Jenna Hinrichsen fell into her career in the recruitment industry when she moved from Iowa to Chicago in 1999, seeking corporate experience in a big city environment. “I was willing to try anything and thought I’d have to try a couple of things before I figured out what I’m really passionate about,” Hinrichsen recalls. “And it just all aligned.” For seven years, she worked as a staffing consultant for Advanced Group, helping people develop and grow their careers.
At her next job, with CareerBuilder, she discovered that she also had a talent for growing businesses. When she started at the company, it was still a small, privately-held firm. She was charged with building its internal recruiting department from the ground up. While she was passionate about recruiting and the opportunity to help individuals, she also realized that she loved “having an impact on building the organization.”
Hinrichsen was at CareerBuilder for more than ten years but found that when the company was sold to a private equity firm in 2017, her job began to feel more corporate and bureaucratic. She began to look around for positions that would allow her to work more autonomously and entrepreneurially. She found that job back at Advanced Group, which had recently acquired a smaller recruiting firm called RPO.
“I love the CEO of Advanced Group, Leo Sheridan,” says Hinrichsen. “I like his leadership style and he was such a big influence in my early career, so I thought I’d like to go back and work for him.” She was hired as manager of sourcing and talent strategy for the new division, Advanced RPO. In the recruiting industry, “sourcing”, says Hinrichsen, refers to the process of seeking out candidates for specific positions and then selling those candidates on the job — a skill she had mastered expertly.
"[Through Newsweek Expert Forum] I’ve gotten more visibility. I’ve done podcasts and webinars and it just continues to open doors.”
Her position quickly evolved and Hinrichsen became director of talent and recruitment strategy and was tasked with helping to grow the organization and shape the leadership team. She works with clients to help develop their recruitment strategies to meet their hiring needs. “We’re embedded into their businesses as their recruiting function,” says Hinrichsen. “We have clients that we fill 100 positions a year for and our biggest client, we’ve done 1500 hires for them this month. It’s a different challenge on every account, but I consider myself a serial problem solver. I’ll always be in the trenches because it’s the only way for me to stay in tune with how things change.”
And things did change during the pandemic. Employers had to adapt to new ways of working, and AdvancedRPO had to take on new kinds of clients. “We hadn’t worked with a lot of manufacturers before but it was something we had to get involved in if we were going to stay afloat,” says Hinrichsen. She says the company also took lower-margin work that its competitors turned down — filling warehouse positions, for instance — with an eye toward building future relationships. The strategy was successful, she says.
In addition to her recruiting career, Hinrichsen has her own small business, Feed + Glow Organic Skincare, which she developed to meet her own skincare needs. “I was able to make a product with organic ingredients and sell it for under $30,” she says. She likes keeping the brand small and affordable and does everything herself, from making the product, to designing the branding and packaging. “It’s a business that sustains itself because the product is good,” she says. She has rejected offers to grow the company because “I want to stay within my niche, which is everyday Americans who need good skincare.”
As a member of Newsweek Expert Forum, Hinrichsen has been able to broaden her audience, gaining visibility for herself and her business. She says she can “contribute content from an overall business standpoint. I was able to share some of my insights from my skincare business and from my corporate experience. I have a broader audience and that’s been huge for me.” She had learned about the value of content marketing through a “microblog” that she created on LinkedIn, called The Recruiting Reel. Through Newsweek Expert Forum, she says, “I’ve gotten more visibility. I’ve done podcasts and webinars and it just continues to open doors.” She notes that investing time and energy into membership pays off. “You have to make the time to build connections and relationships with people,” she says. “I’ve met some great leaders and executives through [Newsweek Expert Forum].”