Dan Salerno, the former internal TA Strategist & People Operations lead for 2 high-growth enterprise SaaS start-ups and a well established leader in digital asset management, has recently joined LLoyd to address the burgeoning flexible talent needs in the world of MarTech. Working closely with LLoyd’s IT and Digital Marketing communities, Dan will be overseeing overseeing recruitment and candidate referrals for talent needs in the areas of niche functions critical to customer experience management such as Marketing Automation, DemandGen, eCommerce, and Customer Success. We caught up with Dan to learn more about him and why he made such a strategic career move.
How long have you been in the staffing industry?
I have been identifying, engaging, and hiring talent as an inhouse recruiter since 2013. In that time I’ve worked for 4 amazing organizations and have personally hired just under 300 fantastic professionals. But technically, at the time of this interview, this is my 3rd day in the staffing industry!
What is the most valuable trait or skill a Recruiter/CSD must possess?
Hard to pick one, but I think it’s possessing a natural curiosity. Mine is insatiable, very much like a puppy chasing cars I become genuinely interested in whatever conversation or audience I’m engaged with. It’s helped me to quickly learn about a company’s culture or business objectives and has absolutely enabled me to develop a lot of meaningful relationships.
Best piece of advice you give to job seekers.
It’s the same advice I give anyone I care about. Be in charge of your own destiny. Identify what it is you want, tell the universe, and then calmly and patiently work towards it with faith that it’s coming. You’ll be amazed how often it does. But remember, if you then say, “I need a job,” that’s exactly what you’ll get. Maybe better to say something like, “I want a role that allows me to learn more of X, to earn Y, and to work with people that are Z.”
I love asking the right questions to uncover a person’s full story and then having the ability to add a positive chapter to that story. We directly impact careers and thus not only individual lives but whole families. If done with care, it’s a remarkable way to make a living.
Why you are an asset to your client’s hiring needs?
I am completely invested in the industries that I cover, I have experienced first-hand the challenges of trying to scale at a furious pace with limited internal resources, and I ONLY work with people (both candidates and clients) who choose to live with integrity, passion, and joy.
Most memorable placement/impact experience you had on either client or talent.
There are a lot of industries that are ancillary to Martech (Media & Advertisisng Strategy & Services) just as there are to true SaaS (Hardware, Networking, or Backend Software). I was referred to a gentleman who had spent the last 5 years crushing sales quotas first as an IC and then as a manager for a very well known professional social media network.
He was a high integrity, family oriented, hard working, intelligent, AND successful sales leader. He simply hadn’t belonged to the good ‘ol boys and girls’ club of software as a service. But he was itching to make that transition. He was so honest with me, and direct, and engaging, learned from me and taught me things as we first spoke on the phone and then met for a coffee. Sometimes you must trust your gut about a candidate. My hiring managers refused to even speak to him. They argued – he doesn’t know how to sell OUR platform; he doesn’t understand the complexities of enterprise software. So I got creative. I took his sales quotas, attainment against, awards, acquired logos, and philosophies on methodology and essentially anonymized them. I made no reference to what he had sold and made sure my hiring panel did not think it was the same candidate. After looking at the impressive numbers, the Global VP of Sales asked me why we hadn’t met this candidate yet and who was he? My answer to them was – he’s the guy all three of you refused to speak to and he can come by the office tomorrow.
He joined the company, crushed quota, built a team, scaled his region, and today he now consultants and trains other enterprise software companies on proper sales methodology. He is a critical part of the Solution/Social Selling movement, focuses on product and subject matter expertise instead of pitching and negotiating. I love the stories on each of my hires, but never have I met someone who was so deserving and so wisely utilized an opportunity as that particular candidate.
If you had a super power what would it be?
I think we all do possess unknown super powers…for recruiters we have zero fear in putting ourselves out there, engaging a stranger, learning how to recruit for a new function, or turning our my 20 month old daughter Shea, my wife Never, and myself into a live rendition of Sesame street, to the delight of the neighborhood children. If i get to add one more super power, I’d love to fly and I’d take my daughter and go whisper a secret in the ear of the sphinx, feed pigeons on top of the Verrazano Bridge, and eat ice cream on a cloud.
How do you relax after work?
It may sound a little strange but working out or even just a dance session with my toddler, but because I’m a bit high-energy the best way for me to relax is actually through some intense physical activity.
Favorite book or movie?
Can’t pick one, two of my favorite reads are “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Alchemist.” When it comes to movies, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is hard to argue with as a favorite film.