Lisa Schmid, COO/Partner, Superior Consulting Services
Years in staffing: 17
Fun fact: As a staffing executive, it’s not uncommon to get excited about different types of work arrangements. After all, that’s the core of a staffing business! However, it IS rare to embrace different arrangements with internal staffing employees. Lisa is passionate about building a culture that promotes balance and is working on launching a WorkFlex program for her internal staff in 2016.
This industry is driven by entrepreneurial leaders that have often held many roles on their way to the C-suite. This week’s #womenINstaffing Wednesday is another example of how focusing on solving problems and getting experience across different functions of the business can lead to more leadership opportunities.
You have grown from an admin assistant to the COO of Superior Consulting Services. Are there characteristics or an approach that you displayed in that first role that you still exhibit now?
My IT career really started in 2006 doing training for new users in Word, Excel, Access, etc. I then moved onto PC support and came to SCS as PC Support consultant 17+ years ago. It was a part-time assignment and when it ended 6 months later there wasn’t another assignment for me. At the time SCS had been in business for almost 2 years and needed a part-time admin assistant to support their growth so I accepted that role. Most of my advancement at SCS has been seeing a need and then filling that need. When I joined the admin team there were not a lot of policies and procedures in place and I saw a need for them. That is what started my role in HR and I have continued to grow and expand that knowledge by earning my PHR and SHRM-CP. Many of the other roles I have taken on are from a similar story; I saw a need, I filled a need and then I learned as much as I could to do a good job in that role (purchasing, finances, management, marketing, operations, etc.).
As an executive in this dynamic space, you have a lot on your plate. What does work/life balance mean to you?
To me and SCS, work/life balance is very important and is one of the top core values of our company. Our goal is “work to live not live to work.” I love to spend time with my family and as my kids get older I find this time with them even more valuable. I enjoy shutting my phone off for the weekend or for a vacation and I encourage others at work and elsewhere to do the same. We all need to recharge and having time away from work is the only way we are going to be able to be at the top of our game during work. We do encourage our employees to keep their work/life balance in check and try to set a good example for our employees.
Do you have a mentor? And if so, how (or what) do you continue to learn from him/her as an executive?
I do not have a mentor but feel I did/do sometimes miss out by not having one. I have learned a lot from many different people along the way so in a way I have probably had many mini mentors. When I find others (especially women) in similar roles, I try to reach out to them and stay in communication with them so we can help each other through the journey.
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.