Would you join a company at age 24 and never leave? For many professionals, staying with one company for the bulk of their career equates with fears of stagnation and boredom. I know, because I used to be one of them.
Fifteen years ago, I joined Lucas Group as a recruiter in our Atlanta office. Like many people in their early 20s, I was just starting to explore how my passions and interests could translate into a career path. At the time, I couldn’t imagine being with the same company for five years, much less 15. Being an HR recruiter was likely going to be “just another job.” So, what’s kept me with Lucas Group all these years? It comes down to three magic ingredients: people, culture and opportunity.
Recruiting is a hyper-competitive industry that can be incredibly cutthroat. At Lucas Group, we’re certainly a group ofdriven individuals, but we also have a strong, family-oriented culture. Many of us refer to our year-end meeting as our “family reunion.” We’re a team of high performers who want everyone to be as successful as possible. No one needs to fail for someone else to succeed. We push each other to be better, and we champion one another’s accomplishments: we can all win together. Thisis what makes our culture so collaborative and supportive. It’s one of the reasons Lucas Group has some of the longest tenure in the industry.
Of course, great culture can only take you so far– you still need to grow professionally. That’s where the third piece comes into play: opportunity. As my professional interests and personal needs have shifted, I’ve grownand adapted my role here. When I had my first child and stepped back to focus on family, Lucas Group left the door open for me to return when the time was right. When my husband and I wanted to move closer to family in Cincinnati, Lucas Group gave me the incredible opportunity to open a branch office in the city. I had never opened an office from scratch before, but the leadership team trusted me to succeed. We took the office from wires hanging out of the ceiling to a team of over 20 people across four functional recruiting areas. Then last year, just as COVID shut everything down, I received a new challenge: taking on the role of General Manager for our HR division and navigating our team through one of its trickiest years yet. That fear of stagnating in one role at one company forever? The opposite is the case for my career here: each new role comes with a fresh set of challenges, pushing me out of my comfort zone.
Lucas Group’s commitment to supporting career development and growth is a prime example of how one of our core values – innovation – comes to life. For many companies, being “innovative” means implementing the latest and greatest technology. But at Lucas Group, innovation is a mindset that carries into everything we do, including how we approach professional opportunities. For example, Aaron Silbert, our Sales Operations Trainer, was previously the leader of our HR search team in New York City. Now he’s putting his field experience and institutional knowledge to work for our new hire training.
Ann Reiling, our VP Sales & Marketing Enablement, started her career here in HR Recruiting. When she found herself at professional crossroads, our leadership team recognized the tremendous benefit her field experience could bring to our corporate Marketing and Sales efforts and created a new position for her. Ann’s professional achievements are especially important to me since we’ve been each other’s peer mentors. Together, we’ve explored what we wanted professionally, held each other accountable, and pushed each other to get outside our comfort zones. We wouldn’t be where we are today without each other– just one more example of how the people at Lucas Group make our company so special.
At Lucas Group, we’re committed to not just “talking the talk” but “walking the walk.” As we celebrate our fifty-first year in business, we’ve refreshed our mission, vision and values statement to reflect better who we are as a company and where we’re going. Two of the most exciting moments I experienced this year were at our Diversity & Inclusion panel and Women in Leadership panel. I appreciate the willingness at all levels of the company to be candid and vulnerable, having difficult conversations about how we can continue to improve as a business to be more inclusive and equitable.
Retaining top performers isn’t easy. But with the right mix of people, culture and opportunity, anything can be possible.