“We do a lot of social initiatives because we understand that’s how a large portion of our audience is really engaged, so we really try our best to utilize that platform to engage all different types of job seekers.”

Helen Martinez-Mitcham
Recruiter, Severn Trent Services

I was excited to have the opportunity to sit down with Helen Martinez-Mitcham, PHR, a corporate recruiter from Member company Severn Trent Services, to ask her some questions about recruiting in the water/wastewater industry and how she is taking advantage of DirectEmployers’ many resources for her organization’s benefit.

Nancy: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, Helen. To begin, can you share some of your background and how you got into your current role?

Helen: I’ve been doing recruiting for over 10 years and prior to coming to Severn Trent Services, I was in healthcare recruiting and I wanted to explore other industries. I discovered the water/wastewater industry, and we make a global impact with clean water for everyone. I love it.

Nancy: What kind of roles does Severn recruit for and are there particular areas that you find difficult to fill?

Helen: Yes, one of our biggest challenges is finding water and wastewater operators. When I first started with Severn Trent over 5 years ago I remember going to the high schools and trying to talk to the high school students to tell them what a goldmine our industry was because really, you can start from the ground-level and work your way all the way to the top to management-type positions. One of our biggest challenges in finding water and wastewater operators is the fact that they need to have certifications and if they don’t have those certifications, it’s very difficult for them to come in and manage our water or our wastewater plants.

Helen of Severn Trent Services

Helen during the 2013 Veterans Connect Career Fair in San Diego.

Nancy: What are some of your key initiatives at Severn over the next year or so?

Helen: We’re really excited to participate in the first DirectEmployers Veterans Career Fair and I think that moving forward one of our initiatives is going to be to hire more veterans in our organization. We see huge benefits in doing that, now that we’ve had the insight of talking to veterans on-site, that’s going to help us better our veterans initiative and hiring in that area.

Nancy: Does Severn use Facebook or social media in the recruiting process?

Helen: We do use Facebook. One of our partners that we currently use for that is TweetMyJobs and we were actually introduced to them through DirectEmployers. Being a Member of DirectEmployers opens up so many different outlets for us to utilize, and it’s great because they’ve already been vetted by the Association making it easy for us to establish that partnership. We use Facebook to push out all of our jobs; like for instance, I took a lot of photos during the Veterans Career Fair so we’re going to post that on our Facebook page so that our audience knows that we do focus on hiring veterans. We also use TweetMyJobs for Twitter, so we push all of our jobs out through those different outlets. We also participated in an online veterans career fair, so we do a lot of social initiatives because we understand that’s how a large portion of our audience is really engaged, so we try our best to utilize that platform to engage all different types of job seekers.

Nancy: What would you say is the biggest benefit of being a Member of DirectEmployers Association?

Helen: I think that one of the biggest benefits of being a Member is the VEVRAA compliance solution. DirectEmployers does such a great job behind the scenes in educating and helping us and other Members connect with veteran organizations and different diversity sites.

Nancy: We’re glad you came to the conference this year! Tell me why you think other employers should attend the DirectEmployers Annual Meeting & Conference.

Helen: The energy is incredible! The wealth of information that’s shared and the fact that you’re amongst HR professionals from all different types of industries is invaluable. I’ve made some really great friends here, and I’ve been asking my Director to come for the last 3 years and he finally came this year. I think at first it was just because it was in San Diego, but now I think he’s realizing that it’s more than just the location! I encourage employers to come out and really see the different people that are Members. You learn so much from each other and it’s a platform where it’s safe to exchange best practices and people don’t mind sharing information – that’s one of the reasons that I love to come!

Thank you again, Helen! For more information on our upcoming conferences, recruiting events, and virtual career fairs, visit our Network With Us and Virtual Events pages, and be sure to register to attend our 2015 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM15) taking place May 13-15 right here in our beautiful city of Indianapolis.

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