Melissa Haefner, the founder of Haefner Consulting & Staffing, has created a niche for herself by scouting for hard-to-find talent. Melissa has more than two decades of hiring experience, apart from solid work ethics. She started Haefner Consulting & Staffing (HCS), a national minority and female-owned recruitment, consulting, and staffing firm, with an aim to provide holistic services to startups and businesses. Before starting her venture, Melissa worked with some of the top companies, including Zones, CDW, and Target Corporation, for over twenty years. She started Haefner Consulting and Services (HCS) in 2017 and has provided HR consulting services to some of the top companies across the country. Melissa has won various awards for her accomplishments, including Staffing Industry Analyst’s Global Power 150 in Staffing, Hyatt House’s Inspiring Innovator Award, and Voyage Chicago’s Trailblazing Women title.
Besides twenty years of recruiting experience, Melissa has a master’s degree in Training and Development from Loyola University Chicago and has taught as an adjunct professor at DePaul University.
In her last role, Melissa worked as a Vice-president of Talent Acquisition at Zones. She revealed that she always wanted to be a leader. Though she has headed different teams and partnered with various agencies during her employment with a score of industries, she was unsure when she started HCS. She even thought of returning to her old industry if it didn’t work out.
HCS in a Nutshell
With recruiting at its core, HCS caters to many major national markets from West to East Coast and specializes in staffing sales, sales leadership, sales support, pre-post sales engineers, HR, and talent acquisition. With an impressive clientele from industries like Technology, Logistics, Retail, Digital, Marketing, Media, and Mobility, HCS has been filling hard-to-staff roles and giving people their dream jobs. Though HCS is a small, albeit a growing company, the clients think of it as an extension of their company. The USP of the company is its outstanding service, quality, and a thorough understanding of the businesses that they are hiring the right people.
“The best thing in life is on the other side of fear. If you don’t try, you will never know.” ―Melissa Haefner
Helping Candidates Negotiate
Since Melissa works with different organizations simultaneously, it is quite possible that all the candidates won’t pass the screening test and may not qualify for the role. Therefore, Melissa ensures to guide the candidates even if her company is unable to help them. After checking their resume and details, she provides them with tips and even refers them to experts who can guide them in a better manner.
Melissa’s motto in life is to help people change their lives and provide them with better opportunities. She feels that a lot of organizations have good talent, but they do not promote or give a good increase, which is one of the reasons they make a switch. Therefore, organizations must use the right strategies and retain their talent.
Shattering the Glass Ceiling
A female leader, Melissa thinks the most significant barrier for women is that they don’t market themselves as much as men do, resulting in a lack of confidence during salary negotiations and one of many reasons for the pay gap.
Melissa is immensely concerned about the gender gap. She ensures that women are paid the same wage as men helping them negotiate to get the best salary for their experience and the role they hold. Melissa believes that the inner drive to keep going despite all odds and self-confidence is what women should hold on to – come what may!
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