Coworking Influencer

A new coworking recruiting endeavor launches with Bottle Rocket Search

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In an industry as dynamic and people-centered as coworking, finding the right talent can make all the difference. 

Derek Lutz, a world-class recruiter and headhunter, alongside Liz Elam, Connector in Chief at the Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC), are setting a new standard in recruitment practices specifically tailored for the flexspace industry.

Their collaboration through Bottle Rocket Search is not just filling positions but is reshaping how talent and culture fit into the rapidly growing coworking sphere.

Bottle Rocket Search is built from the ground up

Like so many great coworking innovations, the journey of Bottle Rocket Search began with a need. Lutz had been deeply embedded in the recruitment industry, known for his meticulous headhunting skills, while Elam had spent over a decade at the heart of the coworking world with GCUC. Despite their successes in respective fields, they both saw a gap that needed filling — effective, dedicated recruitment for coworking spaces.

Elam recalled how her role naturally positioned her at a crossroads of opportunities. “For years, whenever someone was moving on from a position in coworking, they almost invariably shot me a note asking if I knew of any openings,” Elam explained. Her informal matchmaking grew into a critical networking service as she connected countless professionals to new opportunities within the industry.

However, Elam soon realized that she needed something more formal to truly serve the people who reached out to her. Rather than keeping this matchmaking as a casual, conversational thing, she looked for a way to build a service around it.

Serendipity creates the perfect connection

The search for the right partner led Elam to Lutz during a community event in Costa Rica. Lutz's reputation as a top-tier recruiter made him an ideal candidate to bridge the professional networking that Elam had organically developed with a formalized, strategic recruitment approach. 

“When I met Derek, I knew I had found someone who could take this idea and turn it into something phenomenal,” said Elam.

Meanwhile, Lutz soon saw the potential after Elam made several introductions that showcased her deep connections within the coworking community. “Liz demonstrated an unmatched ability to connect people and opportunities in a way that was both intuitive and impactful,” Lutz reflected. 

Together, they founded Bottle Rocket Search, focusing initially on executive-level placements before expanding to other roles crucial to coworking businesses.

“The name  was chosen to reflect our playful and innovative approach to headhunting,” Lutz explained. Inspired by childhood dreams and the thrill of launching bottle rockets, the team aims to propel talent into their full potential. “Just as a bottle rocket soars skyward with energy and excitement, we launch careers with the same passion and drive, ensuring that both clients and candidates reach new heights!”

Cultivating talent and culture in coworking

Both Lutz and Elam are passionate about the “people” side of coworking. They understand that the industry is not just about providing space but about fostering communities where people feel connected and supported. This understanding shapes how they approach recruitment.

“Our goal is to find people who aren’t just looking for a job, but who are passionate about helping humans,” Lutz pointed out. This mission goes beyond filling positions; it’s about finding leaders who can embody and spread the core values of coworking — community, collaboration, and connectivity.

Elam expanded on the importance of cultural fit: “We ensure that candidates understand if they are not interested in genuinely helping people, then this might not be the right industry for them.” This approach has attracted a unique pool of candidates who are naturally inclined towards hospitality and service, which are cornerstone qualities for successful coworking spaces.

Expanding horizons and setting standards

Bottle Rocket Search has quickly gained traction, working with major brands in the coworking space to meet their growing demand for high-caliber professionals. “We’ve started more with executive level searches because those are innate to us and honestly, the easiest to do based on our combined experience,” Lutz explained. However, they are actively developing their expertise across all roles, recognizing the critical importance of community managers who often serve as the face and pulse of coworking environments.

For Elam and Lutz, the ultimate goal of Bottle Rocket Search goes beyond business success. They are driven by a shared vision to combat the loneliness epidemic through coworking. By creating environments where people can find belonging and purpose, they believe they can make a significant impact on societal well-being.

“Our work is about more than just jobs. It’s about enhancing how people interact with their work environments and with each other,” Elam concluded. With Bottle Rocket Search, Lutz and Elam are not just filling a gap in the coworking industry; they are transforming it by ensuring that the people who run these spaces are as passionate about their work as they are about the people they serve.

In the fast-evolving landscape of coworking, Bottle Rocket Search stands as a beacon of innovation and empathy, a testament to the power of connecting the right people with the right places. Through their efforts, Lutz and Elam are not just participants in the industry but active shapers of its future, one successful placement at a time.

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