August 27, 2021

Dawn Taylor: Putting the “Human” into “Human Resource”

The human element is the most valuable resource of any organization. The right people employed at the right place is the solution to a successful, productive, and profitable business. Looking back a few years, the roles, skills, and responsibilities of employees have drastically changed. With thousands of new job profiles and opportunities being created regularly, it has become increasingly important for Human Resource departments and Talent Acquisition companies. to first educate themselves about the job profiles and what they entail, understand the organization and its culture and then select the precise candidate for that profile and culture, in order to contribute to the organization’s success, and the candidate’s success.

Identifying and placing this workforce into organizations and giving them expert human resources strategy advice, are what Maryland and Washington DC-based, PTA-Pinnacle Talent Acquisition, and PTA-HR does. President and CEO, Dawn Taylor, is an expert business partner in human and manpower resources in the areas of contract placements, contract to hire placements, direct hire placements, and human resources consulting as well as project management along with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy, which she is certified through Cornell University.

Helping people, empowering organizations

Dawn started the company with the sole purpose of helping people get appointed to their ideal job. Her philosophy is simple. She says, “You cannot run an exceptional company without exceptional talent, and you cannot sustain a company without retention, proper infrastructure, and best practices.” Over the years, Dawn had noticed how other consulting companies have only cared about generating profits when it came to validating organizational success.

Dawn, however, has a different definition of success. To Dawn, it is not just about finding and placing talent in the right roles but it’s also about enhancing their skills and capabilities and shaping candidates for that role. She interacts with her candidates in a way that makes them more employable from the second they meet and onwards. When she first started her company, generating profit for herself was the least of her priorities. “I always believed that if you do what’s right, the money will come,” says Dawn, which it did and with the launch of her company, she re-defined the way HR was looked at on every level.

“I wanted to look at success by how many people benefited from our services, whether it is on the talent acquisition side by putting people to work or on the HR consulting side by how many companies we were able to assist to ensure their sustainability.”

Dawn previously worked with HR consulting firms during her career where she was primarily responsible for talent recognition and acquisition. Thanks to this experience, she was able to develop and expand her network of organizations and talented individuals, all of whom had great admiration for Dawn due to her exemplary service and friendly customer-centric attitude.

Eventually, she started Pinnacle Talent Acquisition, and because so many clients from the previous organizations she worked at trusted her and had great admiration for her, all of them decided to give her an opportunity, a decision that no client or organization has ever regretted. This propelled Dawn’s newly launched consulting service into greater heights than she could have imagined. She still fondly remembers her client Vickie Robinson who at the time, worked for an International NGO. Vickie came to Dawn for assistance on the very first day of her starting Pinnacle.

The Pinnacle of HR solutions

Dawn named her company Pinnacle Talent Acquisition because of the actual definition of the word pinnacle. She intends to get employees and organizations to their ‘most successful point’ (Pinnacle), by getting the ideal candidate into the perfect job role and giving sage council and guidance to organizations. She has proven time and time again how once she achieves that synergy an employee fits perfectly into their role, and success follows.

At Pinnacle, Dawn and her team of talent acquisition specialists and HR consultants, personally get to know the job-seeker candidate and company to educate, train, and empower them to become the ideal employee for a role, so that no company would ever consider refusing to hire them. Apart from identifying and placing the right talent in the right places, her team of specialists also act as an outsourced extension of the HR department for many organizations, helping them in all facets from hiring to strategic planning.

Right from the onset, Dawn and her company never had a shortfall of clients. Due to her outgoing personality, friendly nature, professionalism, comprehensive knowledge of all facets of human resources and talent-identifying ability, she was sought after by individuals and companies alike. She is responsible for thousands of candidates finding the perfect job and securing their future. Additionally, she has assisted the best companies in the country acquire top-notch talent.

“We also try to meet clients where they are with regards to their unique budgets. PTA assists companies with any budget, large or small because the complex challenges are in many ways the same.”

The range of services that Dawn provides through PTA, includes project-based support right from hiring a Pinnacle source for a few days to urgently fill in a spot, to outsourcing the entire HR department which provides virtual and on-site support. Furthermore, Dawn and her team of industry experts also provide training to companies in the latest HR compliances for organizational and employee development along with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training.

Another one of their services includes providing employees as contract hires who eventually transition into full time employees, based on their performance and cultural adaptability. This has become one of the most sought-after services says Dawn due to the current pandemic.

Ensuring diversity and inclusion in the workplace and life

“One of the challenges that PTA tackles daily with clients is bringing more diversity and inclusion to the workplace,” says Dawn. In today’s business world, it has become a prerequisite for companies to move away from orthodox ways and bias hiring practices and become more diverse in their hiring. A diverse and inclusive workplace is one in which each employee, regardless of who they are in terms of caste, gender, or ethnicity, is equally involved in all areas of the organization. This shift in hiring practices will take an organization from good to great.

Dawn is a strong promoter and a global leader in diversity and inclusion and is deeply involved in empowering women and other races in the workplace. She says, “We rolled out a special Diversity Audit process which helps our clients understand the dynamics of diversity and what they need to do to reach their diversity goals.” Through this initiative, Dawn has been instrumental in educating companies about the importance of D&I in the workplace while helping individuals of all races, genders, and backgrounds obtain rightful positions in an organization whether it is at an executive or senior management level.

Her life itself, is an example to other working-class women of different ethnicities of how an African-American, female entrepreneur, became successful all the while working towards the betterment of her community, people and culture.

“The culture of PTA is one of trust, inclusivity, and humility. People are not robots we have lives outside of the workplace. I try to instill in my team that being human is more than ok.”

Dawn takes her role as a leader and a female mentor with complete dedication. She considers her position as a leader a huge responsibility and strives to make a positive impact in the lives of her employees and her clients. She has helped many non-profit and for-profit organizations over the years, with her range of on-site and virtual services by serving as their human resource extension and coach.

Dawn carefully built her own diverse team of like-minded individuals who share the same passion and soul tie to the company’s mission as her. The team and she work closely to generate new ideas to empower organizations and job seekers. “I do not operate in a vacuum. I have a wonderful team that is highly gifted, and I make sure to utilize all their gifts and talents,” Dawn says.

At the moment, Dawn is assisting Dianna Campbell, CEO of DiCam Strategic Solutions which is a strategic fundraising and plan development firm. Dawn is assisting Dianna in highlighting her business and giving her guidance on how to navigate being a minority woman business owner “It is my belief that sharing with other entrepreneurs the ebbs and flows of starting a new business is a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a responsibility that I proudly try to live up to.” Dawn also gives her insights and advise as a writer for Forbes Human Resources Council.

Working towards a better future

Whenever she is not occupied with delivering personalized and authentic services to her clients, Dawn likes to be near the water. It helps her relax and de-compress from her constantly evolving, people-facing and demanding routine. She is known to not be a fearful person and stands up for what is right. She is committed to her clients and dedicated to her work and strongly believes that she is on this planet to make a difference, a difference that resonates clearly in her work and agenda.

Dawn has stood at the forefront of causes like women’s empowerment, community outreach, civil rights, mental awareness, and others. Through her steadfast diligence and purpose to make a positive change, she has come to be known as one of the most sought-after entrepreneurs. She continues to educate and train women to be intentional, bold, and daring. She says to women around the world on their own entrepreneurial journeys, “There is no “glass ceiling” unless you choose to have one.”

“I really would not do anything differently. I honestly believe that my path has led me to my present career success.”

She remembers her late mother Grace Taylor who was an idol and role model to Dawn.“She is why I am, who I am. She instilled the best parts of me in me.” Currently, Dawn is in the middle of making a thought-provoking documentary about the perils of living with a dangerous person. The film is close to her and is inspired by her own life. After losing her nephew due to a relationship a woman had with a convicted murderer that brought him to their town only to kill again, Dawn decided to shed some light on the subject. Dawn says, “If this documentary helps just one person, it will be worth it.”

As for her company, Dawn continues to successfully provide talent, staff, and HR support to organizations. Even with the pandemic, she steered through the murky waters and adjusted well to the “new normal” of business. She educates organizations and business leaders about the advantages of working from home and how to adapt to it. Dawn strives to help people in their professional walks of life. “I am thankful to have the opportunity to use my platform to uplift, teach and build,” and will continue to do so. Dawn will launch several other arms to Pinnacle in the coming years. “Pinnacle will let the needs of the people dictate how it grows,” Dawns says, “We will always be here to answer the call.”

Special thanks to Kevin L. Fisher, Kreative Fhotography and Erica Coates, Erica Ni’cole Beauty

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