Sylvette Sawyers is Managing Director, Delivery & Execution for Audeliss, Inc. in the US. Sylvette and her team ensure that all talent-related client needs are met. She is passionate about elevating the contribution of this, often underutilized, function beyond peoples’ expectations. Having begun her career in executive search, Sylvette has a penchant for creative sourcing and is known for the deep relationships she cultivates and leverages to meet the needs of candidates and clients. Sylvette works to ensure that recruiting is more than a transaction. Rather, it’s a complex set of dynamics that, simplified and managed in the right way, can give any business a competitive advantage.
Sylvette is originally from the UK and moved to Chicago, Illinois where she began her career in executive search working for a small retained executive search firm. After leaving executive search, she spent the next few years working and living in India and China to centralize the graduate recruiting program for a well-known HR consulting company. Shortly thereafter, Sylvette moved to San Francisco, California to work for a leading specialty retailer to help the company bolster its leadership representation of people from underrepresented groups. She would make a couple of career moves before going back to this company with her role culminating as the Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition.
After Sylvette and her partner, Christina, made the decision to stay in the Bay Area, she spent two months on a yoga island, lived in Barcelona, consulted for a number of companies and then made a career transition to early-stage companies to help them build and scale teams. In her most recent start up role, Sylvette was the Vice President, Executive Talent Management.
She has a BA in Public Communication/Human Relations and an MA in Communications.
Q&A with Sylvette
How did you get into recruiting?
“I worked in a retail store and when I became a manager, I started recruiting people I liked and hiring them. Retention in my store got very high and I drove results because I had fantastic employees that were trained and developed within the company. My district manager then asked me to do the same thing for all her stores in her district. I became the company’s first district recruiter, despite having no idea what a district recruiter was at the time. I enjoyed the role so much, after I completed my studies, I got my first role at a search firm as a research associate.”
What advice would you give a junior level search associate just entering the field?
“I think one of the things that we’re missing today in recruiting is creativity in sourcing and research. We all lean heavily on LinkedIn as the tool. LinkedIn is not the end all, be all – by any stretch. In fact, LinkedIn can make your research much weaker at the beginning if that’s all you’re depending on. The best advice I could give would be to be creative at how you solve problems and don’t look at everything as transactional. It’s so easy for recruiters to have one mindset of “I’ve got to fill a job”, but there’s a lot more to be done.
As a recruiter – you must be very clear and smart about what’s happening in the market. You must be able to influence. There are so many things outside of your control when it comes to filling a job and they will impact your ability to fill a job. We cannot control how good the interviews are, how motivated people are, compensation packages, etc. While we know they are out of our control, we must be smart about recognizing those things so we can influence them. Which means that if all you’re focusing on is filling the job, then you’re missing an entirety of factors that will help you fill the job more effectively and efficiently.
My one statement of advice is be driven, be creative, pick your head up, and be smart about the business that you’re working in.”
What excites you about joining Audeliss?
“I have a very deep passion for creative sourcing and thinking out of the box when it comes to trying to find talent for our clients. I was extremely intrigued by the mission of Audeliss and the results that have been accomplished here, I wanted to be a part of it. My passion is achieving excellence in the work, I see where I can add value in that regard and hope that it further amplifies the positive work being done at Audeliss. My goal is to be an exceptional leader at Audeliss and I’m excited to have an impact in its next chapter.”