The Jason Cavness Experience
cavnessHR Podcast - A talk with Keirsten Greggs of TRAP Recruiter, LLC
Keirsten’s Social Media!!
One of the things that I offer through Trap Recruiter, LLC is career coaching. I will offer a 20% discount on for say, 10 of your listeners. If they sign up for career coaching sessions.
Jason Hello, and welcome to the cavnessHR podcast. I'm your host Jason Cavness. Our guest today i Keirsten Greggs. Keirsten are you ready to be great today
Keirsten I am.
Jason Keisten is a talent acquisition consultant and career coach. In 2017 she founded Trap Recruiter LLC. A small business committed to bridging the gap between the job seeker and organizations committed to tracking hiring, developing and retaining diverse talent and fostering inclusive, equitable cultures. During her 19 year career, she has implemented creative recruiting strategies for Defense Intelligence, federal and civilian contract portfolio. That accumulated a full range of talent acquisition experience, including full lifecycle recruiting, executive hiring, talent acquisition operations, training, development and delivering. Talent acquisition, Product Management, college recruiting, internal staffing. Always focused on relationship building. she engages with a broader audience via her blog as a guest speaker and as a guest in various podcasts, facilitating workshops and training Keirsten, thank you for being here today. I really appreciate it.
Keirsten Thank you for having me.
Jason What are you focused on now?
Keirsten Right now I do focus primarily on a contract that I have with a company to staff their global trade compliance group. So that is my quote unquote, nine to five job, that will be your regular full lifecycle recruiting. Then I still do some of my independent things on the side. I am grateful and so very thankful that this company is very amenable to my schedule, allowing me to continue to do Trap Recruiter work as long as their good work is completed.
Jason A lot of recruiters like have a niche, they only do construction or tech. But it's like you have a broad and general based recruiter.
Keirsten Initially, I was a tech recruiter, because I started in 1999. Because of the area that I live in, a lot of companies were popping up and the way that I got into government contracting, was that the company that was one of our customers. They actually did not have a recruiting department. So they brought three of us over to be their internal recruiters instead of paying us that heavy fee that they paid for each hire. So then they just paid us salaries, then it saves them a lot of money. Somehow I transitioned that into the more Intel space, or the Intel portfolios for the companies that I worked for. But again, that work was very broad. It could be in a executive hire, it could be a contracts person, it could be a security person, it could, it could be an IT person or an engineer. So the only difference was, in a lot of cases, I was adding a clearance to the requirements for the jobs I was hiring against.
Jason Keirsten, you do both defense and civilian recruiting, correct?
Jason So what are some of the differences between the two is one easier or more challenging?
Keirsten Defense is definitely more challenging. Again, because you only have so many folks that are not only used to the culture of a defense contractor. Especially, when you're talking about people that are going to be sitting on site at a government site, or at a military installation. So that is a little bit more difficult when you add the caveat that they not only have to know the programs, and the little nuances of the culture, but they also have to have a security clearance
Jason Can you explain your passion for recruiting?
Keirsten I love helping people, there is a wonderful feeling that you get when you help someone get a job. I know what it's like to be unemployed. I didn't at the time that I started recruiting. I thought it was going to be more like a sales type of thing. I had this idea, the same that I think we see on memes now where you know, it's like what people think I do. It's like this lavish lifestyle, we're on boats, and yachts drinking champagne, and that's not really it. We really are doing work. So I had this idea of what it was going to be like to be a technical recruiter. But the more I got into the actual strategy of it, being a relationship builder, building trust, helping people get a job. Creating the organizational culture with the people that I was hiring, making sure I was hiring the best talent that we could. That's what really, you know, drives me and gets me excited every single day,
Jason What do most job candidates get wrong about working with a recruiter,
Keirsten Sometimes they can be a little bit abusive. Sometimes, if recruiters don't set boundaries, or if they try to be everything to everyone, and that's not just the candidates, but the hiring managers, or the customers that they're supporting, recruiters can sometimes get burned out. They think that we don't have anything else to do but attend to them.
Jason So some of them are expecting 24, seven access to you and that's not a reality, that's not realistic.
Keirsten It's not realistic, and I do my best, as I've gotten older and more mature to really be the one that sets those boundaries and cuts the lines of communication after a certain time. Because people will try to have access to you 100%. Especially, now you can email me which used to be the only way where you could call me and then we have cell phones. So you can call me on my cell phone, you can call me at work, you can text me, you can email me. Now you can reach out to me on social media and tell everybody in the world that I did not respond to you in a manner that you know, as timely as you would like. Now you've embarrassed me, and you probably talked yourself out of a job because maybe I was busy. I just didn't get to you yet. Or maybe your timeline wasn't my timeline. There's a lot of ways that a recruiter has to be very, very aware of how they are managing their time and the people that have access to it.
Jason I have to think if a candidate has a recruiter on their side, that's really the best thing for them. Because everyone will change jobs eventually. If you have a recruiter on your side. They call you and say, I'm probably leaving my job in six months. That has to be a value add for that person, I would think.
Keirsten It definitely is. I think the biggest challenge that I have, from speaking in general terms. There are always those one offs, but it's with the people that know me personally, and my family is the ones that take the most advantage. Because I get crazy requests of things to do because I have certain accesses to stuff and I'm just like, no, that's not appropriate. Like, don't ask me to do that. I'm not doing that for you. Or, you know what, I don't have time to do that right now. Because I do actually have a job that makes me do the things that you're asking me to do.
Jason Keirsten how often is it that a hiring manager gives you a job to fill. You send them some candidates based on the requirements and then the hiring manager says that they are changing the requirements. How often does that happen?
Keirsten A lot. It happens a lot in organizations that are new, and I'm working in an organization as 100% new. I was actually hired to staff the organization completely. That group of people I should say because it is a large company, but this group is new. So there is not a lot of confidence in what they need. Because there's no precedent already set and the things that went wrong with the previous group there. I think they're far too focused on not repeating those mistakes. That they're not really looking at what went right and what can we replicate? How can we move things forward quickly. So it happens to me, unfortunately, a great deal where I'm revising things. I'm redoing things, most of the time, it's because of the level of the position that they described. They put out one thing, and I think they want it to get away lot of responses, or see what they get back. There's a lot of that, what will I get back, they cast a wider net, and then they start to draw it in. When we do find the right person, we end up having to do a lot of administrative work in the background to correct the level of the position. It is one of my pet peeves in recruiting because you don't level people, I feel like you level up level positions.
Jason Most of the companies that start off hire the people they know. But that person probably isn't the best person to do marketing and they usually hire people that look like them.
Jason How do you convince people that maybe your best buds not the best marketing person. Maybe look for other people who don't look like you. How do you convince people to do that?
Keirsten It's not easy. We talk a great deal about diversity, inclusion, and equity today, every single day. I have added. I believe in deliberate diversity, I believe in intentional inclusion. I think a lot of people are deliberate in wanting to have a diverse workforce. They're intentional in going to diversity, job fairs, or reaching out to veteran organizations or going to different conferences. Bringing in interns every summer. So they're intentional, but they don't empower and allow for equity to come into the organization. So that's why they lose a number of their diversity hires Whey can't retain diversity hires at the rate that they would like, and why the workforce remains, you know, very, very, very, for lack of a better term. Vanilla.
Jason Tell us something about owning your own business that you did not expect.
Keirsten I did not expect to do so much work that has nothing to do with recruiting. I have always been adamant that I did not want to be branded as a recruiting agency. But there are so many things that go into owning a business, but I just was not prepared for and I just was not ready for.
Jason So from your point of view, what makes someone a great recruiter?
Keirsten Number one, I think passion for recruiting, you really have to, to love it, you have to have a very thick skin. You have to be able to change your course very quickly. You're not going to be able to follow a script every single day. You're not going to be able to be a to z one to 10 methodical, methodical every single day. You are going to have to change your priorities over and over and over again. If you can become okay with that, with having multiple personality disorder and OCD pressed upon you, then you're going to be a great recruiter.
Jason Keirsten how often or what percentage do people ask you to do something unethical? or illegal? How often does that happen? As a recruiter.
Keirsten I don't get those because I come from an environment that was highly bureaucratic. Where we did have to follow a lot of rules. Sometimes I felt like there was a lot of self imposed governance that I myself was trying to get away from. Trying to get around to make my life a little bit easier, not that I was doing anything unethical or illegal. But I think some of the controls that we put into the process can sometimes make things more difficult than they should be. I don't get any outright blatant requests to do something illegal. If I get something that is unethical or that it's out of compliance, I'll say that is probably the word that I will use. If I get something that that's not compliant, we'll make it compliant. If at all possible, for example, we know that we want to hire Joe Smith for this role. But our policies and procedures say that we have to interview three people. So we interview three other people and we do that. But I'm also the one that's trying to make people be aware that no, I didn't give you just three people that I know you weren't going to hire. I gave people that could either build the pipeline or them may knock Joe Smith, out of the running for this position. I'm going to do my due diligence. So I don't allow any, anyone any organization to put me in a situation where I don't feel like I'm being morally sound. Now, I won't do that.
Jason So from my point of view, I think it's easier to find a job nowadays. The reason because before when I was coming up, it was newspaper ads? But nowadays you can go to the website. Companies advertise jobs on Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram. There are all these places people can find jobs. So do you think it is easier or harder for people to find jobs now?
Keirsten I think it's easier for people to get connected to companies. But it's not necessarily easy to fill the jobs. But if we're not filling them with the right people. I think it's, it's up to the organization's to make sure that we are doing enough to say what kind of workforce we're going to want in the future, not just for today.
Jason Keirsten in your time in recruiting? What have you seen the candidates consistently do wrong? Then what do you do when you see the companies do wrong when trying to fill those jobs?
Keirsten Candidates, I think they sometimes for me, they oversell just because of the industry that I'm in. I think they oversell themselves. They put too much on the organization in terms of what they're going to do for them. I think organizations are a little bit naive in the sense that they don't think that employees will ever leave them or that the employee needs them. So they're like you need I think that's the change that's happened in the workforce completely is that it's no more of what can you do for me, it's what can I do for you?
Jason I mean, at will works both ways, right?
Keirsten It does.
Jason Can you talk a little bit how recruiters are paid?
Keirsten Well, I have been a corporate recruiter most of my life, so I was paid like an employee. You get bonuses for meeting goals. There are third party recruiters that can be retained for specific roles. They would get a percentage of the higher salary paid by the organization. There are recruiters that get paid by job seekers to help them find a job who actually go out and look for jobs for them. There are recruiters who are on retainer who make a monthly or quarterly amount for supporting an organization and giving them candidates across different positions. Then there are recruiters who help people who supply contingent workers or temporary workers. They get paid a percentage of a person's bill rate, they get a bill rate, and they end that company pays the employee,
Jason I'm guessing the best method depends on the recruiter and another variables.
Keirsten It depends on number one the position. So there's an abundance, you will always have work filling, manual labor jobs. There's a lot of those, and it helps the organization and it helps, those third party recruiters stay employed to hire their people on a temporary basis. Especially, when you don't have an organization that's very competent in their hiring practices. It's better to do that, that temp to perm type of deal. So that you get to try and buy before you commit to the person. Those companies are the ones that are doing the work for you. So you again, they are they're keeping a pipeline. If Joe Smith doesn't work out, then they can send Amy Jones.
Jason Keirsten, I understand you have something for our listeners today.
Keirsten Yes. So one of the things that I offer through Trap Recruiter, LLC is career coaching. I will offer a 20% discount on for say, 10 of your listeners. If they sign up for career coaching sessions.
Jason Keirsten, can you share your social media with us so people can reach out to you?
Keirsten I can be found everywhere. Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook. Did I miss any? @traprecruiter
Jason For our listeners will have the links her gift offer and her social media links at www.cavnessHRblog.com Keirsten we are coming to the end of our talk. Can you provide our listeners any last minute advice on any subject you want to cover?
Keirsten For recruiters, I want to encourage all of us to please just be good people. We are the ones who are creating the culture and organizations. If we aren't doing our due diligence and bringing in the best people and doing good hiring practices. Then we are going to continue to have trash garbage companies like we have now. So let's just be better people. Let's not continue bad behaviors that we see all over an let's try and change the perception of what a recruiter is.
Jason Keirsten, thank for your time today. I really appreciate it. You have done a lot of great things for everyone. Thank you very much.
Keirsten Thank you.
Jason To our listeners. Thank you for your time as well and remember to be great every day.
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