Box Shares Techniques on Hiring for Diversity

May 2, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Kathleen de Lara

boxHiring for diversity can help you build a company that's more creative, more productive, and less likely to turn over.

Just take it from Box.

We sat down with Sarah Lovelace, the company's senior manager of technical recruiting, to hear her insights on hiring from under-represented groups, and how the team at Box grew their renowned team of diverse tech talent.

As a recruiter working with a diverse team at Box, what are the benefits of hiring employees of various backgrounds?

I value diversity. Building a diversified team allows companies to receive different viewpoints outside of a set that you naturally create. It also lends to creative problem solving, which is something we have happen all the time. Whenever we have to fix something in the recruiting process because we're not running efficiently, our best solutions come when we have a well-rounded group working together.

Why do you think there's a gap between talent and diversity affecting many of today's teams? What is lacking on the recruiting end to bridge that gap?

Despite the diversity in the Bay Area, there's a lot of progress that has yet to be made in diversity hiring. One way Box has addressed this issue is with the Box Engineering Diversity Scholarship. We hosted it for the first time last year, and I was a core member of the team to launch it. We plan on doing it again this year.

What are a few misconceptions recruiters have when it comes to hiring in general? What obstacles will today's recruiters need to overcome to keep up with what candidates are seeking in an opportunity?

Recruiters should be open to making exceptions in hiring, and knowing when to make an exception and when not to. As a recruiter, you know what works and you know your roles, but if you are not open to the exceptions you are going to miss phenomenal talent. Likewise, recruiters shouldn't look for exceptions.

For example, would you hire a college dropout with internships in the film industry and a history of starting and stopping projects for most of their early career to be the CEO of an enterprise software company? Probably not, but we would be missing out on Box's co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie. (But, if you look at Box, we don't have many exceptions like this.)

Thanks, Sarah!

Want to learn more about how diversity hiring can help bolster your recruiting strategy? Join us for a free webinar as we chat with Sarah to learn more techniques for diversifying the workplace. Hear about her first-hand experience in building Box's team of top tech talent. Register here:

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sarah lovelace

Sarah Lovelace is the senior manager of technical recruiting at Box, where she's led recruiting efforts since 2010. Prior to joining Box, Sarah was a recruiting coordinator at Google. Sarah is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and a two-time World Baton Twirling Champion.