Kelly Van Aken, Director of Experience and Technical Solutions at Aerotek, started her career in recruitment 17 years ago after being sold on the industry at a job fair, and shortly thereafter joined Aerotek as a young recruiter. Kelly quickly realized how rewarding it is to help people find work, and she enjoyed interacting with the candidates and contractors to help them meet their goals. 17 years later, Kelly is still in contact with the very first person she ever placed! Working with other people and helping them reach their career goals is what she loves most about the staffing industry.

Kelly moved up quickly through Aerotek in recruitment, sales, and market leadership, and now Kelly wears an operations hat focused on the candidate experience. Kelly’s current role lets her truly understand contractors’ wants and needs, as well as learn new ways for Aertotek to adjust their systems and processes around those things.

The main source of Kelly’s inspiration and drive to be a leader comes from her dad. He raised Kelly and her three sisters, and she became the matriarch in the family to help support her dad as he worked to provide for the family. Her personal experiences have truly translated into her career, as she greatly enjoys supporting others and helping them become successful.

In the interview, Kelly also shares her advice for being an effective leader, tips for young recruiters who are just starting out, and what excited her most about where the recruitment industry is headed. Take a listen and pass this episode on to someone else paving their way in the industry!