Thursday, November 10, 2016

What's new in Greenville on the Economic Development Front?

The UWIT group today heard the latest from the City of Greenville!  Over lunch at City Range, Mary Douglas Hirsch, Downtown Manager/Economic Development, provided an update on development, what's happening and what's on the horizon. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Automational - What's the Hype all About!?

Patrick Foy and Nate Kristy, from the Automational team in Atlanta, joined UWIT to share an overview of Automational's capabilities and best practices of how small businesses can leverage automation to turn more leads into sales.

You’ve heard of Salesforce and MS Dynamics, right? What about a sales and marketing product that is 100% tailored for small business? The UWIT group met with the Automational team today for their monthly gathering at City Range.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Let a recruiter help you pinpoint the right role

For job seekers who are frustrated with the search, working with a recruiter can give them the boost they need.

Good recruiters will work with you to find the right position at the right company.
However, they can do only so much on their own. They need you to guide them along and ensure they are meeting your goals.

What can you do to help recruiters help you in your job search? Expert Allison Penning, a branch manager for national staffing and recruiting firm LaSalle Network, shares best practices for building relationships with recruiters and getting the most out of the collaboration

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tableau, Qlik, Cognos or Microsoft Power BI?

Today we are surrounded by data visualizations. They impact what we buy, where we spend our time, how we interact with society, and, ultimately, influencing businesses decisions and even nations. We will be discussing some basic principles in data presentation and showing some of the tools available today.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Hands down, No. 1, not even a close second, workforce""

Top executives at four chambers of commerce in the Upstate said their advocacy and lobbying for business interests are regional and they are rarely competitors. They agree that with thousands of vacant jobs in the Upstate, workforce development is a major challenge.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Climbing the Ladder in Stilletos!

Upstate Women in Technology (UWIT) met today at City Range to hear ladder climbing stories from Elizabeth Austin, CIO with Systems Maintenance Services.  Elizabeth is responsible for leading the global Information Technology team at Systems Maintenance Services as it continues to develop infrastructure, applications and scalable tools within our rapidly growing base of global operations. In addition to development, her team is charged with implementation and ongoing management of all client-driven and mission critical information systems as the company continues to grow and expand its operational base.

Prior to joining SMS, Elizabeth was VP, IT Application Services at Family Dollar where she was responsible for applications support, technology deployments, and customer care support throughout 11 distribution centers and 8,100 stores. She holds a BA in Business Administration from UNC, Charlotte and has held several community service positions, including SIM Society of Information Management, Charlotte CIO Forum Advisory Council and UNCC College of Computing & Informatics Advisory Board.
UWIT President Jill Rose (right) with Elizabeth Austin

Jill Rose is President of UWIT and has been an IT Recruiter for over 18 years. You can contact her at 864-908-0105, or at

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Field Trip to Denny's!

Their old pancakes were fine, but America deserved better. So, the Denny's team reworked their recipe. Added good stuff like fresh buttermilk, real eggs, flour and a hint of vanilla. The result? Their 50% fluffier pancakes just might be better than home.

So, the Perceptive Recruiting Team decided to take a field trip to see if they succeeded in reaching their goal.  It's all true.  In a word, they are delicious.  We enjoyed 3 styles, and all were polished off in minutes.

Well done Denny's!

Monday, June 27, 2016

UWIT hosts Women's Leadership Series, Part 2

Upstate Women in Technology (UWIT), led by president Jill Rose hosted Pamela Westbrooks at their monthly luncheon last week.  Pamela is Vice President of Administration at Upward Sports in Spartanburg.  She has 20 years experience in corporate leadership in not-for-profit and for profit organizations. She is responsible for strategic planning for Accounting/Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Corporate Project Management.

Pamela led an interactive presentation on how humility and boldness go hand-in-hand, AND how to win in your organization and how to respond when your organization isn’t winning. Big lessons learned!

Pamela B. Westbrooks has a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina and is also a Certified Public Accountant. She joined the Upward Sports team in 2002 after having a career in manufacturing. On a day-today basis, she collaborates with multiple divisions on strategy development and implementation. She's a problem solver, collaborator, supporter, and communicator. Pamela is married to John and has one son, Mason, who is almost 5!

Pamela Westbrooks with board members Laura Bell (left) and Jill Rose

UWIT meets the fourth Thursday each month at City Range.  Goto for more information.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

Jill Rose's Upstate Women in Technology (UWIT) group met last week to discuss emotional IQ.  

Daniel Radovic, SHRM-SCP, CPC - Executive and Leadership Coach at Nexus Consulting Group, Inc.

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) vs Emotional Quotient (EQ) - What is more important to your success? We all recognize the value of a high IQ; it is often what will get you hired. Yet IQ alone is not a good predictor of a person’s career success. EQ, on the other hand IS a powerful predictor of success, especially when coupled with identifiable technical ability.

What is EQ?  How is it measured?  What can one do if they have “Low EQ”?
If you are not familiar with EQ, you will take away some new insight how EQ can play an important role in your personal success.  If you are familiar with EQ, we hope you will find new ideas to implement into your own personal development plan.

More information about UWIT is available at 

Dan Radovic with UWIT President Jill Rose

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Funny, but Effective!

I can't help but giggle at this.  However, it is effective emphasizing the importance of finding the right fit for candidate AND client!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How does a recruiting firm deliver value? (Part 4 of a series)

There are 3 principles the PR team adheres to in order to be an effective recruiting partner to our clients:
     1.  Sweat the small stuff​
     2.  Sweat the small stuff
     3.  Sweat the small stuff
One of the many ways we sweat the small stuff is by thoroughly vetting candidates against stated requirements before presenting them to our client hiring managers.  It probably goes without saying, but imagine how much time (=$$$) we save our clients by doing this!
I conducted an unscientific survey with several clients recently.  The survey compared the number of hires over a 6 month period to the number of candidates my team submitted for consideration over the same period for the same list of job openings.  Yep, you guessed it - PR had (by far!) the highest ratio of hires to submitted candidates.
We'll keep sweating the small stuff so you don't have to!

What's the Latest in Banking Technologies?

​​The Upstate Women in Technology​​ (UWIT) group is hosting ​Kara Bradley next week to hear about the latest innovations in banking technology.  Technological innovations in banking are fundamentally changing the way that clients can interact with financial institutions, merchants, and even other individuals, while also increasing data security to minimize risk of fraud.

Want to learn more about this event?  Goto 

How does a recruiting firm deliver value? (Part 3 of a series)

​We are a small team of seasoned recruitment and technology professionals.  We joined hands to provide more value than we could as individuals. Today we provide Recruitment and Staffing services to a variety of small to mid-sized firms in industries ranging from specialty packaging to financial services to cloud services.
As I've said (ad nauseum!) in my previous posts, not all recruiting firms are cut from the same cloth!  Our team uses some very unconventional methods of recruiting (apart from the conventional ones) and this gives us access to a talent pool that other recruiters usually don't tap into.  Our success is validated by the fact that a majority of candidates we speak with have never been contacted by competing recruiting agencies working on the same job.
One of the things that makes us different is that we are a dedicated passive search team and this helps ensure that 35% of the candidates we submit are candidates without resumes on Job Boards.  In addition, our extremely successful advertising techniques increase our reach to passive/active candidates (who do not have resumes on job boards) by upwards of 30%.  It also helps that our recruiters work on fewer positions empowering them to go wide and deep for every search. 
In short, we strive for "Outrageous Success" every day!

PR is Hiring our Heros!

​The PR team is pleased to announce our association with the US Chamber's program called "Hiring our Heros"!  Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities.
Many of our clients favor retired military candidates do to their superior work ethic, attention to detail, enhanced sense of team, etc.  HOH will allow us to find the right matches for our clients more quickly and cost effectively.

Company Rules and the Employee

Rules and processes are put in place to create order and efficiency:
• Traffic laws are created to prevent chaos and accidents on roadways.
• Schools have rules to keep students safe and create an ordered environment where learning can take place.
• Parents make rules to keep their households running smoothly and to teach their children how to be good citizens.
However, some processes could be improved when rules are bent or broken. Businesses should watch for employees who are willing to break rules in order to help the company. Those employees, if encouraged rather than punished for bending the rules, might help the company achieve new levels of efficiency and customer service.
Look for these traits in employees to find those people who might increase growth or efficiency in a business by questioning, bending, and even breaking company rules:
Passionate. Employees who believe in the product they are selling and have faith in the company’s mission will look for ways to provide the best possible customer service to clients. Passionate employees are also more likely to give honest feedback that can help a company spot weaknesses in its processes and improve operations or customer service.
Hardworking. These employees make the most of their time at work. They are willing to put in extra hours when necessary to get the job done, though they need not be workaholics. Diligent employees usually know the ins-and-outs of the business really well so they have good insights about which rules work and which don’t.
Outspoken. Sometimes rule breakers and innovators are more difficult to work with than the average employee. Their desire to see the company prosper is personal to them, so they see the organization’s successes or failures as an extension of their own successes and failures. Thus, they may respond to these ups and downs in a more personal way than other employees. However, this also means they are deeply psychologically committed to making the company the best it can be.
Courage. Employees who are willing to break rules and speak out about how processes might be improved must, out of necessity, have the courage to speak up. It is much easier, and more common, for employees to follow the rules and not rock the boat than it is to stick their neck out and try to make changes.
Most employees are happy to follow management’s rules and do a good job within the structures the company has implemented. And some employees will break the rules for the sake of breaking them, much to the detriment of the company. But companies would be wise to keep their eyes peeled and their minds open for the subset of employees who have the passion and courage to try and improve their organization’s performance, even if it means bending or breaking a few rules.

Yes, PR is Certified Women Owned!


Our Greatest Asset

I recently came across this article by Blanton Phillips of Phillips Staffing and thought it worth repeating (reblogging?):​
Recently, several economists have weighed in on South Carolina's improving employment picture, and in particular the contributions — or perceived drawbacks — of the growth in temporary and contract staffing in the Palmetto State. While we are encouraged to see recognition of an industry that provides quality jobs to tens of thousands of South Carolinians every week, some of the coverage missed important points, painting only a partial picture of the staffing industry's impact.

Thousands of businesses across South Carolina use temporary staffing partners, including such acclaimed employers as BMW and Caterpillar, plus many small and mid-sized businesses. Nationally, more than 3 million Americans enjoy quality careers with competitive wages through the staffing industry, according to research organization Ibisworld. In South Carolina, the industry connects local people to businesses seeking qualified talent.

Recent reporting has asserted that businesses often use staffing services to evade certain HR regulations. As one of the Southeast's leading staffing firms, we strongly disagree with this. We know of no such arrangements, and would vigorously advise clients against any practice that could compromise compliance with ERISA or other employment law.

In fact, quite the opposite is true. Staffing is a core business strategy deployed by many top employers — including nearly 95 percent of the Fortune 500 — to improve ability to hire the right people, and to invest more capital, all while connecting people to good jobs.

Today's staffing industry maintains a thorough understanding of employment-related legal and regulatory issues. It offers expertise in issues related to pay, benefits, state and federal taxation, and other HR requirements, and often functions as a client's HR department. Our organization has gone to great lengths to ensure complete compliance with the Affordable Care Act's Employer Mandate, proudly offering fully compliant healthcare coverage to all eligible employees.

Staffing assignments are quality jobs. Each year, tens of thousands of South Carolinians transition into long-term employment as a result of companies like ours matching workers to positions based on skills, experience, company culture and fit. The opportunity for a "trial period" in a job is beneficial to both employer and employee — significantly reducing expensive and disruptive turnover.

In a broader context, our industry is working closely with the state of South Carolina to help fill the skills gap. Our firm utilizes WorkKeys and the National Career Readiness programs extensively with our clients and employees, and we are a proud partner in the WorkReady Communities effort.

We also are working with state officials to include staffing jobs in strategic initiatives aimed at growing the workforce, including tax credits for new jobs and expanding employment, as is accepted in most of our neighboring states. With temporary staffing as a core strategy to build and maintain workforce, the industry continues to be embraced for its contributions to job creation, growth, and sustained employment.

Staffing also is a critical part of the economic development process. Many companies are drawn to our region because of the deep and growing availability of flexible, talented, and efficient labor. Those organizations depend on our industry's expertise and services to find, hire, and deploy the people that they need to be successful.

Just as importantly, our employees rely on us to place them in good jobs, where they can utilize the skills they have, learn new skills, build experience, and enhance their career.

For all these reasons, temporary staffing is one of South Carolina's greatest economic drivers — and greatest assets.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Learning a new skill could be Epic!

Just came across this worthwhile read on Dice...

Project managersimplementation specialistssystems administratorssoftware testers and quality assurance analysts skilled in Epic are getting snapped up as quickly as they go on the market.
Driving the demand are two things: the growing use of Epic Systems’ software at healthcare organizations, and the difficulty in getting Epic certified, says Caleb Potter, a principal recruiter for healthcare IT at the Seattle offices of recruiter Greythorn.
Epic’s software dominates the work involved with electronic health records, or EHR, notes Potter. Thanks to federal mandates, hospitals and other healthcare organizations will continue to expand their implementation of EHR systems and need IT professionals who can help them do it – at least for the next few years.
However, becoming a recognized Epic expert isn’t easy. You’ll need to work at, and be sponsored by, a healthcare organization or work at Epic itself to pursue a certification related to clinical systems, records and billing. As Potter observes, Epic keeps a tight rein on the process. (The company wouldn’t comment for this story.)
The certification process requires on-site training at Epic’s headquarters in Verona, Wisc., and also that you undertake actual project work in a hospital setting. Inevitably, the process limits the number of people with the certifications. “I hear it all of the time, how do I get certified?” Potter says. “People are usually disappointed with the news.”
If you’re interested in pursuing a certification, Potter suggests checking out the local market for hospital IT jobs and paying close attention to organizations that are already Epic customers.
The payoff from your Epic credentials can come quickly: Many certified professionals jump from the hospital to the consulting world soon after receiving their certifications. A big reason is money. According to Potter, health system IT employees might make between $65,000 and $110,000 a year, depending on their position. Consultants can take home between $70 to $115 an hour.
But even if you’re not interested in consulting, it’s a good time to be looking for work if you’ve got Epic credentials, says Mike Smith, a vice president at Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research. “Epic has had some incredible growth, and they’ve had more net new wins in the hospital-over-200-bed space than any other core software vendor doing core clinical software work,” he explains. That accounts for much of the job growth at Epic itself, and is the reason smaller consultants are constantly cropping up.
Still, the best opportunities are likely to be found at some of the bigger consulting firms.Deloitte is one of the leaders in terms of sheer project size, says Smith, and Accenture and Encore Health Resources have growing Epic practices.
The only question regards how much longer this demand will continue. “Epic is continuing to have success in the marketplace, and we think there’s still a bit of runway there for implementing new systems,” says Smith. “Two or three years from now, the amount of work will have to scale back, so then it becomes a replacement market.”
This means you should get your certifications with your eyes open. Once the big implementation work goes away, Epic specialists will need to retool and shift their focus. “Hospitals are under a lot of pressure to reduce costs and improve care, and so we’re anticipating more work on the optimization and analytics side,” says Smith.

Friday, April 22, 2016

How does a recruiting firm deliver value? (part 2 of a series)

Wow! The summer has just flown by. The PR team has been burning the oil trying to keep up with demand, which makes for short days, weeks and months!

I recently shared my thoughts how a firm like ours delivers value to its clients. In "the world according to Jill", a smart recruiting/staffing outfit will focus on a core competency. This is why we won't stray from our expertise in IT. We know the subtle differences within a discipline like project management, software development or systems engineering and we can speak the language. This is a huge plus for our clients.

Another value generation element is taking the time to learn about our client's business culture. It's not enough to know and understand the job description. I've seen jobs filled with candidates who are a perfect fit on paper only to fail miserably. Why? Because the candidate wasn't suited to the client's business culture. This point may, in some cases, be more important than the job description.

The PR team, subsequently, will take the time (ad nauseum!) to understand who the candidate will be working with, how the workspace will be set up, chain of command, color of the walls, etc. Yes, this represents additional time (cost) on our end, but our attention to detail has meant better staffing results through the years.

Sounds simple, doesn't it? Well it's not...

Yes, we play hard too!

An open letter you may find interesting...

​Dear Upstate SC ISSA,

We would like to take a few moments and introduce you, your chapter officers, and your members to the ISSA Intl Women In Security Special Interest Group (WIS SIG).

Mission: Build a stronger community for both WOMEN and MEN within the security field, given the unique challenges faced within the industry.

Vision: To Connect the World, One Security Practitioner at a Time.

Visit and join our community page, where you can find relevant program, event, and leadership opportunity information:

2014 Call To Action

· Add a Women In Security SIG area to your website · Cross-Post the Quarterly WIS WIG Events · Put out a call for participation for the ISSA-Intl Conference · Help Us Build out the Community by passing out rack cards to women attendees, speakers, and sponsors

Message: We would like to extend an invitation to chapter leaders, members, and volunteers to SPREAD THE WORD, get involved, and help us grow domestically and internationally.

We offer networking, professional growth, mentoring, recruiting, and career growth opportunities for women within the security industry, as well as those interested in entering the cyber security field overall.

If you or your chapter personnel are able to support this initiative, have an interest in volunteering in any capacity (speaker, conference committee, leadership, outreach, etc.), or simply wish to become active within our community, please reach out to the co-chair, Rhonda Farrell

We would appreciate your energy, enthusiasm, and experience as we work to grow the WIS SIG to the next level.

Does the Office Building Define the Business?


No, but the Perceptive Recruiting Team are proud to announce we have taken up residence in the East Park at Pelham office park!

We are Hiring!

​The need for IT professionals​ is growing by leaps and bounds and we need you! A few positions we are presently working to fill include project manager, .Net developer, SAP BI analyst, sales support specialist, and the list continues to grow exponentially.

Take a look a how demand for IT professionals is effecting salaries:

Curious about other open positions? Give us a call!

How does a recruiting firm deliver value? (part 1 of a series)

Clearly all companies, regardless of the business they are in, are NOT created equal. I believe this is especially true in the business we are in - the business of recruiting temporary and permanent talent for our partner organizations.

So how does a recruiting firm like Perceptive Recruiting deliver maximum value, especially in the world of IT? A great deal happens behind the scenes to vet and present suitable candidates to our partners. Each process step represents an opportunity to maximize the value we can deliver. Over the next few weeks I plan to capture how the team here at PR maximizes our value proposition to our partners.

First, and possibly the greatest opportunity to maximize the value we deliver is rooted in our corporate philosophy: Focus!

Focusing on "the one thing" is inherently valuable to our partners. Why? Because we have a much keener sense of both the talent pool within a given geographic area, and how some of the subtler skill subsets will mesh with our clients' needs and existing technical communities. A company that attempts to be all things to all people fails to do anything well. There are simply too many moving parts to effectively identify and master multiple disciplines in the recruiting business.

This is why PR has chosen the field of information technology as its sole focus, and why we can master the business of knowing your business in a way that delivers maximum value.​

Coming soon...

What are the 3 most important things to remember in the hiring process? Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting!

I have lots of thoughts on this topic which I plan to share with everyone (or nobody). Coming soon