How long have you been with firstPRO?
March of this year was 10 years, so I made it a decade.
What do you do? What’s your day to day like?
I am the director of the contract recruiting team, which means I manage IT individuals who are all contract recruiters. My routine changes pretty dramatically depending on the day. Half of my day is more on the management and operational side of the house, either facilitating calls with clients, helping our sales team either with resume submittals. The other half entails active recruiting, so sourcing candidates, setting up job postings, proactively talking to candidates.
What are the biggest challenges of the job?
With everything going on with the pandemic, it was a big shift to move everything to 100% remote work. We needed to find that balance of keeping communication open with the team, especially with the day-to-day. So much of our work requires interacting with one another. The first couple of weeks were definitely a challenge. I have some team members who live alone and have been quarantining at home solo, so just keeping them motivated because they’re not interacting on a daily basis with anyone else in person. This has been a challenge for everyone.
But in pre-COVID-19 times, the challenge was often around the fact that people are very unpredictable. So, just keeping in mind that not every job is perfect for every person. Our role is to get the strongest opportunities in front of people and to help them further their careers or make changes as needed. But even when we’re doing our best, not everyone is going to say yes.
What do you love most about the job?
From a management standpoint, I love my team. I love my people. It’s been a really cool opportunity. When I started at firstPRO I only had three years of staffing experience. Over the years, I really had a lot to learn. Building a team around me, they’re all such great individuals and have become very good friends.
Also, firstPRO as a whole is a great organization in the sense that our owner is very active in the day to day and takes the time to really get to know us. So it’s more of a family environment.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
The role that I hold now. When I started I was just a standard IT recruiter, and it has taken me nine years to get to a director role and to a place where I can mold and manage individuals. Leading and mentoring is part of the job I really love and enjoy. I love being able to educate and further people in their careers.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
For me, the best professional advice has been just to be true to yourself and always be honest even if the information you’re giving may not be what someone wants to hear. Also, to focus on where you really excel and where you need improvement, and find someone to help you in those areas. And finally, to know that you don’t know everything and there will be times when you’re going to have to ask for help.
What are some of the ways you counter the stress and uncertainty of this COVID-19 era?
I have a 14-month-old at home, so the lack of childcare has been a bit crazy. It has definitely been an adjustment for the work/life balance. I have a lot of coworkers throughout the organization who are at least in the same boat of having younger children. It’s definitely been an adjustment balancing calls while my husband and I pass around the baby (Laughs) And this balancing act also seems to be a pain point for many job candidates. People really took for granted the availability of options for childcare, whether nannies or daycare.
Otherwise, for staying positive, it’s all about communication. I love to talk to my team every day. We do a video conference call every morning at 8:45 a.m. Even if we don’t have projects, it’s so nice to catch up and get a pulse on things. We’ve done team happy hours. It sounds cheesy but it’s nice to just get together and have those moments of connection however we can.
If travel were possible right now and you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I love to travel so that’s a tough one. I have a very long laundry list of places I want to visit. My husband and I have been to Bora Bora and I always tell people that if you have the opportunity, you should 100% go. We were looking at trying to do some sort of European trip, maybe Italy. Or more off-the-grid, like Madagascar. We like to go to places that are random and secluded, with beautiful beaches, to disconnect and forget about life.
What’s your favorite comfort movie and why?
I’m definitely a rom-com kind of person. I don’t really have a favorite movie to watch on repeat, per se, but anything that’s super funny is my go-to. Especially in current times, I like things that make you laugh.