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October 12, 2015 Issue

The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information


Talent Acquisition, Workforce Solutions, Temporary and Contract Staffing



Sue Romanos, CPC, CTS, CSP

President & CEO




Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – October 12, 2015


CEOCFO: Ms. Romanos, the tagline on your site is “Experience the Power of Our People.” How does that play out in what CAREERXCHANGE does day-to-day?

Ms. Romanos: In our business, everything is about people. We recruit talent and find the finest individuals for our clients. We do direct hire, search, workforce solutions, temporary and contract staffing and human resource consulting. It is all about people.


CEOCFO: When you are having people on your staff evaluating potential candidates, what do they look for that maybe others do not?

Ms. Romanos: You have to look at people in terms of what their attitude and work ethic is. We have a saying; “hire a smile, train a skill”. Skills can be trained, but to get the best performance out of an individual you have to hire someone with the right motivation and attitude. They have to be willing to go the extra mile and that is what we look for. Besides their experience and education, we drill down on why they are making a change. What is their motivation, which is important? In order for us to provide the right fit for our client, we find the person who will easily become productive for their organization or meet our client’s objectives.   


CEOCFO: Is it instinctive?

Ms. Romanos: I think it is instinctive for our people in our business as we do a great deal of screening. We have an average tenure of 10+ years which enables our Talent Acquisition folks a very high level of knowledge and experience.  We have extraordinary screening and matching capabilities. When an individual is being considered as a candidate, they are usually in our office for a period of at least two hours. We do thorough, behavioral- based interviewing to determine their performance, strengths, motivations and attitudes. In addition to our web-based state-of-the-art evaluations to establish hard skill level, extensive references and background investigations including E-Verify are done.


CEOCFO: What are the benefits of working in the Miami area?

Ms. Romanos: South Florida is considered the gateway to Latin America. The Miami area has a number of outstanding benefits including our location, diversity, being positioned as an international city, favorable tax structure and a thriving business climate. Miami is on the top of the charts as a leading indicator of success. It is a community made up of entrepreurialism and we welcome new ideas as we build a new business ecosystem. We have added world-class arts and cultural institutions, educational systems and entertainment/lifestyle offerings. On the employment front, Miami is poised to become a leader in technology and STEM. The community is made up of a very multi-cultural and diverse workforce, which translates into a truly international flavor. In addition, there are new investors and resources coming into the market to help boost and build the businesses in the area. 


CEOCFO: Do you find a generational difference in work ethic?

Ms. Romanos: In today’s world, the workplace is very different that it has been in the past. We are in a “just in time” environment and it is very competitive to stay on top. The workforce of today has different expectations than those in the past and it behooves the management of companies today to learn how to deal with the new Generation X and Y millennials. They have a different outlook on work life balance and what is important to them. Many companies today, unlike in the past do not have the luxury of having an extended training program so they may put someone in a position without much instruction or knowledge. At CAREERXCHANGE® we always advise and help our clients implement a structured on-boarding program that helps with expectations and transitions initially. Some of the younger generation prefers to work in teams and have been brought up on technology. They are looking for fast tracks in their career. However, if Managers and Supervisors tune into what is important to them, they become extremely productive and goal oriented.


CEOCFO: Are you able to work with your clients on the company side to help direct them to temper their expectations or do you find resistance?

Ms. Romanos: Initially, one of the things that we do at CAREEREXCHANGE®  when we take a client on is we meet with them and do a complete consultative needs analysis on what are their objective and challenges.  As human resource professionals, we may be able to give them some additional advice, especially companies that do not have a human resource professional on staff, in terms of what might fit better for them in order to drive better results. When we find a company that is resistant, it is an educational process to try to make changes that would provide enhancements or improvements. The saying goes “if you keep doing the same things, you will get the same result”. Today, employees are looking for staggered work schedules, virtual workdays, telecommuting and a variety of non-conventional work aspects. We have done educational training programs, webinars, seminars, workshops and legal training with our clients to give them additional information to help them in terms of their human resources and getting the best outcomes. Today companies are expected to have a greater level of 24/7 service and one of the ways to accomplish this is to initiate newer methods of working and become employee centric. If a company makes a few additional changes, they could be at the forefront of seeing better results. 


CEOCFO: How big a part of your business is temporary staffing and is this a growing segment?

Ms. Romanos: The temporary staffing business continues to grow and is the biggest part of our business currently. Temporary or contract staffing is being redefined these days. In the past, this type of hiring was primarily used as a replacement strategy to fill in for vacations, illness, FMLA and projects that needed extra help. Today companies have evolved into keeping a core group of employees to keep expenses down and flex up and down depending on need with temporary or contract staffing. What we are seeing in the current employment landscape is a trend toward managed solutions and contingent workforce management. We have implemented a number of these types of managed programs with our clients where we recruit and manage a larger workforce, provide technology to give them real-time spend visibility and handle all the compliance, training and benefits issues for the employees. This strategy also allows our clients to audition the employees and on-board the highest performers. The Direct Hire segment of our business also continues to grow in the current climate. 


CEOCFO: How do you work with the applicants on presentation for an interview whether how to dress or general demeanor?

Ms. Romanos: At CAREERXCHANGE®, we do a very thorough job of preparing a candidate for their interview. When we are sending someone out on an interview, we actually do a mock interview with them and go through a role-play to make sure that they understand how to give themselves the best advantage in presenting themselves and understanding the needs of our client. We help our candidates hone those skills, as many of them have been in a position for a long period and are not used to the “art of interviewing”. With the possible exception of IT positions where technical knowledge is critical to the hiring process, most other positions require knowledge, skills, experience, education, attitude and the presentation skills as well. We look at as if it is the Academy Awards and they want to get that award. They need to practice and follow certain steps to make sure they are coming across as the best they can be. This also includes mentoring on their social media sites - Facebook and LinkedIn and making sure that those sites portray them in a professional manner. A candidate can be a great employee but not have great interviewing skills. We want to make sure they put their best foot forward and give themselves their best advantage. The role of our Talent Acquisition Managers is to determine if they are the right fit in terms of skills, knowledge and culture. 


CEOCFO: How do you attract companies and how do they find you? Why are they choosing you?

Ms. Romanos: CAREERXCHANGE® has been in business for over 25 years and we have a well-known reputation in this market for knowledge, expertise and high integrity.  Our biggest source of clients is referrals and thank yous from other clients and candidates. Many of our clients have been with us for more than ten years. In addition, we have a full Business Development group and a robust social media program that generates new prospects and clients as well. At CAREERXCHANGE® we believe in giving back to the community in which we live. We are very active in the civic and non-profit organizations, which also leads to new clients referrals.   


CEOCFO: Are there particular areas of focus for you in giving back and why is it important?

Ms. Romanos: Giving back to the community where we live and work is part of our cultural DNA at CAREERXCHANGE®. We are concerned about our employees and the people that work for us whether they are full-time or temporary.  We are very fortunate that we have been successful and have grown our company -- even more reason to give back, be part of making a difference in our community and helping others as much as we can. Governor Rick Scott has recently awarded us the Governor’s Business Ambassador’s Award for the work we do in the community and providing jobs for 3000 employees and their families each year. An example of the organizations we serve are The Commonwealth Institute, Our Pride Academy, Casa Amor, Childnet, The Seed School, PACE, The Nova Southeastern Ambassador’s Board and Suited for Success.


CEOCFO: Overall, with so many self-service ways in looking for a job, are people coming to agencies as often today?

Ms. Romanos: Much of it depends on the economic situation. The market has significantly changed in South Florida and has become an “Employee Market”. Since unemployment in our area has dropped dramatically, it has become a very tight job market.  Candidates are becoming more selective and at times are less likely to post their resumes for confidential issues. They would prefer to have someone represent them on a personal level now that highly qualified candidates are in demand. They can use a multi-focal approach. They can go through their network as well but many companies today are tending toward dealing with an experienced recruiting company where they have a well-established relationship and who understand their business. Today many of the job boards are driven by technology with little interpersonal involvement. I give advice many times to people who are looking for work. In the event that we cannot place them, we advise them to go through their network to see if they can determine someone who is at that company that might get them an introduction. Try to make inroads on a personal basis at the company directly even after applying on line. We also always recommend if someone is not working and has time, they should volunteer, get involved with non-profit organizations. Most organizations have business people that are involved and it is a great way to increase one’s network. It is my firm belief in always developing your network whether you are working or not. One always wants to have a wide database and be aware of your marketability.



Ms. Romanos: From the client side, CAREERXCHANGE goes in and does thorough needs analysis with each company we are working with. We get to know their business and we firmly believe that “we cannot help you unless we understand your business”. This is the only way we can become an effective business partner with our clients. In today’s business environment, we believe that we must understand the needs of our clients and assist them in creating value and helping them to achieve their goals and objectives. Once it is established that we are the right fit for them, we work closely with them in developing the right solution to suit their needs - whether it is developing good job descriptions and finding the right person for them or initiating and implementing a workforce solution. Our competitive advantage is clearly evident in the proprietary solutions that our clients value.


From the candidate side, we work with each candidate individually to help themselves be the best they can be. This includes helping with their resume and assisting in their career development. If we do not have a job for them, we will try to help them in any way we can. This is one of the reasons that we earn so many referrals.  Since the inception of our business, we are now placing three generations. The majority of the people that we place come from referrals. Referrals only come when people feel that you have handled them well and that you have done right by them.


CEOCFO: Final thoughts?

Ms. Romanos: At CAREERECHANGE®, we have an average tenure of our internal employees of over (10) ten years, which is practically unheard of in this industry. This industry typically has a turnover rate of over 100% a year. As a result, we are known to provide quality service to our clients and candidates.  Our clients applaud us as they are always dealing with the same individual so they do not have to retrain a recruiter day in and day out. We understand our client’s businesses and our Talent Acquisition Managers get to know exactly what their culture is like and who will be the right fit. We have a number of our Talent Acquisition Managers who are certified by the National Association of Personnel Services and the American Staffing Association, which translates into superior knowledge, expertise and service.



“My professional experience in working with CAREERXCHANGE® must be shared with others.  Although I’d really like to keep this golden secret to myself, I cannot be greedy.  My success story by working with CAREERXCHANGE® must be communicated so others may also benefit from their service offerings.  CAREERXCHANGE® is much more than a staffing firm, but rather, they are a true partner in helping organizations find the right talent and identify personnel solutions that help meet individual business needs.  Their staff is bar-none the best to work with.  They are friendly, professional, and results-oriented.  You will always talk to a person and receive consistent quality of service in their customer service delivery.  A couple of years ago, I had a business need to establish a “Managed Services” solution and CAREERXCHANGE® was able to successfully help us drive and implement this new initiative.  They helped facilitate the entire transition in a smooth, fast and effective manner and we were able to increase workforce satisfaction and engagement as a result.  A win-win for all.  I’ve continued to work with CAREERXCHANGE® over the years and all I can say is that it only gets better!!!”

M. Santana, MS
Sr. Human Resources Director

Global Sales and Performance Outsource Organization in the Retail space






Sue Romanos

305 595-3800

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