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

We sat down last week with Rachel Azzolini, Executive Recruiter on the Accounting & Finance team. After trying out different roles and industries over the years, Rachel soon came to realize her specialty was in recruiting, and she’s been with Green Key for the past four months. She chatted with us about her unique career journey, what she wishes people knew about recruiters, and the endless support she has on her team.  

How did you get your start in recruiting? 

When I was in college, I helped start a company within the sports technology space. I knew I was interested in the sports side of it, so when I moved to New Jersey, I started working for the Mets as a Sales Representative. I soon realized it wasn’t the tech or sports side that intrigued me; it was recruiting. I then worked at a public accounting firm, where I helped build out their entire New Jersey team. It was an exciting industry that was always changing, and I still got to do recruiting. Little by little, I took pieces of my career until I found what I really loved. I came to Green Key in March this year and I feel very lucky with my team and managers. 

What does training look like on your team? 

Training on our team is a lot of hands-on and one-on-one. When I first started, I got to train with other people, not just my managers. Everyone has their own variations of how they do things, so it was awesome getting everyone’s help and perspectives. 

How does your team communicate despite not being together? 

I actually thought it would be a lot harder, considering that we are so spread out. But it’s been pretty seamless communicating with everyone. We are constantly on the phone for various reasons and have weekly meetings. Meeting with smaller groups helps people become more comfortable speaking up and asking questions.  

The team is also so amazing making sure your family is being taken care of outside of work. Because of the people I am surrounded by here, I have never once felt like my family life has interrupted my ability to be successful. It motivates me so much more being I know they genuinely care. Productivity really increases when companies care about their employees.  

What keeps you coming back to recruiting every day? 

I love that I get to talk to different people every single day and build genuine connections with candidates. I’ve had people who have helped me reach my goals, so if I can do that for somebody else, that’s what keeps me happy and brings me joy. This isn’t a one-stop shop for me. I want to maintain long-term relationships. Even if I can’t place someone at a job, if I can make an introduction and continue our relationship for years down the road, I’m ok with that. I’m here for the long haul, not just one opportunity. 

What do you think sets Green Key apart from other agencies? 

I’ve never been part of an organization that genuinely cares about my personal success outside of their success. It’s not about making anyone look good. They all want to see me be successful, which is not something you find often. No one is rooting for you more than the people on this team.  

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

Giving yourself a lot of grace as a recruiter, as well as the people you talk to. You never know what’s going on in people’s lives. By never getting angry or frustrated with a candidate when things don’t work out, they will at least know who to call in the future, because I made them feel comfortable in the process. 

What’s something about recruiters you want to demystify? 

We are on your side and we want what’s best for you. And as a recruiter, we always try to see things from your perspective. This is a people-first business. 

Bank Finds Autism Spectrum Hires Make Great Technologists

In the five years since starting its Autism at Work program, global investment bank JP Morgan Chase has discovered there’s almost no job someone on the spectrum can’t do.

An autism spectrum candidate was interviewed for a developer job that required Java. It turned out it was a language he didn’t know, said Anthony Pacilio, the global head of the bank’s autism program.

“We interviewed him on a Friday and although he didn’t know Java he said he would be able to learn it by Monday,” Pacilio told eFinancialCareers. “He did that using a few books and YouTube tutorials and by Monday he was proficient enough in Java to get the job.”

Since starting the Autism at Work program in 2015, JP Morgan now hires some 180 people annually, placing them in a variety of jobs, many in technology. From initially hiring into quality assurance, people on the autism spectrum fill jobs in coding, cybersecurity and compliance.

“For the most part, a person on the spectrum can do any job that you give them,” says Pacilio.

They also outperform neurotypical hires. “We have also found that autistic people have an incredible approach to problem-solving. They are very granular and see things in completely different ways to neurotypical employees,” says Pacilio.

He says that autism program employees in just one technology role, for example, were as much as 140% more productive in completing tasks than their neurotypical colleagues, and they did it with no mistakes.

“That is almost unheard of,” Pacillo noted.

The bank has invested in training recruiters how to interview people on the spectrum and teaching managers new skills to accommodate their different styles and ways of communicating.

“Our recruiters have been trained to understand that a person on the spectrum may not make eye contact, or could take longer to answer questions than other recruits,” says Pacilio. “We are trying to get beyond the idea that when we hire we are looking for people who are gregarious and outgoing and look you in the eye.”

As cybersecurity specialist Jake Richard said in an article on the company website, It’s great knowing I have a support system here and that people understand what my strengths and challenges are. It’s very gratifying.”

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash


Your Post-Virus Office Will Be Very Different

As the number of new COVID-19 cases shows signs the growth curve might be flattening, there’s hope some businesses may reopen sooner than many health experts worried just a week or two ago.

Whether that happens at the end of the month, when many closure orders expire, or later, workers will find a changed workplace. At a minimum, they can expect hand sanitizers in lobbies and disinfectant wipes available in restrooms and break rooms. Hugging and handshaking will be discouraged, replaced by elbow bumps or nothing. There may be limits on the number of people allowed in an elevator; meeting attendance will be restricted to maintain social distance.

Already where bunched desking was the rule, office designers and company leaders are discussing what to do to increase the separation between workers.

The New York Times interviewed commercial leasing agents, design professionals and others to learn how the coronavirus is influencing office design and practices and what we can expect as we return to the office.

In the beginning, workers will see familiar signs reminding them to keep their distance and wash their hands. They’ll find maintenance workers wiping down handles and other places often touched. Some companies may stagger workers, having groups alternate days in the office and at home in order to reduce contact.

Remote work will be the most enduring change. Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, told The Times she anticipates as many as 25% of workers will continue to work remotely at least a few days a week.

“I don’t think that genie is going back into the bottle,” she said.

If she’s right – and an early survey shows 34% of previously commuting workers are now working from home – it will have profound effects on commercial real estate and office layout. Common areas like lounges, in-house cafes and the like will become more important features as remote workers come in for meetings.

“There will be a higher value around spaces where we come together,” the head of a Seattle architecture firm said.

The virus is also likely to influence how commercial building are constructed. Elevators, lights and even doors may be designed to respond to motion rather than touch. Metals like copper, brass and bronze that have antimicrobial properties may become more common. Ventilation systems will be upgraded to improve their ability to filter building air.

Says The Times, “Those in the midst of planning suggest that the post-pandemic office might look radically different.”

Photo by Cengiz SARI on Unsplash