Robert Half’s Thought Leader Q&A series features insights from those who have made our company a great place to work and a premier provider of talent solutions

In this post, we feature DeLynn Senna, senior district president, executive search global operations. DeLynn was appointed to this brand-new role at Robert Half in February 2023. DeLynn, whose Robert Half experience spans 24 years, has earned a reputation for building consensus around a strategic vision, leading teams to perform at exceptional levels and enhancing the customer experience.

In addition to her operational responsibilities, DeLynn has a strategic role in building visibility for Robert Half’s executive search practice. Our executive search practice, which helps companies across industries to build superior leadership teams, was established in 2007 and today spans 11 countries.

DeLynn’s previous roles at Robert Half include senior district president for legal talent solutions in the United States, executive director for international permanent placement solutions, and senior managing director for executive search in Europe. She also spent 13 years as global executive director for Robert Half’s finance and accounting permanent placement practice.

DeLynn says that throughout her long and varied career at Robert Half, the opportunity to help people connect with “meaningful work that allows them to make an impact and brings stability and security to their lives” stands out as one of the most satisfying aspects of her professional experience.

“All of us want to find purpose in life. And for many people, work is a big part of their life’s purpose,” she says. “It’s so rewarding to help people find jobs that they love.”

We recently sat down with DeLynn to learn what she finds most inspiring about her new role at Robert Half, what misperceptions people often have about the executive search process and what she believes her “superpower” is as a business leader. Here’s what she shared:

You’ve worked at Robert Half for more than two decades. What keeps you here?

What first attracted me to Robert Half is the opportunity to help companies hire skilled talent. I am deeply passionate about placing people with great companies where they can make a meaningful impact, add value to an organization’s corporate culture and thrive. And now, I get to help companies hire talent at the highest levels of their organization.

What keeps me working for the company, and why I returned four years ago, are the smart, driven and passionate leaders whom I partner with, and the many mentors who support and champion me. The teams I am privileged to lead motivate me to do my very best — for them. And I love collaborating with colleagues across the globe.

What do you find most inspiring about your current role?

I’ve been fortunate to have 10 different jobs at Robert Half. This latest role that I’ve earned at the company provides me with the incredible opportunity to have an impact on the expansion of our global executive search practices. I believe we are the best kept secret of Robert Half’s talent solutions. I’m inspired and driven to increase our brand awareness and client reach for our global executive search teams.

How would you describe the executive search process, and the value of working with a retained executive search firm, to someone unfamiliar with the experience?

Working with a resource like Robert Half’s executive search practice can be a valuable investment for companies seeking to hire critical leadership positions. We have the knowledge, experience, network and resources to identify and attract top-tier senior leadership talent. We help companies to streamline their recruitment processes and reduce the time associated with hiring for executive-level roles.

Additionally, retaining a leading executive search firm like Robert Half’s executive search practice can provide valuable market insights and help companies develop and refine their hiring strategies. We can also help organizations to secure the best possible talent for their leadership positions, which can have a significant impact on the long-term success of their businesses in substantially less time.

What are some common misperceptions about the executive search process?

Many people are not aware that an executive search firm does not limit its search for executive talent to a local market. The best firms are prepared to reach candidates anywhere in the United States, or around the globe.

Our executive search team at Robert Half also reaches out to our clients weekly through regular update calls where we share information about the talent pipeline and provide market intelligence to the client company. This allows our team and our clients to recalibrate and refine hiring strategies in real time and have the ability to pivot.

Your career at Robert Half has included a great deal of international travel and collaboration with teams in many countries. Where have you traveled, and how have those experiences impacted you professionally?

I have flown millions of miles during my time at Robert Half and have had a remarkable opportunity to travel to and partner with colleagues across the globe, including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Traveling internationally for Robert Half helped me to discover my “superpower.” I have learned that I have an inherent ability to build rapport and trust with people across different cultures. It doesn’t matter what country I go to — I always find a way to make positive connections.

Maybe it’s my natural curiosity, or the fact that I appreciate the diversity of perspectives and cultures, but I love having the opportunity to collaborate with our international teams. Working with people from different parts of the world allows me to learn new approaches and methods to problem-solving, which ultimately leads to better outcomes for the business. The whole experience is both enriching and rewarding.

What’s a fun fact about your career?

I was a startup founder — and that experience made me a better leader in several ways. First, I learned to embrace uncertainty and ambiguity. I am now comfortable and confident leading “in the gray,” when needed.

I also learned how to be more visionary and strategic. Leading through vision, goals and strategies keeps me focused on what will have the greatest impact to our business at Robert Half, and how best to motivate and inspire my teams.

And finally, I learned to stay resilient. Starting a business is tough, and setbacks and failures are inevitable. I’m not afraid of them — I learn from them and keep moving forward.

As a woman executive, what do you think women need, generally, to succeed in today’s workplace and fulfill their professional goals?

I’m committed to helping promote gender equality and empowering women to reach their full potential. My role on the executive committee for Robert Half’s Global Women’s Employee Network (GWEN) is one example of that. I believe that investing in women’s development is crucial for creating a more just and equitable society, and I want to contribute to creating more opportunities for women to succeed and thrive.

As for what I believe women need to succeed in business generally? It’s confidence, first and foremost. Women should have confidence in their skills, abilities and ideas. Self-doubt and “impostor syndrome” are common barriers to success. It’s essential to recognize your achievements and believe in yourself to pursue your goals.

Women professionals also need a support system — a strong network of colleagues, mentors and advocates who can help them navigate their careers and overcome obstacles. I think women should also proactively seek out mentors and allies who can offer guidance, advice and opportunities.

The ability to maintain work-life balance is also essential. Women often face unique challenges in balancing their work and personal responsibilities. It’s crucial for women to prioritize self-care, establish boundaries and find a work-life balance level that works best for them. I believe that employers should also support flexible work arrangements and policies that promote work-life balance for all their employees.

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working?

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I also love to exercise, and living in Lake Tahoe gives me the opportunity to enjoy many sports that I love year-round.

Follow DeLynn Senna on LinkedIn.

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