Nadia Sanchez is the CEO and Founder of 3SixtyRecruitment. She graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS in Information Technology and a concentration in Computer Science. Nadia has worked as a Program Manager at Microsoft, held positions at WebMD, Cisco Systems and went through an IPO with zulily (one of Seattle’s fastest growing e-commerce companies which raised $253M at a valuation of $2.6 billion dollars and later acquired by QVC for $2.4B).
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
After getting laid off, yes laid off from my previous job as an in-house recruiter for a digital agency in Brooklyn due to their hiring needs changing, I went back on the job market to start my search again. I had gone on an interview or two, and it just didn’t feel right. I wasn’t feeling motivated or inspired by any of the interviews I went on, and I knew I wanted to make a significant impact in my next role. I had worked with recruitment agencies in the past, (as well as worked as a recruiter for an agency), and I knew the fees that they charged. 20% of a candidate’s annual salary for one placement is standard. That means for each software engineer that I placed who received an offer of a $100K per year, I would be profiting $20,000. I wouldn’t say that money alone motivated me – it was the desire to change a broken industry. Many recruitment agencies and recruiters, in general, have received a bad reputation for continuing archaic practices that are no longer effective in today’s marketplace.
Recruitment agencies have been known to send candidates over to hiring managers in mass, hoping that one resume will bite, instead of submitting a few handpicked quality candidates. Another problem that I saw in the industry was that many recruiters were not technical, graduating with degrees like a BA in Political Science, or a general business degree and having no fundamental knowledge of Computer Science. I saw an opportunity to create a Boutique Recruitment Agency wherein I would do things differently. I incorporated 3SixtyRecruitment only two weeks after getting laid off and went in full throttle without knowing what to expect.
Tell us about your business.
3SixtyRecruitment is a Boutique Recruitment Agency that specializes in finding talented Software Engineers and placing them in new roles at the top startup companies in NYC.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I have an ongoing referral incentive. Anyone who refers me a candidate that gets the role will receive 5% of that candidate’s annual salary. For example, on a $100,000 deal, you would receive $5,000 for that placement.
One thing that I am really proud of was having the chance to volunteer and participate to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and ANAD, the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.
Where is your business based?
New York City, USA.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
One of the first few things that I needed to do to get my business up and running was to form an LLC. By doing this, I received an EIN number from the government (to be taxed appropriately) and was able to open up a business banking account. The second step I needed to take was filing for a US Trademark, which gives me exclusive ownership over my brand name 3SixtyRecruitment and allows me to take legal action and claim charges against any entity that is trying to use my trademark. The third step I needed to take was to have lawyers draft up a contingency agreement between me and any company who wanted to use my services. This protects me against a company not paying me a placement fee for the work I’ve done. My contract states that any company who hires a 3SixtyRecruitment candidate agrees to pay 20% of that candidate’s annual salary, failure to pay will result in interest, fines, the right to sue, and take them to court.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Networking and social media. I can’t express enough how true the saying is “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.”
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Getting new business and competing for top talent.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I’m learning and growing everyday. There are a few things that I’ve learned to help me overcome these challenges.
- Recruiting is about timing (I can have all the candidates in the world, but if they are completely happy in their current roles – they will not want to leave for another position.) The more people you reach out to regarding a role, the higher your response rate will be and likelihood you will fill the role. That being said, it’s extremely important to maintain contact and nourish your relationships with candidates. A strong candidate who may not be looking now, could be looking in a few months.
- Don’t be afraid to take chances. When I first started my agency, I relied heavily on references from my peers to introduce me to the hiring mangers of the tech companies that they worked for. If there is an account that you want, and a rockstar candidate who would be perfect for the role – take the chance – send the resume, with no contract, and give them a small sample of what your agency can produce.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Currently, I am doing a contract recruitment job for an amazing tech startup in NYC. This doesn’t mean that I’ve shut down my company, although I am exclusively recruiting for only them over the next two months (which means not submitting candidates to other companies while I work with them).
I will admit that I have gone through some difficult times. A few weeks ago I was struggling with finances. With no funding or financial assistance from anyone, it seemed impossible to keep my company afloat while continuing to live and work in New York City. I wasn’t ready to completely give up on my company and step into a full-time role.
Doing a contract position or consulting to earn and save money is one way to get through a difficult time while considering your options. I’m so happy I did accept this contract role because I have met some incredible people along the way who have really inspired me. We’ll see what happens next.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I think my background and knowledge in technology helps to distinguish me from my competitors, because it makes me a stronger technical recruiter. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have met some incredibly smart talented people from RIT, zulily, Microsoft, WebMD, Cisco Systems and various technology meetups. I’m lucky in the sense that I have an extensive network of Software Engineers that I know which have helped me with some great referrals.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
You have to work through the trenches to make it to the top.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Just when you are about to give up, don’t. You will see success if you stick with it just a little longer. Success doesn’t happen overnight, or even your first year. Do not give up, be relentless in pursuing your dreams.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Facebook Group @3SixtyRecruitment
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
A posting by one of my close friends, who is a Tech Lead at American Express.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I attend meetups to further my knowledge of the newest frameworks, databases, and concepts in technology. I love learning about the differences between Angular and React or PostgreSQL and MongoDB and how they are each optimal for different things. Technology is always changing so it is essential to stay up to date with the latest trends.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Some of my goals include refining and perfecting my outreach strategy. I’m currently working on setting up A/B tests of different messages to engineers as well as subject lines.
I’m hoping to identify what the key things are to getting a high response rate from Engineers in a cold outreach message.
Another goal of mine is to track my recruiting metrics more closely, so I can get insight into things that are working for me and things that are not working for me. I’d like to take a more scientific, and mathematical approach to my outreach strategy.