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How to Recruit Diverse Senior Executives?

Here are five actionable ways to jumpstart an effort to recruit senior executives with diverse backgrounds.
Intentionality. The first step to engage with diverse senior leaders is being intentional in your search, demonstrating the right intent to understand diversity recruiting. It is beholden on leaders to internalize the tough questions – Are we being proactive in representing our social, racial, and gender diverse populations? The intention to change and incorporate more diversity in the upper echelons of corporate America takes courage. By consulting with an expert on how to recruit diverse senior executives, a company can avert missteps and accelerate realizing diversity goals. Be mindful that the talent landscape is constantly shifting, and what’s effective today may not apply tomorrow. It’s not only prudent but strategic to align with an experienced guide bringing insight, foresight, and oversight to the deliberations.
Accountability. What gets measured, gets noticed. What gets noticed, gets done. A successful effort to recruit senior executives with diverse backgrounds requires you to quantitatively prepare yourself to reach your target in an agreeable timeframe. Build a diversity scorecard and hold all active participants accountable.
Uncover new networks. Where are you deepening your relationships? Are you supporting forums that enhance the executive presence of women? Or finding ways to connect with societies that develop and support Latinx on corporate boards? If not, this is an excellent pathway to engage with underrepresented communities in a meaningful way.
Building and promoting a brand. Do you have a brand that is relevant and attractive to diverse executives? Do you currently have diverse senior executives that have grown or are growing their career at your company? Tell their story. Capture the hearts and minds of these individuals and tell their impactful story as it connects to your organization. Diverse senior executives want to see their peers reflected throughout the organization. This encourages a culture of collaboration that you can consistently articulate to a broader audience and be effective in the pursuit to recruit senior executives with diverse backgrounds. Genuinely honor diverse senior executives and promote on social media. An inclusive company is an attractive company.
Inclusive recruiting practices. Pay attention to the tools, language, and resources you are using. Is the language that is reflected in your recruiting materials inclusive? Are you using outside companies with software tools that are also fostering an environment of inclusivity? This will help to drive high-impact outcomes and shape leading engagement to your executive search efforts.
Search is the foundation of our business and frequently marks the beginning of our relationship with our clients. Our cutting-edge technology, robust database and vast network provides a strong launching point and unparalleled experience for clients seeking diversity throughout all levels of their organization. If you would like to have a more comprehensive conversation on how to recruit diverse senior executives, please contact us at inquiries@elliggroup.com.

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Janice Reals Ellig

Chief Executive Officer

As the head of the Ellig Group, Janice is dedicated to increasing the placement of women and diverse candidates on corporate boards and in C-suites by 2025. Janice joined the legacy firm in 2000 and became Co-Chief Executive Officer in its transition to Chadick Ellig in 2007; she assumed sole ownership of the company as the Ellig Group in 2017 with a new focus on Reimagining Search. Prior to her career in executive search, Janice spent 20 years in corporate America at Pfizer, Citi and Ambac Financial Group, an IPO from Citibank, where she was responsible for Marketing, Human Resources, and Administration.

Heralded by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of “The World’s Most Influential Headhunters,” Janice is often consulted for her expertise and her commitment to gender parity, inclusion, and diversity. She frequently appears at speaking engagements and as a media guest, and she has penned multiple articles for outlets such as Directors & Boards, Directorship, Corporate Director, The Huffington Post, and Forbes.com. Janice also co-authored two books: Driving The Career Highway and What Every Successful Woman Knows, acknowledged by Bloomberg Businessweek as “the best of its genre.”

A tirelessly active member of the industry and champion of her causes, Janice is Founder of the Women’s Forum of New York’s Corporate Board Initiative and its signature event, Breakfast of Corporate Champions. Since 2011, Janice continues to spearhead this event to honor companies committed to board diversity and to encourage CEOs to sponsor board-ready women for the Women’s Forum database. (LINK: www.womensforumny.org).

Janice is personally committed to several NFP organizations: Board Director of the National YMCA and Past Chair of the YMCA Board of Greater New York; Trustee of the Actors Fund and Committee For Economic Development (CED); Incoming Chair, University of Iowa Foundation; Women’s Forum of New York Past President and Chair of the Corporate Board Initiative; member of the Steering Committee, US 30% Club and The Economic Club of New York.

In recognition for her many philanthropic activities, Janice received the University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011 and the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) Eleanor Raynolds Award for Volunteerism in 2008. Named one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” by Women’s eNews, she was also a recipient of the Channel 21 Award In Excellence for her contribution to “Excellence in the Economic Development for Women.”

“Listening to our clients’ needs, learning their business and understanding their culture is how we present the best talent and provide  a competitive advantage. We place candidates with the character, competencies, commitment, (intellectual) curiosity and courage to make a difference. Our goal is always to go beyond the expected and deliver valuable advice, measurable results and great talent!”

– Janice Reals Ellig

  • Champion of gender parity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Industry expert, speaker, and author
  • Founder of the Women’s Forum of New York’s Corporate Board Initiative
  • Committed board and committee member and philanthropist

T: (212) 688-8671 ext. 226
E: Janice@ElligGroup.com