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Ariel Inwen Pao

Talent Acquisition | Recruiting Operations & HR Systems

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

My goal is to make the world a better place, one hire at a time. 

Download my resume here.

On Twitter? Follow me: @arielinwen

Books  I am really more like a Belle than Ariel when it comes to reading.

Latest favorite read: "Born A Crime" by Trevor Noah. 

Food: Apothecary  You are what you eat. I enjoy making my own personal care products with herbs and other natural ingredients.

Art  Etsy. Local thrift stores. Upcycling & repurposing things. 

Fashion  I have a soft spot for socks and anything with patent leather or faux fur.

Yoga  Relaxation at its best when you breathe right. 

Standup Comedy  How can you not love funny people? 

Work experience

Mar 2020Present

Technical Recruiter

Amazon Web Services
Dec 2019Feb 2020

Senior Technical Sourcer

  • Process Improvement | Employer Branding | Diversity
    Challenged status quo and suggested impactful employer branding initiatives.
  • Proactively applied market and competitive intelligence to improve the 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.
Aug 2019Nov 2019



Backpacked through 17 cities in 11 European countries.

Jun 2017Jul 2019

Technical Sourcer

  • 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.
Nov 2015Jun 2017

Technical Recruiter

  • 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 contents 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.
  • 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


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


  • 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 using boolean search 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 succession planning program 
  • Designed and implemented 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
  • Planed 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 check, 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 Boolean logic search on Google

•   Researched various applicant tracking systems and contact vendors for product demonstration and quotes

•   Developed recruiting strategies and initiate 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 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 on 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 art work, 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

    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

    Jan 2007May 2007

    Food and Beverage Cast Member

    Walt Disney World Co.

    • 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