Recruiting can be tough. Sorting through job applications from strangers to find a match to the internal position you’re hiring for takes a lot of talent. Plus, we recruit to create our very own A-team, in every sense of the word. Avionos employees have an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for seeing their impact on an organization, and as we expand into new places (like our recently opened office in Colombia) it’s important to maintain our company culture and core values. We sat down with our personal recruitment superhero, Senior Recruiter Kathleen Hoyt, to discuss what her job is like and how she tackles each new requisition. After all, recruitment is at the core of what makes Avionos a Crain’s Chicago Best Place to Work two years in a row.
Why did you want to work in recruiting?
I think most recruiters usually have the same answer to this question – at no point in my career planning did I ever say, “When I grow up, I really want to be a Recruiter!”. I sort of fell into it! When I was in college I was a bit of a Campus Nerd and got involved with our Admissions Department. I gave loud and obnoxious tours to parents and potential students and told them about how much I loved my college and what I loved about it. When I got into a corporate environment, I was working for a team that put out a job posting for its own dedicated recruiter. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t the best at the job that I was hiring for, but I knew what it was that made the others successful. That’s how I jumped into the Corporate Recruiting game – I guess I’ve always had a knack for observing or seeking to understand each person’s style, motivation, and how they think. I also ask a lot of questions. I mean…a lot. Ask my coworkers.
What made you want to join the A-Team at Avionos?
Honestly it was a few things – but what got me hooked was the picture of everyone at the company on the Avionos Careers Page. Everyone seemed like a real person. And it was diverse group – different races, genders, and ages. I also went into the interview process determined to be exactly who I am and answer all the questions truthfully. I felt like the team saw me for who I was and didn’t make me feel like an outsider and was able to recognize the value I could bring.
How has Avionos helped you progress in your career?
Well, I just started! However, I’m already really excited about the opportunity to refine and continue to build up our Recruiting processes. That’s the best part about working for a small company that everyone is trying to grow – you really get the chance to figure it all out.
What’s one of the most valuable things you’ve learned through your career?
Wow – that’s tough. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that you have to be engaged to create change and have an impact. Too often it’s easy to step back and be frustrated about your situation and point the finger at someone else. The most influential people (and the ones I’ve enjoyed working with the most) are ones that continually look at absolutely mind boggling and difficult situations and say, “Ok, so everything is terrible now. Let’s get started one step at a time. How do we clean up this mess?”, and then actually follow through. It’s the people that make you feel calm and ready to help when things seems hopeless or just unsolvable – they look at you and say, “Well, how do we eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
What does a typical day in your job look like?
Being in Consulting/Services, our recruiting isn’t as simple as having a guaranteed open requisition, fill that requisition, and move on. We have a few types of positions we like to be actively on the lookout for, and then a few Strategic, targeted roles. So I spend a ton of time sourcing on LinkedIn; I look at profiles, reach out to people, and chat about what it is that they want to do next. It’s like going on 5+ first dates a day – “What do you want? What do we want? Do we like each other?”. I do a ton of scheduling interviews internally of course, and understanding what the business needs in its next hire. I’m also always trying to streamline or improve internal processes, and make sure that each candidate we interact with has a good experience, and that there is clarity and transparency every step of the way.
What aspect of recruiting are you most passionate about?
For me, I’ve always thought of recruiting as being a really strong match maker, with a focus in accurate advocacy. My thought is, if I am thorough and understand what the business needs in terms of knowledge, skills, and abilities (as well as culture fit), and really dedicate myself to understanding what the candidate(s) are looking for, then I can make a match that will be successful and last. I have to be honest and be an advocate for each partner’s need in the process. If that information gets muddled, it’s messy for everyone. The clearer and more vocal I can be about everyone’s need, the likelier it is for the process to run smoothly and all parties end up happy and satisfied. So often, recruiters are measured on the HIRE. Get x amount of new people in each role, and we’ll know that you’re a successful recruiter. And it’s true, getting an interview team to make an offer and getting a candidate to accept it can be a monumental task, and when it happens, it should be celebrated. However, I think that recruiters are not measured enough on the impact that their hires make on the bottom line of the business. If the hires I make turn out to be a great cultural fit, exceed their expectations, and they as well as the business thrive because I was able to make a match, I feel extremely proud.
If you could describe Avionos in one word, what would it be?
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