Creating Genuine Relationships With Candidates

Meet our Team
minute read

As a Talent Partner for inTulsa, Donna marries a range of skills from teaching, professional writing, consulting, and talent acquisition to her passion for matching people from across the country and globe with unprecedented growth, equity, and inclusion opportunities in Tulsa.

Donna Draper, Talent Partner

Where did you start your career?

I started my career as a writer after having been an adjunct math instructor in college. I began in technical writing then moved into marketing, public relations, and advertising. Eventually, when I decided to move away from writing as a profession, I had an opportunity to do research in a retained executive search firm. It was fascinating work and connecting with people on such an intimate level as their next career move captivated me. I felt I was a natural matchmaker! My talent acquisition and recruiting career took off from there and led me into leadership in global tech consulting companies like Oracle and Computer Sciences Corporation. Later, I got into leadership and laying the foundations for talent acquisition in several startups and consulting on my own as a talent partner.

What was it that drew you to recruiting?

I'm a genuinely curious people person. I love communicating, networking, and learning about what moves, motivates, and impassions people, both in and outside of my career. I thrive on making lasting connections. Professionally, I get so much satisfaction from matching people with opportunities that will transform not only their lives but many others’ for the better, in some cases for generations to come.

What gets you excited to get up and go to work in the morning?

It’s so exciting to work with startups as well as both nationally and internationally established companies that share a mission to create economic development and social equity in Tulsa. It's fun and satisfying to work with such a vibrant and corrective economic development movement, and it's even more meaningful to bring awesome job opportunities to people from all walks of life. It’s a hard learning curve every day, but every day it is worth it.

What is it like to work for multiple companies?

It’s an exciting learning process! Each company is doing something new with emerging technologies, and it’s rewarding to consult with organizations that don’t yet have talent processes and systems in place, or who just need a little nudge or boost from the recruiting perspective. Transformations come quickly in this space, and there are many successes!

What are the most critical elements to consider when you're partnering with a candidate to help them land a job in Tulsa?

Getting them excited about the opportunity is number one. We work with so many amazing companies that it’s easy to share the enthusiasm. If the candidate is from Tulsa, it may be a matter of presenting the benefits and growth opportunities with an established tech or start up; if they are from other states, it’s that and also showing Tulsa in all it has to offer. When it comes to relocating, I know firsthand the thought processes the candidates are going through. It's a huge change and a massive upheaval to move but so worth it in the end.

What can a candidate expect when working with you directly?

They can expect to connect and create a genuine relationship. They can expect to begin with a friendly first conversation so I can learn about them, not only professionally but personally. What are their motivations and desires, what are their career goals, what are their personal considerations?  Moving forward, they can expect to be submitted to matching positions either now or in the future and regular contact, building on that relationship.

What advice do you have for people who are early in their careers?

I would 100% advise finding mentors from the get-go while still in school and throughout your career. Identify with people you aspire to and respect, who have your back, and the time to contribute. Additionally, internships can be a great way to explore what excites you. Most importantly, be you! Pursue your own dreams.

What do you love about Tulsa?

First and foremost, the people! Tulsans are so warm and welcoming. I love the gentle linguistic inflections and open hearts. Tulsa is still a relatively small town with so much to offer: a cool history, arts, and culinary scene; intense community and economic development involvement and opportunity supporting equity and inclusion, both for-and-non-profit; abundant outdoor activities supporting all walks of life; tons of support to newcomers; and a beautiful river running right through it!