Event Recap: Recruiting Candidates with Transferable Skills

On Wednesday, July 13th, ThinkNW hosted a panel of regional thought leaders for a virtual multi-tiered conversation about the new world of job seeking and recruitment.

Overview: In 2021, over 47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs, and according to a Pew Research analysis, around half of employed adults who quit that year did so to change their occupation or industry entirely. The Great Rethink. Reimagination. Reconsideration. Resignation … Whatever you’re calling the unprecedented exit from the workforce, its wake has created a massive shift in how job seekers are approaching new employment and how employers are hiring.

The panel tackled questions including:

  • What are the most important transferable skills, and how can they be used as a catalyst to make a life and career change?
  • What kind of resources can help folks educate themselves on what standard salaries are to see if they are compatible with what they are currently making?
  • What makes you roll your eyes at industry job postings? What do you think needs to be eliminated?
  • What should job seekers be highlighting on LinkedIn, and what are recruiters looking for?
  • How do you address roadblocks?


Moderator: Colleen Finn, Talent Manager – 52 Limited

Colleen Finn is a Talent Manager at 52 Limited, a creative and tech staffing agency based in Portland. Prior to her time at 52 Limited, Colleen was the founder and owner of Recesstime Sports Leagues. She loves connecting people to create the best teams on the field and in the office. She’s passionate about branding, philanthropic endeavors, Yacht rock, and fostering personal and business relationships to make magic happen and dreams come true.


Enrique Ruiz, Senior Manager Talent Acquisition – Thesis

Enrique has built a career in recruiting. From his staffing days to sourcing for NIKE, to now helping recruit the future of one of the fastest-growing agencies in Portland, Thesis. Requisitions are more than slots on an excel sheet. They are parents, partners, and friends. Enrique takes the human approach and has conversations with his candidates, taking the “Interview” out of the interview. In his spare time, he is chasing his 3 kiddos around parks. And he also helps small PNW companies source talent.

Shaun Howie, Senior Ad Sales Marketing Specialist – AdColony

Born in California and raised around the world, Shaun settled in Portland after 11 years of riding around in a submarine. He graduated from Portland State University, where he studied Marketing and Design Management. Shaun spent 11 years immersed in technology and managing business accounts at Apple. He then spent time working in Strategy and Operations for Nike Legal and is now doing marketing operations at AdColony. Outside of work (and between meetings), Shaun is probably spending time with his wife, chasing young kids around the house, or getting deep into some non-fiction reading. Shaun is guilty of starting conversations with “I was listening to this podcast…”, but he’s working on it.

Emily Yu, Human Resources Director – TDW+Co.

Emily Yu, SPHR is an HR professional with 20+ years of experience in the fields of entertainment, restaurant & hospitality, professional services, and advertising. She has led HR departments, built HR infrastructure, and delivered innovative solutions to support organizational growth and to reinforce and maintain corporate culture. Emily is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine, with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and a master’s degree in human resources management from Chapman University. She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) through the Society of Human Resources Management and an instructor at the University of California Irvine, where she teaches Fundamentals of Human Resources Management to post-baccalaureate students

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