She’s the total “Product”!

Unbridled enthusiasm and an infectious smile are not necessarily prerequisites for recruitment, but they certainly help! Embodying both with gusto is our very own Product and Design Practice Lead, Priya Vase. From executive recruitment beginnings in the heart of Silicon Valley to talking tech in Sydney, Priya lifts the lid on what it takes to be a good recruiter, becoming a Million Dollar biller before the age of 30, and why product and design has her heart.

Priya wasn’t dreaming of recruitment as a little girl. It wasn’t up there in the realms of Superhero or Doctor, but on closer inspection it could be. At its core, recruitment is about helping people, a sentiment that resonated with Priya after a school visit from a career coach.

She watched as they connected with people, asked them questions and helped them work out which path to take.

“Really good recruiters have to understand people,” says Priya. “What makes them tick, what problems they might be facing, and how we can work together to solve them.”

People are at the heart of recruitment, and forming genuine connections is what benefits both candidate and recruiter… and ultimately the companies they end up working for. A great way to secure those connections is through active listening. Being a recruiter that actively listens, and actually cares about what people are saying, and where they want to go, allows you to do the best by everyone in the long run (and in the commercial sense as well).”

Learning as she went, Priya moved from consulting to executive recruitment in Silicon Valley, before taking the leap to work in tech recruitment at The Onset in Sydney.

Toting a plethora of experience across sales, marketing, engineering, finance and product, she was looking for an opportunity to specialise in one area and really connect with a particular community. Ultimately, she believed that devoting her focus and passion into Product and Design was the way forward. 

“Product is this nebulous idea that isn’t something and is something all at the same time, and it connects so closely with what a business is doing,” explains Priya. “That’s one of the greatest things about being in the start-up community; people have really cool ideas, and in Product and Design especially, you are right at the heart of the inception of those ideas.”

Furthermore, in aligning her recruitment ethos to the Design practice, Priya understands that for both her and the designers she advocates for, success relies on an understanding of what’s important to the end user. “That comes down to asking good questions, being open to being asked good questions, and truly caring about creating cool products.”

Having decided to specialise in Product and Design, and connect specifically to that community, Priya found the ideal landing place in The Onset. As a business very much entwined in the start-up community, along with enterprise and scale-up customers, Onset provided the perfect brand for Priya to specialise with, and add value to her market. Mirroring the start-up concept of ‘embracing the fails’ along with the wins in order to grow, was also something that resonated with Priya. “I think that’s what sets us apart and I think it’s something that permeates our culture.”

Onset embraces the need for flexibility and innovation in equal measure, unafraid to change and adapt with the times, while staying true to its core values. Its ability to see the value in people beyond what they can do for the company, and importantly what they want to achieve for themselves, is also what differentiates it from other recruitment agencies.

“I think this is the first place I’ve come into where I was asked ‘What do you want to do with your life’ without the expectation that my answer would be ‘stay at The Onset forever’,” says Priya. “All the leaders in the business advocate that the steps you take now are what will set you up for the future.”

Those steps can be unexpected and unpredictable, certainly that has been Priya’s experience, as she has been supported in trying new things and making mistakes. “But that’s where I’ve felt most supported, and in my opinion, real growth only happens when you’re uncomfortable.” 

Perhaps it was that nudge out of her comfort zone that pushed Priya into the million-dollar biller bracket. Certainly not a prerequisite for successful recruitment but a ‘nice to have’ all the same. The term of course refers to the dollar amount billed in one financial year, but really it signifies so much more than that. For Priya, certainly, she owes her success both to the support of her team, and to the lessons she’s learned along the way as to what underpins good recruitment… which is the ability to want to help people.

So, yes, she has earned that title early in her career, but the real achievement has come in having the room to grow and learn about the kind of recruiter she wants to be.

“I found freedom in not knowing what my goals were, and then somehow found myself achieving those unspoken goals with an enthusiasm that comes with truly loving what you do and who you’re doing it with.”


Priya started out as a Recruitment Consultant with Onset in 2018, shortly transitioning into the role of Practice Lead. Interested to see where a career with Onset could take you? We are always looking for people to join the crew, so why not get in touch and see what opportunities we have open!


What our clients say

“Ronny & the Onset Group helped us scale our team in the early stages of our growth, finding a number of talented engineering candidates to join our Development team. The Onset Group are highly professional and a pleasure to work with.”

Georgia Punch
HR & Operations

“We have been working with the Onset Group for the past few years, helping us secure both contract and permanent staff across multiple technical areas. They always ensure they have our business’ needs in mind and it’s great working with a partner that truly understands the technical space that we are in. Of all of the recruiters I have met or worked with over the years, I couldn’t recommend this group any more.”

Paul Madani
Head of Data and Technology

“IPG Mediabrands have built a solid, trusting working relationship with the Onset Group over the past few years. We are very selective on who we partner with regarding our recruitment needs. The Onset Group have proven time and time again, they absolutely deserve a spot on our PSA. They understand our business, they deliver, they follow up, they’re smart and they are professional.”

Lisa Gray
Head of Human Resources

“I’ve worked in the product community in Sydney for just 3 years and the Onset are my go-to folk for product talent (and opportunities). Once in my role I worked with the team at Onset to build out my product team of 6 over the next year. So I’ve experienced the quality and expertise from both sides of the engagement.”

Jennifer Flynn
Group Manager, Product Management

“Working with The Onset was fantastic. They spent the time with me up front on understanding not only the requirements of the role but also the qualities and skill sets needed to fill the role well. The candidates provided were really strong and led to hires who have not only helped us fill roles but also enhance our overall company culture by introducing us to top quality candidates. Thanks Onset!”

Yaniv Klein
Product Director

“We partnered with The Onset, a leading IT recruitment agency, explained the journey we were on, and asked them to sell our vision to the Sydney market in our search for high quality developers. It was important that the people we chose not only had high technical skills but were a good cultural fit and understood where oOh! was going”

Andy Mcquarrie
Chief Technology Officer

“…by taking time to understand our unique hiring requirements, both from the start and as our needs have evolved. At Digital Asset, we’re looking for engineers and product managers with a specialized mix of skills and industry experience, for example, a strong background in financial services, or knowledge of functional programming languages. Onset has helped us find experienced candidates who are not only highly qualified but also inspired to work with a firm like ours”

Drew Harding
Senior Delivery Manager

“In addition to running the search and recruitment process they helped us to shape the role and were able to guide us through what was happening in the market and the experiences of other high growth companies.”

Rachel Debeck
Chief Operating Officer

“It was a pleasure working with Danielle to source a full stack developer for our company. She put real effort into understanding what we were looking for and helped us find the right candidate. Plus helped us find the first female developer!”

Antony Francis
Team Lead

“Onset has been partnering with Haventec for over three years. The team at Onset have the great ability to connect with our team and understand our business and culture to be able to place employees that fit our team like a glove. It takes great talent to recognise the unique needs of each business and to be able to deliver on them so well”

Edora David
Business Operations Manager

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