“I’m very loyal not just to my organization, but also to my candidates. If I think a candidate is a good fit for a role that I’m not recruiting for, I’ll definitely speak on their behalf. I work with integrity."
I am the Senior Corporate Recruiter for the Munitions and Government Business Unit. In my role, I interact with candidates who are looking for employment. I recruit individuals who have worked in the munitions industry or are familiar with the munitions or defense industry.
I grew up wanting to be a nurse because I wanted to help people. While I was in the Air Force, I realized that maybe that wasn’t my calling but still, I wanted to help people. I found out about human resources and recruiting and that’s how I ended up on this path. I’m still able to help people, just in a different way.
Also, I’m very outgoing; an extravert all the way. That helps me in this role because I’m able to talk to people. I have no problem with having conversations with individuals. I also feel I’m a good listener. I hear what the hiring managers need and I listen to what the candidate needs and I’m able to see if there’s a match. I’m very loyal not just to my organization, but also to my candidates. If I think a candidate is a good fit for a role that I’m not recruiting for, I’ll definitely speak on their behalf. I work with integrity, which is one of Day & Zimmermann’s core values and was instilled in me while in the Air Force.
The hardest part of my job is that I can’t hire everyone. Sometimes I find top talent and then a decision has to be made on who we feel is a better candidate. It’s difficult telling individuals who really want to be a member of Day & Zimmermann that they aren’t selected. I always keep things positive by letting candidates know that even though they weren’t selected for one role, they should still consider Day & Zimmermann an “employer of choice” for possible future positions.
The meaning the company could determine the type of individuals they want to hire. Now, I feel like it’s more of a candidate’s market because the candidates are looking for organizations that fit who they are. It’s a big shift.
Also, a lot of candidates want to do work that’s meaningful to them, and although compensation is always going to be a part of it, that’s not all of it anymore. They also want a work/life balance. They want to have a flexible work schedule and different non-monetary benefits that are available to them. As an organization in this climate, we have to stand out and be competitive in those areas so candidates continue to choose us. My candidates often tell me: “I’m not as focused on the compensation as I am the meaning of the work that I’m doing.”
Leadership, taking initiative, business insight and customer focus are some of the lessons that have translated to what I do now. There is such a close correlation between the Air Force core values and Day & Zimmermann’s core values. Just like the candidates I recruit, I was that candidate looking for more than just compensation. I wanted to work for an organization where I felt I could experience the same core values. That was important to me.
The President of my business unit, Mike Yoh, is very interested in talent acquisitions. I meet with him monthly to discuss open positions and the impact my candidates are making within our organization. The fact that the President takes the time to have these conversations with me is amazing! Some organizations are afraid to hire military because they don’t know how they’ll cope with the transition, but he has taken a vested interest in my work and my career.
You have to have thick skin because not everyone is going to say ‘yes.’ When you reach out to candidates, they may not see why Day & Zimmermann is a viable employer. Integrity will help you go a long way. You have to be open and honest even during difficult conversations with candidates and with hiring managers. Being able to communicate and to speak with integrity brings a lot of credibility and trust to you as a recruiter. I think that’s one of the most important aspects of my job. Be open and honest with your clients. You can’t be successful without that!