We are a local, full-service recruiting, staffing and consulting firm that specializes in placing professionals in the accounting, finance, human resource, administration, sales and marketing functions in Portland and throughout the Pacific Northwest. We have an experienced team with a proven track record of success for more than 27 years.
Meet The Team
Wendy Kent, Founder
Wendy is the founder of Kent Employment Solutions.
It all began with a phone and a stack of index cards. Armed with company names, rejection notes from past employees, and marching orders from my manager to make 25 cold calls each day and ask for business, I was both scared, and intrigued, by the new and emerging industry I had stumbled into accidentally.
That was 1991. I had taken the job because everyone seemed friendly and the office was professional — and because, let’s face it: I have always loved talking on the phone, a skill I’ve been honing since I was 13 years old, when my parents gave me a phone with my own number –perhaps it was an omen! I had no idea at the time that this would become my life long career and passion. I started unsurely, but after making my first placement, I never looked back!
I’ve watched my industry change dramatically over the years; it’s often hard to keep up which is why it’s so exciting and exciting, and have had the good fortune to meet 100’s of wonderful people along the way who have helped guide and evolve my path. I could not have found a better fit!
In January of 2010, I took all my work experiences in recruiting/staffing, coaching and outplacement consulting and formed my own company, Kent Employment Solutions. It’s been a wild ride full of ups and downs and lots of lessons learned.
Today, we are thriving as a business and have enjoyed both the challenges and rewards of being entrepreneurs. I take each candidate’s career very seriously and know how hard it is to make a change, I’ve been there.
I welcome inquiries and introductions; every person I meet makes me better professionally.
Wendy is the Co-Chair of the Portland Human Resource Management Association Recruiting & Selection Special Interest Group. She facilitates several annual learning events designed to assist recruiters in honing their craft.
Wendy is also one of the founders of the Portland Strategic HR Group, an HR think tank. This group was created to provide a forum for strategic HR leaders to share knowledge and discuss primary HR topics. All participants have a local area focus and represent a variety of industries.
Wendy attended New York University and has a Bachelor of Art & Sciences with a major in sociology and a minor in history. Her hobbies include yoga, cycling, animals, good wine, friends and family and enjoying all that Oregon has to offer!
David Kent, Co-Founder
David is the co-founder of Kent Employment Solutions. I have always been an entrepreneur. I started my own contracting business in the late 80’s, working for myself has always provided me the most reward and satisfaction. As an owner at Kent Employment Solutions, I provide operational leadership and expertise to the business. I am known for my deep knowledge of Portland and my lifelong experience conducting business in the local market. I’m a native Oregonian, and I have supported Wendy Kent in her career from the very beginning, often assisting behind the scenes and providing sound advice to her and the organizations she has served. I enjoy cycling, yoga, horticulture, kayaking and all that living in Oregon has to offer.
Michelle Patton, SPHR
Michelle is our recruiting affiliate via her firm Aria Consulting, LLC.
I am eclectic and action oriented, and I believe that a sense of humor, empathy, and flexibility are more crucial to organizational success than skills, education, and experience and are far too often overlooked. To be an effective People leader it’s essential to possess a sense of humor, empathy, a passion for learning, and a little quirk never hurt. Yes, I said quirk. Aren’t we in the business of people? So our ability to create connections with people is crucial, isn’t it? And people aren’t drawn to and don’t open up to personalities rocks, do they? One of the best things an employee every told me was “You aren’t the typical HR person.” Someone else told me “You surprise me. You aren’t a regular HR person.” Woo, hoo! This to me was an amazing compliment and a wake-up call for our profession. What fun is it to be typical? What innovation comes from staying the course? Who wants to be regular anyway?
Michelle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from Linfield College. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys singing in choir, travel, wine, reading and spending time with her four-legged children.
We Know Portland
Simply put, we understand Portland business and its distinct culture. With the majority of local businesses being privately held or family owned, and many with less than 100 employees, networking is the key to finding talent and career opportunities in Portland. Working with a seasoned and well-connected recruiter is vital.
What makes us different from other firms? Our relationships. One of the best ways we measure our success over the years has been by our ability to grow, nurture, and connect great companies with the candidates who are aligned to support their success and growth. When we earn our clients’ trust and build long-term partnerships, we know we’re getting the job done well. And through the diversity of industries and positions we serve, people are at the core of our work each day.
I have used Wendy for four separate executive sales recruitments. She and her team continue to go above and beyond to source candidates and provide us with A-game players. I will continue to use Kent Employment Solutions as I know I am getting the best service and get the opportunity to work with Wendy herself.Heidi NelsonHuman Resources Manager, ID Experts
Wendy has been a great recruiter. With her help, I’ve been able to hire outstanding people. She has an excellent network, moves fast, and doesn’t waste anyone’s time. Her approach is from a whole-company perspective. That approach and her natural relationship-based style bring a lot of value to the company and to candidates and results in more successful placements. I recommend her highly and look forward to working more with her in the future.Ken RobinsonPrincipal Consultant
With her clarity, honesty, and genuine care, Wendy creates great, actionable insights for her clients. I was fortunate to be on the receiving end of her tough-yet-fair advice, and my communications are the better for it. I’m grateful for Wendy’s high level of professionalism and empathy; I recommend her heartily.Katy MessHR Business Partner, LivePerson
”Wendy finds great people. She easily grasps the type of help that is needed for your situation. I have used Wendy at several companies with great results. I highly recommend her!Elizabeth EttlingCFO, Sonivate Medical