Jill Rose is President of Perceptive Recruiting, a technical recruiting company focused on Information Technology and Engineering positions. Jill has a Bachelors Degree from Michigan State and 25 years of IT recruiting experience.
She started Perceptive Recruiting almost 7 years ago and has been recognized by Inc 5000, as one of the Fastest Growing Private Business in 2018 and 2019. Her company has also been recognized as one of the Fasting Growing Small Businesses in the state of SC for 3 years in a row. J
ill is active in her business community by connecting women in technology through her group, Upstate Women & Technology. She has been married for 34 and is the mother of 2 fabulous men!
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s time for GWBC Radio’s Open for Business. Now, here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:18] Lee Kantor here, another episode of GWBC Open for Business. And this is going to be a good one. Today, we have with us Jill Rose with Perceptive Recruiting. Welcome, Jill.
Jill Rose: [00:00:29] Thank you, Lee. It’s nice to be here.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:30] Well, before we get too far into things, tell us about Perceptive Recruiting. How are you serving, folks?
Jill Rose: [00:00:36] Sure. Well, Perceptive Recruiting is a technology staffing company which provides contract and permanent placement of both I.T. and engineering professionals. We have over 20 years of specialized recruiting experience. And combined with our video technology, it enables our hiring managers for our clients to make important decisions quickly. We recruit on technology jobs that many companies find challenging that high tech hiring managers need. So, our specialty, we use technology to leverage our expertise in identifying both culturally compatible professionals and skilled professionals for our clients. We use a candidate qualification package, which provides a professional assessment of the candidate, the candidate’s resume, and video interview footage, which allows managers to quickly identify the right candidates. And by sending the top candidates within five business days, the time to fill on these jobs is significantly reduced. And that’s where our value comes in.
Jill Rose: [00:01:36] And because of our corporate internal recruiting background, we become trusted partners to human resource departments and hiring managers. And we use those relationships to develop a deep understanding of their business. So, eventually, we become long term trusted partners. And then, by providing concierge service to our candidates, we maintain close relationships with them during the interview cycle and post interview date to ensure our client’s success in closing the deal and retaining them. So, our H.R. backgrounds allow us to assist companies in writing job descriptions, offer letter compliance, and other H.R. related activities. So, Perceptive Recruiting is more than just a provider of people. We serve our clients with integrity, leveraging our experience, our people, and technology to help them achieve their goals quickly.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:20] Now, what’s your back story? How’d you get in this line of work?
Jill Rose: [00:02:24] Well, interestingly enough, I have a degree from Michigan State in hospitality management and ran hotels and restaurants at the beginning of my career. And at one point, I worked for a national restaurant company and they asked me to become a regional human resource manager, managing 200 management positions on the East Coast. And that kind of took my career in restaurant operations to the H.R. side. And then, I’ve just followed that path since. Once I got my H.R. feet, so to speak. I pivoted into technology about 25 years ago and I’ve just stayed on that track.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:04] So, now, your firm specializes in I.T., but do you do other kind of professions or other specialties or is it just kind of primarily focused on I.T.?
Jill Rose: [00:03:14] It’s focused on information technology and because of the success that we’ve had with many manufacturing companies in that space, they’ve also asked us to help them on engineering jobs. So, now, we’re really a cross between information technology and professional engineering, like mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and those types of professionals.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:35] Now, I like to ask people in your field, what does it take to get on your radar? Like, what should a candidate be doing in order for you to kind of notice them and pay attention to, maybe, open up an opportunity for them? What are some things that you recommend them doing to kind of stand out?
Jill Rose: [00:03:58] Well, for one thing, they have to have an excellent resume. As you can imagine, the field nowadays is highly, highly competitive. And, certainly, education plays a big piece in technology today, advanced education certifications, things like that. So, really, if you’re in the technology space, you have to stay current. It’s never the type of thing where you get your degree, you learn it, and then you just go to work for the rest of your life. Technology is evolving every year. It’s different. It’s new. It’s exciting. But you have to constantly train and you have to be ahead of the curve. So, having continuous education, continuous training certifications is excellent. You should keep your resume updated constantly because you never know when an opportunity is going to land at your feet that you might want to explore.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:47] Now, I know some of your work you do with women in technology. Can you talk about how that came about?
Jill Rose: [00:04:54] Yeah. So, as a recruiter in a community, your job is to get out. It’s to learn. It’s to network with people in the community. And so, 20 years ago, when I started in staffing – because I also had a background where I was internal in H.R. departments as a recruiter for software companies and things like that. When I started in staffing 20 years ago, I would attend networking groups that were probably 95 percent men, but there was always a handful of us women that showed up every month to learn about different technologies, different things that were going on in our field. And we just always stayed after to talk about things that were important to us. You know, men go to a meeting and, typically, meeting is over, they go back to work. And we would stay and we’d be interested in how is your job going, or how are your kids, or what are the challenges you’re facing, anything I can help you with. And we started our own group from there.
Jill Rose: [00:05:50] So, with a handful of people, we started the Upstate Women and Technology Group in Greenville, South Carolina. And 20 years later, the group still exists. We have over 400 women on our email list. We get together once a month with a guest speaker that provides training, topics of interest, whether it be I.T., whether it be women related issues, or it could be professional development. So, we really encourage companies that are in any industry here to send women to lunch. It costs 20 bucks, they have a great sit down lunch and they get a guest speaker. So, it’s really additional education for them.
Jill Rose: [00:06:28] But I’ve always had a volunteer spirit in the community. And when that group was started, I took it and I ran with it. And so, I’ve been doing it ever since then. And a lot of things happen in these meetings. People find jobs. People help other people. People give other women support in their careers. And there’s just all kinds of great things that come out of that group. And I’m really happy to say that it’s lasted this long and it’s a meaningful part of the community.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:57] Now, you mentioned that when you started, there was only a handful of women in the technology roles. Is that still the case or are you making some progress in that area?
Jill Rose: [00:07:06] Oh, certainly, there’s progress being made. Yes. Lots of women are getting technology degrees. They’re entering the technology fields. Of course, you have STEM and STEAM, and all these other types of things that go on in the community to get younger girls interested in science. So, we’re seeing the effects of that. And, certainly, women have always been a part, they just may not have been noticed and, certainly, in the minority. But the numbers are coming up. And I can’t say that there is an equal split of men and women. It’s still very male dominated, but it’s definitely getting better.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:41] Now, does your group do anything for young women, maybe in high school or college age, to give them kind of a path and to show them some role models in these roles?
Jill Rose: [00:07:52] There’s a lot of other groups that do that. And so, for us, we stay focused on the people that are already in their careers because there’s tons of other things that deal with the STEM and STEAM type of stuff for the younger women. But, you know, if you’re in college, certainly the colleges around here know about the group. And sometimes we do get college people coming, but generally are very focused on their education and not so much on networking and the community. But it’s a great place to meet other women regardless of the industry that you’re in, because even if you’re in an industry where it’s not “high tech”, you still have to know technology.
Jill Rose: [00:08:29] Every industry is surrounded by technology and technology keeps changing. And we were all in just regular Microsoft Outlook, now we’re in Office 365. And now with COVID, we’re doing Microsoft Teams videos to connect with everybody. So, that’s just an example of current technology that changes for everyone in business. And last month, the Upstate Women and Technology Group, we did a training seminar on how to use Microsoft Teams effectively. So, we try to stay current on what the women need in the community and take their suggestions and then bring in guest speakers for that.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:08] Now, I think, also an advantage and a benefit of that group is that’s probably a safe place to share some things, maybe, they would be hesitant to go to a male peer at their company and ask a question, but they can go there and find the answer.
Jill Rose: [00:09:23] Yes. Yes. And, I think, women with other women are very, very supportive of other things other than work and that’s why this group has thrived. By the way, we do have men come to our meetings. They are allowed. So, we do have men guest speakers. But, you know, a lot of times we have women that are caregivers for their kids and caregivers for their parents. And people at work are going to ask them how they’re managing all that, but we sure do. And so, I think we’re a good, you know, even just emotional support system.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:57] Now, how has your kind of industry changed because of COVID or has it changed? Has this impacted how you kind of do what you do? I mean, I’m sure a lot of your workers work remotely all the time, but now I guess more and more people are doing that.
Jill Rose: [00:10:13] Absolutely. So, when COVID came in March, what we saw was the majority of our clients, all of a sudden, had to deploy hundreds or thousands of people to their homes and they weren’t expecting it, right? It’s not like they had a thousand computers just sitting in a closet somewhere or laptops that they, all of a sudden, could deploy their workers to home. And that, of course, affects networks, and it affects security, and it affects so many different things. So, the people on the infrastructure side really had to work, like, round the clock to get this workforce deployed to home. And so, we saw the clients go through that. That took some time, up to a month or two.
Jill Rose: [00:10:50] And, now, what we’re seeing is clients are really deciding what they’re going to do in 2021 when, hopefully, COVID is more under control if they’re going to have a hybrid situation where their employees are allowed to work from home as well as come in the office. I think a lot of them still want to see people on occasion. And then, there’s others that are like, “Wow. Our productivity is just as good as it was and so we’re okay with everybody being 100 percent remote.” Which, I think, is going to have a significant impact on office space, too, coming up.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:26] You got that right. That industry is looking like it’s going to change pretty rapidly.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:31] Without a doubt. I mean, I’ve had three offices since I’ve owned my business in Greenville in the last six-and-a-half years. And it was really hard to find office space for a smaller company that didn’t need office space for a thousand people. And every time my lease would expire and I’d go to look, it would take me a long time. But I think that we’re going to see that change. I went remote for two-and-a-half months with my staff, and we’re back in the office now. So, that could potentially be an option for me as well. But I really like having an office and I really like seeing my employees every day. And I really like to train and mentor them. And that’s very difficult to do, for me, anyway, just over a Zoom interview or a Zoom meeting.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:15] Right. Yeah. That’s a balance that a lot of companies are kind of working their way through. Now, in terms of your customers, do you specialize in a certain area? You know, you mentioned technology is now in everybody’s business. But are there certain industries that are a better fit for you than others? Or, are you kind of industry agnostic? And if they need somebody with an I.T. background, then you can find them somebody?
Jill Rose: [00:12:41] Well, we really are industry agnostic because we are specialists in information technology and that’s our expertise. And so, that can translate in any business. But we seem to do a lot of work in manufacturing, in financial services companies, in insurance companies, in software development companies. And it could be just about any other company as well. And we work with some small companies, mid-sized, and some global companies as well.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:13] Now, is the pain they’re having that they need somebody and they’re having a difficult time filling this position and they go, “You know what? We got to call the Perceptive Recruiting folks because they can help me with that.” Like, what is the pain that they’re having where they typically engage with you?
Jill Rose: [00:13:31] That’s a great question. So, a lot of our clients tell us the reason why they work with us is that they’re frustrated with the number of unqualified applicants they receive if they post their jobs. And it leaves them very little time to do their jobs. If you’re an H.R. professional and you’re doing multiple things, not just recruiting, it can kill your productivity if you have to look at 100 people that apply to a job when five are ultimately somebody that you might consider.
Jill Rose: [00:13:59] And I know it from my side, we get a lot of unqualified applicants that have no business applying to jobs. And so, that is one reason why they call us. Another reason is, sometimes H.R. professionals are just not trained on the technology side, especially the way technology is evolving now with Cloud technology and artificial intelligence and things like that. And so, they are just overwhelmed in identifying proper candidates for their hiring managers. And so, they call us to step in as, like, an additional arm to their H.R. department.
Jill Rose: [00:14:35] And then, sometimes the hiring managers, they are overwhelmed as well. And they just need to know that they can come in, in the morning, open their inbox, review candidates that three or four of them that we send with video interview footage, they can spend 15 minutes looking at that, and quickly identify these are people we really want to talk to. Because we’re really doing all of that work, that busy work that they don’t have time to do. And so, ultimately, it’s going to save them time. And in high tech, time is definitely money. Because they’ve got a lot of projects on their plate and, especially, if you’re in – well, any industry, but let’s take the financial services industry. You know, it’s all about money and it’s all about accuracy and security. And they don’t have time to be going through that. That’s sort of a waste of their expertise. So, that’s what we do.
Lee Kantor: [00:15:25] And then, in the world that you’re recruiting in, isn’t there, like, kind of zero percent unemployment? Like, you’re trying to find people that already are working somewhere, right?
Jill Rose: [00:15:36] Yes. Yes. Super competitive. Super competitive. And that’s the other thing, is that sometimes it takes companies a very long time to get through the interview process. By the time they review candidates, they’re on screen, set them up for a phone or video interview, get them on site. We take care of all that for them. And so, speed, some of these candidates are on the market and off in two weeks. And if you can’t adjust your interview process to meet the needs of people coming and going so quickly, then, ultimately, you’re never going to find the best candidate because they’re not on the market long. So, it’s super competitive. Salaries are super competitive.
Jill Rose: [00:16:15] And we encourage our clients to think about our job is to be, not only an extension of your H.R. department, but your sales staff. We have to sell our clients to the candidate market out there. And so, if we do our job right and we get an interested candidate for our client, they have to do their job now. And they have to sell their company. And they have to know why, you know, why somebody wants to come and work for them. So, we all talk about that. We get to know our clients really well and really become an extension of them, so that way they can stay current and stay on the competitive edge with the way the market is.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:54] And I would imagine that some of those conversations you’re having with leadership and explaining the importance of that, really, that kind of consulting is invaluable that you become a trusted advisor or a trusted partner. It’s not this vendor that’s just kind of filling slots.
Jill Rose: [00:17:11] Exactly. And I think because of my background being internal in an H.R. department with several companies, I understand. This may date me, but I was trained in traditional recruiting techniques. This is before you had let’s hire someone and teach them to do a keyword search and then send your client over six to ten resumes that may or may not be a fit. I was trained in classical recruiting, you know, grounded interviews and trying to decide if this person is worth being an employee for my company, my internal company. And so, I translated that in business. Is that my clients are, like, if I work internally in their H.R. department, then I’m looking at these candidates, not only for their technical skill set, but also are they going to be a good employee. Because I get paid to do a job to find them a long term employee or contractor that’s going to fit technically and culturally. And so, that does take a lot of questions and a lot of evaluation and analysis to make sure that this is going to be the right fit for the right client.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:18] Right. And culture is so important. It can’t be just because they know a software, it doesn’t mean they’re going to fit in with the culture of the company. And if it’s not a good fit, it doesn’t matter if they know the software or not.
Jill Rose: [00:18:29] Exactly. So, you could have a customer that is suit and tie, although nobody’s really that way anymore. But, like, ten years ago, let’s say they were suit and tie, and you get a guy or a woman that’s just not used to that kind of culture where it’s really buttoned down and everybody sits at a desk, and they don’t talk, over, over professional, that kind of thing. You can’t send someone in that’s not going to match that because, ultimately, the communication is not going to be there between the people, and that’s so important. So, you do have to really know the culture of your clients. You have to go visit their office and get a good feel for what it’s like there, you know. And you see it, sometimes you just have to feel it. And that’s how you do your best recruiting.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:16] Now, you believe in association so much, you kind of started an association organization that helps women in technology. Tell us about GWBC. How did you get involved with them? And what was kind of your reason for getting involved with that group?
Jill Rose: [00:19:34] Well, ultimately, the reason why I started with that was, you know, I think it’s valuable to have a women-owned certification. Because, again, I’m in a field that’s dominated by men and there are organizations that, if they’re federal contracting or even just they have their own diversity initiatives internally, if they want to work with a diverse vendor like a women-owned business or a minority owned business. And so, I just thought it was important so that I would have that designation. I wasn’t really sure what it was going to do for me, but it’s really become invaluable in so many ways.
Jill Rose: [00:20:11] The first way, of course, is by meeting other women business owners. I consider myself to be an accidental entrepreneur. I really never started out to own a business. It just happened that I decided one day that it was time for me to do that. And so, you can meet other like people and you have a network of people that understand what it’s like to be a small business owner because there’s nothing like it. And there’s no one in my family that’s a small business owner. So, I could never go to any of my relatives and say, “Hey, do you know what it’s like to run a PNL? Or, do you know what it’s like to do this and that and payroll, you know, hundreds of thousands of people every week in salary, anyway?” And then, the other thing is that you can be connected to businesses that value your women-owned certification. And so, that gives you access to larger companies that may have a significant revenue spend for minority and women-owned businesses like myself. Otherwise, you’d have no access to that. And so, that is a wonderful thing.
Lee Kantor: [00:21:20] Now, has that access helped you get business?
Jill Rose: [00:21:24] Yes, I have. I have connected with a number of women in the upstate of South Carolina that then connected me to people that, you know, needed my services, basically, regardless of whether I was women-owned or not. And so, yes, I have gotten business out of it. And it’s also wonderful when your clients ask you for that certification every year that you get renewed because it shows that they do value having diversity in their vendor system. And I know that they are using it and, hopefully, they’re getting some kind of benefit, whether it’s on taxes or whatever. It’s beneficial for them to use a service like myself.
Lee Kantor: [00:22:04] Yeah. It really is a win-win for both parties.
Jill Rose: [00:22:08] For sure. Yeah.
Lee Kantor: [00:22:09] Now, if there is somebody out there that is in need of I.T. help and they want to get a hold of you, what is the best website to learn more, maybe have a substantive conversation with you or somebody on your team?
Jill Rose: [00:22:22] So, it’s very simple. It’s perceptiverecruiting.com. That’s our website. My phone number is on there. My email address is on there. There’s a form you can fill out if you’d like to be connected. And I’d love to hear from people. I am on LinkedIn. The Upstate Women and Technology is on all of the social media platforms, LinkedIn, Facebook, everything. But, yeah, I would love to hear from people on perceptiverecruiting.com.
Lee Kantor: [00:22:50] Well, congratulations on all your success. You’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Jill Rose: [00:22:54] Thank you so much.
Lee Kantor: [00:22:56] All right. This is Lee Kantor. We will see you all next time on GWBC Open for Business.
The Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC®) is at the forefront of redefining women business enterprises (WBEs). An increasing focus on supplier diversity means major corporations are viewing our WBEs as innovative, flexible and competitive solutions. The number of women-owned businesses is rising to reflect an increasingly diverse consumer base of women making a majority of buying decision for herself, her family and her business.
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