Who A Staffing Company | http://www.whostaffing.com/ | Woodstock, Maryland

Reply All: A conversation with Gary Ditto

REPLY ALL | Gary Ditto

Founder & President, Who…A Staffing Company

Maryland Chamber of Commerce Executive Referral Group Leader

Uncommon Recruiter

Could you tell us a little bit about your background? What led you to where you are today, Founder & President of Who Staffing?

My background is a bit unique as I have basically had three distinct careers since graduating college. For the first 10 years or so, I spent the majority of my time as a fulltime musician, playing drums and writing music with a band that played up and down the East Coast. As that wound down, I began a career as a PGA golf professional, working at three of the areas private country clubs as a club pro. After 14 years in the golf business, I made my way into the recruiting space and have been in this industry since 2006.

What inspired you to create a career in staffing, were you always interested in the HR industry?

What I have learned, in retrospect when looking at my professional career, is that regardless of the industry I am in, I have always been interested in people and connecting with them in a meaningful way. Through music and golf, it was to help them enjoy their time away from the workplace, and now, through our recruiting activities, I have the opportunity to impact their day to day work lives in a positive way.

Would you be willing to speak to Maryland’s talent pool? What do you perceive as being the most exciting aspect of hiring in Maryland in our current economic climate?

The most exciting thing to me is that Maryland has developed a national reputation as an innovative, thriving technology hub.  This intersection of innovative tech companies with a growing talent pool makes Baltimore a very attractive city for companies looking to build out technical teams as well as people looking to move to the area.

What are the challenges?

The challenges now revolve mainly around identifying talent. For certain technical skills that have been recently introduced or have recently taken a foothold in the market there is a lack of a developed talent pool.  Companies need to become innovative in who and how they hire/train/develop to make sure they stay competitive.

In your experience, what industry have you found to be in high-demand?

In the information technology space, the need for software engineers, professionals that can write elegant code will always be in high demand, and as our world continues to move towards IAAS and everything is connected, the demand will only increase. The cybersecurity space is also continuing to thrive. Outside of IT, the need for highly motivated and consultative sales talent is constantly one we hear about all the time.

What advice would you give to Maryland business owners on hiring within Maryland?

One piece of advice we always stress to clients we are working with is that you need to be able to tell your company’s story to a perspective candidate. Why should they want to come work for you? What is your differentiator in the marketplace? If that isn’t compelling, you will not be able to win the war for talent.

For companies hiring for the long-term, my advice is to start to think about hiring to your culture with an understanding that many skills can be taught. What I mean by that is that if your culture is built around hiring smart, passionate engineers that are very collaborative, focus your interview process on identifying people that meet those criteria and don’t worry if they have three years of this specific skill and two years of that specific skill. Many of those things can be taught to the right person. Many companies will hire the person that checks the boxes in a job description based on years of experience in X or Y without thinking about the type of person they want and end up damaging their internal culture.

What first got you involved with the Maryland Chamber?

I first got involved with the Chamber through the Executive Referral Groups programs, which allow a small group of member representatives to meet monthly to share prospect lists and market intelligence with one another. I am now leading one of the ERG groups and have also gotten involved by serving on the Chamber’s annual Chamber Cup planning committee.

What has continued to inspire and motivate you throughout your career?

I am motivated by a desire to build a company that puts people first. I strongly believe that if we spend our time taking care of people all good things will follow.

What motivates you in your personal life?

As I get older, I find myself motivated more and more by trying to spend time and money on experiences rather than things. Health is also a major priority, as you can’t enjoy anything if you don’t have your health.


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