People-first hiring in action: Meet the 9 Talent Makers award finalists

2023 Talent Makers finalists blog

3 mins, 41 secs read time

After receiving hundreds of applications from hiring teams of all sizes, we’re thrilled to introduce our 2023 Talent Makers® award finalists. Whether they teamed up with recruiters to find and attract top talent or inspired their organization to promote people-first practices, these champions excelled at creating a culture of great hiring this year.

What exactly is a Talent Maker? Talent Makers don’t just believe in the power of hiring great talent – they live it with their actions. From a recruiter finding new ways to keep candidates engaged, a manager hiring internally to grow their team or a C-suite executive creating an agile hiring plan, there are three types of Talent Makers who help drive a culture of nurturing talent.

  • A talent magnet helps attract strong, diverse talent to your company

  • A talent partner jumps in to collaborate with and assist hiring teams

  • A talent leader models what it means to build a culture of great hiring

And without further ado, let’s meet our finalists.

Meet the talent magnet finalists

Austin King, Executive Recruiter, Gong

Why we loved Austin’s nomination: Austin is a skilled storyteller who regularly receives rave reviews from candidates – even those who don’t end up receiving offers – proving his positive impact on the candidate experience.

Chanelle Guillaume, Talent Acquisition and Learning & Development Specialist, Bandai Namco Entertainment America, Inc.

Why we loved Chanelle’s nomination: Chanelle elevated her team’s hiring efficiency. She stepped in during the uncertainty of a major company relocation and brought consistency and clarity to the hiring process, reducing time-to-hire while filling 50 critical open roles.

Kristen Rao, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Taco Comfort Solutions

Why we loved Kristen’s nomination: Kristen is considered the go-to person for all things Greenhouse and designed Greenhouse micro-learning and coaching sessions to teach hiring managers about the importance of data-driven hiring, how to open and create a requisition and how to fill out scorecards.

Meet the talent partner finalists

James Dow, Head of Market Management EMEA, Blacklane

Why we loved James’s nomination: James brings an empathetic, respectful and analytical approach to hiring, offering detailed feedback and advocating for candidates who he believes have potential.

Rebecca Demarest Panzer, Human Resources Projects Manager, IonQ

Why we loved Rebecca’s nomination: When there was no dedicated program manager for IonQ’s intern program, Rebecca stepped into the role, committed to seeking applicants from underrepresented communities and ensuring interns felt welcomed and supported throughout their experience.

Stephanie Shone, Talent Advisor, Enero Group

Why we loved Stephanie’s nomination: Stephanie identified a major area of opportunity for the Enero talent team – the lack of brand awareness among candidates – and led several initiatives to make a positive impact, which ultimately led to a 20% reduction in candidates dropping out of the pipeline or accepting offers from competitors.

Meet the talent leader finalists

Katie Rakusin, Director of Talent Acquisition, Merit America

Why we loved Katie’s nomination: Katie is a strong advocate for data-driven recruiting, and thanks to her guidance, the TA team can now track the composition of their talent pipeline and 82% of candidate survey respondents say they had a positive interview experience.

Stephen Carrey-Chan, Director of Product & Design, CrowdStreet

Why we loved Stephen’s nomination: When members of CrowdStreet’s talent team were at risk of feeling overextended, Stephen came up with creative solutions to engage candidates, conducting many of the initial screening calls himself to keep the pipeline moving.

Tasha Ridder, Director of Talent, Pine Gate Renewables

Why we loved Tasha’s nomination: Tasha has made it her mission to bring in more diverse talent in all areas of solar and she works with partners across the company to negotiate fair salaries, write inclusive job descriptions and source underrepresented talent.

Let's give all the finalists a round of applause! Stay tuned in the coming weeks when we’ll be announcing the winners for each category and sharing their stories in more detail.

Want concrete advice on how to create a world-class hiring system at your company? Check out the Talent Makers book.

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Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno

is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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