In this edition of our “In the Limelight” series, meet Kara Rittler—a Talent Acquisition Specialist (TAS) Supervisor that has been a Broadleaf team member for 22+ years. Kara leads a team of nine Talent Acquisition Specialists that respond to hiring manager and supplier inquiries along with managing the candidate release and requisition process. Her background in customer service and management taught her to be versatile and adaptable which has proven to be beneficial in her role.
A military brat
As the daughter of a major in the military, I grew up in many places in the northeast. I was born in Watertown, NY then moved to Catskill, Maybrook, Ithaca, back to Watertown, NY, and then to West Hartford, CT, and then finally landed in Webster, NY where I still currently reside with my own family. I attended St. John Fisher University in Rochester, NY, and received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in psychology.
The road to Broadleaf
I joined the Tops Markets team at the age of 15 and worked my way up within the organization throughout my 10 years with them. I started as a cashier, then worked at the service desk, general merchandise clerk, point of sale clerk, bulk foods assistant manager, and then manager. I ended my career with them in the human resources department—processing payroll, interviewing candidates, and conducting new hire orientations—while picking up additional overtime hours in the bakery, Carryout Café, or any department that needed assistance. While attending college, I also worked second jobs at places like J.C Penny’s, a gourmet basket shop, and a tanning salon.
The customer service aspect of my past positions taught me how to interact with a diverse group of people—which is key to success in business. All the various roles I held helped me to be versatile and adaptable which are extremely important in the talent acquisition space. My HR experience is useful to me as a TAS during the interview and selection process. Lastly, my management background prepared me for my supervisory duties.
I graduated in May of 2000 and applied for several recruiting positions at various companies. I found the Broadleaf position advertised in the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper—when posting ads in the paper was the standard means of attracting workers. Broadleaf—formerly Superior Staffing Services—was my second interview and I felt the company perfectly aligned with me personally and professionally. By the end of June of 2000, I was hired and onboarded and the rest is history!
I started with Broadleaf as a clerical/light industrial recruiter and then moved into a technical recruiting position where I sourced and recruited professional/information technology roles for our clients. I was presented with an opportunity to work on-site at a large client’s production facility which then turned into an on-site MSP Talent Acquisition Advisor (TAA) role, then Senior Talent Acquisition Advisor (Sr. TAA). I helped support seven client accounts over the years before moving into my current position.
Life at Broadleaf
As the Talent Acquisition Specialist (TAS) Supervisor, I’m responsible for overseeing and motivating a team of nine Talent Acquisition Specialists. I coach and develop my team members by creating, implementing, and leading initiatives that support their needs along with Broadleaf’s business and growth strategies. Day to day, I’m a point of escalation for my team, making sure our processes run smoothly. I collaborate with various individuals across the organization to ensure that we meet our client obligations in a streamlined and timely manner. And of course, provide an A+ experience!
As cliché as it sounds, I thrive on seeing candidates and my team members advance in their careers and achieve success. My employees and coworkers say I’m adaptable, genuinely caring, customer service-focused, and have a desire to see others succeed. Finding ways to improve processes, that free up people’s time allowing them to take on new tasks and additional learning, is something that I enjoy. What excites me most about my job is that I never experience the same day twice. Each client account brings nuances that require me to quickly get up to speed and become knowledgeable—which can be challenging. At the same time, I must ensure that each member of my team is growing in his/her role and has the tools needed to support Broadleaf’s clients.
I work remotely and travel to the office at headquarters once a week. I look forward to face-to-face time with my on-site team and other departments and enjoy working with a diverse group of people with unique personalities. When working from home, I look forward to my team member one on one meetings as well as our group meetings where we discuss challenges, new ideas, and career goals. At Broadleaf, we all have a voice—ideas, suggestions, and recommendations are encouraged. The leadership team is engaged with workers at all levels of the organization.
The workforce solutions industry
In my 22+ years at Broadleaf, I have witnessed the evolution of technology utilization—including the use of texting platforms, online job postings and applications, job bots, and more. Job boards and social media sites give job seekers the ability to identify more opportunities and ensure they align with the hiring organization. Since the pandemic, the industry has also shifted in favor of a candidate-driven market. Companies are now competing against each other to fill a position. Where in the past, the candidates were required to compete against each other to land the job. The shift to remote and hybrid work arrangements has had a big impact on the industry, too. By investing in new tools and technology, Broadleaf has and continues to keep pace with all of these changes.
If you were to ask me what the industry will look like ten years from now, I honestly cannot say for sure. But I do believe that the technologies around talent acquisition and recruiting, especially artificial intelligence (AI), will continue to be at the forefront.
Life outside of Broadleaf
In the morning before work, at least three to five days per week, I like to go to Burn Boot Camp to get a workout in. It’s a great way to clear my mind while getting healthy and spending time with my Burn friends. As a wife and mother, I have learned that there is work time and there’s home time. My family keeps busy with travel and school lacrosse and I just sent one child off to college which required a lot of time planning and preparing for. On my day off, you can typically find me floating in the pool. One thing you would never know about me just by looking at me is that I played in a co-ed adult hockey league, completed two tough mudders, and a spartan race. I didn’t start playing hockey until later in life but it’s a great way to release pent-up aggression and get exercise. Pads and a helmet can turn anyone into the hulk!
If money or time off was no object, I would love to visit various European countries and travel up and down the coasts. The history, architecture, sights, foods, and smells, I want to take it all in along with my family.