After starting her career as a receptionist at a staffing agency, Cindi Gonzalez’s passion and commitment to helping others drove her development and growth in the talent acquisition industry. She works as an Acara Senior Recruiter playing a pivotal role in managing a large client account.
In the latest edition of our “All-in at Acara” series, learn how Cindi’s vast industry experience has assisted her in fostering an extensive network of connections that she leverages to meet the demands of her client in today’s tight labor market.
Getting her start in the industry
I grew up in Sacramento, California, and attended Sacramento City College and the University of Phoenix. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in business management, I worked as a Payroll Administrator and Junior Recruiter at a workforce solutions company. This position provided me with experience in recruiting and payroll processes for large-volume accounts. Ready for a new challenge, I accepted a job as a Recruiter at a staffing agency but was laid off at the start of the pandemic. In April 2020, I began searching for jobs on ZipRecruiter, came across an opening at Acara, and applied. Cameron Beer contacted me, offering insight into Acara’s current hiring demand and his need for a recruiter for a manufacturing client. I was immediately interested in the role and accepted the position, and I have been part of the Acara team ever since.
A day in the life
As a Senior Recruiter, I am primarily responsible for strategizing with my colleagues to fill open manufacturing roles—welders and mechanical and electrical assemblers—for a large Acara client. I partner with local colleges to source and attract qualified workers. Once hired, I communicate with client managers on the manufacturing sites to ensure our placements meet agreed-upon standards and gain information about future hiring needs.
Despite being in the industry for 12 years, no two days are the same. I’m always learning and growing professionally, setting new goals for myself, and striving to achieve them. Identifying and developing new avenues to source qualified candidates is essential to staying ahead of our competitors. To gain access to highly qualified candidates, I’m focused on fostering partnerships with local vocational and high schools and career centers while working to gather data to understand better and respond to labor market changes. Acara is incredibly diverse and supportive. I learn a lot from my colleagues and am truly fortunate to be a part of a corporate community that values its team members.
Industry changes and challenges
Digital transformation creates challenges and requires adaptation to new processes causing our client’s needs to change continually. When I started working in the industry in 2016, sourcing and onboarding workers was very different. Advertising was done through the local news and newspapers to source and recruit candidates, and mass in-person hiring events were held. Career job site platforms— like Indeed and Craigslist—were nowhere near as developed and utilized by applicants as they are today. E-verify processing was completed by phone through the Department of Homeland Security. Onboarding documents, W-4s, and I-9s were paper, along with job applications and employee handbooks.
Life outside of work
When I am not working, I’m a full-time mother to my three daughters. Between driving them to school activities and soccer practice, I am always on the go. I’m blessed to be part of an organization that offers flexibility to meet my busy and unpredictable schedule. When I get the (rare) opportunity to relax, I enjoy adventuring outdoors with my family, whether hiking, spending a day on the lake, or visiting a theme park. I am also very passionate about helping my community, and if there is one thing I know how to assist with, it’s helping people advance their careers. My career in the talent acquisition industry has resulted in an extensive network of local community outreach centers and vocational school career centers. My friends and family often contact me when they need assistance finding employment, including updating their resumes or having questions about job opportunities.