Last year was a groundbreaking year for the industry: Record revenues and unprecedented M&A activity stand out. Of course, there was another notable first: Staffing Industry Analysts’ inaugural list of top female executives who are shaping the staffing industry. Initially, the concept was to launch a list of 50 women who represented the “[best and brightest] innovators, entrepreneurial thinkers and rising stars.” Due to overwhelming response, SIA upped the ante and launched the Global Power 100 — Women in Staffing list highlighting the top women in staffing worldwide.
I was thrilled for this inaugural launch. Last year I collaborated with SIA to launch a series of blogs on women in staffing, and I have been spotlighting leading women weekly in ClearEdge Marketing’s #womenINstaffing Wednesdays. Not only was this public praise and recognition for leaders who have been working for decades to impact and innovate, but it also provided a platform for an elite group of staffing leaders to share what they’ve learned along the way to teach and inspire the next generation of women looking to grow as leaders in this industry (including, selfishly, me and many of my friends and peers). Further, as the industry struggles to attract and retain the internal talent required to sustain the projected growth rate, it’s beneficial to get into the mindset of industry trailblazers who have excelled at simultaneously building successful teams and careers in staffing.
With that goal in mind, our team at ClearEdge set out to learn more from these women. However, knowing how busy these leaders are – and you are! – we asked them one question and required that they limit their response to 50 words. This was the question:
If you were giving a commencement speech to a room full of eager graduates, what would be your final thoughts?
Although the leaders who shared their perspectives have diverse backgrounds across different verticals, there were similar themes among the 12 responses featured in this eBook, “On the Path to Staffing Success,” and the 40-plus women who have been featured as part of #womenINstaffing Wednesdays thus far.
Looking for some motivation?
Here are the top three themes that have resonated with me, plus a few select quotes from the eBook that help demonstrate these lessons and provide you with some motivation to spur your own career growth:
- Be authentic and know what motivates you.
“Having lost two dear friends to cancer in the past five years, the most valuable advice I would give a room full of eager graduates is to be present in the moment, and commit to giving the best possible version of YOU, every minute of every day.”
— Ericka Hyson, Partner and COO, ettain group
- Embrace taking on new roles– especially with P&L responsibilities.
“You have to be willing to do the hard stuff and be uncomfortable. That’s where the most growth comes. Always stay in a learning mode and build relationships with different people that can help advise you. One key to mentorship is following their advice or being willing to try.”
— Tammi Heaton, COO and EVP, PrideStaff
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help and rely on your network.
“Own your personal and career development and make your career aspirations known. Be willing to relocate. Stay connected with people as you move through your career. The best opportunities are born within networks. Finally, support other women in the workplace; they are not your competition, they are your allies.”
— Kim Cannon, EVP, HR, TrueBlue
Whether you are male or female, a 30-year staffing veteran or rookie, consider how these lessons could impact you as you set to conquer 2016. What challenges will you embrace – and how will you pay it forward when you’ve gained experiences that can help others who are hungry to learn from you?