This past month I celebrated my 15th year in the recruitment industry. What began as a job in a small technology recruitment consulting company as the 1st to be employed, working on high volume call center roles has evolved into a career that has exposed me to many of the business models employed within this industry.

I have worked in small boutique agencies, large global recruitment firms and until 5 years ago I always worked a full cycle desk, doing business development, account management, and sourcing/recruiting/interviewing of candidates. For 10 years I commuted, fought inclement weather, and presented the services of the companies I worked for to prospective clients. And as I came to find out, in the agency business model with its focus being on generating revenue and covering your draw or working on 100% commission, there was no time to truly foster solid relationships or get to know the people you were placing.

And although I continued working in the agency world for 10 years, something always bothered me about the business model that is so prevalent in that part of the industry. What bothered me, a view I have come to learn is common among many, was that the very people we were interviewing, representing to clients, and placing into open roles were never really scene in that regard. People, human beings, were referred to as placements, candidates, interviewees, etc., objectifying adjectives that took away from the very person they were.

Just over 5 years ago, I began working for an RPO provider supporting a major North American bank. And I immediately realized that I had found a home that aligned with my own values and desires to be in the business world. I found place where I was able to be myself, a real person. As a relationship focused professional, I was able to take the time to get to know the candidates I sourced, interviewed, and presented to our client hiring managers. In doing so, I was able to better qualify candidates who were a fit for the role I was speaking to them about. And as a result, the quality of my work improved, my submission/interview ratio increased, the number and frequency of referrals increased and the number of people I presented that were hired also increased.

I have found my groove in the RPO world as a Professional Sourcer, a Senior Search Partner, a trusted ally, a Project Leader, a constant recipient of high quality referrals, and a talent acquisition beacon, acting as a conduit for candidates into the world of our client. Although my first 10 years were spent crafting my skills and building my professional tool box, and were years of necessity, I realize now that all of them were preparing me for the work I do today.