Caitlyn was recently interviewed by our team to learn more about her and what she brings to the table for SFM. She comes to SFM with a diverse background in HR, working for varying industries including national health food brands as well as healthcare. Read her interview below to get to know Caitlyn.Tell us a little about you.
CA: I'm from New Jersey and I moved to Florida about six/seven years ago mostly to escape the cold. I describe myself as a Jill of all trades. In my youth, I worked all sorts of different jobs usually within the same company.
I have worked in multiple industries, starting with the restaurant industry. I had worked my way up to a bar manager in Philadelphia. The restaurant business in Florida was so different from Philly that I ended up looking for a new arena. That’s how I began my path in HR. I’ve worked in the retail field, the medical field, and then I discovered SFM. I'm excited to be in a new industry, but still doing what I really enjoy doing, which is working in HR.
What drew you to SFM and this industry?
CA: Sports are great for kids and I have fond memories of the recreation centers and complexes I played at growing up. I’ve played almost every sport under the sun!
I’ve realized that service-based industries suit me as my skillset is very service focused. It’s key for me to be a part of a company and mission I can connect with. SFM had a great culture online and that’s a major factor when deciding which companies to apply to. I focus on finding companies to work for where I can sincerely go, show up, and say “I'm passionate about being here because I support what we're doing” versus just showing up for a job. A previous health food company I worked for, was a decision I made because my values aligned with theirs, healthy eating and food transparency.
How have sports impacted your life? Can you share any lessons you've learned from playing sports?
CA: I believe that sports was a great outlet. When I was a kid, I could get sucked up in hours of watching pointless television. Having a schedule with places to be and the expectation to be there played a part in who I am now. Sports really do instill great qualities in people as far as routine and accountability goes. They’ve also given me a great team perspective in terms of how to work with others, how to interact and socialize with people you've never met before.
When it comes to lessons, I specifically remember one from my old soccer coach. I always played left wing, on offense, and I usually played the entire game. So, I just ran. And to be honest with you, I was not good at scoring, but the team I was on always won. We won almost every game that season. At one of our practices, both of our goalies were sick. Coach asked us if anyone wanted to go in and play goalie and I volunteered, and it turns out I was a natural at playing goalie, way better than I was at left wing! From then on, I got to play some of the game on offense, but I also got to play defense. One of the things I learned from that experience is that even if someone can run fast or run for a long time, it doesn't make them the best scorer. You should move people around to a different place on the team where they might do better and bring more to the table.
I do that now in my day-to-day life and say “maybe there is something new to learn or something I can do better”. In a work place, I look at fellow staff and focus on their skill sets to understand where they fit best.
So being put into the goalie position was not something that I ever would have signed up for, but it turned out I really enjoyed it and it benefitted the team, too.
What are some best practices you've learned from being in HR and recruiting?
CA: First and foremost with recruitment is staying in touch with your candidate pool. Where everything is virtual and with fewer companies hiring, it can be frustrating for candidates to not hear back at all.
It has to be beyond the automated “We received your application.” Sending some sort of personal communication is really critical because that way people can move on and know that a real person reviewed their application. If those candidates see another position open with your company, that communication encourages them to apply again.
It creates a different type of reputation for applying for companies and it makes your company preferable.
Also, with staying in touch, being realistic is important. When you have people getting to your phone screening stage or interview stages, it's all about timeline. People outside of your organization want to work for you but if they don’t hear anything for two or three weeks, then they lose interest or are recruited by another company. Engagement is one of the biggest focuses of recruitment that makes it so successful.
Building rapport with people expresses the culture of a company, and really goes a long way. And a lot of the time, it secures great future hires.
Caitlyn helps find the best talent for the SFM Network and its clients. There are currently dozens of positions open within the SFM Network now. Take a look at our opportunities here.