Overcoming Obstacles to Sourcing/Hiring Diverse Candidates in the Luxury Brand Space

Hiring a diverse workforce is not just good for business, it’s the right thing to do. Here are some ways to overcome obstacles to source and hire more diverse employees in the luxury brand space.

At Bowerman Group it is our goal to provide solutions and the very best talent to meet the demands for diversity in the industries we serve:

“We are committed to fostering a diverse pool of candidates for our client companies. Our team provides equal recruitment opportunity to all and fairly evaluates candidates without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation and identity, national origin, age, military or veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status.  We applaud and actively support our clients’ development of cultures that embrace diversity, to better connect them to the customers and communities that they serve.”

Hiring a more diverse workplace makes a lot of sense, and not just for business. It’s the right thing to do. At The Bowerman Group, it is our focus to hire more diverse management level and C-Suite talent for our partners in premium and luxury brands. We’ve developed some key tips to help other companies bring more diversity into their workforce. Read on to learn more about how you can strengthen your business with a variety of high-level talent.

How to spot diverse traits in a candidate

It’s important for employers to keep in mind, the only way to legally categorize a candidate as “diverse” and put them into a specific diversity category is to give that candidate an avenue and an opportunity to opt themselves into that category.

It is not up to us to decide what makes a candidate “diverse.” Legalities notwithstanding, recruiters enter into a moral “grey-area” by predetermining what defines diversity, and henceforth, categorizing candidates into that definition based on our perception of them.

But that is not to say, a hiring manager can’t identify diverse characteristics in a candidate by getting to know them. We’ve found that when employers take the time out of an interview to just talk casually, they can learn so much more about what might make the candidate a good fit.

That is why we put a high value on our close relationships with our talent. One of the most useful questions you can ask after an interview: what do you like to do in your free time? We are always surprised at how revealing the answers can be. This goes a long way to demonstrate how diversity can be more of a conversation, rather than just a box to check off.

Reevaluate Job requirements to open possibilities for more diverse candidates

Sometimes, finding the right talent means taking a second look at the requirements for the position, the company culture or the hiring process. Chances are, there is a wealth of candidates who’d been largely overlooked either because of antiquated hiring practices or yet-unchanged preconceptions to what makes a quality hire. Sometimes, a narrow perspective of what diversity looks like could be what’s limiting the process.

There may be other factors that are holding back diversity goals. As recruiters, we are in a unique position to help expand our partner’s perspective of diversity. We work closely with our partners to help them think differently about: 

  • Job requirements: When you’re looking for leadership, management or C-Suite positions, the number of years a candidate has spent in their previous role, or a degree from a certain college are all important qualifications to consider. But often these metrics say little about how the candidate was able to lead a team, create innovation in their role, or lead a brand to success. Reevaluating a candidate’s requirements and looking instead for the results an individual can demonstrate could be a better metric to measure valuable talent.
  • Interviewing with consistency: Interviewing can be one of the hardest parts of the diversity recruiting process. People are naturally biased and rely heavily on gut intuition. Strong biases can make it difficult to see the candidates for their skills and personality, or how well they may fit in with the company culture. Being consistent is the easiest way to interview the right way. Creating a process wherein every candidate is asked the same questions and is treated the same can help people feel more comfortable and secure with the interview process and the company culture.
  • Creating an environment of diversity: The phrase “build it and they will come” applies here. But also, “Build it and they will stay” could be just as applicable. Sometimes creating an atmosphere of inclusivity and diversity means adjusting or updating old company policies and recognizing our biases. That could make a real difference toward attracting diverse talent and retaining the diverse talent you already have. If your company already strongly practices inclusivity and diversity, shout it out from your social media accounts. Create content that tells the story of your company, your values and your culture to attract the talent you’re looking for.

Align your company with a recruiter who focuses on diversity

Full disclosure, we want to be that recruiter who can provide diverse management-level and C-Suite talent for luxury brands in eCommerce, marketing, resale, and wholesale. At The Bowerman Group, we are already focused on diversity because we believe it is perhaps the most proactive step you can take to creating a stronger and more creative upper management team.

We work with industry proven techniques for building a diverse pool of top candidates. That’s why many of our partners have aligned themselves with Bowerman – for our strong commitment to inclusion and diversity. They too are looking for more diverse candidates and need a trusted source to help guide them through that process.

We work very closely with our clients and pride ourselves on thoroughly knowing their business and culture. Even still, we are a high-touch agency. We believe a crucial element of matching the highest quality permanent hires is to always go deeper and better understand what our partners are looking for. (After all, we can’t assume to know what diversity means without context.)

If you believe diversity is key to scaling and building your company, but haven’t yet discovered how, consider going deeper with a recruiter who can better meet your diversity needs. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help diversify your top-level talent, contact us today.