Career Spotlight - Cliff Brown

November 11, 2016

What are your main responsibilities in your current and soon to be new role?

I currently work in the Staffing and Career Development Department at Yale University as a Candidate Development Specialist. In my position I partner with a team of five recruiters who are responsible for identifying, screening, and sourcing candidates for Managerial & Professional Staff positions.

Some of my responsibilities include:

  • Creating effective candidate sourcing strategies in order to produce viable and diverse candidate pools for difficult to fill positions.
  • Onboarding and training New Haven Promise Interns who each summer complete rotational programs throughout the Human Resources Department at Yale.
  • Building strong professional relationships with external partners such as recruitment agencies and professional associations.
  • Managing the Staffing and Career Development Department recruitment events (Career Fairs, Conferences, Forums) which includes scheduling, managing events budgets, and assigning staff to attend the events.

I recently was promoted to an HR Generalist position within the Employee Relations Department at Yale. In my new position, I will support department managers by solving problems related to HR policies and procedures as well as contractual obligations for Local 34 bargaining unit employees. I will also partner with employees in Labor Relations and General Counsel to conduct investigations and act as a liaison for arbitration cases and grievance hearing.

How did you begin your career?

I started my career in Human Resources back in the Fall of 2010. I worked for a company called Maxim Healthcare Services as an HR Coordinator. Maxim Health Services is full-service healthcare company that provides home health, medical staffing, and wellness services to communities nationwide. I had no prior experience working in human resources or in the healthcare industry but quickly developed a strong interest in the profession. In November of 2010, I was approached by my manager at Maxim Healthcare to see if I would be interested in pursuing an opportunity as a recruiter. The recruiter position afforded me the opportunity to help select qualified medical professionals for our company through interviews and skills assessments. In 2011, I decided to challenge myself professionally and accepted a position with an Executive Search Firm called Stewart Staffing Solutions and Recruitment Group located in Hartford, CT. I worked for the company for three and a half years specializing in recruitment for accounting and finance professionals. During my tenure, I took HR courses at St. Joseph’s University in West Hartford, CT that covered topics including labor and employee relations, recruitment, training and compensation. I immediately became interested in expanding my knowledge of HR and decided that I wanted to transition into an in-house HR related role. I was referred to a position at Yale University by one of my colleagues. This position (my current role Candidate Development Specialist) I found to be very interesting as it allowed me the opportunity to learn in-house HR recruitment strategies. After completing a series of interviews I accepted the position in June of 2014 with the Staffing and Career Development Department.

What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job/this field?

  • Good communication
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of state and federal employment laws
  • Knowledge of labor market trends for various job industries
  • Understanding of Boolean search strings
  • Ability to multi task and manage multiple assignments

Can you recommend trade journals, magazines or professional associations which would be helpful for my professional development?

Yes, the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the largest professional association for Human Resource Professionals with over 200,000 active members. The organization promotes the role of HR as a profession and provides education, certification, and networking to its members, while lobbying Congress on issues pertinent to labor management. SHRM also publishes monthly HR Magazine which is the most widely read and respected human resources publication in the world.

The Human Resource Association of Central Connecticut (HRACC) is a local affiliate chapter of SHRM based in Cromwell, CT. The association has over 200 active members throughout New Haven, Middlesex and Hartford County Connecticut.

If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? If not, what would you change/do?

Yes, I would choose the same path for myself. Human Resource professionals not only help organizations solve complex issues, we help engage employees and develop the future leaders of the organization. Working in human resources/recruitment has allowed me the ability to interact with professionals from various different job industries and professions. This is something I believe would not be afforded to me if I worked in another profession.

What advice can you share about navigating your career at Yale?

Here are some helpful tips for employees looking for ways to navigate their careers and grow at Yale University:

  • Research information about different centers, department, and programs at Yale. This way you can develop an understanding of these groups operate and the impact they have on the University.
  • Network with employees that are in fields or positions that you are interested in pursuing.
  • Schedule one on one meetings with your supervisor/manager to discuss career goals and actions plans to reach those goals.
  • Join committees, work project teams and volunteer for different events on campus. This is a great way to meet new people including leaders at the University.
  • Seek out a mentor (Note this person does not have to be in a similar field).
  • Discuss with your supervisor/manager opportunities to shadow with different employees/departments to learn new skills.