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Meet Anika Walker, our newest addition to the RFS sales team

July 5, 2024

Tell us a little about your background and where you’re based. 

I am originally from New York, but moved to Salt Lake City, Utah nine months ago. I like to say I traded in the skyscrapers for mountains! 

The common thread across my career has always been connecting people and developing interpersonal relationships. I’ve always worked in marketing in some capacity, and started my career in public relations. I worked in hospitality and media, and then moved over to the event side for a few years working on events like the GLAAD Media Awards in LA and NYC. After that, I started working on influencer marketing, affiliate marketing and then started my own brand which was a date coaching company! After spending some time working in media and entertainment and moving to LA, I started working for myself, and then ultimately decided to move abroad. 

During my several years abroad, I lived in Bali, Thailand and Vietnam and worked remotely in the matchmaking industry, both as a matchmaker, in sales and as a membership strategist. It was a great experience and I loved being able to help people. 

Fast-forward to now - I’ve left the matchmaking space (although I still do date coaching) for tech. I’m bringing my connection skills to recruiting, and helping our clients and candidates find their best matches. 

What made you want to get into tech? 

I’ve always been tech savvy, and like the innovation aspect of tech a lot. There is a misconception around tech that it can be a little cold and transactional, but I want to bring a breath of fresh air into recruiting and a new way to connect people. I want to help our clients find those needle-in-the-haystack people they wouldn’t necessarily hire without our help. 

Describe your role at RFS and what you’re working on right now. 

I work in business development and my role is to find companies that are looking for their perfect match. There are so many qualified candidates out there in terms of the skillsets our clients want, but what seems to be the missing piece is the cultural fit, energy and the vibes. Finding the right hires is how we ensure our clients are successful as they build their brand. 

What are some current trends in hiring you’re seeing? 

Definitely going back to in-office. People used to be okay with working behind a screen more, and not getting to know their hires as well - they just needed to make sure they could do the job. Now, companies want to know who will actually fit with their mission, goals and values since they’re asking people to come back to the office on a hybrid model or full time. Checking the boxes as to which skills candidates have isn’t enough anymore. 

Any advice to companies like startups doing their own hiring?

Three things come to mind.  

Number one - slow and steady wins the race. People are too quick to make hires, and if you’re a startup, fundamental hires are very important. They’re helping you get the business off the ground and set the stage. Then, when you do get to the point where you’re more well known, the right kind of people will be attracted to come work for you. 

Number two - Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I think a lot of small companies want to do everything themselves, but you have to learn how to delegate. If you delegate to someone or a service who is specifically skilled in an area that you need assistance with you’ll be more efficient. 

Number three - Understand that just because someone “checks the boxes” that you still need to make sure there is a good mutual fit with your values. If they don’t have the same professionalism, aura, or general interest and vibes, you’ll most likely have to start from the drawing board again. 

What are some skills you need to be successful in sales or recruiting? 

Be relentless. Sales is not for everyone, but you have to keep going even if you receive the responses you’re looking for right out the gate, and you have to go with the flow! Tech is always changing and so is sales, so staying on top of all the changes and trends, and simply being ok with adjusting yourself to the unknown is important too. 

I would also say it’s really important to understand your clients’ pain points. What hasn’t been working? But at the same time, what has been working? What can you bring to the table that’s different? And above all, approach problems with creativity and empathy. 

What do you enjoy in your free time? 

I love talking about dating and relationships. I travel a lot, and love being on a plane and being in an airport. I do my best thinking in transit because I get so much inspiration from all the faces I see and the people I meet. Or inspiration from pieces of conversations from people I sit next to. When you travel, you’re really in a big think tank all the time. I’m also a big foodie, and love trying new restaurants and staying at new and different hotels. And I also love golden retrievers!

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