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Leadership, Motivation, and Being a Woman at the Top : A Q&A with Michael Page Director Kristina Vitullo
Kristina Vitullo is a Director for Michael Page North America, having achieved an illustrious career in recruiting since she started in 2010. Today Kristina oversees a total of 24 people and manages several disciplines simultaneously. I spoke to her to unpack the drivers for her success, and her experiences with being the only female director at the company.
Vitullo's Career Journey
- 2010: Recent college graduate to Associate Recruitment Consultant in Financial Services within the Stamford, CT office
- 2012: Promoted to Manager of Banking & Financial Services. Earned her spot (the first of many) on the PageGroup rewards trip for top billers – High Flyers – to London!
- 2013: Launched the Procurement & Supply Chain discipline in New York City and relocated from CT.
- 2014: Changed disciplines and oversaw Temp Corporate Accounting & Finance, expanding the business from 4 to 11 people.
- 2015: Took over Page Personnel simultaneously. Achieved over $2M in revenue for the business, recognized twice internally as a member of the “Millionaire’s Club.”
- Present: Oversees Corporate Accounting & Finance Temp, Page Personnel, and Human Resources in New York.
What edge do you think women have in the recruiting business?
Women definitely have an edge when it comes to empathy. In the world of recruitment, you’re someone’s confidant, therapist, advisor and everything in between! It is important to level with your candidates and clients in order to provide a short-term solution, but more importantly, build a long term relationship.
What is it like to be a woman in a male-dominated field, and to be the only female Director at PageGroup?
I have to say this is an interesting question because I don’t think about it, but it is a massive accomplishment that I am extremely proud of. What it means for me, and hopefully to those coming up the ranks, is that I’m paving the path. I’m excited for the day when I’m not the only female Director and something tells me that will be soon!
Why do you think fewer women are at the top in general? How can more women break through to leadership level?
The big factor it comes down to is communication. Women and men are innately different which is actually great. When both groups are represented it fuels amazing ideas and opportunities; if men and women alike took the time to understand how to appeal to the other, and listen to understand as opposed to respond, it would make a big difference.
Warren Buffet says that the best investment you can make is yourself. How have you invested in yourself?
My personal health and well-being must come first. If you’re not in a good place mentally and physically how can you expect to help those around you? So with that, I schedule time in my calendar for regular workouts, aka my “me time,” just as I would for a client meeting, and keep with my passion for traveling. From a professional development standpoint, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a variety of different mentors and colleagues that have been able to influence my road to self-improvement. Plus, I always listen to input from people at all levels, from my seniors to my consultants. I’ll never be the finished product and knowing that is half the battle on the road to self-improvement!
Who are some of your role models?
My biggest role model has been my grandmother. She’s well past the age of what should be retirement and is still in agency recruitment. My grandmother has an absolute drive to succeed and provide for her family and friends. She’s very much an inspiration, as she started her career at a time when women in sales and business was not the norm.
What gets you up in the morning…what motivates you? What gives you a sense of purpose in your life and in your work?
The most important thing for me is to see my team succeed. When someone learns a new skill, makes a placement or earns a promotion it drives me to keep mentoring. I love feeling accomplished, checking something off my list and moving forward on a daily basis.
You lead a team of 24 people, which is really impressive! Tell me more about what you’ve learned from managing so many people.
In management, you have to be a chameleon. No one person is the same, which means you can’t motivate, inspire, and mentor everyone with a “one size fits all approach.” The key is to really know your people. The number one reason people leave their job is due to poor management, so I take pride in what my role stands for.
Connect with Kristina Vitullo on Linkedin if you are looking to hire top talent or find premium job opportunities within Interim Corporate Accounting & Finance and Human Resources in New York
The interview was conducted by Victoria Spadaccini, Senior Content Executive at Michael Page North America. Contact her for all things career advice, employer advice, psychology, writing/producing, or just to say hello!