Meet Gabrielle Christman, President and CEO of Hunter International Recruiting, a company that provides leading organizations with STEM recruiting solutions that ensure an efficient and timely hiring process.
Each year, WBENC presents 14 women business owners with the prestigious Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Star Award, the nation’s premier recognition for excellence among certified women-owned businesses, honoring female owners for their leadership skills, business success, and ability to serve as an inspiration to others.
Meet Gabrielle Christman, President & CEO of Hunter International Recruiting
While working at The Cleveland Clinic and Eli Lilly, Gabrielle noticed that the companies struggled to find appropriate talent. So, in 2006, she combined her science background with her entrepreneurial spirit to start Hunter International Recruiting to provide STEM-focused solutions through recruiting excellence. The company was literally started in Gabrielle’s basement, with two corporate employees placing jobs at five local clients. But clients were quickly impressed with the company’s ability to recruit quality candidates for difficult niche positions. Today, Hunter has 300 employees, 200 corporate employees, and over 25 multinational clients.
Gabrielle vividly remembers when she landed her first large contingent labor contract, when a female R&D leader ultimately made the decision to award the business to Hunter International.
She says she’ll never forget the sheer pride she felt driving home and sharing the news with her family. That contract marked a pivotal moment for Hunter’s future.
Gabrielle says she lets the values of harmony, integrity, respect, and excellence guide her business acumen. As a child and grandchild of entrepreneurs, she learned that work ethic coupled with integrity can lead people and companies to achieve great things and better serve the community. From this, Gabrielle formed her business philosophy of “hard work wins – always.”
In addition to her dedication to hard work and success, Gabrielle is passionate about working with young women interested in the STEM field. In 2017, with friend Gina Beredo, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Nordson, she founded SPARK, a non-profit event that introduces sixth through eighth grade girls to a diverse group of female role models. To date the efforts of SPARK have impacted more than 750 girls across Northeast Ohio to stay curious and pursue higher education in STEM.
Gabrielle is “The Igniter” because she enhances creativity, innovation, and excellence in others.
Today, Gabrielle shares the biggest challenges she’s faced as a business owner and how she overcomes them, her advice for new entrepreneurs, and what she views as benefits of being part of the WBENC Network.
What advice do you have for a new entrepreneur?
Become an expert in your industry and understand your value. Differentiating yourself as an expert in your industry requires innate passion for the field and a deep love of learning. With time, your business partners will trust your sense of the market and market drivers allowing you to shift from a supplier to a partner. The ability to understand your unique value requires collaboration with your team and comprehensive analysis driven by data. When defining your value, focus on what you do better than anyone else in your industry and results will follow.
What are the bigger challenges and barriers you’ve faced as a business owner? How have you overcome them?
Barriers to entry are still a real challenge for women owned businesses. Through WBENC, I’ve been able to turn that challenge into a strategic and valuable asset to build relationships and contribute to the community. Another challenge faced as a business owner of a staffing firm is market saturation. With grit, our team has been able to differentiate ourselves from the competition in the market by seizing each opportunity with intense focus on speed and quality of service delivery.
What do you view as benefits of being part of the WBENC network?
The community of WBENC is unmatched. The ability to connect with other WBEs from multiple industries has added value to our organization and allowed for my professional development. Another benefit is the dedication of the WBENC Corporate Members who are fearless in their pursuit to understand and advocate for WBEs within their respective supply chains. The relationships that I’ve developed with supplier diversity and procurement professionals have been integral to the continued growth of Hunter.
Hunter International Recruiting provides strategic STEM recruitment services to complex corporations worldwide. Our leadership and excellence in recruiting allows our clients nationwide to attract, hire, retain and promote the right people to improve organizational performance