Accelerating the Advancement of Women Leaders 

BRING MORE WOMEN IN THE DOOR

March 27, 2019

Drew Facer, President & CEO and Kristie Ferriell-Beck, VP Human Resources of Idahoan Foods share best practices with Tom Bené, Chairman, President & CEO of Sysco Corporation during the WFF 2019 Annual Leadership Development Conference in Dallas, TX.
 
Recruiting practices that deliver diversity
When Drew Facer, President & CEO of Idahoan Foods, found himself searching for a chief HR officer and facing a frustrating lack of women and diverse candidates in his company’s hiring pool, he dove in personally to become Idahoan’s ‘chief recruiting officer.’
 
“It’s not about filling a quota,” Facer said during a session at the 2019 Annual Leadership Development Conference. “It’s about having a diverse pool of qualified candidates to choose from while also taking into account who in your current workforce is ready to take on a larger role.”
 
His first priority was to analyze historical recruiting practices at Idahoan and evaluate whether existing recruiting firms were really delivering the diverse candidate slates they promised. “My mission became the qualification and selection of recruiters that I personally visited,” Facer said. “Over the course of six months, I arranged meetings with qualified recruiters as I traveled for business and today, we work with three of those companies.”
 
Recruiting for diversity
The challenges can be similar for company recruiters working to fill positions in their own organizations. Corporate Recruiter for John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc., LaSalle Crosby, starts with research into niche sites she thinks will attract her potential audience. “To get more women into our candidate pools, I use sites like Women for Hire rather than Linked In or Indeed because that enables me to proactively build a more diverse slate of applicants,” she said.
 
Crosby often must proactively look for qualified female candidates to ensure a diverse slate. “If I don’t go searching for those candidates, they often don’t apply,” she said. She first announces jobs online as ads to test who is attracted to them and then develops her marketing plan from there, deciding where she will post the full job description and how to position it.
 
Research from PWC reported in Gaining an Edge in the Competition for Talent suggests Crosby is on the right track, stating, “It’s too easy to blame a lack of sufficient candidates for difficulties in recruiting women and people from minority groups. In reality, there are plenty of candidates that would be ideal for your business, but require a more active approach in targeting and attracting them.”
 
Matching qualifications to the work
Crosby also partners with hiring managers at Sanfilippo to ensure that position requirements accurately reflect the skill set truly needed for success. “We sometimes automatically require that someone hold a college degree when really substantial work experience might prepare someone even better for the role,” she explains. “It’s a job seekers market and we have to be more creative not only in how we reach out to prospective candidates but in who we consider as viable candidates.”
 
Whether recruiting is carried out by internal staff or through consultants, creating a wide funnel helps ensure as many qualified candidates make it through as possible.
 
“My goal is to ensure we have removed all barriers, embrace diversity and drive inclusion,” Facer said.  “The culture of the company will follow the CEO’s practices.”


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