Jackson VaughnAt MDI, we work hard to create a nurturing culture and empowering employee experience. We know it’s the hard work and dedication of our people that makes us an Inavero Best of Staffing workplace and consistently deliver for our clients. It’s our goal to build a company people love. Want to know what that looks like behind the scenes? We recently caught up with Jackson Vaughan, Technical Recruiter at our Greenville location, and asked him what it’s like to work at MDI.

What you do find most interesting about working with the MDI team?

The thing I find most interesting about working with MDI is the investment in its people. The initial training was outstanding and equipped me to be successful moving forward. There are constantly refresher sessions on a variety of topics that enable me to continue learning as I go. We also frequently have opportunities to get together as a team outside of work and get to know each other better (birthday/MDI anniversary lunches, happy hours, networking events, community service, etc.).

What is it about your management team that attracted you to work at MDI?

When I was in the process of leaving my previous employer, I was unsure that I wanted to stay in the world of staffing. Honestly, MDI was kind of an afterthought with the other opportunities that I was considering. I was under the assumption that all staffing firms were the same and that I would just be a number tied to grueling/unrealistic metrics. After meeting with Shokie, the Greenville Managing Director, I found out quickly that MDI was a different animal altogether. He was able to give his perspective and give a thorough overview of day to day operations. I also had the opportunity to interview with Managing Directors from other branches, and their experiences were consistent with what Shokie had described. Sure enough, MDI is a people centric organization that offers significant opportunities to be successful while respecting and encouraging a degree of work/life balance that is rare in today’s culture.

What 3 qualities make someone successful at MDI?

  1. You have to be hard working. You have to be highly consistent with putting in the effort to reach the best candidates for the openings that you are working. There are no shortcuts in this business. It is about being able to pick up the phone after you have already been told “no” 100 times. It is about truly believing that no job order is unfillable.
  2. Consistency is key. In IT staffing, we deal with the most unpredictable product in the world…a human being. Candidates can do really frustrating things- not show up to a scheduled interview, decline an offer, not show up on the first day of work after accepting an offer, etc. The key is to not get too high when things are going well and to not get down in the dumps when nothing seems to go your way. Stay true to your process, and continue to do things the right way. Control what you can control, and move on.
  3. Creativity is another crucial part of being successful at MDI. There are some jobs that are really difficult to fill, so it is necessary to think outside the box. Do research on the technology/skillset that you are struggling with. Go to meetups/networking events. Tweak your search strings to look for related technologies, and cast a wider net. Ask the team around you for help. It is important to keep the mentality that no job order is unfillable.

What is your advice to new recruiters?

The best advice I can give is to ask as many questions as possible. Do not assume that you know anything. Find the people in your branch who have been the most successful, and study their actions and ask questions. When I started, I learned the most simply by observing and asking questions. Even if it is uncomfortable, it will pay off in the long run.

What is the hardest part of your job, and how do you overcome it?

The hardest part of this job is the unpredictability of people. People decline offers, no call/no show to scheduled interviews, and do countless other frustrating things outside of our control. The key is to stick to a process and gain as much trust as possible. For the most part, if you treat people with respect and keep their best interests in mind throughout the process, they will reciprocate. I also try to communicate throughout every step of the process and have as much information as possible as to not be caught off-guard. Unfortunately, there are often scenarios where you do everything correctly and still don’t end up with the result that you want. In that case, it is important to have a short memory and just keep grinding. Stick to the process, and keep in mind that you cannot always control the outcome.

How did you hear about MDI?

I was referred by a friend who actually works for a local competitor. I think that speaks very highly to the reputation of MDI. Even our competition respects the fact that we do things the right way and that MDI is a great place to work.

Do you have any special training or educational experience that led you down this path? If so, share it with us.

Not at all. I was a Marketing major in college and had no idea what I wanted to do coming out. I think it is awesome that I was able to find a niche here at MDI without knowing exactly what I wanted to do coming. All it takes a good work ethic and a desire to learn.

What is the #1 quality you feel is important to achieving success in the staffing industry?

Resilience. You have to have the ability to keep grinding when you haven’t seen success in a while. After a hot start, I went 3 months without making a placement. I don’t think my activity or work ethic decreased; I just didn’t catch any breaks. It was really discouraging, but I pushed through kept grinding and things eventually fell in place. Don’t get too high with the highs or too low with the lows.

What is it that you hope to accomplish in your next 12 months?

I have been with MDI over a year now, so in my next 12 months I hope to improve on my first 12 months. I want to incorporate the things that I have learned and put them into practice. I am always striving to get better.

What is your funniest memory of MDI?

Honestly, there are too many to count. We are always poking fun at each other and laughing throughout the day. I think that is the sign of a healthy team.


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