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I. Ariel Pao

Talent Acquisition | Recruiting Operations & Technology | Diversity & Inclusion

Hi there, thanks for stopping by my online portfolio! :)

I aim to make the world a better place, one hire at a time. 

I specialize in the lifecycle recruitment of technical talent at both startups & big techs. 

Creative: visual, product design, ux/ui, prototyping

Data Science: analytics/statistics, machine learning, natural language processing, experimentation/a/b testing

Engineering: backend, frontend, full-stack, ux/ui, devops, security, quality/testing, mobile/android/ios, database, data, infrastructure, cloud, network, system/embedded, technical program management

Research: consumer insights, ux, qualitative, quantitative, mixed-methods, survey

On Twitter? Follow me: @arielinwen

My hobbies: reading, cooking, apothecary, DIY, yoga, comedy

Work experience

Nov 2021Present

Technical Recruitment Consultant


Clients served:

[Course Hero] Series C Edtech, San Francisco/Vancouver/Toronto: Product Designers, UX Researcher, Data Scientists, Technical Product Manager, Director of Analytics

[Pave] Series B Fintech, San Francisco/NYC: Data Engineers, Full-Stack Engineers, Backend Engineers, Data Scientists

My goal is to provide world-class services to my clients and maintain a value-driven technology ecosystem through intelligent talent acquisition practices. 

I engage niche talent pools using a custom sourcing strategy, progressive pipeline management, and employer branding initiatives.

I partner with leadership to build scalable recruitment operations via proactive time management and integrated principles under the company’s vision and mission. I advocate for an equitable interview process and investment to optimize the diversity & inclusion efforts. 

I care about why we do what we do, who we serve, how we perform, and what new technology to use to stay relevant and strategic. I make actionable recommendations to influence changes throughout the funnel based on meaningful talent metrics and analytics. With an academic background in I/O Psychology and human resources management, I take a consultative and holistic approach to delivering quality short-term results and long-term impact on the individual requisition level to the overall organizational culture and growth.

I follow the latest trends and innovations in technology, and I incorporate different product development disciplines and user-centric approaches into how I interact and collaborate with hiring managers and candidates. I am passionate about data integrity and continuous improvement of tooling and systems to allow sensible automation and increased productivity. 

Oct 2020Oct 2021

Recruiting Researcher


Reporting to Recruiting Manager, hiring senior engineering talent & leaders across mobile, embedded, web, security, and TPM [9k employees]

Challenge: In a "No Rules Rules" and "People Over Process" environment, the candidate selection and evaluation framework could be prone to subjectivity and possible adverse impact.

Solution: I reduced inefficiency and potential bias by promoting greater consistency within the recruitment workflow and accessibility throughout the candidate journey.

  • Decreased time to hire by 20+%, 25 offer extends in a year (50% passive, 16 URGs, 3 leaders, RPS to offer: 6%)
  • Informed hiring managers of talent intelligence; proposed and implemented changes in interview structures, compensation, branding, outreach and communication templates, and candidate preparation materials
  • Trained new researchers with a centralized knowledge depository & talent mapping framework
  • Partnered with leadership, recruiters, and researchers to implement candidate sharing and centralized recruitment model
Mar 2020Aug 2020

Senior Sourcing Recruiter

Amazon Web Services

Reporting to Sr TA Manager, recruiting L6 senior creative talent in UX/UI, Product Design, Research, & Prototyping [70k employees]

Challenge: AWS Design is growing and the TA team was tasked to build the in-house design studio and embedded design teams.

Solution: I collaborated with the leadership & recruiting coordination team to help scale its recruiting operations by standardizing processes & centralizing knowledge management.

  • Built, maintained, and scaled onboarding knowledge resources for new recruiters to learn how to streamline varied processes and documentations between systems & tools and adhere to rules of engagement
  • Drove the standardization of communication templates throughout the funnel such as candidate prep materials, scheduling, confirmation, referral, split loops, candidate disposition among coordinators & recruiters

Diversity & Inclusion:

  • Proactively sourced underrepresented minorities via both online and offline channels such as Linkedin groups, Twitter, Facebook, Meetup, blog posts, conferences, associations, hackathons, tech talks, and Bootcamps 
  • Built boolean strings for women, African Americans, Latinx, Native Americans using schools (HBCU/HACU), fraternity/sorority, alumni groups, natural language, hashtags, scholarships, Bootcamps
Dec 2019Feb 2020

Senior Technical Sourcer


Reporting to Sourcing Manager, recruiting IC5a/IC5b senior engineers in mobile development [20k employees]

Challenge: Uber Freight is a strategic product for Uber’s profitability. With minimal product awareness, limited data integrity, and manual recruiting processes, we aimed to scale our recruitment efforts while meeting the Rooney Rule.

Solution: I partnered with senior engineering leaders & marketing to create tailored content for a diverse audience and potential candidates. 

  • Challenged the status quo and suggested impactful employer branding initiatives.
  • Proactively applied market and competitive intelligence to improve team performance and overall operational excellence.
  • Established gender-neutral, culturally sensitive messaging across outreach emails.
  • Audited application workflow & diversity efforts to ensure EEO compliance and positive candidate experience.
  • Drove referrals and lead generation from Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and shared inclusive practices with hiring managers and interviewers for continuous improvement
Aug 2019Nov 2019



Backpacked through 17 cities in 11 European countries.

Jun 2017Jul 2019

Technical Sourcer


Reported to Sourcing Manager, engaging IC5-IC6 senior talent in Data Science, Marketing Research & UX for Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus- AR/VR [30k employees]

Challenge: Established in 2014, Product Marketing is a young team with new hiring managers and lean recruiting support. With minimal historic data and candidate pipelining, we built its recruiting fundamentals such as job description creation, tools optimization, and interviewer training while meeting aggressive hiring goals.

Solution: I leveraged data to source talent, standardize processes & scale recruiting operations quickly.

  • Influenced and drove recruiting & diversity strategy for Decision Science (Marketing Analytics), Marketing Research, and User Experience Research team. Sourced for difficult, complex, and niche roles in ambiguous situations such as leadership change or reorg.
  • Established strong relationships with hiring managers/team members/cross-functional partners. Enabled success of self and others through internal network development and shared insights to increase productivity across the org.
  • Used data to understand problems and influenced outcome; acted as a SME for recruiting-related functions and process improvement with strong operational rigor and ROI analysis.
  • Challenged status quo and implemented innovative and impactful recruiting initiatives. Proactively applied market and competitive intelligence to improve the team performance and overall operational excellence of recruiting.
  • Tested new CRM & ATS features, provided feedback on implementation, & trained users on adoption. Projects included but not limited to dupe checking/merging, referral program, hiring manager collaboration dashboard, similar candidates/suggested candidates, saved searches, tagging, resume reviews.
  • Conducted non-industry specific searches to expand the candidate pool using keywords instead of titles or companies. Automated custom diversity searches within ATS and external search engines across talent pipelines.
Nov 2015Jun 2017

Technical Recruiter


Reported to Recruiting Manager, recruiting IC3-IC6 engineering & product talent for a leading SaaS company [1000 employees]

Challenge: Established in 2008, this Salt Lake City-based MOOC & LMS company exhausted the local talent pool and had little diversity in their engineering team and was not well-known outside of Utah. 

Solution: With a defined employee value proposition for candidate engagement & refined sourcing methodology, I doubled the staff and met the hiring goal as a sole full-cycle recruiter in a satellite office. 

  • Strategy & Ideation
    • Defined Instructure's employee value proposition to attract and engage target talent in software engineering based on industry intel.
    • Researched and identified niche groups in the community for candidate engagement and pipeline building.
  • Execution & Implementation
    • Automated searches and candidate alerts across multiple custom search engines. 
    • Built geo-specific branded career pages and created cross-link content to drive visitor traffic, job-seeker interest, and online social followers.
      • Glassdoor, builtinChicago, Instagram,
    • Boosted employee referral rate via proactive collaboration and communications with current employees. 
    • Established campus recruitment program and localized interview processes for the Chicago market and diversity initiatives.
    • Created tailored messaging for each passive candidate.
    • Drove referrals and lead generation, paired candidates with URM advocates, and shared inclusive practices with hiring managers and interviewers for continuous improvement
  • Analysis & Improvement
    • Refined sourcing methodology and interview processes according to candidate and new hire feedback.
    • Optimized search strings based on hiring analytics and reactivated leads for just-in-time recruiting. 
Jul 2015Oct 2015

Technical Talent Consultant


Helped launch a tech staff augmentation startup founded by DevMynd (now Tandem), a digital consulting firm. Grew business accounts, configured software and workflows, and activated target candidates.

Jan 2014Jul 2015

Talent Acquisition Specialist


Reported to HRBP, recruiting technical & marketing talent across intern to director-level for a new subsidiary of W.W. Grainger [155 employees]

Challenge: Established in 2011, this e-commerce start-up had limited employer presence in the industry, trying to attract and engage target talent who were unwilling to commute from Chicago to the suburbs.  

Solution: With extensive research and internet sourcing, I identified and connected with potential candidates as a Zoro advocate and actively advised hiring managers on industry trends and talent supply/demand.

Tried everything that made sense when it comes to recruiting. Hiring digital marketing and IT positions in SEM/SEO, creative/marketing/content/analytics, software development (front-end, back-end, full-stack), data science, system administration, data architecture, QA, & project management.

  • Sourcing
    • LinkedIn (everything a Recruiter seat buys)
    • X-Ray using self-built Google CSE and built-in CSE site (
    • Resume search (indeed resume, careerbuilder resume, outplacement sites, and organic file search on
  • Diversity
    • Managed external vendors to ensure EEO compliance and enhance employer branding, applicant user experience, and job ads SEO (DirectEmployers, Indeed, Glassdoor, Linkedin, stackoverflow, BuiltinChicago)
  • Employer Branding
    • Company career pages on stackoverflow, github, etc.
    • Corporate career page recommendation on UX/UI/SEO improvement
  • Social Media Recruiting
    • LinkedIn updates and groups
    • Facebook groups
    • Twitter
    • Reddit
  • Recruiting Technology
    • ATS implementation
    • Partnership with diversity recruitment organizations
Mar 2012Jan 2014

Corporate HR Generalist

Great Dane LP

Reported to VP of HR, supporting HR transformation for a leading trailer manufacturer [4,700 employees]

Challenge: Established in 1900, this legendary manufacturer needed to build its centralized, shared HR services with strategic goals to digitize processes, reduce costs, minimize risks, and increase efficiency. 

Solution: I audited company policies and procedures and developed action plans for each strategic goal.


  • Augmented LinkedIn Talent Brand Index from 9% to 32% within a year, making the company the strongest branded employer on all major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, instagram, Youtube, mobile app) compared to industry competitors
  • Created company career page, coauthored company social media policy, and built online employer branding through social media presence (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
  • Sourced nationally for both exempt and non-exempt positions across IT, Accounting, Marketing, Operations, HR, Sales from intern to director-level using Boolean searches on and LinkedIn Recruiter; placed three senior management positions that were vacant for months within the first eight weeks of employment
  • Developed and implemented progressive recruiting strategy and processes (requisition and ATS) as the lead corporate recruiter, utilizing multiple niche sites such as Bullhorn Reach, the Ladders,, StackOverflow, Reddit
  • Increase applicant volume by 156% and company visibility by 700% with the first three months of employment (70 applicants/689 views on career page in March to 253 applicants/4,763 clicks on job postings in June)

Human Resources:

  • Effectuated organizational development programs, including Succession Planning, Employee Activity Committee, Employee Referral Program, Employee Perks Program, Service Award Program, and Fundraising Campaign
  • Automated HR data management by implementing web-based Employee Action Forms, online Employee Directory, Applicant Tracking System, Scholarship Program, and HR Intranet Portal

{Corporate-level Responsibilities: 4,000+ employees}

  • Served as the interim project manager for ADP implementation, responsible for ensuring data integrity, gathering requirements, producing progress reports, and collaborating with IT team to prepare for data integration
  • Partnered with functional leaders to institute a succession planning program 
  • Designed and implemented a progressive recruiting strategy and processes that address the complete cycle of talent acquisition and retention
  • Developed relationships with local/veteran employment services, universities, and trade associations
  • Planned an Engineering Internship Program to build a critical talent pipeline
  • Worked in liaison with staffing agencies for company-wide staffing needs
  • Conducted job analysis on all exempt positions and establish salary grades and structures
  • Produced organizational charts, HR metrics, and ad hoc reports
  • Administered Service Award, Scholarship and Tuition Reimbursement programs
  • Staffed senior management for a subsidiary start-up and trained the HR Manager

{Interim Retail HR Generalist from March '12-'13: 500 employees}

  • Served as the main HR support for all employee relations issues at 24 nation-wide retail locations in 14 states
  • Advised corrective or disciplinary actions aligned with company policy, local and federal employment laws
  • Processed, verified, and maintained personnel-related documentation for over 100 new hires and rehires, including but not limited to background checks, new hire, e-verify, and status change
  • Administered benefits enrollment, declared events, and handled leaves of absence requests (LTD/FMLA/Military leave)
  • Updated HR policies and streamlined employment action procedures
Nov 2011Feb 2012

Recruiting Coordinator/Volunteer

John G. Shedd Aquarium
  • Increased the candidate pool by 25% via LinkedIn groups, target association sites, and industry contacts
  • Sourced nationally for both exempt and non-exempt positions and presented qualified candidates to hiring managers
  • Posted jobs on various job boards and social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Pre-screened resumes, conducted phone interviews and reference checks
  • Sourced additional candidates using a Boolean logic search on Google
  • Researched various applicant tracking systems and contact vendors for product demonstration and quotes
  • Developed recruiting strategies and initiated relevant projects regarding hiring veterans
    Sep 2011Dec 2011

    Employment Program Specialist

    Vietnamese Association of Illinois
    • Assisted refugees or low-income residents with their employment needs by providing the following services but not limited to: career guidance, resume writing, interview preparation, and job search skills
    • Generated individual job seeking and action plans based on skill assessment and competency evaluation results
    • Performed or demonstrated online job search procedure
    • Contacted staffing agents or recruiters and attended career fairs for job leads and placements
    • Prepared clients with current job search techniques by integrating social networking platforms into job search strategy
    Sep 2011Dec 2011

    Independent Project Consultant

    South-East Asia Center
    • Created Client Satisfaction Survey in both English and Mandarin Chinese to understand the clients' needs and assess the client experience with the services provided at South-East Asia Center• Trained staff on how to administer and collect the survey correctly to minimize the potential bias and errors
    • Input confidential data including intern work hours, social security benefits, and other governmental assistance applications
    • Interpreted for intake workers with Mandarin-speaking only clients 
    Jan 2011May 2011

    Market Research Assistant

    Platt Retail Institute
    • Developed survey based on research findings of young consumers' buying behavior and media consumption pattern
    • Launched survey on to assess young shopper styles and the effectiveness of advertising strategies
    • Wrote advertising copy for attracting potential survey participants on and
    • Analyzed collected data and interpret results into a written report, including graphs and tables
    Aug 2009Apr 2011

    M.A. Student in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 3.82

    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

    Team Collaborations

    • Performance review system for Casa Central | March 2010
    • Job analysis and structured interview guide for TCS Education System | April 2011
    Sep 2010Dec 2010

    Staff Training Intern

    John G. Shedd Aquarium
    • Researched best practices in training design and execution
    • Assisted with other HR projects such as recruiting when needed
    • Generated, administered, and collected the training evaluations via• Maintained course registration data in ACCESS• Created course presentations and materials in PowerPoint

    Final Products:

    • Designed a professional eLearning course by using Adobe Captivate
    • Formulated a volunteer and intern's manual for managing training evaluations on
    • Created a user's manual for, an online volunteer management interface
    • Built a task manual for Staff Training Intern position
    Aug 2009Jun 2010

    Foreign Language Instructor

    Garfield Park Preparatory Academy
    • Created Mandarin curriculum with interactive lessons, including artwork, dances, music, and PowerPoint Presentation
    • Enhanced children's self-awareness and self-worth by celebrating diversity and multiculturalism
    • Prepared 90 students with beginner-level knowledge and skills of state-standard foreign language programs
    • Oversaw the Foreign Language Program, including instructor recruitment and parent newsletter distribution
    Oct 2008Jun 2009

    Assistant Manager at Nine West

    Jones Apparel Group, Inc.
    • Directed operational initiatives involving loss prevention, compliance functions, and quality assurance
    • Reduced inventory by monitoring invoices, sales transactions, staff incidents, and shrinkage goals
    • Ensured quality of customer services by providing client-centered solutions and suggestions
    • Delegated tasks and supervised subordinates with continuous performance feedback and action plans for development
    • Maintained operational reports and communications with management team regarding sales and employee performance
    May 2008Jul 2008

    Research Assistant

    Sam Houston State University
    • Performed literature searches on EBSCOhost and ERIC on the topic of social challenges of cancer patients with facial disfigurement
    • Conducted qualitative analysis such as identifying research methods and interpreting results within each scholarly journal
    • Collected, reduced, edited, filed data in Excel according to professors’ research focus
    Jan 2007May 2007

    Food and Beverage Cast Member

    Walt Disney World Co.

    Disney College Program

    • Greeted and served restaurant patrons following the Disney Traditions_ safety, courtesy, show, and efficiency
    • Took orders at the cash register and balanced the drawer at the end of the shift
    • Maintained the floor by performing food safety procedures, stocking items, and cleaning the tables and self-service stations
    Jun 2006May 2008

    Librarian Assistant

    Sam Houston State University
    • Processed, shelved, displayed, or stored new books, periodicals, gift books, or withdrawn books
    • Executed technical projects such as label and archival correction, order card classification, and volume relocation
    • Maintained cataloging data using Workflow, OCLC, and WorldCat