A Day In The Life: Dakoda McNeal

No Rest for Recruiting

Recruiting is a position where things change minute by minute. Recruiter Dakoda McNeal begins her day by going through a checklist she creates for all her sites and checking on new applicants that come through. After that, she tries to get her interviews and to-do list organized for the day.

The rest of the day consists of going out in the community, doing interviews, new hire orientation or new hire paperwork, sourcing candidates, building relationships with the managers, communicating with new hires and setting up drug screen locations. “My job is busy and can be chaotic,” McNeal said. “I just try to stay organized and on task.”

Formerly an assistant manager at Planet Fitness, McNeal had no experience with recruiting when she joined MPW (and later Porta Kleen) about a year and a half ago. She had to learn a whole new career. “From my experience so far, I would say the biggest skills in recruiting are organization, communication, motivation, time management, paperwork and computer skills,” she said.

McNeal’s best advice for those wanting to become recruiters is to work as hard as possible, learn as many skills as possible and learn to accept constructive criticism from managers and mentors. “I am grateful for being able to lean on Joel Tjader, Jacob McCullough and Adam Boyden,” she said.

Steepening McNeal’s learning curve, her MPW duties were expanded to include recruiting for Porta Kleen as well. “It came as a surprise for me, and I knew very little about Porta Kleen at the time,” she said. “Just this year, I got a call from Jacob McCullough offering me a full-time recruiting position for Porta Kleen.”

Although now recruiting exclusively for Porta Kleen, McNeal said recruiting between MPW and Porta Kleen is different, but also similar. “With Porta Kleen, I source candidates as well as do their initial interviews,” McNeal said. “The managers get scheduled interviews sent to them. At MPW, I conducted all interviews and hiring. Both companies utilize an AI tool to help keep organized.”

The safety culture is something that all recruiters must embed into new hires and potential candidates throughout the entire MPW family of companies. “During the initial interview, I review our safety coin and always ask what safety means to them before we decide to bring them on the team,” McNeal said. How recruiters represent safety towards new candidates sets the stage and expectations, beginning with the interview.

McNeal spends most of her free time with family and hanging out with friends. “I enjoy working out, being outside, duck and goose hunting, fishing, kayaking, camping and hiking. I’m involved with my young adult group at my church as well,” she said. Sometimes McNeal simply enjoys staying home and watching movies or enjoying music with her eight-month-old kitten, Stormy.

The bottom line, McNeal said, is that recruiting relies on teamwork. “We have several recruiters within the company that we lean on for support. I have realized that our HR managers are really pushing the values and culture of MPW and Porta Kleen, and it shows with the spirit of family,” she said. “We could not be successful without teamwork!”

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