Kimberly Cassady is a firm believer in making the ask. As the vice president of talent at Cornerstone OnDemand – a global company providing software solutions for recruitment, training and management used by more than 26 million people – Kimberly leads by example when it comes to making an “ask” to create opportunities for oneself.
“Have a disruptive career,” she encourages. “Take those chances on a project not in your wheelhouse.”
Early on in her career at Cornerstone OnDemand – whose client lists boasts impressive companies like Walgreens, Virgin Media and Xerox – Kimberly worked in a role leading the manufacturing floor, taking a departure from her experience and skill set in human resources, which she worked in prior to this role. She cites this experience as one that helps her every day in her current role saying that when you understand the profit and loss pressures that employees in business operations face, then it allows for a clearer understanding about how to get things done in other roles, too.
In addition to believing in making the ask for big projects and big roles, Kimberly also believes in adopting the “fake it until you make it” mentality. She admits that her aforementioned manufacturing role was intimidating and scared her. But, by adopting this mentality she was successful and has not shied away from anything in her career since.
“My skills as a talent leader helped me tremendously in my career as a manufacturing leader,” she says. “I focused on what I knew best, which was people – and how to lead people and drive people.” And we believe her! Her work led to four President’s Club rankings in six years for a top-performing facility in the company.
In episode 37 of I Want Her Job: The Podcast, Host Polina Selyutin speaks with Kimberly about her role advocating for the company’s employees, seeking out opportunities that you might perceive as a stretch, reinvention and the importance of taking on new responsibilities. They also discuss what it’s like to work for a company consistently ranked among the top places to work by Fortune and Glassdoor.
Topics Discussed In Today’s Show:
- In Her Role: As vice president of talent for Cornerstone OnDemand, Kimberly helps individuals find a career at the company, on board and train new employees and help them become successful at the company. She also focuses on helping employees of the company continue their personal career paths, development and growth with the goal of setting up each employee for long-term career success.
- Creating Company Culture: “Listen to your employees,” Kimberly says. “They know what they want. When you listen to them, then they tend to turn that back tenfold.”
- Building Teamwork + Skill: Allow your employees to train one another, Kimberly says. It will create excitement among your employees because they want to share information and learn from one another. These zero-budget development days at Cornerstone OnDemand include everything from Snapchat training, to “crafternoons” and time management classes. These are all classes created by employees for fellow employees.
- On Dealing With The Unknown: “I’m never afraid to admit what I don’t know,” Kimberly says. “I will happily take on something new and then follow up with questions.”
- Taking Action: “If you were to look at the aggregate of my career, I probably have more failures than I do successes,” she says. “But, I am willing to take the chance, and I am okay with failure. I am okay if it’s a learning experience … I would rather take the incorrect action as opposed to no action … On a whole, I’ve probably had more successes only because I’ve tried more than the average person.”
- The Power of Perseverance: Kimberly says her parents are her biggest driver and motivation. She says they’ve always supported her taking risks and action, as well as her move from Utah to California for her career.
- The Importance of the Ask: “Just ask for the responsibility,” Kimberly advises. She says it’s been her best tactic for advancing her career, and it’s something that you can easily do, too.
- Building A Team: When looking for new employees, Kimberly likes to ask a candidate how they ended up in their current/previous role. “No job is fun 100% of the time, so understanding what motivates them and why they choose to do what they do is important to me.” She also says she likes to ask potential employees what “drives them nuts” about their own profession. “You learn a lot of insightful things when you have a conversation with someone about their motivations,” Kimberly says.
- Connect: Get to know more about Kimberly on LinkedIn.