nd regular visitor to RBC was kind enough to introduce me to one of Volt’s senior executives.
Pat Cronin has been in the Staffing Industry for 20 + years in various roles. His career began as a Recruiter. Pat was ranked 5th out of 300 + recruiters. After many successes was moved into management of a large group of Recruiters. He relocated and joined Volt Services Group as a Sales Representative where he was awarded "Rookie of the Year." Very quickly Pat was promoted to Manager and then Area Manager. He relocated and took a position as Regional Director for another large staffing firm. Pat returned to Volt in the role of Professional Placement Program Manager. He supports offices throughout the United States in their Professional Placement endeavors. The areas of expertise in which his division recruits are Life Sciences, Information Technology, Engineering, Technical, Accounting/Finance and Administrative. His current title is Vice President Volt Professional Placement. Pat is also a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Q& A with PAT CRONIN
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
PAT CRONIN: My domestic Partner, Brian Barnes, and I have been together for 7 years. Brian is a Deacon in the Episcopal Church and has his own bodywork therapy business focusing on Myofascial Release techniques. We met in San Francisco while I was on a business trip visiting from Seattle. After a year of commuting back and forth, we purchased a traditional San Francisco Victorian home in the heart of the city. Truth be told, Cooper, our dog, and Cecil, our cat run our home. They just allow us to reside with them.
While in college I became a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certified Scuba Diving Instructor and taught classes to many friends and Fraternity Brothers. Scuba Diving was a large part of my childhood as my father was President of U.S. Divers Corp and founded PADI. Rather than following in his very accomplished footsteps, I decided to make a name for my self on my own and stumbled into Recruiting. Years later, I did re-engage with PADI…I sit on the Board of Directors.
When I first moved to the Bay Area, I volunteered as a Chaplain at San Francisco General Hospital. It was incredibly rewarding yet emotionally draining at times. I would work all week and then on Friday nights would spend 4 – 6 hours in the emergency room helping the marginalized population of San Francisco. Nothing could have prepared me for the trauma victims I would encounter in this setting. Most people were grateful to have the company of a Chaplain during such a stressful time in their life. You get to see human nature at its “rawest” when people are in crises. I do remember one rather humorous situation….a woman came in for a minor treatment. I came into her room and said…”Hi my name is Pat. I am a Chaplain here at SFGH.” The poor woman immediately panicked and said…”A Chaplain, why do I need a Chaplain? I only cut my foot. Do you know something I don’t know? Am I going to die?” I laughed and reassured her that no, she would be just fine. People react very differently when they are scared and facing an emergency.
Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry
PAT CRONIN: I started in the recruiting business in 1985. (I hate saying that because it makes me sound so old. I was right out of college…..honest! )
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
PAT CRONIN: I got into this industry by chance as many of us do. I had a friend who worked for a staffing firm. She told me about her job and I thought it sounded interesting. I also had an ulterior motive. I thought it would be a great place to find a “real” job. My thought was to look at all the positions that came into the office and if and when I found something that sounded more interesting, I would pursue that career. I know it sounds a little corny, but even after 23 years nothing is more fascinating that the search industry. In my years in the staffing industry, I have worked both Contract Staffing/Temp side and Search.
The first 5 years of my career, I worked a desk in Southern California. In 1992, I moved to Portland OR and came to work for Volt. I was an outside sales rep for the temporary division. It was so different from the search side. I learned about account development and how to work in a fast transactional environment. I was “Rookie of the Year” and was promoted to Branch and then Area Manager. During my time in Portland, I was able to develop an on-site managed program for a large Bank. I left Volt for a short period and took a position as a Regional Director of another very large staffing firm. With in two weeks I knew I had made a gigantic mistake. While I was gone, two of the Senior Vice Presidents at Volt decided they wanted to develop a Professional Search strategy for the company. I returned to Volt in the role of Professional Placement Program Manager. I began collaborating with the incredibly talented people through out Volt to creating all the tools, infrastructure, policies and procedures, training and development, which helped Volt enter the Professional Search segment. In 2002, Volt was the first Staffing Firm to fully embrace Six Sigma and I entered the Black Belt training program. In 2005 I was certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt. Shortly after that I was promoted to Director of Professional Search. Using Six Sigma tools, we ran a Six Sigma project to determine how we could increase our market share in Professional Search. I am currently the Vice President of Volt Professional Search. The group of Professional Search Recruiters I work with each focus on niche specific positions nationally and are separated into distinct Search Groups
(We are looking for talented Professional Search Recruiters and Search Managers. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself….We are hiring! We have more client requests than we can handle!)
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting
PAT CRONIN: In the beginning, I was horrible. My idea of a telemarketing call was…”Hi, This is Pat Cronin from XXX Company. I am just calling to see if there are any positions I can help you with?” Or, “I just interviewed someone who would be perfect for your position!” I was so green! I honestly could not understand why I was not getting any business. Finally, after a few months, my boss said she did not think I was right for the business. She gave me a final warning. I had one month to produce twice as much as I had ever produced, or I was going to be let go! I remember saying to her….” I am not leaving here. You’ll see, I am going to pull this off.” That was when my career really began. I had nothing but sheer determination. I did not know how I was going to do it, but I was going to succeed. I asked everyone in my office for help. I listened to the best, mimicked them and did everything I could think of to produce the numbers I had to produce in order to keep my job. I loved this business and I would not accept any other result than success. That was the toughest month of my career. There were times where is looked impossible. However, I was determined. It is amazing what power there is in “commitment.” The last day of that month, I made a placement that pushed me right over the goal. I did it! That month taught me more about myself than anything I learned in college. Determination is what makes people succeed. Sounds so simple, but when you really, really “get” that, any thing is possible.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
PAT CRONIN: I have had many mentors. The first was Wendy Hall. She hired me and helped me personally grow into a business professional. The team of people I worked with back in 1985 all contributed to my success as well. Margie McKay and Christina Harris, both Senior Vice Presidents at Volt gave me the opportunity to create a phenomenal career in Professional Search at Volt.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your executive responsibilities at Volt, Pat:
PAT CRONIN: My role is Vice President of Volt Professional Search. I am responsible for Professional Search for Volt Technical Resources throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is an exciting time at Volt Professional Search. We are developing even more robust and comprehensive infrastructures, which will allow us to elevate our delivery model and break out of the industry norms. We want our attention to remain on the customer and candidate experience while producing respectful financial gains.
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We have done extensive market research, analyzed business trends and emerging markets and utilized Six Sigma statistical business models to identify the best combination of process and talent. All over North America, we are expanding our investment in the most critical aspect of our business….our people. We are re-branding, re-evaluating and re-inventing every aspect of our current model. Our goal is to emerge as a World Class Executive Search organization.
We have our Professional Search Recruiters focused on the following “Niche” business segments.
o IT – Professional, Managers, PMs
o IT – Programmers/Developers
o IT – Networking/Systems/IT Support
o Engineering – Mechanical
o Engineering – Electronic
o Engineering – “Other”
o Life Sciences
o Technical Sales/Consulting…
ing and recruiting industry via utilizing social media, focused on exploring various industries. She is currently working for her sister's boutique, Pink Olive Inc.
She is currently serving as a member of board of directors - a VP role at Harvard Club of Andover Inc. She is also actively participating in both on/off sites committees (i.e. Binghamton Planning Committee among other fundraising charity organizations) Previously, Susan held recruiting role at Harvard University. She holds a BA in Psychology from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and further explored and pursued graduate studies at University of Rhode Island (for Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology), Columbia University - Teacher's college, Brown University extension programs, Harvard University - Harvard Graduate School of Education master of education courses, Harvard business courses and programs affiliates via extension. Both her senior thesis and masters thesis studies were in the areas of behavioral medicine and leadership.
In the future, she hopes to extend herself in Asia (specifically in Korea and Japan) and to further promote open talent development outreach through utilizing various social media platforms along with emphasis on building positive personal/professional brand in corporate organizations.
Q&A with Susan (Kang) Nam
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
Susan: We reside in north of Boston for the past 10 years. My husband KJ (Kyung Jun Nam) is a design engineer and most of his extended family resides in South Korea and majority of his family members are educators. We have a very active social life as we love to spend our summers in either Cape (deep fishing) or Florida (of course, Walt Disney world ventures) and during winter months at Killington Vermont and various locations in NH to ski. Our family life revolves around many travels to NJ and NYC as my extended family resides there. My second sister Jenna's passion is in missionary outreach via Arab world missions and she has recently come back from a long extended trip from countries in Europe and Morocco lending her efforts to spread the word of gospel. My youngest sister Grace is the owner of 2 boutiques "Pink Olive boutique" in east village, NYC & Park Slope Brooklyn. We value each other greatly ~ and yes.. we do have our "moments" :) but love each other with all our hearts. As for Education ~ all of us sisters attended colleges for our undergraduate education in NY (me - SUNY at Binghamton, Jenna - NYU, Grace - Cornell) and we are quite different in so many ways and yet the same despite our various talents and interests. Prior to living & studying in the east coast, we grew up residing in Seoul Korea, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Northern California (San Jose & Cupertino).
As the eldest daughter in the family my priority for anything in life goes out to being there for my family - both immediate and extended - as I strongly feel responsible to make sure all of their needs are met in a timely manner. My parents are consistently my primary role models as they continue to live to their fullest despite their recent health scare / obstacles. They continue to impact and shape my life. My dad, graduated from Seoul National University with a degree in Engineering, former mechanical engineer, entrepreneur and sales executive traveled worldwide prior to his retirement. My mom, graduated from Ewha Womans University with a degree in Korean literature, a stay home mom for us 3 girls and recently finished her Ph.D. in Theology and now an associate pastor at Flushing, Queens NY. My other extended family resides in Korea, Japan, Germany, Hong Kong and various states across the US. My background is somewhat unique as I continue to seek out my heritage and aspire to learn new information about my family. We value and honor family, faith, education, personal relationships and community. I talk about Education and Faith quite a bit because we value it probably more than anything else.
Our daughter Katie is 7 years old and we hope to continue her languages in Korean & French. and yes.. we do have pets (our daughter's fish family - Aqua plus, Raymond, Gabriella and Hello Kitty) ;)
My passion lies in classical piano as I have been playing this instrument since age 4. My other interests are providing nonprofit organizations with their fundraising efforts (in education, charity, esp. for missionaries and cancer research - esp in colon, prostate and breast cancer). I do admire creative people.. especially designers, entrepreneurs, and passionate individuals who work hard every single day to balance their lives. Currently volunteering via various club positions via my Alma maters and other non-profit networking organizations. I admire edgy, passionate, idealistic professionals who work hard to achieve their dreams. Lastly, I do have other various interests in so many however one I can say for sure ~ I aspire to race cars one day (not sure what my parents would say about this ;)
Six Degrees: How many years have you been a recruiter?
Susan: I am a newbie and continue to learn and exploring the industry as of this summer/fall of 2008. My last full time recruiting related position was 7 years ago.
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
Susan: I started out in the Harvard Central HR recruiting team at Harvard Employment office 7 years ago. I was working as a technical editing staff support for the Harvard Economics Department at the time after I left NYC (with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Institutional Consulting Group at the World Trade Center). I met the Director of HR via taking her HR course at Harvard and soon after the position became available so I applied for the position and honored to join the team. The Central recruiting team's duties included consulting with rest of the Harvard University recruiting community providing recruiting related information. My niche was in internet recruiting where I dealt with vendors, consulted with advertising executives, and Harvard recruiters to provide cost-effective recruiting strategies for Harvard schools. I was able to write up a grant proposal to cater to their requests, comments to provide additional funds prior to leaving the University to raise my child. I was also very excited about contributing to the diversity outreach by working along with TEAM Harvard organizations (i.e. NAAAP). In the past 7 years, I did have the opportunity to explore few options however I have not had the opportunity to seek out my interest in recruiting as a career until summer of 2008 for various personal/family reasons.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
Susan: I would have to say when I first met the recruiter at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. His positive & proactive attitude inspired me greatly and it helped me to refocus and started to explore the "idea" of recruiting full time - back in '98.
Six Degrees: Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
Susan: Yes so far I would have to say my role model has been Polly Price, previously Chief HR Officer at Harvard University. I first connected with her after reading a Harvard Gazette article on Diversity at Harvard. I was quite taken away with her approaches, her immediate attention to personal connection and integrity. I aspire her not for her accomplishments only but her character is remarkable and I truly honor what she has to say (both personally and professionally). I seek out for other mentors as I continue to explore the recruiting industry. I would have to say Kevin Wheeler - interested in his international recruiting outreach & cultural difference information via ERE and sourcing strategists (so many out there however look forward to learning more about Shally Steckerl, and community builders, movers and shakers - I have to say Jason Davis. I am humbled by their leadership, ideas and vision on the industry.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your job:
Susan: I support my sister Grace's boutique - Pink Olive boutique - for various responsibilities but most importantly value her talent, her ability to expand her passion in unique products, vendor selection and talent development. I will help her out with whatever she needs. That goes 100% as well with my other sister Jenna's ventures in missionary support.
Six Degrees: What other companies' recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?
Susan: For sure, Lockheed Strategic Sourcing Team information via Bill Murphy. I look forward to hearing more of their successes. I met Bill Murphy virtually via Jason Davis's Ning site - Recruitingblogs.com.
Six Degrees: In what aspects are Lockheed’s Strategic Sourcing Team superior?
Susan: Organization, Missions, Practicality & strategic sourcing focused approach.
Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?
Susan: I believe Social Media will have a very strong role in changing the recruiting industry as a whole. Also, along with the present state of Economy - very disturbing and yet I do believe there is lot to be done to transformed the world and anticipate a strong impact on recruiting industry near future(will elaborate as I continue to explore).
Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?
Susan: My next career goal is to extend myself to the world of sourcing and recruiting in a corporate setting - still exploring at this time. What do I need to do to get there? Well, I will continue to explore options, obtain further training and most importantly network and establishing a personal relationship using various social media tools, gadgets and platforms. I find it extremely helpful, not only valuable but also a great way to build the relationship to get to the next course in my career.…