Women-Owned Staffing in the Washington, DC Area

Women-Owned Staffing in the Washington, DC Area
202.408.1700 • careers@thechoiceinc.com

The Choice was founded in 1983 with a simple mission:
“To be a different type of staffing service.”

Our mission has not changed.

The Choice, however, has evolved from placing receptionists and administrative assistants in the 1980’s and 1990’s to assisting our DC area clients with staffing their membership teams, fundraising and development personnel as well as event and communications specialists.
Because many of our clients have used The Choice as their primary staffing vendor for so many years, we know and understand their organizations’ staffing needs.

Our extensive referral network gives us access to “the best and the brightest.”

Whether it is a temporary database specialist or a full-time direct hire chief of staff, our recruiters, who have worked with us far beyond the industry average, deliver time and again.

Shannon Dunn,
Human Resources and Technology Specialist
with the choice inc. since 2018

Path that brought me to The Choice:

I had moved to DC after graduation and was interested in a career in HR and applied to a position the team was working on. I was having some trouble finding a position, and they brought me in for an interview and ended up having an HR position open in the office, which was exactly what I was looking for!

What I enjoy about working at The Choice and what makes us different:

It is nice to come to work every day to a team that genuinely cares about what they do and the people they work with. The positions that we work on are really interesting, and it is nice to see how well the team matches people with their interests. They are a fun group of people, and being part of a team like this makes every day great.

What is your favorite part of your work and why?

I like that we help people find jobs in relevant organizations around DC, and every day is very different. I like learning the “ins and outs” of different organizations. I help with some back office tasks, which I enjoy, and it is really cool to see the recruiters in action!

Why Staffing – what attracted you to this industry?

When I was looking for jobs, I didn’t think of staffing as a career that I would be interested in, but I am glad I am here now! It gives me insight into different organizations and all the different careers and positions that are out there.

Kate Lyons,
VP of Recruiting and Compliance
with the choice inc. since 2007

Path that brought me to The Choice:

I applied to an ad on Craigslist for a Recruiter. I had been working in Boston in development for Simmons College in a department that had a lot of openings. I handled all of the administrative tasks for the recruitment team, and it prompted me to explore recruiting jobs.

What I enjoy about working at The Choice and what makes us different:

The team. I am an athlete and a middle child. I grew up a competitor, but always was surrounded by support on the field and at home! The Choice Team works collaboratively on everything. It’s nice to support other members of the team in their careers but also feel supported day in and day out. Also, I get to bring my dog, Louie to work with me!

What advice do you have for job seekers?

To be as flexible as you can and to keep an open mind! Sometimes getting the job that you really want requires you to start in a position that isn’t your dream job, but will help you build your skill set and gain experience and exposure.

What appeals to you about working with a women led-organization?

I am proud to be a working mom and have been fortunate to receive so much support from The Choice to help me navigate working and motherhood. I have a daughter and a son, and I want to show both of them that women can be leaders and do anything they want to do!

Allison Gierszewski,
Senior Recruiter
with the choice inc. since 2014

Path that brought me to The Choice:

I was working in the hotel industry after finishing my degree in Hospitality Management and had been considering an industry change to Human Resources. The Choice offered me a great opportunity to jump into HR and recruiting. I have found my hospitality training to be transferable to recruiting as well as employee and client relations.

What I enjoy about working at The Choice and what makes us different:

There are so many great opportunities in Washington, DC, and I love helping candidates navigate the market and assist in getting their foot in the door. Our approach to recruiting is very genuine and thoughtful- I love match-making! We have an incredible work culture internally. We all truly support each other as a team.

What advice do you have for job seekers?

Don’t give up, and keep an open mind! We have seen many people get great full-time jobs from a temporary position. There are so many open doors in DC. Partnering with an agency can be a great help!

If you weren’t working in staffing at The Choice – what would your dream job look like?

A cooking show judge. And for a more practical dream- I would like to eventually teach resume writing.

Maggie Canty,
Junior Recruiter
with the choice inc. since 2019

Path that brought me to The Choice:

I applied to general opportunities with The Choice after graduating from college. The summer before my senior year, I interned in DC and fell in love with the city! I connected to The Choice during my job search. I was particularly interested in working with non-profit organizations in a job where I could interact with people all day long. I found just that!

What I enjoy about working at The Choice and what makes us different:

The team here is unique, and everyone is supportive. My favorite part about my job is meeting with motivated candidates and finding them positions with mission-driven organizations. What makes us different is everyone in our office gets to know each of the candidates individually, we get to know you and you get to know us.

Why Staffing – what attracted you to this industry?

Finding a new job that you are excited about can be one of the best feelings. I love that I can be a stepping stone in connecting an individual to their dream job!

If you weren’t working in staffing at The Choice – what would your dream job look like?

Outside of The Choice, I teach yoga. I would love to lead a yoga retreat somewhere I’ve never been!

Cheryl Marquis,
President
with the choice inc. since 2004

Path that brought me to The Choice:

After spending 12 years working in management for 2 large staffing firms in DC, I was searching for a different, less corporate experience. I was introduced to Drew Hudson who was described as someone who thinks “outside of the box” and was looking to expand his family-owned boutique staffing firm. That was 2004.

What I enjoy about working at The Choice and what makes us different:

The Choice has provided me with an excellent standard of living, enabling me to travel the world, my favorite thing to do other than spending time with my family and friends.

More importantly, because of the exciting and worthwhile organizations that we staff, we have the opportunity, daily, to impact the lives of our candidates. But, what I enjoy most is mentoring our internal team of Choice employees, helping to develop their skills and strengths to enable them to either advance within our firm and thrive or to move on to another exciting career. A former Choice operations assistant who we hired right out of college is now Senior Manager of Events for a data media firm in DC. One former recruiter has gone on to become a Specialist in Marketing and Communications at a major conservation non-profit and another has a successful fundraising and development career.

If you weren’t working in staffing at The Choice – what would your dream job look like?

I would love to be a food critic! Maybe I can take over for Tom Sietsema at the Washington Post when he retires?

Drew Hudson,
Chief Executive Officer
with the choice inc. since 1996

Path that brought me to The Choice:

The Choice’s Chairwoman, Tracy Rogers Paquin. Tracy helped me land my first job out of college and also became my sister-in-law. My career led me to government contracting at NASA, and Tracy wanted to grow the government sector of our business when she became President of The Choice in the mid-90s. We forged an incredible partnership for us, our families, our corporate team and all the associates and clients to whom we owe our success.

What I enjoy about working at The Choice and what makes us different:

I was very impressed with The Choice’s mission statement of “valuing people and profits”. I liked the idea of working with a company that truly valued people and didn’t apologize for valuing profit. When Cheryl Marquis came to The Choice, her vision was exactly that. I enjoy watching our team advocate for highly skilled citizen leaders as they launch careers in work cultures with purposeful missions. To this day, Cheryl emphasizes valuing people and doing the right thing for our clients—and the profit will come. We don’t have business development people. Instead, we invest in great recruiters and give them the tools they need to quickly identify, thoroughly vet and deeply engage in associates for the good of our clients. The Choice is about people and purpose. How could I not love being a part of that?

You have worked at The Choice a long time – what has motivated you to stay all of these years?

Quite simply the future. The future of The Choice has always been bright. The creation of the idea of working with “citizen leaders”, engaging in our associates’ professional development and being able to truly focus on clients with purposeful missions gave us great clarity as to what we were seeking — to be healthy in numbers but HUGE in impact. When Cheryl came on board, she brought a whole new energy. Cheryl has developed a corporate team that has grown into leadership roles and continues to cultivate “the best of the best” in recruiting professionals on behalf of our clients. I am excited for our future. I was a bit “aw-struck” when our succession plan was developed and I could see the future of The Choice right here with us today. It motivates me to continue to ensure the Choice is the best of the best for these stakeholders and their lives, their goals. The Choice has been a powerful journey as a career but only because of the people I shared it with. To know we won’t be part of a corporate sell-out or turned over to venture capital folks gives our work even more meaning, knowing the legacy of engagement, care, concern, purpose and doing right by others will be sustained by folks who helped build the company and drove The Choice’s success.

What appeals to you about working with a women led-organization?

I get that question a lot with my role and I really like answering. The Choice is personal to all of us, so the answer here is going to be quite personal. I was raised by a single mother with four sisters. All powerful, compassionate and wise. My security always came through these women. My mom worked multiple jobs at once and made things work. I watched her strategize and problem-solve with an eloquence and confidence that I admired tremendously. Working in an organization that is led by women is a great fit for me. Our corporate vision, our approach, our goals and objectives and the grit and drive to get things done is coupled with our nurturing approach to client services and associate management that fuels our success and makes The Choice truly different. The Choice’s President, Cheryl Marquis, and the team gave me a birthday gift once that is a bronze sculpture of a woman arched in a circle. It is called “The Circle of Strength”—she saw it as a representation of the many women in my life who have afforded me incredible strength. It is one of my most cherished possessions.

Tara Rickert,
Assistant to the CEO
with the choice inc. since 1995

Path that brought me to The Choice:

A friend of mine had interviewed with The Choice’s Chairwoman, Tracy Rogers Paquin. I gave her my resume to share with Tracy. Tracy was interested in speaking with me and the rest has been history. I knew I enjoyed people and conversation.

What I enjoy about working at The Choice and what makes us different:

It is an understatement to simply say “The Choice has facilitated my professional growth”. The Choice is like no other culture I have seen. As Chairwoman, Tracy understood the demands of balancing career and motherhood. The Choice not only facilitated my professional development, it afforded me a career path which allowed me to truly balance life and work. As I grew, and The Choice grew, the leadership team did a great job combining the two sets of goals to ensure mutual success. I watched Cheryl come in and apply methodologies learned from global leaders in the staffing industry while embracing The Choice’s mission to provide optimal customer service to everyone with whom we interact. Cheryl’s leadership, engagement in details and eagerness to serve as a client and associate advocate serve as an example for the entire organization as we approach our day-to-day work.

What is your favorite part of your work and why?

I have enjoyed watching The Choice evolve. When I started, we used fax machines and typewriters. I am always challenging myself to learn new skills, new software, new approaches to providing our services in a quality and efficient manner. The Choice is always eager to invest further in tools that position the team for success—I enjoy helping the team implement these new processes to provide great service to our associates and clients.

Louie Lyons,
Director of Security and Initial Engagement
with the choice inc. since 2014

Path that brought me to The Choice:

My owner, Kate Lyons brought me into the office as a young puppy, just 12 weeks old. I was planning on only coming during the puppy phase, but then everyone liked me so much and I liked the job, they decided to keep me. I guess you could say I was a temp to hire!

What I enjoy about working at The Choice and what makes us different:

Being around people that love me every day. And the belly rubs are great too.