Although Emily Giltner, Staffmark Group’s Senior Vice President of Enterprise Operations, did not pursue an education in STEM, seeing how technology could improve processes in the staffing industry caught her attention – and the rest is history.
Especially within her industry, Emily recognizes that many people fear losing their jobs to technology such as AI. However, she doesn’t believe that’s true. “The technology can handle many of the routine administrative functions, allowing the recruiters to focus on more value-added activities like interacting with qualified candidates and dialoging with clients,” she says.
Emily has been at Staffmark Group, a leader in the staffing industry, for 31 years. In her current role, she works on the company’s technology, processes and procedures. “We’ve developed a company-specific talent app that allows current and potential candidates to search jobs across our entire company, apply, accept positions and onboard all within the app,” says Emily. Her team is also working on leveraging AI to maintain consistent communication with their talent, as well as deploying AI internally as a communication tool. Eventually, they intend on integrating AI into their Learning Management System.
“Overall, our goal is to take advantage of any automation to improve the overall candidate experience while streamlining the efficiency and effectiveness for our recruiters,” Emily explains.
Beyond the AI projects currently in progress at her company, Emily says AI can also be used “to improve support functionality, effectiveness and accuracy” in back-office functions for staffing companies. For example, AI can be used to help prepare invoices, improve time tracking preparedness and more.
Emily enjoys working with technology because she sees the impact it has on improving both the day-to-day processes and the “overall financial performance and effectiveness of the entire organization.” She is also captivated by the fast-paced nature of the field, and the speed at which new technical products are developed.
When she explains her work to her non-tech friends and family, Emily begins by explaining the problem, and then describes the solution they are designing to solve that problem. “I think I have [explaining] this easier because I did not come from a formal IT background either,” says Emily.
Mike Whitmer, Global CIO of Staffmark Group’s parent company, RGF Staffing, has been Emily’s mentor for several years. “While he was Staffmark Group’s CIO, Mike took the time to explain some technical things to me and never got impatient with me on any question I asked about the technical process,” explains Emily. The people in the IT group that Emily works with every day also share their knowledge and teach her about specific functions and projects.
For example, Emily felt as though she was living in the future when she was looking at an AI solution that had a brain, which then streamlined a client’s business process: “No longer did you have to tell the solution what key dates were, it knew. There are so many situations where this would be helpful.”
Looking ahead, Emily thinks the applications of AI will continue to push boundaries. “With the Gen Z generation being the first generation that grew up in the technical world, there will be AI used for things we could not even imagine today,” she says.
In order to encourage more women and girls to pursue careers in STEM, Emily says we need to educate women about all potential opportunities, beyond just the mainstream positions. “We also have to give girls an opportunity to explore and try things that they have not tried previously,” Emily says. She calls on organizations, both large and small, to support this initiative.
Emily advises women who are pursuing careers in STEM to find a role that truly satisfies their interests and talents, and “stick with it.” She encourages women to always ask questions of other subject matter experts, never let others tell them they can’t learn and pursue something they like.
Finally, she says, “have fun. There are so many ways to impact the world today, and really, it is such a small universe.”