Retention is as crucial as making the hire

Executive search specialist Ghada Sousou believes companies need to create diverse cultures to attract diverse workforces.

When real estate debt fund managers need to hire, they often turn to Ghada Sousou, founder of executive search firm Sousou Partners.
“More often than not, clients say diversity it is a priority for them,” she says. “For the most part, they mean it. But I always want to know why. Is it because the employer wants to tick a certain box, or do they really believe having a diverse workforce makes a real difference to their businesses? I would say it is 50/50 with clients.

“There are some who come in and say: ‘we’re 90 per cent pale, male and stale, and we need you to change that’.” For Sousou, the problem is too many real estate firms want to prioritize diversity in recruitment, without doing the deeper thinking about how they can make their businesses genuinely welcoming places for people from a variety of backgrounds.

“We always need to be vocal, not just about the client’s hiring process, but also about their culture and their reputation in the market. We say to them: ‘We can get this person through your door, and here’s what it will take to get them over the line. But here is what it will take to keep them’.”

Published on – Real Estate Capital.

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Diversity in Real Estate Finance