Recruiting Experiences

My Successful Career Shift from Server to Professional Recruiter

When I graduated school, I had no plans to become a recruiter. I’ve learned since, that this is a common occurrence. In fact, despite my network of recruiting professionals, I do not know anyone whose career goal was to become a recruiter. The field is in demand and has significant earning potential, but few are choosing this path. So, how did I end up here? Why would I recommend it as a career choice? Read on, to find out.

Realizing I Needed a Career Shift

I originally went to school for criminal justice. I always wanted to focus on research and get into policy making. I thought I could make my mark on the world by creating policy based on solid, objective research. The reality of this path, however, is that being a researcher takes much more schooling than I was ready to commit to. This left me reconsidering my future. In short, this was the beginning of the story of how I fell into recruiting.

Throughout high school and college I worked in restaurants. I was a dishwasher, busboy, server, and bartender. I pretty much touched every front-of-house position. I fell back on this when my original plans changed but, while working in restaurants has it perks, the shifts did not make sense for my long term plans. Serving helped me realize the power of effort and work ethic. The shifts weren’t always easy, but the people skills serving taught me have been invaluable.

I moved from serving to sales; I was awful at it. It seemed like the harder I tried, the less likely I was to make a sale. My time in the industry was short but it helped me learn quick thinking and conversational skills. It was time to go back to the drawing board.

When My Career Trajectory Started To Change

Through my personal network, I got an opportunity for an internship. Amy Oviedo had just recently started Recruiting Experiences and needed some extra help with the new business. I started by uploading clients and potential leads to our CRM, reviewing and sorting resumes, and scheduling interviews for others. I quickly realized that recruiting fit both my skills and my interests and my career began to take off.

A Role Transitions to a Career

I went through the certified Talent Acquisition Professional Training course at Recruiting Experiences. I came on full time. Almost before I knew it, I was a recruiter! It was official. My first client contract involved sourcing and screening candidates, and then submitting those I thought were viable. This contract gave me valuable sourcing practice and helped me realize the power that quality sourcing has on the recruiting process. Now my client base has grown and my responsibilities to those clients are far more complex. I enjoy my work, continue to grow, and have become a consistent performer in the company. I will be forever thankful for the opportunity I was given to fall into a career I never knew I’d love.

Recruiting is a great career path because of the diverse paths people take to get here. There is no traditional “recruiting” background and the diversity of skills that brings is incredible! Recruiting helped me step into a professional role and fast-forward my career trajectory. I also love the exposure to so many other careers. Whether you are a new grad or a career changer, consider a career in recruiting. I hope my story helps others find the success I’ve been fortunate to have by falling into recruiting.

5 Tips for Successful Virtual Interviews

I started my recruiting journey during the pandemic, so I never got the pleasure of conducting in-person interviews. In a remote heavy, virtual job market successfully navigating virtual interviews can help set you apart from other job seekers. Here are 5 tips to stand out!

1. Whenever possible, enter the meeting room early and familiarize yourself with the platform. Locate the chat, screen share feature, mute, and camera buttons. This will help you share anything you need to and help the interview go smoothly. This will also allow for some buffer time, just in case you have issues logging in. Recently a hiring manager that I work with did an interview with a candidate. The candidate entered the room early and got comfortable with the controls. This allowed for the interview to run smoothly, and the hiring manager was impressed enough to extend an offer. Minimizing communication errors during the interview will lead to a better experience for all.

2. Try your best to create a calm and distraction-free environment where you are going to do the interview. A great option is a quiet room with good lighting and minimal distractions. A strong internet connection will also help the experience run smoothly. Life happens so don’t stress if the dog barks or kid asks a question but do what you can to limit interruptions. If something does happen though, do not be afraid to ask to reschedule. Rescheduling is typically a much better option than muddling through an interview with multiple distractions.

3. For all intents and purposes, treat a virtual interview just like you would an in-person interview. That means do you research but use the virtual environment to your advantage. Consider it an open book test. Virtual interviews allow you to have notes and materials. Write down your important talking points and questions just in case they slip your mind. I was interviewing a candidate for a complicated engineering position. He had his main talking points on a notepad and he shared that it eased nerves and, on my end, there was smooth conversation flow. This helped him stand out compared to other candidates.

4. Choosing what to wear can be confusing for virtual interviews. Consider the environment you’re joining and go one step up from what you’d expect the interviewer to be wearing. That means, if it’s a tech role and you anticipate everyone wears t-shirts, consider a polo or blouse. If you think they are dressing business casual, adding a tie or blazer may be appropriate. You could also ask the Recruiter or Scheduler for their advice on what to wear. You never want to be unprepared so ask for help if you’re unsure about the environment. Check your environment too, a blurred camera can cover a lot of background mess if needed.

5. This last tip might be obvious, but the default should be to have your camera on. If you have to turn it off or keep it off, let the interviewer know. It always impresses me when a candidate makes solid eye contact during the interview. It is the closest you can get to face-to-face conversation during a video interview. The interviewer will also get a better chance to learn more about your personality and character.

These 5 tips are all things candidates have done in the past that have impressed me or hiring managers I’ve worked with during the interview process. Try them out and let me know how they worked on LinkedIn.

Communication – The Secret to a Positive Experience

Effective communication has been an extremely popular topic on LinkedIn, recently. Whether it is between a recruiter and candidate, or a recruiter and hiring manager, proper communication is key to building stronger and healthier work relationships in talent acquisition. It feels obvious to say communication is a massive part of any successful relationship, but it is not always easy to communicate effectively. Empathy, transparency, listening and much more make up effective communication. Here are 4 tips to up your communication skills. n

1.Be Prepared & Present

Do your homework! Before every meeting with a hiring manager and/or candidate, you should do your research. For example, before job-intakes with hiring managers, I always read the job descriptions and look at the company’s website in preparation. It also helps to have some questions prepared. For interviews, the process is similar. I re-read the candidate’s resume and have a list of non-biased questions to ask them.

Equally as important as being prepared is being present: not just showing up for the meeting but actively listening and being present in the moment. Job intakes are a great time to practice this skill. At Recruiting Experiences, we act as an extension of our clients recruiting function, so active listening is crucial in the process. Listening is how we learn about our client companies and their culture. We utilize this skill to portray their values and brand the best we can. In meetings like this, when there is a ton of information coming at you, actively listen to absorb as much as possible.n

2.Set Proper Expectations

This one is huge! Setting proper expectations is an excellent way to start a business relationship. People want to know what to expect, so setting proper expectations can be a great way to ease some nerves. For example, when taking on a new position, it is important to let the hiring manager know a rough timeline of your process, to accurately gauge when candidates will begin to flow in. On the candidate side, this might mean giving a timeline on feedback. It is important to let candidates know when to expect a decision and then to uphold that timeline. Reliability is important in all professional relationships. To piggyback off this you should never ghost a client or candidate. Everyone deserves an answer, so they are not left in the dark. n

3. Check In Regularly

Regular check-ins are a great way to uphold the expectations you set. Setting a re-occurring calendar event helps remind me to provide feedback and status reports about my search. Here at Recruiting Experiences, we send status reports with data from our search, to provide context to our results. These check-ins are where we discuss our progress to better our process. During the interview process, if the timeline changes, call and let your candidates know. I also like to ask them how their interview went. Communication with your candidates should not end with your initial screen.n

4.Be Honest & Transparent

Honesty and transparency should be embedded in your entire process from beginning to end. You cannot effectively communicate if you are holding back information. With hiring managers, be upfront and honest about your roadblocks. Talk about them so you can tackle them together as a team! In conversations with candidates, be honest and transparent about the salary expectations for the role. This goes both ways as well. If someone’s experience warrants a higher pay range than the salary for the position, I tell them. (This is a great opportunity to ask for a referral!) As with most situations in life, honesty is key.

In the busy world of talent acquisition, it is not always easy to uphold communication. These tips should provide you with a framework to better your skills!

Interested in chatting more about HR-functions and HRIS systems? Let’s connect! My email is christian@recruitingex.com, and you can find me on LinkedIn here.