Diversity in the Recruitment Process

DSML Executive Search, a majority female owned and managed business, believes that increasing diversity is more than a moral act – it is a commitment and investment towards the future of our client’s business success.

Since our founding in 2008, DSML has been committed to a culture and hiring practices towards a diverse and inclusive team.  Consider the multi-lingual and multi-national members of our team representing France, Germany, Belgium, and Canada.  Our team consists of overly 75% female executive recruiters.

Over the years, we have seen a very encouraging trend towards stronger diversity and inclusion practices among our clients. Companies realize that diversity is correlated with both profitability and value creation.  McKinsey found a positive correlation between diversity on executive teams and measures of financial performance in a 2017 data driven survey.

Since we specialize in recruiting CEOs, CFOs, VPs and other senior leaders for European and Canadian owned US subsidiaries, we integrate international and US best practices during each executive search. We can provide updated information on local practices and trends: For example, the flexibility provided by an employer and their philosophy regarding remote work will often impact their ability to attract and retain more diverse candidates.

Besides internal HR practices and policies, when external executive talent is needed, companies also need to improve their  to identify and access a diverse pool of candidates in terms of gender, age, and ethnic background. One resource is to work with an executive search firm to actively source diverse candidates from the get-go.

By definition, Executive Search purpose is to proactively identify and contact executives who are usually already employed to attract them to the client’s organization. Therefore, as executive recruiters, we are in a good position to deliberately select the professionals we will approach, including the natural incorporation of diversity and inclusion within every executive search among the list of requirements we work with.

Once the potential candidates for CEO, CFO and VP level positions are contacted and in communication with our team, the following process is helpful to ensure the diversity goal:

  • Focus on behavioral questions where candidates talk about how they solve issues and how they would approach upcoming challenges
  • Implement a “two-interviewers” approach to minimize bias in assessing skills, particularly soft skills that are harder to assess
  • Always resist occasional pressure to ask certain questions such as current compensation level, which is now illegal in many US Cities and States.
  • Reassure and motivate candidates by providing detailed information about our clients’ workplace culture and HR policies.

Finally, Executive recruiters can play a very active role in engaging diverse candidates who otherwise may not have considered a particular company.

If your company is seeking to recruit for a key position, such as CEO, COO, President, VP or other Senior level role, have a conversation with DSML Executive Search to ensure your search includes a “thorough” process and a “success based” strategy.