If you want to play hard and enjoy the rewards of life, you have to work hard to achieve it.
As a part of my HR Strategy Series, I’m talking to top experts in the field to teach prospects what hiring managers are actually looking for, while also supporting business leaders in their hiring and retention strategies. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Michelle Flores Gonzalez.
Michelle is currently heading up operations of Flores. She graduated from the University of San Diego in 2006 with a B.B.A. in Business Administration and Accounting and completed her Masters in Business Administration at the University of San Diego in 2009. She is also married with two beautiful young children.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! First, please tell us what brought you to this specific career path?
Flores is a family business. My father, Greg Flores started this company and I have been here since I was a young adult learning the business from bottom up.
Can you share the most interesting or funny story that happened to you since you started this career and what lesson you learned from that?
Be prepared for anything when it comes to personnel. They will always keep you on your toes! People are great and we couldn’t do the work we do without valuable dedicated team members but sometimes you need to double-check those handbooks and make sure your policies are firmly stating what you intend them to be.
One time, we had a handful of the team offer to pitch in some extra hours on a Saturday to finish a project deadline for a customer, which was great as we needed the help. However since it was a Saturday and the office was technically closed, a couple of employees asked if they could bring their pets in the office. As it was a weekend, we thought sure, why not have your furry friend sit by your side as you work right? But no, one individual brought his pet snake, giving the rest of the team quite the scare and shock! We were not expecting the slithery kind as a pet you can bring to work.
Lesson learned if you have a ‘no pets policy’ during regular operating hours you are better off extending the same policy during off-cycle hours as well. Keep your policy simple and clear as your definition of cute and cuddly pets may vary drastically from others.
With so much noise and competition out there, what are your top 3 ways to attract and engage the best talent in an industry when they haven’t already reached out to you?
1. In-house Referral Program — we have gained some of our top team members through referrals from current staff members. We encourage our team members to send interested candidates our way to apply and if we choose to hire them, our team members are rewarded via our referral reward program.
2. Partnering with local schools and professional programs that can send us qualified candidates.
3. Networking! Get out there to industry events, job fairs, and promote ourselves with our target market and community.
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
An attitude of Gratitude and showing it through saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. As children, we were taught over and over to mind our manners and remember to say these ‘magic words’. Somehow, in the fast-paced business, this simple act of respect is lost and those words become a rarity in our business language. If we could have that in everyone’s vocabulary, just like when we were little, the amount of kindness and respect we would all gain would be tremendous. Imagine how much more productive and valuable you would feel like a customer or employee with just these simple [magic] words.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Work Hard Play Hard”. I am very big on this simple quote, if you want to play hard and enjoy the rewards of life, you have to work hard to achieve it. You have to earn your way to things in life and there should never be any excuse to not try your best and go for it. At the same time, you should enjoy the fruits of your labor and celebrate life’s blessings, because you earned it! As a working mom, I make sure I take time off and spend vacation time with my family because they are the reason this momma is working hard!
We are very blessed to have some of the biggest names in Business, VC, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private lunch with, and why?
There are so many inspiring individuals to choose from! I would love to have lunch with Sara Blakely. Her story of success while balancing motherhood with being a badass businesswoman is inspiring. As a working mom of little ones it is often long days and frequent visits of “mama guilt”. I love networking with other businesswomen and learn from their pro tips on how to blend it all and blend it all successfully.
Thank you so much for these fantastic insights!