You heard that right… it’s already been over a month at my new job as Sr Manager, Global Talent Acquisition Operations at Unifrax! It’s been such a fun journey so far. I’m so grateful to be part of a creative, innovative and growing company that wants to improve and use each others’ ideas to do that!
I like to move, move, move, so it’s nice to pause and think about what I’ve learned and make any necessary adjustments before I keep pushing ahead. Here’s what I found most important to do in my first month:
- Understand the business. I still have a ways to go, but when I think back to what I thought I knew about the company before I started vs. actually being on the team for a month, I’ve learned a ton! I spent my first 2 weeks meeting with the CEO and every VP in the company. During these meetings I asked about their roles, their area’s challenges, and their good/bad experiences with the current recruiting process. Reviewing my notes from all of these meetings later helped me see the trends I needed to focus on.
- Jump in! This has always been my style to just jump in and learn along the way. I started setting up calls with potential candidates in my second week – it was important to start hearing what people thought about us and making our history, values, and exciting story known! They asked great questions I couldn’t always answer, but that’s okay! I needed them to do that so I could keep learning at a fast pace.
- Spend a lot of time with my HR team. I needed to learn (and am still learning) as much as possible about what their days look like, what their strengths are, and what I can do to make them most successful and enjoy their work. I’m so thankful to sit in an HR Suite of super smart and kind teammates!
- Not let the to do list bog me down! I remember one day I looked at all the notes I took and needed to take a deep breath. A lot of what was on there were minor tasks and details that didn’t need to be addressed immediately. If I had focused on that list and not come up for air I would have missed important conversations and feedback I needed.
- Get the lay of the land and understand current state with systems, tools and vendors. I learned what was going well and where there is room for improvement. It was worth getting this information now and considering it as we create the the long term talent acquisition strategy.
- Not to schedule more than three one-hour meetings a day in my first couple of weeks. These were usually meet and greets with different people in the company where I was taking in a ton of information. The time I took to digest, think and stay on top of emails throughout the day made me more effective.
- Create spreadsheet trackers to show successes, projects/job openings status and cost savings. This helps me stay focused and also show others what I’m doing and the value I’m adding.
- Listen, listen, listen. Be curious, ask questions, try not to assume anything. I let people know who I am and what I’m there to do, and then I deliver. Over the first month I needed to build rapport and gain trust before people would listen to and accept my ideas.
- Keep my motto alive everyday – be positive and optimistic always! I smiled and said hi to everyone I saw. I stopped and introduced myself to those I hadn’t met yet. During times of challenge and change, which there are have been plenty so far, I always look at things knowing that we’ll get through them.
I’m excited to be part of a great group of HR leaders who truly partner with the business and have created an HR road map of projects and priorities based on what will serve the business best. I’m just as excited to support our brilliant hiring managers in their quest to hire, develop and retain top talent! Stay tuned for more of what we’re working on!