I have been doing regular contract work, alongside full-time gigs off and on for the better part of my career. I am an introvert, a bit of a gypsy, and I love to dabble. The freedom fit me. Then I became a mother. Suddenly the necessary flexibility to be there in all the ways I wanted to be for my children made me choose contract work as my full-time. The addition of Covid only cemented my desire to stay at arm’s length for the safety of our new family. But recently, I signed on as a permanent employee to one of my former contractors: Recruiting Experiences. I wanted to share just a few of the reasons. Because attracting employees in the current hiring environment is no joke. And turning this gypsy into a believer is a testament. Here’s what changed my mind:
Walking the Walk
We gravitate towards blogs and social media posts that emulate our personal values and beliefs. My first impressions of Recruiting Experiences blog and the CEO, Amy’s, Linkedin posts did just that. They told a story of kindness, empathy, and people-first hiring practices. Taking the time to craft and put the right message out in the world is something I value highly. I’m a writer. Words matter to me. But actions matter more. I have had gigs where my communications role involves clean-up and smoke screens for behavior that doesn’t match the message. My work with RecEx has never been that. Here, my copy and strategy has consistently been about communicating the good that is already happening, regardless of whether anyone is watching. I get to be the broadcaster of great work that others are too humble to share. That is a role I want to fill, over and over again.
Extending The Invitation
When the RecEx team had a team event, I got an invitation. I was invited to group development, planning meetings, and celebrations. Seems pretty simple, right? It’s actually fairly uncommon, as a contractor. I was made to feel welcome but never guilted when I was unable to attend. As a result, I saw the inner workings, felt the culture, and knew the goals. It allowed me a holistic view that contractors, and even employees are often denied. It made me better at my job. It built loyalty. Joining this team felt empowering, rather than constricting.
Embracing What Matters
Professionalism has always been a top priority for me. Representing the brands of others, as a contractor, has only increased this focus. But (spoiler alert) I am a human and a mother. In the time of Covid, baby sniffles can shut down daycares and turn kids into pariahs. Painstakingly perfected childcare coverage regularly evaporates into a “roll with it” scenario. Zoom meetings suddenly become anxiety inducing juggling acts. I clearly remember one internal team meeting at RecEx when my kids were unexpectedly home and unabashedly PRESENT. Not only were the joyously loud sounds of nursery songs and toddler wrestling recognized and embraced, but I was also asked if I could share a few screen shots of my OTHER kids: the two lounging potbellied pigs in my kitchen. My life was messy that day. I could have ended that call feeling frazzled or embarrassed. I could have felt less-than, as a parent, and a professional. Instead, I felt valued, appreciated, and closer to the team. MY team. This Stuff MATTERS.
So what is the takeaway? In the simplest terms, think people-first. Be a human before a boss and allow your team to be humans before employees and people will WANT to work for you.
In no way is this an exhaustive list. No company is perfect, but I go into this working relationship with confidence that my imperfect and theirs will mesh. We will make each other better. I won’t be giving up what is important, I will be growing in my pursuit of it. Want to hear more? I’m always happy to share. Message me!