Sarah Baker Andrus

Full Career Coaching Session: Sarah Baker Andrus & Tessa Groll

Sarah Baker Andrus & Tessa GrollInsurance Recruiter and Returning Champion & Career Coach,

Kin Insurance Recruiter (and formerly Rob’s boss) Tessa Groll sits down with returning champion & Career Coach, Sarah Baker Andrus for a full career coaching session. Sarah asks Tessa leading questions about what fulfills her in her work, how she approaches her role, and gives advice on how she can stay in the driver’s seat of her newfound career in the talent space.

Episode Transcript

Rob Stevenson 0:05
Welcome to talk down to me, a podcast featuring the most elite talent leaders on the front lines of modern recruitment.

Speaker 2 0:12
We actually want to understand the themes of someone’s life, we want to understand how they make decisions where they’re willing to take risks and what it looks like when they

Rob Stevenson 0:21
fail. No holds barred completely off the cuff interviews with directors of recruitment VPs of global talent, CHR rows, and everyone in between.

Speaker 3 0:31
Once I went through the classes and the trainings and got the certifications through diversity and inclusion, I still felt like something was missing.

Speaker 4 0:39
Talent Acquisition. It’s a fantastic career, you are trusted by the organization. You get to work with the C suite and the security at the front desk and everybody in between and everybody knows you.

Rob Stevenson 0:52
I’m your host, Rob Stevenson, and you’re about to hear the best in the biz. talk down to me. Hello, everyone. It’s me Rob. Here once more at the outset of another episode of your favorite recruiting show. And I wanted to kick things off today by explaining a little bit about the episode you’re about to hear, because it’s a lot different than your regularly scheduled to TT to programming. A few months back, I sat down and recorded an episode with a career recruiter turned Career Coach Sarah Baker Andrus, and it was a great conversation. One of my favorites of the last year really, I just love the way Sara approaches career conversations, the leading questions she asks to get people to understand what it is they truly want from a job. I love the approach so much in fact that I met with Sara off Mike to talk about my own career. I then refer to two of my friends to Sarah to have similar conversations. And I was about to refer a third friend when I had an idea. The third friend of mine Tessa, is someone I’ve known a long time who recently changed careers and actually got into recruiting. And so far she loves the job. She’s been killing it and I figured Sara could help her get some clarity about how she wants to drive her career in the space. And since Tessa is a recruiter, and since Sara herself spent a long time as a recruiter, and since I knew the question, Sarah was going to ask Tessa would end up being hyper relevant to anyone wanting to forge a career in talents. I thought, why not present the entire coaching session as an episode of the podcast. Sara and Tesla were both really excited about the idea. They both agreed to do it. And that’s what you’re getting here today. Tessa comes to the conversation with a great amount of candor and honesty, which I think is what you need if you’re going to achieve clarity about your goals. And Sarah really helps her reflect on what she loves about the job, what she wants to do more of what parts of the job are right for her. All these great questions. I hope you all then can ask yourselves the next time you want to reflect on what it is you want out of this fantastic career. So first, I sat down with Tessa for about 10 minutes just to get a little context on who she is her background, and then a little reflection on the coaching session itself. And then after Tessa and I catch up, the episode will move right into the coaching session. Next up quick intro to Tessa followed by her session with Sarah. Here with me today on top talents me for an extra special episode is an old friend of mine and a new friend of yours. Sorry, I’m laughing how cheesy though. It was and also a recruiter a Tesla girl. Tessa, welcome to the podcast. How are you today?

Tessa Groll 3:46
Hi, Robbie, I’m doing very, very well. Thank you. How are you?

Rob Stevenson 3:49
I am great. And I’m tickled because you and I go so far back you so call me Robbie, which is like a sign that someone you’ve known me a long time.

Tessa Groll 3:57
I know I apologize. It’s like when somebody throws a test my way and it like really catches me off guard. So I do apologize. But yeah, you’re right. It is a sign of like how you know how far back we go.

Rob Stevenson 4:07
How much of our background should we share here for the folks out there in podcast land? Because I do want to set some context for how this conversation came about.

Tessa Groll 4:15
I mean, should we tell them how we witnessed the world?

Rob Stevenson 4:20
We witness? Yeah, so we go all the way back to Gosh, 2005 or 2006 or something I was in high school. And you were my boss at Jamba Juice at one of my very first jobs. And we just struck up like a lifelong friendship since then. And we’ve come a long way since making smoothies since witnessing the world and can I actually I want to share you this story divert tell you how I got that job at Jamba Juice.

Tessa Groll 4:49
No, one day you just appeared and they’re like train, train out.

Rob Stevenson 4:53
Let’s do your thing. Okay. So the way I got this job was that I wanted my my application and then they look at Like while you’re standing there, and then they just decide, okay, like, Is this someone who like the interview process at that stage is so Spartan it’s just like, Okay, can you get through a conversation without vomiting on yourself? Great, you got the job, right? But they invited me back the the GM invited me back. She’s like, Okay, we’ll have a sit down interview. So we scheduled the interview, I come back in, before school, I came in and like at like, 6am, one morning when they were opening the store, and we chat for a while. And at the end of the conversation, the GM goes, Well, I think you’d be a great fit here. And I’d love for you to join the team, here’s what I’m prepared to offer you. And then I swear, I’m not lying. She does the whole, like, write a number down on a post it note and slide it across. So she slides across the table, and I looked down and it’s just minimum wage.

Tessa Groll 5:48
It’s the job of negotiation. Yeah. Very intense.

Rob Stevenson 5:52
I was like, oh, that’s like the least you’re legally allowed to pay me. I guess I accept.

Tessa Groll 5:57
Oh, my gosh, that is too funny. I remember, you know what, something about the sliding back and forth? You know, because we have to be discreet, you know, and I guess we’re still that way about salary, how far we really come. Right. So that is too funny. But at the end of the day, I’m really glad that you got that job because you were an incredible, you know, worker, you did very, very well there.

Rob Stevenson 6:18
Really I feel like I did and I feel like I did just well enough. I feel like I spent more time playing pranks on my co workers than I did making smoothies.

Tessa Groll 6:26
Well, that was an integral part of the process for me. So as a supervisor, I’m gonna say, Robert, you were impeccable at that job.

Rob Stevenson 6:34
If you want to go endorse me on LinkedIn for smoothie making and coworker pranking that would really huge difference for me, Tessa,

Tessa Groll 6:42
I will I will. You really know how to shake things up, blend things up and hand something out with perfection every time. So I mean, yeah,

Rob Stevenson 6:50
look at you you made really made that relevant to my current current job, I appreciate that.

Tessa Groll 6:55
I tried my best we bring it back.

Rob Stevenson 6:57
So Jamba Juice is where we started. We’re a long way from from making smoothies though, Tessa, you are now a recruiter. And I would love to just hear a little bit about your journey. How did you wind up in this career? And and how do you kind of evaluate your current role?

Tessa Groll 7:13
I will say what everybody says about every role. You know, nobody grew up saying they were going to be a recruiter or a salesman or whatever that may be. For me, I feel like I accidentally did write the blueprint for getting into recruiting, right, I started in that customer service, food service, retail, managed supervise, decorated a handful of cookies along the way. And then really got into like more of an administrative role where I was in an office space, which really, really changed things up obviously, from a retail environment or food service environment where serving people you know, firsthand, also belong with mopping and cleaning. So in terms of like getting into that office environment, it just structured me a little bit differently. So I worked at one of those like mixed office spaces that allowed you to really have that, again, that interface. So it’s like, cool, I’ve had that customer service experience. I’m used to working around people, I’m great with working out people of all different levels and all different kinds of businesses. How does that really relate? So then I ended up at a staffing firm, right, where I still wasn’t a recruiter, but I was helping manage recruiting processes. And I was helping aid recruiters in what they did on a day to day, and I would like redo resumes, I would you know, set things up, I would look at leads for them and provide those and do some like mild sourcing. So I was able to touch those processes without really like biting down into them. And then I mean, to be honest with you, I saw some gaps in certain things. And I knew that the customer service was lacking, like certain things just weren’t being done. And I actually started listening to this show, like, no kidding. I was like, okay, like, if I want to improve some of those processes, I want to like listen to some of that industry knowledge. And I think I listened to probably like 45 episodes within a week and just went absolutely crazy with it. And I was like, This is what I want to do. Like, I want to be in a space that is constantly changing, that is working directly with people that has the ability to touch multiple parts of a business, right? So at an organization, as a recruiter, you’re not obviously right, just talking to your manager or your boss or your team. You were working with different teams and different people. So it really allows you the chance to grow and work with within a different space that I think I ever had the chance to be before where sure I had one role, but it didn’t allow me to really, really expand into those other territories and get to know departments like that. I don’t think I’ve ever had a place that had multiple departments like that, like I do now. So I feel very grateful that I mean from I mean Really, Domino’s Pizza to the Java two, to all of these other jobs, they really led me into this space and allow me to execute very successfully because of that strong service background.

Rob Stevenson 10:13
Yeah. And when you reflect on some of those earlier roles, it would be very easy and elitist, frankly, for me to be like, Oh, well, that job at Domino’s has nothing to do with what you’re doing now. But you were able to read between the lines a little bit. And I think this is important for anyone’s job is to be like, okay, you don’t necessarily need relevant experience, so long as you can explain how, whatever experience you do have gave you the tools to accomplish the job. And it sounds like right, you were able to weave all that together and be like, Look, this white glove service you give to a candidate who’s going to the process, that is what we were talking about, at Jamba Juice, when it said, we had to wow the customer every time.

Tessa Groll 10:55
And if you like, honestly, I always say this is truly a customer service job where if you took a lot of recruiters and you put them behind a counter at a pizza place, or a Jamba Juice or a bank, are they happy serving people? Are they happy doing some of that work? Or would it be like, Oh, this isn’t my job, like, I just want to, like do this, that or the other recruiters pull themselves in a million different directions. And I think it really is such a great place to start. And, to your point, Rob, I’ve had people say, Why do you have Domino’s and Java on your resume or on or not on my resume so much. But on my LinkedIn, I mean, and I tell a story there because why wouldn’t I? You know, for so long, I did go through the like, oh, well, when am I going to get a real job? Well, hey, if you’re putting money in the bank, and you’re working, and you leave that, that business, whatever that is, if you’re locking the door behind you, if you’re scanning out, if the elevator opens automatically, that’s a job. And you got to take pride in whatever you’re doing. And I will never ever take those off, because they they structured, you know who I am and what I do now in and you know, a long winded way, right?

Rob Stevenson 12:05
That’s really well put, and I had someone on the show, gosh, I wish I could remember who it was. But they told me like a VP level person who was like, Look, if you’re a host or hostess at a restaurant, or you’re a server at a restaurant, you are a great candidate to be a recruiting coordinator, like those skills, transfer one to one, like, as long as you can use a computer, then you’re going to be good at this job. So thinking a little more deeply about what the actual skills of a role are, and how you are prepared to do that, I think is really important in this space. And that’s kind of why I wanted to sit you down with Sarah, because she is really good at asking those leading questions about one that she asked me was when you reflect on the times in your career where you felt most satisfied without the most job satisfaction, what were you doing, and I was able to like, list off a couple of things. And now I index on those now I’m like, I need to try and find more ways to do those things. Right? That was the example for me. But she really asked those leading questions to try and help you figure out where you want to be how you want to grow and which direction you want to move. So that’s kind of why I wanted to see her down with you. Because you I feel like in your recruiting career year, like a year and a half, two years into it somewhat something like that.

Tessa Groll 13:15
Right. Right. Yeah, like about a year like really actively recruiting and then about, you know, two years, three years touching those processes and, and getting myself familiarized with the space.

Rob Stevenson 13:27
Got it, got it. So I really feel like in terms of your perceived career trajectory, you were like pulling the arrow back a little bit here. And and you are at an exciting time where you can kind of decide how you want to forge your career in the space. So that’s, that’s what I was hoping to get as conversation with Sarah, that will play right after this. But I’m just curious to hear you reflect a little bit what stood out to you from this conversation you had with Sarah, did she kind of give you anything to really think about or how do you feel about on the whole?

Tessa Groll 13:53
Yeah. I mean, that’s a great question. In terms of that conversation I took away from it, like we talked about, what are some of the struggles that you face, right. And I believe I said, you know, there was, when it’s something where I have to really sit and focus on for a very long time, obviously, I want to get as much done as I can. And so it’s like, now I think about those things that they’re they’re going to take five minutes, they’re going to take 10 minutes, they’re not going to be as daunting as you think they’re going to be, just get them done. And that’s something yeah, did I know that ahead of this conversation? Sure. But do I really think about certain tasks within my role? Where I think, what don’t I love about it? Because there’s always going to be something like I really, really enjoy so many aspects of my role, like really and truly, they’re just part of who I am. But there are going to be parts of your job that you have to do that are not the you know, you just don’t connect with them as well. So it’s how do you change the perspective? How do you almost fall in love with those tasks? Sir, make yourself like them. And you have to really change the way you’re thinking about it your approach. So if I sit here and go, well, take 15 dedicated minutes, or hey, even five, if 15 is too much, and do the thing, uninterrupted, Don’t multitask during that 15, you know, different like a Zoom meeting going doing this on the side and, and having something else like a Slack message going, focus really on the one thing, knock it out and get it done. Because it’s so integral that you get those little things out of the way so you can get to what you enjoy faster. So again, it’s just changing your perspective. And I think that’s what I really came away from that conversation doing is trying to make those processes better.

Rob Stevenson 15:47
Yeah, that’s a great way to put it. Multitasking is the enemy of productivity. And it’s weird because it because it actually makes you feel more productive when you’re like, I’m so busy. I’m doing three things at once. I’m a superhero. But yeah, you’re just like, you’re not even half assing, you’re a third assing all of your tasks. And I really feel like if you want to do something, well, then you need to silence your notifications and your phone across the room and just focus and get it out of the way. But that’s also an area to reflect on, like, Okay, you can’t do the things you don’t like doing. You’re in the job that you’re in, you know, and so today and tomorrow, you kind of got to do those things, you know, but you start to find ways to automate delegate eliminate, you start bringing them up with your boss, hey, I don’t love doing XYZ can we find ways to start to move me away from those things so I can do better work. And a thoughtful caring boss will help you but you you need to? You need to push that rock uphill a little bit Sisyphus, right? Like because no one’s is gonna be like, hey, Tessa, I noticed you don’t like doing this. And we have to stop. Like, you have to say I don’t like it, like squeaky wheel gets the grease. There’s two sides of that, like you really laid down like, Look, you have to crank it out. You have to suffer through it a little bit. But you know, note that suffering, and then use it like like,

Tessa Groll 16:59
right? I know, I know always that struggle, right? It’s always, but no, you’re right. You’re in raising that is huge.

Rob Stevenson 17:06
Yeah. Was there anything particularly that Sara asked you that really struck you? Or that, you know, you’ve kind of been thinking about since a conversation like, Okay, here’s what I can do to push my career in the direction I want it to go?

Tessa Groll 17:15
Yes. It was really, in terms of like, what do you like most about your role? Or when you came into that? Did you expect to find it? Or like, you know, were you really looking for that? Right? And for me, I again, I believe it was autonomy. That was one thing that I thought was just real groovy about being where I’m at, because it’s a it is a startup environment, right? It’s an InsurTech. So I do get this really, really nice ability to pitch ideas, and then create them if I’m able. And again, you know, we talked about having different departments and having people really have, you know, their specialties there and respecting that. But yeah, I mean, there’s just so much where I’ve just been thinking about it in how can I look at my role differently? How can I look at what I’m doing differently? who I’m working with? Am I asking the right questions, not only to myself, but to my manager to the hiring managers. And I just think that her asking me questions allows me to ask myself more questions. So it’s like opening up a can of worms, right. And I think that’s what it always should be like an exploration of, is this working for me? Because as we know, jobs can be like relationships, right? You can have the perfect role for for three years. And you know, it’s growing, it’s changing, you feel like you’re learning and then you could just feel like, alright, well, maybe, maybe not anymore. And you have to think is that serving me. And so your job is very much a relationship, we have to treat it that way. It’s just important to have that structure in your life. So I will, you know, always talk about that tooth and nail, but you can strike a balance where you’re taking your true talents and what you’re really good at, and putting them into how you’re getting paid. I mean, you can make that into your role. So yeah,

Rob Stevenson 19:16
yeah, exactly. And that’s not going to happen by accident, though. I really, it’s so easy to not do that self, self introspection, and you know that Ach, direct debit, like hits your account every two weeks, and you’re kind of fulfilling the role that’s in front of you, you’re on a little bit of a treadmill, but hey, it’s a good job. It’s a good company, and like my coworkers, that’s good enough. And I don’t blame anyone, like I’ve gone through those phases too. But periodically, you really do need to be critical. Because otherwise, I come back to this a lot on the show, but like, how much freewill are you exhibiting over your own career like are you the master of your own destiny? Or are you just sort of like going with the flow a little bit and if you position yourself well, you can go with the flow and have a fulfilling career. Right, or at least not be end up homeless. But I really I really do want to push people to periodically, once a month, maybe even more frequently, as much as you are feeling a little bit unsatisfied. Just do this work as these searching questions to understand if what you have is right for you, or if it could be better. So that’s kind of what I’m hoping that the folks out there in podcast land get from your conversation in which you were you came to it with so much vulnerability and candor and honesty. And so I wanted to thank you, Tessa for for doing that for being yourself and really taking it seriously. And I hope getting a lot out of it. So thank you, Tessa, for doing that. And thank you for being here with me and chatting with me. It’s it’s been a delight. You know, if you’d have told me 15 years ago, when we were when we were adding those free boosts to smoothies that we’d be here now, none of it would have made any sense to me. But I’m delighted that this is where we ended up. So that’s a thank you for, for being here with me. This has been a delight.

Tessa Groll 20:59
Thank you for your time. And Sarah’s as well. It was just it was truly a slice.

Rob Stevenson 21:04
Tessa. This has been great. Thank you again. And the next voice that you all out there in podcast land are going to hear is that of Sarah Baker Andrus, who you should know well from previous episodes, and it is the entirety of her conversation with Tessa, her career coaching session.

Sarah Baker 21:20
Hello, Tessa, how are you doing?

Tessa Groll 21:23
Hi, I’m doing very well. How are you?

Sarah Baker 21:26
Everything’s great here. Yeah. And I’m really looking forward to this conversation and very grateful to rob Stevenson for setting this up. Because it’s what I like to do best. So

Tessa Groll 21:38
absolutely. I know, it’s gonna be a good deep dive. I don’t know what to expect. But I think that’s why I’m so excited, Sara. So thank you so much for your time. I, I can’t wait.

Sarah Baker 21:48
Well, this is going to be fun. And thank you. Because what I loved about our very brief initial conversation, Tessa is that you said, you know, I’m really happy where I am. And there’s no better time to really start thinking about the future in terms of our career. And I think that you’re a little bit exceptional, because most people when they finally land in a place where they’re happy and satisfied and things are going well, it’s just human nature to neglect any thoughts of well, what’s next? Or how do I make the most of where I am now, where I’m happy to make sure that I am putting time and energy into the things that are also going to help me in my next move. So lots of credit to you for being proactive and wanting to just explore, okay, you know, what are the best things to do now, which is really exciting.

Tessa Groll 22:47
Right. and I really appreciate that. I mean, I do love where I am, I love what I do. And so it does make it easy. I think whenever you’re really enjoying what you’re doing, to want to stay there to find some sort of comfort, some sort of I don’t want to say stagnation, because you can stay somewhere and always continue to grow and learn. But I do think it’s a lot easier to say, Okay, this is for the long haul, right? And you can have that mentality and find out that it drifts away, you can have that mentality and and perhaps be laid off unexpectedly. And then you find yourself in a Oh, no, what now, man, I think when you are happy, it’s a lot easier to focus on what could be better for you in the future. And keep your eyes open in a positive way of what can actually be good for you when we’re looking in times of like hardship are when we’re down and out. Or when we’re scrambling for a job, you’re more likely to gravitate towards something that might not actually be good for you because you’re just not in the right headspace to really analyze it long term.

Sarah Baker 23:49
100%. And I think that’s actually a great place for us to start this conversation. Because one of the most useful questions you could ask yourself, and I’ll ask you is what’s making you happy right now? Why is this job? What is it about this role? And perhaps in comparison with other roles you’ve had that is really satisfying for you, and kind of doing a self check on what’s going right. So what’s going right, Tessa?

Tessa Groll 24:18
That’s a wonderful question. I got lucky enough to find a company that really not only harnesses innovation, drives technology, but also really allows you to have autonomy. It is a newer company, we are on that more inshore tech space. So we do have the ability to move in ways that if we see things that can benefit the company, if we have an idea, we are allowed to put that forth and perhaps make an impact. I think having that ability is huge to bring an idea and see it through to the end and act really see it impact your company or your candidates in a wonderful way. But aside from the autonomy, which feels very independent, I have to say, I feel this job allows me to connect with people in ways that I couldn’t. I am a recruiter, obviously. And I always say that at the end of the day, this is customer service, you have to know how to work with people in this role. And you talk to a lot of different individuals, whether that be hiring managers, whether that be a C suite, whether that be your own boss, and then you have the slew of candidates that you’re talking with. So my days are never ever boring, I’m always meeting with new teams, I’m always able to have crossed like functionality or collaboration or idea injection right into the space. So I mean, I can go on and on about what I like about my role. And I do think that I drive a lot of the positivity that’s in it with that autonomy, you either want that or you are good with being directed, or, you know, maybe having your day to day planned out. But if you are looking to really create something new and make that impact that I think is one of the biggest factors that you can want in a role.

Sarah Baker 26:17
Absolutely. And it makes me curious to know, before you had this role, were you very clear that things like autonomy, and being in a tech space and having the opportunity to take new projects from start to finish, will you clear that those were going to be sources of satisfaction for you? And if so, what did you do to land in the right space?

Tessa Groll 26:43
Yeah, you know, that’s a great question. I think I did know that I came from retail, I came from food service, I came from, like administrative work, where like I said, that customer service element was always a part of it. In terms of what I was seeking in my next role, I knew I wanted to recruit, I mean, just I knew that I wanted that. And I didn’t really know, you know, I know that is such a personal thing, recruiting is one of those jobs, you can do everything right, and still not necessarily land the deal, right. And you know, there’s other roles like that real estate could be like that, there’s a lot of things that everything could be up in the air. But it is really something where you can take that process and make it your own. And I think that’s what makes recruiting really unique and special. And I knew in past roles, I had come up with ideas, I had looked at something maybe in a new way, I had worked with people all individually. And I knew that I liked having some input over the entire from inception to finish, because that’s where you can really look back and say this is a finished product. And that’s where the satisfaction comes in along with the work that you take to get there. So when I landed here, I don’t think I necessarily said, Oh, I’m looking for that autonomy, I think I was looking for the opportunity to work with an array of individuals and continue to progress, my interpersonal skills, my conversational skills, and of course, just have the opportunity to cross collaborate and have that functionality within different teams. So long answer No, I don’t think I was necessarily seeking that out in full. But I think we found it and I don’t know, I maybe it’s just the InsurTech the startup five allows you to really dig into that kind of space.

Sarah Baker 28:36
And you know, it’s interesting, because in a sense, you might say, on the one hand, you got lucky, you hadn’t articulated quite so specifically what it was that you were looking for. So that that was good happenstance. And it’s also true, that we often are picking up on things subconsciously, that we didn’t even know we wanted. But it feels right. It feels like a good connection. So remind me how long you’ve been in this role. I’ve been

Tessa Groll 29:09
in my role for about 10 months, 10 months.

Sarah Baker 29:13
Okay, so you’re nearly at that year mark, which is about the time when we begin to think, Alright, which of these aspects of my work? Have I developed some degree of mastery over and I can already tell that you’ve got a long checklist of things, you’ve developed some mastery over and then you know, which of these things do I want to continue to work on and need to point some attention towards and then equally as exciting, where’s the place? I might want to turn now that I have these plates spinning? So that’s, that’s kind of interesting. As an relatively new recruiter, are there things that you’re already thinking about in terms of what’s next?

Tessa Groll 30:00
I mean, I always like to think like, what’s next? Like, where’s this going? Right. But in terms of what I’ve really, really found that I enjoyed, it’s not just necessarily talking to people, it’s not going through that app review and getting really excited about Okay, actually, there’s all that I mean, that’s all part of it. But in terms of what really, I guess hits it on the head, for me, is the ability to connect and really drive process, I think that’s what I love to do is, is look at everything and say, Where’s the gap? What’s something that we’re not doing? Or what’s something that we should be doing? Or how can we change this to be more impactful or resonate with somebody in a way that just allows a deeper connection? And that’s what I think is so interesting about this aspect is I just get to have conversations with people, I get to ask the right questions. And it’s even, it’s even formulating that, like, are we asking the right things? You know, so when it comes down to it, I think that’s really, what I’ve learned, I like is finding and creating a process and then I’ll find that process, and I’ll create it. So if it’s a document we don’t have, if it’s a visual, maybe an infographic that I think can be telling our story better, I’m going to just make that. So there’s no need to like pass it to a different department. And I guess that’s sort of like a win and a negative, right, where I have the idea that I’m like, I’ll just do it, though, like, Let’s not get crazy, we don’t need to pass it on, like I’ll see it through. And you can always do that in a team environment. You know, you have people that have their specialties. They know what they’re doing. And so sometimes, you know, Tessa can’t just run the show. But I do really feel that’s what I enjoy doing is creating just better strategies and finding ways to make things better. But not only for the company, it always has to be customer or candidate related as well, or even just employee related. So at the end of the day, Sara, the long winded answer, I like to make people’s lives better, and make things easier.

Sarah Baker 32:09
Well, I can tell that your candidates must love working with you. And what I hear you saying, if I put it all together, it all fits into that category of candidate experience. And at the same time, I heard a little bit of a recognition on your part, that perhaps there are opportunities for you to share some of the work you’re inspired to do.

Tessa Groll 32:35
Yeah, I mean, in terms of like, why, like why like working with candidates? Or I just want to make sure I’m answering your question in the best way possible.

Sarah Baker 32:44
Right. So what I’m getting at more is you’re you describe that infographic or you describe that process that you’re that you’re working on, and how much you adore the autonomy. But I also heard you say, I heard a question. Maybe that’s not how I should be spending my time.

Tessa Groll 33:01
Right, right. So it’s so hard, right? That’s, I think one of my biggest things that I’ve recognized about myself is I like to do a lot I like to do at all, I don’t like to stay stagnant. I don’t like to, you know, say that’s not my job, if I have a chance to make it better, or fix it, or clean it or make the call or do whatever that is I’m gonna do it. So the biggest thing is, I’m a recruiter. So I have to focus on my candidates and making sure they have what they need, that the communication is done in a timely format, that they’re feeling that connection when we’re on the call. And I know if my head’s in 50 places, that’s not going to happen, right. And so it’s really important where I can see that as a strength. But I have to know when to step back and say, we’re a team here, and team is everything to me. If you’ve ever worked with me, you know that we like we still keep in touch. You know, we have a lot of good times a lot of good last, we worked hard, and we took pride in our work. So I think at the end of the day, I’m here to really make sure that candidates are great. And while process is absolutely what’s driving those things, processes, team and process always has to be looked at together and assess together and created together. So yeah, one person might be able to find that idea, find that gap. But people have to fill it together.

Sarah Baker 34:21
I agree. And I also want to point out that there is great advantage to collaborating and finding opportunities to collaborate, especially when we’re relatively new in a role and in an organization. Because it’s not just about getting clear on what’s your responsibility and what is perhaps somebody else’s responsibility. Primarily. I mean, I’m sure your team absolutely loves the fact that you’re jumping in and doing these things and getting creative. And that’s probably one of the reasons why they picked you. And it’s also true that when we jump in and Grab onto things and to just kind of get them done because we’re excited about them. And we like that work. I’ll use an example of myself, personally, I am huge on putting together PowerPoint demonstrations, I absolutely love doing slides. I love the creative, I love the content. However, at some point, I recognize that was not the highest use of my skill set. And I wonder also, if while I was doing that, in fact, I know for a fact, while I was busy getting excited around PowerPoint slides, I was missing opportunities to strengthen relationships with other people in my organization, because I was not pursuing opportunities for collaboration. The other thing that I missed big time, and I don’t know if this is the case with you, you’ll have to, you know, perhaps reflect on it was because I was often working independently and often in a vacuum, others did not have a chance to see the full scope of my skills. And I just wonder test, especially as you’re new here in this organization, if you could look at that urge, the next time it comes up where you you’re thinking, oh, we need x. And as you feel that, take that as a big question. And perhaps ask yourself, who might have some great insights into this, that I would really like to get to know better? Who on my team who in this organization, do I not know that well, that might be able to contribute some insights here. And I just think that you might be missing an opportunity to strengthen important and valuable relationships that could serve you and also be really great as a candidate experience, you know, just to enhance everything for the people you want to serve.

Tessa Groll 36:45
You know why you make such a good point. And I think you know, where that drive and autonomy and wanting to get that you know, X, Y and Z done comes from, you know, that not being in former places I’ve worked, whether that just be a smaller family business, whether that just be a smaller, firm, and you know, I get ideas, your fingers on the pulse, and you want to just kind of propose ideas that could speed things up, or perhaps expose your company to a wider array of people. But you’re absolutely right. And here, you know, the environment I’m in, we’re obviously, a huge team. And when I say huge, I mean, you know, under 500, but still, that’s really big compared to the teams of 15 to 20, that I’ve come from in the past. So here, it’s I recognize their, his that teamwork. And I think that’s another thing, you know, to go back, that’s what I’ve really always strive for, as well, you know, I always say, if I didn’t take the conventional food service, or out or the retail, or you know, the recruiting, I probably would have served in the military. Having that teamwork, having that ability to really complete a mission together. is So, so neat to me. So when I realize, you know, we have a team of graphic designers, I don’t know how to, you know, necessarily like, yeah, I can do anything in Canva. But let’s be honest, I mean, I need to go beyond that if I want to expand that skill set. But I know that our graphic designer is incredible. She’s collaborative, she’s willing to give me access if I needed to modify what she’s created. So it’s like I recognize they have these amazing skills, and that they’ve put the right people in the right places, just like you said, it’s probably why they picked me right? For my role, they saw that I have a connection with individuals, and it just works. But in terms of, you know, having that ability to question yourself and say, Why am I doing this? And whether it’s taking 15 tasks on why am I doing this? Can I focus on all of them, and then instead of turning that autonomy light on is saying, Who can I build a better relationship with by bringing this product idea to them. And that’s exactly what’s happening. And it’s really, really neat to finally have a structure that can be put in place where I don’t necessarily need to put it all on my plate. But if I can put something extra on or alleviate a random project I came up with at six in the morning, then I got it, you know, I’ll make sure that you don’t have to have that extra task. So that’s really what it’s all about. It’s like the right delegation, right? But without being a manager, it’s just saying, Who can this go to? And who can help make it better as a whole.

Sarah Baker 39:31
When you’re thinking about your key connections in your organizations? One of the things like, you know, I think we all try to do is be strategic about who we’re learning from, and who do you want to learn from? What are the things you still want to learn and who might you learn those from?

Tessa Groll 39:50
That’s a great question, Sarah, I think we can learn from everybody and I know that’s like hokey and you know, whatever. But I really do think that yeah, there’s people On the C suite that I would love to get to know better, there are people in director roles that I, you know, already have some idea of who they are their personalities. But of course, we’d like to spend more time collaborating with those individuals. But I have things to learn from the recruiter that started four months after me, I have things to learn from my director, I have things to learn from my boss. And I have certainly something to learn from the guy that started two weeks ago.

Sarah Baker 40:27
So I’m going to, I’m going to push you just a little bit test. And I’m going to ask you, can you be specific because I think specificity in this case, is critical. Because particularly with somebody who is a sponge, and somebody who is so open minded, it can be important to be intentional about what we want to learn and what skill set, we might want to fill a gap, for example, that will help prepare us for what’s next. So when you think about it that way, something that will help prepare you for what’s next, even if you don’t know what it is, Does anything come to mind in terms of a skill set that you would be excited to pick up?

Tessa Groll 41:13
I feel like every job I’ve gone into it and just learned a skill or just started it fresh. So that’s a great, gosh, I wouldn’t be willing to learn just about anything from auto mechanic to coding. Do you know that and specificity? That’s a tough one for me. i It’s hard for me to nail down one thing, but it’s such a wonderful question. I guess maybe a different way to answer this is how I want to keep continuing to grow is by maybe just looking at people that aren’t just in my organization. So podcasts like this industry insight, who has maybe that exchange of information that’s going to change the way that I do my job. And I can tell you, there’s so many information bits that I get on this, you know, show alone, that can change the way that I work. So in terms of really what I want to learn next. And it’s such a great question, because I feel like I’m still learning how to be a good recruiter every day, I want to make sure that everything I’m doing can go up a notch. So I came in and I started doing customer service and sales roles. Now I’m doing a little bit more, you know, higher level roles, whether that might be a little bit of finance, a little bit of claims, a little bit of things like that. So I think is through as long as there’s always a progression in what you’re doing. That’s where I want to keep my focus on. But I think in terms of what I really want to learn, I’m completely open. And that’s going to be my most specific answer that I’m getting.

Sarah Baker 42:41
That is going to be your blessing and your curse. Yeah, you’re right. Because we could go in so many different directions. You know, you mentioned graphic arts, and you know, what’s the recruiting brand and putting together an infographic? Well, recruitment, branding is an entire thing, right? recruitment, marketing is an entire thing. And then there’s also I, you know, very much like you but on the other side, as a career coach, one of the things that’s been great for me as also a sponge is I get to learn about everything from semiconductor engineering, to say pharma roles for medical directors, because these are the people I’m coaching, so that I’m getting so many different kinds of exposure to different careers. And I’m learning as I go, and that’s what keeps it really interesting for me. So what I hear you saying is, as your portfolio of the roles you’re recruiting for is expanding, you are learning about those roles. So if you’re recruiting for finance roles, then you’re you’re learning more about finance, and if you’re recruiting for you know, technical roles, you’re learning more about tech, right,

Tessa Groll 43:53
right. And then you get to talk with those people who do it which you know, exactly, that’s just it you get to find out not just more about like, I mean, I did finance recruiting a few years ago so are like not recruiting but like helping support recruiters right doing the marketing doing the social media piece. So it’s like learning what like the accounting standards are learning like what these different tools that facilitate those actions are reading over SEC documents. I would have never done that. Are you kidding me? I’m not that kind of girl. But then I was so I mean, you’re right it you’re, it’s such a blessing and such a curse. And I just think that when you do have the desire to come in and want to learn anything, like the world is kind of your oyster as long as you can harness that.

Sarah Baker 44:40
I was wondering when you think about the recruitment process from start to finish. And you know, from the time I make an application to getting an offer an onboarding, there are all these points where you as a recruiter, need to use your influence to make sure I have a good experience. And when you think about that purchase Usually when it’s the hiring manager and how you influence them, I’m kind of curious about how you’ve adjusted to that in your new role, because that’s out of your control.

Tessa Groll 45:09
Yeah, you know what, that? That’s such a great question. I think, when it comes to working with the candidate, and doing the app review, going through all of that, that’s the easy part for me, because I know what I’m looking for, I’ve had a phenomenal intake meeting with, you know, the hiring team, and my communication is very good. I do my best to get back to people, you know, very quickly after they apply, even if there’s some other aspects of that, where they don’t make it through. Somehow that’s even positive. I think what I like most about the process itself and working like through it, I think it might be that intake call Sarah, and I’m not sure if this is exactly going to answer that question. But I think when I sit down with, you know, maybe it’s the director of compliance, maybe it’s the director of claims, and, uh, you have this chance to ask all the right questions about what you want to find in a candidate, or maybe what you don’t want to find or finding out exactly what that individual will have to do so that if they have that question, in the first interview, like what is the day to day metric, how am I measured, you know, that information and can help that individual make a better decision for them. So I think when I first sit down, and I have the ability to chat with somebody in a different position in a different poll role that I have, it gives me the chance to build up this excitement about what we’re about to do. Whether that is you know, whether we’re going to be hosting it, you know, in finding the right way to market that role, whether it’s just going to be kind of our usual processes, I think that’s what builds up the most for me. But there is nothing like bringing it back and working directly with that candidate. And when you have that conversation, and when you, you feel it’s a great fit, and then you work all the way through and you’re like, This is awesome, like you just kind of feel this energy throughout it. So I think that’s one of the most beneficial things is to have that that initial onset of starting with the right foot with your hiring team, and building a relationship and being open enough to believe that you’re open to work with what they need as well. It’s very much a collaborative effort.

Sarah Baker 47:26
So that leads me to wonder, since I hear all of your enthusiasm and clearly skill level here, what are you challenged by right now in your role?

Tessa Groll 47:36
Never enough time, Sarah, there’s never enough time. Cuz again, there is a lot with you know, you’re talking with folks, you’re going through resumes, you’re making sure that your communication is good. And that’s just not communication with your candidate. That’s communication with your team, making sure they’re keeping posted, making sure you’re having the right debrief calls, so you can figure out what’s working, what’s not, do we need to change the title? Do we need to change the JD? How do we make this work for everybody in a way where we’re not rushing in, but we’re not leaving you waiting for three months to fill a role. So I think when it comes to challenge sometimes, but you know, time is about excuse, because if you make the time you have the time and if you if you focus it and your energy the right way that can all that can all be created. So I would say really personal challenge would be that I want to grow really fast, I want to do a lot and I have to have to wrangle that in there’s so much that I do on my free time as well. And I always try to make like my my hobbies, my craft my creativity part of what I’m doing. And sometimes you’ve just cannot like I can’t play guitar when I’m working. You just you really can’t do it.

Sarah Baker 48:49
So that’s a tough multitask.

Tessa Groll 48:52
It’s not the best use of our time. So in terms of really like the biggest challenge, I think is focusing on what I have on that plate.

Sarah Baker 49:02
Yeah, you know, it makes me think of the challenge of prioritizing when everything is important, and distinguishing between what’s important and what’s urgent. And the thought I have is, What if you looked at this as an opportunity for incremental learning. So what if you were perhaps more intentional about, about what you’re going to prioritize learning right now and what you are going to on purpose, say, I’m going to learn that next but not now. And if that might help you feel a little bit better about how you’re spending your time because it won’t feel quite as diffuse.

Tessa Groll 49:44
That’s just what I need to do in general. Now, I think sometimes when we do look at our plate, and if we don’t love what’s on it, we will be like Well, what else can I do? Because you want to

Sarah Baker 49:57
like so maybe I guess I’m thinking me You may attend to that urge that says, ooh, bright, shiny thing over there I want to do and then turn back and say, What am I doing now that I might want to or have to turn back to a note that know what it is you’re turning away from? And see if there’s a theme over time so that you can learn something like maybe, yes, I can do that. Well, yes, that’s part of my job. But maybe it’s not my favorite thing. And that’s really good data for you. So is there something consistently that you’re turning away from to do something else?

Tessa Groll 50:37
Of course, there? I am. For me, it’s always something where it’s like, the easiest thing, but I may have already done it through another process. So it’s like, say you have something and it’s done through a system and you did everything through your system or your ATS. And you know, it’s like, the boxes are checked, you put in the forms, you did everything. But then maybe there’s a spreadsheet, right? And it’s like, literally, like you just go to update the spreadsheet. But for some reason, you’re just, you know, you’re focusing on your your bigger things, maybe or, you know, there are some days where you go and you’re like, all right, 52 applications, let’s go and you I study those I make sure like I’m really looking at what those entail. I’m not just click clacking around. So sometimes I’m like, okay, that’s going to be a process where I’m going to be really, really in it. Is there something I can do right now, that’s maybe a 15 minute thing that I can clear off the plate. So you’re right, it’s all about prioritizing, and like looking at what’s on the plate and being like, you might not like all of this, but you got to have the peace, you got to have, you know, you got to have everything on there. So So you’re right, it is a learning opportunity to when I go well, you know, what do we need to redo our whole than if it’s overview outline?

Sarah Baker 51:48
Right? You know, I have an analogy from home that feels really relevant here. So nobody my house likes empty the dishwasher. And so what happens, right? All right. So I once decided, because we’re all like, we don’t have time to empty the dishwasher who has time to you know, well, I once timed how long it took to empty the dishwasher. And for my dishwasher in my kitchen, it took somewhere between eight and nine minutes to empty the dishwasher. And that was really good information, because then I was able to say, Okay, folks, are you telling me you don’t have eight or nine minutes. So it might be interesting to take these less fascinating tasks, we have more boring tests, we have the process tests we have, and actually time how long they take. Because I find with myself, I am blowing them up bigger, because they’re not my favorite. And so I have actually found great satisfaction. Now, by just emptying the dishwasher. Like now, I like to do it because it’s checked, I like to check things off my list. And it’s no longer blown up into this big unpleasant thing. Because I’ve gotten a handle on what it really is, rather than what I was telling myself, it is

Tessa Groll 53:04
100% That is so true. It’s kind of like this, the 54321 do it rule like, do it now like if you can, because putting it off is going to make it just seems so much more daunting. I’m the same way with clothes in the dryer. And again, this might be maybe too much for the podcast, but I don’t do laundry all day, I’ll flip the clothes as soon as they’re done with the washer, and then I’ll leave them in for today. Any given I live in, you know, I have my own unit. So we’re not we’re not holding up the public units here, folks. But in terms, you know, I never do that those that was a time situation. But when it’s in your home booth, the leisure is yours. So I mean, right? It’s exactly that, like I can sit here I can be like, Oh no, was there something else I can do. But I know I need to do that. And I that’s something I have gotten better about. Because if it’s making a call, if it’s doing whatever that is, it’s just so much better to relay it. And most of the time if you’re making the call, you’re you’re getting in touch with the candidate faster, you’re sending an email off sooner, you’re making sure that your processes that you actually need to do and not want to do or being covered, which is the whole key, right?

Sarah Baker 54:11
Mm hmm. It’s so interesting that where we got to is that and true for all of us that there are activities we’re more drawn to. And, you know, my role as a coach is to help us find those things that light us up and to maximize the number of things we’re doing that light us up and minimize the number of things we’re doing, even if we are good at them that drain our energy.

Tessa Groll 54:38
Yes, right. Absolutely. You got it.

Sarah Baker 54:41
Yeah. Well, this has been such a great conversation, Tessa I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I would love to know if there are any burning questions on your mind that you would like to chat about before we wrap here.

Tessa Groll 54:56
Oh, okay. I mean, I’d love to turn it over to me. I normally the one asking the question, so yeah, we’ll put it that right back into the home field here. Let’s see, Sara, like, what’s your advice that you would give to everybody? Because I don’t feel you can necessarily give the same advice to everybody. But what do you think is maybe something that you’ve learned along the way? Or maybe you’ve passed on that’s really made a difference to you and the way that you execute your work?

Sarah Baker 55:23
Hmm. Yeah, thank you for that question. I think it’s about being very attentive. It’s exactly what we were talking about to focus on the important and not on the urgent. And then the other thing that’s really been valuable for me is to not let other people make something, an emergency for me, in other words, to be very clear about what my job is, what my priorities are, and to keep my boundaries. So for example, last week, I got a 10:15pm text from a client and the, and the client opened with, I know, it’s very late. All right, right, you know, it’s very late schedule, and send it tomorrow. Or just put a note in your calendar to send me the text tomorrow. But it was the sort of thing that’s a work habit. And this is a younger person, it’s a work habit that she needed to hear. So we had a conversation about it. And I told her how I view my boundaries and how I set my boundaries. And she shared that, you know, with social media, and with texting, and all of these things that are part of her life, she doesn’t feel like she can set any boundaries. So she’s actually sort of set up for overwork and overwhelm. If she doesn’t get this, get a grasp on this. But anybody who’s like you, and like me focused on customer service, wanting to make people happy, we get our Juju from making others happy, we are prone to not keeping our boundaries. So I just protect my time, like a promise to my best friend, and I carve out time for myself every single day. And I carve that time out no matter what, even when I am on vacation, I’ve got that time block. That’s just for me to be with me. Meditation has been a great tool in my life. I’m one of those crazy people that will tell you forever about how valuable meditation Oh, it’s amazing. Especially because I’m very type A, it just brings me to a place where I’m much more effective. So to answer your question, I would say being really clear about what’s our job, and what’s not being really clear with where our boundaries are, and protecting that time.

Tessa Groll 57:50
Yes, that’s such that’s such valuable insight. And I mean, in terms of your boundaries, in terms of doing what you need to do for you. That’s huge. And I mean, you’re right, it is funny, like when you’re, you’re in the social media world, and you feel like you can message anybody at any time, it’s really hard to find your spot in that and find your comb. And so that’s a great piece of advice. And it’s really cool to see how that’s worked for you. And like, where that’s led you and allowing you to focus because that makes you be a better career coach, you can tune into people and, and like, let certain things brush by and let certain things really resonate. And hopefully, it’s the important thing is that sit and resonate with you, and the important that guides away. But no, Sarah, that’s wonderful. And of course, you always say something that makes me want to elaborate in 50 different ways. But I won’t do that now.

Sarah Baker 58:41
Where I’d have to think of Rob and what a gift. It’s been to talk to you. So we have him to thank I’ve really enjoyed our conversation

Tessa Groll 58:49
likewise. And as Rob would say, I’m sure this is optimal podcast length. And so I have no idea of I could talk to him all day. Right. But no, really truly in terms of that, that sort of growth in that trajectory and really trying to see like what comes next. I think so much of that comes from like your eyes being open and like working with the right people talking with the right people and just being good and kind right I think that really allows Yes, yes. And if you treat people well candidates, I mean, even if you have I can’t even tell you how many great rejection calls were somehow I get off the phone, smiling because they’re like, it’s it was such a great experience. I just had so much fun and I’m like, see, that’s what I want. I want you to feel good about you and what you can do outside of what this opportunity can bring because you know

Sarah Baker 59:41
and you know, you know Tessa you distinguish yourself with that attitude and every candidate will remember you and your employer better for it. And you are exceptional. And because I am picking up the pieces of candidates who have been tortured by me sure of their rejection on a regular basis. I am so grateful for that approach. I think you’re really making a difference.

Tessa Groll 1:00:08
Thank you, Sarah. Really and truly it’s because I love working with others. And I like you said, I like making them happy. So yes, every you can make even a bad experience a good one. So I appreciate your kind words. Yes.

Sarah Baker 1:00:21
Well, on that note, we should probably wrap but I wish you all the best and look forward to continuing the conversation offline.

Tessa Groll 1:00:30
Yes, absolutely terrible. You take care. Okay. Thank you for your time today.

Sarah Baker 1:00:34
Oh, absolutely. Thank you, Tessa. Bye. All right.

Rob Stevenson 1:00:40
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