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A View From Both Sides: Tenera McPherson, Staffing One’s Director of Recruiting, On What Employers and Employees Want

After 15 years in human resources and training Tenera McPherson has seen a serious paradigm shift in recruiting over the last three years. Being the director of recruitment of a Top 100 ranked firm on Diversitybiz.com, McPherson is prime to share inside knowledge on the employment marketplace.

Would a professional benefit from a MBA or other post-grad degree?

Education is a power tool and a MBA is a strong drill in the toolbox. However, I have to add that in this new business market, proven experience and application of business strategies is leading the industry. Creators and innovators are turning business on its head. Companies are after more than credentials. They want folks who’ll push the envelope and create new products by identifying ground-breaking ways to solve problems.

With anything in life, weigh the costs and the benefits. Financially, ask if this is a manageable expense. Some companies require not only a background check, but a credit check. I encourage candidates to fully evaluate their finances before taking on debt. Know your industry and what is required to get to your desired destination. Everything that you’re doing should be adding value and have purpose in your life.

A new Mercer survey reveals that organizations worldwide lack a strategy for developing women leaders. What are your thoughts on this?

I agree with the article. It takes more than flex-time and basic coaching. Women need experience and support from senior managers. I know the opportunities I’ve had were due to the amazing women who have guided me on protocol, how to maneuver in business. Without them, I would not have had the chance to take on new projects and grow. It is imperative for every woman to align herself with leaders who have a true passion and a track record for helping others.

Considering the current social climate in the country, what event most serves as a teachable moment?

In 2008, when the financial markets crashed definitely comes to my mind. It has shaped and impacted how people see business and view employment. I have noticed a larger number of candidates intentionally seeking out small-to-medium size firms for employment.

Over the past few years, the most recurring candidate request is to work for a stable firm. But, candidates should create their own stability. I have witnessed candidates working diligently to get debt free so they are better able to financially handle the fluid job markets. Regardless of the industry and position, the most highly desired candidates are the ones who are constantly reinventing themselves, consistently developing their skills and talents and are always in the know in terms of their industry. These are the folks who have an overcomer’s spirit, a resiliency. Globally there is a fight for outstanding talent. Anyone waiting for the world to get back to normal and wishing for the good old days are left behind.  This is the new normal and it is a true game changer. I was speaking with an IT manager who told me that their IT department purchases new computers for their team every three months just to stay ahead of what is coming out in the market. Any later than this, he said and they are behind.


Helicopter parents seem to be a package deal with Gen – X and Gen – Y’s. Any stories to share? Any advice for those new to this phenomenon?

I have heard some pretty outlandish stories in my years in this industry. I have seen parents escort their adult children into our office for interviews rather than wait downstairs in the lobby. I have heard of parents contacting HR managers requesting that they escort their adult children to doctors’ appointments since they could not personally go.

Parents with all their love and concern are not realizing they‘re hurting their children and hindering  growth. On top of this, they are damaging any credibility their children might have with their employer.