All-In at Acara: How Setara Guajardo’s Staffing Journey Led to Her Leadership Success

After getting a taste of the staffing industry during her years as a college student, Setara Guajardo knew that she had found her calling. Since her earliest beginnings as a compliance specialist, she was incredibly passionate about the world of HR—and today, that fascination still remains strong. She currently serves as Acara’s National Director of Client Services and is responsible for the management of some of our largest nationwide programs.

In the latest edition of our “All-In at Acara” series, learn how Setara’s extensive experience in the industry has prepared her for collaborating with clients and taking on a significant leadership role with Acara.

Growing up in the Golden State

As a kid, I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area but relocated to Orange County about 15 years ago. After graduating from college, I started my first full-time job as a compliance specialist before earning promotions to become an account manager and a branch manager. These experiences set the foundation for my entire career. I learned the basics of how to effectively manage relationships with both clients and suppliers. These skills have served me well throughout my years in the staffing and recruiting space.

Moving to the MSP space

My relocation to Orange County enabled my transition into the MSP space. I was in charge of a large MSP program that encompassed several hospitals. Our recruitment teams supported everything from the emergency room to the chemotherapy and radiology departments. Through this experience, I came to love the program management side of recruiting and workforce management. I also enjoyed working in an environment with a sense of urgency. The fast-paced, high-pressure nature of my workday played to my strengths of time management and maintaining composure.

Discovered by Acara

After getting married and starting a family with my husband, I knew that I might need a change of pace to escape my often-hectic work atmosphere. That’s when Acara found me. The organization offered me a position to support a large medical device company on the West coast, which was extremely enticing to me. I accepted the position and haven’t looked back since. Over the past four-plus years, my hard work and dedication have been rewarded. There’s been nonstop growth for me, as I’ve been able to take on a greater leadership and management role internally.

Follow the leader

In my current role, I’ve been fortunate to earn a leadership position where I oversee and manage a team of seven people. All of my team members do a phenomenal job of supporting our customers and going above and beyond to cater to their needs. As a manager, my goal is to prioritize trust, transparency, and sound communication with my team. Throughout my professional career, I’ve learned that it’s challenging to succeed in the business world without a strong sense of confidence and trust in your fellow team members. It’s my job to empower my direct reports and help them to feel comfortable in their role while encouraging them to be their very best selves—day in and day out.

Passion for the purple and gold

Many people are surprised to discover that despite the fact that I live in California, my family and I are die-hard Minnesota Vikings fans. We often travel to see the Vikings on the road—we’ve even gone as far as London to watch them in action! My love of football started at a young age, so I’ve always been fond of the Vikings organization for focusing on their women’s fanbase. The team sponsors annual women’s training camps in Minneapolis each spring, and I’ve attended the event for several years now. It’s a great way for fans like me to meet and interact with the players and the coaches. Although I’m an incredibly passionate fan, sometimes I get too emotionally invested in their success. I always joke with people that the Vikings have broken my heart more times than any man ever has!

Family first

My husband and I have two young children, both of which attend a Montessori School and love the experience. We often say that our Montessori is our extended family—the school does a wonderful job of keeping us apprised of what my kids are up to when I’m working or traveling. On the weekends, my priority is to focus on my family. Spending quality time with my children and my husband is my favorite thing in the world. The joys that I get from my loving and caring family are simply indescribable. We have relatives that are spread across the country, so my family puts a special emphasis on taking trips and traveling to go and visit with them. I’ve always been a family-first kind of person—there’s nothing more important than those you love!

To learn more about Setara Guajardo, connect with her on LinkedIn.

Interested in finding out more about the rest of our Acara team? Check out other editions of our “All-In at Acara” series here.

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