EDITOR’S NOTE: Learn more about the people behind recruitAbility. We’re profiling each of our employees to shed light on their career paths, what they do in their free time, lessons they’ve learned, and much more. View all profiles here.
We’re kicking off our employee spotlight series with Scott Beardsley, recruiting manager at recruitAbility. Scott joined the company in April 2019 and has spent more than 30 years in the recruiting industry. He’s worked across all job sectors, but his specialty is tech jobs.
A native of Pittsburgh, Beardsley is an avid music fan who feels right at home in the Live Music Capital of the World.
Why did you want a career in recruiting?
I didn’t! After graduating from Pitt with an information science degree, I wasn’t ready to be a Database Developer. I wanted to be a bass player in a rock and roll band! So I got a gig in a recording studio in San Antonio right out of college, and I took a job as a bill collector to help pay the bills. My sister turned me onto tech recruiting, because it’s a more positive job and it ties into my degree. I listened to her advice and got hired without knowing anything about what I was getting into. Then I discovered it was my life calling all along. I haven’t looked back since 1988.
What do you enjoy most about recruiting?
There’s a lot to enjoy about closing deals. Both the client and the candidate are usually very happy when the deal is complete. That makes me happy. But what I enjoy even more is sourcing. The process of finding rare talent from passive candidate pools using creative sourcing techniques is what I enjoy on a day-to-day basis.
What has changed and what has remained the same in the recruiting industry since the start of your career?
The single biggest change has been access to information. With the Internet, you can find almost anyone now through search engines and other tools. You also can reach them much more easily through email and LinkedIn. In the past, sourcing candidates required a different level of creativity and much more cold-calling.
What hasn’t changed is people and what motivates them to make a move, as well as what motivates them to stay loyal to their companies. The psychology behind what humans want hasn’t changed much. That is, a good company, a good boss, challenging work, respect, and a little bit of attention.
What is your advice to companies trying to attract and retain talent? What are the most common mistakes you see?
To attract talent, I suggest companies train and develop their front line hiring manager to be great at interviewing and selecting talent for their respective teams. Make sure they are always in recruiting mode, and they should always maintain a bench of backup talent. That way, when you promote your A players and need more staff, you have a pool of people to choose from.
The most frequent mistake I see companies make is assuming that the recruiting, interviewing, and selection/hiring process is all about them. It’s a two-way street. Both parties – the company and the candidate – are screening each other for fit. They should invest equal time in ensuring the success of the hire over the long run. Particularly in a tight labor market, companies need to sell themselves throughout the process, not just screen the candidates. This leads to the best outcomes.
What’s your advice to job candidates when negotiating job offers?
Create a simple list of what your current total compensation package is. Then create a template to fill in for each offer you receive to compare apples to apples. That way, you can see if the offer is aligned with what you’re looking for.
Candidates who focus too much on salary without taking into consideration the entire package often miss the big picture. You may get a salary increase, but if the benefits package is terrible, the offer could be a net loss.
What do you enjoy outside of work? How has that changed during the quarantine?
I play music, sports, and I have a great network of family and friends to look after. So far, I have managed to keep my regular day schedule – work, workout, eat, etc. But my night schedule is completely on hold. I used to spend several nights a week either networking after work for business, or playing music in a cool club in Austin. Now, it’s just me and my home studio. At least I am writing a bunch of new songs!
Where did your love of music come from?
When I was young, my parents got me a saxophone and a record of the song “Yakety Sax” (known as the theme song for the old Benny Hill comedy show). I played daily and became pretty good! As I grew into a teenager, I discovered Parliament Funkadelic and Rush – two of the most polar opposite types of bands. Both hit me hard at the same time in my life and drove me to play and love funk and rock music.
What’s your favorite part about working at recruitAbility?
The people I work with here, the awesome clients I get to help, and the great candidates I speak to every day. I get to make a difference in all these areas every day, and that’s cool.