Utah Business

Steven J. Smith | Photographed by MANICPROJECT

Steven J. Smith | HR Achievement Awards 2024

Steven J. Smith | Photographed by MANICPROJECT
Steven J. Smith | Photographed by MANICPROJECT

Chief Hiring Expert | ApplicantPro


Was there a pivotal moment in your life that brought you into your field?

Many years ago, I lost a son. It was our first child and, as you can imagine, a devastating life event. At the time, I was working for an insurance company where the HR department not only made sure things were OK but they rallied the employees together and raised funds to help pay for the hospital and burial costs. Those costs were something we were completely unprepared for as a new young couple — everything was covered. For the first time in my young career, I saw the impact that people can have on their employees, especially when they act upon the “human” in human resources. At that point, I never looked back. I knew I wanted to give back to others in their times of need just as I had been given in my time of need. 

How would you like to see HR and talent acquisition progress?

I dream of a world where companies no longer use their job descriptions as their job ads. Take the time to intentionally create an ad that stands out and highlights what the applicant will gain by working for the organization. Include not just the traditional details like pay, schedule and benefits but also the impact the company has on their clients, the impact the candidate will have in their role with the organization and the impact a new employee will have on their team and the departments they may collaborate with. It’s so important to understand the “why” and celebrate that in the job ad.

Savannah Beth Withers Taylor is the assistant editor of Utah Business and a graduate of the editing and publishing program at Brigham Young University. Beth has written content about travel, academics, and mental health for Stowaway magazine, BYU College of Humanities and United Way. She enjoys traveling, reading, eating, and mercilessly defeating loved ones in anything competitive.