#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Michael Khalili

Welcome back to #WeAreGreenKey, where we shine a spotlight on the people behind our powerhouse recruiting team.  

Today we catch up with Michael Khalili, Principal at Green Key and Head of the National Accounting and Finance Recruitment Division. Michael came to Green Key 11 years ago after two years with Smith & Nephew. Since then, he has taken pride in his ongoing business development efforts, the growth of his team, and the opportunities that Green Key has provided to him. 

What first inspired you to pursue a career in recruiting? 

I worked for one of the big four orthopedic medical device companies for two years after college. The career path was excellent and had tremendous long term potential, but the lifestyle was difficult to sustain as I frequently worked 80-100HR weeks.  I have a number of family members in the recruitment industry so I researched some firms and applied. When I walked into the door at Green Key, I knew it was the place for me. That was May 2011, so I’m coming up on 11 years with the firm.  

I have had a great experience during my time at Green Key.  Back in 2018, due to personal circumstances, I left New York to move home to Pittsburgh.  My immediate thought was to expand the company and to increase our business which led to the National Team.  The first few months of the new venture were very pressure-filled but extremely enjoyable.  That initial period of time crystallized for me how much I enjoy putting myself in uncomfortable situations!   

How have you grown over the years as a recruiter? 

I have tried to develop as a manager.  I take great pride in developing salespeople and providing necessary guidance.  I’ve invested a great deal of time in learning how to teach, something in which I pride myself as well.  I’ve also made a concerted effort to advance my business development skills.   

What makes your team successful?  

It’s the willingness of the team to work with a lot of volume and to gracefully handle the resulting repetitive pressure. Every person who has succeeded on the National Team has shown a desire to learn and grow requiring a great amount of tenacity.  That has led to a continuously developing staff, rather than people who have become stagnant. 

What does your day to day look like in Accounting & Finance?  

My day is an even split between management of the team, new business development, and ongoing client management. Within the team, there are interpersonal situations with clients and/or candidates, as well as ongoing coaching and development, such as hosting trainings. In terms of new business development, we must constantly be prospecting, figuring out new areas to explore, and overall strategic thoughts. With client management, it’s consistent servicing of our existing business. 

What makes Green Key stand out compared to other recruiting agencies?  

It’s the leadership of the partners who founded the firm, the partners who have come into the business, and the leaders in every group. Everyone is in line with the betterment of the company and the people who work for them. Not all organizations are set up that way. There’s a genuine caring nature here that you can feel even through remote work. It really shines through. 

What are your goals in recruiting and at Green Key? 

My biggest goal is for our team to be a major part of the company’s overall revenue. I’d like our staff to reach 50+. I’d also like to improve the revenue of the Accounting and Finance group as a whole, at least 2- or 3-fold.  I also want to continue developing people so that each one can feel that they have a legitimate chance to have a self-sustaining career, where they don’t need to consider other options. I want people to be happy with their work-life balance and compensation. 

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