Spotlight on HR series:
A Conversation With Carmen Torres, CEO & Chief Specialist
We’re putting together a series of articles with innovative and interesting human resource professionals. This is an opportunity to learn from other HR managers and exchange best practices, advice, and general experience. If you’d like to participate in this series and gain exposure to relevant networks, we’d love to hear from you! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tell us about your work experience in HR.
My interest in the Human Resources and Recruiting industry began in the late ’90s when my Spanish speaking skills became a necessity for the HR department at the company I was working with. Once I realized how critical it was to ensure that all employees received fair and consistent communication, I decided to shift from payroll administrator to human resources assistant. In 2001, I accepted lower pay and started my first official role in HR at Ameriflight in Burbank, a company with over 600 employees; the perfect type of employer to learn every aspect of HR and in a manner that I still practice today. At this point, I’ve been in business for almost 11 years and we support our clients with all of their Human Resources needs including Recruiting (job descriptions, posting, sourcing, interviewing, and negotiating the job offer).
What are the unique talents you bring to the field?
We don’t just look for new clients, we want to know their stories and the reason they’re in business. As a result, we create trust and we get to know our clients’ needs so well that this helps us select the best candidates to match their business goals and company culture. Additionally, staying up to date with the ever-changing rules around employment laws is critical to ensure compliance.
Share your biggest success story in HR so far.
While I loved working for great employers, I had an opportunity in 2009, when I had to layoff 90% of the staff at the company I was working at. I was forced to make a decision to either stand at the unemployment line like so many others or to become an Independent Contractor, which eventually resulted in my business venture; My HR Specialist. With regards to recruiting, we’ve been recruiting for several clients since 2012 and many of our first recruits are still with them today and have been promoted to various positions, elevating these businesses to higher standards. We have also recruited Executive Leadership for non-profits and successfully support them with all their HR needs.
What is the best advice you’ve received during your career path, and from whom?
“Do what’s right from the start and you’ll never have to worry about doing the right thing”. My father always shared a Spanish version of this advice and, although his intention was not for business purposes, I learned that we can apply great advice to every aspect of our lives.
What’s your favorite HR tech tool?
Because we use what our clients are already using, we believe that every tool has its benefits and we make it work based on our client’s needs. I know there are many great tech tools, including the original AS/400 system I used in early 2000 to the current tools all the National Payroll Companies are offering and we’re willing to explore all of them.
As an HR professional, how do you handle recruiting to achieve the best results?
Act quickly because the best employees are already employed. We connect with our candidates immediately and keep them in the loop of the next steps. Additionally, we coach our clients so that they treat their employees well, ensuring they’ll remain loyal and committed employees.
What do you hope to achieve in 2020?
We will grow our team and support current and new clients with training and implementing new laws to ensure compliance and positive communication between employer and employee. We are committed to saving emerging business owners from the daily HR Hassle so they can focus on what’s important to them!
To get in touch with Carmen visit her Linkedin page.
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