1. What was your very first job and how did it prepare you for your role today?
I started working when I was 12-years-old. Most of my jobs during high school and post-secondary were in the hospitality industry, behind the counter at Burger King and managing tables at Scotland Yard and the Spaghetti Factory. This experience was my foundation for developing skills and core values in: commitment, communication, enthusiasm, organization and leadership. My first ‘real world’ job was in the staffing industry, where I cut my teeth as a technical recruiter.
2. How did you get your start in our industry?
I started in the Canadian Staffing industry with no idea what I was getting myself into. As a graduate Electrical Engineer, I was offered a position at OPG (Ontario Hydro at the time) to work at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Tiverton, Ontario. Having just returned home after 18 months travelling in the South Pacific, I wasn’t interested in moving to Tiverton. So, I respectfully turned the position down and joined a recruitment firm in Toronto. My family thought I was insane…but I spent the next 17 years at that company and then I launched my own business in 2004. My interest in the business was sold several years later and for the past five years I have been working with the David Aplin Group, a privately-owned Canadian company that has been in operation since 1975. It’s a great company and I must say that the culture at David Aplin Group and the synergy amongst its team of professionals across the country is second to none. As a single parent raising three children, my life has been rewarding and at times very challenging, but the staffing industry has always been good to me and my family. I have no regrets about the decision I made three decades ago.
3. Why did you decide to get involved in ACSESS?
I became involved with ACSESS 20 years ago to expand my professional network with peers across the country and share best practices, as well as challenges with those who were committed to helping others find and manage their careers. I also wanted to demonstrate my commitment to the industry by achieving my CPC designation. My affiliation with ACSESS has allowed me to meet and work with the most intelligent and well-respected staffing practitioners in North America, some of whom have become lifelong mentors. During my time with ACSESS, I’ve also been privileged to serve on many boards and committees, including a term as Ontario Chapter President and National President.
4. What gives you energy?
I draw my energy from positive people, exercise, accomplishments and success. This industry, like life, has many ups and downs. To enjoy the peaks, I’ve learned you must spend some time in the valleys. Surrounding myself with positive energy and positive people has always been the quickest way back to the peaks.
5. If you were unexpectedly given three months off, what would you do?
I would travel to the North Atlantic. My family is from England and Ireland and I have never had the opportunity to visit my ancestors’ land.
6. What’s your best advice to those entering the staffing/recruiting profession today?
The best advice I can give is to always focus on the people you are trying to help, both clients and candidates. Don’t make it about yourself. You have an opportunity to help hundreds of families realize their dreams, and at the same time, help corporations achieve their goals. Always invest the time to match the right people to the right companies and you will be rewarded both spiritually and financially.
7. What excites you about the future of our industry?
It’s the excitement of not knowing what’s next. In prior years it was job boards and social media, and now its artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots. Regardless of the disruptors, there will always be a place in our industry for professionals with a human touch. The evolution of technology and new processes will simply eliminate those who weren’t cut out for this industry in the first place.