When candidates start their job search, they don’t typically think of the process involved on the other side of recruiting. But the reality is recruiters play an essential role in the hiring process. Acting as the gatekeeper and final decision-maker, recruiters have the pleasure of meeting multiple candidates on a regular basis and get to deliver the good news when their company is ready to make an offer.
“Picking up the phone and being able to extend an offer to a candidate that potentially changes their life for the better is the best job ever!” says LaTasha Cook, Manager of Talent Acquisition at ADP.
This shared passion for changing candidates’ lives can be felt across the board on the recruiting team at ADP. In a recent interview with Fairygodboss, three women recruiters at the global leader in cloud-based payroll, tax, HR, and benefits solutions share their thoughts and advice around networking and why they love their jobs.
Meet them now:
Victoria Kelly, Talent Acquisition Business Partner, Executive
Lora Yankauskas, Lead Talent Acquisition Business Partner, Sales
LaTasha Cook, Manager, Talent Acquisition Business Partner, Service
How long have you been in your current role, and what were you doing previously?
Victoria: I’ve been in this role for 10 years. My prior role was executive recruiting at a global consumer products company. I support all businesses and functions at ADP; however, my primary internal client is our global products and technology organization. Throughout my career, I have recruited for many different industries and functions.
Lora: Five years in my current role as a recruiter; I previously worked as an Inside Sales Representative for ADP’s Small Business Services for three years.
LaTasha: I’ve been in my current role since September of 2019 and prior to that, I was a Lead Talent Acquisition Business Partner supporting Global Talent Acquisition for the last eight years.
What’s the first and last thing you do at work every day?
Victoria: First thing: I check my calendar and emails, as well as my task list from the previous afternoon — I also check to ensure all my interviews for the day have been confirmed with both the candidate and interviewer. Last thing: I check my email and calendar for the following day, and also create my task list for the next day.
Lora: I grab my coffee, put on some music, open my computer, and get settled into my desk to start my day. I always like to get organized for the day ahead, so I check my email and calendar and jot down a quick to-do list of items I have to get done that day! The last thing I do is make sure all my reporting is up to date, emails are answered, and loose ends are tied up, so I can start each day fresh and ready to go.
LaTasha: That’s easy. I follow-up. That could mean responding to emails from the night before or helping set the tone for what I know will need to be addressed the next day. It helps me feel more productive. I also know that the day can get away from you so it’s best to take a moment to say hello.
What is your favorite part of working in recruiting?
Victoria: I have many favorites, but I’ll stick with my top three! First, I love hunting and identifying the “unicorn” talent. When a hiring manager tells me their “wish list” for the perfect candidate and says this person likely doesn’t exist, I make it my mission to deliver.
Second, I love building and nurturing my network. I tell candidates that a large majority of top talent I’ve hired in my career did not end up in the role for which they were initially interviewed. I recently had the opportunity to finally land a candidate whom I had been courting for nine years into a role we specifically created for that person!
Third, I love when I see candidates I’ve hired get promoted and progress to other roles in the organization. There are many individuals I have initially hired and then subsequently given them multiple promotion letters over the years.
Lora: I love changing candidates’ lives. That one phone call to tell them that they are getting a job offer makes all the long hours, tough openings, and unique sourcing worth it. To hear the excitement and thankfulness coming through their voices really solidifies how much I love my job.
LaTasha: Picking up the phone and being able to extend an offer to a candidate that potentially changes their life for the better is the best job ever! And, let’s not forget being able to closely support my clients and team.
As a recruiter, what are three things about ADP that you always make sure to highlight when talking to a candidate?
Victoria: At the beginning of the conversation, I always give candidates an overview of our products and services. Most people know us as one of the largest payroll providers in the world, but many don’t realize the full breadth and complexity of our portfolio.
Second, I share how the particular role we are discussing fits into the overall corporate structure. Like many large organizations, we are a matrixed structure and I feel it’s important to share where a role fits, as well as who the key stakeholders are and with whom they will interact.
Third, I highlight our focus on innovation and how we are using the latest technology.
Lora: ADP is a market leader when it comes to innovation and technology; we are always focusing on driving our products to be the best out there. Our company culture is next to none — it’s a huge selling point when recruiting candidates. We strive to cultivate a highly motivating environment where our associates can thrive individually and in a team environment. Lastly, we have amazing company benefits — not only the standard ones that include health plans, retirement options, and work-life balance – but the benefits to grow in their careers, be challenged to create a brand around themselves and understand that if they wanted to grow their careers here, they can if they work for it.
LaTasha: 1) Benefits 2) The culture 3) Potential career opportunities
Tell me a bit about your company’s D&I efforts and/or employee resource groups.
Victoria: At ADP, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our values and our associates live these values every day. We’ve always believed that each person counts and that our diverse and inclusive teams make us stronger. We remain committed to investing in diverse talent globally that designs innovative technology with all people in mind and where our solutions nurture the success of our clients and the career development of our associates.
Lora: Diversity and inclusion are always top of mind at ADP; we focus to understand that every candidate or associate is unique and recognize, value, and respect the differences brought forward based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation age, or disability. We will always be ONE ADP, and our Business Resource Groups help to align that messaging with our associates to not only educate on the value of diversity but also tie together the inclusion of the associates in these groups or those looking to learn more.
LaTasha: At ADP, we are committed to making sure our organization is a representation of our global community and are dedicated to presenting a diverse slate of candidates for consideration for all our open positions.
As a recruiter, what are the top three qualities you look for in a candidate?
Victoria: What I look for in a candidate will vary by position but overall, I prefer candidates who have a combination of large company and smaller start-up type experience, which shows that they have an innovation mindset as well as the ability to navigate in a matrixed structure. Additionally, as I focus on executive hires, I look for professionals who have a demonstrated career growth trajectory.
Lora: I look for someone that can highlight times they have overcome adversity, a strong job history, whether it’s a commitment to a career or working their way through college, and finally a personality that shines through over the phone. If I can get good vibes from them over the phone, I can only imagine that they will be even better in person.
LaTasha: Integrity in their responses, adaptability, and a great attitude!
What virtual resources or networking opportunities would you recommend to job seekers?
Lora: LinkedIn is an amazing resource — it’s one of the first things I look at when interacting with a candidate. A solid profile that highlights career accomplishments, recommendations, and interests can tell me a lot about a job seeker before I even talk to them. It’s also smart to join groups on LinkedIn that interest you; recruiters communicate about jobs in these groups when we are targeting specific experience and qualifications for roles! Fairygodboss is an amazing resource for content, learning, and networking, and ADP is hosting a webinar with Fairygodboss on March 17th. Take advantage of these virtual resources and networking opportunities!
LaTasha: I highly recommend joining and being very active on sites like Fairygodboss and LinkedIn. You can connect with employers, recruiters, and people that potentially share your career goals. There are so many insightful articles, webinars, and trainings you can review and not to mention many, many opportunities to explore. Recruiters are always reviewing profiles to find the next best hire at their company. Be intentional and always use these platforms to find great connections. ADP has found amazing talent on these sites! Also, if you hear about virtual career fairs that are offered, typically at no cost, please attend. You can connect directly with recruiters from various organizations but be sure to do your homework about those companies before attending.
What’s your #1 piece of advice for women who are looking for jobs right now?
Victoria: Network, network, network. You never know where connections in your personal life may be able to influence your professional growth. Maybe your next-door neighbor’s sister is an executive at a company you’ve been targeting. Maybe your hair stylist’s cousin just started a company and needs someone with exactly your experience to ramp up. Maybe the person sitting next to you on a plane is your next mentor (with a mask of course). The possibilities are endless!
Lora: Women are so resilient! Never doubt yourself and your abilities to prove yourself, whether it’s in a career or in life. If you feel aligned to a job and are not sure if you are 100% qualified, apply for the job! We are not always looking for the perfect candidate — but are looking for the best candidate. Just because you do not check off every bullet of the preferred qualifications section does not mean you are not the right fit for the role. You will never know if you do not take that chance and fill out that application. One conversation with a recruiter can not only open your eyes to the role but also open their eyes to you and what you can do as an associate. Always take that leap, because in the end, no matter what, you’re going to get back up and keep going.
LaTasha: It’s okay to have unapologetic ambition. If you have the skillset and experience the position is looking for, don’t let anyone deter you from applying. Make the decision that works best for you and/or your family and go for it! You’ve got this!
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