Mastering Operations

Mastering Operations: Navigating Success in Staffing

In the dynamic world of staffing, where adaptability and precision are paramount, there are individuals who not only meet the demands of the job but excel beyond expectations. Nanci Hernandez is one of those exceptional professionals, a true example of dedication and persistence in operations management. As she celebrates her remarkable five-year journey with GravyWork, it’s the perfect time to sit down with Nanci and glean insights into her career, the challenges she’s overcome, and the secrets to her success. Join us as we explore the story of an operations manager who has not only climbed the ranks but also carved her own path to greatness.

Describe what inspires you about this job, and how do you think this inspiration leads to you and your department’s success?

What kept me dedicated to the people industry, both in previous roles and in my current position, was my commitment to becoming the best version of myself. I began my journey in an entry-level position and gradually worked my way up to the role of HR generalist, investing a whole year in refining my skills in that capacity. At each step, I’ve strived to reach my maximum potential, always considering myself as my most formidable competitor.

The most rewarding aspect of my career has been the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives. This is especially true when working with the Hispanic community, where I’ve been able to provide support through flexible work schedules, ultimately empowering them and many others to achieve their personal and professional goals. 

Can you describe your experience working in the staffing industry, and how it has prepared you for the role of Operations Manager?

My experience at GravyWork has been an ongoing journey, marked by the need to adapt to ever-changing seasonal patterns in the hospitality industry. Coming from a background in the restaurant sector, I quickly realized that the seasonality in hospitality is remarkably distinct, requiring us to be agile in responding to the unique challenges and opportunities that each season brings.

I started as a Bilingual Activation Specialist, and had a slow and steady transition into Operations Manager. It’s been great to be able to provide inspiration to my team, and learn a lot from the new leadership that has recently come on board.

Staffing often involves tight deadlines and changing priorities. How do you handle high-pressure situations and ensure quality service delivery to clients?

For me, effective stress management has been about finding that essential personal time, a means to achieve the work/life balance. Given that we’re often immersed in work, it’s crucial to have moments where we can collectively step away from the workplace, temporarily disengaging from work-related discussions. 

In addition, the introduction of new software has played a pivotal role in ensuring that our team remains diligent in meeting deadlines. This technological enhancement has helped us maintain a tight focus on our tasks and has significantly boosted our efficiency.

Collaboration is key in a staffing company. How do you foster strong working relationships between your operations team and the other departments to achieve common goals?

This year has been a transformative period for our operations. We’ve revamped our approach to boost efficiency and worked closely with other departments to improve operations acquisition and create a more seamless experience tailored to our unique needs. Creating that sense of teamwork helps make all of our departments successful. 

How do you measure and monitor the satisfaction of both clients and workers and help make improvements based on their feedback?

My role involves close collaboration with our account managers, and I prioritize being their immediate point of contact whenever a client issue arises, ensuring that client needs are promptly met. A crucial aspect of my role is not only addressing immediate concerns but also proactively devising plans to improve our processes for smoother issue resolution in the future. This collaborative approach allows our account managers to focus on client relationship management, confident in the support provided by our operations team, which has proven effective in enhancing client satisfaction and strengthening relationships.

What are your short-term and long-term goals for your career as an Operations Manager in the staffing industry?

As I set my sights on the path to becoming a seasoned operations manager, I can’t help but acknowledge the areas where I feel a bit underprepared for the bigger challenges that await. It’s only human to recognize these moments of uncertainty and vulnerability, but what drives me is the thirst for growth and improvement. I’d love to receive further training on areas of interest and keep learning as much as I can along the way. I’m excited about the journey ahead, embracing every opportunity to learn, grow, and ultimately become the best version of myself I can be. 


As we approach Nanci’s 5-year anniversary on Saturday, November 11th, we want to express our heartfelt appreciation for all the dedication and hard work she has contributed to the GravyWork Team, and the hospitality community. Thank you for everything you do!