For Cynthia J. Pasky, founder and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions, it has never been just about a person’s credentials or résumé. “We have simply hired the best people for the job, and to do that, we look at the soul in front of us first,” she says. While the certified woman-owned firm has managed to build out a diverse team, it didn’t get that way from consciously building out a diversity program; it came via efforts to serve underrepresented communities as candidates for client firms.
The Detroit-based firm also aims to work with other diversity-owned firms.
“Our commitment to developing mutually beneficial relationships with diversity-owned businesses is a crucial part of our sourcing and procurement process,” Pasky says.
The proof is in the pudding. Take the firm’s veterans sourcing and hiring program, launched in 2013: Two-thirds of the program’s sourcing team today comprises military veterans, who in turn have helped more than 6,000 military veterans find employment to date. Sixty-two percent of the team’s military veterans are still in their first civilian job, which is 400% above the national average.
She also notes a full 59% of her company’s overhead team and consultants are military veterans, military spouses dependent or affiliated.
With 80% of its clients located in large, urban and diverse communities, S3’s teams and consultants should reflect those communities. And many of the industry verticals that S3 serves — financial services, utilities and energy, and government — are regulated to ensure that their employee bases represent the broader community and population they serve. As a result, diversity is not only the right thing to do, it’s also a matter of compliance.
In addition, Pasky is about cultivating leadership. “We value those soft skills that may not translate onto paper, and we cultivate their leadership skills by removing any barriers that stand in the way of their success,” she says.
2021 DE&I Influencers List