With over a decade of experience in university recruiting for enterprises like Oracle and Deloitte, Roxy Wolfe has built her career fostering early talent across industries. For the past two years, she’s led Elastic’s global early talent recruitment.
In 2022, Roxy’s team launched Elastigrad, a program to help their early talent build personal brands. Since launching Elastigrad, Elastic has seen a remarkable increase in applicants and engagement. She believes that, as a recruiter, you’re truly impacting people’s life by helping them find work they are passionate about and love. Read on to learn more about her experience and insights.
What’s something you wish you knew going into your first job?
If your first job isn’t your ‘dream job’, it’s not only okay but ideal! I wouldn’t have ended up where I am today if my first job didn’t lead me down a path to work across multiple industries. So for your first job, apply for work you think you would like and take your time finding what you love.
Why are you passionate about recruiting early talent?
I love the hunger and passion that early talent candidates have. The world is their oyster, and they bring this mindset into everything they do. Additionally, they bring a diversity of thought, background, and an overall different outlook that is both refreshing and needed in the modern workplace.
How do you help Elastigrads adjust to the workplace?
Starting your first job out of school can be overwhelming. New grads come from an environment where they know their professors and peers. It’s common to experience imposter syndrome or have an identity crisis.
I help ElastiGrads overcome this by offering a mindset shift. Instead of having an elevator pitch, I help them develop a personal brand. I ask them to think about what they want their co-workers to say about them when they aren’t around. That right there is your brand.
What do you think sets Elastic apart when it comes to early talent recruitment?
Elastic truly invests in our team’s overall well-being. For example, our Elastigrads can work from wherever they want. We also get 2 Friday’s off a month, which helps everyone reset and recharge. Elastic also covers our full health insurance. Programs like these ensure new employees feel supported, are happy, and have what they need to do great work.
What are the biggest challenges on the horizon for your industry? What could the next generation of leaders bring to the table to help with that?
Technology is constantly changing, and that is where early talent comes into play. This generation of students coming from university grew up with it and are aware of new tools. Their fresh perspective helps us innovate, think differently about what we’re doing as a company, and improve how we work with our customers.
What’s one of your favorite early talent hire success stories?
A recent success story is within our sales organization. We brought in a handful of SDRs in early June through the Elastigrad program. In less than 5 months, their performance led them to progress to the next level of their role. They’re eligible to be promoted before they even hit their one-year mark. That’s exciting growth!
What excites you about building a workforce for the future?
Knowing that I’ve played a small yet impactful part in someone’s career is what makes me genuinely passionate about this role. It is vital to empower early talent from their first day and give them the tools they need to succeed beyond their first year. Knowing that the students I’m hiring now will one day serve as mentors themselves makes me very proud.
As candidates move from pipeline to hire, what strategies do your teams use to help them stay engaged?
We often see a drop in engagement as students move through the interview process, especially between the offer acceptance and their start date. To improve the relationship, I implemented our Elastibuddy program. The program pairs the candidate with an Elastigrad who, ideally, is in the same team or location as the candidate. As a result, we are seeing higher engagement and retention by helping the new hire feel connected and integrated.
What advice would you offer other leaders looking to improve their brand with in-demand talent, early talent, or Gen Z?
Give your early talent meaningful projects and work. Don’t waste your investment by using new grads to cross off the boxes and do busy work. You may be surprised how Gen Z can outperform their more tenured peers. Give them a chance, take a risk, and watch the magic happen!
Please join us in congratulating Roxy on this exciting win!