Magnet Attracts Talent: Case Studies in Hiring Young Professionals

By James Phillips

Madison Magnet is a non-profit organization that supports Madison’s young professionals in all walks of life. One of the reasons that we have been the most successful young professional community since 2004 is our dedication to inclusivity, with members in over 15 different fields. Young professional talent attraction has been a hot topic in Madison for the last few months and as part of our mission of elevating young professionals Magnet is more than just ‘happy hours,’ providing lasting relationships that benefits both employers and potential employees.

Recently, as I spoke with three Madison Magnet members who have hired other young professionals as a result of networking at Magnet events. These three case studies in property management, banking and marketing are all very different fields but all showcase the value of a wide and connected network.

Brandon Blackmer, Madison Magnet Membership Chair and GM the Hub,

“As part of Magnet, I have had the pleasure of interacting with so many different young professionals at all kinds of events.  This has led to many conversations surrounding work life, personal events, and more.  As the Senior Manager at work, I am always looking for qualified candidates to fill open roles within the company, and it is great when sometimes they come right to you.

At an event late last year, I ran into a member and their guest at an event and we struck up a conversation about the work that we both do, which was in the same field.  I really enjoyed my conversation, and passed along my card, as well as our open job opportunities. They ended up applying for the role, and a month later, was hired by a team of people at work. I can personally say that Magnet helped me give another young professional a chance at a job that they would not have otherwise gotten.  It is definitely a huge help to know your people prior to, or during, the interview process, and the regular events and networking opportunities provided by Magnet definitely helps us to build those employee relationships even more strongly.”

Attending an event like a happy hour allows members to open up, talk about social life as well as professional topics without the feeling of being in an interview, allowing potential hiring managers to get to know people without the stress and pressure of a formal interview

Jaime Rowe, Madison Magnet marketing committee member and Mortgage Operations Manager at Settlers Bank

 Jaime echoed Brandon’s sentiment, adding “I don’t go to Magnet events to look for potential employees. My favorite part is hearing what others do- not just for jobs but hobbies and interests. I’m learning so much! But as the adage says, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.

Monica Hickey, Madison Magnet President and Director at Ideas that Evoke

“The young professionals that I’ve met through Madison Magnet events represent the go-getters, the cream of the crop. I recently hired a contact I met at Magnet who found me at our monthly networking event and impressed me not only with her thoughtfulness and insight (post original job interview), but also with her enthusiasm and never-quit attitude.

 Cold networking can be an uncomfortable situation for many but there’s an X-factor when someone is dedicated to growth and community involvement that I’ve seen in Magnet’s members!”

In an age of distinguishing yourself from the talent pool, our professional and networking events are a great way for young professionals to expand their networks and provides employers who are looking for the best-of-the-best an opportunity to get in front of Madison’s best!

Have a success story to share from your time with Magnet? Send us a note to

Photo by Caleb Jahr Photography