Alex Mroz on Hiring at Mission North: Meet the Person Behind the LinkedIn Message
People are a company’s single greatest resource. This is especially true for a public relations company like Mission North, where our clients hire us for our people. Our “product” is creativity and critical thinking paired with media savvy, content expertise and the ability to tell powerful stories. That makes the job of Alex Mroz, our talent acquisition manager, invaluable. She helps us find and engage the brightest in the business so we can continue to grow while adding new perspectives and providing value to our clients. I sat down with Alex to ask about how she approaches hiring at Mission North and how to nail your next interview.
Tell me about yourself. What was your journey to recruiting at Mission North?
I studied public relations and psychology, so once I graduated, I knew I wanted to work with people. I started tech recruiting for a large staffing firm and was able to move to San Francisco with them a year and a half in. I switched over to their creative branch (graphic designers, copywriters, PR professionals) and after three years with them, Mission North recruited me as their first-ever in-house recruiter. For many years, Mission North’s staff came through internal referrals and external recruiters. For six years before I joined, our VP of Operations ran recruiting along with events and finance. It was a huge deal to me that I would be coming in and owning this recruiting evolution.
What does your typical day as a talent acquisition manager look like?
Recruiting is a well-oiled machine: There’s sourcing, interviewing, candidate management. I spend a ton of time reaching out to people, trying to understand their career paths, backgrounds and goals. Because I typically speak with people who are already employed, it takes time to nurture conversations and relationships. Candidates could get back to me in a year saying they’re looking for something new. It’s all about planting the seed.
Then there’s the candidate management part. We have a tight hiring structure because we work in some of the most competitive hiring markets. Everything has to be timely. I interview different levels of candidates all week. A huge part of my day is managing candidates who we’re in conversations with and looking to hire. This includes scheduling interviews and follow-up conversations, internal communication about hiring status, putting out offers, etc.
What are the most fulfilling parts of being a recruiter?
My favorite part is extending offers to people who I know are really jazzed about us and vice versa. It’s the best feeling in the world knowing we made that match after so much time and effort went into the process. And, of course, it’s always exciting when they accept.
I also love getting to know people. There’s a big debate going on about whether you still need people to recruit, and I think wholeheartedly, yes. You have to be able to read people, listen to them and understand them – you can’t automate that. Caring about the company I work for means everything, too. I genuinely love and respect Mission North, so the strength of our values and our culture makes it easy for me to brag. It’s so much easier to recruit when your heart is in it.
What do you look for in junior candidates? More senior ones?
For junior staffers, I want to understand their interest in writing and technology. This is true even for interns who are just graduating — it’s great to see specific examples of things they’ve written and hear what excites them about tech PR as opposed to entertainment or fashion PR. It’s also so important to be curious. If it shows that you’ve done your research on Mission North, gold star!
For senior candidates, leadership and strategy are huge. You also have to be interested in helping junior staff progress their careers and have an interest in cultivating new business to continue helping the company grow. You need a sense of ownership and desire to be a leader. And you should want to stick around. We want you to find your home here.
What’s your No. 1 interview tip?
Look at our website and get familiar with our work and clients. Even if you take five minutes before you hop on a call with me or go into an interview, it shows. If a candidate comes in prepared, everyone interviewing them gives me that feedback. On the flip side, it also shows when people aren’t prepared. My top advice is to prep questions, know about our clients, and tell us why you want to work here.
Transparency and open communication are also really important to me. It helps when candidates are up-front about their timelines, salary expectations, where they see themselves and where else they’re interviewing. Just lay it all out so we can have a beneficial relationship. And in return, I’ll do the same.
Is there anything else you think people should know?
When you’re interviewing for a role, just be yourself. Be honest about what you want. If you really want the job, we’ll be just as excited to have you come work with us. Also, a thank you note goes a long way. Someone recently wrote me a personal card after I interviewed them and it meant so much. Who sends physical mail anymore?!
Now that you’re prepped for your interview, it’s time to talk with Alex yourself! Learn more about hiring at Mission North and check out all open roles on our careers page.