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Chatting with Cathy

Takeaways from a conversation with ATAP President Cathy Henesey

By: Judie Reynolds, ATAP Marketing Committee Member

I had the privilege to spend some time with Cathy Henesey last week. Cathy is the President of ATAP and I think that is a really big deal!

I was intrigued to find out a little bit about Cathy’s success in her career, her influencers, what inspires her, and then also learn more about her vision for ATAP. You can spend time with Cathy too. Register to attend  Global TA-Day which is happening on Wednesday, September 7, 2022. Cathy will be delivering the State of the Union address for ATAP. She will also share about what is “hot” in our industry and will lead a teaching session!

Register Here!

Cathy has been in Talent Acquisition since she graduated with her master’s degree in HR from Texas Tech University. She started her career in headhunting, then worked in a corporate setting within the manufacturing industry before transitioning into healthcare where she has spent the past 12 years. She is currently the VP of TA at Advent Health where she leads a team of over 250 and is responsible for hiring over 35,000 employees annually.

From the beginning, Cathy has been generous with her time and talent in giving back to the TA community. She was one of the original founders and the first President of DFWTRN where she served for many years prior to joining ATAP as a member. Later she became a board member and eventually became President. We are so grateful for her leadership!

In our industry people matter most. Everyone wants to do something that they are called to do. I asked Cathy to share some strategies with those who are still relatively new to the industry and what advice she can give to those early in their career. Here is what I found out. Enjoy!


What advice can you share with those early in their career? 

Cathy: When I started, we didn’t use computers. We learned recruiting and sourcing the hard way, by phone, smile and dial. We had to self-teach ourselves. Very few people were using the internet to search for and find candidates. You had to learn the true art of networking and asking for referrals.

I coach our new team members that there is a lot of learning that they need to do on their own. We can teach them the basics. There is so much information out there on how to source on the web, how to network and turn those cold leads into candidates and then build those relationships so that you will end up getting referrals.

It doesn’t matter if you are working in a corporate or an agency environment. Recruiting is still about those relationships and who you know. You must build those networks early in your career. Use LinkedIn to get your contacts up and understand the value of those relationships. If you are a big social media person, then use it to network to find candidates. Do you have a big following on Instagram or TikTok…..and are you using that following to network? It is the true art of networking. It really does work but it takes self-discipline and willingness to share and give back when asked.

Takeaway: Recruiting is still about networking. The art of networking really pays off.


What inspires you and what captures your attention? 

Cathy: People who do extraordinary things in a normal job. They are the innovators. The people who are willing to take risks, to try things and fail only to figure out how to do it better and then share it with others. The ones who are willing to take a risk. It’s about innovation. The “post and pray” job posting days are over. Creative and fun ways to showcase the authentic side of your company and who you are will be what gets candidates’ attention.

Takeaway: We must learn how to be innovative to attract people to our companies. I want to know the best people who are doing that.


Who is the most influential TA leader that you have met and who has had an impact or influence on you?

Cathy: I think about Gerry Crispin, Chris Hoyt, Shannon Pritchett, Jim Schnyder, Shally Steckerl, Glenn Gutmacher, Melissa Thompson, Jim D’Amico, and the list goes on.


Gerry is a lifelong student, and he is always seeking to learn new things. He lives by that. He searches out the best practices and what is changing about the TA profession over time, then he brings it all together. He does the research and then communicates it out in bite-size summaries that are easy to digest quickly. I’ve always taken that with me; to be open and then share, being able to turn around and give it to someone else.


Chris and Jim had great careers with PepsiCo and brought us innovation with the use of social media and technology for recruiting. I really admire them for being the groundbreakers in that setting. They did some amazing stuff in different departments.  Things that were groundbreaking then are now standard in a TA playbook.


Shannon has an amazing personal brand and is great with networking across all facets of Talent Acquisition. Watching someone like her is inspirational.

Takeaway: We are all learning from each other. Get and stay connected.


I asked Cathy about her take on this “legendary” annual event and what it means to her. Here is what she had to say.

Cathy: Global TA Day is a global recognition of the profession. It’s a way to give back to the community. It’s about TA professionals teaching TA professionals. It is not a conference. These are learning sessions. We learn from each other by sharing best practices and sharing ideas.


What is your dream for the future of ATAP?

Cathy: Our mission is to elevate the profession of Talent Acquisition. Often the TA role is still under HR. It is not always carved out in all corporations. It is often a subset of HR. I would like it to be its own department. Have its own recognition. Have its own level of certification and status. Like a CPA is to an accountant; accountants have their own departments. I envision TA as its own complete separate function reporting to the CEO as part of the overall business strategy. You would have TA with its own specialty and credentialing, education, and recognition. Continuing to elevate the brand of ATAP is important to us as we are recognized as a national association. There are different chapters and meet-up TA groups that exist across the globe that we would like to bring together under one truly global association.

Takeaway: Continue to elevate the profession by challenging all TA professionals to hone their craft and become a part of the business strategy discussions.

Wrapping it up with a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT ALERT!

ATAP is hosting its first Summit in Dallas!

Cathy: ATAP is hosting its first TA Summit in Dallas in April of 2023. This is an in-person live in Dallas. We call it a summit because it will be half educational and half networking. Created for TA professionals by TA professionals.  It’s our first time doing a conference and I’m very excited about it. The theme for the TA Summit is “Surviving to Thriving”. It will be a small group of the top TA professionals in the globe coming together to network and learn the best from the best….and have some laughs along the way.

You can find Cathy on LinkedIn and in the ATAP online community. You can also catch her State of The Union on Global TA Day.

Takeaway: We are grateful for Cathy Henesey and her leadership at ATAP. The passion that she has for our industry is evident in all that she does, and we wish her all the best as she continues to grow our organization in uniting TA professionals across the globe. Please join her in the celebration on September 7. Register today at

See you there!

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