Igniting Insights: Recruiting & Talent Development with Lindsay Weickert

Today we feature our next installment in our blog series - "Igniting Insights: Interviews on Profession & Purpose.” Our journeys are filled with diverse and inspiring travelers from around the country. In this series, we sit down with entrepreneurs, experts and creatives who have joined our journeys and get insider insights. In this installment, Lindsay Weickert chats about how recruiting and talent development go hand-in-hand.

How did you end up in recruiting and what do you love about it?

I studied Psychology in college and really wanted to help people in some way. I also had a long-term goal of being either a consultant for organizations on best management and leadership practices or to own my own business. One of my professors suggest I look into recruiting. He told me to get in on the bottom floor of HR and figure out my path from there because getting that kind of exposure could change my long-term goal and open new doors for me.

I love hearing people's stories and working with them to realize their potential. Recruiting isn't just sourcing talent or listening to someone's job wants and needs, It's really digging to the core of who they are, identifying their goals and aspirations short and long-term, and making sure you provide them with honest feedback and guidance to get them closer to those goals.

You recently started working for a company with an innovative approach to recruitment. Tell us about the model and how it addresses challenges in the traditional recruiting structure.

Victory Lap strongly believes that talent shortages are not solved by either recruiting or talent development, they are best solved for when combined and that's what we do here.

Sales has high turnover and less than 5% of universities have a sales curriculum or path students can take, so what ends up happening is these individuals fall into a job rather than a career. At Victory Lap we solve for this by incorporating proper exposure, training and guidance into the sales career path. Then we create an open marketplace where companies and candidates can meet with one another to ensure proper fit.

Having worked on both the candidate and hiring side, what can companies do to improve the overall experience for prospective and new employees that will set everyone up for success?

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often times companies look at talent in the sense of what can they do for us rather than what we can do for them to ensure long time fit and overall retention

Hire for what you need now but also look at the bigger picture. What will you organization need in the future - and think about how the candidate may evolve and grow with your company. Make sure to spend time in your interview process understanding the candidate’s motivations and aspirations so you can gauge whether or not you will be able to help them get a step closer to their goals. It’s all about investing and often times companies look at talent in the sense of what can they do for us rather than what we can do for them to ensure long time fit and overall retention. Lastly, be present in your interactions with prospective and current employees.

What advice do you have for candidates - those looking to get hired?

Be honest with what you're looking for and where you want to go in your own life. Don't take an opportunity just because you feel you have to. If that is your mentality, you will continuously be looking for a job because you won't be truly fulfilled and you can set yourself back. Seek opportunities that get you one step closer to your end goal and don't worry about having it all figured out right now. Actually, Ignite’s Co-Founder, Ryan Jeffery once told me that sometimes you have to go off the beaten path a bit to realize where you belong.

sometimes you have to go off the beaten path a bit to realize where you belong

Lastly, stand out, it doesn't take much to differentiate yourself from a crowd of candidates. You'd be surprised how many people no longer send a handwritten thank you note and when I get one I save it and remember that candidate forever.


How has travel impacted you personally and/or professionally?

Travel has developed immense empathy in me. It has diversified my thinking and approach to different situations. It has challenged me and gave me the push I needed to make changes in my own life, to get out of my comfort zone. When you’re in a new country you are exposing yourself to their way of living which, in some cases, can be very different to ours. When I was in Nicaragua with Ignite for example, if I wanted to interact more intimately with the people I had to push myself to speak some Spanish and understand their values. I think about that experience and try to reflect on it when I’m stuck or complacent in my own life. If you want to understand a situation more clearly or relate to someone you need to be empathetic and open your mind. Travel helps you step out of your own ways of thinking and doing and that builds empathy.