My Internship Experience at Riviera Advisors 2018-2019

Javvi at SHRM TalentOut of forty candidates, I was lucky to be selected to be the Riviera Advisors Talent Acquisition Analyst Intern for 2018-2019. Additionally, this internship went hand in hand with the current information I was learning in my university classes. Even as an intern, I contributed towards huge client projects. I was responsible for conducting and analyzing client data to help their organization improve and optimize the way their company recruited talent. Moreover, I managed all Riviera Advisors’ social media accounts and I researched articles on Talent Acquisition and HR to post to our thousands of HR followers, I gained more insights on all aspects of human resource including diversity, inclusion, compensating, building a talent pipeline, candidate experience, artificial intelligence, and more from experienced human resource professionals daily.

As a Talent Acquisition Analyst Intern, my brain is a sponge wanting to absorb all the information needed in order to fulfill my aspirations in becoming a human resource professional after graduation. With that being said, I had the awesome opportunity to be invited to travel to Nashville, Tennessee for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Talent Conference with the rest of the Riviera Advisors team. Coming from California, the weather in Tennessee was gloomy and rainy. But going through the doors of the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center revealed some sunshine. The atmosphere was enlightened with the attendees networking with individuals from all over the country. I had the pleasure connecting with human resource professionals that provided insight and advice to lead me in the right path for success after graduation!

The next day was the outstanding “Welcome Session” for all the registrants. We were greeted with a welcome speech from the host & assistant to the SHRM CEO, Christopher Lopez. Former VP President of Culture and Communications at Southwest Airlines, Ginger Hardage gave an outstanding speech on the impact of Human Resource in her former organization. She expressed the importance of establishing a culture that will benefit employee retention and consumers’ perception of the company. With a positive reputation and a “giving back” culture, consumers are most likely to fly with Southwest Airlines for the employees’ act of kindness.

Later, speaker Jon Player went over the keys to getting to the core of interviewing candidates. Player went over the difficulties of filling your talent pipeline with credible candidates. With an impactful interview, it will help the candidate to be more likely to select your organization after receiving a job offer. He created a visual that went over the surface levels with candidates. Beyond a candidate’s resume and interview, it is important to dive deeper with their experiences and skills to make sure it aligns with your company’s mission and needs.

The second day we were welcomed with an inspiring author and keynote speaker, Dan Heath. His speech went over the power of moments. The moments that leave a lasting impression and that consumers remember the most. As an HR professional, leaving a lasting impression is crucial for potential candidates. At a very low percentage for unemployment, searching for exceptional talent is difficult. Leaving lasting impressions and creating memorable, engaging interviews will put an organization at the top of a candidate’s list for employment. Selected employees can also leave a lasting impression on an organization.

Our own, Managing Principal of Riviera Advisors, Jeremy Eskenazi went over building a high-performance talent advantage by improving consultative and partnering skills. In order to establish the high-performance talent advantage, an individual has to walk the line between being of service and customer service. Recruiters should also be a consultant in order to understand what a hiring manager wants for their organization. In addition, it is important to set and manage expectations in order to create an effective recruiting sourcing strategy.

Our very own, John Carrozza, Principal Consultant at Riviera Advisors, had an outstanding attendance during his Smart Stage session on five quick wins with difficult hiring managers. Based on the turnout, it is easy to see that this a reoccurring issue with recruiters. There is a fine line between fulfilling all of your hiring managers needs and knowing what talent your organization needs! Communicating effectively and understanding your hiring manager and your organization’s needs will greatly benefit the rest of your team when finding the next top talent.

Our team had a booth to inform the attendees that we are Talent Acquisition management consultants and aid in organizations internal recruiting functions. Attendees had many questions on the services we provided, and I was very glad to answer their questions and provide them with additional information. It amazed me to have the capacity and knowledge to engage in conversations while networking with these individuals; this internship well prepared me for effectively communication with human resource professionals.

In addition to networking, we invited multiple companies’ human resource professionals to attend a networking dinner. It was fantastic to hear about the different perspectives and experiences these individuals have gone through in their career. Many of these individuals were from different states and countries and it made me realize that finding talent is needed everywhere and finding talent is not the easiest task. It was great to have met the people that attended our dinner and to gained more insights on a human resource career path.

The final day, our welcome session was led by the inspiring Elatia Abate. As a former vice president of human resources, she understands the rise of the “fourth industrial revolution”. In order for a company to thrive and keep up with the consistent technologies and new jobs, it is significant to pay attention to relevant information that will enhance an organization’s recruiting functions.

Principal of Riviera Advisors, John Carrozza went over the correlation between skills and hiring for success. Recruiters should focus on specific areas such as employment experience and accomplishments as opposed to focusing on their education background. Taking a deeper dive in a candidate’s resume will make more of an impact for your organization if you can find the candidate’s true skills and how well they performed in their previous employment. In addition to finding the best talent for your organization, it is also crucial to understand what your organization needs.

My experience at the SHRM Talent Conference was outstanding! As an intern, it is a good feeling to have the opportunity to learn what the other human resource professionals are learning. Recruiting is very important for every organization. Using technology can aid in finding top talent, but it is key to know how to use it and implement it with face to face relationships. It was an honor to connect and network with professionals that have been in human resource for many years. This conference emphasized the need for a continuing education in this field. As technology changes, recruiters need to consistently improve their recruiting functions to find the next best candidate.

ERE Conference 2019

After attending the SHRM Talent Conference in Nashville, Tennessee and attending multiple sessions it was surprising to know that there was still more information to be covered regarding internal recruiting functions, human resource technology, sourcing, and more! I was excited to be invited to attend this conference with the rest of the Riviera Advisors team again! Since, this conference was smaller, there were more options to collaborate and participate in relevant discussions. With that being said, I had the opportunity facilitate Riviera Advisor’s managing principal, Jeremy Eskenazi session and engage in round table discussions with many human resource professionals.

The round table discussions were the most face to face engagement I received with the other attendees. The table discussion I joined was for recruiters looking for human resource professionals that would potentially mentor them. We learned that there weren’t any mentors sitting at the table, we were all seekers for a mentor. After introducing ourselves to each other, we redirected the conversation to strategies on finding the best mentor that aligns with what we wanted in a mentorship. I explained the importance in writing a list of “wants” when finding a good mentor. A successful human resource professional may have the career path you’d want to take but isn’t necessarily the best mentor. Finding a good mentor will agree on setting time for a mentee in hopes to guide them on the career path they would like to take. It was eye-opening to see that these newer recruiters were so insightful and were eager to get the best tips for human resource field.

The next round table discussion I participated in was the implementation on technology and how it aided in functions of the human resource department. It was interesting to see that regardless of the different industries, many of these individuals use the same applicant tracking systems. I explained that even using Microsoft Excel was a simple, yet impactful tool in creating a visual representation of the candidate pipeline. By using this simple software, it was easy to point out common issues in the human resource department, seeing where the greatest number of hires came from, keeping track of employee performance, and more. The discussion concluded that human resource technology is a useful tool towards your organization, only if you know how to use and implement it.

Javvi facilitating the workshop at EREThe session I facilitated was for recruitment leadership. Our own, Riviera Advisors’ Managing Principal, Jeremy Eskenazi did an exceptional job leading this workshop! The attendees were willing to participate with their table group and had many questions on how to apply the content with their organizations back home. An attendee even attended this session for the second time and explained that this session made an impact in her department. The session started off with making sure the attendees understood aligning the business needs with their candidate search. Next, Jeremy informed the attendees on creating a consultative culture for the organization’s human resource department. The consultant is a person who wants to get the hiring managers great talent and what the hiring manager needs by providing a “menu of choices of solutions to a problem” as opposed to the regular recruiter believing that they can’t say “no” to a hiring manager when their wants aren’t the best for the organization.

The ERE conference provided a networking opportunity to connect with all of the conference’s speakers. It was amazing to see some of the authors of the articles I posted on Riviera Advisors’ social media accounts. It was also great to have experienced human resource stand-up comedy from Sarah Cooper. The comedy was hilarious because it was relatable for every person that attended the conference and really set the tone for the welcoming day!

It was an amazing opportunity to be a part of such an engaging conference. This internship has well prepared me to communicate with other human resource professionals. Interacting with these professionals led me to more perspectives on different aspects of human resource. I will be sure to implement the valuable knowledge gained from attending this conference into my next endeavor after graduation.

Click here to watch Javvi’s internship video.