Let’s get to know the professionals at Synergis that put people to work. This month, we sat down with Rebecca Schoonover, Creative Recruiter, who works remotely from her home in Stuart, Florida.
Rebecca, first please tell our readers a little about yourself and your professional background.
I have been working within the staffing industry for about three years now. I have taken an existing road to getting to where I am today including starting off in Marketing, Sports and Events Management (working with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Asheville Tourists). I have also worked as a Case Manager/Job Coach where I worked with community partners to employ individuals in the state-funded grant program for 30 personnel (classified as homeless, with a disability or ex-offender).
One of my most memorable positions (challenging, yet very fulfilling) during my career was as an Activities Assistant with a Senior Living facility, more specifically with Alzheimer’s residents. Lastly, I have worked as an Academic Advisor focusing specifically on student athletes (while at Florida Atlantic University) and with first-year undergraduate students and students entering the Doctorial of Chiropractic program (at Life University).
What attracted you to work in the staffing industry?
The opportunity to grow as a professional and work with really creative individuals. I also felt that much of my background, including working within counseling, picking up “interviewing techniques” and working with diverse populations, all relate to my current position as a recruiter.
What are your favorite aspects of working with candidates?
I love hearing about candidates’ career experiences. There are so many talented individuals out there. I love looking through the creative portfolios that candidates present and learning more about their specific contribution to the project and the overall goals. (I like to live vicariously through them!)
What are the biggest challenges you are seeing when it comes to finding talent?
One of my bigger challenges when it comes to finding talent for open opportunities is being able to meet ALL of the candidate’s expectations. For example, many times working with candidates in larger markets like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, etc., candidates have the expectation to be fully (100%) remote in their next opportunity. While I understand the benefits of having remote flexibility and not having to sit in traffic or commute into the office (sometimes up to an hour plus, one way) we do see a majority of our clients still requiring 100% onsite commitment; which many say isn’t appealing. While we are living in the digital age, and I do believe remote work can be done efficiently and effectively, I do also believe it is important for collaboration and building a company culture to continue encouraging onsite workdays. I encourage candidates (especially those younger, right out of college or even 1-3 years in the workforce) to put their time in, prove themselves and then ask for some flexibility down the road.
What is the one piece of advice that you consistently give candidates?
Since I work on many positions (UX/UI, Graphic Design, Content/Copy) that require working samples, it is very important for candidates to provide evidence of their work. Therefore, I am constantly encouraging candidates to keep their portfolios up-to-date and have samples available to be submitted with their resumes. Sometimes I receive pushback from candidates under a non-disclosure agreement, or those concerned about sharing sensitive information, which I am well aware of. However, creating a personal case study, sanitizing samples to make them presentable to the public or even password protecting projects are all ways to get around this roadblock.