Some individuals seek him out. Others come upon him through a chance meeting at a job fair. Carl Camardo is the manager of the Talent Development Program at Aleron, the brain and personality behind our professional and creative recruiting approach. We recently spoke about his background, training process, and what qualities he looks for in team members.
What duties are involved with your role at Aleron?
As the manager of the Talent Development Program, I train and coach each associate, helping them access the confidence and qualities needed in their roles. I am also working to develop more training and resource programs for employees.
In what areas did you grow up and attend school?
I grew up on Buffalo’s East Side and attended a private Catholic high school called Turner-Carroll before studying at Buffalo State College. I currently live in the East Amherst area.
What interesting fact can you share about yourself?
Believe it or not, I have been in three unique and terrifying situations—a fire, a hold up at gunpoint, and a plane crash.
What qualities are you known for having at work?
I’m known for being truly passionate about recruiting and training efforts. I’m even more passionate about branding our Aleron family of companies as a “best place to work” in Western New York. My eXceed team tells me that I’m caring, reliable, consistent, and a lot of fun! My teams are fun-loving as well, but know when it’s time to work hard and perform. And their results speak for themselves!
What were your previous work experiences and what made you want to join the Aleron team?
Teaching and management stand as the foundation of my work. I taught Business Management and Human Resources for 10 years at Bryant and Stratton College and was the Manager of Talent Acquisition for GEICO for more than a decade. I also owned two Subway franchises over the course of those years, which helped me to gain and utilize team management experience.
I saw the position with Aleron as not only a fantastic opportunity to recruit and train new associates and salespeople, but to build a quality program from the ground up. I was impressed with the Aleron reputation and even more impressed by how they were willing to add a new program like eXceed after 60 years of success. I knew it was a company I wanted to be a part of.
Tell us a bit about the eXceed program’s history and goals.
The program was designed with the goals of training new recruiters and account executives and deploying them to other regions that have needs. The training is intense and covers many topics. We not only train for job performance, but what it means to be a good associate and a professional. How do you take responsibility and accountability for your performance? How do you handle conflict? We then incorporate the on-the-job aspect, in which they recruit candidates, speak with hiring managers, and work alongside other recruiters. After about four to five months, they relocate to their chosen region.
What characteristics do you look for in the candidates? Do you find the majority through job fairs and visits to college/universities?
I look for someone who strikes me as possessing a solid character and fits the ethical standards of Aleron culture. It isn’t just about having specific skills, but the will to do the best job possible. Candidates who have worked in restaurants or retail, or who belonged to clubs or sports teams often possess the required will and skill. I have a booth or presence at almost every career fair on college campuses ranging from the southern tier of Western New York, Syracuse, and Oswego to find candidates.
Is there a personal approach to your methods?
The training consists of both classroom and phone time. I find it helpful to have each team member present findings on an assigned topic before I bring in subject matter experts to discuss these areas of focus. Their expert perspective drives the message or topic home to the team.
Does the millennial generation bring any special abilities and/or challenges to the program?
Millennials have brought a sense of excitement to my day-to-day efforts. They want to learn as much as possible before beginning the job. They want to succeed and attach deep meaning to their work. This generation seems to have discovered that connecting people and businesses can truly change lives.
Each training class eventually ends; many members move to other cities to begin the jobs you’ve trained them to do, quite similarly to how a school class graduates and a new one begins. Can you speak to how it feels to lose a training class, and always have a new one on rotation?
Quite honestly, it is tough for me when they move on after spending four to five months together. I met most of these individuals as they nervously approached a job fair table, unsure of themselves, looking for potential job information. I’m able to witness those nerves transform into confidence and we become a close team in a short amount of time. We are well-versed in each other’s lives and families which makes it even tougher to say goodbye. I am also asking them to leave home and begin a new life away from family and friends, which can be scary for some young people. I realize the sacrifice they are making and even though they will grow professionally and financially, it is still one of the biggest moves they’ll make in their lives.
Do you feel Buffalo offers something special as eXceed team headquarters? Does its recent economic and social resurgence aid the program’s goals?
Having eXceed centered in our corporate headquarters is very much a benefit for the team. They receive exposure to each of our core departments and familiarize themselves with our executive leadership. Having been born and raised in Buffalo, I have a strong passion for the area and believe in the continued strengthening of the economic future of this region. Our companies have helped to grow and progress this region, and with our offered services, we have helped our customers grow as well.
Learn more on Carl’s Linked In page: