If you can believe it, you can achieve it! That is the mantra of Keagan Gros of our direct-hire team, and it has served her very well. She’ll be the first to admit that before she began to really visualize her success, it was a lot harder to make it a reality. Now it’s clear to see that a few mindfulness tactics as well as some old fashioned optical reminders can go a long way! We live in an age of technology, but certain traditional methods and reminder systems can not only help boost your memory, but can also help fuel your motivation. From keeping yourself on track to hit goals and vision-boarding your way to a new achievement, Keagan has got you covered! We’re sitting down with her today to learn more about her journey, how she developed strategies to keep her focused, and how you can start implementing some of your own.
Communications Team: Thanks for joining us today, Keagan! You have a long history with Clarity at this point ー let’s hear how it all began! How did you gravitate toward the recruiting industry?
Keagan: My journey toward Clarity started after I graduated from Elon University. Undergrad, I studied Exercise Science and was prepared to pursue my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. However, during the process of applying to graduate programs, I caught myself envisioning a different life and career path. I started envisioning a more corporate career, but one that still had a positive impact in people’s lives. I am someone that trusts my gut and this pull was something I had to listen to. I was eager to make the move to NYC and start my career. A family friend’s daughter was a recruiter at Clarity and this was the first time I was exposed to a recruiting agency. I was intrigued by the service itself, and also thought recruiting could be a professional path aligned with my interests. I just needed someone to take a chance on me! With only physical therapy experience on my resume, I knew I could face some challenges. Through another recruiting agency, I was soon placed on my first assignment at a large consulting firm (BCG) to soak up experience. Here, I got exposure to the corporate world, recruiting, professionalism, and the experience needed to confirm that the HR/Recruiting career path was what I wanted to take.
When the contract came to an end, I reached out to the Clarity CEO Moira Dorst who I had met with a few months prior to learn more about how I could join Team Clarity and that’s how it all began!
Communications Team: Tell us bit about what it was like to transition from an “in-house” setting to an agency. What are they key differences?
Keagan: While at BCG, I was helping out with the administrative side of their MBA recruitment program. The biggest difference was representing one company/brand in-house, and transitioning to representing many companies and brand identities at once. Working at Clarity means I am always representing the Clarity brand, first and foremost! When I am recruiting however, I am not recruiting for Clarity, I am recruiting for many companies simultaneously, which has honestly become the most exciting thing about agency recruiting! I am always learning about new industries, new positions, and new skills for those nuanced positions.
Being agile is critical in an agency setting; I love the fast pace, pivots and critical thinking required to help my clients build their teams. You need to move through the full life-cycle as efficiently as possible so your client can get the right candidate and help they need. On the internal side, you’re fielding candidates and depending on your agency support to fuel your strategy, but on the agency side, you are that strategy, and you’re constantly refining it each day!
Communications Team: We know that no two days are alike here at Clarity, but what does a typical day in the life on the Direct-Hire team entail?
Keagan: I am on Clarity’s direct-hire team, which handles permanent roles, and I run a full desk. This means I am working directly with candidates and managing client accounts. Though no two days are the same, I can say every single day I need to be in constant communication with my team, my candidates, and my clients to make sure things are moving along as smoothly as possible; Being a strong and collaborative team-player is key to success here.
I source candidates daily from a variety of networks and platforms, and I then invite my strongest candidates to connect directly on a phone screen. I also have a vast personal network I also look to in order to identify new leads, and attend networking events to meet new people that are seeking new opportunities. After the phone screen, top candidates are invited into the Clarity office where I spend 20-30 minutes in-person assess their skills and discussing specifics responsibilities of a given position, or several. Once I identify qualified candidates who are interested in moving forward in the interview process, I present them to my clients, and manage all interview logistics and feedback on both ends. Once the candidate accepts an offer (this is always the ultimate goal!), I make sure the client has everything they need to properly onboard the candidate.
On the client side, I am taking in job orders and partner closely with my clients to ensure my team and I are finding the best talent that will add value to my clients’ respective and unique company cultures. I craft detailed, thoughtful bios on each candidate before presenting them to my clients and include candidate compensation expectations. At Clarity we like to be an extension of our clients’ HR teams, true partners, and hiring strategists for them. The best days of my week are those in which my client gives me the go-ahead to extend a stellar offer to my candidate!
How did your role progress at Clarity, and what systems have helped you most to stay organized, focused, and on top of all of your clients?
I was hired in November 2014 as a temp and was converted to a full time Clarity employee in January 2015. I quickly grew up the ranks from Sourcer to Junior Recruiter to Recruiter and am currently an Account Executive. The biggest thing I do to keep myself organized is keeping my email organized. I use Outlook, and have specific folders for resumes, emails from clients, emails from candidates, and internal employees. This way as soon as an email is read I can move it into the correct folder. I use my inbox almost as my ‘to-do’ list and aim to have it blank at the end of every day. I also will put calendar reminders on my own calendar for action items that I need to do on a given day. This helps me stay on top of candidates and clients.
What tips do you have for our readers to manifest their motivation and make moves to improve their working life?!
4 big ideas come to mind here…
Create a Vision board: Our CEO gifted our whole team vision boards at the end of 2016 and I was eager to put mine to good use. I had no idea it’s power prior to receiving this gift! Now I use a vision board in both my work and personal life ー visualizing my success in a quite literal way has been transformative. In 2017 I wanted to make President’s club (top producer circle) and that’s what I focused on achieving every single day. To do this, you have to produce a certain number of sales by the end of the year. Starting January 2017, I broke down exactly how much I had to bill for every month in 2017 in order to make President’s club. I put it right under my computer monitor on my vision board and looked at it daily. By the end of the third quarter, I had already achieved my 2017 goal – it honestly felt like magic (fueled by a LOT of hard work!!). My vision board is still something I use to this day and in 2018 I once again I have made President’s Club. Looking at something every single day keeps you accountable for your long term goals.
Get Physical: If you are catching on, you can see I am a visual person, and sometimes I just need to take things out of the abstract world and make them tangible, especially when it comes to my planner! My planner is in my possession at all times, and I have no shame busting out my large physical calendar at any time to add anything from a client lunch to a girls night right onto my calendar… I love doing this because I feel like writing something down in ink holds me accountable. It is so easy to say ‘yes’ to something and then backout of the commitment. For me, writing things down in my planner is a way to keep accountable. On two pages, it shows me an entire month, so I can visually see what’s ahead, instead of it feeling lost within an iPhone app. Here I can see the big picture ー Do I have a free long weekend I can fill with fun plans coming up? Or, more importantly, am I overcommitting myself? If so, where can I scale back so I can continue to focus on the most important areas of my life and take care of myself. This planner helps me make time for friends, family, work, personal health, and is something I have used for years.
Plan in Decades, and set GOALS: I often think about the proverb, “Plan in decades. Think in years. Work in months. Live in days.” For me I start big and then break down what I need to do each month, week, day, to achieve the goal and enjoy achieving it along the way. That being said, I like to set monthly and quarterly benchmarks to help me achieve bigger-picture goals. This can be in work or in my personal life. If things are going well it’s easy to stay on the path, but it’s critical to check in on your progress, hold yourself accountable, and adjust your course continuously. You don’t need to give up on long-term goal just because a few weeks or months didn’t go as planned, and you should never rest on your laurels just because you have a stellar week! If you’re constantly crushing your goals, raise your expectations for yourself and don’t be afraid to stretch yourself adjust your longer term goals accordingly.
Know What Motivates You: Lastly, when setting goals, you should reflect on why you are setting that goal. We all have different motivations in life and we are allowed to! For me, I find the goals I have been able to successfully achieve are the ones I want to accomplish for myself and myself alone. Not simply to be better than anyone else, or prove my worth to other people. What matters is proving your worth to yourself first and foremost. Don’t be afraid to print out a photo of that vacation you want to take, those concert and plane tickets, that dream apartment ー whatever you want! You can manifest a lot more than you realize by believing and visualizing your goals as realities!
Communications Team: Thank you so much, Keagan, we’re officially motivated to update our vision boards!