Purpose, people, and potential: Why I joined Paradox as VP of Talent Acquisition.

When Paradox called, I wasn’t looking for anything new. But once I heard their vision for empowering TA transformation — from going beyond process oriented tasks to actually spending more time with people — I was all ears.

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It might sound cliche to say that “I wasn’t looking” when Paradox called me. Primarily because “looking” is exactly what I’ve spent my entire career doing — helping connect talent to life-changing career opportunities and helping businesses grow and succeed by hiring the right people.

But it’s true that I wasn’t looking. I was in the biggest job of my career, leading technical recruiting within Amazon Web Services, with plenty of room to grow. I got to work remotely from sunny Arizona and had arguably the best tech recruiting leadership job in the world.

I had spent over a dozen years at Amazon, growing as a leader, building and transforming teams and functions, and I had learned a ton about hiring the best and brightest, and I worked with amazing people. I was a part of building some of Amazon’s biggest businesses, through periods of significant growth, hiring at volumes I could never have imagined possible in my early recruiting days.

So, why did I listen when Paradox called? I listened because of the people I met and the mission Paradox is on.

An opportunity to elevate my life’s work.

As a career TA practitioner and leader (I still very much consider myself a recruiter at heart), I’m consistently disappointed with the tools and technologies that the teams I have led over my career use to do their work.

A consistent theme from the recruiters I worked with was: “our technology just doesn’t help us enough.” More and more of their time was being spent on stuff that took them away from the things that matter — connecting with candidates, engaging talent, and consulting with their hiring managers. The job was becoming less about spending time with people and supporting the business, and more about managing processes and tasks.

Paradox is doing something special to change that — and it spoke to me. I saw this as an opportunity to combine my life’s work and passion for TA with shaping an early stage company that is on a mission to transform the talent acquisition industry.

I deeply believe that a company’s success is shaped by its culture and people. As such, TA can play a huge role in contributing to the success of the business. If we can get better at what we do in recruiting, the company will succeed. The people at Paradox believe this too, and I think it’s the special sauce that made me want to bring everything I’ve learned about recruiting at scale to help them continue on this mission.

Embracing a vision for what recruiting should be.

As I was considering this opportunity, I thought back to my early recruiting days, when I was just getting started. In my first recruiting job, sifting through paper resumes was the norm — as using the internet to source and hire was a pretty new concept.

To some extent, we had it pretty simple back then. I spent most of my day on the phone with candidates. Over the years, however, I’ve seen that change — and not always in good ways. I’ve seen recruiters, coordinators, and even hiring managers spending more time with the recruiting systems that are supposed to help them, taking time away from connecting with talent. While technology has brought so much innovation, our industry has pervasive challenges to solve, particularly when it comes to balancing hiring at scale and enabling recruiters to actually do what they’re great at — connecting people with opportunities.

I’d like to change that. My conversations with Jessica and Aaron inspired me to join this talented team, many of whom have devoted their life’s work to TA just like me. I loved the idea that I could play a role in helping the business grow and deliver great solutions to clients.

When thinking about why I made the choice to move, it’s fundamentally about joining an organization that’s focused on things I believe in. Paradox is already doing so much of the right stuff the right way, which means I have the opportunity to join a company that’s already built a fantastic foundation.

Specifically, a few things stood out:

  1. Paradox is obsessed with hiring high caliber talent that shares the values of the business, and that’s music to my ears.
  2. The company has a reputation for building world-class products that help its clients — the recruiting teams doing the work — solve real problems.
  3. It’s headquartered in a place — Scottsdale, Arizona — that has a unique startup culture, one that’s focused on building scalable businesses that will have long-term impact on the community around it. It’s not Silicon Valley. It’s not Seattle. It’s something different and I couldn’t be more excited to help shape the community that’s in my backyard.

And most important of all, it’s a business full of people who share my passion for talent.

My journey’s always been about people — and the role TA can play in driving business results. Now, I get to continue that journey with a company that believes if you get the people thing right, you can build teams that change the world.

Sign me up. Thanks a ton for the opportunity, Team Paradox.

Written by
Kristen Bailey
Kristen Bailey
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