From the View Point Of A Search Consultant: What Recruiters Look For and What Matters In the Workplace


Hi, I’m Paige Tippet and I graduated from Columbia in 2018. I currently specialize in building teams and placing industry leaders as a search consult at Avenue Pacific, a boutique management consulting firm that focuses on executive search. Our clients come from various industries including financial services, real estate, sports, media, entertainment, high net worth individuals and celebrities. Our clients hire us to parter with them and be a resource for finding great talent to fill their leadership positions. I specialize in c-suite and director level roles along with all facets of finance positions. In the past year I’ve learned a lot about finding the right environments and what recruiters look for. I’ve learned a lot about success in the workplace. As you prepare for your transition, take it from a recruiter and former college basketball player, the following things matter.

Choose your job for the people not the salary 

The people you work with and for can either make your life miserable or extremely rewarding. You are going to be working with these people everyday for at least nine hours a day, it is imperative you can get along with them and have similar values. Money will come as you grow further in your career but being in an environment that makes you happy is extremely hard to find. Being miserable and watching the clock awaiting till you get to leave is no way to live your life. The same way when you are choosing a college to play for you look at the coaches and your future teammates because they are essentially your new “family”, approach business the same way.  


Whether you’re talking to a client or your boss, or you’re doing a phone interview, smile.I know this sound silly but trust me, it helps. Phone calls can make or break a deal or interview. Smiling makes you come off as a more pleasant and outgoing person, even if it’s not the case. It allows you to convey personality which can be challenging over the phone. People want to work with individuals they enjoy being around and feel like they can work well together with, not a dull person who has no personality. 

Manners matter

My head coach used to say this all the time and I always thought it was a formality, but it can make or break potentials deals or interviews. Speak and make eye-contact with whoever you interact with both in and outside of the office. When you walk into an office, say hello to the receptionist and acknowledge everybody, even maintenance workers. I always ask our receptionist how candidates treat them because this reflects how they will treat their employees and coworkers. I don’t want to send our client’s candidates who are dreadful to work for or with. You never know who you might end up working with in the future so try and be polite and thoughtful even when you’re out with friends or family.

Don’t talk about growth when interviewing

Everybody wants to grow in their career and move up the corporate ladder, but DO NOT say that during the interview. Focus on the job in front of you, nobody wants to hire somebody who is going to grow out of the role or take the next big opportunity, people like stability and hate turnover. Employers love great workers and will reward them and promote them eventually, but you need to earn it. Hiring managers need to know you WANT the job that they are hiring you for. Think of it like dating, everybody you date you have the potential to marry but you aren’t going to talk about marriage on the first date because that would send them running. 

Hard work is timeless

It doesn’t matter what industry or position you are in, people love individuals who show up everyday and work hard. Bring that same athlete mentality to the work place - First one there, last one to leave. When you finish projects and task early, ask for more. Think of it like a teammate who isn’t as skilled or athletic as the rest of your team, but is in the gym extra every day, the coach is going to give them an opportunity and teammates are going to respect them.


At the end of the day, you are working for a business and businesses care about making money. So, the people who get promoted and rewarded are the ones who make the firm the most money. Not only are you competing with other firms in your same industry but also with your peers. The same way the best teams are the ones who practices are competitive everyday because players go at it amongst themselves, the same goes for business. Also, compete with yourself. Even if you are that top employee at your firm, set goals every year to exceed what you did the previous year. Do not be stagnant or content, anybody can be replaced.

Do what is best for you

There is no clear-cut way or scientific steps to establishing a successful career. You must do what is best for your life, your situation, your family. It is helpful to read and listen to how people before you became successful, but you are your own person. Take the information you gather and helpful tips and then pave your own way. There are a million ways to do the same thing and get the same result. life is about finding out what works best for you and then executing it consistently.