In this series, we’ve gone beyond the job posting to get a better understanding of some of the roles at BDO Digital. We’ve talked to a Software Developer, an Infrastructure Systems Engineer and a Business Engagement Manager. Today, we’ll look at what it’s like to be part of the team that recruits and hires talent for BDO Digital.
Shelbie Jones is a Sr. IT Recruiter at BDO Digital. She joined the company in 2015, beginning her career as an HR Intern while still a senior in college. I spoke with Shelbie to learn more about the path she took to get to where she is today and to give those seeking a career in business and technology a glimpse of what it’s like to be on the recruiting team at BDO Digital.
You started as an HR Intern at BDO Digital. What was that experience like?
I was a senior at Purdue University in Indiana, majoring in Human Resources Management. I knew I wanted to get into the HR-side of business – I liked working directly with people and connecting them to resources, but I didn’t know exactly which area of HR I wanted to focus on. In college, everything is academic and theoretical. That’s why internships are so important. They give you the opportunity to experience first-hand different aspects of what you’re studying and see what you like and what you don’t like. Sometimes you end up loving something you never thought you would have considered before.
During my internship at BDO Digital, I was able to work on things that really mattered to the company right away, like onboarding new employees and helping with recruiting. I quickly realized that I loved the recruiting process and that’s where I wanted to focus my time. When my internship was done, I was really lucky that they were looking to expand the team and I was offered a full-time role.
You transitioned from an HR Intern to IT Recruiter to Sr. IT Recruiter in only three years – how did you do it?
A little luck and a lot of hard work! One thing I love about BDO Digital is that they invest in their people. Everyone wants you to succeed. When I joined full-time, I was assigned a formal career advocate and took part in trainings. I also found others to act as mentors, people I could go to for advice when I needed it. The company rewards hard work and taking initiative here, which seems simple, but I know a lot of places don’t always do this. I worked hard and was able to carve out a path for myself. As our team continued to grow and I took on more leadership roles, I was promoted to Senior Recruiter.
You played a big role in developing BDO Digital's College Recruiting Program. Can you tell us about that?
Even though BDO Digital had interns, there still wasn’t a formalized college recruiting program where we engaged with college and universities to actively recruit interns and soon-to-be new grads for entry-level roles. I recognized this need and helped put together a plan to create a program that would do just that. Soon, we were connecting with schools like UIC and DePaul and traveling to U of I in Champaign/Urbana to attend Career Fairs. We have recruited many top Computer Science students for entry-level roles where we can train them and they’ve been some of our most successful team members.
It was exciting to get to create something that had never existed before, and I was trusted to eventually own the program and run with it. BDO Digital has this attitude of listening to all ideas and then saying, “OK, show me how you’d do it.” You have to prove yourself, but just having the opportunity to do something like that has been awesome; definitely the highlight of my career here so far.
What do you like about recruiting at BDO Digital?
It’s a challenging role. I didn’t have a technology background so I had a big learning curve when I started. But everyone has been helpful and genuinely excited about talking to me about technology. I now find myself getting into pretty deep IT conversations with people I meet out on the weekends! It’s really rewarding when you connect the right person with the right role at BDO Digital and know I had a direct impact on growing the team. They’re happy, we’re happy, it’s win-win!
What advice would you give to other college students and new grads looking to find a career that they’re happy with?
Make those connections – LinkedIn is a great tool and you’d be surprised how many people are open to helping you with advice and resources. If you can, get internships and some kind of real-world experiences to try different things. And finally, be a problem-solver. At the end of the day, we want people who take initiative to identify and solve problems. Do that and you’re golden!