gr-anniversary

Grand Rapids celebrates first anniversary!

I’m very happy to announce the one year anniversary of our Grand Rapids office. We opened up on April 11th of 2016 to better support a large client in the area. Over the past 12 months we’ve had the pleasure of developing so many new relationships with clients, talent and various organizations. Hannah Staal, who is also celebrating her first anniversary with smartdept. inc., has done a tremendous job building our talent pool at the local level and building our brand in the Grand Rapids community. We are very proud to be the only niche creative, interactive and marketing staffing company in Grand Rapids and look forward to continued growth and success in the years ahead. If you work for a company that hires talent in Michigan or are seeking new opportunities, then please don’t hesitate to reach out! 

From the desk of Matt Crook, smartdept. inc. President

15th-anniversary

Happy Anniversary to…Us!

 

This month, smartdept. inc. is celebrating our 15th anniversary! It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since we began our lives as smarties back in Seattle, with just me and Michelle. Boy, have we have come a long way! We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, and in between we’ve managed to accomplish a number of positive things that relate to staffing – like matching more than 3000 creative professionals with more than 500 of our clients! And, while not quite related to staffing, we witnessed the Cubs win a World Series.

We would not be here today (still going) without YOU, our amazing clients and creatives. You are (all) the reason we keep those creative wheels turning. So, as I wipe a tear from my eye, thank you for the past 15 years and cheers to 15 more! High fives all around (or a fist bump if you prefer)!

For fun, we decided to look back and pick our top 15 highlights from the past 15 years. And yes, there will absolutely be a Cubs World Series win in there! Enjoy!

15th-anniversary

 

 

from the desk of Eric Pairitz, smartdept. inc. Principal

 

 

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smartdept. Chicago and smartdept. Grand Rapids Team Up for a Volunteer Opportunity

Back in September, Leah Bye, a Chicago smartie, and Hannah Morgan, a Grand Rapids smartie, teamed up and utilized their talents to help out the Grand Rapids community during Weekend Blitz.

Weekend Blitz, an event that unites local professionals and organizations with big hearts and a fierce need to collaborate for the good of the GR community! This is a weekend long design challenge, conceived and coordinated by AIGA and Design for Good Western Michigan*. Teams of 8-10 professionals volunteer from a wide variety of industries (design, tech, marketing, etc) are paired with ten local organizations in need of their skills and talents. A team lead works with a mentor to define the organization’s greatest need and then strategically assigns tasks to teammates. From there, the teams closely collaborate with each other and a representative from their organization throughout the weekend. Weekend Blitz reimagines the essence of design and playful thinking through the lens of an accelerated timeframe.

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* “Design for Good is a platform to build and sustain the implementation of design thinking for social change. This platform creates opportunities for designers to build their practice, their network, and their visibility. Design for Good recognizes the wide range of designers’ work and leadership in social change which benefits the world, our country and our communities.” Learn more >

 

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Grand Rapids – On the Road to Success

Opening an office in a new market has been adventure. Now five months into the process with a few freelance roles under my belt and a couple direct hires – I would love to share the methods I have been utilizing to become a successful recruiter, and grow our brand in this new market!

1. Networking – it is all about networking, people! Grand Rapids is very unique in the way that it is all about “who you know”, well I want to know EVERYONE!

  • Meet EVERYONE – It is crucial to build relationships and truly put yourself out there. Networking has been a huge chunk of how I have met clients and candidates alike. There are tons of different ways to network – virtually on social media, monthly or weekly meet-up groups, formal and more casual happy-hour events, alumni events, and events created specifically for creatives. I have attended them all – even a web development group where I felt completely foreign when they were talking “shop”, but found some awesome talent that has spread the word about us!

2. Utilize ALL relationships for growth – it doesn’t matter if I knew this person five years ago from college or met them six weeks ago in the coffee shop, I have noticed that it is an absolute must to connect with everyone I can (and I’m not shy about it either)! This community is so eager to help others. They love spreading the word about openings to their friends, colleagues, and students! I have had a blast meeting new people and appreciate all their support as we continue to grow.

3. Consistent Customer Service

  • Quick response time – One of the most successful practices I utilize is quick and consistent response times to both clients and candidates. The appreciative feedback I receive from them reminds me how important it is each time. Even if I respond letting them know I will reply later, they feel much more comfortable.
  • Willingness to go above and beyond – With the partnerships I have made so far – no questions asked, I go above and beyond to make any connection, answer any question, and support them through the interview or hiring process. With the candidates, I do my best to support them by assisting with resume edits or supplying them with ways they could build upon a certain skillset. I also invite my candidates to attend networking events with me, and they love it!
  • Strong and friendly communication – Communication is key in this market! Our clients like to move at their own pace; some really fast and others like turtles. I connect with the candidates often to keep them engaged and their spirits up reassuring them that the position is still moving forward or has taken a pause. Throughout the process, I found that most of my candidates are AWESOME! So, I prefer to check in with them to see how they are doing, or if they have done anything exciting lately, too! Consistent client check-ins have proven to be successful as I have snagged a few recent freelance roles from simply saying ‘hi there! Hope you’re doing well…’.  KEEP EVERYONE ON THE SAME PAGE.

4. Source, Interview, Source, Source, Interview! This day to day here for a consultant may look a bit different because I spend A LOT of time sourcing, and A LOT of time interviewing.

  • My goal has been to interview 10 or more candidates a week. I enjoy meeting the candidates in person because they are able to put a face to a name, feel us out, and I instantly have an idea of where I could see them being placed in the future.
  • I really enjoy sourcing, and playing with the multiple ways you can find talent! Of course LinkedIn Recruiter is my best friend, but I find a lot of great talent through my networking group websites! Grand Rapids can feel quite small at times, and it can be a challenge to find multiple candidates for a specific niche, so I pull from other markets like Kalamazoo or Detroit. Adding those areas into my search and sourcing process actually landed me an amazing candidate that made the physical move for a full-time position in Grand Rapids!!

Overall, these past five months have been fantastic! Things are really starting to get moving on the client front with the help of our new business development consultant, Colin. If we continue to provide top of the line customer service and present top talent, we will definitely reach our goals, and perhaps surpass them!

– from the desk of smartdept. inc. Creative Consultant, Hannah Morgan

 

 

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Hannah Morgan – Getting around in Grand Rapids

from the desk of smartdept. inc. Principal, Eric Pairitz

Hannah Morgan, our newest creative consultant in our Grand Rapids office, is a Grand Rapids, MI native and a proud Grand Valley State alumna. She is excited to be connecting her creative community with top clients in the area. 

Hannah familiarized herself with AMA (American Marketing Association of West Michigan) through one of her creative candidates. Most recently, she was given the opportunity to create the AMA blog post highlighting  the last meeting of the year. The topic covered this time around was “How the Digital Age has Changed the Marketing and PR Game”.

We are thrilled to share this with creatives alike! 

How the Digital Age has Changed the HR Marketing & PR Game

holiday2015

Happy Holidays, It’s Nice to Meet You (and Other Fun Traditions)!

From the desk of smartdept. inc. Principal: Eric Pairitz

The holidays have returned once again. And, just as in years past, I made the most of my opportunity to fill our environment with holiday cheer. The tree is back, the lights are up and the stockings are once again hung by the front door with care. But this year’s celebration had a new twist. For one thing, we doubled up on the parties! “Wow, party animals,” you’re saying to yourself. Well, maybe. But actually, smartdept. Vice President Matt Crook (sdVP for short) and I made a visit with a purpose — to Tulio’s restaurant in downtown Seattle to celebrate the season with our wayward team.

As some of you are finding out, the Seattle smarties have two new teammates. Yira Martinez and Hannah Schwartz (or Yannah, if you want to go the celebrity couples route) joined our team just after Thanksgiving. These ladies are professional, passionate about creative, and eager to find new opportunities for people in the Pacific Northwest. We’re very excited to have them aboard.

Exactly one week later, we enjoyed Christmas party #2. This time, it was Penrose Brewing Company in Geneva, Illinois. The fine folks at Penrose opened their doors to our Chicago team and treated us to a brewery tour and access to a private room, which was lined (wall to wall) with barrels of beer. Yeah, it was pretty cool.

Once more, I’ll take “Getting to know you” for $1000, Alex! The new additions in Chicago in 2015 include our HR Generalist, Angi Budnick, and Jaime Sklar and Nina Strolia, who joined our recruiting team. In addition, we extended an invitation to our trusted in-house creative catch-all, Jamie Brizzolara. Even though we were familiar (by now) with their work, it was great to get to know them (and a couple of their spouses) in such a quaint and laid back setting.

Finally, we added another first to the holiday docket this year. At the request of Chicago’s own Jaime Sklar, we held a gingerbread house building competition. I’m calling it, “The smartdept. inc. First Annual Gingerbread House Building Competition.” Yep, came up with that one on my own. Who won? Maybe you should decide.

Happy Holidays!

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Cupcakes Change Lives

From the desk of Seattle recruiter, Beth Miller

I’ve always been a firm believer that cupcakes change lives. This sentiment became a reality as smartdept. inc. partnered with Food Lifeline for Food Frenzy, Food Lifeline’s summer fundraiser.

Last year for the fundraiser, our Seattle office hosted an open house and the raffle prize was a fabulous painting by our very talented principal, Michelle Pairitz. This year, we decided to take a different route, and host a bake sale. We invited our neighboring offices in our building, our clients, candidates, friends and families to drop by for a treat.

Over the course of our two-day sale, we had a few “repeat customers” coming back for another slice of Meghann’s pistachio cake. Overall, we raised $1,062.00! Every dollar we raised equals five meals for Food Lifeline’s programs – that’s 5,310 meals for hungry kids!

For the second year in a row, smartdept. inc. secured first place in the “Per Capita – Kitchen Sink Category” (Professional Services, Technology, Marketing). Overall, Food Frenzy raised $620,000 this year, and it continues to be an honor to be a part of something that’s making a tangible difference in our community.

Thanks to everyone who donated via our Crowdrise page and stopped by our office to visit and pick up some treats during our bake sale!

 

Welcome to the 5-Year Club, Meghann

From the desk of smartdept. inc. Principal: Eric Pairitz

meghann_five year club

“Meghann Francis Kern” is what we affectionately call her (to her face). But you might know her as the Branch Manager of the smartdept. inc. Seattle office!

Now, we can include “5-Year Jersey Club member” in the list of ways you can search for her on LinkedIn. On June 22, 2015, Meghann Francis became the second smarty in two months to garner the coveted 5-year jersey. Although it doesn’t come with a jelly-of-the-month club membership, it’s still something to be proud of.

I knew almost immediately, during our very first conversation, that Meghann would be a great fit for our environment. She was hired without staffing experience to be the Creative Consultant for our Seattle office. Meghann is a fast learner, and a short time later was promoted to a senior position. Over the years, Meghann has continued to display not only good business sense, but also outstanding leadership ability. These qualities earned her the opportunity to manage the Seattle branch — and her willingness to take on new challenges opened up the opportunity to change her focus from recruiting to business development, where I’m certain she’ll once again succeed with great enthusiasm.

Meghann, congratulations on this great accomplishment, and thank you for everything you do for us here at smartdept. inc.!

 

Smarties participate in Food Frenzy and look at one of the Food Lifeline programs it helps support

Our ongoing partnership with Food Lifeline has been very rewarding to our team. We continue to be inspired by the staff and volunteers at Food Lifeline that work day in and out to find new ways to feed hungry families. And this year, thanks to the wonderful staff at Food Lifeline, we got a look into the newly expanded Kid’s Café Program. This summer program brings meals to children who normally rely on the free or reduced lunch programs in Western Washington schools. With the help of many volunteers and staff, along with and fundraising efforts like Food Frenzy, kids from 1 to 18 are able to fuel their summer fun at 18 sites across Western Washington! The growth of the program is allowing more and more children to be served healthy meals every day. This June, the program served 12,298 meals and snacks over the first two weeks of operation. That is almost as many meals in two weeks as they served all of last summer – nearly 1,230 meals every single day! That’s exciting stuff, folks!

“Last week I went out to a Kids Cafe site. It was a Friday and after the kids were done eating and getting ready to go home, Sarah the site supervisor put out all of the fresh fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste over the weekend and let the children know that they could take as much home as they wanted to eat over the weekend. I watched as almost a dozen children ranging from 5 to 13 years old ran to the fresh produce and began to fill the plastic shopping bags with food. One little boy came up to me and very excitedly told me how much he loves apples. It’s been a very rewarding experience to see first-hand how our Kids Cafe program is benefiting children throughout Western Washington.”

– Stephanie, Food Lifeline Kids Cafe Coordinator

If you want to learn more about the Kid’s Café program, here’s a wonderful cartoon that illustrates how the program works.

Meantime, you can help out this great program! This year, as part of the Food Frenzy fundraising competition, our Seattle smarties decided to mix things up (quite literally) and have a bake sale (July 13 and 14) as part of the fundraiser. If you happen to be in the Seattle area, specifically Pioneer Square, you can stop by, say hello and get a sweet treat courtesy of our in-house bakers and The Seattle Cookie Lady. And, if you’re not in Seattle, you can still support Food Lifeline. Check out our crowdrise page to donate for a virtual treat.

 

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Getting Ready for Our July Fundraiser to Support Food Lifeline

From the desk of Seattle recruiter: Chessjuan Monk

1,290 lbs has little meaning when placed all on its own, but when talked about in regards to keeping children from being hungry after school, and its correlation to providing 1,075 meals for the hungry in Western Washington, it really does bring a heavier significance than just weight. Last Wednesday, June 24, I had the pleasure of volunteering with my new Seattle team at Food LifeLine’s food distribution warehouse in Shoreline. Being able to be part of an amazing organization that is providing such a great service to the community was priceless, and I’m looking forward to helping fundraise for this awesome group July 10-24.

If you’re in the Seattle Pioneer Square area, remember to stop by July 13 and 14 for our smartdept.inc. Seattle bake sale!

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chicago-smarties_blackhawks-2015

Chicago smarties Celebrate the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup Win with 2 Million of Our Closest Friends

From the desk of the Chicago recruiter: Leah Bye

Last Thursday, the Chicago smarties invited our families to stop by the office in prep to hit the street and celebrate the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup win. Back in 2013 and 2010, we were able to watch from our office windows – as many of you know we’re located on Washington St. – but this time we gathered in the office before heading over to Monroe.

We were hard pressed to find anyone downtown that wasn’t celebrating, and it was thrilling to be in the heart of it all. Even if you aren’t a hockey fan, it would’ve been pretty difficult not to hop on the bandwagon. Chicago is a city full of dedicated and determined people that also know how to enjoy themselves, and we feel lucky to be here, working with – and for – such passionate and interesting individuals.

It’s times like this that we remember toughing out the arctic blasts of the winter are for a reason, because Chicago is such a spectacular city to call home. Congrats Blackhawks, on your huge successes in the past several years, and thank you for sharing your excitement with Chicagoans all around!

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The 5 Year Club has a new member!

From the desk of smartdept. inc. Principal: Eric Pairitz

The “5 Year Jersey” (Club) started with smartdept. Vice President Matt Crook. Many of our longtime friends and associates will remember a picture of Matt sitting proudly at his desk sporting his custom-made smartdept baseball jersey. This finely crafted cover-up was highlighted by an orange 5 year patch, stitched tightly into the left sleeve and driven home with his name and number 1 gloriously displayed on the back! The jersey was made and presented to Matt in celebration of five years with smartdept. inc. And, since that cold January day in 2012, I’ve been waiting patiently to distribute yet another.

Enter Leah Burkhardt, from the great state of Oklahoma (where the winds come sweepin’ down the plain). We met Leah in mid-April 2010 and were immediately impressed by her contagious brand of enthusiasm and her willingness to try her hand at something new. I recall being impressed that she had a mix of professional attributes we’d recognized in other successful smarties. So we went for it – and offered her the job of Junior Creative Consultant.

Fast-forward five years. Leah’s star still shines brightly, but now as a Managing Creative Consultant. Leah has blossomed into a leader, not only to her Chicago teammates, but to her coworkers clear across the country. Our entire organization is proud to call Leah a colleague and a friend and we congratulate her for accomplishing so much in the five years she’s represented smartdept. inc.

In ceremonies held earlier, Leah was presented with her very own smartdept. 5 Year Jersey. Finally, Matt has someone to share the honors with!

– Eric

 

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Life at smartdept. inc. Through One Recruiter’s Eyes

From the desk of Chicago recruiter: Leah Bye

Lately we’ve been discussing in our Chicago and Seattle offices the way the workforce is changing, both for employers and employees/job seekers (case in point, Beth’s last blog post).  While the job seekers are looking for extra perks in the workplace to engage them, employers also are looking at what job seekers are bringing to the table in addition to their career experience.  Look on any career information site, and you’ll see article after article about employers needing to be capable of motivating their employees to keep them engaged and happy. On the flip side, you’ll also see discussions that encourage hiring managers to bring on individuals that have inspirational attitudes, are a cultural fit, and can contribute something extra to the team. Obviously, experience is also part of the hiring process, and position details and potential to grow are players in the searching process (but let’s not worry about the minor details).

So, with that being said, I thought I’d share a bit about our workplace, how we keep engaged and how I, personally, have wedged my way in so my coworkers will suffer from sugar withdrawals if they decide they don’t need me in the office.

Here’s a little insight into what it’s like at smartdept. inc.:
As you may know, we have “boutique” spaces, both in Chicago, and Seattle. So, making sure that our teams work and interact together well is extremely important. On the work/motivational side, we keep each other in check, we encourage each other to push boundaries when applicable, and we always keep it constructive. On the interaction/frivolities side, you’ll occasionally see us at Cubs’ or Mariners’ games, or the Thai place around the corner. You may even see one of us walking around in our new “Winner’s” belt (see Eric’s last blog post). Our office competitions might sound silly, but the winner is always rewarded with something special, like pork rinds, which in turn creates a lot of running office jokes.

What I contribute outside of my job description:
Because I’m a narcissist, so why not talk about myself? I’ve positioned myself as the resident baker (in Chicago, sorry Seattle) – mostly birthdays, occasionally just because, always because I want to make something and can’t be trusted to keep it in my apartment. My contribution outside of what I actually do as a recruiter here at smartdept, inc. is that I make treats, hopefully well, and will even put together your own personal stash to take home if it’s your special day.  There have definitely been a few guinea pig moments. I’m thankful to have such an accepting crowd (especially Eric, don’t tell Michelle).

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I’m not saying your workplace has to be your everything, but, you do spend an awful lot of time there. So why not be somewhere that keeps you at your best, better than the rest?

– Leah Bye

 

Amy champion

A Little Friendly Inter-office Competition

From the desk of smartdept. inc. Principal: Eric Pairitz

We have greatness among us. Our very own Amy Amato has now scored inter-office victories in 2 straight Oscar pools, our SD Fantasy Football league and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. That’s right, she had the Badgers (not Kentucky) in the final! Obviously these are strange occurrences, so I immediately sent her file to the White House where I’m certain they will be involved in the future monitoring of the situation.

In the meantime, I’ve been inspired by Amy’s ability to win literally any inter office competition she has been involved in. So, in the spirit of great sports promoters like Don King and Vince McMahon (two people who may also have their files being looked at by the White House), I would like to introduce the Wild and Wacky Exhibitions (WWE) Championship Series. 

You got it, buddy! Each week our Chicago, Seattle, and National offices will come together to compete against each other in a wild and wacky challenge. The winner of each challenge will receive the honor of sporting the WWE Intercontinental Championship belt. The winner of the current challenge will remain in possession of the belt until the next challenge is completed and a new champion is determined.

Oh, by the way, in honor of Amy and her ridiculous ability to win the past challenges, I am officially naming the belt after her. You read me right, from this day forth the belt will be referred to as the Amy Amato WWE Intercontinental Championship Belt. And, for her NCAA tourney victory Amy has earned the pleasure of being the recipient of the very first presentation of the Amy Amato Wild and Wacky Exhibitions Intercontinental Championship belt (okay, let’s just call it the AAWWEICB). 

Congratulations, Amy, on you most recent victory! 

P.S. Since this was originally written, Amy was defeated in the championship match of our rock, paper, scissors tournament by Leah Bye.

#smartdeptinspires

smartdept. inc. Chicago Kicks Off Their 2015 Volunteering with a Day at Lakeview Pantry

Inspired by the Seattle team and their involvement with Food Lifeline, one of the Chicago team’s goals for 2015 was to get more involved with the community and volunteer our time to a local charitable organization.

Last Thursday marked our first group volunteer activity of the year! We spent most of our day at the Lakeview Pantry, one of the oldest food pantries in Chicago. Their mission is to eliminate hunger and poverty in the community. They do this by providing on-site food and clothing distribution as well as offering food deliveries to homebound clients. They also have a social services program that helps clients connect with other services they need to address the causes of food insecurity.

We helped the team unload deliveries from the Greater Chicago Food Depository and other grocery stores in the area. We also restocked and repacked food, organized, cleaned and washed windows! It was nice to get out of the office and work our muscles for a good cause. I think I speak for everyone when I say that my arms are just starting to recover from all the lifting. We’ll need to get in shape for next time.

We’re looking forward to more volunteer days with Lakeview Pantry in the future!

#smartdeptinspires

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What Inspires Meghann Kern? Target Meals for Minds

Last Thursday afternoon marked our second volunteer adventure this year with Food Lifeline in Seattle. In the past we’ve worked in their warehouse repacking food for outgoing shipments, but last Thursday we had the opportunity to walk students and their families through a make-shift grocery store we helped set up at Northgate Elementary. Target Meals for Minds is a program that helps get groceries into the hands of elementary students in our surrounding schools. At our busiest we had students, anywhere from 5-10 years old, lining up with their parents, or patiently waiting by themselves, to walk through our assembly line. Some kids were in a hurry to catch their school bus so we rushed them through our line stuffing their backpacks and grocery bags with as much food as they could carry on their own. I have continued to be inspired by the staff and volunteers at Food Lifeline that work tirelessly to find creative solutions to get food into the hands of hungry families.

We were excited to have our neighbors (we share an office floor) from PlaceFull, Ben Kappler and Adam Lang, join our Food Lifeline volunteer efforts. Ben, Adam, Beth and I were on a highly trained team dubbed “the bag-ettes” – which is a really cool way to describe being on a grocery bagging team. We look forward to our next adventure with Food Lifeline!

smartdept. inc. Seattle | Food Lifeline | Target Meals for Minds

smartdept. inc. Seattle | Food Lifeline | Target Meals for Minds

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smartdept. inc. Goes National- Part Two!

Did you know that you can buy a house without ever meeting a real estate agent, mortgage broker or lawyer? Or that you don’t even have to be present at the closing? You’ll still have to do every step of the process twice, of course. With real estate, that’s par for the course. But the technology allows your agent to always find you for that last bit of information, even if it’s minutes before you close.

When it comes to recruiting creative candidates for a nationwide job search, we’re finding the same thing. Of course, our preference is to meet a candidate in person—you know, to make sure they’re up on the latest fashions, etc. But technology and the evolution of business have allowed us, when necessary, to alter our approach and still get the same positive outcome.

One thing we’re doing at smartdept. inc. to make a small world even smaller is simply communicating more often. The job market is opening up, and as a result the opportunities are coming and going quickly. Heightening the communication is not only the correct approach; it allows us to learn more about the people we represent, faster.

We also use tonal language (technical term) rather than body language to determine a person’s comfort level with a particular work-related subject. “Should I messenger over my portfolio?” you used to say. No thanks, we’ll check it out online and (like always) discuss it with you at length. It’s not a perfect science, but recruiting from a distance works at smartdept. inc. because we’re still focused on creating great relationships and moving them forward in a positive direction.

Challenges? Of course! When you don’t have an opportunity to meet face to face, you have to create additional ways to connect with a candidate. So, we make sure our new friends know about our blog, newsletter and other social media outlets. That way they can stay in the loop. Our methods are showing positive results, too! One of our wayward recruits liked the process well enough to drop in at our Chicago office while she was on vacation. Yup, she came all the way from North Carolina to visit little old us.

Says our National Creative Consultant, Leah Bye. “Recruiting from afar is becoming more accepted—and if done well, can be just as effective.” Leah has been with smartdept. inc. for a couple years now and (along with her support staff) has been working diligently on our behalf to connect those long distance dots.

NOTE: Candidates who live close by will still have to brush those teeth, make a snap decision about those parachute pants and come on in (we insist).

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smartdept. inc. Goes National!

So, how does a new company separate itself from its competition? The answer, for us, was to use out-of-the-box thinking to put ourselves in a position to finish ahead of our competition. Some ideas were simple, like contacting a client when we felt we had exhausted a search—letting them know the news, whether it was really great or not so much. Others were more involved, like offering our service 24 hours a day and seven days a week. If you needed us, we were there—answering the phone after hours (not during dinner, of course), and never leaving you to wait until morning.

Thirteen years later, we’re still asking ourselves the same questions and applying the same out-of-the-box strategy to some slightly more complex issues. One idea that has come to fruition is the addition of a dedicated staff to service clients with needs in multiple markets. We feel that boutique style service can still be a realistic expectation, even when a client’s need expands beyond its geographic comfort zone.

Using available technology to meet, get to know, and qualify talent outside our local markets, smartdept. inc. has filled jobs in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Georgia, and even California. That’s right! We can place a GD in GA, or an AD in NY, all from our comfy little chairs in IL. Meanwhile, because we’re limiting points of contact and eliminating red tape, our clients are still receiving service as if it were at a local level (because it is).

So remember, the next time you find yourself wishing those cool folks at smartdept. could fill an open position to help out a wayward coworker you’re fond of… WE CAN.

And yes, you can still call us after hours to get it started.

smartdept. inc. Fights Hunger, Wins “Rookie of the Year” Award

At smartdept. inc., one of our top priorities is finding ways to give back to the communities where we live and work. In July of this year, we hosted a fundraising event in Seattle in support of one of our favorite local charities, Food Lifeline, a group that serves a staggering 82,000 meals a day to individuals and families in need in the Western Washington area.

The results?

We raised $1,222.50 and won the much coveted Rookie of the Year award from Food Lifeline!  Although our company is smaller than others that participated in Food Lifelines Food Frenzy fundraising extravaganza, we managed to take first place per capita.  Needless to say, were ecstatic!

And its all because of you.

A heartfelt thanks to our clients, candidates, family, and friends for your generous donations to provide a necessary service in our community.  Were so grateful for your participation in our open house, and hope you walk away knowing that your contributions went towards the overall $540,000 Food Lifeline was able to raise, which in turn will provide over 2.1 million meals to people in need.

Drawing Winners Revealed

And now for a list of the lucky winners who had their tickets pulled in our drawing for an assortment of prizes:

·      Grand Prize (Michelle Pairitz original painting):  Marcie Fosse

·      Other really good prizes (signed smartdept framed posters): John Schack, schack a & d; Teresa Saia-Morell, Studio Siena and Ben Kappler, PlaceFull.

Congratulations to all our winners and thank you to everyone for making smartdept. inc. number one in this years fundraising event!

Placefull team happily accepts their smartdept. inc. poster!

PlaceFull team happily accepts their smartdept. inc. poster!

Beth Miller and John Schack from schack a+d.

smartdept. inc. Food Lifeline Fundraiser a Success!

A big thank you to all of our wonderful clients, candidates, friends and family that turned out for our Food Lifeline fundraising-open-house event last Thursday. We’ve raised over $1150 so far and have exceeded our $1000 goal!

There’s still time to donate through our Crowd Rise page and get your name entered into our drawing for a Michelle Pairitz original painting. We’ll be drawing one lucky winner this Friday, July 25.

We’d also like to congratulate John Schack from schack a+d who won a smartdept signed poster that was personally delivered to his office this morning.