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An Eye for Talent

New approaches in a changing world

Susan Shelly,

Kandy Marinelli ’11 was in her element on the third floor of Dun & Bradstreet’s spacious offices in Center Valley, Pa.

Poised and self-assured, she greeted co-workers while escorting a visitor past teams of busy employees, all the while explaining the work of those on the floor.

With great animation, Marinelli described the morning huddle that had just finished, a daily ritual when co-workers gather in a large, music-filled room to acknowledge one another’s good work from the previous day and prepare to do it all over again.

Marinelli, a 2011 graduate of Northampton Community College, is a lead talent acquisition professional for D & B’s emerging business operations. The job can be challenging, but she loves it.

“It’s just a great place to work,” she said. “There are a lot of fun people and it’s a great culture. There’s a lot of camaraderie here.”

Marinelli’s responsibility is to oversee employee recruitment and hiring at the Center Valley office, and she also supports that work in Dun & Bradstreet offices in Greensboro, N.C., and Tucson, Ariz.

The job is anything but routine, she explained, because the field of human resources is constantly changing. Traits and habits of potential employees vary from area to area, and characteristics of different age groups mean that recruiters must be flexible.

“These days, our recruiting involves a lot of text messaging, and we conduct a lot of interviews by Skype,” Marinelli said. “We need to figure out the best way to work with a particular group of people. It keeps us on our toes, and it’s always interesting.”

After graduating from Easton High School in 1998, Marinelli first pursued a degree in psychology, attending King’s College in Wilkes-Barre and Moravian College in Bethlehem. But she wasn’t sure about her career path.

In 2001, she left Moravian to take a job with search firm Wilson HCG, where she worked for two and a half years before being hired by Dun & Bradstreet. At that point, Marinelli decided it was time to return to college.

“By then, my focus was firmly on business,” she explained. “I felt like I would have more opportunities by going in that direction.”

She enrolled at NCC while working full time, completing most of her course work online and graduating in 2011 with an associate in arts, general studies degree.

Being able to work online and make her own schedule was invaluable.

“I’d tell someone thinking about pursuing an education online to not be afraid to try that new way of learning,” Marinelli said. “You’ll get an equally good education and it gives you freedom that classroom learning can’t. And virtual learning teaches you to focus in a different way.”

In addition to a busy career, Marinelli is the mother of two boys, ages 6 and 4. She and her husband, Carl, an IT specialist who also graduated from NCC in 2011, juggle chores and responsibilities like transporting the boys to activities and keeping the house in order.

It gets hectic sometimes, Marinelli said, but Dun & Bradstreet makes it easier by allowing work-at-home days or even permitting employees to bring their children to work when necessary. “We keep markers and crayons and paper and other things for kids to do if they need to come in with a parent,” Marinelli explained. “We allow that option because we understand that things happen.”

While every Dun & Bradstreet location is different, the culture of the company is intended to encourage long-term employees. “We try to hire the very best employees we can find and then keep them here,” Marinelli said.

After a year, employees are able to—and often do—apply for a different job within the company. The workforce, Marinelli said, is diverse and close-knit. “Everyone here is so welcoming,” she said. “Give it a week here and you’ll meet someone who might end up being your best friend.”

While Marinelli is content in her current position, she doesn’t rule out the possibility of returning to school, where she said she would take more classes related to the field of human resources.

“Things change all the time in this industry and it would be beneficial to get additional knowledge,” she said. “But we also continue to grow every day while we’re on the job. We have to adjust to what is handed to us and learn as we go.”

[Published in the Fall 2019 Northampton Community College Magazine.]