“People who know what they want in a workplace.”
Those are the jobseekers who impress the well-travelled wine collector, Pi Beta Phi sister, and recruiter.
If the name Marlies Farrill (pronounced MAR-lease FAIR-ul) sounds familiar, you’re likely one of thousands of Career Edge candidates or hiring managers whose lives her work has touched. That’s because she completed her eight-month Career Edge paid internship in 2016 – at Career Edge.
Marlies first heard of Career Edge through her work with the Human Resources Professionals Association, serving Humber College’s Human Resources Student Association as Communications Director for one term, and President for another. Originally studying international development, she described her undergraduate journey as “windy,” graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resources Management before joining Career Edge as a recruiter.
“I was a brand new grad, so the opportunity to learn and grow from talented recruiters was a fantastic opportunity. The team truly believed in me, and my manager taught me so much. He is still a mentor to this day.”
Her internship coach, then-Vice President of Partnerships and Recruitment Graham Sogawa, said, “When I met Marlies, what really stood out was how passionate she was about our business and how much she was personally invested in helping newcomers, persons with disabilities, and graduates.”
As a recruiter, she recruited diverse talent, focusing on Career Edge’s graduates with disabilities program. She advised candidates with disabilities, providing coaching, resume assistance, and interview preparation, while working with employer partners to ensure accommodations were met. She elevated the program, reaching out to existing employer partners, and supporting special projects with new companies to increase workforce representation.
Her former coach said he devoted a half hour weekly to listen to his intern’s suggestions.
“She’s a dreamer and a big-picture thinker…she likes to have ideas.”
He said those ideas drastically improved the candidate intake process and talent pipeline. When an organizational need emerged, he said Marlies’ creativity and desire to work closer with clients led to a full-time position and then subsequent promotion.
“In some ways, Marlies created her own role.”
As a talent manager, she managed 22 employer partner relationships. Marlies also trained team members on screening candidates with disabilities and assisted in creating a sourcing strategy that led to a 19 per cent registration increase. In any given two-month span, Marlies would’ve spoken to at least one fifth of Career Edge’s candidates.
“Career Edge instilled in me the value of being able to recruit for a wide variety of roles, as well as a strong partnership with hiring managers and candidates. That focus on candidate and employer experience continues to serve me well today,” she said.
Those inside – and outside – the office recognized. Her work attracted the attention of a recruiter at Rangle, the digital design consultancy.
“I didn’t consider a career in tech. I wasn’t exposed to folks in tech growing up, so it was very exciting! I spent the first few months learning – luckily I had another amazing mentor there who supports me to this day.”
At Rangle, Marlies sourced and recruited for positions in finance, marketing, and software delivery. She led campus recruitment initiatives and supported special HR projects.
The transition to the technology sector fulfilled an item on her career wish list. Having dreamt of working abroad, she’d applied earlier in her career for opportunities overseas but didn’t have the valued experience. She said her time at Career Edge, move to the technology industry, and fortunate Dutch citizenship allowed her to work abroad. Employed as a contractor, her first experience working at a large company taught her how organizations scale their recruiting teams. Marlies lived at her Oma’s (grandmother in Dutch) apartment with her brother in Heemstede, a town of 27,000 people, 20 minutes by train west of Amsterdam, Netherlands. She said she cherished the time spent with family.
“When I moved over, my aunt there was quite sick and later passed. Being with the family during that period is something I am very grateful for.”
Since returning to Toronto, she’s spent time at award-winning technology start-ups Prodigy Game and Ritual. She raved about Prodigy Game’s recruitment managers, onboarding experience, and the product’s social purpose. Marlies described Ritual’s technical team as “absolutely incredible.” Always passionate about launching the careers of students and new graduates, Marlies assumed leadership of Ritual’s co-op program, hiring more than 40 interns set to begin this month.
Her favourite post-Career Edge success story belongs to the technology sector. Never taking a ‘hard sell’ approach, she recruited two engineers named Ben from Idaho – two years apart at different companies – to relocate to Toronto. Marlies provides as much information as possible, and when applicable, helps with finding an apartment or realtor, the immigration process, and settling dependents. She considered Career Edge’s candidates with disabilities and those the program helped a close second to the two Bens. Marlies remembered placing a visually impaired candidate in a municipal public service role.
She advised today’s candidates to make authentic relationships and connect with all types of people. She said she’s a fan of the informational interview because asking for advice “will always serve you well.”
When she’s not hiking with her husband and golden retriever Athena, adding to her wine collection which features wine from Bordeaux, and more travelling (she’s been to Holland, Madrid, Calgary, Norway, Belgium, and Berlin in the last year alone), she’s working hard to gain fluency in French at Alliance Francaise. She struggled with languages back in school, but believes “if you’re passionate, focused, and want to learn, anything is possible.”
Marlies has volunteered for the City of Toronto and National Educational Association of Disabled Students. She wants to continue creating inclusive workplaces, building diverse teams, and advocating for inclusive employee and recruitment processes.
“I’ve had some amazing managers, and they have given me a lot to live up to.”
She’s also learned about leadership through her women’s fraternity, Pi Beta Phi.
“A lot of folks are quite surprised that I belong to a woman’s fraternity. Pi Beta Phi shares my belief in servant leadership. Community service is a huge focus of the fraternity, and I share this value with them,” Marlies said.
Marlies recently became Properly’s first-ever HR hire as Talent Acquisition Lead. The technology start-up aims to transform the real estate process by giving users full autonomy over selling a home – and starting there next week, Marlies will focus on recruitment while supporting HR, diversity, and inclusion. She said the founders shared her excitement for building a talented, diverse team.
“I’m super excited to take all of the skills I’ve learned across my roles to this new opportunity. The founders Craig, Anshul, and Sheldon really impressed me, and I cannot wait to join the team!”
Before flying to her next destination, she reflected on where her flight originally took off – her Career Edge internship.
“There are so many ways it changed my life. I accessed many opportunities that I’m certain I wouldn’t have accessed without amazing leadership and mentorship. I learned from recruiters who led by example and constantly showed me the type of recruiter I wanted to be. The leadership team believed in me and challenged me, allowing me to help so many people living with disabilities. I feel lucky to be a footnote in their careers.”
The two workplaces where she’s spent the most time at showed her the value of open conversation and authenticity.
“I now know that if my workplace has a problem with me sharing my past experiences struggling with my mental health, they are not the place for me. I worked at Rangle and Career Edge for a while, and at both, I felt I could be the best version of myself – for me, that includes advocating and supporting others with mental health challenges.
“Diversity, inclusion, and belonging is super critical in the workplace. Everyone wants to be able to bring their most authentic self to work, and sadly, many folks face barriers to either finding work or bringing their full self to work. As someone who struggled with mental illness earlier in my life, it took a long time for me to find the types of workplaces where I felt I could be myself. I want that for everyone.”
The former Career Edge recruiter wants others to have what she has – a workplace where they feel they can be the best version of themselves.
Like the jobseekers who impress her, Marlies Farrill knows what she wants.