It was a great pleasure to interview, Kathryn Christie. Kathryn Christie is the Director, Talent Academy with Self Management Group. She is an innovative and strategic HR leader with a passion for driving organization excellence through engaging and maximizing the organization’s greatest asset: their people. Kathryn also worked for The Coca-Cola Company in Talent Acquisition.
Kathryn Christie will be presenting a Concurrent Session, Recruiting Diversity: Let’s Get Tangible, on Tuesday 6/19/18 from 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM in Room S102 at #SHRM18 in Chicago.
Check out my interview with Kathryn below:
AP: Please let us know briefly what the SHRM attendees will learn from your session, Recruiting Diversity: Let’s Get Tangible.
KC: Attendees will take an objective look at every stage of the recruitment process and identify where/how they can reduce barriers to high quality diverse candidates in order to create a consistent process that helps move their organization forward. They will learn tangible things that they can do right now to reduce these barriers and improve their ability to attract and engage diverse candidates.
AP: Please tell us a little about Self Management Group and your role.
KC: Self Management Group is a provider of end-to-end Talent Management Solutions. We are a leader in predicting potential, partnering with clients worldwide to help them attract, select, retain, and develop top employees. Our key offerings include selection assessments, behavioral assessments, analytics, consulting, and professional services. In my role, I work with key clients to help them develop talent management programs that include solutions such as employee assessment, training and development, and overall strategic process realignment.
AP: What are some of the essentials of recruiting diversity and how does it correlate with recruiting/talent acquisition?
KC: For me, there are three essential pieces of recruiting diversity in order to make it effective and able to attract diverse candidates. Before we get to those, the most important thing is to start somewhere… just get started. Then, focus on 1) Reducing barriers to candidates at every stage of the process, 2) Being intentional in your efforts, and 3) Measuring the return on these efforts (and making changes if they aren’t working!). This will lead to improved recruitment/talent acquisition across the board, not just when it comes to diversity.
AP: Is it difficult to build a tangible action plan to consistently attract and engage high-quality diverse candidates and why?
KC: Absolutely. Recruitment is inherently reactive because it has to be. In order to consistently attract and engage high quality diverse candidates, we need to be proactive. This is incredibly difficult when working within reactive systems and processes, and often means that the intention is there, but the action just doesn’t follow.
AP: Why is diversity essential to success and how does talent acquisition play a critical role?
KC: Diversity is essential to success at every level of an organization because the data and research shows, time and again, that the differing thoughts, approaches, experiences, etc. that are shared in diverse cultures lead to better decisions, more innovation, less errors and increased profitability and productivity. It isn’t just because we want people to feel good, it is also because we know it will positively impact the bottom line. Talent acquisition plays the most critical role because we are the gatekeepers who get to help decide how the organization looks from a diverse perspective. It cannot be understated how important this role is to overall organizational success.
AP: What exactly do you mean by Let’s Get Tangible?
KC: Participants will hear this from me during the session, but I strongly believe that almost everyone talks about how important diversity is (just look at your strategic plans), but not enough is being done to figure out how the rubber actually hits the road. We are hitting it out of the park at the strategic level, but those working at the tactical level are often left wondering how to actually make the strategy come alive.
AP: Please share your experience working for Coca-Cola and what was your role.
KC: Working at Coca-Cola was truly incredible. As we used to say, working for the world’s biggest brand was no small deal. I worked in Talent Acquisition, both in the field recruiting in manufacturing, production, distribution and field sales, as well as at the senior level where I recruited for director and executive roles. This experience truly ignited my passion for recruiting diversity as I was working in geographic locations all over Canada on roles that varied just as much as those populations did.
AP: What are the key differences with recruiting in Toronto compared to the United State, if any? Also, please feel free to tie it with diversity.
KC: I would say that there are very few differences when it comes to recruiting in Toronto, and Canada for that matter, compared to the United States. Recruiting, at its heart, is the same everywhere. We look for the best talent within our constraints, sell them the opportunity, and then sell their skills to our business partners. The only key differences I see would be within diversity legislation, as the United States operates under EEOC, wherein Canada actually doesn’t have as strict legislation when it comes to organizational representation.
AP: How did your career lead to recruiting/talent acquisition?
KC: In a similar way to many. I worked in a few HR-related roles that I found very interesting, and then went back to school and fell in love with Organizational Behavior. This led me to set my sights on some great organizations and brands, and it just so happened that Coca-Cola had a recruitment position open. I thought I would give it a try and I immediately fell in love. From there, I’ve now built my career on not only helping individuals and organizations find the right fit, but on helping organizations with their overall strategy and building the understanding that TA plays an absolutely critical role.
AP: To make things a little light, what is your favorite movie & television show?
KC: That’s a tough one. I’m an ex-rugby player, so the movie Invictus holds a special place in my heart, but I’ll go with the one that I can watch time and time again: Good Will Hunting. As for TV show, the Office is incredibly useful for my “what not to do” slides in my training sessions, but I have to go with Seinfeld. You can’t beat a classic.
AP: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
KC: I am incredibly excited to be taking part in SHRM this year and can’t wait to share with participants in this session and help us all move towards recruitment processes that are barrier-free and maximize organizational success.
Thank you Kathryn for a wonderful interview & we will be seeing you in a few weeks in Chicago for #SHRM18.
Also, please feel free to check out my two interviews with other #SHRM18 presenters: