2020 Executive Excellence Awards: Shauna Swerland, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Fuel Talent

Fuel’s relationship-driven approach going beyond surface-level connections sets it apart

This article appears in print in the January/February 2020 issue. See more about the winners of the 2020 Executive Excellence Awards here. Click here for a free subscription.

If there’s anything Shauna Swerland learned in her 25-year career as a recruiter, it’s the value of relationships.

Swerland worked in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York before realizing the need for a “high-touch, one-stop” boutique recruiting firm that could fill multiple recruiting needs. She relocated to her Seattle hometown in 2009 and launched Fuel Talent, a company that works across a wide range of positions and industries, including technology, engineering, human resources, marketing, sales and finance.

Fuel’s approach encompasses all the usual suspects — complex Boolean searches, heavy résumé vetting, face-to-face meet-ups, phone screens and reference checking — but Fuel’s “fanatical” relationship-driven approach that goes beyond surface-level connections sets it apart. Swerland built her business around six core values: drive, integrity, efficiency, respect, accountability and excellence.

During her career, Swerland has opened eight offices and hired, trained and managed more than 100 recruiters. She estimates she has helped more than 10,000 people find jobs.

“We are honored to be matching talent with the most innovative, fast-moving and dynamic companies in Seattle and around the country,” she says.

Swerland recently also started a podcast, “What Fuels You,” which features high-profile leaders throughout the Seattle business community.

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