Employee Limelight: Jan Gardner
Broadleaf is recognized for its integrated total talent management approach in delivering MSPs, RPO, ICCPs, service vendor management, and VMS technologies. But behind those programs, who are the people driving Broadleaf’s success?
Jan Gardner’s multifaceted role is as Broadleaf’s Manager of Client Delivery and Operational Effectiveness. She shares with us her unique background, how she became part of the Broadleaf team, and why she’s known as our Process Queen.
In what areas did you grow up and attend school?
I grew up in Lanark, a small Illinois town founded by the Irish. Everyone there knows your name and remembers the time you fell off your bike. I’m 50% Irish and walked along the Lanark Way in 2016, paying tribute to my hometown. I attended Western Illinois University where I studied sociology, anthropology, and women studies and earned my Bachelors of Arts. In 2016 I earned my Master’s of Science in organizational leadership and ethics with a focus on change management from St. Edwards, a small, private Catholic school in Austin, Texas.
Can you share an interesting bit of trivia about yourself?
I served as a Peace Corps volunteer for two and ½ years in the small, Ukrainian village of Yamnutsya, located in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. I taught English as a second language to 5th-11th graders but maintained two side projects. One project involved teaching business English terminology to adults, and the other was with tackling the issue of human trafficking.
What made you want to become part of the Broadleaf family?
In the 11 years since leaving the Peace Corps, I have worked in the recruiting field. I worked in Chicago for a large Recruitment Process Outsourcing client as well as serving over both the Wells Fargo and Avis Budget Group accounts as a Senior Manager. Once in Austin I began staffing for a nonprofit before joining Broadleaf’s RPO team in 2014.
The Aleron corporate recruiter felt my previous RPO experience as well as my nonprofit experience prepared me to help with a specific Broadleaf account. I joined because I was excited about the client’s positive mission. My boss, James Stronach, was intelligent and passionate. I intuited that I would learn a great deal from him.
What duties are involved with your current role?
I manage a large team of recruiters that deliver on multiple RPO accounts and lead internal change management initiatives. I create best practices and implement them across the team. There are also instances in which I assist in new client implementations as well as sales calls for potential new clients.
What qualities are you known for having at work?
I’ve been called the “Process Queen”—I believe everything needs a well-defined process. My team knows my mantra as “Plan, Prepare, Execute,” and sometimes beats me to the punch in doing it. People also refer to me as the “Cruise Ship Director” because I do a lot of cheerleading and team-building activities. People have also joked about me being “Jerry Necessary” because I’m focused on working quickly to get the task done.
What is your personal approach to bringing reliable, sustainable results to customers?
Management and leadership of our delivery teams is key. I lead weekly accountability sessions with each team member as well as team goal settings and success sessions. I ensure every team member understands their client goals, mission, and vision, and that they use these three determinants with every potential candidate. I ensure that every step of our process drives data that we can share, analyze, and put into action to ensure continuous improvement.
What is an example of how Broadleaf pulled through for its team and the customer during a hectic time?
One client was having difficulties achieving their time-to-hire, candidate, and bilingual goals amidst a time crunch. We created a plan for each recruitment class and built success incentives, including a playbook documenting each person’s responsibilities and deadlines. Broadleaf implemented a launch meeting with hiring managers and provided an interview guide. Our team connected with local universities and joined nonprofit organizations to increase the pool of qualified candidates. Through connecting with college clubs and translation schools, all social media was translated into the target language, tying our incentives to language goals.
What makes working from home an interesting challenge and how do you stay in touch with your team?
With my team spread out across the United States, our team meetings are video-enabled. When done well, and with a strategic plan in place, recruiting can be conducted from anywhere and done successfully. I’m proud of my team for consistently proving that theory true!