We want you to help you get to know the members of Team Synergis who help put people to work. So, this month, we are featuring April Luelling. She works from her home in Portland, OR mostly with our Bay Area clients as an Account + Recruiting Manager. She also has expertise in the Creative space and everything User Experience. Let’s see what April had to say.
April, first please tell our readers a little about yourself and your professional background.
Born on the beach, raised in the mountains and forever a lifelong cowgirl. Truly, I have been a cowgirl since I could walk! When I graduated high school in Bend, OR, I had no clue what I wanted to do when I grew up. So instead of going straight to college at 18, I took the road less traveled, and started to work with horses. I ended up managing a ranch, breaking colts and training cutting, reigning and roping horses. That was my life! Dirt, ponies, cows, hay, traveling, rodeos and all those country things. Eventually, I moved to Eugene and needed to hang up my hat up and retire (briefly) my spurs. It was then that I was finally ready to make my way into those college halls and I became the first college graduate in my family, graduating with two degrees from the University of Oregon.
Shortly after my graduation, I moved up north to Portland where I launched into my recruiting career. I have been fortunate enough to have opened two brand new markets along the way, worked with some really great agencies and even better, I have been able to work with and help staff teams on some pretty well-known brands! Nowadays, I am an Account + Recruiting Manager by day and a Weekend Warrior by weekend, (skiing, rock climbing, trail running, riding horses and traveling the world as much as possible!).
What attracted you to work in the staffing industry?
To be completely honest, I stumbled into this industry! I went to college (GO DUCKS!) late in life and graduated just as the market was moving forward in the right direction – post 2008 crash. Design has always been a huge part of my life and it made sense for me to make the move to the Art Institute – learning design foundations, spearheading design courses and recruiting incoming designers. I loved it, but I was eager to see their careers bloom. So, I jumped into the agency side, the next logical step for me – from recruiting incoming designers to now working with designers with experience!
Fast forward through my career, I’ve worked mainly in the staffing agency world, focusing on design, UX/UI, marketing, advertising and more, (in hindsight, I should have always known I would end up in the design space, as my thesis was on propaganda). I love the hustle, the problem solving and the constant challenges. I love working with hiring managers to understand their needs and partnering with them on strategy as well as bringing the best players onto their team. I also love having a pulse on the industry! It’s so fun to watch the ebbs and flows of the constantly changing landscape and be able to help and advise candidates along the way. Especially now, cause lord knows…this market is a wild one!
What are your favorite aspects of working with candidates?
My favorite part of working with candidates? That’s simple…humans! (and being able to work with them). Humans are so unique and individual, everyone is so different in how they were raised, their career choices and desires, what’s shaped them and which direction they want their career to grow. The coolest part is learning who they are, putting them first and understanding their past career and what is projecting them forward. I love to dive deep into resumes and portfolios to help them improve the aesthetic, the user experience and ultimately, help them highlight how rad they are so that they may gain more traction in their job search. It’s so cool to guide candidates and see the confidence build in them and, even better, when they land their dream job. Or even better than that? When we talk about the newest and coolest position and I am able to help them land that role. We have shaped, shifted and changed people’s lives. And that my friends, is so remarkable to be a part of.
Do you have a particular candidate story that’s memorable that you’d like to share?
I have 100s! Working in this industry for 10+ years, I’m fortunate enough to help make an impact on many people’s lives! I have countless stories about candidates becoming my friends and adventure pals, about getting texts and messages from candidates regarding big life events (like when Tiffany got married or TJ had their first baby!) or when you call candidates and give them the amazing news that they have an offer with their dream company and they break down and cry because, for some wild and crazy reason, you literally just changed their life. Being on the receiving end of the line when your candidate breaks down and explains to you how much the new role means to them, well, that is pretty darn neat to be a part of!
What is the one piece of advice that you consistently give candidates?
Be yourself. Be true to who you are, what you’re looking for and more importantly, what’s important for you! The market is WILD right now, so make sure you do your research before you apply. And when you do apply to a new role, make sure you put your best foot forward – peacock your skills and talents, be honest about your experience and really…be true to who you are! Don’t give up on the search, as cliché as this sounds, you will find the right role for you.
On a lighter note, what is your spirit animal?
Depends on the day! But today, I’m feeling the Bear, which represents strength and confidence, courage and strong-willed in nature. And I’m feeling all that these days!