Insight into 4 local startup jobs: Colleen McGarity

by Elyse Kent
March 31, 2014


Colleen McGarity is a Recruiting Guru at StackOverflow. Before she joined the largest online Q&A platform for professional computer programmers, she led recruiting at the all-expansive Vail Resorts.

1. What type of responsibilities have you been given and how do you see your role evolving?

I have had the opportunity to wear more hats in the organization.  Being apart of a smaller team means I am able to be a part of all parts of recruiting, hiring, on-boarding and ongoing HR to the employees in our small Denver office.  An unexpected side of business that I have been a part of has been branding- branching out of strictly recruiting into marketing and branding within the Denver community has been very exciting!  Recruiting and branding go hand-in-hand, but often times at larger organizations, marketing and recruiting don't work together or have the same end goal, so it's nice to be able to own this part of my position.   

2. How do you work with an internationally dispersed team?

My team is split between NYC, London and Denver, so it is harder for us to collaborate and work together, but somehow, we manage to do so VERY well.  We are constantly on Google Hangouts, meeting and talking through issues of the week.  We are always on chat, whether in a sales chat room or just one-on-one asking for advice, sending congratulatory picture .gifs etc.

For being across the world from one another, this is one of the most collaborative team I have ever been on.  I am competitive by nature, so a combination between wanting to be the best recruiter and wanting to have the best sales team in comparison to my colleagues.  If one of my colleagues makes 2 hires in London, I am driven to makes 3 hires in Denver all while congratulating him on his successes.  

3. What type of personality strengths compliment your position?

Being a recruiter I am very social and outgoing.  I am constantly on the phone, talking with my team, or working through various social networks and networking events.  My work style can be described as organized chaos.  I make sure everything I need to do gets done, but there isn't necessarily a rhyme or reason to it.  In recruiting, you are dealing with people who are constantly changing and unpredictable, so having flexibility and doing whatever it takes to get the job done is a necessary trait.  

4. How does the flexiblity of the company lend itself to productivity?

 From flexible hours, to the best technology, to catered lunch everyday, the company's primary goal is to keep employees in the best working environment possible so that they are happy and are producing the best work through that.  If you are sick, STAY HOME!  If you need to work from home on any given day, do it.  

5. What made you dive into the startup world? 

I left a larger public corporation because of all the red tape.  In a startup, you have the ability to shape policies, work directly with senior leadership (I report to the CEO) and you feel as though your work matters on a daily basis.  You also have the opportunity to work on a variety of different things - employees in startups tend to wear many different hats which allows you to expand your skill set and learn different areas of the business.

This company had everything I was looking for.  I wanted a startup that was established (I knew they were profitable and reputable) but at the same time had mission and values that aligned with my own.  Hiring a team of sales people who are selling a product that I can be very passionate about (recruiting platform) and working under a CEO who has a passion for recruiting and keeping talent was a perfect fit.

The startup community in Denver is booming.  We are quickly becoming one of the best places to have a startup, there are tons of events going on, and the people are passionate and active in the community.  Whether a Built In Brews networking event, or Denver Startup Week, there are so many ways to get involved in weekly activity within the community.  


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