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All-In at Acara: How Sa Tanya Bowden’s Love for Meeting New People Has Played Into Her Success

As one of Acara’s most tenured Recruiting Managers, Sa Tanya Bowden knows what it takes to be successful in her role. The key to her success? Developing relationships with clients and candidates to ensure they have a positive experience throughout their entire hiring process.

In the latest edition of our “All-In at Acara” series, learn how Sa Tanya’s interpersonal skills and expertise have helped her contribute to the growth and expansion of Acara in California.

A California dreamer for life
Born and raised in Los Angeles, I plan to live in California forever. I am the second oldest out of seven children, so I learned responsibility at an early age. After high school, I accepted a position at a security firm. I advanced within the company, was promoted to Personnel Manager, and oversaw the organization’s hiring process from application to offer. After twelve years, I left and acquired a new role as a dispatcher for a non-profit organization.

The road to Acara
In 2003, my brother referred me to an opportunity at Acara—formerly Superior Staffing Services. The Costa Mesa Branch Manager knew I was seeking new opportunities and we discussed an open receptionist/payroll position. I applied, interviewed, and was hired as a temporary employee. Some time passed and the Recruitment Specialist and Branch Manager resigned. I was offered a direct-hire recruiting role reporting to the Memphis, TN Branch Manager but working out of the California office. I found Acara to be a good fit for me and have been with the company ever since!

Early life at Acara
My twelve years of working as a hiring manager in the security industry provided me with the foundation that I needed to successfully step into a recruiting role at Acara. I hit the ground running and was able to utilize that experience and transfer those skills to source and place top talent. During the years 2004 to 2006, I successfully managed the California office by myself. My excellent recall skills allowed me to quickly master our applicant tracking system SmarchSearch and interpret reports.

The importance of what we do
As a Recruiting Manager, I am responsible for attracting and hiring top talent and conducting SmartSearch training. After identifying a candidate to fill a unique or niche role, there’s nothing more rewarding than calling him/her to extend an offer. Candidates are always so appreciative and excited to hear from me. I have met so many great people of diverse cultures and backgrounds and I still receive gifts and thank you notes from candidates I placed years ago. Acara touches lives and we make a difference in our communities through opportunities.

Changes and challenges
Since joining Acara, I have had four business cards each with a different corporate name on it. I’m no stranger to change and to me change is growth! We are operating in a candidate-driven market right now. Unfortunately, I, along with other Recruitment Specialists, have been experiencing more “ghosting” from candidates who don’t show up for their interviews—and worse yet—some don’t show up to work on their start date. COVID has proven to be a challenging time because people still don’t want to work or fear of getting sick. Through all of these changes and challenges, Acara has provided me with a suite of recruiting platforms, tools, and technology to be successful. Our team works closely with our clients to educate them on what their competitors are doing to ensure we don’t lose job candidates due to non-competitive pay rates or other factors.

Keys to success
Acara provides a competitive atmosphere in which I want to strive and push myself each day. I look forward to interacting with clients and candidates and believe in the importance of building rapport and relationships. As a “people person,” that’s one of my favorite parts of the recruiting world. I never promise things I can’t deliver, and I believe that communication is KEY. As technology becomes more prevalent, it is up to Recruitment Specialists to continue to find ways to ensure a positive candidate experience and always keep in mind they are human and not a number in the hiring process.

Life outside of Acara
I like to start my workday with a cup of tea while I check my emails. My two grandsons are my pride and joy and I love spending as much time with them as I can. My six-year-old grandson lives with us and the two-year-old lives up north. My husband and I own a catering business specializing in soul food and BBQ with a twist. During my free time, I enjoy relaxing and watching TV. I’m a homebody—not the adventurous type.

If money and time were no object, I would love to travel to Hawaii. I have heard about how beautiful the islands are there.

To learn more about Sa Tanya, connect with her 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.