Teresa Carroll, Senior Vice President and General Manager – Global Talent Solutions, Kelly Services, Inc.
Years in staffing: 23 years (all w/Kelly Services)
Fun facts: Teresa started her career as an engineer. She earned a bachelor’s of science degree in industrial engineering from the GMI Engineering and Management Institute (now Kettering University) in Michigan, and her first professional position was as a resident/industrial engineer with General Motors Corporation. Soon after, she realized she really had no interest in building cars, and set out to change her career trajectory.
She joined Kelly Services in 1992 as a senior process engineer and went back to school to earn her MBA from the University of Michigan. Now she’s following her true calling, connecting people with the companies who rely on their talents.
I was honored to learn more about Teresa’s experiences for this post after she contributed an inspiring quote to our latest eBook, On the Path to Staffing Success. Her humility and focus on creating meaningful connections truly comes through as you’ll read below!
What’s your proudest career moment thus far?
Launching Kelly Educational Staffing® (KES®) in 1997 and establishing Kelly as the first staffing provider to develop a comprehensive education talent management solution. KES provides schools with quality substitute teacher staffing and management, in addition to staffing non-instructional positions. KES offers our client schools unique value and unparalleled experience and expertise.
On any given school day in the U.S., KES fills more than 23,300 teacher absences with qualified substitutes. During the 2014/2015 school year, KES filled 2,260,330 classrooms in the U.S.
If you were to give advice to your rookie self in the staffing industry, what would it be?
My engineering roots were strong, so I’d say always look beyond the data to consider the human side of the staffing industry and understand its implications. Learn as much as you can about labor dynamics and the changing ways that people want to work; it will help you provide solutions to your clients’ and your company’s challenges. Remember that some rules never change: work hard, play hard, be yourself, and treat others fairly. Take charge of your own career, craft your own definition of “success”, and put in the hard work to make it happen.
What does it take to be a greatest leader in this industry?
I think many of the traits are the same across all industries: be ethical, adaptable, approachable, and someone who thrives on leading through change. For the staffing industry, I’d add that it’s imperative we never forget the human element of our business. Even if we’re developing talent supply chain solutions, we need to bear in mind that individual workers are at the heart of every solution in our industry, and that people aren’t widgets or car parts. The decisions we make have a very real impact on how the world works, and that’s a big responsibility as well as a privilege.
What keeps you excited about working in staffing?
It’s an industry that never stands still and has the power to make a real difference in people’s lives. I have seen more change in our industry in the past 5-7 years than I did in my first 15 or so years. It excites me to think about what innovations are right around the corner, and that my team and I might have a hand in bringing them to life.
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.