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A Day in the Life of a New York City Fashion Recruiter

By Jackie Mallon


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Ernie Buffalino joined 24 Seven in 2005 and is Vice President of Creative Recruiting. Although based in New York, he leads a team of researchers and recruiters that focuses on client needs across the globe collaborating with 24 Seven’s 11 offices to make placements in 25 countries across North America, Europe and Asia.

Describe a day in your life:

No day is the same – every day is different, making it all exciting. What makes each day unique and special is that I get to meet the best creative talent in the world.

The greatest percentage of our focus is in New York City. However, we are increasingly engaged with brands outside of major markets. Companies need our help because there’s a talent shortage – for example in Ohio, Florida, Texas, Montreal and Vancouver. Our team helps clients to identify, recruit and secure talent for every step in the strategic project life cycle.

We work with most clients on an ongoing basis, as we have many well-established relationships within the fashion community that span many years. Our clients represent high end and luxury, mass market and High Street, and everything in between. In addition to our original focus in Fashion and Retail, we also now focus on Beauty, Marketing/Advertising, and Design.

What do you think is the most important characteristic a designer should possess to get hired today?

All clients look for someone with determination, the ability and openness to learn, and a willingness to grow and develop over time. It’s very important for a designer to possess the appropriate brand aesthetic and identity for the particular client. But at the end of the day, our clients are looking for the most talented designers in the market.

What is your on-the- job pet peeve either regarding the designers who seek employment and/or the companies seeking designers?

Time kills deals. Clients who are large and bureaucratic organizations tend to take too much time to make hiring decisions. Top talent is in hot demand and often considering multiple options. Our role is to keep the candidate engaged and interested while the client makes their choice.

What has been your biggest professional thrill or accomplishment to date?

My role has allowed me to work with the highest caliber of people over the last 11 years. It really is a privilege to be connected with such talented professionals.

On a personal level, I’d say that my most fulfilling accomplishment comes from the opportunity to develop junior talent at 24 Seven into successful professional recruiters in their own right. I also take great satisfaction from changing my candidates’ lives for the better by connecting them to great career opportunities.

During the month of August FashionUnited will focus on Work in Fashion. For all reads on on the theme, click here.

All photos from 24seventalent.com

ernie buffalino