Meet Elissa Salinger, Harmony Healthcare Recruiter
1. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you so far this year?
The year is still early, but I will say just making it to 2021 is something to be grateful for. 2020 was a year full of uncertainty, fear, and major changes, but this new year comes with hope, adaptability, and a reassured confidence that I’m able to roll with the punches.
2. What is a fun or interesting fact about your hometown?
You don’t have to have ever been to NYC to know that the traffic is rather ridiculous and that driving in a grid system can be a treacherous task at certain hours. But a fun fact is on certain Manhattan avenues the traffic lights are synched up and programmed so that if you drive exactly 28mph, you can catch a long streak of green lights!
3. What characteristic do you admire most in yourself?
My sense of humor and loyalty. Let’s face it, life – much like recruiting – is an emotional rollercoaster. You have to be able to make light of certain situations in order to even get through it and making someone laugh or smile is one of the best gifts you can give for free!
Loyalty is very important to me. It stems from respect and trust, which I strive to provide in both my professional and personal relationships.
4. What are three places on your travel bucket list and why?
- Bora Bora: It looks absolutely beautiful. Who can say no to crystal clear water and soft sand?
- Tokyo: It’s a better version of my hometown of NYC – great food, shopping, skylines and century-old temples/shrines.
- Machu Picchu: While I will need to train (or rent a helicopter) just to complete the four-day hike along the Inca Trail, I am so fascinated with the Lost City of the Incas and their incredible history.
5. Create a soundtrack to your life with just 5 songs.
Hands down, the hardest question ever.
- “Love and Affection” by Pressure: It’s a reggae love song. Being half Jamaican, I grew up on reggae classics, which I love because they are mostly all about love, peace, and being grateful for the life you have been given. Never take it for granted.
- “Let It Happen” by Tame Impala: This song is about accepting personal transition. I have evolved many times in my life already, and I think it’s important to acknowledge your growth and not be afraid of becoming a different – yet better – version of yourself.
- “Float On” by Modest Mouse: This is one of my feel good songs because it’s really just about knowing that no matter how bad the world gets, there are still good days to look forward to. We have to hold on to hope that we will all float on!
- “ROYL” by Chloe x Halle: You can’t be in a bad mood when this comes on. The message is simple: live your life to the fullest!
- “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by Meatloaf: The song is basically an 8 minute storyline of a young couple about to hook up and the girl insists that the boy will love her forever before she goes any further. He makes the promise that he will love her until the end of time just to get what he wanted, and the song takes a comedic turn when he start praying for the end of time so he can be rid of her without breaking his promise. Anyway – I love this song because my dad played this album almost everyday when I was a kid, and we would sing along as loud as we could in the car. People must have thought we were crazy, but it’s one of my favorite childhood memories.
6. Who inspired you to pursue the career you have today?
Kathy Holmes, my first boss in the industry, and Jamaal Jenkins, my mentor. Kathy hired me with no recruiting experience and really showed me just how big of an impact we as recruiters have on the lives of the people we staff. She always said, “Two of the biggest decisions one makes in their life is who they spend the rest of their life with and what career they will spend the rest of their life doing. We have a direct impact on the latter, so we must take that responsibility seriously and with pride.”
Jamaal was my boss at my first IT recruiting role. He has been a mentor in the art of recruiting from sourcing, leading people, negotiating salaries, and career progression. I owe a lot of my success, organization, and focus to his teachings. He was the one who taught me the importance in continuous education, patience in the workplace, and job development. I will never forget when I was frustrated about not getting a placement my entire first month working with him and he pulled me aside and said, “There’s a difference between being critical of yourself and challenging yourself. Being critical leads to self-doubt and stagnation. Challenging yourself leads to action, growth and personal development.” Touché, Jamaal. Challenge accepted!
7. Recommend a book you recently read.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
8. What’s the best advice you can give to someone who just started their career?
Network, network, network! Most of my jobs were roles I never applied to because someone who worked with me previously recommended me for a role or led me to people looking for work who I could recruit. Whether they are in your field or not, you would be surprised how much others can put you in the right place or point you in the right direction.
And never stop learning! Whether you work in the field you studied in college or not, make the commitment to learn everything you can about the industry you are in and the people/product you support. This makes you more successful in your workplace and sets you up to help or mentor others that come after you. Pay it forward!