Talent Acquisition and Retention Leader at APi Group in New Brighton, Minnesota
My family’s business provides parts for, and rents out, heavy equipment. Although I grew up around excavators and backhoes, I never considered the construction industry a viable option for me. Instead, I started out working in the non-profit sector. In 2012, I was looking for a career change and explored other industries. I found a job with one of APi Group’s subsidiary companies.
I was coordinating projects at APi Group’s subsidiary company when I joined APi Group’s Talent Magnet Think Tank, which brings together employees from our family of companies to provide tools and education to attract, engage and retain talent. Being involved with that group was only one or two percent of my job, but it was what got me the most fired up. I discovered I have a passion for employee engagement and enjoyed brainstorming ways to make our culture better so that people will want to stay.
In 2016, the Think Tank proposed to senior management a new position, which is the role I am in today. I’m APi Group’s Talent Acquisition and Retention Leader. I help our company leaders identify ways they can better engage employees and retain them. I also focus on recruiting middle school and high school-aged students and generating interest in construction careers at an early age.
I think the way I was raised might, in part, have laid the groundwork for my passion around employee engagement. My mom was an advocate for community involvement: she worked at a nursing home where I started volunteering when I was in sixth grade, reading to a group of elderly women. Once I got over my shyness, put the book down, and started asking these women questions, I was amazed by their stories. It made me realize that each of us has really unique gifts. How awesome is it when we get the opportunity to use them!
Combine that experience with the social patterns and relationships I learned about while earning my sociology degree, and that is where my passion and skills aligned to make this the perfect job for me.
Our enduring purpose, Building Great Leaders, resonates with me. It’s something I focus on as we try to influence employee engagement. By owning our own engagement, we all have the ability to be leaders and to make a positive impact.
It’s really fulfilling to see the shifts that can occur, but cultural change takes a while. I run half marathons, and the approach that I use in my job is similar: it’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon. I talk with eighth-graders about the value in pursuing a career in construction, knowing that they may not become our employees for another five years. It’s a long process.