This month for inside svg, we spoke with Paige Akins, K-State-Wildcat, lover of all things fall and summer, and member of SVG’s Human Resources team.
Tell me about what you do here at SVG.
As Human Resources Coordinator I have my hands in a few different areas of HR including recruiting and onboarding. Right now, my main focus is the recruitment and hiring of new classes of inside sales agents.
Obviously we have applicants from all types of sources, but what has been the most successful resource for gathering candidates over the past year or so?
The two most fruitful resources have been college job boards and indeed.com. There are a lot of corporate talent networks out there, and they all have their place, but some just bring us more quality candidates than others.
Right now Miranda (VP of Human Resources) and I are pushing ourselves to find new ways to execute more effectively in the places that are working best. This year we’re definitely trying to increase awareness of SVG on college campuses in the region.
I’d imagine that’s a big part of separating SVG from the pack when recruiting recent college grads.
Absolutely. That demographic is one that a lot of companies are trying to get at, so it is very important for us to have our name in the mix so we can attract the most talented people available. A big plus for us is our social media presence. We have a genuine interest in showing people how our culture works to give candidates a better idea of what to expect if they end up working with us.
Speaking of culture, is that a big focus of the initial screening interviews that you perform?
We definitely touch on it. A lot of the time, people will volunteer information about themselves that makes me think it’d be a great fit for them and then we go from there.
What types of things do you see that lead to someone not getting a second interview?
Lack of competitive edge is a big thing. Coming out of college it’s not rare to have zero experience in a competitive working environment, but you can usually hear it in someone’s voice if they would be able to push themselves enough to be successful here.
Tell me about the success SVG has in hiring referrals.
We have a lot of referrals working here and I think it is a result of our culture. People that work here know that it is a special place to be and if they can choose who they work with, it is just that much better. Referrals are always great because it is someone who has in-depth knowledge of the job saying they think the candidate can succeed in that position.
What types of things are we pushing for from a recruiting standpoint in 2015?
As I mentioned earlier, we are working to increase brand visibility on college campuses. Beyond that, we are becoming more data-driven. Since we are interviewing and hiring now more than ever, it is important that we base decisions upon data trends and track the results of new strategies.
We are also starting a new onboarding committee that will supplement our already spectacular training system. It is just another way to get people up to speed on life at SVG.
You’ve talked about getting your Professional in Human Resources Certification soon.
Yes! I think it will really help me be as strong as I can be for our department. Just as our sales agents push themselves every month with production, I want to push myself to stay educated and gather new tools and strategies.
Favorite season: I love fall. But, obviously summer comes in a close second because I love spending my weekends at the lake.
College degree: Public Relations, emphasis in hotel/restaurant management
Favorite SVG event ever: The first paintball outing was hilarious.
Favorite movie: Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Favorite thing about Kansas City: I like having four complete seasons. I think it’s also great because people here are generally pretty laid back and kind to one another.