What motivated you to join IQTalent?
When I joined IQTalent, I had graduated the previous year and had been working at a temp job elsewhere. A professor at Belmont told me that IQTalent was hiring, but I had never considered going into HR/talent acquisition. I was right out of school with limited experience, but I was really impressed by IQTalent’s interview process. To be honest, before the interview, were my second choice, but as I started talking to people and hearing their passion for the work and the company, it very quickly became my first choice and was the best fit for me.
How does IQTalent convey a sense of belonging to employees?
IQTalent does a great job of giving employees autonomy to impact our culture with opportunities to plan social events and start committees and clubs. We do a really good job with engagement. Engagement is so important post pandemic because so much of our workforce stayed remote or hybrid. We have a generously funded Social Committee, and we try really hard to make sure our remote teammates enjoy social activities with our in-office group.
Our leaders also publicize their open-door policy frequently. Specifically, our President talks about fostering inclusion and that it’s a more active endeavor than passive. I think this helps all employees feel welcome at IQTalent. We work really hard to allow employees to come in and learn. Many of our Associates are in their first professional role or join us with experience in a different industry. My job is to train them from either a recruiting or non-recruiting background. We encourage them in the strengths that they come in with, and we work to hire a person, not a skillset.
How have you been supported in your professional development and growth?
I feel really lucky because my firm really helps its employees a lot. I was always very vocal about my interests and passions and where I envisioned myself in the company. I left IQTalent to get my Masters in Education at UGA but kept in touch., even doing some contract work while I was in school. Ultimately when I came back to the company full time, they created a learning and development position that fit my skills and interests perfectly. I've always had managers at IQ who encouraged me to prepare for my own professional development, and what they want is somebody who wants to be great where they are. Now, I love that I'm a huge part of professional development for other employees. It’s like I’ve come full circle!
How are you supported in maintaining a healthy work-life balance?
Actually, I've been thinking about that a lot lately. We operate using a professional services model, which means the company bills hourly to our clients like an attorney or an accountant, as opposed to a flat retainer fee or a commission. Each employee is expected to work their 40 billable hours. If an employee attends a committee meeting or social event, that is outside their billable 40. We are expected to do what is necessary to do to get the job done.
We also have groups in place like safe space at our company, where we talk about mental health and work-life balance with colleagues. We want employees to have a life outside of work, and we don't want the work to become overwhelming. Leadership offers a lot of flexibility in how each employee creates their own success through their hours too. In our HR meetings, we each list one thing we're grateful for, one thing we've learned, and one thing we've accomplished. In that way, leadership shows they care about us and who we are outside of work.
How do you feel like you're making an impact with the work that you do?
I ask for a lot of feedback. I like to know what I’m doing well and where I can improve. I spend a lot of time working on ways to improve and enhance my department and programs. Having the opportunity to take a new hire with limited experience and then see them thrive with clients and evolve into a leader within six months is amazing. I also feel impactful when employees tell me that IQTalent is one of the best workplaces they've worked at or when I am thanked for meeting employees where they are and that they feel safe to ask questions. I’m fortunate that I get this feedback and know I am impacting both my company and the employees as individuals. We've hired and trained over 300 people in the last 3 years; realizing I’ve had the power to impact each of these people makes me really grateful.
What makes you proud to represent IQTalent?
I love that even if the work gets tedious or challenging, our team has a lot of internal desire to do well and to push each other. We really have a culture of learners, which I love. During the height of the pandemic, I was furloughed, and then laid off, and then eventually asked to come back. Fortunately, almost everyone who wanted to come back to IQTalent in late 2020 and early 2021 was able to. I really respect the way our leadership is so transparent with us through challenging times.
I also love feeling that I can speak my mind and have an opinion and believe that I'll be heard. IQTalent has an atmosphere of wanting to be around good people because the culture helps everyone improve. While we may not be saving lives on the front lines, our employees can help someone get a job that may impact their career, their salary, and their family for many years.
How have you grown since working for IQTalent?
I have grown so much. I started six years ago, and then took a hiatus, and then came back, so when I think about the employee I was in the beginning, I see that I was not just a different employee but also a different person. Honestly, earning my master’s degree had a lot to do with that, too. Both my IQTalent managers and my UGA professors allowed me to develop at my own pace. I’ve received honest feedback throughout my education and career, some I didn’t love, but is how I've grown the most. I've changed a lot, and it's because these people have given me the opportunity to change by challenging me. They continue to help and encourage and support.
What advice would you give to emerging professionals seeking their first opportunities?
Recognize that your first job isn't forever. To be honest, I hated when people used to say that to me. But I would also add that while it’s not forever, it doesn't mean that it's not really important to your growth. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go into talent acquisition, but I thought I'd try it because IQTalent sounded like a great company. Even if your first job isn't something you're particularly passionate about, try to be good at what you're doing. Don't try so hard to love your job; make the job love you. And I think if you try to care and be really good at what you do and where you are, you'll have an impact on those around you and that's what's going to bring you purpose in your work.