Meet Alison Eastaway, Founder at recognizd:
Alison Eastaway, Founder of recognizd, is a seasoned professional with an unconventional career path. Originally from Sydney, Australia, she’s called Paris, France, home for the last 12 years. Alison’s journey began at 14 as a bakery sales assistant, and at 34, she boasts an extraordinary 20-year career. Her diverse experience spans roles in hospitality, retail, tourism, and teaching English. She even ventured into the oil and gas industry before returning to HR in the startup scene. Alison’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to establish a successful brick-and-mortar wine store in Paris, followed by her latest venture, recognizd, a tech company transforming employment practices. In our podcast, we explore her unique insights on global hiring, remote work, employment compliance, and the ever-evolving landscape of employment and contracting.
Listen Up: Alison Eastaway, Founder at recognizd — Full Podcast Episode on Spotify
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Quick Read: Alison Eastaway, Founder at recognizd, Interview Highlights
In the latest episode of Default Global, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alison Eastaway, the founder of recognizd. Alison has had a diverse career. She started working at 14 and has held various positions in hospitality, retail, tourism, teaching, human resources, and tech startups. She also owned a wine store in Paris before launching her tech company, recognizd.
recognizd: Breaking Down Work and Life Experience
recognizd aims to help individuals navigate their career by breaking down work and life experiences into transferable skills. Alison explained that we need a system that makes it obvious for decision-makers that someone who hasn’t held a specific job title before is actually fully qualified to do the job at hand. recognizd is trying to bridge that gap and make it a no-brainer to match the individual’s abilities with the job requirements.
Alison shared some interesting success stories, including a judge who moved into winemaking and emergency room doctors who transitioned into operations manager jobs. She emphasized that recognizd helps individuals see clearly what else they’re already capable of.
Alison also highlighted that recognizd is designed for anyone whose CV doesn’t tell the whole story. They specifically focus on helping moms returning to the workforce after significant career breaks and U.S. veterans looking to reintegrate into civilian jobs.
Remote Work and Global Hiring
Reflecting on the current global business landscape, Alison observed that remote work has become a trend. However, she prefers to use the term “distributed” rather than “remote”. She shared her experience with Screen, a cybersecurity company that had 90 employees in 16 different locations. They made their offices places where people wanted to be, and they created a culture of good times to buffer against any misunderstandings or bad news.
Navigating Cultural Differences
Alison emphasized the importance of treating each team member as an individual, celebrating cultural differences, and investing in goodwill. She mentioned the importance of face-to-face interactions or video calls to avoid misunderstandings, particularly in cross-cultural contexts.
The Future of Recruiting
Alison expressed some unconventional opinions about the agency recruiting model. She expressed skepticism about AI in recruiting, emphasizing the need for more human intelligence. Alison believes that the future of recruiting involves rethinking what actually makes up a job, what makes someone good at it, and shaking off the unnecessary attachment to signalling and certification.
Advice for Tech Professionals
Finally, Alison offered some advice for tech professionals looking to join companies in Silicon Valley or Paris. She emphasized the importance of being in the driver’s seat of one’s career, understanding one’s strengths, learning how to share them effectively, and working on improving communication and personal branding skills.
Concluding the interview, I thanked Alison for her insights and wished her success with her projects. It was a truly insightful discussion that shed light on the changing landscape of work and the role of tech in facilitating these changes.