Lee Group executive search and staffing professional Dave Walters

Dave Walters wants nothing more than to help people.

With The Lee Group’s Executive Search team, that’s exactly what he does, helping recruit top notch team members to support companies all across the U.S.

How does he do it? We sat down with Walters to get to know what motivates him, the advice he gives others and his take on today’s job market. Enjoy.

What was your first job?

My first job was at a carwash and I worked in the vacuum section.

What is the best job advice you ever received?

Find a job that you truly enjoy, one that you have a real passion for, and one that you don’t regret getting up and going to work at each and every day.

What is the best job advice you ever gave?

When you find a job that you are interested in, learn all you can about the position. Find out why it is open, consider the company culture and speak with others that work in the field or specific company. Also, do your homework and learn all about the company’s competitors.

What are the biggest challenges out there for people searching for jobs today?

The biggest challenges out there for people searching for jobs today is the ability to take the skillsets and experience they have acquired over the years and apply them to the job requirements of today. Today’s employment world and requirements from companies are constantly changing and evolving and it can be a challenge for many to keep up with that. Additionally, many out there have an unwillingness to consider the possibility of making a career change, when that might just be the best thing for them. Fear of change is powerful, and it can hold many people back.

What are the biggest challenges out there for companies looking to hire great team members today?

In most cases, companies across the board are looking to employ very similar people, and as such they are all competing for talent…even when they are NOT competitors as companies. They can be in completely different industries but are still competing for top talent. The talent pool of candidates out there today is in very high demand, yet the pool is much smaller, which makes for an extremely competitive environment for employers.

Another challenge for some employers is outdated processes and procedures in their hiring process. What worked well 10 years ago does not necessarily work well today and can be ineffective.

Much like change can hold candidates back, the same goes for companies. They must be willing to change and adapt to remain competitive in the talent wars.

Can you recall a time where you saw the real impact a job, or having the right person working for a company, made in someone’s life?

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to place a candidate in an Human Resources Generalist role in a large manufacturing corporation. As a result of his hard work and excellent people skills, he was promoted to HR Manager, then HR Director, then Senior Director, and ultimately to Vice President. Not only did he do well for himself, he also made an enormous impact and cultural change throughout the organization in how people are valued.

What trends do you see in today’s job search and hiring world?

Companies and candidates are increasing their usage of social media and various networking sites. Technology has become a much larger part of the recruiting process, and in some cases, completely automated. I am not so sure that is a trend that will continue for the long term because automation simply cannot replace human interaction and the value of face to face conversations and relationships.

When you aren’t helping companies find qualified people or helping people find good jobs, what do you do for fun?

I enjoy coaching youth football teams and fishing…I’ve been doing both all my life.

What is one of your favorite quotes?

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

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