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Q&A, Team Lead Voices

The Great Pivot – A Team Lead Conversation

A Team Lead Conversation with Matt Rush of our Temporary Placement Division and Keagan Gros of our Permanent Placement Division.

What a YEAR. How have we changed over the past year to make everything workーand keep everyone working?! It has been a result of a key strength in our Team members that emerged. It’s their ability to pivot ー and fast. Toward new business, away from practices that didn’t serve them, and up into a new echelon of resilience. Despite the undeniable challenges, we’ve paved the way for the best version of Clarity yet (oh and did we mention we’re hiring? Learn more HERE)! We used some of our extra time to develop new DEI programming, articulate our commitment to non-discriminatory recruitment practices, build new partnerships and resource guides and allow for new ways of working together remotely that have proven to work extremely well. If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll know that the only way we’re able to build better Teams for our clients is by making sure our Team is strong and supported, and has proper guidance to navigate uncomfortable situations. A quote from our CEO says it best… and then on to the conversation!

“I’m not the first to say it, and I surely won’t be the last, but life truly begins outside of your comfort zone. Our entire Team took this ‘great pivot’ in stride and each member has developed new tools to improve their own abilities as a result.” – Moira Dorst, CEO

Communications Team: How have you and your Teams pivoted over the past 12 months to keep your desks active? 

Matt: We have pivoted in so many ways. We worked hard to maintain a positive outlook early on, which really helped us identify new directions to shift toward. By thinking of the pandemic and related social and economic circumstances over the past year as opportunities to listen, learn and grow into new areas, we actually manifested this to happen. Had we let our fear get the best of us, we certainly would not be in the position we are in today ー fielding new job orders again daily from new and existing clients! We also leaned on our existing recruiting skillsets and the technology we had at our disposal. We’re fortunate that we already had remote work capabilities that the entire Team was familiar operating. This laid the groundwork for us to develop confidence needed to fill roles in brand new employment categories without the added stress of learning new operational tools. Some new roles were in industries Clarity didn’t have a strong history in, and others were literally brand new positions (such as Temperature Checkers!) that were bred from the pandemic. When we learned of these new roles in our client circles, we immediately availed ourselves to apply our signature, tailored approach to give anything and everything a concerted effort. We committed to not shy away from anything just because it was unfamiliar or uncomfortable.

Keagan: Exactly. We have been working on new, unfamiliar jobs, expanding client lists through thorough research and spending a lot of time not only seeing which industries were hiring, but thinking creatively about what service we could offer clients and candidates if we couldn’t immediately give them a job to interview for. This included giving informational interviews, providing resume reviews and updating and keeping in close touch with active candidates in hopes they would come to me in the future when opportunities sprung up ー and many of them did. In some cases, candidates we supported during their journey have come back around in new roles and have asked us to be their recruitment partner! Through making a pivot toward being an indispensable job-search consultant ー not only a recruiter ー we got to think holistically about how to be of value to our network. This was a result of initially having a bit of extra time to implement these practices, which now have made us all realize how important they are all the timeー not just when we may have had a bit of extra time. 

Matt: Yes! Listening to candidate experiences and committing to calling clients to talk ーeven if we couldn’t immediately help with job opportunitiesー  really helped shed light on what was happening in the job market. The more conversations we had the more we learned and eventually could feel comfortable taking on new recruitment areas. Some examples of new areas we dove into on the temp side of the business were openings in the tech and digital spaces, Insurance Ops Specialists, Total Rewards, Allocations Coordinators, temperature takers, and more, all while continuing to focus heavily on temporary recruiters, CXR, HR, finance and operations needs to balance it out. 

Communications Team: Has the ability to pivot helped your Teams excel?

Keagan: Absolutely! We now consider roles we may have once taken on with cautionー due to them being less familiar ー to be right in our wheelhouse. We’ve gained invaluable experience in new areas as a result of pivoting toward new work. We took on a growth mindset instead of shying away. Early in the pandemic, we did of course have a bit more time to dive deeper and research and subsequently knowledge share across Teams. This allowed us to learn about new roles, recruit for them and successfully fill them. I couldn’t be more proud of our ability to pivot, work cross functionally, and ultimately develop new practice areas. On the Direct-Hire side of the business, we even placed a variety of executive level jobs. These jobs historically have longer lead time given they’re looking for very experienced professionals with specific skill sets, and our ability to have time to discuss internally the ins and outs of these complex roles without as many distractions made us recognize we are highly adaptable and capable. As Matt said earlier, by remaining positive and trying to embrace uncomfortable feelings, we grew a lot. We’re doing great now as a result!

Matt: Adopting a “yes-and” mentality proved to us that we can truly be a full service agency guided by our core values of clarity, humanity, and purpose. If this pivot taught us one thing it’s that humanity will always lead the way in recruiting and we took the past year to add tools to become not only a more capable recruiting firm, but also a more equitable. This all-in acceptance that we can do better to build teams better has already begun to show dividends that I know will keep multiplying. During the past 12 months we  have also doubled down on our efforts on dismantling our unconscious biases through workshops and continued education. We’ve worked to create an even more fair and equitable hiring strategy that can support our client’s DEI efforts immediately and for years to come.

Communications Team: Let’s hear more about how you embraced the discomfort of the unknown. How this has helped you and your Teams grow?

Matt: The unknown is the best. It’s when staring at a blank piece of paper that anything is possible. Sure, it can be unnerving at first, but if you view it as an opportunity to determine what you truly want to improve upon, that’s what it can be. Because of this past year, we’ve allowed folks to move out of state, to travel and work remotely, and to take on new challenges. I feel in many ways by being apart, we’ve grown closer because we’ve had to adapt how we communicate during a time when we’ve all undergone great emotional changes.

Keagan: I definitely took advantage of this! This year I have embarked upon a journey to live in a different state each month while remaining fully committed to my role, my clients and my Team at Clarity. It has been a wonderful adventure and I’m grateful our CEO Moira has been supportive. We’re entering a new era of work for sure, and while some of these challenges were difficult at first, they’ve helped us all think deeply about what matters to us, and seek ways to improve not only our business pursuits at Clarity, but our lives outside our laptops as well. It is great to know that as a team we are malleable and can shift as neededー this year really proved we’re capable of so much more than we realized. At the start there were plenty of jobs we were recruiting for that we were not confident in but as we talked to candidates we learned more about the roles and now can continue to learn and recruit for different roles continuously. Needs will continue to shift and it’s great to know we have a team that has the power to adjust and still place top candidates at top clients during these challenging times. Our collective energy and desire to push through has helped us bond as a Team and come out stronger!

Want to know who is hiring right now? Reach out to Matt and Keagan directly:


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