Since starting his professional career at Acara Solutions back in 1992, Shawn’s hard work and commitment have played a critical role in growing our Northwest presence. As a new college graduate, his work at the world’s largest aerospace company provided him with exposure to the fields of Engineering, IT, and Human Resources which led him to Acara as a Technical Recruiter.
In the latest edition of our “All-In at Acara” series, learn how Shawn’s technical start helped him to flourish in his many roles at Acara Solutions.
A technical start out West
Born and raised in the Seattle region, I went to school at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, and studied Business and Human Resources Management along with Organizational Psychology. I had a college experience that provided me with an early understanding and appreciation for IT and how to relate to programmers. After registering for a class on mid-level Pascal Programming, I realized that only computer science majors were enrolled—not business majors. What was I thinking? Well, the ‘basics class’ to computer programming looked too boring to me—so I took a leap into heavy programming. I think I was the only non-major in the class and several students were attending it a second time due to its difficulty. Not surprisingly, I didn’t exactly do well and I spent way too much time that semester in the computer lab “cranking out code” while trying to get my programs to work. At least it was ‘educational’ and it gave me a strong appreciation of what programmers do! Currently, I reside in Woodinville, WA which is located next to Redmond—the corporate headquarters of Microsoft.
Blueprint for success
After graduating from college, I joined The Boeing Company. My first position had me working with engineers and their blueprints. I then transferred to Boeing Computer Services where I worked as an HR Administer and was responsible for supporting several hundred information technology employees—including AI scientists that worked on the same floor of the building as me. Interacting with engineers, programmers, architects, and scientists exposed me to the engineering and IT industries and provided me with a comfort level working with technical-minded people— which has benefited me throughout my career.
The transition to Acara
After realizing that working in HR for a large firm wasn’t my long-term calling, I decided to explore what it would be like to work for a staffing organization and focus on the recruiting side of HR. I started my career at Acara—working out of our Seattle office—as a Technical and Engineering Recruiter focusing on Boeing contract labor positions. Soon after, the requisition order volume at Boeing slowed necessitating a need to procure additional clients. I called on McCaw Cellular Communications located just across the street from Acara. That was the beginning of a very long relationship with local wireless telecom firms. The Acara team worked with most of the local wireless providers—including AT&T Wireless after they purchased McCaw Cellular Communications and Western Wireless before VoiceStream was spun out of them. We were one of the first staffing agencies to provide contractors to VoiceStream—currently known as T-Mobile.
Moving up within the organization
I was quickly promoted into a Branch Manager and then Regional Manager position and successfully helped build a very strong Acara Northwest presence with revenue topping $50M weekly. Over my 30 years at Acara, I have assisted in regional and national business development while always keeping my hand in recruiting. I have also been involved in growing our direct hire executive search business and acquiring talent for mid to senior-level positions for organizations across the professional and technical space.
As the workforce solutions industry witnesses constant change, Acara is always leading the way by shifting strategies to adapt to the needs of employers and job candidates. Throughout my years at Acara, technology has continued to play a larger role in the hiring process. But as the industry experiences rapid technological advancements, the people portion of talent acquisition will always remain. The unpredictability of people—especially during the COVID pandemic—keeps me on my toes.
Love for the outdoors
Before work each day, I like to take time for breakfast, soak in the hot tub, watch the news, and go for a walk during the times of the year when it’s not dark outside. When I’m not working, I spend time with my family hiking, boating/tubing, at my kid’s school sporting events, fishing for bass and salmon, and working in the yard. My property has a fruit tree orchard, a greenhouse, 8 vegetable beds, and various berries (including 20 blueberry plants)—so I spend a great deal of time outside maintaining it.
To learn more about Shawn Lutz, connect with him on LinkedIn.
Interested in finding out more about the rest of our Acara team? Check out other editions of our “All-In at Acara” series here.