Christopher Porcelli, Vice President of Recruiting, Information Technology at Oxford is a Long Island, New York native with a penchant for honesty and tenacity. His 21-year tenure at Oxford has allowed him to learn the business from the ground up, and he uses that experience to lead his team to success.
Q: What is your professional background?
A: I started at Oxford three weeks after I graduated from college, so it’s been Oxford all the way.
Q: How long have you been with Oxford?
A: 21 and a half years.
Q: What daily habits do you recommend for success?
A: Stay organized and prioritize the things that need to be dealt with.
For those on the phone, make sure you’re making enough contacts, dealing with the best people, and working hard enough to achieve your desired outcomes. Work on building relationships, and don’t be afraid to ask hard questions. Don’t stop until you get an answer. Break things down until you figure them out.
Q: What is one of your greatest achievements to date (personal or professional)?
A: In 2007, I was the number one recruiter in all of Oxford. Since then, I’ve attended 15 of Oxford’s annual sales trips.
Q: What attributes do you think are most important in a leader?
A: Honesty. Being real with your people and not trying to sugarcoat things with them. Something that really bothers me is when people are phony. They think they’re doing the right thing, but people can see through it. People want real, honest, straightforward communication. That applies both personally and professionally. In my experience, if you treat people like professionals and tell them the real story, they’ll do their jobs right. There’s no need to micro-manage your senior folks.
Q: What skills do you think will be most in-demand in 2022?
A: Anything in the world of big data or enterprise data. Migrations to cloud ERP systems. Workday, SAP, Oracle. Anything in the digital space in terms of eCommerce, marketing and customer experience.
Q: What are the top three trends impacting your industry that you see?
A: First, migrations to the cloud from on-premise servers will continue to be prevalent.
Second, organizations handling remote work. The pandemic brought that about; it didn’t become widespread until then. It used to be a luxury, and one of the few good things to come out of covid is remote work has become more accessible. It gives clients access to talent across the globe, which will lead to the third trend: more global projects. We will see more and more international work.
Q: As technology continues to advance, how do you see that impacting the recruiting and staffing industry?
A: Technology is only going to improve the industry, but something to consider is the impact of regulatory changes. The world’s governments are getting more detailed in regulating work requirements, whether it be hours or misclassification issues, so the need for intermediary companies like Oxford is increasing so that things are handled right. As time goes on, the “gig economy” mindset is only going to increase. Every year we will see more rules and regulations in the industry, with some states differing from others. This only increases the need for companies like Oxford.
Q: How do you define customer care?
A: Make sure the client and consultant are not having issues when dealing with a problem. Don’t make them jump through hoops. We need to help them deal with things quickly and efficiently so they can focus on more important things. The more time they spend on issues, the more likely they’re going to get frustrated and go somewhere else.
Q: What advice would you give to individuals interested in consulting?
A: Stay specialized. The people that are the most successful are those that are zeroed in on a particular technology, industry, or combination of both. In addition, you need to be flexible. You should be willing to travel and have unconventional hours. It’s definitely not for everyone and it’s certainly a lifestyle choice.
Q: How do you support driving change with your team or colleagues based on strategic business decisions?
A: Be honest and direct. Tell people why we are making a change and how it will make things better for the business and them as individuals. In order to get people on board with change, it’s essential to tell them why the change is happening. Then, try to implement it with the least amount of disruption possible. People tend to fear change and sometimes for good reason. The key is to make sure it is a positive change and make sure people see that positive side of whatever is being changed.
Q: What do you like best about working with your team?
A: I really have the best people in the business. They are the best recruiters anywhere. I would put them up against any competitor in the world. They know the skills, they understand the marketplace, and they’re faster and better than any one of our competitors.
Q: How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
A: I make sure to use my PTO! I make sure I spend time with family and friends and focus on what is truly important. I love to travel; I spend a lot of time in the sky and I love to see the world. You have to work to live, not live to work. I love Oxford, but I won’t have the company logo on my headstone! When it’s time to go, nobody wishes they spent more time at the office.
Q: Why Oxford?
A: For clients, we offer the best talent at an excellent value with an immediate turnaround. We have the ability to get you the hardest to find people immediately, and we have a great relationship with them. You’re going to get quality that’s often better than the top consulting companies.
For consultants, we will pay you every week on time. We have so many different opportunities for you. We don’t play games in terms of being a reliable organization. We do everything legally.
For internal staff, we have the best opportunity to leverage your income, learn a business, and change your entire life for internal employees. When I started, I was just out of college and since then, my life has changed dramatically. Oxford focuses on training people from the beginning. It’s a fantastic opportunity with a company that will be loyal to you over the years.
Oxford took a chance on me when I was young and gave me the training I needed. I was able to make a great income and learn a business and expertise. It’s changed my life and gave me the comfortable life I have today. It has provided a tremendous opportunity. When I started, I didn’t even know what staffing and recruiting were. One of the benefits of working here is that you don’t have to know technology or be an expert in the IT world to take part in the growing technology & digital industry.
Q: What is your work motto/favorite quote on success?
A: I’ve got some good ones in mind, but the one I love the most is “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
As he works harder and gets luckier, Christopher will continue to do great things at Oxford. After an incredible 21 years, it will be wonderful to see what he does with the next 21!