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

We met up with Lindsay Smith, Recruiting Director on the Accounting + Finance team in Pittsburgh. Recently promoted, Lindsay has been at Green Key for three years. Through her past accounting experience, a master’s in Organizational Leadership, and strong communication skills, she has grown and thrived tremendously in her recruiting career. She elaborated on her time at Green Key and what keeps her coming back to recruiting every day.

How did you get your start in recruiting? 

I went to school for accounting and pursued that right out of college, but I was too social for it. I wanted to make a transition, so I went back to school for my master’s in Organizational Leadership. As I was finishing the program, I got called by an internal recruiter from Green Key. I wasn’t sure if I was interested in recruiting because I didn’t know much about it, but it couldn’t hurt to do the interview. Mike [Khalili] and Brian [Blake] really won me over. I felt I could have a lot of potential in this role, especially because many aspects of the role were based on individual performance. I took the job three years ago and have loved it ever since. I’ve already been promoted a few times. It’s amazing to work for a company where your work is not only noticed but rewarded. 

How do you feel your accounting experience helps you as an Accounting + Finance recruiter? 

It’s extremely helpful. There was a big learning curve in the beginning, especially on the sales and recruitment side. Having the basic accounting knowledge was huge because I’ve been in the candidates’ shoes. Even so, there are so many areas in finance we touch that I never knew existed, so there’s still a lot to learn. If you have the right mentality and are eager to learn, you’ll be successful in this role. My master’s in Organizational Leadership has also been helpful in the recruiting business. I’m more aware of how people interact and communicate.  

What motivates you as a recruiter? 

I’ve always been motivated by success and wanting to make a difference. Whether that’s in the lives of candidates, training new people, or in my own life. I’m always trying to look for the next challenge. This is an industry where your goals are always changing as you grow within the company.  

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in recruiting? 

You need to have thick skin to be a recruiter. Failure and rejection are part of the job. Not every person we speak to is going to be placed. It can be hard, but you have to keep moving forward.  At the end of the day, you must believe in your company and clients and that you’re genuinely benefiting our candidates in multiple ways.  

What does training look like on the AF Pittsburgh team? 

Our team training is unique because we have a smaller team. In Pittsburgh, you get hands-on training with everyone. Despite our similar personalities, we all operate differently, but are all successful. So, we do a lot of work with each individual person through practice calls, searches, and quizzing. We don’t expect you to know everything at the drop of a hat. It’s an extremely team-oriented team process and will take time.  

What are your goals going forward now that you’ve been promoted? 

I’ve taken a big step as a leader on our team already, but there’s always more progress to be had, especially as our team continues to grow. I want to be that person our team members feel comfortable coming to and learning from. 

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Green Key

Do You Really Want to Be a Manager?

It’s flattering to be offered a management promotion. It shows the confidence your boss has in you, and the bump in your paycheck would certainly be welcome.

But before you say yes, take a deep breath and think about what it means. Not everyone wants to be a manager. Not everyone who is a manager should be one.

Being a manager comes with dramatically different responsibilities. Instead of being responsible only for yourself, as a manager you’re responsible for the work of a team. You’ll be dealing with different personalities and styles. You’ll face pressure from your boss to meet a whole range of new measures. Besides getting projects done on deadline, there will be budget considerations and quality standards. At the same time, you’ll hear from your reports about being pushed too hard or not getting the resources they insist they need.

You’ll be expected to coach your team, supporting them and giving them the feedback they need and want. At times, that means delivering feedback about poor performance. As a CNN Business article points out, you have to sometimes be willing to be seen as the guy delivering bad news.

Says Leigh Steere, co-founder of research group Managing People Better, “The No. 1 task that managers shy away from is confronting poor performance.

“They may be conflict avoidant. Some say ‘I’m not comfortable judging others.’ Or they want to be viewed as a nice manager. [But] it is not nice to withhold feedback from somebody that they need to learn and grow.”

The skills it takes to be a great manager are far different from those of being a great worker. Too often companies promote great workers because they perform at the top of the curve, only to discover that as a manager their performance is lacking at which point their rise in the organization halts — or worse.

While management training can make a difference, too often this training is limited to legal issues and administrative procedures. Even when the training includes coaching and feedback and similar matters, it takes constant reinforcement and personal commitment to be effective.

So when the opportunity comes along, think it through. Ask managers you respect for advice. Discuss with your boss the changes you’ll need to make. Then ask yourself, are you willing to give up what you do in order to manage others? Is that you?

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash


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Green Key