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 excited to introduce everyone to Lia Hext, a Senior Technical Recruiter at recruitAbility. A native of Houston, Lia earned her degree in Human Resources at the University of Houston in 2017 with a minor in Spanish. She heard about recruitAbility from her friend, Sharmaine (another senior technical recruiter who you can learn about here).
A lover of the outdoors, Lia enjoys hanging out by the water and spending time with her cousin, who also lives in Austin. She calls Disney’s “Mulan” her favorite film because the main character represents “fighting for what you believe in, never letting your gender hold you back, and always staying true to the girl who’s worth fighting for.”
Why did you want a career in recruiting?
I chose recruiting because I love people! I’m an extrovert by nature, so networking, connecting, and engaging with people is what fills me with the most energy. There is no better joy than being someone’s recruiter, life coach, therapist, career counselor, or shoulder-to-cry-on.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
My candidates! The best part about recruiting is the opportunity to simply listen. I savor the chance to understand my candidates on a deeper level and learn their life stories, the career choices they’ve made, and what makes them special. A resume is a peek into someone’s history and a timeline to who they are now.
Is there anything that has surprised you about recruiting?
At first, I only thought about the impact I wanted to have on a candidate’s future and the ways I could be a positive in someone’s career. But the impact we have on the companies that we serve is just as important and meaningful.
When we use the phrase “top talent,” it means we are looking for a specific skill set that is rare yet vital to the growth of our clients. Hiring top talent has the capability to shape a company’s level of leadership, resources, and revenue. So it’s really gratifying to work to be involved in.
You studied HR in college. What have you learned about HR as a recruiter that they don’t teach in college?
I’d say everything. Just kidding:) I think in general, college can only prepare you so much for what is to come in the real world. The way I like to describe it is in relation to being a chef. College can teach you the fundamentals – the history of cooking, information about ingredients and techniques, etc. But it’s only when you get out on the field can you really learn to be a great chef. College taught me the fundamentals of being a recruiter, but only by experience can you become a great recruiter.
Do you have a specific area of expertise in recruiting?
I consider myself to be a jack-of-all-trades. I’ve dabbled in a little bit of tech, finance, sales, marketing, and even Go Karting! I’m fortunate to have experience in seeing how the nuances of an industry shape the personalities, perspectives, and even vocabulary of the people. It’s fun to see the different trends and traits that are unique to each field.
What are the biggest mistakes you see candidates make when negotiating job offers?
The biggest mistake isn’t so much in the negotiation but what occurs before that part of the process. It’s important to outline what you want and your deal-breakers from the beginning. Do thorough research on the company: Know their values, the expectations for the role, your commuting time, and the type of resources you will have. Determine your salary expectations. Make sure you have the best information and that you are aligned before you get to the negotiation stage.
What is your advice to companies trying to attract and retain talent?
Well, the first step would be to team up with an awesome recruiting firm that specializes in retention 😉 The second step would be to focus on giving your managers the tools and resources to be successful. What I’ve learned is that the fancy pool table and stocked fridge may get people in the door, but supportive leadership, company culture, and strong relationships keep talent.
Do you have a favorite business book?
It’s not exactly business, but I love The Financial Diet’s book on personal finance. It’s not your average finance book. It’s written from the perspective of young women living in N.Y., which makes it super relatable and fun to read.
How are you passing the time in quarantine?
En cuarentena, yo practico español mucho! Me encanta DuoLingo 🙂 Also, I’m cooking a ton, learning new recipes, and only halfway burning down my kitchen.
What is your favorite part about working at recruitAbility?
The best part about working for recruitAbility is the bountiful amount of knowledge and wisdom from having co-workers/bosses sitting directly across from you (pre-COVID). We have an amazing team that is not only willing – but gladly offers – to share their expertise, experience, and mistakes in life. I am grateful every day that I have people to turn to for just about everything under the sun.