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Meet Beth Havens, A Corporate Recruiter with a Physics Degree & Love Ancient Architecture

Posted on May 20, 2009
Filed Under Interviews | 1 Comment


RecruitingBlogs Profile
Linkedin Profile
Community Volunteering (If Any): I help my elderly neighbors, with tasks that have become a bit much for them, and I have some political interests that I persue.
Personal Causes: Saving Edith Wharton’s Home in the Hamptons, it’s a very unique bit of history
Office/Cell Number: 805-212-0612
Personal Email: msbhavens1@yahoo.com
*** Beth is Available for New Opportunities

Beth Havens has been a Full Cycle Contract Technical Recruiter with more than 12 years exempt recruitment experience in high-volume, high profile technical and scientific fields. Beth takes pride in her expertise in areas such as risk reduction, ability to work independently or in teams, vendor negotiation, collecting and defining business requirements, executing strategic searches, workforce planning, strong flexibility to adjust to demanding environments with attention to details and deadlines.

Q&A with Beth Havens

Six Degrees: Tell us about your home world Beth

Beth I am an empty nester with a busy year ahead of me! My youngest Daughter Graduates from the University of Louisville, in Kentucky, on the 9th of May. (Yes that is the week after the Kentucky Derby, for you horse racing fans out there) My Oldest Daughter is getting Married in August, and finishes her Masters at USC in December (her BA is from UCLA, she has a fine sense of humor) otherwise it is just me and the critters at home these days! Have Dog will travel!

Hobbies! Oh my! Aside from the obvious hobbies of gardening and hiking, I am known to write poetry, I have a book on lulu dot com that I put together for the friends and family who complained, “Toads Pond”. I’m known to hang out with the Society for Creative Anachronism on occasion. I enjoy medieval engineering, heraldry, textile hobbies and other interesting tidbits to be found within that group. I love ancient architecture. I’m far more likely to be found in the museum or the garden than on the beach. I’m terribly unsocial in my private life for a recruiter.

Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?
Beth I started recruiting in 1995. My BS is in Physics and Computer Science and finding a job in that market was a bit tough, when I stumbled across a recruiter who thought I’d make a good recruiter. I think a good many recruiters stumbled into the industry via odd roads. I had the pleasure of working for an IT staffing company called XXCAL for a good many years before I went into contract recruiting. Since then I have been doing contract and freelance recruiting. Generally I get called for one of two things, either hard to find Scientific, Engineering, IT or Technical people, OR oddly enough, hard to work with hiring managers. I have worked with both very large companies like Citibank, and Sony electronics, and small companies(less than 100 employees), like Xencor. I find either can be great opportunities as long as there are interesting requirements to work on.

Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?

Beth Full Cycle Contract Technical Recruiter with more than 12 years exempt recruitment experience in high-volume, high profile technical and scientific fields. I am dedicated and work to give a high level of professionalism. My abilities include strong written and verbal communication, risk reduction, ability to work independently or in teams, vendor negotiation, collecting and defining business requirements, executing strategic searches, workforce planning, strong flexibility to adjust to demanding environments with attention to details and deadlines.

Most recently, Beth serviced at Sony Electronics, Inc. through Integrity Placements, performing full cycle recruiting, mainly for ISSA, Legal, Marketing and Controller groups. Recruiting mainly SAP manufacturing and finance project lead and management for ISSA. Participating in research and development for a strong print ad campaign, as well as searching for and developing stronger presence in recruiting online in niche arena’s for specific job functions, mainly seeking Project experience for large ERP projects. Helped to re-create the in house staffing function at Sony.

Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?

Beth Transitioning from Agency Staffing to Contract Recruiting – it allowed me to really do the parts of recruiting I like best! Working directly with hiring managers to fill needs, and working on finding the candidates to fill those needs, while not having to do the part I dislike which is hunting for prospective opportunities.

Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?

Beth I have to say the person I learned the most about recruiting and business in general from, was Marv Hoffman. Marv not only provided a great deal of recruiting training, but encouraged his recruiting teams to participate in groups that they could learn more from. For instance while working with XXCAL I belonged to several users groups that were great souring pools. (NT users group and a VB Testing group for example)

We attended recruiting conferences and Marv had his own training sessions as well. It would have been hard to spend any length of time in that group and NOT learn a great deal.

Six Degrees: Tell us about your position, (responsibilities, size of your staffing organization) :

Beth Currently I am doing freelance work, taking on requirements from staffing firms who need a bit of help, and doing splits while seeking that next contracting opportunity!

Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?

Beth I am hoping the Trend in new Energy Development and Deployment will have a great boost in my future opportunities, as I’ve been keenly interested in alternate energy sources since I was a teen. Be it thermal heating systems, Wind turbines, solar (recently read a great white paper from MIT on some solar energy changes that would radically alter the amount of energy you are ABLE to use from solar cells) or even passive energy creation or conservation. (for instance if you don’t lose as much heat from a home, you don’t need to create as much, etc.) But then I’m always interested in engineering and architecture, so this shouldn’t’ be too big a shock for those who’ve been reading along. I am a geek by nature, and no! That is not a negative statement!

Six Degrees: Tell us about your broader involvement within the staffing industry: (Do you attend conferences? Which ones? List/detail speaking events, awards, publications, where you have you represented your company)

Beth I have attended conferences in the past, SHRM, ERE and many conferences that were directly related to my recruiting needs, Like the Optical Electronic Industry conferences, or Computer conferences which were related to industries I was recruiting for. My personal favorite is the OPIE. I have to admit, I have a couple Schott glasses from the Schott glass company. That has to be one of the best give aways ever.

Six Degrees: Can you detail how the recession has affected your particular industry niche? Has it effected your job or that of your fellow team members within the organization – If so, to what extent? (If you have been laid off, tell us about the experience, when it happened)

Beth My last contract ended at the end of January in 2008. I was very surprised that I didn’t have several opportunities in the wings when it ended, but still, I didn’t think I’d be working freelance as long as I have. I had remarked to some friends in 2007 that some banking transactions I’d had reason to observe worried me as to the state of several banks stability. I really hate to be right some days. It seems to me that the media began paying attention to the recession in Late 2008, but that the recession itself began early 2007. I began seeing a great deal more recruiters looking for work peaking in the winter months of 2008 and finally starting to subside in about March of this year.

Of course in times like this, Good Sales Staff are worth their weight in gold, but they aren’t automatically created from thin air, so both staffing agencies and corporate business have found themselves going through sales staff and training at a rather intense rate (good training is far too under rated and under utilized in my opinion) while other business find themselves holding their collective breath, so to speak waiting to see what is happening on the world stage, or even failing in the interim.

We will recover, economies do, sometimes more slowly than others, but we will recover. Now, where we will all be at the other end of that recovery, that is the question! I admit to having some Thoughts about the viability of changing direction, but to what purpose? Important questions these!

I think one of the best indications that the bleeding of the economy is slowing down is that there are more advertisements for recruiters and a big slowdown in the number of NEWLY unemployed recruiters. If there are Jobs, there will be a need for recruiters, so it is, I think, the number one job listing to look for in a recovering economy.

Interestingly there seem to be a great deal more ads for the east coast than west coast coming up on my searches. That too may be an indication of what we need to watch in the coming year. Are other economies recovering faster than the California economy? And which industries are recovering fastest. Which seem to be failing completely? I enjoy searching through this information on a regular basis lately. Also I would expect some staffing agencies to do really well when the economy begins to heal because when applicants are abundant, what manager wants to wade through hundreds of resumes to find a few gems? So the pick up in Agency hiring is to me another indication that the recession is beginning to ease just a bit. I am looking forward to a happier year!

Six Degrees: Aside from simply the generic term “Networking” what specific efforts have you made on your own behalf, or on behalf of colleagues to broaden your opportunities. Are there specific groups, both online and in-person that have proved fruitful in extending your personal brand and job seeking prospects?

Beth You know that is a great question! I have joined a few interesting groups in an effort to get more visibility. I joined the “Ruthie List” and “Carecruit” (California recruiting) groups. I also started receiving other industry communications that I thought might be useful for finding companies that might need my services. I found a few browsers that have been uniquely helpful. Indeed.com is a site that lets you see jobs on several boards and even private company sites at once. Which also just brings to light several possible companies that might be useful.

Six Degrees: Given your own Trial and Error experiences as a Networker, what advice do you have for your peers on what NOT to do? Be specific

Beth I should advise against sharing too much personal information, there really is (and I believe, should be!) a difference between your personal and public life. Other than that, be interested in others as much as you are interested in promoting your own needs, because if you don’t listen to others, you will miss opportunities for yourself! (or maybe even an opportunity for a friend)

Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?

Beth There are a couple things I’d like to do. One objective is to work with a small company helping build a solid team from the ground up. Possibly working that effort into an operations Lead position later on. Another thing that I’d be interested in doing is leading a recruiting team for a large company. Either objective is highly dependent upon opportunity. I have my eyes open for just such an occurrence!

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  1. Digital Biographer™ » Posts about Personal Branding as of May 21, 2009 on May 21st, 2009 7:18 am

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