Jessica launched HRT Solutions, based in Pittsburgh PA, in August of 2016 focused on two strategic areas. The Recruitment Outsourcing side of the business which focuses on helping large organizations manage their recruitment process on-demand. HRT works with organizations to hire analyst level, recent college graduates mainly for technical engineering and niche positions. HRT also works with smaller organizations by offering HR Outsourcing, which allows organizations without a dedicated HR representative to work with a trusted HRT advisor. This provides their leaders time to focus on the business, saving both time and money.
When asked if she would choose to become an entrepreneur all over again, the answer came without hesitation, “Absolutely, I am proud of the work we do and the HRT Solutions team that works hard to deliver great results to our clients and has helped to make my dream a reality.” Jessica also credits her personal and professional growth to meeting other business owners and organizations along the way. She adds, “I feel lucky to have achieved so much at this point in my career.”
Jessica’s parting words relate to how best to work with a mentor. Remember that their time is just as valuable as your own. When you meet, be sure to prepare your questions ahead of time. And if you build a relationship, it can become a valuable one for a long time to come.
Looking forward, as the business matures through its third year of operation, Jessica sees the importance of pushing herself to work ‘on’ the business, not ‘in’ the business. By this she means, “Maintaining a strategic outlook that keeps the team engaged without getting wrapped up in the day to day details.” She also sees the need to maintain revenue growth by replacing prior year, one-time project work with both new projects and ongoing, consistent customer business. Lastly, a big step for HRT Solutions, involves a move in location. Jessica is analyzing the tradeoffs between purchasing a building and renting.
Her initial search for a mentor through SCORE failed to result in a match. But she did hear about the annual SCORE American Small Business Championship through Facebook which peeked her interest. To enter, applicants answered the question, “What makes your business one of the best small businesses in your community?” through a video of 30-60 seconds, or with a photo and written response of no more than 1,000 characters. Entrants needed at least 100 votes to be eligible. Through her relationships in the community Jessica drew over 50,000 online votes and won one of the two Pennsylvania prizes. An invitation to meet with the other 101 winners in Reno, Nevada took place where Jessica found, “It was empowering to be in a room with over 100 small business owners. It gave us an opportunity to share ideas, wins, and even our struggles.”
Winners also received free mentoring through which she met with Pittsburgh mentor, Mark Fallek. “One of the key benefits of working with a mentor”, she says, “is the lonely, difficult journey owner’s face. An experienced business person can bring a real business perspective and non-biased advice to an owner.”