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A Recruiter’s Guide to Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is truly one of my favorite times of year – time to take space to think about the best parts of our lives. Of course, I’ll be doing that personally, and hope to carry my gratitude forward with me into the rest of the holiday season and the New Year. But I’m doing it professionally as well.

As a small business owner, I built this company from the ground up, but I didn’t do it alone. These are the tools, partners and team members who have helped me transform TalentFront from a vision to a reality. They stand out for their excellence, so I want to give them a shout-out – and to make some introductions, in case you’re looking to increase the ranks of things to be thankful for in your own business!

Tools

LinkedIn. You know I love LinkedIn. About half of my hires are sourced on the platform, and I have highlighted its services here. And here, here, and here. But let me say again how grateful I am that a professional networking service exists. Candidates have a space to promote themselves – which they should be doing! – in a context that creates real value. In particular, I appreciate that LinkedIn has evolved with the digital recruiting landscape, ever offering more features to help candidates and employers find each other. The “Open to Opportunities” button, which I talked about earlier this year, is a great example. This lets me see who is looking for growth, and which opportunities in particular they are seeking. So if a candidate notes they’re hoping to relocate to Abu Dhabi, but I’m looking for someone in the DC metro area, I know not to bother that person. At the same time, I have a great jumping off point to start a conversation for someone looking for an opportunity that matches my needs.

iCIMS. You’ve heard me tout the value of applicant tracking systems (ATSs). I’ve used and reviewed a lot of them, and the system I use, iCIMS, continues to come out on top. Here’s what I’m thankful for: iCIMS is a talent acquisition tool. It is not trying to be an HR suite, and it isn’t trying to compete with Google. As I’ve watched platform after platform try to be everything to everybody, I’ve become increasingly appreciative of this platform excelling at the targeted service it provides. iCIMS is a warehouse for candidates, storing applicant information and allowing me to quickly search for and find what I’m looking for. The system also allows me to post jobs to web and social media in a seamless interface, to communicate to candidates in bulk or individually, and to track all of those interactions.

Hiring Solved. Hiring Solved is a sourcing tool that’s been boosting TalentFront’s work since I found out about it. I’m grateful to this small, scrappy startup for its innovative approach to sourcing. HiringSolved uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to learn from my searches – as I use it, the platform takes my inputs into account to provide better, more targeted results for my specific needs. It saves me time and produces superior outcomes, and I’m thankful.

Contactually. If you’re spending more time cursing your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system than feeling grateful for it, consider Contactually, a DC-area company. It has become the first application I open every morning. Every day, it reminds me of people I need to connect with, and provides a place where I can start a conversation with anyone I’ve met recently. My favorite part: It lets me track when people open emails and when they respond, so I can keep track of how effective my communications are, and to provide prompt and pertinent follow up.

Partnerships

Spring Insight. I used to do TalentFront’s marketing on my own. I would pen maybe three blog posts a year — works of art for sure, but they lacked any sort of call to action, weren’t responsive to feedback, and didn’t fit within any overall marketing strategy. Since I’ve partnered with Spring Insight, another woman-owned business in the DC Metro Area, my marketing needs are met. Spring Insight developed and executes a marketing plan tailored just for TalentFront. I work closely with their team to keep my blogposts consistent, packed with good info, and as you may have noticed, reliably published every month! Their social media maven monitors trends, curates copy, and helps establish my voice in the recruiting community. I am so thankful for this partnership, which has taken marketing off my plate and freed me up to do the meat of TalentFront’s business.

Office Accomplice. You’re going to see a theme with these partnerships. Office Accomplice, another woman-owned Beltway company, has freed up even more of my time and mental space by taking on my accounting. They are extraordinary because they are good at what they do and are completely dependable. It’s not just that they’re doing my bookkeeping well – it’s that they provide a monthly report and I never even have to think about it. So easy. So much better than me trying to wrestle with Quickbooks myself.

Focus Data Solutions. One of the first partnerships I formed was with (woman-owned, DC-area, naturally) Focus Data Solutions to manage my computers. I am certain they don’t make a nickel on my account: There have been weeks when I have called them daily because of email hacks, laptop failures to connect, lost data, lost passwords, you name it — sometimes all at the same time. They handle my technical issues with competence and assurance, and stick by their promise of 24/7 availability. (I still don’t know how they do it).  As an entrepreneur, when so many other things demand time and attention, it’s been wonderful to have Focus Data Solutions on my side.

Team Members

Barbara Ann Beisler. TalentFront’s “Listener-In-Chief,” Barbara Ann helps us onboard new clients and provides keen insights into their personnel DNA and company culture. Spending hours with the client’s team, she explores company history, workplace climate, the qualities they seek in a candidate, and what they can offer a person who joins their organization. After these meetings, she prepares a “discovery document” – the foundational report that guides the TalentFront team’s understanding of our clients’ brand, culture, and values.  Success begins with Barbara Ann.

Kelley Luong. Kelly is the connective tissue that makes TalentFront successful. Kelley helps TalentFront find and build relationships with high-quality candidates. Using our databases and web scraping tools, Kelley turns job search criteria into profiles of candidates. Additionally, she is responsible for candidate engagement – outreach, scheduling, and follow-up. Her mastery of tone and style makes her the heart and soul of our communications, and her organizational skills are unmatched. She makes our trains run on time and we all hum literally and figuratively as a result of her painstaking work. 

Necolle Eimas. Necolle is a wizard at candidate screening. She uses our discovery documents to craft role-specific recruiting strategies that detail the position and take into account a hiring manager’s background, style, and needs. She uncovers the deal-breaker skills, personal qualities, and work style that a candidate needs to flourish in an organization. This strategic information feeds into the job description and templates for phone screens, interviews, and reference checks — all customized for each opening. Necolle’s conversational style and ability to put people at ease quickly are magic and I’m grateful she’s putting them to work for TalentFront!

As you can see, I have a lot to be grateful for! When I’m feeling so thankful, I try to give back, and I hope these contributors to TalentFront feel the love. I’ll also be spreading the love by participating in #GivingTuesday – the annual campaign to contribute to good works after you’ve sated yourself on Turkey and exhausted the offers of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Go forth and be thankful: Let’s make gratitude a way of living and not just a holiday!

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