Back to posts

The BIGGEST Impact on My TA Career To-Date

Find your tribe.

Today’s Guest Blogger is ATAP Charter Member, Jo Weech.

Of the myriad of things I learn daily, if not hourly, from my extended network of talent acquisition professionals, the one that has made the biggest impact on my career is discovering that we are not recruiting in a vacuum.

When we check our ego in at the door, we are able to find helpful advice on everything from email subject lines to applicant tracking systems, to how many times one should leave a voicemail, and when ghosting by the candidate means it is time to move on.

The drop down changes a bit, but today, I googled “recruiters are…” and the choices were: scum, rude, stupid, terrible. This is my chosen profession. No, I didn’t go to college to get a degree in it (did anyone, as a child, think they wanted to be a recruiter when they grew up?!) I have the distinct privilege of being able to interact with amazing talent acquisition professionals all over the globe. Yes, there are some who are rude. Some who are arrogant. Some who desperately need affirmation all the time. But at the end of the day, I will tell you that I am extremely proud to be counted in with these very talented, very hard working, gut-wrenchingly honest, and downright hilarious (at times) group of professionals.

No one seems to care about their own brand of “secret sauce.”

Carmen Hudson shares all of her finds on cool tech tools. Stacy Zapar shares every tip and trick she knows, and gives everyone access to her invaluable lists. William Tincup, the master of lists, shares them willingly. Amy Miller brings honesty and passion to inspire us when we are feeling like jilted lovers. Derek Zeller gives virtual hugs when we need them. Christopher Kurtz brings positivity wherever he shows up both online and F2F. Audra Knight has educated me on social media recruiting. Shally Steckerl and Todd Davis taught me how to source on Facebook like a boss. Kevin Grossman inspires me to keep the candidate experience ever my focus. The list goes on and on, but I have seen everyone from Pete Radloff to Tony Palm to Dean DaCosta to Ninh Tran to Rayanne Thorn to Katrina Kibben to Jackye Clayton lend their expertise to those in need. And where, oh where would we be without Steve Levy, Brian Fink and the grandfather of Talent Acquisition, Gerry Crispin?

Locally, I am honored to have been mentored by “the” Mike Bruni, a community leader in all things talent acquisition. This unique space in which we are recruiting requires “outside the box of conventional wisdom” strategy and very little sleep! The tireless board at recruitDC, currently led by Kathleen Smith, works very hard all year to ensure that we have great conferences to educate and to challenge us to grow in our skills. The Executive Director of ATAP (Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals), Ben Gotkin, was kind enough to meet me for lunch one day a few years ago. I firehosed him with questions (I was new to intelligence community recruiting) and he patiently answered every single one of them with ideas that I could build on and that I use to this day. A year later, he referred a young lady to me who needed the same kind of input, and I got to “pay it forward”. Tim Strike of GDIT agreed to coffee, and I learned how to recruit with no notice out of a hotel with only a weekend to fill dozens of positions.

Yes. I am naming a few, very few names. Why? To illustrate that people in talent acquisition are real. And really kind and caring, if not brave and daring. And if it were not for reading the banter they provide (sometimes for comic relief, but mostly so we can help each other hone our craft), I do not know where I would be in my career today.

All y’all, you are my heroes!

Here is what I have concluded. My “expertise” comes from my tribe. My village. My peers. My mentors. My mentees. My recruiting community. From Annapolis Junction, to the greater DC area, to coast-to-coast, and now globally. Yes, I have taken a few courses. Yes, I have attended quite a few conferences. But the greatest impact has been the brutal honesty, the keen insights, the masterful Boolean strings, the feedback from a million demos, and the willingness of the best of the best to share what they know. I love that we hold each other accountable to respect each other and our candidates.  I am humbled to be counted as one of “those” recruiters. May I honor the legacy of my colleagues by sharing what I know. This is what makes us a proud profession.

Jo Weech - ATAP charter memberJo Weech serves as Chief People Officer at Anthem Engineering, and was named by RecruitingDaily in 300+ Women In HR Technology Worth Watching.  Her speaking engagements include; career transition groups, universities, and HR, Recruiting and Talent Management conferences. Jo also serves as Adjunct Professor at Montgomery College, in the CyberAdvantage Program. She is the Founder/President of Exemplary Consultants, supporting small businesses with HR /Talent Management. In 2016, Jo won the HRLA award for excellence in leadership for a small company.  She blogs for This fall, Jo will travel to Japan in a US delegation of 20 top HR /Talent Acquisition Professionals.

Follow Jo on Twitter @JoWeech or connect with her on LinkedIn.

  • Share