Kristan De Sousa talks about her time at Six Degrees post her promotion to Director, Contracting & Interim Talent Solutions and appointment to the Executive Leadership Team.
You are one of the longest standing consultants at Six Degrees, where did you start and how did you get to the point of being part of the Executive Leadership Team?
I was at the very beginning of my recruitment career, and had very little training in relation to modern recruitment and the art of true consulting. I started at Six Degrees as contract and interim recruitment specialist recruiting supply chain, procurement, engineering, operations and technical positions.
I was then given the opportunity to manage the supply chain and procurement team, and responsibility for senior executive placements. After two and a half years of managing the team I had my first child and went on maternity leave. I returned to look after our interim contracting solutions offering nationally, whilst running the engineering and operations division in Victoria.
I’ve now been appointed to the board and as the director of contracting nationally. My key focus moving forward is establishing a centralised team to grow and develop our interim contracting solution and capability to better serve the current market demands. This is a national role working across Victoria NSW and covering opportunities along the eastern sea board.
I’m very lucky to have learnt from so many experienced and mature consultants’ and directors over the last eight years.
How do you juggle all the dimensions of your role and having two young kids?
Prioritising and being realistic about what is achievable in one day. I don’t sweat the small stuff and empower my team. I revisit priorities often, by reviewing my business plan, have regular meetings with my team and strong reporting around performance so I can easily identify where investment of time should go.
I have also learnt not to be afraid to ask for help, both personally and professionally.
What benefits will talent in the market and businesses gain from a contracting solution?
There are lots of benefits that our clients recognise, it can be a solution for varying situations from low resources, time pressures, project pipelines, transformational work, keeping full time head count low, and having the opportunity to gain practical experience with talent before long term commitment.
You have had many milestones during your time at Six Degrees but what is your greatest achievement?
It is by far the people that I have the privilege of working with. I have really enjoyed mentoring my team members while learning from them along the way. Seeing two people in my team promoted to leadership roles and others within the team professionally develop to become some of the highest achievers within our business has been the most rewarding.
What is your greatest professional learning?
To have confidence in my capability, not be afraid and understanding that I have to work at it and practice. I was able to do this by working with a mentor. Leveraging this confidence I have been able to add more value to my clients and the talent I work with. As true consultants we have great breadth of knowledge across the market and can use this to help talent develop professionally and grow their career.
What advice you can share, based on your personal experience, on how executives can achieve their professional goals?
You have to be doing something you are passionate about or you are wasting your time. Be self-aware and ask for feedback on strengths and areas for development. Seek out help to develop those areas. Networks, education, courses, and within your own business. Ensure the learning mix is made up of both practical and theoretical experience. And of course hard work!