‘Schedule Flexibility Is a Must’ to Attract In-Demand Talent in Today’s Market: Q&A With Randi Weitzman, Executive Director, Robert Half

By Robert Half on May 5, 2022 at 7:00pm

Welcome to the latest post in Robert Half’s Thought Leader Q&A series, which features insights from those who have made our company a great place to work and a premier provider of talent solutions.

In this post, we feature Randi Weitzman, executive director of technology, marketing and creative, and legal talent solutions for permanent placements at Robert Half. Randi has been with Robert Half for more than two decades, holding various leadership positions and creating and executing strategies to help grow the business and improve employee retention.

“People might say that 22 years is a long time to stay with one organization,” says Randi, who is based in Sacramento, Calif. “But I’ve never wanted to look for another job outside of Robert Half. I’ve literally grown up here. I’ve had about 10 different roles, starting out in our technology practice.”

Here are some more highlights from our recent interview with Randi:

Why did you decide to work at Robert Half?

Robert Half was my second job out of college. I had earned a degree in kinesthesiology at San Diego State University because I thought I was going to be a physical therapist. I just love helping people.

I’d been working with Robert Half’s technology group as a client to find professionals for a tech deployment. The recruiters asked me if I’d ever thought about going into staffing. I hadn’t, so I looked into it and just loved the idea of changing course to pursue this path.

I liked that I would be in a career where I’d still be helping people and making a positive impact on their lives — and helping companies, too.

You’ve seen the hiring market change many times during the past two decades working at Robert Half. What are you seeing in the current environment?

Finding skilled candidates available for hire is a challenge. Unemployment is low and the supply of talent is very limited. And as we’ve seen with the “Great Resignation” in recent months, many workers are deciding to leave their jobs to find new opportunities where they can get more flexibility in their schedules and ask for higher compensation.

There are so many job vacancies right now, and we’ve seen an incredible rebound out of the last downturn for those looking to hire for permanent positions. My recommendation to candidates: If you’re considering looking for a job, this is the time to do it.

What can companies do to improve hiring in-demand talent in this market?

Well, offering schedule flexibility is a must. I really do think hybrid work is here to stay. I think about my own situation. I used to be at my desk in the office from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. I wouldn’t think about leaving during the workday to pick up my daughter and son from school. But working from home, I’ve realized that, of course, I can do that. I pick them up, come home and return to working!

So, smart companies understand they will need to continue to provide flexible work arrangements to their workers, even if they don’t formally adopt a hybrid work model. Also, companies need to rethink compensation levels. Candidates are asking for more, so companies need to pay more if they want to hire their top picks. Some firms have been resistant to increasing salaries, so we’ve had to explain that they won’t likely attract candidates who meet all their preferred criteria. People with great experience can ask for pretty much anything right now.

We do see many employers stepping up training. They hire a candidate who has most of the skills and experience they’re looking for, and then they bridge any critical gaps with training. Education is a major attraction for many professionals. And for companies, offering training can make all the difference in bringing in a high-potential candidate they might struggle to attract otherwise in this market.

How do you see the future of work shaping up, aside from hybrid work becoming the new norm?

Hiring is going to continue to be a significant challenge. Job seekers have multiple options, including staying where they are because their employer is willing to pay them more to keep them.

Companies need to learn to tell their brand story effectively and position themselves competitively in today’s market. They are competing against many other businesses for hot talent, and if they don’t showcase why they are a compelling place to work and don’t have a brand name, it can be a problem.

They should take a hard look at their business: What’s their vision? Their mission? What do they stand for? What progress are they making with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives? Then, they have to go out there and be their own brand ambassador and make people want to be part of the team.

How do you enjoy spending time outside of work?

Being with my family is a priority, of course. My husband and I recently celebrated our 20-year anniversary, and we have two kids. Our son is in high school, and he’s a great student who has been recognized for his work ethic — I’m just so proud of him. And our daughter says she wants to work at Robert Half when she grows up, which really makes me smile!

What is a fun fact about you?

I used to be a competitive gymnast. I think my work ethic and passion were shaped largely by that experience. My favorite discipline was the floor exercise — but my best event was the balance beam. It was scary, but I had no fear and was unstoppable. I’d just jump up there and do it, and work to get better and better.

It’s the same in this job. You have to get in there and keep doing it and getting better to achieve great success!

If you decided to do something new professionally, what would it be?

I’d go back to school for an advanced degree, and maybe earn an MBA because I like business.

Now, if we’re talking about what I’d do in my next life, that’s an easy answer: I’d be a Broadway actor. Whenever I’m in New York City, I make a point to see at least one Broadway show. I’ll see anything — I just love the whole experience. But unfortunately, I can’t sing!

Follow Randi Weitzman on LinkedIn.

Meet other Thought Leaders at Robert Half, such as Jamy Sullivan and Jeff Weber. And be sure to subscribe to the Robert Half newsletter for future installments of our Q&A series and to discover more unique stories, experiences and perspectives on the latest hiring trends.

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