Staffing and direct placement firm finds true love between companies, marketing communications and creative services

Feb. 5, 2019 (Jacksonville, FL) — Agency a la Carte, a leading staffing and direct placement firm specializing in marketing communications and creative services, is celebrating its 25th year in business, marking a quarter century of matchmaking.

Founded in 1994, Agency a la Carte has staffed and recruited marketing communications and creative services roles for a variety of partners throughout Northeast Florida, including TIAA Bank, Nemours, the PGA Tour, Natural Life, Florida Blue and more.

The year 2018 was a banner year for Agency a la Carte. The firm was acquired by Hueman, a nationally recognized recruitment company and one of Gallup’s Top 39 Most Engaged Companies in the world. The acquisition has paved the way for Agency a la Carte to expand to markets beyond the First Coast and to grow its team exponentially. Led by Vice President Kelly Senteno, the team includes Partnership Specialist Chelsea Anderson, Recruiter Chelsea Cutlip and Account Manager Amy Vincent.

Agency a la Carte also recently debuted a new, refreshed look, including a revamped color pallet and logo. The blues, pinks and salmons all weave together to not only reflect the playfulness and creativity of its talent, but to complement the Hueman Family’s focus: recognizing the different “hues” of a company matching the talent that best fits that hue, or culture.

“Agency a la Carte’s evolution over the past 25 years has been nothing short of incredible,” said Kelly Senteno, Vice President of Agency a la Carte. “Our team loves finding both job candidates and companies their perfect matches time and time again. We’re excited to continue to expand into other markets to make even more matches in the future.”

To learn more about Agency a la Carte and its history, visit

Hueman acquires Northeast Florida’s leading marketing communications staffing and recruiting firm, Agency a la Carte

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.March 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Hueman People Solutions, a nationally-recognized recruitment company, has acquired Agency a la Carte, a leading staffing and recruiting firm specializing in marketing communications and creative services. Founded in 1994, Agency a la Carte has served a variety of clients throughout Northeast Florida including EverBank, Adecco Group, Acosta Sales and Marketing, Regency Centers, Stein Mart and more.

“As we expand Hueman, we see significant opportunity to capture market share of the ever-expanding Marketing recruiting space,” said Hueman CEO & Founder Dwight Cooper.  “With Agency a la Carte’s experience and Hueman’s expertise in Digital Recruitment Marketing knowledge, we’re excited to see what we can do together.”

Headquartered in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Hueman is the parent company of Hueman RPO and Hueman Risk Adjustment Staffing. Hueman spun off PPR Talent Management Group in 2016, bringing with it an established and globally-recognized Leadership Team. Medical Solutions acquired PPR Talent Management Group in early 2018, forming the second-largest travel nurse staffing company in the United States. Hueman stands as one of the country’s workplace-culture leaders, recently named one of the nation’s “Best Small Workplaces” by the Great Place to Work Institute. In 2017, Hueman was also recognized for “Employee Services Wellness and Excellence” by HRO Today.

“Dwight and his established Leadership Team will provide us the resources we need to bring Agency a la Carte to the next level,” said Mary Harvey, Founder & Former CEO of Agency a la Carte.  “Our existing clients and consultants will tremendously benefit from this new relationship, and the additional support will allow us to grow our marketing agency and evolve the marketing roles we can successfully recruit for.”

About Hueman People Solutions

Hueman People Solutions is a recruitment company based in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Hueman People Solutions has two unique recruiting divisions: Hueman, Your RPO Partner and Hueman Risk Adjustment Staffing – each designed to serve specific outsourced recruiting needs. Though Hueman’s divisions focus on individualized areas of the recruiting space, its team all shares in its single vision of creating Great Employment Experiences focused on people—treating them right and recognizing their individual qualities.

About Agency a la Carte

Agency a la Carte was founded in 1994 and serves clients in Northeast Florida, the Southeastern, Mid-Atlantic and the Mid-Western U.S. The company specializes in marketing communications and creative services staffing and recruiting and has been named to the Business Journal’s Book of Lists Top Employment Agencies, Top Temporary Staffing Agencies and Top Women Owned Businesses for multiple years.


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I’ve analyzed in another post some outrageous questions interviewers ask. And I’ve talked many candidates down off a metaphoric ledge by telling them after an interview where they were thrown off their game, that all those curveball questions are really trying to discern is your thinking style.

But here’s an article in Forbes by Jenny Jedeikin that points out how simultaneously straightfoward and incisive interview questions can be.

It’s a good read, mostly because it’s proof that the core of good interview questions are about getting to how you think, what you are able to assess in hindsight, and what it’s like to be with you in a more comfortable setting. These aren’t about practiced answers; they’re about being able to step back, analyze, and articulate your thoughts.

The highlights, for your interview planning:

  • Describe yourself in one word.
  • What was the last thing you learned on the job?
  • What isn’t on your resume?
  • How long are you willing to fail before you succeed?
  • What’s in the newspaper today?
  • Tell me something true that nobody agrees with you about.

Read these questions and several more in Ms. Jeneikin’s article before practicing your interview skills. And keep these tips in mind.

Good luck!

I speak frequently to local business groups about recruiting and staffing issues. And in preparing for my most recent talk, I thought about how successful job candidates go through similar preparations for interviews.

Since I spend quite a bit of blog space offering tips for interview preparation, I thought I’d post this list of Top Five Tips for Presentations and Interviews. Each idea applies equally to presenting, in-person interviews, and phone interviews.

1. Proofread.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: proofread your resume. And your slides. And your handouts. Your reputation depends on people taking you seriously. Hiring managers and appreciative audiences alike want to feel that you value their time. Any typo at all will make them think you don’t care.

2. Strike a Pose.
By now most people have heard Amy Cuddy’s advice to adopt power poses for several minutes before an important social moment, like a presentation, talk, interview, or meeting. If you haven’t read about her research, I can summarize it this way: if you make your body feel like Wonder Woman for a few minutes, your brain will believe you are a superhero. And audiences from hiring managers to auditoriums full of people respond well to your superhero status.

3. Warm up.
While you are embodying power poses, warm up your voice. Cover a wide range of high and low notes, slowly, as well as a variety of sounds. The classic acting warm up of saying “red leather, yellow leather” slowly then quickly, in low tones then in a high register softens the muscles you’re going to use when you talk, much like gently jogging before a race. You can also sing a song that you love and that’s as low as your can manage. Anxiety makes us speak in higher ranges, and this strain can wear out your voice. Speaking lower is more pleasant to the ear and easier on the vocal chords.

4. Slow. Down.
It isn’t necessary to talk fast. Interviewers want to hear what you have to say. So do larger audiences. Most people tend to speed up when they’re nervous, and if you speak too quickly people won’t understand you. Slow down. Take deep breaths. Pause when you need to think. Check in after each thought. If you’re rushing to cram in lots of information, know that they will only hear as much as they can handle. If you speak slowly and let them mentally process your information, you’ll get a better response.

5. Edit.
Don’t say everything you think, and make sure to put your information into logical order. Preparation for a talk or interview requires you to distill your experience and stories by cutting out all the extraneous information. Just as your resume shouldn’t have information from 20 years ago, and your presentation shouldn’t include irrelevant anecdotes, your edited interview should address what is asked, avoid unprofessional stories, and present your best content.

Editing is just as important for interviews and presentations as for your professional work, emails, and resume. Less is more. Be brief; use the simplest words that fit the situation. Your interview, presentation, or talk are actually about the listener, not about you. Make it easy for them to hear and understand everything you want to say.

Because we work in marketing communications, the trends that affect design and technology are just as relevant to our job searches as they are to our work. The infrequent use of QR codes on design and project management resumes recently made headlines in Jacksonville as a local work agency asked for advice on using the technology as a networking graphic element.

What Is a QR Code?
Quick Response (or QR) codes offer a way for users to scan an image and instantly access a website or online profile rather than having to type a URL. Your portfolio, therefore, can be accessed by a hiring manager who scans the QR code you have judiciously placed on your resume.

Sure, that sounds wonderful and easy, but most people scan QR codes with their phone to access information. Hiring managers interested enough in your resume to check your online portfolio will likely prefer to do so on their office computer, in part to compare you with other candidates during the hiring process and in part to see your work on the larger screen. And for that, a URL is far superior.

Consider the following before appending a QR code to your resume

Differentiates your resume
Offers quick link to your work or profile
Offers you analytics on how and when people access your information
Makes your resume seem relevant without gimmicks

Can thwart resume-scanning software, sending your resume into the reject pile
Confusing to less-tech-savvy firms
Uses valuable resume space
Annoys some hiring managers
Puts you on hiring manager’s phone rather than onto the hiring desktop
Offers redundant information to your online portfolio and LinkedIn profile

I recommend, for now, including a URL even if you add a QR code to your resume. And since you’re adding a URL, just stop there. If you’re submitting online, the URL is a clickable link that is easy enough for hiring purposes. In addition, LinkedIn’s recent changes that allow portfolio uploads to your profile means getting a hiring manager into your LinkedIn profile is often enough. If you think the hiring manager might use resume-scanning software, definitely send a resume without a QR code. And finally, consider that the back of your business card might be the right place for a QR code.

Job postings: Yes, No, and Are You Kidding?

I often remind job candidates to make sure their resume is the best possible calling card for their professional life. Job postings are an under-appreciated facet of your brand’s professionalism, and you need to spend just as much time writing a job posting as your candidates do composing their resumes.

Consider carefully your minimum requirements. Skills and responsibility bars set too low will produce a disappointing candidate pool, and requirements written to exclude all but the most overqualified candidates will give you too few choices. Carefully write the parameters considering your ideal candidate and the not-quite-there candidates you want to see.

Check similar posts from rivals and others hiring for similar positions. You know what you want your candidate to be able to do, but are you being reasonable in your requirements? Too lax? Are you defining as carefully as possible the candidate whom you’d like to hire or do you want more candidates because you’ll know the right resume when you see it? If many people in the industry have started referring to project managers as producers, consider adding that word to your title. If other jobs with the same basic parameters require an advanced degree, decide whether you’d like to be the company who extends an opportunity to a great candidate with less schooling. Do most employers consider similar jobs entry level, senior level, or something in between? Are other employers requiring more technical skills than you are? Comparison shopping will help you be more sure about whom you are targeting with your post, as well as more sure about what you’re requiring from your future employee or contract service provider.

Remember your style guide and brand book. If you have a style guide that specifies tone, voice, grammar, spelling, and punctuation standards, use it. A job posting is a window for the outside world to peer into your company and every word I it speaks volumes about whom you hire, how you view them, and what culture you cultivate. Be meticulous, even if you think the job will be filled by the end of the week.

Eliminate jargon and acronyms. Your ideal candidate will be indoctrinated into your proprietary language soon enough. But for now, you’re speaking a foreign language to them. Cull the jargon and replace with simple English while you’re seeking candidates who can best fit your needs.

Consider requesting specific information. If you want more than the standard cover letter to accompany the flood of resumes soon to arriving in your inbox, give the candidates a task for their cover letters. Asking job seekers to include their philosophy on social media, give an example of their best advertising campaign, or include a story of how they created a solution for a previous employer will jump start the interview process and yield writing samples you will find useful in the culling process.

Proofread your post. That includes having Human Resources check it, the manager who will supervise the position check it again, and then someone not involved in the hiring process proofread it a third time. Posting a job with grammar or spelling errors is almost guaranteed to lose you the most qualified candidates. Highly skilled candidates don’t want to work for a company that can’t be bothered to proofread.

Keep your options open. After you write a stellar job posting, if you have trouble wading through the mob of unqualified candidates and few qualified candidates, you can always call in a staffing consultant like me. Interviewing all the candidates who seem as though they’re a good match for the position is a time-consuming process, and it’s often a job companies feel good about outsourcing because it saves time, money, and headache. Write a great job posting, wade through the submissions, interview the most likely matches, and hope for a good fit. Or call me.

—Mary Harvey