A New York native, Kayla Miller participated in Acara’s new graduate development program, launching her into a successful career as a Senior Recruitment Specialist.
In the latest edition of our “All In at Acara” series, learn how Kayla works as an adaptable problem solver to assist her clients from various industries and specialties in finding the right candidate for each of their open positions.
I was born in Watkin’s Glen, New York, a small town within the Finger Lakes region, but I was raised all over the United States. My father’s job brought my family to Arizona, Wisconsin, Missouri, and back to New York. I attended the University of Buffalo (UB), earning a Bachelor of Science in Communication. I currently reside in Austin, Texas.
Journey to Acara
I had a few jobs and internships during college that gave me transferable skills that translated well into a career in recruiting. I worked part-time at UB’s Business School as an administrative assistant for their International Master’s Degree program. This allowed me to interface with students from different cultures. I also worked part-time as a sales associate for Banana Republic, interacting with and assisting customers with purchases. I also spent a summer working as a full-time sales intern at NRG Energy, where I made cold calls and generated/qualified leads in their database.
I was introduced to Acara during my time at the University of Buffalo. In the spring of 2017, I met an Acara team member at a job fair organized by the University. The representative informed me about the launch of Acara’s recent graduate program, eXceed. The program is designed to pipeline individuals who have recently completed their education and are looking to launch their careers in the talent acquisition and staffing industry. Participants spend three to four months learning about Acara and its processes to be best prepared to kickstart their careers in recruiting. I immediately noted and was encouraged by the representative’s enthusiasm toward the program and Acara. My part-time work experiences and the development program made the transition from full-time student to full-time employee seamless and successful.
Embracing her many roles
The role of a Senior Recruitment Specialist is multi-faceted. I qualify clients’ open positions and then use various tools to source candidates most closely aligned with the scope of those job requirements. I then present candidates to clients, giving them an overview of why I am confident the individual would be an ideal fit for the role. Additionally, I serve as a subject matter expert for each open job for my candidates, coordinating and guiding them through the interview and offer process. Finally, while recruiting, I gather market data and identify potential new business opportunities, specifically recruiting niche skill sets or upper and management executive-level roles.
All of the moving parts within this role certainly have their challenges. Ensuring timelines align for all parties is difficult. The most frequent problem I encounter is candidates going “off the market” early on in our clients’ interview process due to accepting another offer. Despite this, my colleagues and Acara manager are very supportive, and I know I can turn to them for advice when navigating these challenges.
The future of the industry
Since starting in the industry, I have noticed a shift in how candidates find and apply for open positions. Social media has hugely contributed to the ability to reach more candidates at a faster rate. Acara’s marketing team has done a stellar job of increasing our company’s online presence and branding. Likewise, applicants utilize job sites like LinkedIn and Indeed more than client career sites. The Acara team has invested in using these tools to post our jobs and source talent.
Looking ahead, especially with the changes we have already undergone, the industry will likely experience more automation in the recruiting and interviewing processes that organizations must adopt and integrate. Acara must determine the best tools to make automation our friend and not foe.
Getting to recruit nationwide for various roles allows me to talk to clients and candidates from all sorts of backgrounds and walks of life. It never gets dull because I have many different skill sets and industries to recruit within. I am motivated by the opportunity to forge new connections and potentially change lives by placing candidates in new positions that support their career goals. The ability to improve and grow companies by recruiting team members who make a significant, positive contribution is also rewarding.
At Acara, I feel like a valued member of the organization and that my input and voice matter to leadership. There is an openness to feedback and collaboration. Through the development program and beyond, I have learned, grown, and advanced in my career. I feel like there is an appreciation for my accomplishments and an investment in my continued success and future here.
My manager and team members are accessible and supportive. I’ve observed continuous strides by the company to improve employee experiences, offer professional development opportunities, and make each team member more effective in their career.
Outside of work
An ideal day off for me would involve spending time—in person or virtually—with family and friends, checking out a new restaurant, and taking advantage of Austin’s abundance of live music.
I’m also passionate about learning—whether taking a LinkedIn course, reading about a subject, or conducting a YouTube deep dive. I have both Irish and German heritage. In keeping with my zest for knowledge, I would love to spend a few months exploring both countries, meeting local people, and embracing their cultures.