Women Who Inspire: Michelle Hamman


Michelle Hamman, Prime 8 Director of Talent Acquisition, has a serious passion for helping companies thrive and grow in today’s fast paced, ever-changing marketplace by helping match individuals to great roles and fulfilling careers which allow them to partner together and be their absolute best.

As a top flight recruiting professional with many years of experience and a deep network of stellar candidates, Michelle knows that personal connections, professional respect, open and honest communication and being genuine in your relationships is the secret sauce that it takes for long term success in recruiting and in the broader business community.

Being a true Seattle native, Michelle is absolutely in awe with everything about this city and the Pacific Northwest. She loves spending time with her family, sipping on a cup of Starbucks, cooking, entertaining and adventuring!

As part of the strong female leadership contingent at Prime 8, we asked Michelle to share her story in celebration of International Women’s Day/Month - her role as a leader, her advice for other business women, how she maintains a work life balance, and what she looks for in successful candidates.


Describe a day in the life of a Director of Talent Acquisition.

Building relationship with candidates, with clients, with my team, with the extended team, with hiring managers – it’s all about building relationships. Multi-tasking is a necessity and being able to successfully juggle all the moving pieces that come with talent acquisition is the most important (and challenging) piece. I spend most of my day talking with candidates and networking across the industry. Working with my team to develop strategies around how we efficiently fill open positions while maintaining constant communication with the candidates we are actively working with.  Prime 8’s reputation in the industry, and in the Seattle area, is top notch -  in recruiting – that’s huge! You have to be able to sell your company and really, truly believe in it. If you don’t, candidates can tell right away. I love that I get to sell something that I love being a part of – being able to bring others into such a great environment is beyond rewarding.

What are three things that stand out to you in successful candidates?

Honesty, transparency, and humility. Many candidates have the right skillset for what we are looking for. What makes candidates stand out for me are those three qualities. I am honest and transparent with candidates, and I expect the same from them…it makes for a strong, long term relationship. And being extremely confident is great; I love when people know they are great at what they do – but having humility is equally as important.

How do you feel women shape the business world?

Women bring a completely different perspective to the business world. We are multi-taskers by nature, and exceptional at efficiency. When you have women in business, you have strong drivers, relationship builders, and great listeners. Women value work-life balance and bring positive change to workplace culture. We are driven by teamwork, and value coming together to share ideas and best practices.

What advice do you have for finding work life balance?

It’s tough with technology because we’re on 24/7 – it’s part of our culture. But it’s so important to shut off and recharge so you don’t get burned out. For yourself, for your family, for your health and for your quality of work. I have two little ones, and it’s important that I don’t miss moments with them, so balancing is something I do every day. Prioritizing action items and knowing that the rest won’t fall apart if I wait until the next day to complete. Email is a big one – we’re conditioned to feel we need to read and respond immediately. I’m guilty (admittedly!) of this and have had to make an effort to actually “shut down” once I close my laptop for the night.

What advice do you have for business women?

Always remember that you have an opportunity to make a huge impact. Let your voice be heard, even if you’re scared. It’s tough sometimes if you are surrounded by powerful leaders, or if you are one of the only women on a team, to stand up and speak your mind or share your ideas. But your voice needs to be heard – every single business that exists would fail if there weren’t women employees. Not some, or most businesses…ALL of them.