A Diverse Workforce Requires Determination and Purpose

It takes some work to rethink how to recruit and hire a more diverse workforce, but the end result is a more innovative, motivated and profitable organization.
Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor, Hotels
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kristie goshow and vanessa ogle on stage at htnext 2022
Kristie Goshow, CCO, KSL Resorts and Vanessa Ogle, Founder, Enseo

During HT-NEXT 2022, two industry leaders – Kristie Goshow, CCO, KSL Resorts and Vanessa Ogle, Founder, Enseo – took to the stage to discuss the obstacles facing the industry when it comes to diversity and inclusive hiring practices. Prior to her sale of Enseo, Ogle had created a leadership team that was 70 percent female.

“It wasn’t that I went out intentionally looking for women to fill open roles,” she explained. “I was looking for the best people I could find, and when I found them, I then created the position around them. It was a very different way of going after candidates and a very intentional set of conversations.”

Additionally, Ogle said she knew that many of the candidates she was striving to recruit for her leadership team outclassed her in capabilities, experience and education. They were individuals who could have had the “biggest jobs in the country. But because I gave them a space to be themselves – I got people who were way above my weight class.”

This hiring strategy worked not just for the leadership team, but for entry-level employees too and created a loyal workforce.

“There’s a stereotype that millennials won’t stay at any one job for a long time, but I hired millennials right out of college who are still with Enseo to this day,” Ogle explained. “The reason why is because we allowed them the flexibility to jump around in the organization and try their hand at different jobs if they wanted to: PR, website design, graphics, coding, etc. It fed their need for change and personal growth and allowed them to evolve.”

Ogle also found that the more diverse her company was, the more profitable and innovative the organization was. Why? “Because everyone cares, and when people feel valued, they do more!”

Many organizations like to say that finding diverse candidates isn’t easy, Goshow pointed out. But that’s not because the talent isn’t out there – it’s because the company often isn’t doing its best to attract more diverse candidates. Goshow challenged attendees to think of the hiring process the same way they would think about marketing their property to new guests.

“Let’s apply the same CRM logic to figure out what will get diverse candidates to respond to a role,” she noted. “Innovation is often devoted to products and services but not to improving our talent pool. Instead we have to leverage technology to learn more about behavioral triggers and what [these diverse candidates] need to see [on job applications].”

This is especially important because “the young people coming into our industry are actively looking for authenticity, and every organization is being judged right now both by future talent and by current consumers of products,” Goshow added.

This was just a small sampling of what Goshow and Ogle spoke about on stage. Take some time to listen to the interview in full by clicking on the video link below!