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As Danny Ocean, the main character in the film Ocean's 11, George Clooney needed to assemble the perfect team to get the job done. That's very similar to what Talent Acquisition Manager Suzanne Seider and her team must do for Cook Children's.
"It's not just about filling a position," Suzanne explained. "It's about finding that one person that is the right fit for the job. And when we do that, it's just the coolest thing to me."
Instead of pulling off a casino heist, we're talking about executing a plan with even higher stakes involved – assembling the right people in the right jobs to push Cook Children's toward preeminence in pediatric healthcare.
Looking at their role, it's very easy to see that Suzanne and her team are integral to this goal. She added, "I love knowing that even though I may not be in the medical center or in a clinic where I can help someone directly, I'm helping a child indirectly by putting the right caregiver in a place to treat them."
So, how does a girl who has lived in Indiana, Tennessee, Minnesota and Pennsylvania end up in Fort Worth, Texas? That credit goes to her parents. "I call myself 'military-by-proxy' because my dad was a government contractor for years and we moved a lot," she recalled. "It wasn't until high school that we settled in Arlington but there was a time when I flirted with moving away even farther, much to my parents' dismay."
In college, Suzanne had a completely different career trajectory in mind and it was one that would've taken her all over the world. "Both my undergraduate and post-graduate work are in Political Science – U.S. Institutions," she said. "I was going to be a diplomat and work for the State Department. How exciting would it be to get paid to travel and live in cool spots around the world?"
With an extremely tight relationship with her parents, Suzanne listened to their advice and concerns about this type of work. Primarily, her father, who was familiar with government jobs from his own career, explained that the reality was that she would be away for two years at a time in a place she wouldn't necessarily get to choose.
As fate would have it, while completing her Master's degree and she was working in human resources for AMC Theatres, her mom got very ill and spent nearly eight months in the hospital. "I met some really amazing people during my mom's stay before she passed away and it sparked a sudden interest for me with healthcare," she shared.
Even though, it may look like her career plans took a drastic left turn, she recognizes that her education and interest in diplomacy still comes into play regularly. Because her purpose at Cook Children's is about creating, facilitating and maintaining the relationship between the ideal candidate and the team in need. Essentially, relationship building is part and parcel with both recruiting and diplomacy.
Thankfully, the relationship building that Suzanne relishes is not exclusive to the potential employees and hiring departments. Her own team's strong dynamic and bond is a credit to the relationships they have built among themselves. "I get genuinely excited when our team is able to get together and to see them succeed," she said with a wide grin. "Every one of their 'aha' moments and their overall excitement for their jobs makes me smile."
Such sincere appreciation for her team is what makes Suzanne just the right leader for them. She has done their job before (with some recruiting duties still on her plate) and knows how arduous it can be. "We have about 40,000 applications a year and we are looking through resumes and making offers every day," she explained. "We need each candidate to know that Cook Children's cares about finding the right individual for a job and that this recruiting team gives it their full attention."
Thankfully, that commitment Suzanne proudly touts for her team is also modeled by her because it's rooted in a belief in what Cook Children's is all about. "To me, Cook Children's IS our Promise," Suzanne said. "We live it out in our patient-centered care and how we even care for each other. I see our culture is as strong today with more than 8,000 employees as it was when I started nearly 13 years ago when we had less than 3,000 employees."
And that culture simply put is #WeAreCookChildrens.