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Pt 2: Meet Beth Havens, A Corporate Recruiter with a Physics Degree & Love Ancient Architecture

Posted on May 28, 2009
Filed Under Interviews | Comments Off on Pt 2: Meet Beth Havens, A Corporate Recruiter with a Physics Degree & Love Ancient Architecture

By Dave Mendoza
* Originally Featured on

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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:
*** Beth is Available for New Opportunities


Six Degrees: How many applicants at your present employer do you estimate are hired from your corporate website as compared to how many are hired through referrals?

Beth When corporate recruiting, it has been my experience that the overwhelming vast majority of the hiring was the result of sourcing efforts on my part, which included, corporate advertising, searching internal and external databases and networking. I found that a good candidate was just as likely to be found by anyone of these methods as the other, which is why I employ all these methods. .

Six Degrees: What is the source of your “LOWEST COST OF HIRES” – (least amount of invested resources for the easiest hires, regardless of quality) at your present employer?

Beth Without doubt the lowest cost per hire I have found has been with previously known candidates, or internal transfers. An internal transfer does not always mean another opening. One of the things smart companies do, is to review the personnel they have to let go from One team, for the likelihood they can fill openings in another group. The cost savings can be tremendous there.

Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?

Beth I generally focus on hard to find IT, Engineering or Scientific candidates, though I’ve been asked to fill legal openings as well. While at Sony my main focus was in hiring High level SAP management and design level candidates and Law candidates. While at Amgen it was chemists and other high level R&D scientists, at Citibank embedded Unix developers, and Oracle programmers. If it is a complex opportunity, I may be the recruiter you need.

Six Degrees: What recruitment software tools do you use in your day to day recruitment activities & do they translate effectively within all of the different countries where you recruit?

Beth I have probably used just about every ATS system out there, at one time or another, having an ATS is invaluable, which one you have is certainly up to you or your company, my favorite is Bond. The one I’ve used most is Taleo.

Secondly I think one should have access to posting on Some job boards, one doesn’t necessarily need every board out there, but one universal board, and a few niche boards that fit your company needs really do make networking easier. Not to mention advertise your company and give you more opportunities to network. And contact with niche groups that support whatever activity you most need in your hiring, be it MBA groups or some users group that services a particular type of prospective candidate, these can be invaluable. My brain, is also known to be a fairly useful tool, though I don’t claim to share all its contents.

Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?

Beth I came into recruiting when databases and search engines were already in use. And being a geek I really don’t think I would have gotten into it otherwise. If I file it, it isn’t likely to be seen again for years. I file things that Might be useful sometime, not things I use on a regular basis. That is why databases are so useful, its filing for things you plan on using regularly. I also think I drove my first bosses crazy because I hired more candidates on email than I ever called, and that drove the metrics crazy. But then a lot of the candidates I deal with don’t like(and occasionally don’t answer) the phone.

Six Degrees: How did your expectations of being a recruiter compare to the actual, first time you got on the phone or in the cubicle? In your opinion, how do people’s assumptions about our vocation differ from reality?

Beth I didn’t have any idea of what to expect when I first started recruiting, since it wasn’t anything I ever imagined I’d be doing! So no expectations to live up to or crush. I think the biggest assumption people have about recruiting is that it in any way is an HR function. Recruiting is a management function, and is diabolically opposed to HR. the sole function of HR is to protect a companies assets. This means if you have someone in HR doing your recruiting, they often will not show resumes to hiring managers that they think are a pain to HR. a recruiter puts the position and the hiring managers needs before HR preferences. Recruiting assumes the responsibilities of a hiring manager to detail, advertise and find suitable candidates for an opening. Some of the odd HR jobs recruiters take on in order to fulfill that duty, are for our own convenience, to get the job done. They aren’t a recruiting function per se’. The most foolish thing any business can do in my opinion, is to put recruiting under the auspices of HR. If they aren’t under their own separate heading altogether, then they should be under operations.

Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn’t…and how that was a learning experience?

Beth I will have to hold a contest to see. Though possibly the one I thought the silliest was parking in boss’ favorite (though unmarked) parking place when I went for an interview.

Six Degrees: How do you personally expect to facilitate change within our industry, and/or at your place of work? If you started that process, outline the problem, your solutions, and the vision.

Beth I think that the best way to make any industry better is to do your best at what you do. Lead by example and change will occur naturally. Well it’s a theory anyway.

Six Degrees: “Best practice” you are most proud of developing (now or in the past) in your recruiting career?

Beth The best recruiting practice is to stick to process.

Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?

Beth I think the biggest obstacle to recruiting, are hiring managers whose personal hiring goals clash with their companies hiring goals. They most often take up the most time. This time waster is followed closely by un-necessary meetings.

Six Degrees: Considering all of the frustrations you have experienced in your career as a recruiter, — what inspires you as you continue in your career?

Beth I’m happiest when working on an interesting opportunity. Finding that one odd placement no one else can find.

Six Degrees: What one thing do you ideally hope to accomplish in 2009? (OR) Six Degrees: What one thing do you find most ideal given the opportunity to develop/ implementing/ invent professionally that has yet to be done.

Beth Actually I’d like to see an MRP (manufacturing resource planner) that is similar to a job board for investors and communities to use to help manufacturing stay strong. The idea being that resources, inventors and investors really need a place to network to make opportunity happen. The thought comes out of my recruiting experience.

Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?

Beth Only the hole in the economic dyke


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