Resource Options, Inc.

ROI Spotlight for Paxton Kowalski

Meet Paxton Kowalski, a pivotal figure in our Construction Division based out of Wethersfield, Connecticut. This June marks Paxton’s year anniversary with ROI, a milestone that underscores her journey through the staffing industry. As this month’s Spotlight, Paxton shares her insights into what drew her into the world of recruiting and highlights what sets ROI apart from other staffing firms. Join us as we explore Paxton’s professional path and her unique contributions to our team.

1. What started you in staffing and what made you want to work for ROI?

After leaving my corporate job, feeling burnt out and eager for a change, I embarked on an adventurous month-long journey through Italy, exploring the vibrant cities of Florence, Milan, and Rome. Upon returning to the States, I wasn’t ready to settle down just yet. Instead, I decided to take a road trip from Connecticut to Florida, spending nearly a month on the road, soaking in diverse landscapes and city vibes, and reconnecting with the thrill of discovery.

This period of travel was a deliberate break from the routine I had fallen into immediately after graduating from the University of Southern Connecticut in New Haven. Having jumped straight into the workforce post-graduation, I found myself yearning for the freedom and excitement that only travel seems to offer. Italy had always been on my bucket list, and Florida seemed like the perfect follow-up with its sunny beaches and vibrant culture.

During this transformative time, I also began considering a shift in my career path. Inspired by a friend who worked as a travel nurse recruiter, I explored opportunities in recruiting, drawn to the prospect of working closely with people and making a tangible impact in their lives. My curiosity led me to an ROI office where I met seven enthusiastic team members in one day. The positive atmosphere was infectious, and I vividly remember discussing my background with Kevin Walsh, the regional manager. His call, just 30 minutes after our meeting, solidified my interest in pursuing this new career path. My management experience at Enterprise and my technical knowledge from my time at Milwaukee Power Tools seemed to be the perfect combination for a career in construction recruiting.

This career pivot wasn’t just about finding a job; it was about aligning my work with my passion for interpersonal connection and support. The idea of recruiting resonated with me because it promised dynamic interactions and the satisfaction of helping professionals navigate their career paths, much like I was navigating my own.

2. What do you believe makes ROI different?

At ROI, what truly sets us apart is our deep, hands-on involvement with both our clients and candidates. We do not take a distant recruitment approach; we prioritize building genuine relationships through an immersive engagement process. From the moment a candidate begins their journey with us, they experience a level of support and personal interaction that’s unparalleled. Whether it’s ensuring they have the necessary equipment, like a hard hat, which I personally deliver if needed, or accompanying them to their first day onsite, we make sure they feel valued and supported every step of the way.

Our commitment extends beyond just professional support. For instance, I’ve joined candidates for activities like karaoke to foster a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere. This approach helps solidify our bonds and creates a team environment filled with trust and camaraderie. Additionally, we accompany candidates to their interviews, ensuring they’re confident and prepared, which reflects our dedication to their success.

On the client side, our approach is equally personalized. We don’t limit our interactions to job sites; we frequently visit our clients’ offices, often bringing coffee or doughnuts, to create a more friendly and approachable relationship. These face-to-face interactions are crucial as they help bridge any gaps and create a partnership based on mutual respect and understanding.

Moreover, our hiring process itself is meticulous and tailored. We conduct thorough reference checks and insist on meeting candidates face-to-face. This rigorous process ensures that we not only verify the skills and backgrounds of our candidates but also gauge their compatibility with the company culture and values. This comprehensive approach is what makes ROI different — we’re not just filling positions; we’re building lasting relationships and a community where everyone feels they truly belong.

3. What is your favorite part of being in this field?

My favorite part of working in this field is the dynamic and engaging nature of being actively involved on the job sites. Unlike a typical office job where one might spend the entire day anchored to a desk, my role allows me to be out in the field for several hours each day. This hands-on approach not only deepens my understanding of the construction industry but also enriches my interactions with the candidates.

Being on the ground gives me a firsthand look at the various projects and the intricate processes involved, enhancing my ability to match the right person with the right role. It’s about more than just filling positions; it’s about understanding the heart of each project and how each role contributes to the bigger picture. This knowledge is vital, as it allows me to appreciate the skills and dedication of our candidates genuinely.

4. What is going on in your industry that you feel is important to inform people about?

There is a noticeable uptick in the percentage of millennials entering the housing market. However, despite their growing numbers, an overwhelming 65% of these millennials find themselves compelled to rent instead of purchasing homes. This trend is largely driven by economic factors such as rising home prices, stringent lending criteria, and a competitive housing market, making home ownership increasingly challenging for younger generations.

This shift has substantial implications for the staffing industry, particularly in the construction and real estate sectors. As more people opt to rent, there is a burgeoning demand for rental properties, which in turn drives the need for new construction and property management services. Consequently, this increases the demand for a skilled workforce to support these developments. From construction workers and project managers to customer service and property management professionals, the need for additional manpower is significant and growing.

5. What are 5 fun things we should know about you?

Here are five fun facts about me that give a little insight into my passions and favorite pastimes:

  1. Devoted Dog Mom: I’m the proud owner of a hound mix named Ozzy, who I rescued.
  2. Culinary Enthusiast: Cooking and baking are my go-to activities for relaxation and creativity. My specialty dish is chicken parmigiana. When it comes to baking, my signature treat is chocolate chip banana bread—hold the nuts!
  3. Avid Hiker: I love hiking and regularly explore new trails. My favorite hiking spot is in Manchester. These hikes are even more enjoyable when I bring Ozzy along to discover the great outdoors together.
  4. Travel Lover: Warm destinations always call to me, and I’ve had memorable trips to places like Aruba and Italy. The beauty, culture, and warmth of these locations make them my top travel choices.
  5. Childhood Influences: Growing up, my family had a house in Martha’s Vineyard, which sparked my thirst for travel early on. The freedom and excitement of those days left a lasting impression, fueling my love for discovering new places.

Looking for your next construction position or project? Contact Paxton today!

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