There’s a reason Beacon Hill Staffing Group has been named as a top employer from sources like Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and The Boston Globe: They listen to their candidates.

Career seekers often have mixed feelings about working with staffing groups. On the one hand, working with a staffing recruiter can be a great way to find a temporary role or one that simply “pays the bills” without spending too much time in sending out dozens of applications or having multiple interviews. On the other hand, there are job applicants who feel that these groups tend to put placement before the candidate by offering opportunities that are far removed from the applicant’s area of interest or specialty.

Beacon Hill has defined its reputation in working one-on-one with career seekers to find matches that not only fill a temporary or immediate staffing need, but also align with an applicant’s talents. To help speak more to this approach and to debunk some staffing agency myths, we recently connected with Beacon Hill staff member and Emerson alumna, Nora Munson ‘14.

How would you describe Beacon Hill Staffing Group to someone unfamiliar with your work?

Nora: “Beacon Hill is a staffing agency. We partner with job seekers and work with them to figure out what is going to be the best fit for them moving forward, whether that is temporary work or something more permanent and then the specifics of what they’re looking for in their next role. After that, we place them with our clients who have open roles.

On the client side of things, they come to us when they have an open role, they tell us all about the position, the type of temp that they’re looking for, and we’re then able to make that match.”

What are some of the benefits of using a staffing agency?

Nora: “I’ll start with staffing agencies in general. They can introduce you to companies that you just wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet with in the first place. There are some companies that solely go through staffing agencies for their open positions.

They can also help be a guide throughout your job search. It can be a really confusing time, especially when you’re interviewing at a lot of places. A recruiter is kind of a neutral person that can help you navigate some of that confusion. In general, recruiters can be really helpful in that way.

Beacon Hill specifically takes a super partner approach to working with candidates. We’re not looking to just meet you, look at your resume, and send it to every single client we’ve ever worked with. We want to get to know what you’re motivated by, the types of environments that are going to be best for you, what’s the management style you’re looking for. 

If it’s temp work, what are the companies that you really want exposure to? It’s a really consultative approach and we’re really proud of how we work with our clients and candidates.”

Would working with Beacon Hill make more sense for recent graduates or are there opportunities for both grads and current students?

Nora: “Both, honestly. Beacon Hill, at least in New York, does not place people in internships, but any college student could be coming to look for a long-term contract role during the Summer. Maybe they’re picking up some temporary work week-to-week if they have a couple of days free during their schedule, so it absolutely makes sense for both college students and grads to be working with a recruiter. It’s just going to be a little bit different as to what they’ll be directed in or what they’ll need.

Thinking about the Emerson population, there are so many people who are going into Performing Arts or Film or, you know, writing gigs and a lot of those careers will have periods where you’re not working creatively. So temp work can be a really nice way to fill in the gaps and have some supplemental income. I would say of the people that I’ve partnered with from Emerson in the past, it’s often been temp work,  which I think is a really nice alternative to working in hospitality, which can be really hard and long hours and late hours, whereas temping is that more traditional nine to five.”

What are some examples of roles or companies that you try to connect folx with?

Nora: “First I’ll say that Beacon Hill has offices across 55 cities in the US. I’ll speak to New York specifically and we also have different divisions, so I’ll speak to the Associates Division. 

I focus on placing administrative roles or anything office support-related. If a candidate has had a past role in reception or as an office assistant, an admin assistant, an executive assistant… those are all roles that I place. But we do a really good job of thinking outside the box, so if you do have experience in hospitality or retail, if you’ve worked as a Stage Manager, there are transferable skills for administrative roles. 

We work across industry. We’re not specific in any way, but in New York I would say the bulk of our business is going to be in professional and financial services. So, in addition to finance firms, think consulting, real estate, tech firms, media, communications,  marketing and advertising. Places like that.”

How can career seekers get connected with Beacon Hill?

Nora: “If you know a recruiter, reaching out to them directly is going to be the number one best way. Or if you know somebody who’s worked with us in the past, you can always ask them for an introduction.

We post all of our open positions on our website. You can filter on the specific city that you want to apply to and then send your resume in. That goes to an inbox that all of the recruiters filter through to reach out to candidates, if the resume is a fit for the roles that we work on.

From there there’s a phone screen process or an in-person interview process. Right now, it’s virtually. As we have those opportunities come our way, we’re matching you to our clients or taking you through the full interview process and we’re really facilitating the placement as well.”

Do you have any other pieces of advice for those looking to get connected?

Nora: “Thinking about this time during COVID-19, you’re going to face this if you meet with a recruiter or if you are meeting with a Hiring Manager at your dream company, they’re going to ask what you did during this time. Really nobody is expecting the answer that you were working full-time or anything like that.

Think about how you are utilizing your time. Are you brushing up on certain skills that are going to be important for your job search? Are you volunteering? Is there a way that you can be active online with a certain community? Just get a really clear answer for that because people are going to be asking it for the next couple of months.”