Jillian Swanson is the newest featured HR freelancer to join our community. We caught up with her by email to get her take on a few things.
1. What do you consider your top 3 skills as an HR freelancer?
Understanding the situation, building the relationship, and providing accurate and precise knowledgeable information.
2. Biggest accomplishment in HR/recruiting?
I have been blessed to be a part of so many great situations in both HR and Recruitment. One of my biggest accomplishments has been overcoming ambiguity in the workplace. One specific instance was based around a mass department layoff and re-organization. Communication around any type of layoff, not to mention a mass layoff, is the most important part of ensuring that things go smoothly and efficiently. We identified the department, the employees which would be laid off, worked out our communication around the mass lay off, and provided additional resources to the employees should they need it.
We were able to lay off 15 of the 20 employees with additional resources to help them get placed in new positions and assistance with unemployment options as well. With recruiting, I am contacted often about finding the right fit. Digging in and gaining the information from the hiring managers is the first and foremost most important part of the recruiting process. Pulling information that some might not think is important or as important as other information given. Then taking a consultative approach to ensure that the manager and I are on the same page before sourcing their unicorn.
3. Which project from your past work are you most proud of?
I am definitely most proud of building an HR and Recruitment department from the ground up. A lot of the companies I work with are small to midsize companies that are not familiar with which documents they need to be in compliance with State and Federal laws. I always start by building the documentation and then move on to teaching and training how to utilize it in a proper way.
4. Do you believe the HR/recruiting industry is poised for more freelancers?
If yes, why? Absolutely! Companies that need help don't always have the option to bring on a full-time HR or Recruiting individual. Freelancers help to bridge that gap, help keep them compliant and help them understand what needs to be done for when they are ready to bring someone on internally.
5. What types of HR projects would you love to work on as a freelancer?
I love documentation, assisting in tough to go situations, and essentially teaching/training where necessary. I currently have clients that are on a monthly retainer, others on hourly consulting services, and some on project work. It all depends on you and what your needs are as a company/individual!
6. Whats a fun fact you want people to know about you?
I am a mother of two very young children and also 3 rescue dogs! Apart from being an independent contractor, I enjoy helping animals in need and try to save as many as I can. I am on a first-name basis with the wildlife center near me because of how many animals I have brought in to receive their help.
7, Any advice for HR or TA execs during this pandemic?
Hang in there, it is going to end soon enough. I believe this needed to happen for everyone to realize who they are working with and also the type of person you want to be in these situations. We are all pushing to get back on our feet and we will make it!