“What drives me is empowering people to surpass their professional expectations of themselves.”
Those are the words of Avi Mally, founder and owner of Three Pillars Recruiting, a premier recruiting firm that places top-tier professionals into the ranks of Fortune 500 companies and disruptive startups.
These days, however, Mally is seeking the perfect candidates to fill his own ranks, and he’s banking that with the right combination of grit, EQ and, of course, IQ, those candidates will become ideal recruiters.
When Mally pivoted from his career in finance to recruiting for venture capital-backed startups, he quickly discovered how much he enjoyed building companies from the people side of things, so he started Three Pillars about 14 years ago. Since then, the firm has grown considerably to a team of over 30 employees with offices in New Jersey, New York, Israel, Atlanta, and recruiters all over the country.
When COVID hit, Three Pillars pushed through and began to rethink the types of employees that the firm typically hired. With employment pivoting to remote work, the firm seized an opportunity to cultivate a far more diversified pool of talent that now spans from Idaho to Texas, Florida to Israel, New Jersey to New York and beyond.
“We built this interesting, cohesive culture and it just works very well in a remote-driven environment where people have common shared interests and goals of work-life balance and work-life integration,” Mally said. Members of his staff don’t necessarily work a typical 9-5 day. “It has just worked so much better than the traditional model, which doesn’t always work well for a lot of people and their families.”
Mally emphasized that flexible hours and nontraditional schedules pave the way for a significant reduction in both personal and family stress, which enables people to manage and effectively balance their personal and professional lives, which enables them to operate at peak performance and be in the driver’s seat of their own professional success.
He firmly believes that by hiring somebody who is motivated and giving them a lot of “upside” and an opportunity to make a decent living, they are going to find time to work and optimize that time. “It’s very different from how I ran the company for the last 13 years and very different from a lot of what we have seen over the years across virtually all of our clients.
“What motivates me specifically being in this field for 15 years is giving people the opportunity to really change their lives.” His employees are building families, buying homes, putting away money to invest and for retirement, and are no longer in positions where they once felt stuck. Some had struggled to pay bills but are now in control of their own financial destiny, living a frum, Jewish lifestyle without financial stress.
With so many years of experience hiring people, Mally has been able to hone in on what works and what doesn’t. “We do really well with people who not only have the ability to figure things out independently but thrive on it. It motivates them.”
Besides possessing a good blend of IQ and EQ, an ideal Three Pillars candidate should be intrinsically self-motivated and driven, and not require external pressure to perform. What that person looks like is anybody’s guess. It could be someone earlier in their career just starting out or someone 15-20 years into another profession and looking for a career change. It may be someone who is looking for a way to diversify their income, and Three Pillars is a plan B that will hopefully become their plan A and primary source of income, without the inherent risks associated with switching careers.
In short, Three Pillars is seeking people who are engaging and dynamic. “A lot of what we look for are soft skills rather than necessarily what’s on a resume,” said Mally. He explained that in order to be truly effective at cultivating relationships with clients and finding ideal job candidates for positions that need to be filled, a good recruiter requires grit and a superior sense of the proverbial street smarts.
“We do very well with professional storytellers,” Mally added, and that person should be a quick study. It’s someone who can go to a company’s website and quickly understand what that company does, and then share that information concisely with a candidate in a very clear and articulate way.
“People who are sales-y also do well here. People who don’t take ‘no’ at face value are naturally inquisitive, and are able to gently poke and prod and to dig deep into that person’s core and motivation to see what exactly drives them.”
Mally explained that there are two parts to a job at Three Pillars: The art and science of recruiting and the actual industry itself. “Short of coming in with industry and recruiting experience—and most don’t—you’re learning a lot experientially. You can’t learn the industry before you learn recruiting and you can’t learn recruiting before you learn the industry.”
And Mally seeks people who get smarter with each passing day, diligently learning from their mistakes and also noting what they got right. He feels that these kinds of people have an inherent skill set that allows them typically to read people and delicately influence people’s decision-making processes. They know how to effectively manage candidates through an entire interview process, steering them on a path towards success and fulfillment.
Think you have what it takes to be a Three Pillars recruiter? If so, send your resume to: [email protected]
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