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Running and Recruiting Parallels


The number 13 is following me. I celebrated 13 years with Aureus Group back in August, and as of Friday, October 26th, I have been in this crazy recruiting industry for 4,822 days! In so many ways, I feel like I’ve grown up here. Aureus Group really took a chance on me. I had ZERO industry experience in sales or recruitment when I was hired. ZERO. When I interviewed for the job, Larry Courtnage, founder of C&A Industries (our parent company), asked me about my experience as a high school and college athlete. I remember thinking, “What an odd interview question.” But as I reflect on these 13 years with Aureus Group, that question makes perfect sense. I was a distance runner in high school and college. Running continues to be a passion of mine and something that helps me reset when the stress of day to day life is getting the best of me. As I write this, I’m getting ready to run my third half marathon…hence, another relevant “13” presenting itself in my life.

My first year at Aureus Group was pretty brutal. There were days when I went home and cried, questioning my career move. For those of you who have been in the recruiting industry, you know what I mean. In this world, you experience some incredible “highs” and some really low “lows.” We’re dealing with people all day every day and that can be mentally exhausting. People can be rude. Sometimes people will tell you one thing and then do another. And in those instances where I find out my candidate didn’t get a particular job, it stings. Not just because I didn’t make a placement for my client, but because I know how much the candidate wanted the job and how disappointed they’re going to be when I have to call and deliver the bad news. I think we can all agree that rejection doesn’t make us feel good. It’s emotionally draining at times, but that’s because I really care. And I’d much rather be truly invested in my work than show up every day and just go through the motions.

Gradually, I found my cadence. And the good days have far outweighed the bad. There have been SO many great days…days where I literally jump up from my desk and do a happy dance because I’m so excited about a particular outcome for a client or candidate. Many of these outcomes are a direct result of the work of my teammates and me. But, we all know that isn’t always the case. Candidates find jobs on their own. Clients end up hiring candidates through another avenue. And that’s OKAY! We can and should still collectively celebrate when an employer hires a talented candidate who’s going to make a positive impact in their organization. I’m not sure all recruiters feel that way, but this is my perspective. After 13 years in the recruiting world, I know what motivates me to keep moving forward. It’s really not all about making the placement. It’s the entire experience leading up to that end goal. The lessons learned during the “race” and the relationships that develop as a result of the journey. Those are the “highs” that keep you holding on when the “lows” are trying to pull you under. If you want to excel at your craft, you have to put in the time, the effort, and the training. You have to be mentally strong and incredibly resilient. You have to believe in yourself and your training methods. This is where my experiences training and competing in track and cross country really served me well as I have continued on my professional journey at Aureus Group.

Stephanie Miller

Stephanie has been with Aureus Group for 13 years. As a Senior Account Manager within the finance and accounting division, she enjoys partnering with organizations across Nebraska, providing staffing solutions within the areas of accounting, finance, and human resources. In addition to working closely with hiring managers who are trying to identify talent for their departments, Stephanie finds great satisfaction serving as a confidential resource for professionals who are interested in exploring new job opportunities.

Stephanie has a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in negotiation and dispute resolution from Creighton University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Chad, and their three little girls, Charlotte, Willa, and Cecelia. Some of her hobbies include running, going on family vacations, and attending sporting events. Stephanie feels very fortunate to have found a career that is always presenting her with new, exciting challenges, professional growth, and learning opportunities.

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