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Sabra is an account manager and recruiter with Clearpoint Professional, and has more than 9 years of experience in the Recruiting and Staffing industry. Sabra specializes in information technology, accounting, finance, and office management professionals.
Q: You've been with Clearpoint a long time and recruited in many specialty areas, can you tell us more about those transitions?
A: I'm probably the only internal employee who has worked in every division! I've worked in Professional, Creative, and Technology. It's always been a very natural progression between the divisions, and the common denominator is that people have needs and I help them with those needs. It's as plain and simple as that. Whether it's a candidate looking for a job or a client looking to hire, it can be painful and frustrating, and I'm here to make it easy!
Q: What hiring trends have you experienced in 2013?
A: Well, folks are looking at job opportunities in a different way than they were 10 years ago. People have quirky requests sometimes, that aren't really so strange anymore, like "can I bring my dog to work?" These types of requests are really not so foreign these days, and more and more companies are offering flexible schedules, workout facilities, childcare, or other perks that are valuable to candidates looking for more work/ life balance. I have one client who as an on-site chef available to their employees. Companies are really taking employee retention very seriously.
Q: What are your predictions for hiring trends in 2014?
A: We are seeing our economy come back. It seems there is an economic recession every 7-10 years or so, and people need to know that this is inevitable. Clients and candidates alike should plan for this. I've seen the full life cycle of economic recession and growth 4 times now, and I know that we are on an upswing currently, so my prediction is that this will be a great year for job opportunities.
Q: What's your top advice for candidates?
A: Network, network, network½and then network some more! It's really ½ of what you know and ½ who you know. Finding a job and hiring a candidate is often times compared to dating, but I really don't see it that way. When you are dating the first few dates are very sweet and chatty, you aren't going to really dig into the "hard questions", such as, "do you want children" or "what religious values do you have?" It's quite the opposite with interviewing. While there is still a bit of rapport building and personality match, employers want to know right out of the gate what value you will bring to their team. Candidates need to keep this in mind and be prepared to present "hard answers" during their first interview. Hiring managers aren't on a date - they want to know the nuts and bolts of what your experience, skills and work ethic during the first meeting. Your fun-loving personality, while definitely important, will come into play later on.
Q: What advice would you give people who are considering going into the recruiting industry?
A: Don't be disheartened and don't let people get the best of you. This job is not for the faint of heart. It's equally challenging as it is rewarding. Most importantly, don't fool yourself into thinking that you don't need your spiritual life as a foundation on this job. Absolutely do not diminish the importance of it. I love my job and I truly feel it's a calling. I definitely believe that helping people, in their career search and managers with their staffing issues, is integral in my Christian walk.
Q: What is something surprising that your clients and candidates might not know about you?
A: For about 4 years during the downturn I taught 5th grade math and 4th grade science part-time while I also worked part-time at Clearpoint. Handling staffing projects to a completion is much like the rush a teacher feels while experiencing the "light-bulb." Your student finally "gets it" and the world is a beautiful place. You have made a difference. It was a wonderful, fulfilling job and one that I received immediate gratification from every day. It was also the hardest job I ever had. Many people just don't realize that the time and devotion teachers spend in developing lesson plans and carrying out those plans. A majority of my time was spent in the development of those lessons. The classroom time was minimal in comparison. Having this experience as a teacher has made me a better person in so many ways. I now have skills in helping folks get engaged in the learning process. My abilities to strategize and execute projects have increased dramatically and I'm a better public speaker too. Though I still have a little "stage fright."
Q: What's the coolest recruiting story you can share with us?
A I had a fluke recently that is just one of those "meant to be" placements. I called a guy and about 30 seconds into the conversation realized that I had picked up the wrong resume and had called him by mistake! It was embarrassing. I let him know that unfortunately, I would not be able to help him. He was highly skilled in a different industry altogether and I was recruiting for a mid-level oil and gas accounting role. I told him that I was really sorry-that I had made a mistake in calling him. I apologized for wasting his time but thanked him for a lovely conversation anyway. Then, literally 2 minutes after hanging up the phone my boss comes in and says, "Sabra, I have a VP of Operations role to fill for a client, is there any chance that you know anyone that's a fit?" So I called the guy back, and let him know, "Hey you're not going to believe this, you are going to think I am crazy, but, I have a role for you!" We placed the guy in a VP level role! Some things are just meant to be J
Clearpoint is the staffing partner of choice for many of Houston's top employers. Companies trust us to fill open technology and creative positions with talented professionals because of our successful track record, years of experience, and extensive network of amazing talent.www.clearpointco.com
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