To help you manage the sizeable shifts within today’s talent market, 180 Engineering wants to take you behind the scenes to get insights, options, and observations from our skilled and experienced team members. Our talent-recruitment veterans are working with our network every day to help clients find the engineering and IT professionals needed to grow their organizations and to help candidates at various points in their careers to achieve their goals.
Meet LeRoy Cooper, Contract Division POD Leader, 180 Engineering
LeRoy has years of experience working within the talent-acquisition sector. Currently, he’s leveraging his unique background and IT sector knowledge to lead 180 Engineering’s contract personnel division.
As you work with both clients and candidates, what are some of the most important areas of focus for you?
When I begin a relationship with a client, I want to make sure that the candidates will be in a healthy place. Of course, that means a safe place physically, but it also means a healthy mental and emotional environment that’s a good match for their personalities, strengths, and work styles. Above all else, I want candidates to grow and flourish, and I want clients to find the right fit for their workplace.
The culture of the company and the personality of the candidate weigh heavily in determining whether there will be a good match. For instance, sometimes a work environment requires more independent work and thinking, while other times it is more of a team environment. You must find candidates with the right combination of personality, work style, education, skills, and experience to make the right placements.
How do you get a feel for the client’s company and for the types of candidates that will likely be the best fits?
When I sit down with the client, I ask a lot of open-ended questions. However, clients frequently will tell me one thing when they really want something different. So, it’s important to talk not only to the president and other members of the executive leadership team but also the line managers who work with people on a day-to-day basis. I find conversations with line managers exceptionally helpful because I can get a feel for the daily work environment, team style, and processes used.
How do you manage the talent acquisition needs among different stakeholders within client organizations?
Although a CEO typically has a set of well-established goals, the management team is essential because it can execute the visions and strategic plans to accomplish these goals. Having exposure and insights into both spheres means I am much better placed to make the right talent match. Human Resources (HR) is clearly extremely important to the overall process as well.
However, candidates can easily get lost in the process of navigating these various stakeholders, and I see it as my role to serve as a bridge of sorts. I work to ensure that the candidate fully understands what is needed in the position, the nature of the work environment, and the culture and mission of the company. In short, I do everything I can to put the candidate in a position to be happy and to succeed.
Sometimes it’s tough, but experience has taught me to ask for three important things about the position. I put the same question to the involved members of the team—that is, executive leadership, frontline managers and HR. I distill the collected answers to provide comprehensive insights into the client organization and prospective candidates.
After these conversations, I typically present the type of person I believe will be successful in the position based on the gathered insights. This playback confirms that everyone involved agrees on the type of person 180 Engineering will be looking for. These presentations also offer clients perspectives on their own organizations, and it’s a great time to adjust our talent-acquisition plan if necessary.
Rectifying any mismatches allows the entire process to be much more efficient and effective, prevents job descriptions that don’t describe what the client is looking for, and ultimately allows us to engage with higher caliber talent.
Are there other unique aspects of your background that have contributed to the success of your talent-acquisition career?
I grew up in the manufacturing business. My father had a company that manufactured health and beauty products, and we hired many temporary workers. This experience gave me a thorough understanding of both the client’s needs and the perspective of the worker. Furthermore, my background in talent hiring has given me very valuable perspectives as a recruiter. For example, I understand deeply what it means when an employee doesn’t show up for a shift and how that affects productivity for the company, the team, and possibly even the end customers.
To learn more about 180 Engineering’s Contract Division talent acquisition services, contact us.