Welcome to #WeAreGreenKey, where we shine a spotlight on our powerhouse recruiting team. 

This week, we chatted with Karen Martinez on the Healthcare team. Karen, who has been with Green Key for thirteen years, was recently promoted to Partner. She shared her recruiting journey with us, as well as what she thinks sets Green Key apart from other staffing agencies.  

How did you first get started in recruiting? 

I got my start in recruiting in 1997, after I moved from Miami to New York City. I had a healthcare sales background and came from a clinical family. For a while after college, I worked in a laboratory and sold generic pharma. After ten and a half years with my previous company, I was recruited by Green Key and have been here since 2009. 

What keeps you coming back to recruiting and sales every day? 

I love my clients and candidates. A large portion of them have become like family and true friends. The healthcare space is very rewarding and inspiring. You know that everything you do is for the betterment of another person’s care and wellbeing. I always remind our team that our workers could be helping their loved ones. This makes you more accountable and deeper sense of responsibility to your clients and candidates.  

What makes your team successful? 

They respect each other’s skillsets, no matter what the chain of command is. I’ve learned that I can teach the skills and industry, but I can’t teach someone to be self-motivated, ethical and honest. Those are the things I look for when hiring somebody. Everyone on my team has self-drive, honesty, and ethics. This is a very candidate-driven industry and the relationships with your candidates are what will bring you to the next level. The minute you’re not treating them professionally and kindly can be a nail in the coffin. I always say we are also here to be a career coach and industry leader.  

Why should someone want to work at Green Key? 

There is a fantastic level of transparency here that is not always available at other agencies. You are rewarded for the work you do and everyone is judged on the same metrics. As a woman, it’s important to be in that type of environment. 

Green Key is also responsive to market changes. Other agencies can become stagnant in their status quo, which makes them unable to see the field. Green Key supports and welcomes leaders that can capture new markets. It makes us an innovator and not a follower. You’re always given the bandwidth and autonomy to spread your wings and try something new.  

Congrats on your promotion! What are your new goals? 

My goal is to keep scaling up the team, as well as tearing into new territories and building new relationships with clients. I’d also like to help guide the new technology that we’re going to be using. I love that I am a part of an innovative, tech-forward company. 

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Flexibility, Communication Are the Keys to Becoming a Top Admin

The warning about serving two masters is an apt caution for administrative professionals who, as companies reopen offices, may find themselves suddenly having two bosses.

Where once an executive assistant might stay with a single executive, the trend now is for all but the most senior leaders to share the services of a single admin. As a recent article from the American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP) says, “managing the expectations of diverse personalities might prove frustrating at times.”

When that frustration results in missed deadlines or hurried work, it only makes the situation worse. Before you get caught in the middle of conflicting demands, the article says it’s up to you to work out the ground rules each time you’re assigned a new executive .

“Setting clear boundaries from the very beginning helps prevent future conflicts,” advises the ASAP. “Make sure they’re [the new addition] aware of the full scope of your role.”

Most executives will work with you, but, says the article, there will be times when a request comes in that you can’t handle either because someone else is responsible or you’re just jammed and won’t get to it in the time they want. That’s when you may need to diplomatically explain the situation, explaining when you will be able to deliver.

“Understand each executive’s priorities, so you can manage tasks related to them as urgently as possible whenever they recur,” the article suggests.

This is when having good communications with each executive you support is especially critical. Those boundaries you set should be translated into uniform procedures, sort of an operational plan that each person you support understands. “If everyone is on the same page, you’ll avoid inefficiencies associated with conflicting requests.”

It’s natural to gravitate toward the individuals with whom you work best. Playing favorites at the expense of another is the surest way to create a difficult work environment. So don’t, advises the ASAP. Be flexible.

“You need to give each executive equal treatment when performing assigned tasks. Even as you encourage uniform procedures, you must remember that each manager has a unique personality and needs. You might have to slightly tweak the approach you use to suit their preferred work style.”

Sometimes, despite all your best efforts, there will be conflicts. When you get conflicting directives, says the ASAP, “The best solution is to inform them of the incompatibility and let them solve it among themselves… The executives will ultimately appreciate your neutral stance as you demonstrate that you sit above petty office politics.”

Supporting multiple people can be a challenge. But it also can help you grow as a professional, giving you the opportunity to take on different projects and demonstrate your ability to handle anything.

Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash


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