Jamie Delsing, Managing Partner, Consultis
Years in staffing: 26
Fun fact: You could say Jamie was born into the industry – and she wouldn’t have it any other way! Staffing has been in Jamie’s family for three generations. Her grandfather founded a staffing company in 1946 and her mother started Computemp, what is now Consultis, over three decades ago. Jamie started in the field in her early 20s and has been in the business for the majority of her professional career. Jamie and her brother Jeff have contributed to Consultis’ growth and unique culture over the years – recently launching their unique employment brand, FISH (Fun, Innovative, Savvy & Hardworking Employees), that requires each employee to select their own FISH name and engage in the many FISH-related opportunities for recognition and development. All they have to do is check their internal site, “The Pond.”
Having met Jamie several years ago through TechServe Alliance and witnessing her energy and authenticity firsthand, I was excited to chat with the “TriggerFISH” herself for this #womenINstaffing Wednesday spotlight.
Thinking about yourself as a rookie in the industry – what do you wish you would have known then?
I was very naïve at 23 and 24. I didn’t realize the extent to which people have their own personal agenda. Sometimes it clicks with yours and sometimes it doesn’t. That being said, I wish I wouldn’t have taken things so personally back then, especially since we’re operating in a people business and you can’t guarantee a person. Someone would lie to my face and I would internalize it as a reflection of me, but it’s not. It’s a reflection of them and human nature. I also wish I started a journal to keep track of all the crazy things that people would tell you.
What genre would it be?
Definitely a comedy! You would never have believed the stuff that people say – especially in the days when we were trying to track down their timesheets!
Well, you’ve definitely survived and thrived. What does it take to be a great leader within staffing?
Consistency. I think one of the most important traits is being consistent and leading by example. One of the things I’ve learned when hiring branch managers is that there truly are leaders and followers. And it definitely requires great followers to grow a successful business. But being a leader is a natural born gift, and you need that ability coupled with integrity. For instance, my brother is really good at setting precedence that is based on fairness and integrity. He reminds me that if we do something for one person, we have to do it for everyone. We can’t break the rules to accommodate everyone’s personal needs and agenda while still being fair. Considering relationships are at the heart of this business, integrity is so critical.
What’s your proudest career moment?
I’m really proud that I’ve been able to create an environment and operate in a way that makes people comfortable and sets them at ease, while still holding them accountable. It’s so important to me to foster my team’s self-worth and drive which I believe is what the successful people in our industry really want. This has helped Consultis engage with great employees that have been with us for many years, with many tenures exceeding 20 years. Reflecting on my career, I’m also proud of the relationships that I’ve built as they are so valuable to me personally and professionally. I still keep in touch with a hiring manager I sold IT staffing to in 1989! And now with LinkedIn, we can stay updated more regularly.
You have the unique experience of leading in a family business. Any advice?
Run! Just kidding. You need to have roles that are defined and hold people accountable to that. But, there are times when you need to be more flexible too. My brother and I have always had a good yin and yang over the years and continue to get excited about what’s next for the company. I definitely love the business and have passion for it.
Are you an industry veteran that’s excited to share your lessons with the next generation of staffing leaders? Share your insights as part of this #womenINstaffing Wednesday series. Contact me to learn more.
Confused on the hashtag (#) in the title of this series? Let me know if you’d like to join a virtual roundtable with a few other female staffing execs to discuss the power of Twitter to build your personal brand.