Vice president, Robert Half, 100 B St., Ste. 220, Santa Rosa 95401, 707-578-3355, roberthalffinance.com
Residence: Rohnert Park
Education: B.S., business management, with an emphasis in human resources, San Francisco State University
[caption id="attachment_94218" align="alignright" width="221"] Amanda Howell[/caption]
Tell us about yourself and your company: I am a recruiting professional with over 20 years in the field. For 12-plus years I have been with Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. With more than 340 locations worldwide, we have a comprehensive network of highly skilled talent to assist clients with even their toughest business challenges. For more than 15 years, we have been named to Fortune magazine’s list of Most Admired Companies, and we are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
One thing that truly distinguishes us is our specialized approach -- each division has a separate focus: Accountemps, Robert Half Finance and Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance; OfficeTeam, for highly skilled office and administrative support professionals; Robert Half Technology, for IT professionals; Robert Half Legal Legal for the staffing of attorneys, paralegals and legal support personnel; and The Creative Group, for interactive, design, marketing advertising and public relations professionals.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share? I recently ranked No. 1 in the world for President’s Club at Robert Half’s annual achievement awards, based on my contribution to the company in 2013. Being based in the North Bay, I was so proud to have ranked above colleagues in large markets in Germany, United Kingdom, Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, San Jose, etc.
What is the achievement you are most proud of? Attending the annual achievement awards is certainly one of my biggest career highlights. On a daily basis, I am most proud when clients I worked with years ago call and ask for me because of the successful placements I made with them. Similarly, when I am able to play a role in finding a candidate his/her dream job that is extremely fulfilling.
What is your biggest challenge today? The current employment market is characterized as "the great skills divide." Those with specialized skill sets are in high demand and short supply. For example while the national unemployment rate sits at over 6 percent, many positions in accounting and finance have unemployment rates in the 3 percent--5 percent range and the rate for college degreed workers over the age of 25 is only 3.3 percent. Ensuring that we have an unparalleled selection of qualified candidates for every search we work on is the biggest challenge we face right now. This is where our extensive network plays a key role, from a local perspective all the way to up to global.
Words that best describe you: Tenacious, diligent, hard working, and quick to laugh.
As a successful female professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?: Earlier in my career, I was a single mom, so the balance between being strong in my career, and being a good parent was tough. We definitely had to penny pinch. In November 2001, I was laid off from my job in the Silicon Valley, but within two weeks I had “marketed” myself to Robert Half in Santa Rosa and landed the job. Twelve and a half years later I am at the top of my field and putting my daughter through college without taking out any loans. Hard work is the best way to overcome obstacles.