Meet the Team: Tamara Ellestad
Meet Tamara Ellestad! Tamara is the Vice President of Technical Recruiting at INT Technologies. She joined our team in 2007 with 15 years of recruiting experience. Her true passion lies within matching up technical talent to client’s needs. We got a chance to sit down with Tamara and get her views on the technology staffing business, working with candidates and consultants, the excitement of building careers and why she makes her career with INT Technologies.
What got you into technology staffing?
I got into technology staffing because I have always had, and still have, an entrepreneurial spirit. I think that when you get into staffing, it’s really an amazing opportunity for you to not only utilize your people skills, but to build a business within a business. This is what I try to teach my team. I will tell them that this is your business within a business.
I always make this joke that when we’re kids and someone asks us what we want to be when we grow up, no one raises their hand and says, “I want to be a technical recruiter!” However, if you have a natural ability to be a people person and have the opportunity to tap into that entrepreneurial spirit, the sky is the limit for earning potential in this industry. If you are doing your job the right way, it is very rewarding both professionally and personally.
Before I entered the technology staffing world, I knew a person who worked in staffing for fashion designers. I lived in New York at the time and I was looking for a new career path. I had just sold my own company and I was unsure of what I wanted to do. He, at that time, told me I would be really good at recruiting. I didn’t really know what recruiting was, but he gave me the rundown of what is done in staffing. It just made sense to me. Within my first week or two, I realized that I could absolutely make a career out of this. It was a no-brainer.
I whole heartedly believe that staffing is a matchmaking game. Once you’re provided with the right information, it’s how you use it that matters. As far as technology goes, the difference of being very successful in technology staffing vs. an accountant, is that it absolutely benefits you to understand what technology does. You don’t want to be one of those technology recruiters that don’t have the answers when asked, “what is this project going to entail? Is it in development mode or is it a new application?” Recruiters need to understand the different technologies and really get to know what these people are doing at their jobs so you can get an idea of who is and isn’t a good fit for a job. Technology is an ever-changing environment. Staying up-to-date with industry trends in technology is very important. You need to be very open and adaptive to new technologies.
What do you think is exciting about technology recruiting?
Every day on the job is a new day. In technology staffing, you never know what you are going to get. What get’s me excited about coming into work every day is the thought of how many opportunities I give myself to make a placement today and give my candidates a new career path and my clients a critical hire. In general, full cycle recruiting is what excites me. I think this is something that goes back to running a business within a business where I can create my own destiny every day. Every day, I get to come into work and figure out what I’m going to do and how good I’m going to do it. That’s also what thrills me as far as leading my team. I find that if I take one recruiter and I get them to go from good to great in any capacity, it is the highlight of my day. Allowing the recruiters to have those “a-ha” moments is truly a satisfaction for me.
It is very important to find out what thrills a candidate as well as the recruiters. It’s really easy to throw a bunch of resumes at the wall and see what sticks, but the best part about this position is finding someone their ideal job and really listening to what makes them excited to go to work every day. You want to find what thrills your candidate.
When you have an impressive candidate that meets a job requirement, you want to present them to the client as soon as possible. You want to connect with people in any way, shape, or form talking about the great candidate you have. That’s what gets people excited about that type of candidate. Take a candidate that’s really qualified and know that it’s just as important to be proactive than reactive. Go find something that the candidate really wants to do, leverage your referrals and connections to really be the advocate for that Java candidate and help them get the job they want.
What is it about INT Technologies that makes you want to come into work every day?
There’s a number of things that INT Technologies does that makes me excited to come into work. Our owner has created a very friendly and people-oriented culture. We know people that have been here for a very long time and he’s always been very open to making sure that the people that work within the company create the culture of the organization. We always make sure we have that open mindset that leadership is a support system and that we are not at the top, but at the bottom. We are here to support the staff. If we are supporting them, then we are doing our jobs right. We are always making sure that we don’t fall into the rut of being another run-of-the-mill technology staffing company. We really care about our employees.
The thing I truly am impressed about is that we put a lot of time and energy into making our team members want to be here. If you have happy employees, they become tenured employees. Once you have tenured employees, especially in staffing, your referral base is going to be a piece of cake.
So, what gets me to come to INT every day is the culture, the work-life balance, and just the overall regard that we have for each individual no matter what position they hold here.
Tamara’s favorite quotes:
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do” -Steve Jobs
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink it” -John Heywood
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” -Wayne Gretzky
INT Technologies is the nation’s largest certified Veteran-Owned Staffing and Consulting Company. We have 20 years proven track record assisting our varied clients with their projects and staffing needs within the financial, insurance, healthcare, government, aerospace, and technology industries. Serving clients nationwide, our leadership team -comprised of Chris Knott, Rhonda Rutledge, James Moloney, Tamara Ellestad, and Richard Krause -focuses on integrity and service and the relationships they help build. Proof of our commitment to “our client is our highest priority” can be seen in the fact that each of INT’s founding clients remain INT clients 20 years later. www.inttechnologies.com