Getting to know...Travis O’Rourke, Vice President and Head of Hays Talent Solutions 

1. What was your first job and how did it prepare you for your role today?

My first job was working as a paperboy for the local Markham paper, The Economist and Sun.  This job taught me discipline.  I didn’t have a team lead, or a manager, or anyone checking if I had completed the job or anyone measuring the quality of my work.  Sure, someone could complain, but I had to manage myself.  If I had a good day, or a bad day at school, the paper still needed to be delivered.  Snowing?  Raining?  My neighbors still wanted their news. There was time to rest after the last delivery.  I learned the pride that comes from a good day’s work. 

2. Name a business book that changed your life and why?

The Road to CEO by Executive Recruiter Sharon Voros.  Prior to reading this book in college, I didn’t know our industry existed.  It’s a collection of hundreds of recruiters’ stories, insights and advice. I loved it then, but enjoy it even more today.  This book has been a reference for me as both a candidate and a potential employer.  It ultimately sent me down this career path. 

3. What is the best career advice you ever received? 

The best advice I’ve received is from my employer Hays: Do The Right Thing.  It’s very simple, but an incredibly bright guiding light. No one will ever remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. If you focus on doing the right thing, your reputation will take your career in the fast lane. 

4. What's the first thing you do when you get to work? 

I’m a bit of an economics geek. I check the overseas markets and have a peek at the North American futures. Rarely will this influence decisions made that day, but in our industry you can’t overlook the importance of taking a macro view on your sales strategy. 

5. If you were unexpectedly given three months off, what would you do? 

I would take the summer months and immerse myself in family activities. Life comes at you fast and I’m already stunned at how fast my kids have grown. In the summer, when my kids are at the zoo or the cottage, I envy my wife.  At the end of the road, I don’t think anyone would regret spending more time with their family.

6. What do you love about our industry or what makes you most proud of it?

I love the impact that our industry makes on other people’s lives. Not just our candidates but also their families. We land a new Canadian their first job. We prep a new graduate to position their life experience on a resume and support a mother or father by finding them a job that lets them work from home. Because we make placements every day, it’s easy to forget the impact we have.   We improve people’s lives and I don’t think there are a lot of industries that can say that. 

7. What makes you excited about the future of our industry?

I’m excited to see how technology impacts the world of work.  Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, Augmented Reality and other innovations are transforming all industries. Our sector is certainly not immune to this disruption. How we work today is going to look quite different five years down the road.  For instance, how do we harness the rich data in our industry to guide better decision making and selection? If we can find a way, all of our candidates will be that much closer to their dream job and our clients to their dream candidate.