We’re excited to announce that Shanon Holley has joined the CCN HR recruiting team.
Shanon brings over 20 year’s experience in human resources for a variety of industries. She considers herself a “utility player/leader” and has led HR teams and departments to the next level, driving business outcomes through strategy and execution.
She speaks “HR” and has a unique ability to engage with candidates and continue those relationships through networking. She has a proven track record of successfully building high performing talent recruitment pipelines and optimizing workplace culture.
6 Questions about HR recruiting with Shanon Holley
1. What’s your specific experience with HR?
When it comes to HR, I’ve worked with everyone from large public companies to small startups.
I’ve done it all. I’m the “utility player” and leader. I worked my way from the ground up, so I’ve stepped into every single HR role. That means I know what kind of skills and personalities candidates need to be successful in those roles.
I’d say my sweet spot is employee engagement, culture, and coaching and development.
2. That combination is key isn’t it? how do you go about making sure that a candidate is the right fit for a client?
Culture is key to an organization’s success. CCN has tools and resources to determine technical qualification, but understanding culture-fit has to come with experience. We engage with candidates and conduct thorough behavioral interviews specific to the client’s culture to ensure fit. I usually know by the end of the interview if they are a good fit for the client.
3. These days a lot of companies are desperate for talent. We’ve heard stories of recruiters making job offers without even performing an interview. How is CCN doing things differently?
It’s all about due diligence and vetting, and to do that you have to have that deeper knowledge and expertise around HR.
We do a drill-in questionnaire before we even get on the phone with a candidate. It’s specific to HR and tailored to the client’s needs. That determines who even gets the interview.
By the time a candidate is presented to a client, they have been thoroughly screened by our subject matter experts and are qualified for the role and a fit for the organization. We’ve already done the homework upfront. We’re not going to waste their time with a candidate we don’t personally believe in.
4. In addition to serving clients well, I hear you also go above and beyond for your candidates. What does that look like?
I am not a traditional interviewer. I form connections with candidates that allow for direct, collaborative conversations. The candidates that I engage with may be my next team member or client, so it is imperative to make a lasting impression on behalf of the client and CCN.
If they get an interview with the client, I call them afterwards with feedback, being transparent and honest and delivering those messages. Nobody likes to hand out rejections, but I don’t hesitate to provide constructive feedback that will help them move on to the next opportunity. Even if they are not right for one particular role, I’m engaging and creating a relationship with them.
6. You’ve got the ability to do a lot of different HR work. Why HR recruiting?
Everyday I get to talk to like-minded HR professionals, and sometimes they are smarter than me, and I have clear takeaways from those conversations and relationships… I get to talk about what I love!
Let’s get started!
If your company is looking for exceptional human resources talent, Shanon is excited to get your HR recruiting search started! Call 512-900-2152 or send us a message.
As we continue our blog series today, we're talking to Tammy McCarty, President of Strategic HR Services at Cox Consulting Network (CCN). Tammy has more than 24 years of experience in executive roles, ranging from leading HR organizations to various sales and marketing executive positions.
Thank you, Tammy, for taking time off your busy schedule to share with us your advice and recommendations on how sales reps can engage with executives effectively and add value throughout the sales process. I appreciated your insights and authenticity throughout our discussion.
1. Tell me about your background.
Spent 24+ years in leadership roles in HR, sales, and marketing. “My degree is in communications and organizational design. During college, I was focused on HR and completed an HR internship before graduation. I’ve been very blessed to have a fantastic career, spending 24+ years in leadership roles spanning multiple industries. Early in my career, I've stepped into large roles overseeing HR for companies with thousands of employees distributed worldwide. In addition to HR leadership roles, I also led sales and marketing teams for numerous organizations.”
"Throughout this journey, I learned that for me to be highly effective, I need to 1) understand the industry that I’m in, 2) the business that I'm part of, and 3) what drives revenue. So, I approach every leadership role with this mentality.”
2. Tell us about your typical day as an executive.
Includes internal and external focus. “My typical day as an executive is interesting because I'm running a business. I'm managing consultants assigned to projects, and I'm also managing clients by partnering with my client’s C-suite.”
Internal day-to-day-activities. “A typical day for me can be anywhere from being on calls with consultants, recruiting consultants, managing the business and the projects, and making sure things are going as planned. As part of the executive team, I participate in strategic meetings to determine, 'What is our messaging? What's our brand? And how are we positioned for future growth?’ ”
External day-to-day-activities. “Another part of my day also includes being in strategic calls as the HR executive for my clients and discussing strategic planning with their executive team members.”
3. Why do you typically get involved in deals?
Identify needs and gaps; ensure sales rep is a good fit. “I usually get involved in deals to 1) identify our needs and gaps, and 2) ensure that the sales rep, their solution, and their organization are a good fit for us. You can have everything that I need, but if there's no confidence and trust in the particular salesperson, I'm probably going to go with a different option. The old adage that anybody can sell anything is not true. I think that relationships are still critical in sales.”
Ensure organizational fit. “Also, the organizational fit is vital! When I purchase from someone, I’m partnering with them to achieve some goal, and I need to make sure that not only is the sales rep competent, but that I understand what their leadership team looks like; what their track record of success is; and how innovative are they?”
4. When do you typically get involved in the sales process?
Early phase; defining needs and requirements. “I’m involved in the early stages of defining our needs and the key requirements to move forward.”
Regular check-in with my team and in the final stages. “After that, I typically hand it over to my team so that they can identify some potential solutions or providers. I have regular check-ins with them to ensure we are in alignment. And then obviously in the final stages, I’m involved because I’m one of the final decision-makers.”
5. What are some preparation tips you have for a sales rep before meeting with an executive like yourself?
Research the organization and the people that are attending the meeting. “You need to research the organization. You need to know what we do, identify our strengths, and understand who the key players are. If you have a meeting with me, I expect, at minimum, that you've looked at my bio on the company site, which will lead you to my Linkedin.”
Use your network to learn about your buyers. “I would also expect that you looked to see if we have common connections and reached out to some of them to learn more about me. By doing your research, you will be able to position your offering in a way that matters to me.”
6. What do you expect from a salesperson meeting with you?
Don’t want to be sold anything! “I already mentioned the importance of doing your homework. I also expect not to be sold to by anyone. I recently sat in a meeting with a sales rep, and they were hard selling. They weren't listening; they didn’t ask questions; they came in selling and talking about how great their solution is.”
Actively listen to my needs. “I expect you to come in that first meeting knowing something about my business, as well as using that time to listen and learn about my needs, and then come back and share how your solution can help meet some of my needs. I want you to listen to me, and if you identify some needs as we're talking, that's great. But coming at me with solutions without understanding my needs and my problems, that's a hard sell.”
7. What questions do you usually ask sales reps during the sales process?
Rep’s tenure and their success in company & organizational structure, especially around post-sale. “I want to know their tenure and the type of success they've had in their role. I want to understand more about the organizational structure, especially around post-sale. I want to know, ‘Are you going to walk in and walk away as soon as the contract is signed and hand us over to someone else. ’ I want someone to be accountable if things don't go as planned; hence I don't particularly like the business model that says, ‘Hi, I'm Joe. I just sold you. You won't ever see me again, and I'm handing you off to someone.’ ”
Specific questions on how they address problems. “I also want to be able to ask the rep specifically, ‘How are you going to address X, Y, and Z?’ I want them to think on their feet when I have very pointed questions related to what my needs are.”
Examples of similar clients. “I also usually ask about other clients. If it's a system, I'm going to ask about their implementation process. I'm going to get specific. Based on my own research of their offerings, I'm also going to ask them questions to make sure that what I'm seeing is real and allow them to close any gaps.”
8. What have differentiated sales reps that have won your business versus those that lost?
Smart, know their product, transparent. “Assuming that the products are comparable, the sales reps that have won my business are smart, know their products inside and out, and own any limitations and bring them to the table so that I'm aware of it. Transparency is critical to me. A salesperson should not want to win every single deal. They should be as selective as a client is because not every customer is a good customer.”
Responsive and follow through with promises. “Another attribute of reps that won my business are those that are responsive and follow through with their promises; they're organized and on point, and they know my business and understand it.”
Accountable and cultural fit. “As I mentioned earlier, sales reps that won my business are those that stay on the account and hold themselves accountable to the outcomes. Another differentiator is culture fit. Just like there's a culture fit for organizations when they’re hiring employees, there's also a culture fit when you're buying. I need that rep to be a fit with my organization and my team. Culture is critical.”
Regular follow-ups. “Follow-up is also an important differentiator. Reps that have won my business conducted regular follow-ups using different channels (e.g., phone, email, etc.). They're the ones that check-in regularly and stay on top of their game, adding value to every interaction. My advice to reps is that you need to be relevant to your customers. If you're not, you're going to lose a deal.”
Good manners. "Finally, manners matter to me! How you treat people matters to me! It's important to me that I work with people that treat others with respect and empathy, and that applies to vendors I work with."
9. What would put a deal at risk?
Hard selling, not responsive, inaccurate information, sloppiness. “There are several things that sales reps can do to put their deals at risk. I've already mentioned a few, including hard selling and being unresponsive. Another thing that can put a deal at risk is when reps provide me inaccurate information. Sloppiness in anything they send me on the front end is going to cost them the deal.”
Pushy and doesn’t respect internal processes. “Also, reps that are pushy and don’t respect our internal processes can put their deals at risk. For example, when I give directions to a sales rep on our selection process and explain the steps we'll go through, I expect that rep to follow them. If they start copying other people in the organization, go around my team, or ignore the process I've outlined, they will lose the deal. That behavior is not a sign of a good partnership! It demonstrates to me that the rep is not invested in building a high trust relationship. All they want to do is sell that deal!”
Sales pressure tactics. “Another absolute that can place deals at risk is when reps put me on their timeline and their company goals instead of my timeline, and they use pressure tactics, such as: ‘Hey, we got to have this done by this date, or we're not going to hold this pricing.’ These types of behaviors backfire on the reps.”
Thank you, Tammy, for your time and for sharing your perspective and expertise.
Rana Salman runs Salman Consulting, LLC., focusing on partnering with sales and sales enablement leaders to achieve outcomes through people, process, and sales training. You can reach her at [email protected] . Follow her on LinkedIn & Twitter
Years in industry: 25
We're calling on Tammy McCarty to lead the charge as we expand our consulting and recruiting services to include strategic HR. She has a wealth of experience in HR and the business acumen to go with it. Tammy has always been a partner to the CFO and a servant leader to her teams. We are so excited to have her onboard!
- Technology Integration
- Financial Analysis
- Business Acumen
- Leadership Development
- Change Management
- Consensus Building
- Performance Management
- Process Improvements
- Succession Planning
- Strategic Planning
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Business Operations
What are a few adjectives people might use to describe you? Strategic, collaborative, responsive, action-oriented, adaptable, meticulous, resourceful, high energy, authentic, results-oriented
When do you feel most proud of your work contributions? I am most proud of my work when I fully understand the needs of the business and the people and create a vision and strategy that connect the two to create a symbiotic relationship, which builds consensus and aligns people around mission and core growth objectives. There is nothing more rewarding than working with an organization where the employees are passionate about their work because they feel truly valued, respected, rewarded, and appreciated. It fuels the workplace and produces better profitability, productivity, and business outcomes.
What do you consider one of your best skills? The ability to empathize and relate to others which helps me gain credibility as a trusted partner and build relationships quickly.
Is there anything else you really like about your job? I am a problem-solver and change agent. I love diving into the details to gain a thorough understanding of the current state, developing the plan and driving the change to achieve the desired outcomes.
What is your life like outside of work? I enjoy spending time with my children and watching them chase their dreams. I love to entertain, spend time outdoors, take in live music, and work out.
Looking for an HR expert like Tammy?
Years with CCN: 1 year
Years in industry: 18
We waited a long time to work with Sarah as she is a freelancer in huge demand! She just finished her first long engagement with CCN and received a stellar recommendation from our mid-market client. Sarah has a tremendous technical accounting background that spans a wide spectrum of expertise. She also has an awesome ability to get things done, and we’re glad she chose our network as a place to continue down that path!
§ Project Management
§ Staff Supervision
§ Financial Reporting
§ Client Relationship Management
§ Internal & External Audits
§ Policy & Program Implementation
§ Personnel Hiring & Training
§ Process Development
§ Financial Analysis
§ Internal Controls
§ Strategic Planning
§ Process Integration
§ Variance Analysis
§ Regulatory Compliance
§ G/L Clean-up
What are a few adjectives people might use to describe you? Devoted, self-starter, diligent, professional, team-player.
When do you feel most proud of your work contributions? I love to delve into projects to completely understand the scope and where I fit in and where I can contribute and add value. I thoroughly enjoy being able to start and complete a project, see it through all the steps in between and know that I was able to help get it through the finish line.
What do you consider one of your best skills? Strong work ethic & going above and beyond expectations
Is there anything else you really like about your job? I love what I do and being able to help!
What do you like about working with CCN? I thoroughly enjoy CCN and am really enjoying the team-player environment!
What is your life like outside of work? Spending time with my husband and girls, reading, exercising, watching movies, and community service.
Looking for great talent like Sarah?
Years with CCN: 2.5 years
Years in industry: 25
Keri Bryan is a rock star accounting consultant in Austin, Texas — and the very first consultant to join the CCN team! She's had a 100% project success rate with outstanding feedback, and she is capable of working both independently and leading special teams.
§ Multi-Currency Transactions
§ Project Management
§ Advanced Reconciliations
§ Staff Supervision
§ G/L Clean-up
§ Policy & Program Implementation
§ Change Management
§ Process Development
§ Internal Controls
§ Strategic Planning
§ Process Documentation
§ Intercompany Eliminations
§ Variance Analysis
What are a few adjectives people might use to describe you? Friendly, conscientious.
When do you feel most proud of your work contributions? When I can help a client by refining workflow or adding efficiencies to a role.
What do you consider one of your best skills? With my CPA background and software application expertise, I am able to fully contribute with little instruction.
Is there anything else you really like about your job? Consulting provides an opportunity to learn new industries and meet interesting people.
What do you like about working with CCN? I have a true feeling of teamwork with the Cox Consulting leadership.
What is your life like outside of work? I am actively involved in my children’s high school by serving as treasurer of their band booster club. I like to cycle and go camping with my family.