NEWS + ADVICE
Interview with a Recruiter, Whitney Todd, Sawdey Solution Services
I have been in the recruiting industry for about seven years now. I have worked in both civilian recruiting and federal contracting recruiting. I relocated from South Eastern Kentucky to Dayton, Ohio in December, 2015, for my current role as a recruiter for Sawdey.
Another recruiter and I were brought onboard to establish a new recruiting department. Now that the department is up and running efficiently, our focus is to of course recruit for vacancies and act as that link between a job seeker and the company.
Why do I want to work for Sawdey
This is a cool little company that is doing big things! We now have over 300 employees located in 20 states all the way from Hawaii to DC. I think it’s always fun to be with an organization that is growing this fast — we doubled the size of the organization last year alone. You get to play a part in something that is so unique and so exciting.
Tell us about the hiring process with your company
Our hiring process is different in that everything is approached from a team aspect. We have leaders all across the country, so we brainstorm with them on a weekly basis on how we could better fill their vacant positions. For example, there could be a newspaper at a base that we wouldn’t know about that we could post our open positions in.
Do you target transitioning military
We don’t necessarily target transitioning military, although we do hire a lot of those individuals. All of our positions require an active security clearance and typically have a very quick turnaround time. If we can make that work for someone transitioning, then we absolutely will.
What types of cleared positions do you fill
Sawdey is unique in that there is no niche for the positions we fill. Right now for example we have Junior Admin Assistants, Weather Forecasters, Electrical Engineers, and SharePoint Developers open, just to name a few. That is one of the things I really enjoy here. There is enough variety in the positions we have that there is constant room for growth in knowledge.
Do you use search engines or social media to screen job seekers at any point in the hiring process
Most of the candidates we are targeting do not use social media, so no. The only social media tool we really use is LinkedIn, and that is mainly to source for candidates.
What are the toughest security cleared positions for you to fill and why
The toughest positions are definitely the engineering positions. Our engineers typically require different types of specialty experience from very specific military programs. There may only be a handful of individuals in the United States who even have the experience required.
As you can imagine, we do a lot of heavy sourcing for almost every position we have. Some of the Administrative Assistants are easier, but not easy by any means. These are not your average civilian Admins and often require seasoned experience and very specific government software knowledge.
What do you see security cleared job seekers doing wrong
The biggest issue I find would be resumes. You typically find two types of resumes out there; the kind that don’t list enough information (ex: only job titles and dates, no real description of the position) or the kind that list too much information and end up with a 25-page resume.
What job seekers want to focus on is finding that happy medium. There is a myth that your resume should only be two pages long. This does NOT apply to these security cleared folks who have very specialized experience. There is just no way to fit that on two pages! Try to see it from the view of a recruiter. Make sure you include key words in your job descriptions that would come up in search.
What’s the craziest thing a job seeker has ever said to you
It’s not necessarily crazy, but one thing that happens to me almost on a daily basis when communicating with Job Seekers via email is that they get my name wrong. My full name is Whitney Todd, yet probably 30% of everyone who responds addresses me as ‘Todd’ or ‘Mr. Whitney’. It happens so much that it has become a running joke and many people have started to call me ‘Todd’. This absolutely makes me think they aren’t fully reading my communication and they are definitely not looking at my signature block!
What’s the most inappropriate thing you’ve seen on a resume
It would surprise you at some of the things people list on their resume/application as their reason for leaving a position.
What do job seekers need to know about your job as a recruiter
One major thing for me in particular is that I spend at least 50% of my week on the phone, both in teleconferences and telephone interviews with candidates. If a recruiter doesn’t answer your phone call, they are not avoiding you! We are truly either away from our desk or preoccupied with another phone call. Please leave us a voicemail and please, please, do not hang up and call back repeatedly. If we are on the phone with another candidate or on a teleconference and someone is hanging up and calling back repeatedly, it can be really challenging for us to give the attention needed to that other person.This entry was posted on Thursday, June 23, 2016 6:56 am