Vivien has been Recruiting in healthcare for over 16 years. She is a passionate Entrepreneur who enjoys building long term relationships with her clients. In her spare time, Vivien is an avid yogi, blog writer, volunteer, and world traveler.
What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why?
“How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie. I was introduced to this book during training for my first Recruiting job at Aya Healthcare. I loved it, and began to implement Carnegie’s practical advice in all of my interactions. It has greatly improved my communication skills with friends, family, and of course in business!
I re-read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” every few years, and am always impressed by the timelessness and practicality of Carnegie’s advice. I have gifted dozens of copies to friends and employees over the years, most of whom seem to appreciate it as much as I do!
What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months?
My $45 Naipo Massager has been a life-saver during this stressful year! I ordered it from Amazon.com, and use it several nights a week to help with tension and knots in my back/neck from too many hours on the laptop.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
I go for a walk with my dog. Fresh air and sunshine fix everything and clear my mind.
What Are Bad Recommendations You Hear In Your Profession Or Area Of Expertise?
Hmm, well some of my peers take a more aggressive approach with Clients than I do. I’m all about the “soft sell,” and believe in building trust first before worrying about earning the money. This strategy has paid off well over the years, as my loyal Clients come back whenever they need help and refer their Colleagues to me.
In The Last Five Years, What New Belief, Behavior, Or Habit Has Most Improved Your Life?
Yoga and meditation. They are both good for keeping a clear mind, reducing stress, and keeping daily interactions positive. Or at least not taking it personally when they are not!
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Investment in my health is always most worthwhile. I believe that you cannot function at your best mentally unless your body is healthy as well.
Don't take work so seriously, do your best and leave it at the office.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — what would it say and why?
This has been attributed to the Buddha, but I am paraphrasing here. I love this because it simplifies so much. “If you have a problem, there are two solutions. If you can change the situation, then why worry? If you cannot change the situation, then why worry?”
When did you first become a rebel?
Pretty sure the day I was born :). I have always been strong-willed, independent, and quick to take the lead. These qualities have served me well and gave me the confidence to quit my job with a national, publicly held company to found Career Sparks, LLC in 2014, when I was 31 years old.
How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?
Oh gosh, there are so many! The main thing I have learned from failures is that they are an opportunity to analyze, learn and grow. Once you get back on your feet and push forward, you are always better from the experience.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
Specialize, specialize, specialize. As a career Recruiter, I can see the career progression of thousands of people. Whether you are a plumber, mechanic, nurse, or CEO, the most successful people choose a career path with a niche that they enjoy and rarely deviate.
What careers advice would you give to your 21-year old self?
Don’t take work so seriously, do your best and leave it at the office.
What is the most significant thing that someone much younger than yourself has taught you?
I love working with young people because they bring a positive mindset and fresh approach to work and life. This always reminds me to be positive and keep things fun.
Tell us about your business. What does it do and what value do you add?
Career Sparks is a Direct Hire Recruiting Firm, and we specialize in the Ambulatory Surgery space. Ambulatory Surgery is a huge growth area in healthcare because many procedures are now approved to safely perform in outpatient settings rather than a hospital operating room. This typically provides a more comfortable, lower-cost experience for patients, which is a wonderful thing because surgery can be scary! Career Sparks adds value by helping our Ambulatory Surgery Clients grow their Teams and ensuring they hire highly qualified and positive staff.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I always wanted to be a gymnast, but I am too tall!
Where do you see your industry in the next 5 years?
I see a ton of growth and opportunity! New Ambulatory Surgery Centers are opening daily across the country, and as competition increases it will be crucial the Physicians and Practice Managers hire and retain the best clinical staff.
Tell us about someone you admire and why you admire them?
Michelle Obama. She is always a class act.
What is currently wrong with the recruitment process today?
I think that better strategic planning could help a lot of businesses thrive. Many people, including myself, make the mistake of waiting until they are “in the weeds” to hire new employees. This creates issues, because you may rush the hiring process or have limited time to train. Creating quarterly growth forecasts and beginning to interview before you desperately need to hire would create better outcomes.
What is the most common mistake you see people make when applying for jobs?
They forget that it’s not all about them. Ultimately your employer pays you, hopefully, provides healthcare and retirement benefits, and spends a great deal of time training and mentoring you. So, it’s all about what the job-seeker has to offer the employer just as much as vice versa.
What is a hot skill that can benefit everyone's resume?
Asking other people questions about themselves.
Can you give us your most important resume formatting tips?
Keep it simple. A resume should be a representation of your strengths and experience, not a laundry list.
How does your resume advice change from a 22 year old to a 35 year old?
My rule of thumb is that 20-something resumes should be 1 page, 30-something can be 2 pages, and ages 40+ no more than 3. Highlight your accomplishments and skills, and skip the fluff.
Are Resume's Dead?
Top things to AVOID putting on a resume?
I’m a believer in “show, don’t tell.” Instead of just writing that you are a “hard worker, team player, etc.,” what accomplishments might show this to the Interviewer?
What industry changes from Covid-19 do you think should stay in the long run?
Everyone is definitely working remotely, which is a blessing since so many others have been less fortunate. I recruit in Healthcare, and there is definitely a ton of added stress on workers and hiring managers due to the ever-changing guidelines and people’s concern for safety.
What's your favourite colour?
What one thing in life do you consider to be overrated?
What are you NOT Very Good at?
What's your star sign?
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
A banana and a protein shake.