Meet Beth Havens, A Corporate Recruiter with a Physics Degree & Love Ancient Architecture

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Community Volunteering (If Any): I help my elderly neighbors, with tasks that have become a bit much for them, and I have some political interests that I persue.
Personal Causes: Saving Edith Wharton’s Home in the Hamptons, it’s a very unique bit of history
Office/Cell Number: 805-212-0612
Personal Email:
*** Beth is Available for New Opportunities

Beth Havens has been a Full Cycle Contract Technical Recruiter with more than 12 years exempt recruitment experience in high-volume, high profile technical and scientific fields. Beth takes pride in her expertise in areas such as risk reduction, ability to work independently or in teams, vendor negotiation, collecting and defining business requirements, executing strategic searches, workforce planning, strong flexibility to adjust to demanding environments with attention to details and deadlines.

Q&A with Beth Havens

Six Degrees: Tell us about your home world Beth

Beth I am an empty nester with a busy year ahead of me! My youngest Daughter Graduates from the University of Louisville, in Kentucky, on the 9th of May. (Yes that is the week after the Kentucky Derby, for you horse racing fans out there) My Oldest Daughter is getting Married in August, and finishes her Masters at USC in December (her BA is from UCLA, she has a fine sense of humor) otherwise it is just me and the critters at home these days! Have Dog will travel!

Hobbies! Oh my! Aside from the obvious hobbies of gardening and hiking, I am known to write poetry, I have a book on lulu dot com that I put together for the friends and family who complained, “Toads Pond”. I’m known to hang out with the Society for Creative Anachronism on occasion. I enjoy medieval engineering, heraldry, textile hobbies and other interesting tidbits to be found within that group. I love ancient architecture. I’m far more likely to be found in the museum or the garden than on the beach. I’m terribly unsocial in my private life for a recruiter.

Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?
Beth I started recruiting in 1995. My BS is in Physics and Computer Science and finding a job in that market was a bit tough, when I stumbled across a recruiter who thought I’d make a good recruiter. I think a good many recruiters stumbled into the industry via odd roads. I had the pleasure of working for an IT staffing company called XXCAL for a good many years before I went into contract recruiting. Since then I have been doing contract and freelance recruiting. Generally I get called for one of two things, either hard to find Scientific, Engineering, IT or Technical people, OR oddly enough, hard to work with hiring managers. I have worked with both very large companies like Citibank, and Sony electronics, and small companies(less than 100 employees), like Xencor. I find either can be great opportunities as long as there are interesting requirements to work on.

Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?

Beth Full Cycle Contract Technical Recruiter with more than 12 years exempt recruitment experience in high-volume, high profile technical and scientific fields. I am dedicated and work to give a high level of professionalism. My abilities include strong written and verbal communication, risk reduction, ability to work independently or in teams, vendor negotiation, collecting and defining business requirements, executing strategic searches, workforce planning, strong flexibility to adjust to demanding environments with attention to details and deadlines.

Most recently, Beth serviced at Sony Electronics, Inc. through Integrity Placements, performing full cycle recruiting, mainly for ISSA, Legal, Marketing and Controller groups. Recruiting mainly SAP manufacturing and finance project lead and management for ISSA. Participating in research and development for a strong print ad campaign, as well as searching for and developing stronger presence in recruiting online in niche arena’s for specific job functions, mainly seeking Project experience for large ERP projects. Helped to re-create the in house staffing function at Sony.

Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?

Beth Transitioning from Agency Staffing to Contract Recruiting - it allowed me to really do the parts of recruiting I like best! Working directly with hiring managers to fill needs, and working on finding the candidates to fill those needs, while not having to do the part I dislike which is hunting for prospective opportunities.

Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?

Beth I have to say the person I learned the most about recruiting and business in general from, was Marv Hoffman. Marv not only provided a great deal of recruiting training, but encouraged his recruiting teams to participate in groups that they could learn more from. For instance while working with XXCAL I belonged to several users groups that were great souring pools. (NT users group and a VB Testing group for example)

We attended recruiting conferences and Marv had his own training sessions as well. It would have been hard to spend any length of time in that group and NOT learn a great deal.

Six Degrees: Tell us about your position, (responsibilities, size of your staffing organization) :

Beth Currently I am doing freelance work, taking on requirements from staffing firms who need a bit of help, and doing splits while seeking that next contracting opportunity!

Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?

Beth I am hoping the Trend in new Energy Development and Deployment will have a great boost in my future opportunities, as I’ve been keenly interested in alternate energy sources since I was a teen. Be it thermal heating systems, Wind turbines, solar (recently read a great white paper from MIT on some solar energy changes that would radically alter the amount of energy you are ABLE to use from solar cells) or even passive energy creation or conservation. (for instance if you don’t lose as much heat from a home, you don’t need to create as much, etc.) But then I’m always interested in engineering and architecture, so this shouldn’t’ be too big a shock for those who’ve been reading along. I am a geek by nature, and no! That is not a negative statement!

Six Degrees: Tell us about your broader involvement within the staffing industry: (Do you attend conferences? Which ones? List/detail speaking events, awards, publications, where you have you represented your company)

Beth I have attended conferences in the past, SHRM, ERE and many conferences that were directly related to my recruiting needs, Like the Optical Electronic Industry conferences, or Computer conferences which were related to industries I was recruiting for. My personal favorite is the OPIE. I have to admit, I have a couple Schott glasses from the Schott glass company. That has to be one of the best give aways ever.

Six Degrees: Can you detail how the recession has affected your particular industry niche? Has it effected your job or that of your fellow team members within the organization - If so, to what extent? (If you have been laid off, tell us about the experience, when it happened)

Beth My last contract ended at the end of January in 2008. I was very surprised that I didn’t have several opportunities in the wings when it ended, but still, I didn’t think I’d be working freelance as long as I have. I had remarked to some friends in 2007 that some banking transactions I’d had reason to observe worried me as to the state of several banks stability. I really hate to be right some days. It seems to me that the media began paying attention to the recession in Late 2008, but that the recession itself began early 2007. I began seeing a great deal more recruiters looking for work peaking in the winter months of 2008 and finally starting to subside in about March of this year.

Of course in times like this, Good Sales Staff are worth their weight in gold, but they aren’t automatically created from thin air, so both staffing agencies and corporate business have found themselves going through sales staff and training at a rather intense rate (good training is far too under rated and under utilized in my opinion) while other business find themselves holding their collective breath, so to speak waiting to see what is happening on the world stage, or even failing in the interim.

We will recover, economies do, sometimes more slowly than others, but we will recover. Now, where we will all be at the other end of that recovery, that is the question! I admit to having some Thoughts about the viability of changing direction, but to what purpose? Important questions these!

I think one of the best indications that the bleeding of the economy is slowing down is that there are more advertisements for recruiters and a big slowdown in the number of NEWLY unemployed recruiters. If there are Jobs, there will be a need for recruiters, so it is, I think, the number one job listing to look for in a recovering economy.

Interestingly there seem to be a great deal more ads for the east coast than west coast coming up on my searches. That too may be an indication of what we need to watch in the coming year. Are other economies recovering faster than the California economy? And which industries are recovering fastest. Which seem to be failing completely? I enjoy searching through this information on a regular basis lately. Also I would expect some staffing agencies to do really well when the economy begins to heal because when applicants are abundant, what manager wants to wade through hundreds of resumes to find a few gems? So the pick up in Agency hiring is to me another indication that the recession is beginning to ease just a bit. I am looking forward to a happier year!

Six Degrees: Aside from simply the generic term “Networking” what specific efforts have you made on your own behalf, or on behalf of colleagues to broaden your opportunities. Are there specific groups, both online and in-person that have proved fruitful in extending your personal brand and job seeking prospects?

Beth You know that is a great question! I have joined a few interesting groups in an effort to get more visibility. I joined the “Ruthie List” and “Carecruit” (California recruiting) groups. I also started receiving other industry communications that I thought might be useful for finding companies that might need my services. I found a few browsers that have been uniquely helpful. is a site that lets you see jobs on several boards and even private company sites at once. Which also just brings to light several possible companies that might be useful.

Six Degrees: Given your own Trial and Error experiences as a Networker, what advice do you have for your peers on what NOT to do? Be specific

Beth I should advise against sharing too much personal information, there really is (and I believe, should be!) a difference between your personal and public life. Other than that, be interested in others as much as you are interested in promoting your own needs, because if you don’t listen to others, you will miss opportunities for yourself! (or maybe even an opportunity for a friend)

Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?

Beth There are a couple things I’d like to do. One objective is to work with a small company helping build a solid team from the ground up. Possibly working that effort into an operations Lead position later on. Another thing that I’d be interested in doing is leading a recruiting team for a large company. Either objective is highly dependent upon opportunity. I have my eyes open for just such an occurrence!


Six Degrees: How many applicants at your present employer do you estimate are hired from your corporate website as compared to how many are hired through referrals?

Beth When corporate recruiting, it has been my experience that the overwhelming vast majority of the hiring was the result of sourcing efforts on my part, which included, corporate advertising, searching internal and external databases and networking. I found that a good candidate was just as likely to be found by anyone of these methods as the other, which is why I employ all these methods. .

Six Degrees: What is the source of your "LOWEST COST OF HIRES" - (least amount of invested resources for the easiest hires, regardless of quality) at your present employer?

Beth Without doubt the lowest cost per hire I have found has been with previously known candidates, or internal transfers. An internal transfer does not always mean another opening. One of the things smart companies do, is to review the personnel they have to let go from One team, for the likelihood they can fill openings in another group. The cost savings can be tremendous there.

Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?

Beth I generally focus on hard to find IT, Engineering or Scientific candidates, though I’ve been asked to fill legal openings as well. While at Sony my main focus was in hiring High level SAP management and design level candidates and Law candidates. While at Amgen it was chemists and other high level R&D scientists, at Citibank embedded Unix developers, and Oracle programmers. If it is a complex opportunity, I may be the recruiter you need.

Six Degrees: What recruitment software tools do you use in your day to day recruitment activities & do they translate effectively within all of the different countries where you recruit?

Beth I have probably used just about every ATS system out there, at one time or another, having an ATS is invaluable, which one you have is certainly up to you or your company, my favorite is Bond. The one I’ve used most is Taleo.

Secondly I think one should have access to posting on Some job boards, one doesn’t necessarily need every board out there, but one universal board, and a few niche boards that fit your company needs really do make networking easier. Not to mention advertise your company and give you more opportunities to network. And contact with niche groups that support whatever activity you most need in your hiring, be it MBA groups or some users group that services a particular type of prospective candidate, these can be invaluable. My brain, is also known to be a fairly useful tool, though I don’t claim to share all its contents.

Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?

Beth I came into recruiting when databases and search engines were already in use. And being a geek I really don’t think I would have gotten into it otherwise. If I file it, it isn’t likely to be seen again for years. I file things that Might be useful sometime, not things I use on a regular basis. That is why databases are so useful, its filing for things you plan on using regularly. I also think I drove my first bosses crazy because I hired more candidates on email than I ever called, and that drove the metrics crazy. But then a lot of the candidates I deal with don’t like(and occasionally don’t answer) the phone.

Six Degrees: How did your expectations of being a recruiter compare to the actual, first time you got on the phone or in the cubicle? In your opinion, how do people's assumptions about our vocation differ from reality?

Beth I didn’t have any idea of what to expect when I first started recruiting, since it wasn’t anything I ever imagined I’d be doing! So no expectations to live up to or crush. I think the biggest assumption people have about recruiting is that it in any way is an HR function. Recruiting is a management function, and is diabolically opposed to HR. the sole function of HR is to protect a companies assets. This means if you have someone in HR doing your recruiting, they often will not show resumes to hiring managers that they think are a pain to HR. a recruiter puts the position and the hiring managers needs before HR preferences. Recruiting assumes the responsibilities of a hiring manager to detail, advertise and find suitable candidates for an opening. Some of the odd HR jobs recruiters take on in order to fulfill that duty, are for our own convenience, to get the job done. They aren’t a recruiting function per se’. The most foolish thing any business can do in my opinion, is to put recruiting under the auspices of HR. If they aren’t under their own separate heading altogether, then they should be under operations.

Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn’t…and how that was a learning experience?

Beth I will have to hold a contest to see. Though possibly the one I thought the silliest was parking in boss’ favorite (though unmarked) parking place when I went for an interview.

Six Degrees: How do you personally expect to facilitate change within our industry, and/or at your place of work? If you started that process, outline the problem, your solutions, and the vision.

Beth I think that the best way to make any industry better is to do your best at what you do. Lead by example and change will occur naturally. Well it’s a theory anyway.

Six Degrees: “Best practice” you are most proud of developing (now or in the past) in your recruiting career?

Beth The best recruiting practice is to stick to process.

Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?

Beth I think the biggest obstacle to recruiting, are hiring managers whose personal hiring goals clash with their companies hiring goals. They most often take up the most time. This time waster is followed closely by un-necessary meetings.

Six Degrees: Considering all of the frustrations you have experienced in your career as a recruiter, -- what inspires you as you continue in your career?

Beth I’m happiest when working on an interesting opportunity. Finding that one odd placement no one else can find.

Six Degrees: What one thing do you ideally hope to accomplish in 2009? (OR) Six Degrees: What one thing do you find most ideal given the opportunity to develop/ implementing/ invent professionally that has yet to be done.

Beth Actually I’d like to see an MRP (manufacturing resource planner) that is similar to a job board for investors and communities to use to help manufacturing stay strong. The idea being that resources, inventors and investors really need a place to network to make opportunity happen. The thought comes out of my recruiting experience.

Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?

Beth Only the hole in the economic dyke

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