Kelly McGrath

Kelly is a “value advocate” who focuses on nurturing and maintaining strategic partnerships with clients.

Where did you grow up?
Just outside of Philadelphia.

Married? Children? Pets?
I have a boyfriend, but am not married. No kids or pets.

What led you into this field?
I was in recruiting for 10-12 years for a large teen-oriented retail chain, Five Below. I then went to work for a casino/gaming company in HR and we were a client of Chequed (the name of the company before it became OutMatch). I was intrigued by what they did and was ready for a change.

What or who has influenced your career the most?
My father. He has always been a guiding force. We have had similar career paths and he always talked me through situations. Also, the vice president of HR at Five Below was influential. His expertise in the field, influence management, and overall demeanor helped to shape my career for the future.

What do you enjoy most about your job? What do you find most challenging?
It may sound cliché, but the people. That’s what I enjoy most. I’ve never worked for an organization that has gone through as many changes in a short amount of time as OutMatch, yet continues to maintain a unified culture. My onboarding was also quick and efficient and got me up to speed in no time. You can’t say that about a lot of companies these days.

I love that each client has a sense of uniqueness, but with that comes some challenges. It requires the ability to dive deep into the client’s culture, process, and people to make sure that we’re aligned with strategic initiatives. This won’t always be easy as clients may sometimes find fault with the solution or product, but it’s up to me to ensure that service standards are exceptional.

What do you think it takes to be successful in your role?
A positive personality. You also need to listen. Listen to your colleagues and clients. It’s this listening that will allow you to deliver.

What are some of your most significant career accomplishments?
Helping to build a recruiting and acquisitions department at Five Below. I started out as a one-woman band, and when I left, there were 11 on the HR team.

Tell me about an interesting problem you’ve faced in your role and how you dealt with it.
The people business is never dull. I recall a situation working as a Talent Acquisition Manager with Five Below. We had an open position within the finance organization and were struggling with locating the right candidate for a variety of reasons.

The core of the issue was lack of alignment among senior leaders on the hiring profile. In order to maintain respect at both management levels, I was able to source quality candidates to satisfy both leaders, and plead a case for hiring at a higher level within the organization. The strategy worked, and both the CFO and Controller came to an agreement after a few months. It pays to remain persistent and steadfast.

What are some of the industry-specific challenges you see for the future?
Keeping up with software and aligning it to client needs.

What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?
Keep your chin up. Keep moving forward.

What’s your most valuable professional tool?
My personality. I’m quick on my feet. That comes in handy.

Passions? Hobbies? Interests outside of work?
Spending time with friends and family. I’m also a fitness instructor on the side. I teach kickboxing and yoga. I enjoy most outdoor activities too, especially running.

What’s something no one knows about you?
I was shy and introverted until the age of 18–thank goodness for college, or I would have never found myself in a job where you need to be social in order to attain success!

Favorite TV show?
Suits, an original USA Network series about the legal field. And Blacklist.

If you could order anything for lunch at your desk, what would it be?
Sushi.

You work hard, but personal time is important too. What’s been your best vacation spot ever? Why? Do you have a dream destination?
My best vacations have been (and continue to be) spent at the Jersey Shore with family and friends. My family has a house there, so there have been many memories made and shared over the years. My dream vacation is Greece. I love the pictures I’ve seen.