Touching People's Hearts

With the sun shining hard today in LA, and thus no reason for anyone to limit their activities to merely cutting their nails, turnout at the latest Richard Katz-SeasonedPro operation seemed strong, and on average, younger than last year.
Ameriprise, Deloitte, the CIA, State Farm, and the popular Disney were among those recruiting experienced hires here at UCLA.
Notably absent, particularly as compared to past fairs, are many banks.
Well, except for one: a major sperm bank. HR Manager Susan Herrera is looking for donor coordinators, who help manage the process of donations. She plays up the company’s role in “touching people’s hearts” and building and maintaining healthy families; the bank is also involved in stem-cell collection from umbilical cords.
Scott Patchett, of 1,400-employee Haas Automation, is here looking for engineers — specifically, those with SAP expertise. Haas may hire 50-100 people this year, and with regard to the economy, Patchett simply says, “it hasn’t slowed down for us. We haven’t really seen those pressures.” (Back to Herrera, from the sperm bank … she gave me a similar answer when I asked her about the economy; the fertility business isn’t necessarily directly tied to the cyclical ups and downs of GDP.)
Anyhow, at Haas Automation, Patchett is looking for “A players,” and says the company’s “comp plans are very aggressive … a tremendous bonus program.” Among the universities he likes for high-caliber technical talent: California State University-Northridge. Turnover at Haas runs less than 5%, he says. One challenge, however, is getting people to move to Ventura County, California. It’s pretty, and it’s cheaper than LA, but it’s not always in the cards for city slickers. Look for Haas Automation to reconsider its policy of not relocating people.
Lara Schecter, Deloitte Recruiting Manager, is here looking for people to work in the tax division — accountants, auditors, and sometimes attorneys. Up until just over a year ago, Schecter was recruiting for Manhattan accounting firms, and has a New York accent to die for as proof.
She says she’s never been at a firm where the “partners and managers are so involved” in employee careers and helping employees do what they want, progress how they want, and so on. She’s a recruiter, so she’s paid to say that, but she sounds believable.
Schecter’s not experiencing any economic downturn in her division. Among the universities her company likes: Pepperdine, USC, and Brigham Young; the latter’s business school seems to be getting more attention of late.
Aaron Vactor, agency recruiter at State Farm (which has tight relations with UCLA), says that his jobs are mainly recession-proof, as people need car insurance and other insurance in any economy. Some of his favorite colleges to find recruits are Florida State, Penn State, and “Pittsburgh, of course” (where he’s from).
Lauren Cavanagh came here to recruit financial planners for Ameriprise because colleagues in San Francisco had success with this event in the past. Says Cavanagh: “I don’t want to find people lacking in trust-building skills, integrity. Integrity is one of the things I look for right off the bat.” The supposedly slow economy isn’t affecting her a whole lot either.

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