arrow--downarrow--leftarrow--link-leftarrow--linkarrow--rightarrow--upcareers-swooshcaution--circlecheck--circlecheckclose--circleclose--thinclosecross--circleeye--closedeye--opensearchuploadfast-forwardmutepauseplayrewindstopvolumeminusplusenvelopefacebookglobegoogle-plusinstagramlinkedinpinteresttwittervimeoyoutubeVote-Tick

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF: A TALENT SPECIALIST

NOVEMBER 19, 2021

Get to know about opportunities at First West through the experiences of our employees! Arby Canning shares what’s regularly on her agenda.


As a Senior Talent Attraction Specialist, every day looks different. I almost always have multiple interviews and get to meet potential new employees, spend time discussing the talent needs of the business with hiring managers and my team, and I also work on projects and participate in The Poss-Ability employee network group (ENG).

Job number one of a senior recruiter is to find and connect with amazing professionals and potential First West employees that fit the needs of our hiring managers and build our employer brand by sharing First West stories. Here’s what a typical day entails:

8:00 AM With a mug of hot coffee in hand (I have two toddlers and a crazy dog, so coffee is life), I start my day by checking email to see if there are any new applicants for open roles. Once I see who has applied, I update my calendar and start prepping for a busy day of interviews.
​​9:00 AM My first interview of the day—in fact all my initial interviews with candidates now—are virtual through MS Teams video calls. I like the video meetings because it helps to establish rapport and I can get to know someone much better by seeing their mannerisms and facial expressions, and it helps applicants get to know me too. Video interviews are also how our hiring managers like to interview, so in my first call I can work out any technical kinks with applicants before having their second-level interview. Then it’s time for paperwork. After each interview I review and edit my notes, and create a summary email with the candidate’s resume and experience for the hiring manager. My feedback and recommendations help determine next steps. In Talent Attraction, we have administrative tasks to complete for every single interview (that’s thousands of people for the 400 roles we filled in 2021!). We must ensure the candidate file—including their resume and my interview notes—is entered correctly in Oracle. Throughout the day, I also monitor open requisitions in the recruitment tracker to see where submitted candidates are in the interview process. If I see that recruitment for a certain position has stalled, I figure out why and what I can do to fix it.
10:00 AM Another interview and recruitment admin is on the agenda. Right now, I recruit for all types of roles in the Envision Financial division, all roles in Wealth Management across First West and all senior-level positions in First West, including Business Banking Advisors, Commercial Banking Advisors, Assistant Branch Managers and Branch Managers.
12:00 PM I touch base with the hiring managers I’m supporting. At least once a week, I have calls to discuss the positions that need filling and the candidates who have applied and been interviewed. We share our feedback on the candidates and set a plan to either continue searching for the right person or take our current applicants to the next level.
12:30 PM Time for lunch and I’m happy for a break! I make sure to step away from my screens periodically and stretch my legs midday. If I’m working from home, I usually take my dog for a quick walk around the block after I eat. We both love the fresh air.
1:00 PM I have an hour most days for sourcing, which is crucial in my role. During this time, I stay on top of finding great candidates to have in our pipeline for current and future opportunities. Most of my headhunting is done via LinkedIn, Indeed and our own database of candidates. Sourcing must be done regularly to keep up with the incredible number of opportunities in our organization.
2:00 PM Third interview of the day. I continue the search to find people that will complement our culture. The standout candidates are great communicators with a polished and professional demeanor. We like to meet people with diverse personalities and we’re always looking to see if they’ll fit our work ethic and reflect the Big Ideals, which are so integral to our culture at First West.
3:00 PM Something that’s important to bringing talented people into First West is helping them find us and talk to us to ask questions. The whole Talent Attraction focuses on building up our own professional brands as well as First West’s brand as an employer. We share content on LinkedIn and Instagram to talk about each role we’re working to fill, and we connect with other professionals in the financial services industry. We also use social media to spread the word about our work culture and the perks for working for First West.
3:30 PM It’s the final interview of the day, so it’s my last chance to ask my favourite questions. The first is, “Why did you leave this role?” and I ask this about all the work experience listed on their resume. It helps me identify what the candidate considers to be deal-breakers, which can help me proactively describe opportunities and rewards of working at First West. Second, I like to ask, “In your next role, what would you enjoying doing and why?” This is an open and direct question that allows me to understand the kind of role in which they imagine themselves thriving—and asking “why” gives me insight into what they are most looking for in their next opportunity.
4:30 PM Before signing-off for the day I take one more sweep through my email to ensure everything is cleaned up. I make a list of priorities for the next day and that’s it! Time to walk the dog (again), pick up the kids and get dinner started!

If you’d like to connect with Arby about opportunities to work at First West, she’d love to hear from you!

Related Articles