Meet Our Returning Senior Recruiter

Kelly James is a returning Astyra family member who is joining us as a Senior Recruiter!
Kelly was born and raised in Portsmouth, VA before heading to Hampton University where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Marketing.
After graduating and completing an internship with the Governor’s office, she earned a position with us as a Junior Recruiter. Soon after, Kelly was offered a recruiting position in Chicago for a major pharmaceutical company.
After six years in Chicago, Kelly returned to Richmond more prepared to source and hire candidates for us!

Staffing During a Pandemic

The spread of the COVID-19 has forever impacted the world, various companies and most of all, the recruiting process. Many businesses have switched from in-person interviews at their office to video interviews hosted at their kitchen table. This begs the question: how do we get across to candidates that our company culture and perks are more worthwhile than another company’s?

  1. Get creative. We have to switch our usual recruiting tactics because we’re facing unusual times. You can change a lot but a small update can make all the difference. Instead of sticking to the tried and true “Hi [name], are you in the job market?” ask if they’re open to “exciting new opportunities”. Always keep the door open even if they’re not! Also, there’s the opportunity to be more agile and adaptive. If your candidates will respond quicker to a text than an email or call, try it out!
  2. Give examples. Candidates love to hear about real work scenarios especially ones relating to how your company will treat them. If you know a candidate that you’ve hired has enjoyed anything specific about a client, use it as an example in discussing why the environment is worth applying to. It pays to be transparent about expectations because overselling may lead to under delivering!
  3. Show interest. A recruiter that genuinely cares about their candidates will always have the upper hand. Try seeing if there’s anything on the candidate’s resume that stands out and ask them about it –maybe they were a member of a sorority or fraternity that you may know something about, or they may have mentioned that they enjoy music or fishing (it’s more common to add that to a resume than you may think!). It helps to remember that on both sides of a conversation is a person, so treat them like one.

What are some of your staffing tips for the pandemic?

Welcome Our HR Specialist!

Hi everyone! My name is Zayna and I am Astyra’s Human Resources Specialist.
I am a Georgia native who moved to Richmond to attend Virginia Commonwealth University. I love outdoorsy activities such as hiking and playing volleyball (even though I am not that good at it). I’m a huge foodie but I justify the unreasonable amounts of food I eat by going to the gym. I have three dogs and my favorite thing to do is snuggle up with them on the couch.

Local COVID-19 Heroes

Photo taken by Kim Barto Meeks
Our very own contractor, Andy Parker, is being featured in the Martinsville Bulletin for his dedication to slowing the spread of COVID-19!
Andy was hired on with us in early July as a Contact Tracer and is quickly moving towards becoming a Case Investigator as a reward for his great work. He spends most of his work days contacting those who may be at risk of contracting COVID-19 and offers advice on quarantining.
We’re proud to have a dedicated team of individuals who are getting noticed locally!

Three Ways You Can Make A Change

Our Account Manager, Mary Alice, stitched homemade masks.
Our Account Manager, Mary Alice, stitched homemade masks.

With businesses still in the process of opening, many who regularly volunteer in their community are left wondering how they can continue to make an impact. The good news is that virtual work is becoming more popular as technology continues to grow. In addition, short-term opportunities arise frequently based on events and happenings nearby.

Here are three ways you can continue to make a change today:

  1. Apply for a contact tracing position with Astyra.
  2. Stitch homemade masks and give them away.
  3. Virtually teach students.

If none of these meet your skill set, a great resource to find other virtual volunteer opportunities is Have additional ideas? Comment them below!

Speed Dating For Job Hunters

According to, job searching has become fast-paced and some companies (i.e., Shapr and Jobr) have adopted a technique similar to speed dating. A la Tinder or Bumble, positions will appear in a queue and you’ll swipe left or right to show interest. This allows for a more surface-level view of tons more positions than sifting for hours through ZipRecruiter or Indeed.

With these sites, you also have the option to take a moment and review whatever details are provided for the roles (because we love substance, don’t we?).

As we continue to focus on user experience and candidate/hiring manager convenience, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more developers creating apps like this.

Here’s to the age of technology!

What are your thoughts?

Maintaining The Talent Pool

Today’s recruiting tip is one that’s been around for ages! Still, it never hurts to revisit the basics.

When it comes to fulfilling different roles for our customers, it’s always easier when we know who’d be a good fit and would also be interested. TalentLyft refers to this methodology as maintaining a ‘talent pool.’ In this instance, the talent pool simply refers to “a place or database where recruiters and HR managers keep all of their top job candidates.”

The idea is definitely simple but also extremely effective. No matter how you’re introduced to the candidates, be they direct applicants, or outwardly sourced, having a directory with people in mind makes it much faster and far easier to match candidates with jobs that interest them and benefit the end client.

Do you agree? What are your thoughts?

Astyra Day at VSU

Every September, VSU Alumna Brittany Brown hosts “Astyra Day” at her alma mater.

The day begins with a career fair in the school of business. Students are invited to gain valuable information about job openings and life after university from someone who has been in their shoes before.

Brittany then led a Conflict Management class for seniors. The students were given real-life scenarios and asked to offer resolutions. This activity requires students to use their critical thinking skills in a stress-free environment.

Although Brittany has hosted Astyra Day many times already, she still enjoys the event each year because of the opportunity to “engage with talented young professionals while being able to service my alma mater at the same time.”

The Gig Economy

In past posts, I may have noted just how different the job market is than it was only afew years ago. According to CloserIQ, the market now is “as much as 90% candidate-driven,” meaning that job seekers, both casual and fervent, hold the reins.

To this end, it’s still very much important for employers to understand how to best tap into the candidate market and attract the best talent that they can. Part of this is establishing newer policies and approaching candidates with both transparency and flexibility.

Part of this relates to what is colloquially referred to as the “Gig Economy”—particularly contracting. Falling back to my mention of flexibility, a lot more candidates are opting for contract roles as they allow them to gain experience or to retain employment without tying them down to a single spot unless both they (and their end-client) agree. Another piece of this is the notion of remote work.

65% of employees surveyed in the research said they would pursue contract work if they were given the opportunity. 68% of candidates reported in another study that the ability to work remotely impacted their decision to accept a job offer.

Some rigidity and turbulence is expected in times of transition, and achieving balance will, again, likely come down to transparency and flexibility from both parties. As employers and employees continue to better understand these key factors that impact their wants and needs, we’ll continue to see shifts in the dynamic between them.

Astyra Continues To Grow In 2019!

Spring is here and so is another blog post; catching you up on the first quarter happenings for Astyra. We have been extremely busy to start the year. Historically, January and February are slow months for us but not this year. The quarter saw continued growth in Nashville and Tampa with dozens of resources placed in both locations. We also saw placements in Cleveland, Plano, Harrisburg PA, McLean and of course locally here in Metro Richmond.
Stay tuned as we expect to announce new geographic locations in the second quarter as well!
Astyra’s 4th quarter was its best of the year!
That’s no surprise given the number of new projects we kicked off. Pennsylvania, Tampa, Nashville, and of course Richmond are home to our newest associates. First quarter 2019 should see new associates in West Virginia and Ohio as well.
Stay tuned for more exciting news we’re expecting, cheers!

November 2018 In Nashville

Tennesse contractor team

To help with a mass recruiting and expansion project, we flew our Staffing Manager, Dionne out to Nashville, TN in November.

During this trip, Dionne worked hard to expand our contractor team. In just a few days, we were able to hire over 40 contractors in Tennessee! These contractors now work as data entry and customer service representatives for our client. 

Astyra Continues To Grow In 2018!


2018 has gotten off to a rapid start for Astyra. In addition to adding new work in our home state of Virginia, we’ve won new project engagements in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. We’ve grown our existing accounts as well, which has resulted in the expansion of our internal staff.

As we look beyond the horizon, we are excited about our place in the market and what’s ahead.

It has been an incredibly busy summer for Astyra Corporation. New projects won earlier this year have finally gotten underway; resulting in 65 new associates and contractors joining our ranks. The 4th quarter is shaping up to be equally as busy and we could see similar numbers added by the first of the year.