Life-Changing Connections with Principal Consultant, Carly Shearman
Something that is very important to us at Hunt & Co. is sharing the career stories and journeys of the life-changing connections our team make every day. After all, no two career paths are ever the same. But today, we are doing something a little different. We are talking to our very own Principal Consultant, Carly Shearman and how she came to Hunt & Co. It all started with a life-changing connection with our Founder and CEO, Holly Hunt.
Before her current role at Hunt & Co., Carly Shearman completed her Bachelor in Media Communications majoring in Entrepreneurship, managed a cafe (which is where she also developed a caffeine addiction), joined a Brisbane-based marketing agency and worked her way up from Admin Assistant to General Manager, all before the age of 23. You might look at her career experience and be a little confused but what they all have in common is businesses.
If you’re familiar with Hunt & Co., then chances are you are familiar with our Principal Consultant, Carly Shearman. But what you might not know is how she came to be one of the Humans of Hunt & Co. or even a recruiter in general. It all started with a life-changing connection with our Founder and CEO, Holly Hunt.
We were thrilled to chat with Carly to talk about her own life-changing connection story, transition to recruitment, life-changing advice and more. But before we go any further… have you connected with Carly Shearman on LinkedIn?
Okay, let’s get started!
How did you end up working in the recruitment industry?
That is a great question! And it all started with a life-changing connection when I met Holly Hunt!
When I became the General Manager at a Brisbane-based digital marketing agency, I looked around and realised I had just one female leader to look to for guidance (Chelsea Murphy, if you are reading this – you are awesome!)
As much as I loved Chelsea, I didn’t want to burn her out with all my questions so I knew I had to find more female peers in the industry.
I went onto Eventbrite and signed up for 15 to 20 events over the course of a two month period because I wanted to ‘speed date’ different communities to see where felt most like ‘home’. And luckily for me, Women in Digital was actually hosting a Speed Mentoring Breakfast for International Women’s Day. I signed up to be a mentee and within 30 minutes Holly called me to introduce herself and asked if I’d be interested in being a mentor instead. I said ‘yes’ and the rest is history.
I hadn’t even considered talent acquisition or recruitment as a career path but the more I learned about Holly, about Women in Digital and about Hunt & Co., the more I thought it could be the perfect place for me.
My passion has always been helping businesses go from where they are to where they want to be and it’s undeniable that great talent is the linchpin to driving that growth. So now, here I am!
Tell us, how did you end up in your current role?
I have spent the last 2.5 years at Hunt & Co. and it’s been a monumental growth curve for me. Coming from a marketing agency, I already had experience building and recruiting for our own team so when I first came to Hunt & Co. I actually started on our Marketing Desk; working with driven and skilled digital marketing and communications specialists to find their next career step with some equally incredible companies.
After learning the ropes of recruitment in my first few months at Hunt & Co., I was drawn to work with developers and technical experts. I have long had a passion for software development through working on my own websites and love seeing a product or application come to life. The more I immersed myself in the industry, the more obsessed I became. So I was very lucky that I had a leader that had the belief in me to go pursue that which is how I began working on the Tech & Product Desk.
And now as the team, the business and the industry grows, my role has become more and more heavily focussed on working directly with clients to build their high-impact teams and ensuring we go above and beyond filling a seat and dig deeper into the problems that need solving and finding their missing puzzle pieces (in the form of incredible candidates). I also get to work with the internal team to make sure that our fingers are always on the pulse in the forever changing world of tech and talent in tech.
Tell us more about your transition from marketing agency to recruitment agency!
My career is probably anything but linear. I went from managing cafes to a marketing agency. And now, I work with some of the most incredible, high-growth startups and scaleups in Brisbane and Australia to build their high-impact teams. If you had told 17-year-old Carly that this is what I’d be doing after I finished university with a Bachelor of Communications, I’d laugh or be confused. Or both. I always thought I would do a few years of political speech writing or crisis communications and then open my own cafe. That was the vision.
But that’s what I love about the tech industry – it’s growing and expanding at the speed of light so most people in it have actually come from different backgrounds.
My time at the marketing agency was really transformative both personally and professionally and it made me realise that I loved the scale of impact you could have on all types of businesses. It also made me realise that I loved professional services and figuring out what levers to pull to make businesses tick. Plus, I got a birds-eye view into so many businesses and had the opportunity to see firsthand how a great hire can make a business soar and a bad hire could harm or undo a business.
Whether it’s a marketing agency or a recruitment agency, the model runs very similarly. The primary difference is the service you’re offering. My experience at the marketing agency really prepared me to transition. And every time we work with a company, I make sure I always keep the lessons I learned about a great hire vs. a bad hire at the forefront of my mind.
What has your experience been like over the past 2.5 years of Hunt & Co.?
Looking back over the past 2.5 years at Hunt & Co., it is hard to believe how much the company has evolved. We have had a rebrand so we literally don’t look the same but also, the industry doesn’t look the same. I have had the opportunity to work with our incredible clients through the lows of COVID and the highs of the tech boom. I feel so lucky to have been able to grow with the company and it’s truly a unique experience to be able to do that.
When I started, I got to work next to Holly every day and now there is a team of 9 dedicated and skilled people who make work an absolute joy.
What is the best career advice you have ever received?
It’s so funny because I can remember the moment so vividly and the person that said it probably hasn’t ever given it a second thought. I would have been 15 or 16 years old, standing in The Glen of all places and he said:
“If you consistently show up and keep going, you will already be ahead of 90% of your peers.”
It’s so simple but I often find the best advice is.
What is one tip or word of career advice you would give?
I am the worst interviewee because I just want to keep talking! But I have two!
- This is probably more life advice – and I do it with everything; my finances, my personal life and it naturally follows me into my work life but always ask ‘How can I make this 1% better?” I learned this from James Clear and I am obsessed with it – never forget the compounding effect of the 1%ers. You can read more about it here. But I had the image below as my screensaver for months and I apply it to all areas of my life. 1% is so small and manageable, but it has a truly remarkable impact.
- Stay constantly curious and never stop learning. As you get more established in your career, you might feel a little more comfortable and like you don’t need to invest in your own learning and development as much. But I am a big believer in investing time in your own education, particularly in a constantly changing industry like tech! I always tell myself ‘If Bill Gates is still learning and reading 50 books a year, what’s my excuse? I am certainly not smarter than Bill.’ And I personally feel more fulfilled and motivated when I approach work (and life) with curiosity and a growth mindset.
What is one tip or word of advice you would give to someone looking for a new role?
Can I be cheeky and give four?
Know your elevator pitch. Just like businesses and startups need to be able to succinctly communicate their value proposition in a quick, listener-friendly way, when job-hunting you need to be able to do the same. What’s your special sauce? What value can you deliver to the company? And how can you demonstrate that in one pithy, memorable sentence?
Start with your LinkedIn. When people begin looking for a new role, their instinct is to spend a lot of time on building an incredible resume but they forget to make sure their LinkedIn is up-to-date. LinkedIn is both a social media platform and a search engine. It’s also the first place a lot of people will go to suss you out so you want to be sure you are making a great first impression. Don’t know where to start? Here’s an article about giving your LinkedIn an overhaul.
Get active in the community. Connect with people in industry, attend a local event (may I recommend Women in Digital or ProductTank) and get active in the community. Worst case scenario, you walk away with a new industry friend and great insights into the market. Best case scenario, you walk away with a new potential job opportunity. You never know!
Make friends with a recruiter. The biggest life hack I have learned is that mortgage brokers and recruiters are priceless…. literally. If you are a job-hunter or home-hunter, it costs you nothing and they have a wealth of industry-specific knowledge and the connections that go with it. The costs are paid by the company or bank. So find yourself a great recruiter and you have a career-ally in your corner for life.
What advice do you have for people trying to execute a career pivot?
My advice would be to shape your personal brand around who you want to be and don’t be afraid to tell people where you are wanting to go. There is power in saying “My name is Jennifer and I used to be a Vet Nurse but now I am building my career as a Software Engineer.”*
*Random example but you get the point.
When building your resume and LinkedIn, talk about your experience with the lens of how it’s prepared you for this new role or the career you are heading towards.
If we use my made-up character of Jennifer…
Instead of saying “As a vet nurse, I provide nursing care to sick animals, and communicate with, and educate owners on the health care of their animals,” she could tell us how her skills as a vet nurse have prepared her to become a Software Engineer. What are the transferable skills?
She could say “As a vet nurse, I often had to solve complex problems in high-pressure situations and work with pathologists to run diagnostic tests and interpret results. I have found these skills to be very transferable to a Software Engineer which is, at its core, also about finding solutions to complex problems and approaching things with an analytical mind.”
What’s next for Carly Shearman? What impact do you hope to make in your new role as Principal Consultant?
My word this year is ‘Consolidation’. I have just moved into my new house, I am still chipping away at my MBA, my mum is back in Queensland which I am so excited about and my work is obviously a huge focus for me. I am so lucky to have so many great things in my life – I don’t want to add more. I am excited to really pour everything into those things.
As the Principal Consultant, the thing I am most excited about is working with some of my favourite Brisbane tech companies to build out their teams in a considered and strategic way. Some of our clients are wanting to add between 20 to 150 people to their team this year which is huge growth. Working with them to execute and build out the puzzle that is their team really lights me up! And any day where I get to go to work and hang out with the Hunt & Co. team is always a good day. I learn something new from them every single day.
If you are looking to grow your team in 2022, give Carly a call on 0488 721 180 or shoot across an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to also connect with Carly on LinkedIn to stay up to date with job opportunities and insights into the Brisbane marketing market!