The Power of Empowerment


There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.

Something special is happening at our company that has evolved, not by plan so much as the way we like to work.

For those of you who don’t know JustinBradley, we are a staffing and search firm. Probably sounds pretty dry to you—find talent, send resumes to client, collect fee. There are a lot of staffing and search firms. Most have incorporated the latest technologies into their processes—still doing things the same way, just with new tools. So why do some excel and many don’t?

At JustinBradley, I think it’s about empowerment. So many of those terms—‘partnering with the client,’ ‘synergy,’ ‘managing up,’ ‘continuous improvement,’ ‘empowerment’—sound good, but until you experience them it’s hard to grasp just what they mean. I can be a bit cynical (I grew up in NYC), but I know the truth behind those platitudes when I see it.

So, what does ‘empowerment’ look like at JustinBradley? One of our teams is responsible for identifying, recruiting and placing business professional talent at our national clients. The pace is very fast—we must submit candidates quickly after they are requested. Much of the team structure—leadership, individual responsibilities, processes—has evolved at the team’s initiative. They are closest to the ‘action’ and know what will and won’t work. With few restrictions, the team discusses and agrees on where to focus improvement efforts and adjusts responsibilities and processes. Individuals speak up; others listen; suggestions are incorporated (or not); the team moves on. They are in control; engaged; running their part of the business and making the improvements they’ve decided to make. It’s all very fluid. The team VP is a hands-on contributor and career mentor. She gets the last word if she needs to, but rarely needs to. We’ve found if you want to get a team engaged, ask questions rather than give orders.

Our systems and processes look a lot different than they did five years ago and we are more effective as a result. I expect that in five years they will look a lot different from now, as the team continues to respond to changes in the staffing landscape.

There’s something happening here. I’m not sure what it’s called, but it is magic.

Comments? You can reach Andrew at asc@justinbradley.com or 202-935-4646.

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