Rachel Howard

Chief Cultural Officer

Rachel is a “people person.” Sociable, outgoing, charismatic, and professional are merely a few of the kind words her peers use to describe her. As you might suspect, these characteristics have been a boon to her career in talent acquisition and recruiting.

Her skillset has also translated well in her current role as Chief Cultural Officer, here, at LeadingAgile. She truly believes that a great culture starts with happy team members, and she has a passion for engaging and developing talent. Rachel’s over-arching goal is to connect LeadingAgile to its people and to connect the company and its people to our clients so that, together, we can achieve a singular, cohesive vision.

Rachel does this by focusing her efforts on “employee delight.” That means she helps individuals develop and grow by enabling them to discover and explore a learning path that is most suitable for helping them achieve their personal and professional goals.

After graduating from Hartwick College, in 1997, Rachel embarked on her 20+ year career in recruiting and talent acquisition at Drew University as an Admissions Recruiter. After three years, she became intrigued by the notion of using her skills to assist organizations in finding the right talent that would help them achieve their desired business outcomes. So, she took a position at Capital City Consulting as a Technical Recruiter and later took on the role of Senior IT Recruiter at Odyssey consulting.

It wasn’t until 2005, when Rachel found herself in the role of Senior Technical Recruiter at Pillar Technology, that she was introduced to the Agile industry and realized her true passion. At the time, Pillar was a small organization, in its infancy, and it just so happened that they were using Agile development practices in their teams. At the time, Agile wasn’t widely accepted, so most developers weren’t using it formally, if at all. Since there was no precedence, Rachel had to go out and really examine what “potential” looked like within the industry. To do this, she led a grassroots effort in the field to get to know industry leaders, understand their backgrounds, and figure out what was important to them, so she could properly assess talent and turn candidates into true Agile craftsmen. After spending some time in the Agile community, Rachel knew she was hooked. The people she met were creative, collaborative, and fiercely passionate about their craft—all the things that she, herself, valued from a cultural perspective.

As Pillar grew, Rachel flourished and quickly earned the role of Recruiting Manager. As the recruiting team grew, she was elevated to the role of Director of Talent Engagement and, later, to the role of VP of Talent Management. During her time at Pillar she was responsible for sourcing, hiring, retaining the best and brightest talent, and internal resource and account management.

Because Rachel has seen Pillar, Agile, and the Agile community grow first hand, she has a unique perspective on what it takes to develop relationships with people in the industry and be their advocate. Rachel is much more than a recruiter, she’s a champion for culture who aims to make life-long relationships with the people she meets. In fact, many of the people she’s touched over the years are still friends of hers to this very day.

When Rachel isn’t busy advocating for her team or crafting cutting edge talent acquisition and retention strategies, she’s an occasional speaker at conferences such as COHAA in Ohio and is a contributing member of the Agile Alliance.

Recent Posts from Rachel

Getting Hired in Agile

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It’s no secret that Agile is becoming more and more mainstream. Some might even say that it’s crossed the chasm and is considered to be the preferred method of software […]

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More posts from Rachel