‘Recruiting is a Roller Coaster Ride of a Profession’

In the very near future, we’re going to release the preliminary agenda for the 2013 Top Echelon Network National Convention, and of course, we’ll be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Network at that convention.

Veronica SnyderLeading up to this grand event, we’ll also be celebrating in anticipation of our 25th anniversary.  (After all, what’s better than one party?  Two parties!)

One of the ways we’re celebrating is by interviewing long-time Preferred Members in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.  These are tried-and-true Network recruiters whose tenure in Top Echelon have included many years and many split placements.

This week, we’re talking with Veronica Snyder of Career Professionals, Inc. in Morristown, Tenn.  Snyder has made 45 split placements in the Network, and she’s a regular attendee of Top Echelon events like the National Convention and Fall Conference.

In short, she’s a model Preferred Member recruiter, and we’re pleased that she’s sharing her story with us!

(Editor’s note: this is the first part of a two-part series of blog posts.  The second part will be published in next week’s issue of The Pinnacle.)

How did you break into the recruiting business?

After earning a Master’s Degree in Psychology and not being qualified for any “real” jobs, I moved home and was eventually offered a part-time job answering phones for a temporary staffing agency.  This turned into a full-time staffing job, and for the next two years I learned the fundamentals of how to interview candidates and then match skills sets to job orders.

The important step, however, was that I happened to run into Jim Beelaert (founder of Career Professionals) and his wife one evening, and he asked what I was doing back in town.  I had been high school friends with Jim’s kids.  I said, “I find people for temporary, hourly jobs,” and he replied that I should work for him one day as a professional recruiter.  A year later, I joined Jim Beelaert and Steve Taylor at Career Professionals as a junior partner . . . and five years later, Steve and I bought the business when Jim retired.

What was your “welcome to recruiting moment”?

Jim started my training by teaching me how to recruit maintenance technicians.  My first placement was a double-whammy—I placed a pair of brothers with a company needing off-shift maintenance techs.  We were paid a 40% fee on each, which amounted to more than my previous annual salary in the temporary help industry!

How has the world of recruiting changed during your career?

I started recruiting in July of 1999, when manufacturing was going strong and we had a slew of job orders.  Back then, if we could identify good candidates, we could have them scheduled for multiple interviews quickly.  The 2001 economic slowdown was eye-opening, and when the recession hit in 2009-2010, the recruiting business came to a standstill.  Now that companies are hiring again, they seem to be much more careful about who they hire . . . and we are being asked to provide much more information on the front end.

In terms of recruiting, our function is no longer simply to source resumes—we have to offer our clients a lot more information throughout the entire process, from initial candidate sourcing and screening through interviewing and offer acceptance.  Our value is in the relationships we establish with both clients and candidates and how we share information with both parties during the staffing process.

Also, information is shared much more rapidly now due to email and cell phones.  It’s now easier to keep up with candidates over the years since email addresses and cell phone numbers don’t change as much when people move.

If you had a “philosophy of recruiting,” what would you say that is

“If you have to force it, it won’t work.”  Recruiting is about long-term relationship building, not about pushing a candidate to accept a job that ultimately won’t be a good fit.

What do you think you’ve learned about recruiting, business, and people during your recruiting career?

Recruiting is a roller coaster ride of a profession.  Some days, I feel like this is a great profession that I really excel at . . . other days, I wonder how I’ve managed to make a living for all these years!  I’ve learned that I have to come to work every day and do all the little things that will eventually lead to a placement.

Business is all about people and relationships.  We approach things from a standpoint of trust and professionalism, and I think this is appreciated from all those with whom we interact.  People all basically want the same thing.  We want to feel like we are valued, have purpose, and are doing good things in our daily lives.

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