Kansas State University - B.S. Marketing/Mass Communications, emphasis in Public Relations
If Michelle Hays could change one thing about her career, it would be starting it sooner. As a recruiter, Michelle helps match job candidates with employers looking to hire that perfect applicant.
She finds her job fulfilling and rewarding, mentioning the one time she helped a candidate find a job in just enough time so she wouldn’t have to worry about putting food on the table for her kids. This was right when the recession hit, and Michelle says, “Many times this job can be thankless, but there’s nothing more gratifying than hearing someone say you've made such an impact to their life because of the position you helped them find.”
Part of the reason I started my own company was to have the flexibility to work when I want—and that doesn't always equate to 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
What inspired you to pursue your current job?
I’ve been in the staffing industry for more than 12 years and wanted to have more time to spend with my children as they continue to grow. My husband and I went through all the pros and cons of starting my own recruiting firm and decided this would be a great time for me to do so. I started Hays Search Group in January 2011 and I hope that I can continue to work for my own company until I'm ready to retire.
What does your job involve on a daily basis, and what types of responsibilities do you have in your position?
I’m currently a one-woman recruiting firm, so I do everything from reaching out to clients (sales, recruiting and follow up), to finding the right candidates for job openings, to managing expenses and all of the administrative tasks.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is finding the match between client and candidate. It makes me extremely happy when I speak with both of them and hear that everything’s working out. I want to make good things happen for other people.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
What did I not get finished from the day? I’ll sometimes stay up late to finish presenting candidates to a client, or wake up at 3 a.m. with a candidate who has popped into my head for the position.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Since it’s just myself running my business, work/life balance can be an issue. However, I close my office to spend time with my kids after school and during their activities, then revisit what needs to be done after they've gone to bed. Part of the reason I started my own company was to have the flexibility to work when I want—and that doesn't always equate to 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.”
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I can't believe I have this job?" What was it?
Many times this job can be thankless, but there’s nothing more gratifying than hearing someone say you've made an impact in their life because of a position you’ve helped them find. One example was during the recession, when a candidate informed me she wouldn't have been able to feed to her kids if it hadn't been for me helping her. What I do truly helps people with their livelihood, and that’s special.
What are some of the rules you live by?
Always treat others the way you’d want to be treated. Many time candidates are frustrated, because they never hear anything back from recruiters. I try very hard to understand their situation and make sure that I'm treating them with the respect they deserve.
What qualities does one need to possess to be successful in your line of work?
The qualities that I’ve found make someone successful in this line of business include being self-driven and being able to handle rejection. You must have good ethics and be able to have incredible follow-up skills. Time management skills are also a must, because this industry can move extremely fast.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
I would probably tell her to get into the staffing industry sooner, and to really enjoy life. It all goes by way too quickly.