sourcers to staff a customer care center located in Canada. We were given the task of sourcing and filling over 100 positions within a very short period of time. The open positions were very technical and skill specific. The screening process for each candidate was very lengthy and detail-oriented. Sourcing for 100+ positions in a small market with a limited talent pool proved to be very challenging. I was not really familiar with the market in Canada let alone the complexity of the regions but I had to learn very quickly! Along with sourcing the candidates, I was also managing full cycle recruiting on this project. Through excellent team work and exceptional hiring managers, we were able to meet our goal and complete the project. This was very rewarding and will always have an impact on my career.

Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?

Julia: I have been fortunate to have had many different mentors to whom I have looked up to throughout my career. I have had some wonderful managers who have been truly devoted to guiding and developing my skills as a Sourcer. I would have to give kudos to one of my managers at Gap when I started as a Sourcer who told me “you have to be fearless”. I remember being scared to death to make my first cold call! But I jumped in feet first and guess what happened!? The person on the other end of the phone was rude and hung up on me! I didn’t let that stop me - the more calls I made, the easier it became!

I haven’t tried to model my career after anyone specific. I’ve really tried to make it my own and play upon my strengths. I have learned and gained best practices from all of the wonderful and talented Sourcers I have worked with throughout my career. I do, however, admire industry leaders such as Shally Steckerl and Dave Mendoza.

Six Degrees: Tell us about your most recent gig as a talent consultant at Adobe, Julia.

Julia: During my time at Adobe, there were three Talent Scouts (Sourcers) including myself, each supporting multiple recruiters. I had the opportunity to learn about many functional areas of the company but the most recent group I supported was the Technical Recruiters. This team of recruiters supported the business functions including Creative Solutions, Knowledge Worker, Advanced Technology Lab, Platform and Adobe’s User Experience Design organization. My main job was to source and build pipelines of candidates -- both active and passive. To find the “best of the best” and find out where they live, both physically and virtually! I conducted a lot of research of professional organizations, conferences and dove deep into social networking sites.

Six Degrees: (A) What other companies' recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?

Julia: Definitely Microsoft for its complexity and best practices through word of mouth. They are always such a fun company to watch and have no trouble attracting prospective candidates. It’s exciting to see how their brand evolves and how they change their recruitment marketing. I try to educate myself and follow the trends by reading different recruiting blogs and news stories.

Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?

Julia: I think all the general hype around social networking sites are and will have an impact on the role of a Sourcer now and in the future. Most or all of the Sourcers I know spend at least 90% of their time networking and searching sites such as Linked In and Facebook. I really feel they will eventually take over completely. Perhaps even take the place of job boards -- at least for a means of sourcing candidates.

Six Degrees: Have you been involved in broader industry events as of yet?

Julia: No speaking events or awards to mention -- yet!!

Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?

Julia: I really feel I am in a good place right now. I am content in the role of a Sourcer. I enjoy the “hunt” and like the research aspect of the job. It is a thrill to source and develop a candidate that results in a hire. I am looking to be a part of a cutting-edge recruiting organization that isn’t afraid to push the limits. I thrive in a team environment where I can learn from my colleagues and feel my ideas are being heard and contributed. As long as I’m feeling good about what I am doing on a daily basis and my work is rewarding, that is all that matters to me.


Six Degrees: How many applicants at your present employer do you estimate are hired from your corporate website as compared to how many are hired through referrals?

Julia: In my experience, the companies I have worked for have focused on continually increasing the number of hires through employee referrals. In general, the number of hires from referrals fluctuates between 30-40%. It seems companies are constantly trying to improve their employee referral programs to make the rewards more enticing for employees to refer great people but truth is, in this economy, it is more challenging.

In general, I think about 10% of hires come from a corporation’s website or posting.

A strong number of my hires have come from Linked In. I think in this economy, people are more open to networking and referring colleagues/friends for open jobs. In these tough times, people are more apt to help one another.

Six Degrees: What is the source of the "Most Hires" collected from at your present employer? (In terms of Quantity #)

Julia: In my experience, it really depends on the positions you are recruiting for. If I’m looking for a Computer Scientist or a specific type of Engineer, most of these hires seem to come from recruitment research done either internally or externally. Typically, these guys won’t have their resumes posted on job boards so a passive pipeline must be identified. There are some positions that are filled by job board resumes however, the types of positions I have worked on, require much more digging!

Six Degrees: What is the source of your "LOWEST COST OF HIRES" - (least amount of invested resources for the easiest hires, regardless of quality) at your present employer?

Julia: In my experience, a low cost hire is someone who has applied or submitted their resume in response to a posting or a resume posted on a job board. Also, prospective candidates who are already in our resume database are a good source. There could be someone who applied for one job but may be right for another. I usually go after the “low hanging fruit” first and I’m not implying they may be less qualified in any way -- the right candidate could be there right under your nose!! Another way to keep the cost of hires low is to leverage your own network. Reach out to current and former colleagues to see who they may know. Linked In has a great feature where you can send out job descriptions to your network to help with your sourcing efforts. No matter where I go or who I meet, I try to network -- you never know who you could meet!

Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?

Julia: I have had the opportunity to research and target numerous niche groups for the areas I have supported. Most of the positions I work on require digging and finding conference attendee lists, white papers and other publications, user groups, etc. For example, I have worked on a lot of User Experience Designer positions and this talent pool does not post their resumes on general job boards. The good talent is usually already working and in high demand AND receiving lots of calls from recruiters! There are a handful of niche designer websites/job boards I have to target to get their attention and potentially look at their portfolio.

Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?

Julia: In the past I have taken a few of Shally Steckerl’s seminars as well as attended AIRS training classes. I still use JobMachine’s cheat sheets! I recently participated in one of Craig Silverman’s webinars. I also subscribe to the recruiting/sourcing blogs and keep abreast of the news that way. I really like reading the daily blogs for tips from other sourcers or recruiters.

Six Degrees: What recruitment software tools do you use in your day to day recruitment activities & do they translate effectively within all of the different countries where you recruit?

Julia: Google and Yahoo search engines for Boolean searches of course! I have also been exposed to Virtual Edge, Filefinder and other ATS. Most of the jobs I have worked on have been based in the U.S. or Canada but it is important that any tool we utilize can be used globally as well.

Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?

Julia: When I worked for the agency, we were still using hard copies of job orders and Excel spreadsheets to track candidates! I also used something similar to ResumeMix.

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?

Julia: When I worked for the agency, it was easy because all the candidates I called or interviewed came to us to register so there was no fear of the “unknown response!” I remember the day I made my first cold call -- sweaty palms and all! Of course the person on the other end of the call was rude and eventually told me never to call them at work again! What a way to start! But I kept going and it got easier as time went by. It’s easy to sell the company you are working for but it’s another story when you don’t know ANYTHING about what the person does that you are targeting!! I find it easier to let them talk about what they do. It helps me really learn the technology.

Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn’t…and how that was a learning experience?

Julia: Well, everyone makes mistakes now and then! I think the most important thing I’ve learned is to gather all of the pertinent information from the candidate the hiring manager is looking for -- leave no stone unturned. You really need to know their compensation expectations, relocation requirements (if needed), visa needs and any other expectations in the beginning of the process to avoid any obstacles down the road.

Six Degrees: How do you personally expect to facilitate change within our industry, and/or at your place of work? If you started that process, outline the problem, your solutions, and the vision.

Julia: I don’t know that I can change our industry but I can certainly work on changing and improving on my skills. If I can contribute creative ideas to an organization, I will feel good about what I am doing every day. I have good days and bad days -- there are some days when I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels with no results but that is what happens in the staffing world!

Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?

Julia: There are some days when I feel I haven’t accomplished much… matter how much research or digging I do, I still haven’t produced a viable candidate! I will complain and be frustrated one day and the next I will find three great candidates -- it’s very cyclical.

Six Degrees: What are the most common themes of strategic and/or tactical mishaps involving past or present HR/Staffing org?

Julia: I think staffing organizations sometimes get a bad rap. There are some individuals out there that think recruiters are paper pushers who sit back and wait for resumes to come in and offer no value to an organization. When in fact the reality is, there is a lot of strategic work that goes on behind the scenes. There is a perception out there that most staffing organizations out there are more reactive than proactive. This is simply not the case.

Six Degrees: Considering all of the frustrations you have experienced in your career as a recruiter, -- what inspires you as you continue in your career?

I try to remember all of the hires and successes I’ve had. It is so satisfying identifying and developing a candidate who gets hired and eventually comes on board and is so ultimately happy where they are. Also, working with a supportive team keeps me going. If my colleagues are happy and are having fun with what they are doing, it is very refreshing!

Six Degrees: What one thing do you ideally hope to accomplish in 2009?

Julia: I really want to double or even triple my current networks!

Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?

Julia: I am currently looking for my next sourcing opportunity - please contact me if you are interested in reviewing my resume!

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Replies to This Discussion

It is good to continue to see the different aspects of staffing highlighted like this. The sourcing function is getting alot of attention these days so it is great to read more about it like this.
Dave - I gotta say that this is one of my favorite parts of the week here on RBC. Love getting an indepth introduction to those who who add spice and quality to our industry... it's nice to meet you, Julia!
Nice to meet you Julia. This is the right place to expose your talents as a sourcer; we will all keep our eyes/ears open for you!

Good Luck and nice interview, as always, Dave.
Julia, that was a great interview. You will surely find something soon with your experience, skills, and talent! I will also keep my eyes open as well.

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