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Stacey Bossenger, a director at recruitment firm Ad Talent, tells Margaret Harris that she enjoys changing people’s lives by placing them in their dream jobs.

What do you do?
As director of Ad Talent, which is focused on the advertising, communications and digital industry, is to source talent within the industry and match the available skills to the vacancies my clients need to fill.

What does your typical work day involve?
No two days in recruitment are the same, and the ability to multitask and prioritise your time is vital. I spend my day communicating with candidates, clients and my team, sourcing and interviewing top talent, giving career advice, liaising with clients and assessing their staffing needs, and meeting consultants to ensure they are delivering the best candidate to our clients. It’s all about communication.

What are the most important things you do at work?
The most important thing in my job is to satisfy my clients and my candidates, and whatever it takes to make that happen on that day is important. Quality control and delivering on our mandates are crucial.

What drew you to a career in recruitment?
It was not so much recruitment that I was drawn to but more a desire to find a job where I could make a difference to people’s lives, and having had a background in design, media, events and public relations, joining Ad Talent 12 years ago was a natural fit.

What did you want to be when you were a child?
I changed my mind a few times – at different times I wanted to be a policewoman or a marine biologist. Later, I wanted to be an art director at an advertising agency. I wanted to be a policewoman because they help people; a marine biologist get to spend time at the sea (I thought); and being an art director allowed me to be creative and part of the advertising industry.

What do you look for when you are recruiting for your company?
I look for compassionate people with integrity and honesty and a good work ethic who fit into our company culture. They need to be nice people I can work with every day. They must be people who make things happen and be good communicators, both spoken and written. I look for cheerful, positive employees who have a track record of success. Previous experience in the communications industry is of great importance for our specialist recruitment agency.

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?
I change the life of an individual by placing them in their dream job. Where people work has a huge impact on what happens in their lives. Their happiness and financial freedom are determined by where they work. From a client perspective, placing the right candidate with them can have a significant effect on the performance of their company. A single good hire can change the course of their fortune. Managing people’s careers and watching them grow gives me a tremendous amount of pleasure.

What part of your job would you prefer not to do?
It can be a very emotional job, with extreme highs and lows, especially in South Africa with our high unemployment rate. It is difficult to call a candidate and tell them they were not successful. It is hard to take the emotion out of this job, and it can be overwhelming. The number of candidates who are looking for work far surpasses the number of available jobs.

What do you think makes you good at your job?
Being a good listener. The better you know your client and what the candidate is looking for, the easier it is to assist them. I rely a lot on my experience when identifying the right person, along with ascertaining if they have the right skills and are a good cultural fit. I have a sense or urgency and like to make things happen quickly. My background in sales in the industry has worked well for me.

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