COURTNEY MCDONOUGH

Recruiting Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2009

As the 6th most tenured employee and the most seasoned recruiter at Groupon, you could say Courtney has seen and done it all…including record a German chorale with roughly 100 other Grouponers at the Lyric Opera of Chicago to send to merchants as a holiday card.

What teams do you primarily recruit for?

Operations, Analytics, Corporate Development, and Merchandising

What are some best practices for candidates to keep in mind while they’re applying or interviewing here?

I personally appreciate a cover letter, especially if it’s not overly clear how your background or experience aligns with the role you’re applying for. Also, be yourself during the interview. We can tell if someone is too rehearsed or is just using a lot of jargon or buzzwords. We want to get to know YOU during the interview. Also, be prepared to talk about your past work and experience. We’ll likely dig deep into specific areas, so being prepared to go into detail will be helpful!

Anything a candidate should know about how to work with you during the recruiting process?

Be yourself! OK, and I tend to talk too much…I get excited about topics and will go off on random tangents sometimes.

What’s your proudest Groupon accomplishment?

Staying buckled in on this rollercoaster. It’s no surprise that Groupon’s had its ups and downs. Recruiting is great during the “ups” and really challenging during the “downs.” During those times—and even in-between—we’ve learned to adapt and have continued to recruit really amazing people. I’ve experienced a lot…a LOT here, and I consider each one of those experiences as a chance to learn. Learn from right, and learn from wrong. Also, remember when we were asked to hire 200 people in 3 weeks?

What was your first impression of Groupon…in 2009?

“Whoa.” Walking through these doors was a complete 180 from any job or company I had worked with, or even seen. Smart, casual, quirky, thoughtful, innovative, hilarious, energetic, and had the potential to be extremely impactful. Also, I get to wear jeans here?!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

In late 2009, the entire company (about 100 or so people at the time) went to the Lyric Opera House in Chicago, dressed in choir robes and recorded a German Chorale. We were all given the words (in German) and our “parts” ahead of time (alto, soprano, etc.) so we could practice. This was recorded and sent to merchants and vendors as a “holiday card.” I had only been at the company a couple months when we did this, and I remember trying to explain to my mom what I had done that day (that was a challenge). I LOVE these types of quirks of Groupon that make you scratch your head but are also super endearing.

Why do you participate in Groupon’s Employee Resource Groups and the Employee Volunteer Program?

I joined both to expand my skill set and my networks (both internally and externally). Through volunteering, I’ve been able to learn a lot more about Chicago, which has been fantastic. We’ve worked with kids, adults, and animals. We’ve cooked, planted, fed, taught, played, assembled, and so much more. I recently signed up to volunteer as a Wish Granter with Make-A-Wish — can’t wait to get started with that great organization!

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

On the recruiting team, we work hard to find amazing talent that not only has the right skills to drive our business’s growth, but also embodies the values of Groupon. We want people to care about what they do, how they do it, and how it affects other people, businesses, and communities.

What’s your favorite conference room name?

What’s your favorite local business?

Marie’s Pizza and Liquors. Very old-school pizza place with a liquor store attached. Not to mention, on Saturday nights they have a string quartet (comprised of old men) traveling around from table to table. All of this makes me very happy.

Who or what inspires you?

It’s a generic answer, but definitely my parents. Both worked really hard and overcame obstacles to go to college and develop really strong reputations within their chosen professions. I only hope they’ll be as proud of me as I am of them.

If you could have another job for a day what would it be and why?

An astronaut. (Yes, I’m 7 years old.)

Tell us something about you that’d surprise us.

I have a compulsory need to smell mustard if it’s on a restaurant table.

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