EPISODE #85 || Jessica Kassel, Head of Recruiting at Heat


Jessica Kassel, Head of Recruiting at Heat, gives you an inside look at what the other side of the application process is thinking. Hear about her approach to finding great talent and why we shouldn’t be looking for an “X” factor, interview missteps she sees, how we should think about and bounce back from negative experiences in our career, and why you should take the relationship you have with recruiters into your own hands.

Last chance to bring our panel, “Voting With Your Talent” to life at The One Club’s Creative Week! Vote for it in the Leadership track at https://www.creativeweek.org/voting.

Topics Discussed

  • Starting out in account management, what drew her to recruiting, and why it’s important to have an awareness of the qualities within the people you look up to.

  • Heat and the benefit of being backed by Deloitte Digital, and the challenges and opportunities that come from bringing together two historically different companies.

  • Her approach to finding great talent, what behavioral interviewing is and why it’s a great way to hire for potential, and why we shouldn’t be looking for an X factor.

  • Application and interview missteps that she sees, and finding ways to reflect your out-of-work self in your interview. 

  • How we should think about/bounce back from negative experiences in our career, and how to talk about being let go/being fired.

  • The skills that you can hone if you’re interested in recruiting, and why you should take the relationship you have with recruiters into your own hands.

Mic Drops

“I think that’s a really powerful skill to have: an awareness too, of the people who are your mentors and the people who are inspiring you. What qualities do those people have? Not just, do you want to be on those people’s career trajectories, but what qualities do you like of theirs? Which qualities do you want to embody yourself, no matter what you’re doing?”

“I think ‘X’ factor can be a really slippery  slope, because often you can’t define the X factor. For a lot of people, the X factor is something very emotionally based. It’s sort of taking away from someone’s ability to more quantitatively assess a candidate, and really analytically think about what this person has accomplished, how would they fit this job?”

“If you’re in any sort of challenging situation—great, you’re going to learn so much about yourself. It’s going to really suck for awhile, but ideally you can reflect back on that time and be super clear about what you don’t like about that situation. Maybe you could have done something different. Maybe you know that’s not the type of company culture you need to work in moving forward. I feel like we’re all going to have difficult and trying times in our careers, but it’s really how you come back from those moments that dictate your success moving forward.”

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About Jessica

Jessica is the Head of Recruiting at Heat, a full-service advertising agency powered by Deloitte Digital, now with offices in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and New York. She’s spent time working in a variety of agencies in New York and San Francisco, starting in account management before ultimately making her way to talent acquisition. She’s a passionate “people person” who in her role, has helped launch several new offices for Heat, helping attract and retain the industry’s top talent.

Having had a somewhat non-linear career path herself, Jessica is especially passionate about finding and nurturing those who come from unique backgrounds to the world of advertising. It’s also carried through to her passion for diversity in talent and inclusion in the workplace. Jessica is equally fueled by finding today’s stars as she is about giving them a place to shine.

Outside of her people-focused job, you can find her focused on the horses she helps train – the other stars she helps shine picks up poop for on the weekends.