The first time Madison Williams experienced recruitment, she was applying for college internships. She found herself stressed and confused.
That’s why she joined L3Harris Technologies as a Talent Acquisition Specialist. She carries out L3Harris’ diversity conference strategy.
“I wanted to be that person who makes it easier for a student to go through that prep process,” said Madison.
Madison spoke on The Internship Show podcast about L3Harris’s diversity conference strategy. She offered advice for students attending conferences. And, she shared what makes L3Harris stand out from other companies at conferences.
A Background on L3Harris’s Diversity Commitment
L3Harris prioritizes bringing your whole self to work. That’s why L3Harris has clear, public goals to build and maintain a diverse workforce. Their goals are for half of the workforce to be women and at least one-third will be persons of color.
“… Our diversity strategy kind of goes all the way to the top of the company and trickles all the way down to the point of our recruitment…” said Williams.
To hold themselves accountable, L3Harris frequently updates the data on their workforce. Currently, 24% of total employees at L3Harris are women. As well as 24% of total employees at L3Harris are persons of color.
L3Harris tracks all statistics on employees but focuses on two groups in particular. Those groups are new grads and interns, and executives.
Snapshot of the Diversity of Executives
- 31% of L3Harris executives are women
- 17% of L3Harris executives are persons of color
Snapshot of New Grads and Interns
- 37% are persons of color
- 56% are from underrepresented groups
- 33% are women
L3Harris recruits diverse groups of interns and new grads by attending diversity conferences.
L3Harris Technologies’ Involvement in Diversity Conferences
L3Harris’s diversity goals start with recruitment. Candidates can find L3Harris at three national diversity conferences every year.
- The Grace Hopper Celebration
The Grace Hopper Celebration is a conference for celebrating diversity in tech. The conference has opportunities for professional development through learning, networking, and celebrating achievements.
- The Society of Women Engineers
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) hosts the world’s largest conference for women in engineering and technology. The SWE conference includes presentations, professional headshots, facility tours, workshops, mentorship, and a career fair.
- The National Society of Black Engineers
The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) supports and promotes pre-college students, college students, and professionals in engineering and technology. NSBE hosts six regional conferences every fall and a yearly conference every spring.
L3Harris’s goal is to inform students about the company early on in their careers. Recruiters inform students by sharing the opportunities and environments that L3Harris has. L3Harris recruiters never limit themselves to engineering majors. The recruiters are looking for students from a variety of STEM majors. Their main goal is to inform students about the company early on in their careers.
L3Harris recruiters are proactive and search for candidates weeks before the conference. They use the resume databases, LinkedIn, Handshake, campus resources, and partnerships. In some cases, recruiters will interview and send out offers before conferences. At career fairs, recruiters and students have a short interaction. And, L3Harris wants the career fair to be a final selling point for a candidate.
Madison’s Advice for Students Attending Conferences
On The Internship Show podcast, Madison shares advice for students attending conferences.
Most candidates apply to roles before attending the conference. By applying before a conference, it shows you put in the time to know the company and roles best suited for you.
If you do not apply before the conference, no worries! While at the conference, speak to your top companies and say the roles that you will be applying for. By doing that, it shows you still took the time and diligence to prepare.
Students should show up to a conference prepared and informed. Companies will take notice of the level of commitment from the start. Madison advises students to choose five to 10 companies to research in-depth. Research on what the company does, its challenges, and competitors.
During the career fair at the conference, speak to those five to 10 companies! Go in with a refined and practiced elevator pitch. (Madison said recruiters can tell when an elevator pitch is not practiced). Ask each company three questions.
The first company you speak to at the conference should not be one of your top companies. Begin by speaking with a medium interest company. Get your nerves out, and build up your confidence. Then go speak to your top companies!