Recruiting firm moves into renovated county poor house
Among new tenants in developer Greg O’Connell’s former Livingston County Poorhouse complex in Geneseo is a recruiting agency that works with companies throughout the Northeast to conduct employment searches.
Whiting Consulting, founded by York native Chernee Vitello, occupies the top floor of Building No. 1. Vitello is the daughter of Fran and the retired Rev. Neil Frood of York.
A graduate of the York Class of 1989 and of RIT with a degree in marketing, Vitello has been a recruiter of professional talent for 15 years, the last nine with her own firm.
Whiting is contracted by various high tech companies throughout the United States which are in need of special talents. Many of Whiting’s clients are based along the eastern seaboard, in Boston, New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia.
While Whiting clients and job candidates may come from anywhere in the United States, the firm maintains strong local ties. Many Rochester folk — and in particular graduates from Vitello’s alma mater RIT — have been hired through Whiting. The Whiting staff, including interns, is from SUNY Geneseo.
Vitello’s marketing degree has served her well. “Recruiting is sales,” she said. “What I am doing is matching a company and a candidate, making sure I find a candidate who can help my client meet their business goals, and in turn help my candidate meet career goals.”
Working in high tech arenas, how does Vitello absorb the technical lingo and culture?
“That I have learned myself,” she said. “In talking with my candidates I have become self-taught in the various terms we are going after and hiring for. There are the technical — engineering and programing — terms and also the marketing and business terms. I can definitely ‘talk the talk.’”
Whiting has established long term relationships with a number of clients to the extent of becoming a valued partner in their business objectives.
“I know what they are looking for; where they are going from their business perspective; what type of individual they are looking for,” Vitello said.
Yet she also has to stay attuned to the career objectives of her candidates to assure a good match, the person who is going to stay with the company. While the recession has been hard on third party recruiters — half disappeared during 2008-09, the field continues to grow.
“Companies are still hiring — and aggressively,” Chernee asserts. “New York City is very hot. So is the Silicon Valley — and Rochester has some good reports. There is a lot of innovation in the high tech sector, a lot of opportunities and a talent shortage.”
Hence the wisdom in employing firms like Whiting to search out that talent.
Described today by Vitello as a ‘boutique recruiting firm,’ Whiting was home-based for a number of years and most recently was on Main Street in Geneseo in the Jon Porter building, before taking up residence in Building No. 1. Vitello viewed the ‘Poor House’ space in February and had moved in by September.
Whiting has two full time staff members: an intern and an office manager. Vitello is happy with the choice of Geneseo as both a home and business location, while the college has proven itself a valuable affiliate.
Vitello is a frequent campus speaker at local colleges — indeed, appearing on Tuesday of this week at SUNY Geneseo on the subject of ‘How to Find a Job after You Graduate.’
Whiting has given Vitello the freedom of realizing her two dreams of childhood: being a mom and being the owner of her own business.
“This business allows me to be virtual. I can do it anywhere. With technology getting more and more mobile, so have I. I’ve closed candidates on the soccer field and the football field.”