Getting Ahead

This Recruiting Specialist Is Also a Professional Football Player and Coach—Here’s How She Succeeds at Both

person with braids and sunglasses wearing a red polo shirt
KeKe Blackmon, a recruiting specialist at SelectQuote.
| Courtesy SelectQuote

Have you ever worked with someone who one day revealed they had an extraordinary talent or fascinating hobby and it completely blew you away? At the insurance brokerage SelectQuote, that employee is KeKe Blackmon.

The recruiting specialist is also a professional football player and a gold medal-winning Olympian—not to mention the head coach of the Kansas City Glory, part of the Women’s National Football Conference. Her latest athletic accomplishment? Being inducted into the Women’s Football Hall of Fame in 2020.

Working at SelectQuote has allowed her to flourish in both her career and as an athlete. In addition to having a culture that encouraged work-life balance, the company was a perfect fit because she saw how happy its employees were.

“The joy the people had coming to work was unmatched,” she says. “It excited me to be part of the outstanding growth of this company.”

Here, Blackmon shares what she’s responsible for in her role, how SelectQuote encourages growth from within, and why being a coach has helped her in her career.

Tell us about your career journey, and what led you to your first role at SelectQuote?

I was working as a bus driver, but was having some back issues and needed to make a change. I had been asked to come work at this great place called SelectQuote. I heard so many great things so I put in my application. I started in October 2016 during the annual enrollment period. It was temporary, but I knew I just wanted to get my foot in the door. The rest is history. In 2017, I moved to the SelectQuote Auto & Home division and loved it so much. I became a supervisor of a team of 14 and never looked back. I then moved into my current position in recruiting.

How does your experience pivoting from customer care agent to recruiting exemplify the way SelectQuote nurtures talent from within?

SelectQuote lets people know that the sky has no limits here. They have a great eye for seeing the talent that they have in the building. Leadership helps you to feel three very important things; included, valued, and like you have a voice.

What are you responsible for in your current role?

I make sure that our future employees have the best and smoothest transition from the verbal offer to onboarding. I also make sure that our recruiters are taken care of by getting their recruits ready to go in a timely manner.

You were recently inducted into the Women’s Football Hall of Fame. Tell us about your experience playing and coaching professional football. How has it made you a strong leader?

Being in the Hall of Fame is an honor and a dream come true. Football has taught me so much and given me so much. It made me an Olympian and gave me a gold medal. Football has also given me the love of my life, my wife.

The leader in me was always there, and football has given me a stage to let me shine. Football has shown me that being a leader takes learning who you are and who you are not. Football continues to shape my character daily. I love this game and the passion it gives me to lead and be led.

What lessons and skills have you learned from being an athlete and coach that help you succeed in your career?

Being an athlete teaches you life skills that your career reaps the benefits from. My mamba mentality has helped me have a don’t-give-up attitude when it comes to bringing value to my coworkers and the customers we serve and to make sure we are bringing value to homes across the world. I have learned to be the one who calms the storm and doesn’t cause it, and to be the one who gets it done for the name on the front of the uniform, not the back.

How does SelectQuote encourage employees to find work-life balance?

SelectQuote wants me to be just as great as I want to be. The love and encouragement I get from my coworkers and leadership makes it easier for me to balance my career and football. Being able to work remotely has helped me so much. SelectQuote not only wants to see their employees happy at work, but also in life as well. When they say they care, they really, really mean it.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Be good to everyone and bring nothing but value to them daily.