The ManpowerGroup, one of the industry’s leading organizations when it comes to recruiting solution strategies, is steeped in history and tradition; however, as Jennifer Torney, Vice President, Client Engagement for ManpowerGroup Solutions says, the company itself has evolved way beyond what anyone would consider traditional. Jennifer shares her insider’s perspective on TheEdge podcast with ClearEdge Marketing CEO and Founder, Leslie Vickrey.

Traditional with a Modern Twist

Though ManpowerGroup has been around for nearly 70 years, it’s taken a new approach to workforce solutions by devising a family of brands to address the complex workforce challenges organizations are currently facing, from contingent and permanent staffing to talent management, outsourcing, and talent development. In her role as Vice President, Client Engagement, Jennifer leads a team responsible for delivering innovative workforce strategies aligned to business strategies. She shares that this comes with its own set of  challenges.

“The hardest part for our clients is getting from MSP 1.0 or RPO 1.0 to a more advanced solution that might include more sophisticated delivery channels. Whether that’s SOW, incorporating a talent pool strategy or cloud-based labor solutions—those are the types of things my team helps guide,” says Jennifer.

Building a vision and facilitating seamless adoption is key; however, Jennifer notes that the way Manpower has set up its various brands enables her to continue to deliver recruiting solution strategies to clients efficiently and effectively.

“We’ve built a much more sophisticated organization over the years,” says Jennifer. “From our perspective, what that does is deliver a fully holistic opportunity for us to deliver for our clients across their entire talent management strategy.”

The Value of Mentorship and Sponsorship

“I’ve always been wired to be success-oriented in my career,” says Jennifer. And while a lot of the drive to succeed comes from somewhere inside and the way in which she was raised, Jennifer believes having mentors and sponsors throughout her career has propelled her. These types of relationships have given her an advantage when it comes to making strategic, smart and bold decisions. As a way of giving back what she’s been fortunate enough to receive throughout her career, Jennifer spends some of her time being a mentor for others.

“I mentor some of our newer leaders that are women within our business and I think there’s tremendous value in that. Having that sponsor, that champion who is fighting for you to help you make the right career decision and push you in the right direction when you don’t know what the right direction is,” Jennifer believes, is invaluable. However, there’s still work to be done and it starts internally.

“One of the things that we need to get more serious about as an organization is getting very clear and very measurable goals around what percentage of women we want in our executive leadership team,” says Jennifer. “If you create a culture where it’s truly a strategic priority and not just because it’s the ‘right thing to do’, but because it’s part of the business, I think we’ll have more success.”

Facing Adversity and Lessons Learned

Jennifer says, “When you take your career seriously, you’re going to hit some bumps in the road.” Those bumps and maybe even failures are hard to navigate, and can even affect confidence levels. But, Jennifer believes those are the moments that help shape who you ultimately are as a leader. Jennifer says being on the first business trip away from her newborn daughter was one of the most challenging moments in her career.

“I remember being in my hotel room and quite honestly, and embarrassingly, I was moved to tears because I thought ‘Gosh, is this worth it?’ I was really upset and emotional and I think it’s normal to feel a lot of conflicting feelings when you’re going through all of that.” But, in that moment of hardship, Jennifer recalls a promise she made to herself and her daughter, saying, “I promised myself that I would show my daughter that she could have it all, if she wanted it.”

Listen in to hear more about Jennifer’s career journey so far and what’s next for ManpowerGroup on this episode of TheEdge.

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