To say my background is unique would be an understatement. My first "real job" was as a managed services provider to General Electric. With an Associate Degree in Computer Science I was hired as an intern and thought maybe I would master Network Management. Looking back I laugh at young me. My job there over four years solved problems as they presented themselves: managed a project to get ISO certification, learn about the aviation industry, Departmentalize a company and optimize processes as we go. Build solutions without ERP - we didnt' even have MRP. I built optimized systems with a series of reports built in Crystal Reports. I reduced recall time from the required 48 hours down to 2 hours. It was fun. I didn't know how big my job was and it is hilarious looking back at it. It just didn't occur to me that I couldn't do it - any of it. I hosted FAA audits and met with Six Sigma leadership at a global corporation. I LOVED processes and supply chain was fun. I wasn't even thirty years old. In four years we went from a 1 million dollar spare parts company to a $15 million company servicing four lines of service at General Electric.
I was introduced to Recruiting at one of the Big public accounting firms. I was hired to help with the implementation of RecruitMax. I worked with nationally distributed recruiting teams to get a standardized process so that we could get an ATS implemented. It was a late afternoon and the recruiters in the office couldn't find a forensic accountant. I said, naively, why don't you just search Google for it. This was before this was really something people knew about - Google hadn't been around that long and few people in the HR world could even spell Boolean. I had no idea what a forensic accountant was but in about fifteen minutes I had a list of people and the recruiters were thrilled. I was amazed: Building a list is a job. I was also kind of hooked: they say that most don't choose Recruiting. Recruiting chooses you. I definitely have the recruiting bug and I love it. Over the years, I have filled many IT professionals from networks to security, developers and architects. I typically stick to what I know that maybe my other Recruiting friends don't. Of course, there are often client conversations that I have with my SuccessFactors and ATS clients who just have a super urgent or hard to fill position and so of course, I am happy to help. Once a recruiter, always a recruiter!
When I joined Scripps in Cincinnati, Ohio, I had the opportunity to be part of a team that was tasked to build from the ground up with full support of senior leadership and a solid Governance Model. In a multi-year project:
I learned so much about change management and positioning and bringing your stakeholders along and being a steward for those you are entrusted to serve. Do the right thing. Management is a servant role. I learned what a Block and Tackle Manager was - my favorite.
I left Scripps and did candidate sourcing for a while - along with recruiting - so I could home-school my son for a year and a half. He has a learning disability and no one seemed to be able to teach him to read even though we had been to countless therapists and clinicians. So when he was in the third grade, I moved my whole life around to be sure I got him over this hurdle: best investment of my life. In a situation where I had no experience and seemingly no options, I went about the business of learning every way to teach literacy and we tried them all. PS - Memorization and A LOT of phonics was the winning combo.
After that hurdle was jumped, I joined a SuccessFactors partner and became certified in everything I could get my hands on. I implemented dozens and dozens of clients in Performance and Goals. Then I was certified in Recruiting and of course, home again, I was hooked. I have also built out some pretty amazing processes and systems in CATS: what was once an open source offering has moved to the cloud and is quite powerful. I am constantly scouring the market for new tools to help with recruiting. As in anything else I have done, I solve problems. I had recruiter friends who needed a system and were not at all geeky/process people like me, so I would raise my hand and there you go: a project is born.
Flash forward to present day: I have worked for a number of partners now and I have friends still at each place I have worked. I learned so much at each partner. However, I have to say that the system is the system and what I learned was more than configuration and features. Yes of course I learned those - and each quarter keep my Deltas current - but the reason I have decided to go on my own is that it doesn't have to be this hard for clients. As configuration is more and more standardized, my job is education, solution design, governance set up, support, change management and training. We have to be vigilant: building it fast is what is focused on, but it is not a good deal if my client doesn't understand what they bought and can't use it after I leave the project. If you use standard items where you can, it will speed the project, but please don't scrimp on training and consultation.
I have had the most meaningful exchanges when brought in to see a client who is not happy with their solution: some were barely even using their system. I found that my clients are thrilled when I just show up and listen and ask a lot of question, and then listen some more. Then after I take it all back to the office, I make sense of all that I gathered and come up with a plan to get them whole and then recommendations to move them forward in solving real business problems we discussed in our meeting. The thing that makes them just RAVE is when I do what I said I would do.
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President and Principal Consultant