“Recruiting is not like other industries, where you go to college specifically for that profession; like to become a nurse or accountant,” says Brooke Stemen, Director of Internal Recruiting at Green Key. “There’s not necessarily a right or wrong way to do things as long as you’re following hiring laws. A lot of what we do is strategy and through training you end up figuring out who you are as a recruiter.”
Stemen, who recently hired and onboarded Allison Vogt, Jr. Internal Recruiter, stresses the importance of a strong training process in agency recruiting. Onboarding can be overwhelming, and every industry does it a bit differently. But at the end of the day, the goal is always the same.
“We are match makers and subject matter experts. Recruiting is a lot of rapport and building relationships. We want the candidate to know we’re listening to their wants and needs and paying attention to them and connecting them to the right opportunities. My personal training style leans more stylistic,” says Stemen. “I always strive to have my interviews to feel more like a conversation with an old friend, vs a stuffy interview, it allows for a more transparent conversation and real relationship building.”
Vogt credits Stemen for embracing the Green Key philosophy of not micromanaging, but still creating a clear and open line of communication. “From the first day, I knew I could immediately ask Brooke for clarification on anything,” she says.
Rather than giving directions and simply telling her what to do, Stemen tries to explain “the why” behind every move in the industry. This helps the trainee to adopt the mind of a recruiter, rather than simply going through the motions. She says, “It’s more than just teaching the daily responsibilities. A lot of it is learning how to conduct yourself in a professional manner.”
Kayla Jones, Technical Writer on the Marketing team at Green Key, emphasizes that training at Green Key sets the tone for the rest of your experience. “It’s your first solid business relationship with the company,” she explains. Jones is responsible for helping create the Learning Management System (LMS) and modules that recruiters use in their standardized training.
Jones describes the first week of training for Green Key recruiters. “Its all-inclusive first week. Each person gets training based on their title, but the first day is the ‘Welcome to Green Key’ experience, where they learn how to utilize HR, IT, and Marketing here.”
Training at Green Key was created with the help of seasoned recruiters. Back in 2020, Jones helped identify recruiters who have been at the company a long time, and took their knowledge to review, update, and identify knowledge gaps. Much of the training has been transitioned into video form, to prevent people having to read hundreds of pages. “We want the training to work with their day,” says Jones. “Not against it.”
In agency recruiting, it’s important to remember that the training never ends. It’s not just for new hires. This is an industry where you’re always learning and growing, no matter your title. Stemen says, “We’re teaching transferable skills across the workplace. Training is a path to retention.”