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Busting Down Roadblocks and Living Bold: An Interview with Genie Tower, VP of Global Recruiting at Launch

If you’ve ever worked with Launch Recruiting, you’ve worked with Genie Tower. Savvy, vivacious, and the ultimate relationship builder, she’s used her decades of experience to create an unparalleled hiring and staffing experience for consultants, employees, and clients alike. As HR Manager Jordon Jeter says: “Genie exudes boldness. Her unwaning get-it-done attitude is only rivaled by her desire to ensure it’s done right and with people at top of mind.”

Now Genie’s the Vice President of Staffing Services for all of Launch, building on her secret recipe for staffing success to expand Launch’s global footprint. We sat down with her to understand what’s brought her and her org such great results—especially hiring in the Great Resignation—and what’s next for Launch in 2022.

LAUNCH: Let’s start with a great big question: How did you get to this point in your career? What’s your background like?

GENIE TOWER: I’ve been in the industry 32 years. 1990 is when I got my first exposure into staffing—I started at the ground floor level as an administrator, then became an admin manager. I got to travel and work with regional vice presidents to open multiple new office locations. That meant recruiting folks and setting up the infrastructure to make them successful, and that was a lot of fun. A lot of really great experience.  

As a result, I moved into recruiting…and very quickly learned that that wasn't something I wanted to do.

[pause for dramatic irony]

GT: Recruiting left a bad taste in my mouth. It was very much a numbers game, super impersonal. So I moved over to sales for a period, worked for a couple other staffing companies, and really found joy in helping build organizations—providing them the infrastructure to support their business, establishing processes and procedures, etc.  

That’s when I got an opportunity to go work for my first consulting firm. And—it wasn’t staffing. It was a completely different concept: we’d hire these employees to go out and do project work on our clients’ behalf, and when the project was done, they'd still have a job!

Me, I was a receptionist there…and it’s the best job I’ve ever had. I met amazing people, supported the entire org, and it was just fun for me. I had an opportunity to positively influence a person's day by how I answered the phone or how I greeted them when they came into the office. The front desk had me and another woman, and we kept that whole office humming.

L: So how did you get back into the recruiting business?

GT: Honestly, I had a bit of PTSD flare up when I was approached with a new recruiting opportunity. Impersonal, a numbers game, how many resumes could I get, did they have the right buzzwords on their resume—that wasn't me. But the person I went to work for assured me this was different, and I could see firsthand how different it was, so I decided to take the leap and move into recruiting as a career.  

Talk about jumping into the fire! No training, no nothing. I had to go in and figure it out. And I did. What I found worked for me was truly getting to know people and finding out what made them happy at work.

I think we've all had that one job where it was just a horrible experience and we dreaded getting up in the morning and going to work. Now I had the opportunity to positively influence someone in their job search. I really wanted to understand what they liked and what they were looking for, because I wanted them to be excited about getting out of bed the next morning and going to work. And I found I was really successful at it! I was always in the company’s top five recruiters internationally, and it wasn't anything more than caring about the people I was working for—realizing I was truly their agent.  

I got to play matchmaker. I got to learn about people, and care about them, and it became personal for me. And that led to forging lasting relationships with candidates who went on to become clients. For me, that's the joy! When the relationships aren’t superficial—when recruiters see people as more than a number, more than a game—those are the recruiters that are really successful.

L: You’ve really been around the block. How’d you end up at Launch?

GT: I came to Launch through the acquisition of 110 Consulting, where I got to help shape and grow that company. Since the merger, that growth for me, professionally and personally, has continued. I'm faced with new problems to solve every day, and I have to think outside the box and be open to new ideas and concepts. I think that's what it's all about—we all have to learn and grow and figure out how to do things differently. And I get to do that every day, with people I like.

L: I was going to ask what the best part of your job is, but it sounds like you may have just answered that. So, building on that, what would you say is the most important part of your job?

GT: I’ve played almost every role in this business, which gives me a periphery most people don’t have. That experience has culminated in the understanding that I enjoy being that problem solver. That person who helps remove roadblocks for individuals. That's how I look at my role now: Nothing more than helping others be successful, removing roadblocks for them, helping others realize their potential, and helping the org grow and be successful with people who like each other and are passionate about what they do.  

And I keep asking myself: How can we build something great? How can we build a legacy for people who enjoy being problem solvers?

L: Looking forward, what's one thing you're excited to tackle in your new role?

GT: It’s expanding on what we're doing. It's thinking bigger, thinking more boldly, thinking outside of our comfort zone. We’re aiming to expand globally. To do that, we have to do business differently. So being part of those decisions and that expansion is exciting. It opens up new opportunities—and new challenges, for sure—but we're doing it together.  

How great it is to be able to help expand, to provide more opportunity for people and more options for people. That's the exciting thing for me. It’s not about more money in the bank. Our goal is to be a world-class employer that creates greater opportunity for our people everywhere.

L: When you say we have to do business differently, what does that look like at global scale?

GT: When you look at Launch people in Argentina and India and Uruguay and Canada, you see some amazing diversity. Everyone here thinks differently, and I love that. But we’ve also got like-mindedness— in terms of passion and drive and common goals throughout the org. We all have different thoughts on how we're going to get there, but that's the beautiful part.

As a leader in resourcing, I want to challenge our leaders to think differently and hire differently and not focus on hiring people who are like them or make them feel comfortable. We want to find those who challenge our thought processes, because that will make us better. I want to hire people who help others think differently—boldly.

L: What Launch project are you most proud to have been a part of?

GT: That's a hard one because there's…a lot. I look at the Consultant Success Manager team and I'm really proud of the work that they do. We set out with a company goal to make every person feel valued and appreciated and tied to Launch. In consulting, that can be difficult! Especially when you're an independent contributor (IC) on a team, it's super easy to feel disconnected from the org. We put that CSM team in place to help those ICs also feel valued and appreciated and tied to us.  

Since that team's inception, we’ve seen a significant impact in employee sentiment regarding Launch. We see every day in the exit interview process what a difference our CSMs have made, and I'm really proud of that. Everyone should have the opportunity to feel important and to feel that the work they do matters.  

I’m also really proud of the work that Launch recruiters do in their very first interactions with folks. They have that relationship-minded approach. It’s not just a conversation—they're wanting to truly get to know people, and they care about them. And they keep showing that every day, working hard to not just bring people on, but redeploy them.

A lot of companies in our industry miss the importance of this [relationship-building] process. There is nothing worse than looking for a job and falling into a big black hole of feeling forgotten. We want people to remain with us for as long as they can. If I had my way, they would retire with Launch.

L: Last question…Launch is all about helping clients make bold moves. How do you live BOLD?

GT: I think for me, bold means standing up for others. Being the voice of others. I talk all the time about how my job is to remove roadblocks. My job is to help others be successful. And I will do whatever I need to do for my team members to ensure their success.  

Sometimes it's having a hard conversation and being completely transparent, and not being afraid to have that hard conversation. At the end of the day, I want people to rise to their fullest potential, and I’d rather have the hard talk and allow them an opportunity to work through those situations than to say nothing and have them fail. When one of my employees fails, I have failed. I didn't do what I needed to do to help that person reach their potential, whether with me or somewhere else.  

My single job as a leader is to help others succeed. So when you ask how I live boldly, it's the lifting up and the supporting of others.

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