Keara Johnson didn’t see herself working at a staffing firm. She graduated from Virginia State University with a sociology major and social work minor, prepared to work for a school…
Gianna Bowers grew up on the softball diamond, happy to play multiple positions. At Delaware’s A.I. Dupont High School, she was needed in the infield. Her travel team, Orange Crush, used her in the outfield.
Bowers danced, too, as a member of the Tiger Marching Band, a five-time visitor to Pasadena, California, for the Tournament of Roses Parade (Bowers made the trip her senior year).
Being a versatile team player set Bowers up for professional success. Today a Branch Manager for The Lee Group’s Chesapeake and Virginia Beach offices, she juggles the job with family life. She and her husband, Vernon, are parents to Cambria and Carter.
Bowers’ time-tested advice is to focus on what you can control with an exemplary work ethic.
And yes, sometimes that can mean picking up a broom.
“Some employees have had issues with having to do something that’s not really on their job description,” Bowers says. “That’s the world we live in. I tell them to just be understanding; you have to have the right mindset. You have a job description, but you have to be a team player. It will help not only in your work but in your outside life, too. It helps with growth.”
The North Carolina A&T graduate juggled news reporting for WDEL with freelance writing for The News Journal, her hometown newspaper in Wilmington, Delaware. When the family located to Virginia, Bowers wanted regular hours, so she connected with The Lee Group. After a meeting with a staffing manager, she was offered a temporary position in manufacturing.
It wasn’t what Bowers was looking for, but her response was “Sign me up!”
“It was a warehouse setting and I showed up in dress pants and good shoes!” she says, laughing at the memory. “The people around me were enjoying it, and I realized it was a whole other world. It wasn’t meant for me, but I did complete the project.”
Afterward, Bowers was offered an internal recruiting position for The Lee Group. Her reporting background and mass communication college major made her an ideal fit for a role that revolved around interviewing new people.
Bowers prides herself in preparing candidates for what awaits them in a new professional setting. “I’m going to prepare you the best way I know of so there aren’t any surprises,” she says of new hires.
If an issue arises, Bowers isn’t afraid to broach what can be a tough conversation. She’ll listen to both the employer and the employee versions of a story and will usually ask the employee what could be done better or differently.
Bowers moved on from recruiter to Staffing Manager and in early 2020 she became Branch Manager. Now she manages a team of seven and handles a range of responsibilities, filling in wherever she is needed to keep up with the increase in business.
Bowers regards her co-workers as family. “The best part is we’re all different,” she says. “We all come from different backgrounds. I don’t think any one of us is exactly alike at all. But we all have the same goal. When it comes to helping everybody and supporting each other and wanting to help a person get a job or a company get their orders filled, everybody comes in with the same goal. We’re not alike but we have the same core values.”