Interviews with purpose-driven leaders who are dedicated to helping others and making a positive impact in the world.
June 22, 2021
Peggy Shell | Creative Alignments
TELL US, WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
My name is Peggy Shell and I am the founder and CEO of Creative Alignments, a recruiting company that partners with quickly-growing and impact-focused businesses to help them hire the people they need to achieve their mission.
HOW DID YOU GET HERE?
After years of experience in recruiting, I was at home with a new baby. I continued doing recruiting work but on a contract basis where I charged hourly for my time. I realized that this hourly model, rather than the traditional model of charging high-priced commissions for each hire, created a much better experience for my clients. It was more aligned, transparent, consultative, and affordable. With this hourly time-based recruiting model, business grew organically and I had more clients than I could handle on my own. Now, Creative Alignments has 30 plus employees and hundreds of clients.
WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR? WHY IS THIS WORK IMPORTANT TO YOU?
My purpose, while not necessarily clear when I first started Creative Alignments 10 years ago, is really quite simple: I want to use Creative Alignments to improve the lives of people.
We spend so much time at work and have so many other rich things happening in our lives, that work needs to be additive, not a drain. I truly believe that when we are valued, seen, and appreciated at work – part of a positive team – we can be better parents, partners, and community members. My hope is that this positive ripple effect expands out into the world.
Professional services organizations can choose who they work with. We have consciously decided to partner with clients that use their business as a force for good, either by innovating healthier products, more sustainable solutions, more socially just business practices, or creating a great place to work where people feel a sense of value and belonging. We want to have a positive impact. Growing a successful team is more than just adding people to a payroll. It’s caring about the details and collaborating to intentionally curate a diverse group of people in an inclusive environment to effectively work together to accomplish a shared goal. This partnership is what matters to me. It is core to why Creative Alignments exists.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
In order for a company to pursue its mission and goals, it needs the people who can make a difference. When we help impact-focused companies build strong teams they are better able to focus on the work they are doing to make the world a better place.
Also, as a recruiting company that helps businesses hire hundreds of people each year, we have an opportunity to remove barriers so that underrepresented people have the opportunity to excel in professional jobs. To increase the probability that this happens, we are committed to presenting clients that have inclusive cultures with diverse candidate pools.
In addition to committing to continually learning ourselves and helping our clients diversify their companies in successful ways, we have also created a career accelerator program for new or upcoming college grads. The program, called CA Launch, is built to be accessible so that we can help a diverse group of grads kick start their careers.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO DO THIS WORK?
I am inspired to work with people who lead with heart – people who care about each other and the world they are part of. While I first started with the goal of creating a great place for people to work – one that ripples good things out into the world – I later realized the impact we can make through our recruiting work can be exponential. That’s why we are inspired to work with clients that use their business as a force for good, either through their product, creating a positive workplace, or improving the diversity and inclusion of their company.
WHAT’S YOUR VISION, YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
Here is what really makes me proud and is a measure of success for me: when someone tells me that our work has changed their life for the better. This could be an employee sharing with me how working with such a supportive, collaborative, and open team has made their personal life better, or a client sending a glowing note of thanks to the recruiter they work with to share how impactful their new hire is, or a CA Launch graduate calling to tell us how much our career accelerator program helped them start their career. My big dream is to scale this goodness in more ways.
WHAT CHALLENGES ARE YOU FACING?
The same key challenge all professional services firms face: the supply and demand equation. At the moment we can’t hire fast enough to meet our client’s needs. A good problem to have, for sure.
WHAT’S ONE THING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR CAUSE AND/OR THE WORK YOU’RE DOING?
While some recruiters have given recruiting a bad name (akin to used car people), recruiting really is an important function. After all, people are the engine that makes a business function. I believe that when recruiting is done well, and with heart, it can change the world.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE QUOTE OR WORDS OF INSPIRATION TO SHARE?
“The responsibility of a company is to serve the customer. The responsibility of leadership is to serve their people so that their people may better serve the customer. If leaders fail to serve their people first, both customer and company will suffer.” – Simon Sinek
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Take care of your people and create a great place to work. Full stop. Period.
At Orapin, we believe those who are working for the greater good should be known, supported, and celebrated. We give purpose-driven businesses the resources and support they need to increase awareness and influence so they can expand their impact. If you would like to be featured in INSPIRED IMPACT™, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.