Shakera Reilly puts her heart and soul into everything she does, whether that’s whipping down the basketball court as a development player for the Canberra Capitals or caring for customers at recruitment agency Effective People.
A people person through and through, Shakera moved to the ACT to be with the Canberra Capitals in September 2019. Soon after she started as a Customer Care Advocate for Effective People, based on her bubbly personality, dedication and potential to develop her skills in a professional workplace.
Account Executive Kris Milne says the Effective People team was impressed with Shakera from the get-go.
The company is a sponsor of the Canberra Capitals and has found positions for some players and provided development opportunities for others. Kris and CEO Dean Hill have both played in the higher echelons of sport and quickly identified with Shakera’s ethics and potential.
“We knew of Shakera from a contact and liked her story, so we called her in for a chat,” says Kris. “As soon as we spoke to her we knew we wanted her on board. We admired her attitude and approach. It was a no brainer for us. We knew we could help her work and life skills beyond the court.”
At Effective People, Shakera uses many skills she’s developed over the years as a basketball player for her hometown of Maitland, including in the Waratah League, and for the Central Coast. She was taken on by the Capitals after coming to Canberra for a trial in early September 2019.
Shakera says she’s never looked back and is loving life here in the capital.
“I’ve met so many new friends and am passionate about my work and my lifestyle in Canberra,” she says. “I didn’t know anyone when I first arrived and have to admit I was hesitant to move at first, but everyone made me feel so welcome. I knew from the start that I had people I could rely on if needed and I can’t fault living here.”
As a Customer Care Advocate, Shakera plays an important liaison role between Effective People and the 150 casual employees the company has on its books, in both public and private sector organisations.
“Shakera is a front-facing voice of the company with these contractors,” says Kris. “She has a unique way of breaking down barriers and keeping in touch to make sure each placement is OK and, if it’s not, bringing issues to the team for resolution. She’s also in contact when contracts are coming to an end to talk about extensions and other possibilities.”
The crossover between basketball and a part-time role as Customer Care Advocate may not seem obvious to an outsider but for Shakera the connection with her sports training is invaluable.
“As a basketball player you have to develop strong communications skills and be able to work closely with people,” says Shakera, who started playing the sport at the age of eight.
“While I love the game, and winning, I also love the people side of the game. You also need to be able to establish bonds and juggle a range of priorities. Sport has helped me a lot at Effective People and the contractors I work with know they can come to me with any issue.”
Shakera will work her way through this basketball season with Effective People letting her have time off to develop as a player before she becomes a full-time Customer Care Advocate in February.
She feels blessed to be working for a recruitment company in such a rich and rewarding environment.
“The culture is amazing,” says Shakera. “Everyone is so supportive, and they believe in providing real opportunities for people through meaningful work.”
From Effective People’s perspective, working with Shakera and others they’ve helped develop over time, is part and parcel of their values and desire to give back.
“She has flourished since her first day with us,” says Kris. “Her future is very bright.”
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