Cindy-Eve Emond didn’t come from a background in recruiting, but it didn’t stop her from etching her path to becoming a leader in engineering recruitment.
It was four years ago that she joined Randstad. Working previously in a male-dominated sales field, Cindy-Eve faced many of the modern challenges of women in the workplace today, particularly raising a family and work-life balance.
“It was very difficult to combine work and family,” she says. “And it made me doubt my ability to work at a high professional level.”
Making the move to Randstad, and within the engineering division, meant transitioning to another traditionally male-dominated field. But as a young line of business at Randstad, there was an opportunity for Cindy-Eve to make her mark in engineering.
“There were still a lot of things to set up…I did a lot of shadowing of the people around me, looking at the successful ones…asking a lot of questions, soaking up "OK, do it like this", and then finally, building my own... We often say that at Randstad, we are the masters of our own little business. Then it gave me the opportunity to create my own in engineering. To see how I want to position myself, how I want to work.”
Then there were changes six months after her arrival. “It's in adversity, sometimes, that you learn a lot, so learning about engineering, its challenges, its issues, its complexities allowed me to create my team today, and my operating model. I have created a structure that is unique within the Engineering Division in Canada and last year we increased our budget by 250%,” says Cindy-Eve.
Cindy-Eve doesn’t think being a woman working in engineering was a disadvantage, but it did have some challenges. She explains:
“…I certainly had to build up my credibility. That's the key, so learn the technical side. But my background in government relations, the art of asking questions and then understanding, making connections helps me a lot. So, I've been able to navigate without knowing everything about engineering. Just asking the right questions, making the right connections, and then being successful. So, you know, I think the challenge in engineering is building credibility, both with candidates and with clients.”
Cindy-Eve credits her education and background as a key to her success today. Working in government relations and sales, she developed strong analytical skills.
“I try to understand what an individual has done, what he wants, what his expertise is. Then my great strength is to understand by talking to my clients, to say what are your challenges and then to find someone who will meet those challenges. So that's where my background helps me a lot in my work.”
Recruiting in engineering has similarities and some stark differences compared to other industries.
“I think it's understanding, in your client base that you want, what are the key motivators. In engineering specifically, I know that these people are driven by projects, driven by challenges. People who study engineering are people who, their greatest quality, is problem-solving. So, all of a sudden you understand what is the nature of the people you recruit, what is not their driver, but a little bit their qualities, what makes these people choose engineering, so after that, you can provide for them, if you want. You can offer them professional aspirations.”
Cindy-Eve believes that people want to feel like you care about them and understand what they are looking for. Networking plays a big part in this. The more you know the companies, what they make, how they make it, the more you take what the engineer does in his day-to-day, the more you're able to speak the same language and then offer opportunities they’ll like. This is how a candidate and client will find value in working with you.