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Insights Matching the right person with the right job

As part of our #PeopleDriveResults campaign, this week we have caught up with Zareen Agha, a recruiter based in Mississauga, Canada.

this is a image of Zareen smiling

Tell us a little bit about your professional background?

You can call me Talent Enthusiast. I have over two decades of proven experience in talent acquisition at the strategic and operational level and thoroughly enjoy working collaboratively within AtkinsRéalis to address complex talent requirements. I translate business needs and priorities into strategic recruiting plans using a variety of traditional and non-traditional sourcing techniques. I have built, led and trained successful teams, and helped them to enhance their productivity and drive business effectiveness. 

What inspired you to become a recruiter?

 have a master’s degree in Human Resources and am a certified HR leader. I was a career coach at a university in the beginning of my career and eventually finding and assessing talent became my passion. Recruiters make a difference in people’s lives and that’s what inspired me to continue my career in talent acquisition. 

What do you prefer in your recruiter role? / What is the best thing about your job?

Overall, being a strategic partner to my client groups and bridging the gap between their needs and talent gives me utter satisfaction. I love talking to a variety of candidates, learning about their career, motivation, skills and helping them out in their next career journey. 

What’s the moment you prefer in a job interview?

Discussing their long-term career goal and how it will affect our organizational strategy and making sure it’s aligned with the candidate’s lasting career goal. It must be a win-win situation for both parties since recruitment and retention go hand in hand.  

What challenges do you face in your role?

Since the nuclear sector is a niche industry, we have a very limited pool of qualified candidates who are either working with our joint venture partners or clients. Thus, we had to be creative and change our strategy to be aligned with the market. Establishing relations with senior leaders and selling the idea of bringing young talent to the company and train them has become our new direction and we are on the right path and have a plan in place for our future years. 

What qualities are necessary to be a recruiter?

Relationship building, authenticity, transparency and a passion to tap into the market of passive candidates makes any recruiter an exemplary one. People say I’m approachable, as I don’t miss a single opportunity to connect with the talent out there, whether I have a current suitable role for them or not. I have found and placed individuals after one to two years of keeping in touch and I am proud of my networking capabilities. 

What does diversity mean to you?

Being an advocate of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and finding diverse candidates is an area where I have excelled. Accepting others as they are is my life moto; it is part of my upbringing and it has helped me a lot in shaping my ED&I goals. As an active member of our ED&I regional committee, recently I volunteered for a video project for International Day for People with Disabilities. It was a thought-provoking project and we worked together tirelessly to make it happen. And I love our company’s phrase “Different makes a Difference.” 

Why is AtkinsRéalis a great place to be?

AtkinsRéalis has a lot of career opportunities. I love the fact that we promote within and give first preference to our internal talent. All decisions are based on results and there is no bias which is a value I carry within myself. 

What is the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?

“Be humble in your life. When you go to your rich friend’s house, you should know how to have a formal dinner at a fancy dining table. But when you visit someone from a underprivileged background, you should be able to sit with them on the floor and eat together. Never judge them or show-off your background.” This advice was from my father given to me when I was 9-years-old and I still remember his exact words. Unfortunately, he left us when I was in my teens, but this has resonated with me all my life. I believe it’s the attitude that makes you or breaks you.