Right off the bat, Samira Alimohammad started her career in the staffing industry when she was offered a position as an Assistant General Counsel for a very small national staffing firm. Within the year, the General Counsel left for private practice, and Samira was promoted immediately. This was a huge surprise considering her limited legal knowledge, but as the only lawyer, she had no choice but to learn on the job. While in this position, she was exposed to all aspects of staffing, from commercial to operational to legal, and had the opportunity to report directly to the CEO.
When asked how COVID-19 has impacted her role at SThree, Samira explains that her role hasn’t changed much, rather, the number of legal issues she’s having to address has increased. At SThree, their focus lies first with their people, second with maintaining a thought leadership role in the industry, and third with supporting the business so they can continue to thrive. To ensure that these three focuses are taken care of to the best of their ability, both global and local teams were pulled together to form a crisis unit that focused on collaboration from legal, HR, Sales, and Learning and Development.
While Samira understands the need for new rules and regulations, she reflects on how her biggest challenge throughout COVID-19 has been the development of new laws, paired with their immediate effectiveness. She explains that as a lawyer, it’s frustrating to be asked questions about a new law that was just implemented, without any guidance from the government. Another challenge Leslie and Samira discuss is the speed of how quickly things are changing…“it’s information overload at lightning speeds.” Not having all the answers has become the new norm, and it requires patience and adaptability.
As the conversation continues, Samira explains that she comes from a very conservative and traditional family. She was taught never to boast or speak of her achievements, and was told that if she did great work, others would notice her accomplishments and give her praise. She shares that she still cringes when she has to list off her achievements, whether for a promotion or this podcast! However, as an adult, she’s realized that there is nothing wrong with asking people for what she thinks she deserves, and that it’s quite empowering.