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“Some of the perks and advantages of DirectEmployers being member-owned and run is that we’re really steering the direction of the Association.“

Jennifer Terry
Director-Staffing Strategic Initiatives, AT&T

AT&T received the ERE Recruiting Excellence Award for Best Corporate Careers Website this past spring. Over the years, the company has also been recognized for just about every workplace award from diversity to technology. Jennifer Terry, Director – Staffing Strategic Initiatives, is part of the driving force that keeps the staffing team at the top of their game. She has been a Member of the DirectEmployers Association from the beginning, so we sat down with her at our 2010 Annual Meeting to learn what member benefits she values most, along with her organization’s greatest challenges.

So how did you decide to become a member of DirectEmployers?
I learned about DirectEmployers during its launch. As the group was forming, it was evident that it was going to have tools, resources and a consortium of members that I could use immediately to benchmark something bigger than just the general blog roll, or something along those lines.

Why was that attractive to you?
It’s very hard, especially as a large employer, and a top tier employer, to find other people with whom to network at your level. So it was really imperative that we find and get together with the right people from other companies that are of our size and stature and have the same types of jobs, or broad-based types of jobs.

And as a result of your membership with DirectEmployers, what are some of the aspects or products and services that you find your company utilizes the most?
The Direct Syndication was really the original selling point that got us interested, and I think the cooperation with the state workforce agencies, and how simple it makes it to get your jobs broadcast out to everyone, was really the tipping factor.

For those who have never been exposed to DirectEmployers, explain in your own terms what is Direct Syndication? What does it mean?
Direct Syndication is an extremely easy way to get your jobs sent everywhere. You set it up one time and from then on out, it posts your jobs to places like VetCentral, Disaboom and several others that hit the more niche markets that are a little harder to get and a little more expensive to pay for, if you were to buy them individually.

You mentioned a couple of the services and products, but beyond that, what are some of the things that really keep you at DirectEmployers?
One of the reasons we’ve stayed with DirectEmployers so long is because it’s often hard to find benchmarks or at least good opinions of your peers. DirectEmployers offers a survey that they’ll send out to all of their members, on pretty much any topic that you need, and you can share in the results. You can find out good information and we use that on a regular basis.

And as far as annual conferences, what’s your motivation for coming? What’s your motivation for coming back?
The DirectEmployers Conferences have been fabulous. There’s a good mix of networking and educational items. They even have classes where you can earn PHR re-certification credits.

What are some of the things that you’re looking forward to or excited about, or things that you’re hoping to learn as a result of being connected with DirectEmployers?
I think that the biggest thing we’re hoping to learn and to get from DirectEmployers is best practices from other people and not even necessarily in our industry, but people that are also part of our craft – really learning what it’s like to be a great recruiter and a great recruiting organization, steering strategy and having an open forum and network to do that.

For people or companies that might be just learning about DirectEmployers and may not be partners or members of DirectEmployers, what would your little pitch be to them?
Every employer should consider joining DirectEmployers, for a couple of reasons. It’s a group voice in several areas, whether it’s lobbying, whether it’s working toward The .Jobs Universe, top-level domain, whether it’s Direct Syndication, search engine optimization, or just the networking. All of those things together for a price point that is well below a major job board or joining something like a large organization dedicated to HR. The price point is absolutely reasonable and it’s governed by us – the employers.

Why does it make a difference that DirectEmployers is owned by its members? Why is that important to you?
Some of the perks and advantages of DirectEmployers being member-owned and run is that we’re steering the direction of the Association. The Association’s leaders are experts in the field. They pulled together a great group of people that really help employers come together, share a vision, work together to execute on that vision, and they’re really the backbone and support for that. All we need to do is offer insight and input and they take it from there.

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