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A Perk of Contract Work: Nathan Gets HR Experience as an HRIS Data Entry Specialist

How do you get into the HR industry without any prior experience? Ask Nathan Williams an HRIS (Human Resources Information System) Data Entry Specialist at Perkins Coie, a law firm here in Downtown Seattle. With a great attitude and strong interest in learning about the field of Human Resources, Nathan was able to partner with Parker to secure a contract with Perkins Coie’s HR department, where he is currently on assignment. He carved some time out of his schedule to share his experience with his role, his recent relocation from Texas, and some sound advice for future contractors.

// Hey Nathan! Thanks for taking the time with us today. Let’s first talk about your move here, since it certainly was a big one! What was the process like relocating from Texas to Seattle? Any tips on your move?

It was difficult finding an apartment from another state, so don’t be afraid to find something temporary while you continue your search.  Something like Airbnb is a good way to get your foot in the door, so to speak.  I’ve learned that the apartment hunt is much easier when you have a Seattle address.

// It certainly can be a challenge, but seems like you have a great strategy. Now that you’re here & on assignment, can you tell us a little bit about the role you were placed into?

I am an HRIS Data Entry Specialist currently working in the HR department for a large law firm in downtown Seattle. I am contributing to the transfer of all personnel data into a different software platform.  Without any previous HR experience, this has been great exposure to the inner workings of HR. 

// Sounds like you’re getting some great HR experience in this HRIS Data Entry role, and we’re glad that position is working out for you. How did you come across Parker? Can you describe what the process working with Parker was like?

Parker was recommended to me by an acquaintance who had used their services in the past.  I have used other staffing agencies in the past, but Parker has definitely stood out to me.  I told them I wanted to find a position in HR, but had no prior experience.  They found the perfect position for me, and I am positive that I would have never had that opportunity otherwise.  I don’t know of a better recommendation than that.

// Aw shucks. Thanks Nathan. We are really happy we could help you get into the HR field. What are some of your favorite things about your new job?

The people, hands down.  Parker told me that they work with some of the highest quality employers in the area, and I see proof of that every day.

// That’s awesome. Nothing is better than not only loving what you do, but also appreciating the people you work next to everyday! Any advice you can share with other job seekers? What kept you motivated during your job search?

It’s easy to get discouraged when you apply for job after job and nothing seems to work out.  I’ve learned that networking is the most valuable use of your time.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends and colleagues.  Opportunities will materialize when people know you are looking for jobs.  Staffing agencies fit into that, as it’s like having someone on the inside who can vouch for you. 

// Sound advice! Now, before we wrap up, let’s have a quick, fun lightning round!

  • Cable or Netflix? Netflix.  How else am I going to watch an entire season of a show in one sitting?
  • Amazon or Big Box? Amazon.  Can I technically say I am supporting a local business if I live in Seattle?
  • Beach vacation or cabin in the woods? How about a cabin in the woods, but close enough to the beach that I can still smell the ocean and hear the seagulls. 
  • Action/Adventure or Comedy? Psychological thrillers are more of my thing.

Thanks again for talking to us, Nathan. We hope the HRIS Data Entry assignment at Perkins Coie continues to go well for you!

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