Westwood & Wilshire provides executive search services for world-changing companies. Their clients are primarily venture capital-backed startups and fast-growth companies in the life sciences-, health care- and advanced technology industries. They are based on the U.S. West coast and work nationwide as well as internationally. Now, SACC San Diego has met with Andrea Tegstam, not only an executive recruiter & director at Westwood & Wilshire but also Swedish, for a deeper insight into Westwood & Wilshire.
Could you please tell us about Westwood & Wilshire and your role as an executive recruiter & director? What are your major responsibilities and what are the company’s plans ahead in regards to the pandemic?
As an executive recruiter, I work closely with our clients to understand their market, attract and engage top talent, and manage the recruiting process until the winning candidate joins the company. It is very exciting to work closely with such innovative leaders and teams and to help grow these great companies. I am also Director of Westwood & Wilshire’s International Practice. With my background as a native Swedish and having lived 10 years in Japan and throughout Europe, I’m passionate about helping international clients as they grow on the U.S. market. With Westwood & Wilshire’s great track record of helping Life Science startups engaging leaders across functions and specialties, we are especially focused on speaking with high-growth Nordic life science companies and this was one of the triggers to join SACC-San Diego.
As people and talent is our core competence, we are putting extra effort into helping our clients navigate these challenging times. These days, HR is increasingly driving changes to the way organizations work and plan for the future. We are part of this dialogue both offering new services and hosting webinars with companies offering tools and solutions to help organizations navigate.
What has, according to you, been the biggest challenge vs. the greatest reward with working outside of Sweden?
This is my second time living in the San Fransisco Bay Area and the biggest reward working here is, to me, the abundance of possibilities and the feeling of being at the forefront of innovation. I moved to the North Bay, joining Westwood & Wilshire, an employer offering great flexibility with remote work. One of the biggest challenges I see for double-working parents is finding relevant jobs, which allow flexibility to manage family logistics and needs. I do miss many components of our Swedish welfare in the U.S. system and I believe these “deficiencies” have become even more evident in the current crisis.
What would your advice be for someone who has thoughts of expanding their business to the U.S. market?
Expanding your business to the U.S. market is for many companies a very big decision and a decisive step into scaling the company. My advice is to use all the great resources available such as SACC, NIH, Business Sweden, the Embassy, and consulates to engage with the community and learn from others. Choosing the best location for your business, understanding the laws and regulations, etc. are crucial steps and decisions, which these great teams can support. Engaging your first local employee (which is especially important once you start business development and sales) is what Westwood & Wilshire does best. We also offer HR support and advice as well as a network of experts and investors.
Westwood & Wilshire is one of the newest corporate members to SACC San Diego, how has SACC San Diego helped facilitate your business?
Our experience as a corporate member of SACC San Diego has been great so far. This has for sure been a very unusual year, which has made in-person meetings impossible. The SACC team has managed very well and we were very happy to join the webinar held in June on “Dealing with uncertainty” together with Captario. We look forward to more interaction during the fall and to supporting the SACC community. Please reach out for any need, question or concern you may have regarding recruiting, HR, and networking.
We look forward to hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.westwoodwilshire.com
Want to learn more about Westwood & Wilshire and their work? Check out our webinar with them from earlier this spring, click here.