December 16, 2021

A Day in the Life of a Cengage Group Recruiter with Hayley Levine and Amelia Rogers

Hayley Levine, Talent Acquisition Partner, and Amelia Rogers, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner, both of whom are focused on attracting and hiring the right talent to carry out our mission of helping learners achieve their dreams, recently took over the Cengage Group LinkedIn to share insight into their own career paths, as well as how working from home has changed the role of recruiters.

Hayley has been a part of our talent team since 2020 and she says “I sought out recruiting on purpose because I wanted to make an impact. Not only do I get to help Cengage Group find top talent, but I also get to connect with amazing, smart and passionate people. My favorite part is supporting and continuously improving the candidate experience. I like to be that go to person and point of contact for candidates, to provide guidance and coaching along the way, even if they don’t get the job or if timing isn’t right. As a recruiter we continue to build on relationships over time, because you never know when a critical role will open. I love being able to go back to a strong candidate from months or years ago and let them know I still have them on my radar and that I’m still thinking of them.”

Amelia joined our talent team this past September and she adds “My favorite part about working in talent acquisition is helping people feel comfortable and confident throughout the hiring process, which I know can cause stress and anxiety for many. It’s rewarding to know that my work enhances the lives of the people I serve, I love being able to share in the experience and support individuals who are often making life-altering career moves. This role has taught me so much about the corporate world, and in my case, technology, science, and a plethora of other roles.”

Read on to hear more about the evolution of hiring trends and practices.

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How working from home has changed the role of a recruiter

Hayley Levine: “I think the biggest thing that has changed since working from home is that I am investing more time in myself so I can better support my hiring teams and the candidates I’m speaking with on a daily basis. This means the flexibility to eat right and get my exercise during the day, and not worrying about traffic or fitting in any necessary doctor visits. Everyone has gone through something over the past two years, so now I like to pay more attention to how a candidate tells their story, asking ‘how did you get to where you are today?’ rather than asking about gaps or inconsistencies in a resume. It’s allowed me to craft a more personal approach to screening and getting to know the candidate behind the resume.”

Amelia Rogers: “Working remotely has changed several aspects of my position, perhaps most notable is building relationships with candidates. In my experience it is much easier to get to know someone in-person so creating relationships virtually was challenging at first. However, the use of Slack, chat lines, and Zoom have made developing new tactics easy.”

New hiring trends and in demand skills

Hayley Levine: “As I am sure many people have observed, remote work has been a top contender in hiring trends lately. The most in demand roles are our field-based sales roles which tend to be remote as long as candidates are located within the designated territory. I am also seeing a shift in the types of perks that candidates are seeking. There seems to be a much larger emphasis on support and wellbeing, such as strong benefits, a transparent and supportive culture and an overall human approach to how we work, which is one of the greatest strengths of Cengage Group as a company.”

Amelia Rogers: “Since COVID came into our lives, remote work is something that people hope for in a new workplace, if not fully remote then a hybrid model is another popular choice among candidates. Flexible work has also become a top priority for many as they strive to achieve a healthy work-life balance. I have also seen significant changes in the technology industry as many businesses are focusing on increasing their digital presence. A career in IT is becoming more and more popular and the talent pool is becoming increasingly competitive. Currently, there is a huge demand for Java Developers, Front-end Designers and developers; these professionals are being swept up within days and their skills are highly valued in today’s market.”

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What we look for in a candidate

Hayley Levine: “We take experience seriously and we look at it from many different angles, including certifications, but also how a candidate has supported their own continuous learning throughout their career. I always review cover letters to learn more about a candidate’s story and discover what they have done behind the scenes to support their own professional development. With this, it’s also crucial for candidates to be prepared and ready to discuss why they want to work for Cengage Group. It’s extremely important to dedicate time to research the company you are interviewing with. Unfortunately, I’m not seeing enough of this across the board, and we want candidates who truly want to work for us and care about our mission.”

Amelia Rogers: “I have seen an increase in talent diversity over the past couple of years, people with different backgrounds, skill sets, experience, and levels of education. I take a wholistic approach when interviewing candidates by observing their hard skills, soft skills, attitude, and industry experience, it’s not just about a person’s level of degree. I look for someone who is aligned with our mission and who has a drive to learn. We are a very transparent organization, so we value someone who comes in with ideas and a positive attitude even when trying to solve challenging problems.”

About our hiring process

Our hiring processes vary by role, as part of our approach to find the best candidate for each individual position. Hayley Levine supports sales and shares a bit about the typical sales recruiting process saying “our standard hiring process starts with the recruiter and hiring manager reviewing all resumes followed by a phone screen with the recruiter. Most of our sales roles have a minimum of 4 rounds of interviews, which would typically follow the phone screen, starting with an official interview with the hiring manager, 1:1 or panel interviews with members of the team or teams you would be partnering with closely, a 1:1 interview with the sales director or VP of that particular sales team, followed by a campus project or digital sales demo.”

My favorite question to ask is ‘why sales?’, followed by ‘did you chose this career, or did you fall into it, and why have you chosen to stay?’ I like to hear how a candidate reflects on their career, tells their story, and shares why sales is a match for them personally and professionally.”

Amelia Rogers adds that “My favorite question to ask is ‘what did you like most about your last two positions and what are you looking for next?’ With this insight I can learn a lot about a person’s drive, what fires them up about the work that they do, and where they lose interest. It helps me be the best partner to them and my managers by ensuring they will be passionate about the position now and long-term.”

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