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Job Seeking From an Employer’s Perspective: Christine Kopp of Acacia HR Solutions

Expert Interview Series

Christine Kopp

HR Consultant, Acacia HR Solutions

Christine Kopp is an HR consultant for Acacia HR Solutions, which focuses on supporting small businesses who think BIG.  Since Christine helps companies hire talent and fulfill their HR needs, we sat down with her to get her perspective on how job applicants should approach the employment search process.

Tell us a bit about your background. Why are you so passionate about the human resources industry? 

Before I became an HR consultant, I worked for over 10 years in corporate HR doing benefits administration (domestic and internationally), HRIS system implementations, health and well-being initiatives, and more! Prior to my corporate role, I also recruited, dealt with employee relations… you name it, I’ve probably tried it! 

I think that is what I love the most about HR. There is always something new to learn. I love that we can impact a company’s strategy on many different levels. In HR, we truly have the ability to be innovative and make an impact on our organization.

How do HR departments cull the stack of dozens (or hundreds) of job applicants to reach a manageable number of candidates for a particular position? 

These days, much of the initial screening is completed through artificial intelligence. Reviewing job applications is so different than it was over 15 years ago when I was recruiting. I think it’s gotten better. 

The AI helps us focus on 50 applications versus 150. We are able to get through them so much more quickly, but it definitely still takes time.  Understanding the hiring manager's requirements for a role will help you decipher who to send on much quicker. As you work with hiring managers, you get to know what kind of candidates they prefer.

The AI helps us focus on 50 applications versus 150. We are able to get through them so much more quickly, but it definitely still takes time.

If a job applicant notices a posting for an open position that gets filled, but then the same open position is posted a short time later, what can he or she infer? Does it mean that the company may not be an attractive place to work?

Absolutely. That is something that must be considered. The company may not be an attractive place to work and has high turnover, and this may deter applicants from applying.  But it also can mean that the organization is growing, which is a good thing.  

I would tell applicants that they should keep an open mind, but remember they are also interviewing the company to see if it's a good fit for them as well. So they should ask questions to help decide if the company would be a good fit for them.  

Should a job candidate conduct himself or herself differently during an interview with a third-party HR service than he or she should during an interview with a company representative? 

I think a candidate should conduct themselves professionally at all times. It doesn’t matter if they are working with a third-party HR service, a company recruiter, or an administrative assistant. How they conduct themselves is a reflection of who they are, and they should always put their best foot forward no matter who they deal with.

If a new hire were to say to you, "I'm not going to ask a single question during my training because I don't want to look stupid and make the company think they made a mistake in hiring me," how might you respond? 

I would explain to the new hire, "Training is designed to help teach you." Training is a safe environment, so asking questions shows that you are engaged in your new role – so ask away! When you get out of training, the expectations change; so use that time to really grasp the material and clarify anything you have a question about.

What steps might new employees take if they want to be considered for a leadership position within their company at some point in the future? 

I tell new employees that before they can take on a leadership role, they must become an expert at their current role. Also, they should find a mentor (even on an informal basis) and ask about what opportunities they might have to get them to the next level – and then work towards those goals. They should also volunteer for any opportunity that will add to their skillset, even if it isn't glamorous. 

Most importantly, I tell employees, You are responsible for your own career."

What do you foresee for the future of human resources outsourcing? What ramifications does this have for job seekers?

I think that more and more companies are finding the value in human resources and they are being smart about it. They understand that there are portions of HR they just aren’t capable of handling on their own. Maybe they don’t have the expertise or the time to deal with it. So job seekers will have to get used to dealing with multiple parties. 

That awesome job is out there waiting for you! Give Vocate a try today!

Zack Andresen

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