Addison Group SVP Earns NextGen Under 30 Honors

by Andrew Chambers 01/27/2021

Keeping options open and looking for the next career opportunity — that’s the approach Ray Wolber took early in his career.

He started working at a client of Addison Group after graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 2014. After working his way up to a Recruiting Manager role, he figured a change was in store.

“I reversed the conversation on Addison Group when they came to visit in 2016,” Wolber said. “I told them if they had anything, I was open to new opportunities. They mentioned an internal opportunity to come directly into a business development role in the IT team and I took it.”

The Path to Success

From there, Wolber worked tirelessly for two years. He was always the first one in the office and the last one out, doing it for no one other than himself. He wasn’t concerned with making sure anyone saw his work ethic in action; he knew if he kept grinding away, success would follow.

And follow it did.

Wolber was promoted to a Branch Manager role after two years as a Business Development Manager when he was only in his mid-20s. But the grind didn’t stop there. He wasn’t yet satisfied.

“I spent about two and a half years in the branch management role before shifting into the Senior Vice President role,” Wolber said. “Now, I oversee Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Phoenix.”

His quick ascent to that senior-level role and his hard-working, success-driven attitude didn’t go unnoticed. He not only caught the attention of Addison Group but also outside organizations. Wolber was recently named to the NextGen Under 30 list, edging out plenty of other contestants in the running. NextGen Under 30 is an organization in Oklahoma that recognizes individuals who demonstrate talent, drive, and service to their communities.

Even though the recognition for his passion and drive is an exciting one, it’s something that comes naturally to Wolber.

“Something I learned on my way to obtaining this role is that the effort never changes,” Wolber said. “Your day-to-day is going to change, but staffing demands your best, regardless of what you’re doing. It demands a lot of resilience and a lot of being able to pivot and adjust on a dime.

“It’s part of the reason I like the job — no one day is the same. If you can operate with a creative mentality on different problems and opportunities that come in and think strategically about how we can marry a client’s needs with a candidate’s wants, that demands your best and I really enjoy that.”

While Wolber’s work ethic is certainly a large factor in his success thus far, he knows it wouldn’t be possible without the team-first culture Addison Group has built.

“Addison is really good at communicating that we’re all on the same team,” Wolber said. “We all want to win and provide ourselves with a comfortable and forward-moving career. But at the end of the day, when Addison wins, we all win. The more contracts we place, the more it advocates for us. Everyone’s victories translate down and help us all out, and I really enjoy that environment.”

Passing the Torch

NextGen Under 30 seeks individuals who are innovative and push the boundaries far beyond their years — something Wolber has been able to accomplish alongside his co-workers at Addison Group. Having his teammates and leadership alongside him proved to be invaluable, especially as they guide the next generation of high performers.

And with their success comes plenty of lessons learned. Here are two of the most important ones Wolber learned thus far in his career for those looking to follow in his recruiting footsteps.

1. Always be a student.

“No matter the specialty you’re in, industries are always changing,” Wolber said. “If you get ingrained in one way of doing things, you’re going to fall and the industry will outgrow you. I always encourage people to ask questions and understand that you don’t know everything and the best chance you have of success is to arm yourself with the right information.

2. Be comfortable being uncomfortable.

“Part of what we do in getting candidates to get to that seat and start the job is upholding expectations that are set in the first meeting,” Wolber said. “Sometimes that can be tough. You have a client that says they want X, Y, and Z, and you deliver that, then all of a sudden they shift on you, or push interviews back two weeks. You have to be comfortable saying, ‘Hold on, this is what we discussed on this date, here’s my notes. What’s changed for you?’

“You have to be comfortable being professionally assertive. Because the reality is, we are a valuable resource. These clients and candidates, we are a partner in their job search or candidate search. And if we’re going to provide maximum value, we’re going to have to be guardians of their time. And if we continually re-set expectations, we’re not saving them time; our value diminishes. So upholding expectations allows us to deliver in the most effective way. Being comfortable telling someone this isn’t what you discussed and you’d like to revisit your first meeting, that’s something that helps both parties out in the long run.”

For more information on Wolber’s recognition and the NexGen Under 30 award, read our full press release.

Interested in finding high performing individuals like Wolber? Contact an Addison Group professional today to get started.