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Always Be Recruiting: Vern and Tony

Always Be Recruiting: Vern and Tony
March 10, 2022 Jerry Vallely

Vern Summers and Tony Smoote standing in front of a Metro Public Safety truck.Always Be Recruiting: Vern and Tony

Recruitment can take many forms, especially while organizations and companies around the country are experiencing unprecedented workforce shortages. In recent months, BSD has employed strategies including signing bonuses, increased wages, participation in and hosting job fairs, while also offering referral and retention bonuses to current team members. Two team members that are making an extra effort to find quality candidates for our team are Vern Summers, Director of Public Safety and Tony Smoote, Manager of Transit Security.

They have built a strong team by actively recruiting anytime they find sincere individuals with exceptional customer skills and a desire to help. Vern and Tony have identified and hired many great candidates for positions in the Metro Public Safety Department by recruiting former colleagues or even identifying potential team members while out to eat or shopping.

“We have a number of employees that we’ve recruited from restaurants, malls, and hospitals that showed us exceptional customer service qualities,” Vern said. “There’s been a few times where I’ve been at restaurants and seen an outstanding waiter, so I walk up to hand them my business card and say, ‘Hey, you’re doing a great job! We’re looking for folks like you at Metro and we have a great program, it’s a great place to work’. I do that openly.”

This is a recruitment model that can be effectively used to add team members to the entire BSD team, not just Metro Public Safety. By having pride in their work and team, Vern and Tony have done well to not only identify, but also attract prospective candidates using their belief and passion in our organization.

We asked Vern and Tony a few questions to find out the secret to their success.

What makes BSD an attractive career opportunity?

Vern – It’s a top flight security program that is evolving as it gets bigger and better. Metro Transit in general treats its employees very well, our benefits package is great and the pay is competitive. Our management team and everyone gets along on our team, and people are appreciated in this environment so they feel good coming into work.

What is your favorite thing about actively recruiting new team members?

Tony – I love hearing when people join our team and a few weeks or months later say, “I can see this being a career for me, not just a job.”

What are the qualities that make someone a good fit for BSD?

Vern – You can tell immediately if someone is sincere or not. We’re looking for those people that truly want to be helpful and have a good work ethic, but the most important thing is the way they treat people. We can teach them the security aspect of things.

Thank you, Vern and Tony, and to all of you who are making BSD a better organization. Remember, referrals not only attract some of the best candidates for Bi-State Development, but also provide a great benefit for you – a $1,000 employee referral bonus for some of our most critical positions, like MetroBus and Call-A-Ride Operators, Electricians, and Mechanics.

Information about opportunities at Metro Transit can be at, and all of the open positions available at BSD can be found at These positions offer competitive pay with excellent benefits, including guaranteed retirement income, health insurance and paid time off.