The original version of this article was published in Half Times, the digital magazine for Robert Half employees.
During the pandemic, Jenna Lightstone, vice president and practice director of permanent placement for the marketing and creative practice group at Robert Half, decide to move from New York City to Atlanta, Ga., to be closer to family.
The move ultimately became permanent, as she intends to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future while remaining focused on the New York market in a remote capacity.
Last June, Jenna was inspired to work remotely even more, as she was provided an opportunity to move from her role as practice director for contract placement to her current role — an offering that has since led Jenna to achieve all-time records for recruiting at Robert Half.
“I billed nearly $1.1 million by the end of 2021, which is an all-time high for yearly permanent billings for Robert Half’s marketing and creative practice,” Jenna says. “And so far this year, I’ve recorded nearly $1.2 million in permanent billings.”
Taking the time to ask the right questions and understand motivations
Jenna says her secret to success is threefold: communication, hard work and motivated clients.
“I work hard to listen to my candidates and clients to understand what motivates them to make decisions, and then I continue to refer back to that throughout the process,” she says. “By asking the right questions — even hard questions — I can manage both candidates and clients to ultimately find solutions that make everyone happy.”
Jenna says communication is what really provides her an edge in recruiting. She typically interviews more than five candidates daily for the roles she’s recruiting for, and she always has additional follow-up conversations with them afterward.
Aside from being committed to communication throughout the entire recruiting process, Jenna says she believes flexible, motivated clients are critical, especially in today’s competitive hiring market.
“I educate my clients on the market to help make sure the jobs they want to staff are realistic, in terms of job requirements, on-site and off-site opportunities, and salaries,” she explains. “I’m also on the phone with clients and candidates throughout the recruiting process, as emails and texts can leave too much to the imagination. And I strive to have continuous opportunities to assess interest, evaluate tone and receive feedback.”
A commitment to continuous learning — and further achievement
Jenna says she aims to achieve more record-breaking performances at Robert Half by continuing to leverage her current strategies for success — especially the hard work aspect. “I always stay focused on the jobs I know are most likely to close,” she says. “I typically work on one to two jobs at a time, and I make sure that they’re in a good spot before moving forward.”
Aside from her own strategies, Jenna stresses that she owes much of her success to Jaclyn Matsinger, assistant vice president and branch director for the marketing and creative group at Robert Half. Jenna says Jaclyn has been a great “sounding board” and a constant supporter.
“It’s been amazing to watch Jenna grow into the leader, team player and top producer she is today, as she breaks new records month after month,” Jaclyn says. “She’s always looking for ways to learn so she can service her clients and candidates to the best of her ability.”
Ryan M. Sutton, district president for technology and marketing and creative, agrees, adding that Jenna’s clients and candidates often refer to her as a “true partner and ally.” He says, “Jenna has really set a new standard for marketing and creative permanent placement. And, as a result, her clients and candidates sing her praises regularly — and will continue to do so.”
Follow Jenna Lightstone on LinkedIn.