A few weeks ago, we announced that the Fairchester Recruiting Summit & Awards had selected Robert Half Finance & Accounting Recruiting Manager, Jason Witty as the Top Recruiter in Westchester and Fairfield counties for his excellence in service, and overall client and candidate satisfaction. In order to really understand what goes into becoming the best, we decided to sit down with Jason for a closer look and also get his take on where the job outlook is headed this year. Check out our interview with him below:
How did you get into recruiting? Similar to many Robert Half employees, I met the team in Stamford as a candidate. My background was very strong in client service and sales so there were solid industry parallels.
What’s your favorite part of the job and what can you attribute your success to? We all know that our careers allow us to do what we want with our lives — whether you’re working tremendously hard and building a career to CFO track for a three-year Big 4 background, or looking to find more balance in your life. I have the ability to connect each candidate I partner with, with clients who offer each aspect of what the person is looking for in their next career step and their lives. There is a great deal of responsibility in that and something I take very seriously.
I also love knowing that each person I place with my clients can have a tremendous effect on the success of their business. Many of my clients are in build stages, and each person that I’m able to add to their organization is important. Placing a talented accounting/finance professional with their team, and knowing that each placement is integral to their business operations is personal to me and something I take to heart when considering candidates for my clients. I have a very good client in Stamford whom I placed 16 people with over a two-year period as they grew. They filed IPO last month, and I feel like I had something to do with that. Placing the team that made it happen makes me feel good. I like to feel that each of my clients are my own businesses as well.
Let’s get your take on the local job market for 2015. What are some of the biggest trends you think we will see in Fairfield and Westchester counties? I couldn’t be more excited. After working through two recessions in 2001 and 2008, the comeback is always welcome, and we’ve seen some excellent signs of growth locally. We’re seeing strong private equity funding coming into the market, and broad-based growth with many of our clients. Salaries are improving and we’re seeing more counteroffers and multiple offers for strong candidates. 2015 will be a very good year.
Since hiring is picking up and the job market continues to recover, can local professionals expect to make more money this year? We are certainly seeing signs of this, yes. Through the recession, demand in the market was weaker and companies weren’t required to give stronger bonuses and raises. Now that the market has improved, it will be important for firms to identify their top players and make sure they are satisfied with the challenge in their roles and their career advancement, but also to pay better than market compensation and bonuses. From a candidate perspective, know that if your background is competitive, it’s likely there may be another role out there for you. Q1 is a busy hiring time and if you haven’t seen a raise in a while, it may be time to explore the market.
What advice do you have for people who are looking to land a new job? How can they maximize their success? Know that while the market is improving, companies in the area are still searching for strong alignment in candidates’ backgrounds and what the company does. Switching industries can still be a challenge. If you are considering a move from your current job, think about what local companies would be attracted to your background and why. Once you identify them, find a way to get in front of them. Responding to online job postings can work, but often resumes can get lost in the shuffle. If you are keyed into a certain company or industry, find out which recruiters have relationships with those companies and seek out that recruiter. But make sure you are selective about whom you partner with. Who has the longevity and reputation to really listen to what’s important to you and is able to best represent you in the market? You want someone who will truly partner with you, tell you the good, bad and ugly of any client. Any recruiter who tells you a company or role is “the best out there” you should be cautious about; there are pros and cons with everything. Also, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and sells your accomplishments well!
Interested in hearing more from Jason? Connect with him on LinkedIn today!