We are a team of brand, marketing, human resources, and communications strategists offering our clients authentic insight and unrivaled expertise to brand and market their unique employment experience from the inside out. And like our clients, we at exaqueo, have our own unique and authentic stories to tell from the perspectives of our brand, company, and individual colleagues. Today, we are excited to introduce one of our newest additions to the team, Mel Skadson.
Mel joins us as an associate employer brand strategist, where she’ll lend her expertise in talent attraction and retention to support our clients in authentically showcasing their employment experience. Mel brings more than a decade of in-house human resources experience to our team. A true jack-of-all-trades, her career in human resources has spanned from recruiting and onboarding, to diversity and inclusion, and employment law compliance. No matter what hat she’s worn, Mel has demonstrated a passion for people and enthusiasm for creating great experiences for employees and candidates alike.
At exaqueo, we believe in creating meaningful onboarding experiences to help new hires feel a true sense of belonging. One of the ways we support a new employee’s orientation to the company is by assigning them an “exaqueo buddy.” As Mel’s “exaqueo buddy,” I have the privilege of supporting her throughout the onboarding journey. From day one, Mel and I bonded over references from The Office, our shared guilty pleasure of reality TV, and being proud “fur moms.”
As a fully-virtual company, it’s important for us to find ways to stay connected. Because I live in Florida and Mel lives in Minnesota, our catch-ups are done through Google Meet. During our first virtual coffee chat, Mel and I spent some time getting to know each other. I’m excited to share a few of the highlights that helped me learn more about my new teammate.
What made you want to join exaqueo?
In my previous roles, I was really passionate about working with people and their career journeys. I wanted to focus my career on the talent attraction aspect of human resources. Employer brand is such a niche area not yet at the forefront of many industries. Over time, I found my role naturally evolving into the recruitment marketing/employer brand function. The more I learned about employer brand, the more excited I became about my opportunity to contribute.
What excites you about your role at exaqueo?
To work with others who share the same passion for this industry as me. I’m also excited to make an impact on a candidate’s journey –using what initially attracted someone as a job seeker throughout the full employment lifecycle. Working in-house, I found that candidate experience is an area that needs to be prioritized. The idea of helping multiple clients find what makes their employment experience unique, and helping them really excel in showcasing that, is really exciting.
What impact do you want to make at exaqueo?
I like to think I have an innovative mindset. My goal is to always come up with a new idea or a better way of doing something. I want to live the exaqueo value of differentiation and deliver strategies to clients that are truly unique and meet their needs in attracting and retaining talent.
What are the three best words to describe you?
Innovative, for sure. I would also say adaptable and strategic. I feel I’m able to read a room and control my emotions. I’m emotionally intelligent to recognize and adapt in a specific environment or situation when necessary. I like to think about the big picture, not only the steps I’m taking now but how it’s going to impact the long-term goal.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned in your first few days?
Our Chief Consulting Officer, Christine, explained consulting in a way I hadn’t thought about before. Working in HR, I’m used to telling people what to do in a nice way, and because of compliance, it had to be done. In consulting, it’s more about listening and letting opinions come out. You may not always agree with an approach, but you need to be able to communicate your thoughts in a way that helps others think about something differently.
I’ve already learned so much about project management. I love detail and organization, so spending time with our project management tool has been fun.
What is the most interesting thing about your home office setup?
I have a lot of personal touches to my office space that make me think of my family. My Whole Self is at work, not just because I’m working from home, but because I’m surrounded by things that remind me of my family and where I come from. My mom made this crochet hanging with our last name on it. I have this wall “I” which is a fishing pun (“have you seen my walleye?”) my dad and grandma often joked about. I have a framed quote about having a positive attitude, on a piece of paper that was in my dad’s shop. He was a mechanic. It reminds me I’m just like my dad.
Outside of your home office, where are you most likely to be found?
I enjoy being outdoors, going on walks or hikes. I’m learning the team takes breaks throughout the day to walk their dogs or stretch their legs, so I’m going to start doing the same. Since we all work virtually, I’m getting 10 hours of my life back not commuting to and from working in an office each week! I’m looking forward to spending more time at home and focusing on my wellbeing.
What motivates you or inspires you to do your best?
Being motivated is honestly just innate for me. I put in 120% effort in everything I do. I’ve always had a strong work ethic and I’m self-motivated. You have to work hard for everything you have.
What has surprised you the most about exaqueo?
A couple of things have surprised me. One, just how transparent everything is; I’m learning so much about the business. Two, I love that exaqueo is a small, tight-knit company that communicates honestly and authentically. We really are like a family and it doesn’t seem like we are spread across various time zones.
Please help me welcome Mel as she dives into projects on #teamexaqueo and brings her life’s meaning to work. You can congratulate Mel on LinkedIn or by posting a comment below!