Yasmine Davis, Recruiter with The Lee Group in Chesapeake, Virginia

Yasmine Davis wouldn’t describe herself as a touchy-feely person.

But sometimes, when working in the staffing industry as a recruiter for The Lee Group in Chesapeake, Virginia, she just can’t help herself.

“I remember the first time one of my applicants was chosen for placement,” Davis said. “She came into the office and gave me a hug. In that moment, a true sense of accomplishment washed over me. She made me feel like I was really making a difference in people’s lives.”

Over the years, Davis has accumulated some great advice for companies who are hiring and people who are job searching. We sat down with her to learn more.

What was your first job?

My first job was a hand made jewelry business in elementary school. I created and sold miniature beaded animals, bracelets, earrings, etc. For a girl my age, it was a fairly lucrative enterprise. I still mentally kick myself for not having invested the proceeds. Unfortunately, the local candy store seemed more interesting at the time.

What is the best job advice you ever received?

Make your job into something you love. I have seen too people many fall into the trap of thinking that their dream job is out there just waiting to be found. While for some that may be true, it is certainly not the standard. I have learned that to be truly motivated and inspired, a person must be willing to make the best of their situation, no matter the circumstance. At work I take things one day at a time and every day I try to find one thing that I love doing.

What is the best job advice you ever gave?

You can’t control what gets thrown at you, but you can control how you respond. There is a saying that the gods laugh at the plans of man. The truth is that people have far less control over what fate throws our way than we would like to believe. It is how we handle these moments that define us.

What motivated you to go into the staffing field?

I have always enjoyed helping others. I just assumed that someday I would have my own company and be able to provide communities with safe jobs or start a charitable organization of some kind. I started out in corporate settings and my goals were geared toward building a career within that setting. It wasn’t until having personally struggled in finding gainful employment, that I found a calling. Being in a position that enables me to give others the opportunities needed for self-growth and/or advancement in their careers, is one of the most fulfilling roles I have ever undertaken.

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

Getting past the bot. When companies rely on a system that’s designed to weed out people who “appear” unqualified, they wind up losing good talent along the way. We live in a technological age, however not everyone is keeping up. Many qualified applicants never make it to an interview with a hiring manager or recruiter simply because their resumes are discarded by a machine. What is worse is that some unqualified applicants, who know how to work the system by skewing or even outright lying about their qualifications, do make it to an interview. 

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

Time. It takes time and resources to find good talent. Companies are fast-paced entities and need their employees to coincide. Many don’t have the time to examine hundreds of applicants, read resumes, and conduct interviews. When a position needs to be filled, there is no time wait.

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? 

I remember the first time one of my applicants was chosen for placement. She came into the office and gave me a hug. I’m not really a touchy-feely person. But in that moment a true sense of accomplishment washed over me. She made me feel like I was really making a difference in people’s lives. I hadn’t felt that way since my time in the military.

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

I am seeing a lot of social media communication and less human interaction. As a recruiter I have found that more people respond to my emails than when I call them. From my perspective, many of us don’t engage in face to face meetings until well within the hiring process. The days of walking into a business and inquiring about open positions are a thing of the past. It’s a real shame because you can’t get a good sense of a person by just reading resumes or conducting phone interviews. Technological innovation has become a double-edged sword. Yes, we can now screen numerous applications in a fraction of the time it used to take, but we are also losing sight of how to engage in healthy social communication.

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

I am an avid reader, video game enthusiast, and painter. On my down time my fur babies and I like to relax at home, travel the world, or discover new cuisine.

What is one of your favorite quotes? 

“If you lose sight of one dream, replace it with another.” Believe it or not, this is a quote from one of my favorite video games. And I have used it to get through some tough times in my life. Just because something isn’t going the way you planned, doesn’t mean you should give up. We all face barriers at some point. By changing ourselves and the way we approach trying situations, we can overcome any obstacle.


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