Katherine Lopez, Technical Recruiter, Engineering at Oxford, is a member of the team who cares deeply about the consultants with whom she works. She has an empathetic nature, which helps her to really understand the people-first nature that working in the staffing and services industry requires. Read more to learn about Katherine and her successful career at Oxford.
Q: What is your professional background?
A: I started my career doing administrative work for various organizations while earning my A.S. degree in Paralegal Studies. After I graduated, I wanted a change in my career, so I began recruiting in the healthcare and real estate industries before joining Oxford Global Resources. I have since refined my recruiting skills and received my bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management.
Q: How long have you been with Oxford?
A: Almost a year and a half.
Q: What daily habits do you recommend for success?
A: I recommend staying organized and completing each task before starting a new one. I use my Teams calendar for everything, but I also keep a running to-do list and highlight items as I complete them. Each day is a new day, and I go into it head-on. Success is possible if you put in the work and avoid harping on the negative experiences that come up.
Q: What would you say contributes most to your success at Oxford?
A: My director and my team. We are a small new group that all started at about the same time, so we all learned and grew into our roles together. Our director, John McCarthy, has been the most amazing leader and has always been present and supportive.
Q: What is one of your greatest achievements to date?
A: My greatest achievement professionally has been joining a company (Oxford) where I’m treated with respect and my skills and contributions are valued. I am trusted to do my job without being micromanaged or talked down to, and of course, making President’s club!
Q: What attributes do you think are most important in a leader?
A: Someone who focuses on developing others, encourages them to think strategically, and is empathetic. For me, the most critical attribute of a leader is someone who understands your current skill level and knows when you are ready to take on more responsibility.
Q: What’s the best book you’ve read on business or leadership?
A: Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. This book really highlights the fact that business, negotiations, and human interactions are inherently emotional. It reminds me to remain stable emotionally when engaging with clients and my peers.
Q: What skills will be most in demand in 2023?
A: I believe skills in operational technology that deal with critical infrastructure in cybersecurity will be in high demand, especially after the attacks on power grids in Ukraine over the last few years.
Q: What are the top three trends impacting your industry that you see?
A: There seems to be a trend of low military recruitment lately in the news, which may lead to fewer security clearances and, thus, fewer candidates to fill positions. I also think we will see more cybersecurity professionals in the future with technological advancements. Finally, I believe project management will remain a highly sought-after field in government.
Q: What trends are you seeing in talent and recruitment this year?
A: The job market changed to accommodate remote and hybrid work during the pandemic, and that trend is sticking.
Q: As technology continues to advance, how do you see that impacting the recruiting and staffing industry?
A: The advancement of technology will help improve recruiting and staffing with more sophisticated tools for recruiters to do their jobs more efficiently.
Q: How do you define customer care?
A: I define customer care as always being available, staying in close touch with consultants, and giving them all the information they need while remaining transparent and trustworthy. You should also be as empathetic as possible and understand that everyone has unique circumstances.
Q: What advice would you give to individuals interested in consulting?
A: Consulting is an excellent alternative to a full-time option. Consultants typically have the potential to make more money and they have extra flexibility to take time off between contracts. For example, some of my consultants will work a one-year contract and then take six months off to travel. It’s also a great option for someone at the end of their career who just wants to work for a short time.
Q: How do you support driving change with your team or colleagues based on strategic business decisions?
A: I support driving change by presenting new ideas and constructing workflows that make sense. You can have the best recruitment tools and skills in the world, but if you are resistant to change, you will likely have a hard time succeeding in this space.
Q: What do you do to mentor the individuals on your team?
A: I mentor my team members by sharing methods or scenarios that have worked for me, being consistent, and always making myself available.
Q: What do you like best about working with your consultants?
I love working with my consultants. Of course, not every relationship is the same, but I have connected on a personal level with every consultant I’ve placed. Learning about a consultant’s home life or hobbies has helped me build long-lasting relationships. I will admit that I love to talk, which also helps!
Q: How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
A: I take breaks when I need to and I make time for periodic vacations. I also try to keep my stress levels down by relaxing when I’m off. I often work outside the regular hours as a recruiter, so learning how to manage that has also been helpful.
Q: Why Oxford?
A: For clients, we will work diligently for you, and for consultants, we can find the right job for you at the right time. For internal employees, Oxford provides meaningful work experience in a positive atmosphere. Oxford has given me the platform to be successful in my recruiting career.
Q: What is your work motto/favorite quote on success?
A: “Keep on keeping on.” – Joe Dirt
Being a Technical Recruiter, you must keep moving forward and maintain a positive outlook. Don’t let one hiccup or mistake take you out.
Q: Do you have any special talents or a favorite hobby?
A: I love houseplants and organizing things. I don’t think I have too many hobbies to speak about, but I enjoy reading and watching many different TV shows and movies.
Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
A: I spend my free time with my husband and our two Boston terriers, Winston and Lyanna. We are both homebodies, but we enjoy going out to dinner and seeing concerts and live music. Recently, I have been focused on making new friends. It’s so hard as an adult.
Q: What would your superpower be?
A: To fly, so I can go anywhere in the world and avoid airport lines.
Q: How do you take your coffee/ What’s your Starbucks order?
A: Iced Blonde roast, three creams, three sugars.
Q: What was your first job?
A: I was a cashier at a pizza place that a family friend owned. The calculator on the register was broken, so I had to make change in my head for customers, which is not one of my strengths.
Q: What job did you want as a child?
A: I wanted to be an opera singer or a professional ballet dancer.
Q: Who are you most inspired by?
A: I can’t pick just one. My family members have inspired me in different aspects of their lives, but the ones that stick out the most are my mother and sisters. They are the strongest and most confident women I have ever met, and I love spending time with them.
Katherine continues to learn and grow each day at Oxford, and her unique experience and perspective will continue to serve her well as she does.