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Stephan Gray is an SDR Manager at SteelHouse, a Los Angeles-based advertising software company. He first started working with Betts Recruiting about two years ago, when he was an SDR. He’s also something of a rare case in the Betts network, having worked with us on both sides of the hiring process – he started by working with one of our recruiters in pursuit of his next career opportunity, and after he was promoted to manager, at his last company, he worked with Betts to build out his team.
We sat down with Stephan to discuss his experience in today’s sales landscape as both a job candidate and a manager, as well as lessons he’s learned and what’s next for him in his career.
Betts Recruiting: Thanks for talking with us, Stephan. Can you give us a bit of background about your career and your experience with Betts?
Stephan Gray: Sure thing. I was hired as an SDR at my last company. My relationship with Betts really started right after I left the company where I worked before that. At that time, I connected with a recruiter at Betts who presented me with about eight opportunities. So I had a pretty busy interview process that ended with me landing a role as an SDR.
“The recruiter initially reached out to me right around Halloween, and the first thing I remember is that he sort of had a Halloween-themed approach to his outreach. I thought that was a fun way to catch my attention.”
Stephan Gray, SDR Manager, SteelHouse
BR: And what was the process of working with Betts like?
SG: You know, it’s funny, the recruiter initially reached out to me right around Halloween, and the first thing I remember is that he sort of had a Halloween-themed approach to his outreach. I thought that was a fun way to catch my attention. From there, things moved along pretty swiftly. The company I was working for has a particularly long and intensive interview process, but even so, it only took a couple weeks between my initial conversations with Betts and officially getting the job.
BR: How has this experience, and the SDR role, figured into the broader arc of your career?
SG: One of the most valuable aspects of the whole experience was getting a more holistic view of the industry and the job market I was working in. When I got the offer from the company I connected with through Betts, I immediately realized that I had been really undervalued and underpaid at my previous company. But I didn’t realize it because I didn’t have a strong sense of what else was out there and what the norm was. This ended up being a big lesson I think anyone in this industry should think about.
“When I got the offer from the company I connected with through Betts, I immediately realized that I had been really undervalued and underpaid at my previous company. But I didn’t realize it because I didn’t have a strong sense of what else was out there and what the norm was.”
Stephan Gray, SDR Manager, SteelHouse
Besides the pay issue, the SDR role provided me with a lot of growth opportunity. After about seven months in the role I was promoted to manager of the team I was on. So taking that role was definitely the best decision I could have made for my career at that time. It eventually led to me moving to my current role at SteelHouse, which has been another big step up. And I know it’s all because of the experience I had in that initial SDR role.
BR: Let’s change gears a bit. What can you tell us about the flip side, where you’re now using Betts not to search for your own opportunities, but to fill roles as a manager?
SG: That actually started when I was still at the company that hired me through Betts as an SDR. At that company, as soon as I was promoted to manager, I immediately started working with Betts to source candidates. I hired four people in my first month, and three of them were through Betts.
BR: What was the process like on that side: sourcing candidates, exchanging feedback, etc.?
SG: It was super transparent, and super organized. We had weekly meetings with Betts that included me and other sales development leaders at my company. But those were just the formal, organized meetings. Beyond that, once we started doing interviews, there would also be check-ins almost daily. We had a lot of chances to give valuable feedback in the beginning to make sure we were getting candidates that actually fit our profile. We’d be texting back and forth with people from Betts, and they’d ask things like “How did the interview go today?” or “Do you think you’d like to move forward in the process with this candidate?”
BR: What would you say is next for you in your career? Where do you see yourself going from here as a hiring manager and as an employee?
SG: I’ve been at SteelHouse for a little bit over a month now. Going forward, I just see myself growing the team and establishing a really great sales development process here over the next few months, few years. I’m hoping just to continue to grow the team, promote them to other parts of the company, and keep this SDR process moving along like a full, well-oiled machine.
BR: Stephan, thanks so much for talking to us today.
SG: No problem, thank you!