Jessica Tillman

Vice President, Human Resources

Why are you working in human resources?

I love working with our current employees and finding other great employees for Bovitz. I enjoy telling people about our wonderful company and finding those who would be a great fit for it. Market research is such a niche industry, and it's so challenging to find the right people for it. No one grows up saying they want to be a market researcher, so discovering that fit is a lot of fun. It's so rare that it's exciting when it happens. And then I also like helping our employees day-to-day and, if possible, seeing them through a big chunk of their career—I've known some people here for 9 or 10 years of their career, and that's incredibly rewarding.

If you weren't, what else would you be doing?

I would be a therapist. I like listening to people and helping people.

What's one of the best pieces of advice you've ever gotten?

Sometimes people don't want their problems fixed or for you to offer up a solution; sometimes they just want to be heard. I learned about that idea in a college course on male and female communication and how they tend to think about communication differently. In my role at Bovitz, I try to offer people what they really need—just like we try to offer our clients what they really need, not necessarily what they say they need. So, this idea reminds me to figure out if we should be working toward a solution or if someone just wants to feel like someone else is there for them. I always want to help people, but this idea is about discovering what help really looks like to a given person.

Tell me one thing you love about working at Bovitz.

Gosh, there's so much. I love how people-first we are when it comes to our employees. If someone wants to change their career path, or try something on for size, or introduce something, it's a very easy process for that to happen. There isn't a lot of red tape or bureaucracy, so people ultimately get to do what they want to do without jumping through a ton of hoops. I think that's really rare in the professional world. One of the most satisfying parts of my job is to watch people grow here; when we interview people, we imagine where they could go with their talent, so I love seeing that come to fruition.

Why is being people-first important to you?

It's the idea that we think about our employees in everything we do and implement. Not just what would be best for a single person, but what would be most equitable across all employees.

Tell me about one of your colleagues.

I really want to say something about everyone—that everyone has a great sense of humor, is incredibly intelligent, and is just a really good person. But someone in particular? I pick Jenny. Jenny was my second hire ever. I've loved seeing her evolve from a Research Assistant to a Vice President. She's so intelligent and talented and a great leader.

What's one quality you admire in someone else and wish you had more of?

I admire people who are more spontaneous and can speak off the cuff. I'm more Type A—always prepared, like to have everything in front of me—so I don't think I'm quite as great when I'm put on the spot. I admire people who can handle a question being thrown at them, or being called upon to do something, or speak to something extemporaneously. I feel like Carey does this really well, and that makes him more relatable and less stiff when speaking in front of a group.

What inspires you?

I get inspired when I see our people enjoying each other and having fun together. Like when we have successful events as a company, or we have lunch in the park together, or we play Mario Kart, or Greg goes surfing with Ben and Charlie. It gives me the warm-fuzzies. Everyone we hire is so interesting, and I love it when people get comfortable and that comes out. It lets me know that we're doing something right, so it inspires me to keep doing what we're doing but also to keep improving.

What's something that people are surprised to learn about you?

That I like country music. It doesn't really fit with how I grew up; I don't have any traditional ties to it, like family in the South or anything. I started listening to it because my neighbor who drove me to school in high school listened to it. And I like it because it's a great storytelling art form. I always like the melodies, whether it's a slower ballad or a barn-burner.

What's your happy place?

My happy place would definitely have to be going to the Farmer's Market with my husband Michael and daughter Lila on a relaxing Saturday morning. We love running into all of our friends from the neighborhood, sampling the fresh fruits and veggies, and Lila loves the live music. It's a great way to spend time with our family in the beautiful Southern California weather.

In the Industry: Since 2002

At Bovitz: Since 2007

Education: BA in Mass Media Communications from UCLA

Her best quality: Strong work ethic