Rapid Career Progression: Massi Pagnotta, Robert Walters San Francisco
Consultant Massi Pagnotta has had a broad range of life experiences that have shaped him into one of our top recruiters in San Francisco. After joining the Go-to-Market B2B team in March of 2021, Massi has been promoted, awarded employee of Q3 and named the #1 top biller of Q4…all within less than a year. Although he started his career with no consulting experience, his work ethic and overall attitude towards recruitment has made a huge impact on his personal growth and his team’s as well. Read more about his career story and his perception of why working at Robert Walters opens many doors to success:
Where did you work before joining Robert Walters?
I was one of those “pandemic grads,” where I graduated right before the pandemic happened. I thought I could afford to take some time to figure out what I wanted to do while I worked at a retail company, Vince. I started as a retail associate and grew into a customer relationship lead, where I had a clientele-base relationship with customers. However, it wasn’t the most fulfilling job. Following that, the 2020 election was very serious to me, and I wanted to do my part. I fell into an opportunity to work on a political action committee “Progress Action Fund.” At first, I helped build their logo and brand identity, but they started losing money, so I volunteered to fundraise for them. I would cold call big-ticket raisers asking for donations to support specific democratic candidates. It was a great opportunity for me because I knew I was making an impact where I truly cared, but after a while I started to experience burn out …it was exhausting and of course once the election ended so did that job.
What attracted you to working in recruitment?
When I was looking for a new job, I went on LinkedIn and applied to everything I could. And as a recruiter, I know now that doesn’t help haha. However, I also reached out to a few Robert Walters recruiters for help and one of them who I connected with (one of San Francisco’s top billers at the time) really pulled me in. She wanted to chat and help me find what I was looking for, which really helped me think of fields I could get into. It wasn’t my first thought to get into recruitment, but what attracted me to becoming a recruiter was the way they sold it to me, and then it ended up being exactly that. Throughout the interview process I could tell everyone I was talking with was a great recruiter, because they really sold this job to me.
Why did you want to work for Robert Walters?
It was the people, but also a very specific reason to me was the diversity. I grew up in a very international household and was brought up to be attracted to a diverse environment. I went to a British International School in Rome growing up. And then I went to college at USC in LA, which is notoriously diverse and filled with different cultures -- I love that. I just had this feeling that I’d have that similar experience at Robert Walters. And the international opportunities they offer are just incredible – we have offices in 31 countries. You can go work in Paris or Hong Kong or wherever and you don’t have to find a new job, that’s amazing!
What do you like best about your role?
In its own way, I’ve been able to bring my own spin, approach, personality and character to this job and day-to-day interactions. I haven’t been confined to what Robert Walters or my manager thinks a recruiter should and shouldn’t do. Besides the tools and training, the workplace autonomy this role gives allows us to unleash our potential and grow into the best recruiters we can be. And I don’t think I could be the best recruiter I can be without being myself. I’ve been celebrated and rewarded for my individuality here.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
I think within the span of three months or less I made my first placement, and after that it was like a domino effect, and I just hit the ground running. Then, I worked up to a point where I was voted employee of Q3, and for it only being my second quarter at Robert Walters I thought that was a big achievement. Robert Walters isn’t a KPI company, they observe people holistically and reward them based on merit. I was also promoted within 7 months, which comes with more perks obviously, but what it did above all else was made me realize the work I was doing was being recognized.
What advice would you give to someone new to recruitment?
Take every call. Take every opportunity to take a call. You can’t imagine the things I’ve achieved just by picking up someone’s call. One out of ten times it might be worthwhile, but that one out of ten times might mean a placement or a client. It’s almost funny how things can play out, if you’re going to be picky or selective to take a 15-minute call then you’re limiting yourself on a possible opportunity. Just take the call. Reply to the email. Answer your LinkedIn inmail messages. The more that you put yourself out there, the more things will transpire in your favor.
Get in touch with our Talent Acquisition team to find out more about exciting opportunities in the US.
Check out more career stories from our people
While spending six years behind a computer working as a quality engineer, Sevan decided his skills would find him great success in a new career – recruitment. And after starting his career at Robert Walters in our Paris office as an industrial engineer consultant, he’s made his way back home to San Francisco to reunite with family and embrace the opportunities and challenges he’d find working in a new market and new team.