Interview with Jordan Brown: HR Generalist and Recruiter with ACV Auctions
I recently had the opportunity to sit down and interview Jordan Brown of ACV Auctions. Jordan is the Human Resources Generalist and Recruiter for ACV. Jordan has been in human resources and recruiting since 2011, with a wide variety of positions along the way.
Jordan graduated from the University at Buffalo where he was a double major in both english and literature, and communications. He started off his career in HR with M&T Bank. He worked there for two years, and before coming to ACV Auctions worked in HR with a few different companies including the Doritex Corporation, Darien Lake Theme Park, and more! In May of 2017 Jordan came to ACV Auctions. In his free time Jordan enjoys writing poetry, free lance photography, traveling, and playing sports.
Jordan is originally from Buffalo, and he and ACV Auctions work out of the Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center in downtown Buffalo. During the interview I asked Jordan a wide range of questions including his daily responsibilities, his advice to candidates, and much more:
Q: What are your daily responsibilities?
“When I first began I handled almost all of the hiring that was not on the director level. ACV has a strong Buffalo footprint, but we also have a nationwide footprint. Helping the company expand through different territories was a large bulk of my job up until December when ACV hired a talent partner who worked with a lot of the outside openings. Now I do the recruiting for Buffalo, dealing with operations, product and engineering, a lot of the employee relations (dealing with employee issues, etc), workers comp, disability, benefits, etc. I like to describe myself as a doer. There are a lot of ancillary things I deal with as well. I juggle a lot of things and there really is not one specific title I have, so I get to do a lot of different things.”
Q: What is your favorite/least favorite part of the job?
“I think my favorite part of the job is the interaction with my co-workers. Being able to be a face for them, and being able to be someone they can come to if they are having issues or if they are wondering what the next steps to take in their career are. Being that guidance is really cool. I also really like recruiting, it’s nice to find someone a job and it is awesome when someone is looking for a job and I am able to help them find that and make sure they are happy. Being there for them and making sure the company culture is strong and helping out is great. My least favorite thing is paperwork, I consider myself more of a people person rather than a paper work person.”
Q: Which field is the hardest to recruit in?
“All fields have their weird nuances, but I would probably say product and engineering, and some of our tech roles. There are certain jobs that require tangible and very specific skills and finding someone who has those specific skills that also fits with our culture can be a challenge. We have interviewed a lot of people who have really great experience and skills, but sometimes they can be a clash with the company or we find out they are looking for something a little different. It can be a challenge finding the right people within Buffalo, but I think we have done a good job finding the right candidates.”
Q: What is the biggest challenge you have faced this far in Human Resources?
“Coming to ACV from places that were really corporate-like was really different for me. Being able to develop different polices and different procedures, as well as making sure we are compliant. In previous places I have worked, a lot of that was taken care of else where. Our investors want to see us be profitable and expand, and while juggling all of that can be challenging at times, it is a lot of fun and I really like coming to work each day. I am a pretty competitive person, and I like to do more each day at work than what I did previously.”
Q: Any advice to applicants when applying for jobs?
“I know for me when I am looking at resumes, people often want to put as much in their resumes as they can and that can be really tedious. Especially when applying to start ups, those recruiters can be stretched pretty thin. Really focusing and keying in on bigger projects you have worked on and the relevant information can be really helpful. I find there is a more human aspect of applying to a start up company as well. When applying to larger corporations there can often be a weed-out process that can eliminate resumes right away, whereas with a start up we can really read through. For people who apply at ACV or really anywhere, being the person you are is really important. I know it can be really hard when you are nervous going in, but just being who you are is more than enough. At ACV when interviewing we are constantly sort of chipping away at the wall trying to find out who you are as a person, and once that is broken down and a person is themselves, that is when we have a really good interview. I also love when people have good questions. Not questions that are just typical basic questions that everyone asks. Another thing is when I call an applicant and they ask which company we are, or who is this again? I understand that people are applying to a lot of jobs, but knowing the company and being prepared is a big part of it.”
Q: Advice for someone who wants to get into Human Resources?
“I think that HR is shifting in a way where you can be a personality and have a personality. A lot of times people view HR as the work-bots of the company, or we are viewed as people who just want to have power and decision making over another person. I would say not getting rid of your personality, who you are, and what made you get into HR. Knowing that not every place you interview with will be a fit, even if outside people are telling you it is a great company to work for, you have to stay true to yourself and find the best fit for you. Overall with HR the one thing you have to care about is people. Doing the right thing and caring about the people who are in charge of the company and the employees is a major part of the job. You want everyone to feel comfortable knowing you have their best interest in your mind, not just for the company and the higher ups, but the employee as well. Being genuine with people and not being robotic goes a long way.”
Q: What are you looking for in the future?
“I think it is good to always evaluate what you are doing. I would like to work with ACV for a while and I think it is one of the greater companies in Buffalo. I would like to continue later on to expand into different roles and play more to some of my strengths, and maybe one day get into consulting. I like challenges and I like start ups, so ACV is a good fit and looking into the future I would like to continue with that theme.”
ACV Auctions is expanding and will soon be over 400 employees! They will be moving to their own space on the 3rd floor of the Innovation Center! Their new work space is currently under renovation!
A big thank you to Jordan for taking the time to speak and share his passion and insights to his job! Have any questions or comments? Leave them below!