Associate Spotlight – Meet Lauren Hillerich
This year we were in the fortunate position of having a number of highly qualified finalists for our Associate of the Year honor – one finalist that was particularly noteworthy was Lauren Hillerich. Lauren is on assignment through Staff Management | SMX at Jabil in Louisville, KY as an HR Generalist. Jabil is an electronic product solutions company providing comprehensive electronics design, manufacturing and aftermarket product management services to global electronic and technology companies. In her role, Lauren has made a significant positive impact on the Jabil operation. Craig Wyrick, Jabil Site Materials Manager, explains that, “Lauren has been a critical part of our new client growth. She has helped me recruit solid employees and was a key member in the interviewing process.”
Lauren Hillerich is in an unusual position – she is a temporary associate on assignment in a Human Resources role which includes both HR Generalist responsibilities for her client’s workforce as well as the day-to-day responsibility of managing the partnership with the staffing provider for which she works. Lauren was placed on assignment at Jabil in Louisville, KY by Staff Management | SMX in January 2012. After three weeks of training, Lauren assumed Jabil HR Generalist Olivia Rainwater’s responsibilities during her maternity leave, providing all aspects of Human Resources support for the Jabil workforce in Olivia’s absence. Deondra Wardelle, Jabil Training Specialist, explains:
“During our HR Generalists’ leave, Lauren not only maintained and managed the day-to-day Human Resources related tasks, escalations and issues, but she also fulfilled the role of site recruiter for all of our indirect and direct labor positions. Lauren also worked with me on several Kaizen projects to lean out the orientation process and she helped to maintain the personnel records of the training manager database.”
Upon Olivia’s return, Lauren was tasked with managing the recruitment of many new associates for an important new Jabil client implementation. The project, which is expected to yield several hundred new Jabil and Staff Management | SMX associates, is a very high priority for Jabil. Lauren took on the responsibility of recruiting the new Jabil full-time employees, working directly with Staff Management | SMX on their recruiting plan to fill the new temporary positions and partnering with Olivia Rainwater to manage the Jabil-Staff Management | SMX program. Lauren also provides HR support for the new client ramp-up project, from how new Jabil and Staff Management | SMX associates will be onboarded and trained to managing employee relations through the project launch.
The magnitude and complexity of the project would be a challenge for anyone, but through it all the Jabil and Staff Management | SMX teams have been impressed with Lauren’s determination and dedication to succeed.
Craig Wyrick, Jabil Site Materials Manager, explains that “Lauren has been a critical part of our new client growth. She has helped me recruit solid employees and was a key member in the interviewing process.” Maggie Hartnett, Staff Management | SMX Recruiter, adds, “this new project has been a major undertaking, not without its challenges, and I have to commend Lauren on being so positive and remaining so enthusiastic and efficient.” Reflecting on Lauren’s dedication, Deondra Wardelle explains, “since the first day of Lauren’s assignment she exhibited a ‘can do’ attitude. Often, I have witnessed Lauren work late evenings and on the weekends to ensure that special projects to support other team members were completed in a timely manner without adversely impacting her ability to complete other tasks on time.”
Lauren’s outstanding contributions are even more impressive considering the fact that she remains in a temporary position while playing such an important role for Jabil. Lauren has not allowed her temporary status to hinder her one bit, making a positive impact in a short time across both the Jabil and Staff Management | SMX organizations. Christy Wright, Staff Management | SMX Account Director, says, “I think that if you talk to anyone at Jabil, or any one of our associates on the production floor, they will all have something wonderful to say about Lauren.” Deondra Wardelle adds, “she has great rapport with both the management team and with the employees on the production floor. She is a trusted member of our team and a valuable asset.”
In fact, Lauren uses her temporary status to her advantage in her role at Jabil, bridging the gap between office and production workers, full-time and temporary workers. She explains that when she shares with a temporary associate that she is also a temporary, “they are often surprised to realize that someone in HR is in a similar situation. If a temporary associate is concerned about when they might be hired full-time I explain that I’m a temporary too and that if we all focus on the job we were hired to do we will succeed. When I explain that they often look at their status in a different light.”
When asked about her success on assignment at Jabil, Lauren explains that she refuses to allow the fact that she is a temporary associate hinder her progress in any way. From her first day on assignment Lauren’s focus has been clear, “I will not spend time worrying about whether I’m a full-time Jabil employee or a temporary associate; I’m here to do my job. I knew from the beginning that given my responsibilities at Jabil I need to work like I’m a Jabil employee regardless of who writes my paycheck.” Maggie Hartnett of Staff Management | SMX reflects on the way that Lauren has embraced her role, “she immediately immersed herself in the Jabil culture – I don’t think of her as Staff Management | SMX, I think of her as Jabil. She is well organized, ambitious, a real go-getter and has never let being a temporary inhibit her success.”
Maggie explains that while Lauren looks forward to the possibility of being hired by Jabil full-time at the conclusion of this new client ramp-up project, “she never worries about when it might happen and knows that there are many other associates who are also anxious to be hired full-time. She continues to focus on the associates and their morale and on contributing to Jabil’s success. In fact, when Staff Management |
SMX approached Lauren to let her know that we were nominating her for the ASA Staffing Employee of the Year she was incredibly flattered and grateful, but also urged us to consider a production associate at Jabil for the honor.”
When asked about how she came to work at Jabil, Lauren describes it as a “leap of faith.” Prior to taking on her assignment at Jabil, Lauren worked full-time for three and a half years as a National Account Supervisor for a full-service print and packaging manufacturer in Louisville. In her role Lauren oversaw specialty packaging, managing projects such as producing a new box set for a classic rock band. Lauren worked with external clients as well as with her internal clients across seven facilities to meet aggressive product release deadlines with a high degree of accuracy. The projects that Lauren managed required her to cultivate strong relationships across her client’s organization and her own to ensure success. During her time with her former employer, Lauren also got the chance to broaden her skill set by supporting some HR projects, which proved to be good preparation for her role at Jabil.
While Lauren enjoyed the work and the fast-paced nature of the business, she didn’t see a future with her former employer. So when Lauren’s former colleague Olivia Rainwater encouraged her to consider the HR assignment at Jabil through Staff Management-SMX, Lauren didn’t worry about it being a temporary position – she saw it as a good career opportunity to gain valuable Human Resources experience and get her foot in the door with a great company. “I hadn’t thought about working for a temporary staffing provider before, but now I realize that more people should take advantage of the sorts of opportunities available through staffing providers. It is not just a good opportunity for job seekers, but also a good opportunity for companies that may not be able to justify a new full-time role. It gives them a chance to prove that it is a valid position while also finding the right person to fill it.”
In Lauren, Jabil and Staff Management | SMX have clearly found the right person. Craig Wyrick of Jabil says of Lauren, “when she says she is going to do something, she does it.” Maggie Hartnett of Staff Management | SMX adds, “it seems like there is nothing she can’t do. Lauren has built trust within both organizations at all levels. She never lets you see her sweat, and remains energetic, positive and professional each and every day.” Deondra Wardelle of Jabil sums it up by saying:
“She is thorough, organized, process-oriented, creative, supportive, fosters a team environment, reliable, dependable, smart, cost-conscious, resourceful, willing to take on new challenges, and most importantly she can execute!”
When asked about life outside of work, Lauren says she likes to spend time with her husband John, sew, embroider and crochet; explaining, “I like to keep busy; I don’t want to be idle.” She goes on to say that, whether at home or at work, she is always driven to find ways to improve. This drive for continuous improvement coupled with her strong work ethic, boundless energy, positive attitude and professionalism have allowed Lauren to succeed in an unusual position that has proven to be a winning assignment for Lauren, Jabil and Staff Management | SMX.