Q+A with an HR Pro: Valerie Haweny of Entech Network Solutions
Tell us about yourself and Entech Network Solutions.
Hi, my name is Valerie Haweny, and I am the Managing Partner at Entech. We are a boutique Women Owned Human Resources Consultancy firm specializing in talent acquisition, executive recruitment, business consulting, and career coaching. We have been recruiting in the digital media, marketing, advertising, and technology verticals nationwide since 1999.
I personally have over 20 years of HR and recruitment experience. I have helped thousands of candidates find new opportunities on both the brand and agency side. Some of our clients include, Lowe’s, RCN, Amazon, GroupM, Omnicom, Ogilvy, Jellyfish, AdTheorent, Edelman, Hearst, Meredith. I am here today to help you in your job search by teaching you how to develop a comprehensive plan so that you can stand out from the other candidates that you are competing with.
What are you hearing from your contacts about the current job market for PR professionals?
As you all know, hiring in general is very slow and the expected turnaround is a few months away. Now is the time to make sure that employers can find you. Employers are reluctant to hire permanent staff because of the current uncertainty of Covid-19. Therefore, we are seeing a trend where employers are moving towards hiring temp to perm employees or straight up freelancers for their open positions.
To those who were laid off, furloughed, do you suggest they continue to seek a new full-time career opportunity, or, should they consider going the freelancer/contractor route?
If you are not working then, YES, you should seek all types of employment. You should be flexible in accepting temp to permanent or freelance positions. Here are a few things to consider when accepting a temporary position:
- How long is the assignment? What is the likelihood that this opportunity will go permanent?
- What is your pay rate for temporary work? (the guideline is to take your salary and divide it in half. For example, if you're making $100K then your hourly rate should be $50/hr).
- Will you get paid on a 1099 or W-2?
- Do you need to set up an LLC?
- How often will you get paid?
- Will they provide you benefits?
What would you say are the three most important skills candidates must have?
In relation to PR professionals, you most definitely need to have an online portfolio of your work to show prospective employers. Make sure to include the link to your portfolio on your resume. This will demonstrate your depth of experience in a certain field as well as your communication and writing skills.
You have talked about the importance of creating a true plan as it's now an employer's market. What should be in this plan?
To succeed in finding a new position you need to develop a job search strategy and game plan. Here are some topics that will get you noticed by prospective employers. Our goal is to provide you with resources that help you through this journey.
- Getting Organized
- Updating your resume
- Researching Companies
- Submitting Applications
- Learning how to leverage LinkedIn and other job boards in your career search
- Preparing for interviews
- Remote interview tips and practice