Many unemployed people look to staffing or recruitment companies during difficult economic times. These companies can help to ease the stress and legwork that come with any serious job search. However, while many staffing companies can be impersonal when working with candidates and clients, others think far beyond just the next few paychecks.

One local company that prides itself on how it values its candidates is Connect Search. Looking to place candidates in lifelong career positions, Connect Search cultivates relationships that focus on long-term placement. Located in Chicago’s downtown area, Connect Search is actively matching strong people to career positions in the I.T. field, finance and accounting.

Elizabeth A. DeFazio is one of five founding partners of Connect IT, a division of Connect Search, LLC. As president and CEO of the company, she understands the importance of education in her candidates, as well as the role it has played in her own career.

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Elizabeth A. DeFazio, president and CEO, Connect Search, LLC (photo courtesy of Elizabeth A. DeFazio)

How long have you been in recruitment management? In your own career, when did you start holding management positions? 

“I have over 15 years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry. I co-founded the company, Connect Search, in March of 2012. Since the inception of the company, I have held the position of president and CEO. I have been in management since 1997. I worked at one of the largest global staffing companies in the world. Other management positions I have held include recruiting manager, branch manager, sales manager, vice president, EVP and COO at former employers.”

What is your educational background? How has it influenced your career and the value you put on education? 

“I hold a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Counseling Education. Both degrees have been helpful in obtaining management roles because it takes persistence, patience, tenacity, long hours, commitment, the ability to work with others and strategy to get through a higher-level degree, which is exactly what it takes to manage people. Higher-level education programs also allow you to work with different people with differing personalities. In business management, it is critical to comprehend that not everyone is the same. Advanced education programs also allow for exposure to multicultural dynamics. The education you receive in an advanced management program allows leaders to think bigger and not with tunnel vision. I have been in management my entire career because I understand that the key component to any sort of business success is people.”

Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on

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