How to make work fun with Alma Allen

Horizontal blog - worker pushing other coworker in chair and having fun at the office
Article by Alma Allen
Nov 10, 2022
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Reader’s note: This is a partial transcription from the first episode of the 10-Minute Talent Show. To hear the full episodes (it’s only about 10 minutes), click the podcast embed above.

From dance battles to car jams, Alma Allen knows how to make work fun. She started as a recruiter and is now Horizontal Talent’s United States recruiting director. What’s been the key to her success? Much of it has to do with a work hard-have fun approach to her job.

What makes a successful recruiter?

Relationship building and collaboration. You have to learn about each candidate’s interests, wants and needs. You have to do this from a client’s perspective, too! It shouldn’t be robotic, either. Relationship building is what makes other recruiters or account managers successful in this industry and is what made me successful. It should come naturally. When you communicate naturally and less mechanically, your relationships are genuine. That goes a long way.

How does collaboration tie into company expansion?

It is super important to collaborate. We work remote often and in some cases we have teams that are outside the U.S. Collaboration is important to fuel our team and help the team feel they have a purpose. Collaboration also helps solve for different roadblocks that we’re having, either from the client or the candidate side. If we don’t collaborate, it’s really difficult to get to the candidate or client’s goals to the finish line. When working with our Dallas, Denver and India teams, I try to ensure that every day, during all of our activities, we are continually collaborating.

What factors do you look for in a new employee? 

Soft skills are very important. In my opinion, it’s not about “I”, it’s about “we”, and it’s not about what I need, but instead asking, “What do we need to get candidates across the finish line?” It’s about collaborating, sharing feedback and working with each other to make sure that we’re bringing valuable information to our client or candidate. If either side isn’t collaborating and it’s just about me, it becomes really difficult to have those conversations. When I’m in interviews and talking to people, I will ask, “Was there a challenge with a person you were trying to collaborate with? How did you overcome that challenge?” We’re always trying to find a solution to a challenge in our day.

How do you remain competitive but collaborative with fellow recruiters?

I wore the recruiter hat for many years. I can honestly say that I competed with a couple of our recruiting team members that have been here. We always had respect for each other because there were boundaries. At Horizontal, we have discussions that have fostered a healthy environment and company culture. Our clients are given great talent, and internally, we don’t have to worry about a negative work environment.

How do you make work fun?

We all motivate ourselves in different ways. Personally, music changes my mood. I want to do well and succeed for my family, for my development and all of those different things. In the morning, I get up and put on a song. It changes the whole vibe. Today I specifically said, “I’m coming into the office. I need to get in the car, take down the sunroof and blast the radio.” You have to make work fun. We always have different challenges and deadlines. If you don’t make it fun then you won’t like your job as much. I try to make work fun with our team members all of the time because they all like to have fun!

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