Jennifer Tardy: Mitigating Hiring Bias at Workplace

Jennifer Tardy: Mitigating Hiring Bias at Workplace

Humans are hardwired to make quick decisions, shaped largely by unconscious biases, which ultimately influence the way they perceive reality. The way we were brought up, how we socialize, and the media feed into our bias and decision-making process that ultimately form our judgments. This also extends to workplace hiring, where unconscious racism, sexism, and ageism can give rise to problems that extend beyond just recruiting the wrong person for the job. Most importantly, it can cause a lack of diversity and hinder overall productivity. Jennifer Tardy, Recruiting Thought Leader, Diversity Practitioner, and Career Success Coach, is on a mission to remedy that and make it easy for employers to find, attract, engage, and hire more job seekers from historically underrepresented backgrounds through her company, Jennifer Tardy Consulting (aka Team JTC).  

Early Life

Jennifer’s journey began in high school, where she was the only black person in her advanced biology class. Making her way through the initial culture shock, Jennifer went to college on the Virginia Tech campus, where among the 26000 students, only 4% were colored folks. Her experiences only made her more ambitious as she saw there were fewer opportunities for people who looked like her. Jennifer obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Tech in Business and received several Human Resources and Diversity and Inclusion certifications. She is also a Certified Diversity Recruiter (CDR), Certified Diversity Practitioner (CDP), and Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) . She serves as a career coach to The Society for Diversity members, a not-for-profit organization that advocates for inclusion, equity, and fairness in the workplace. With over 14 years of experience in human resources and recruiting, Jennifer has been recruited in tech, education, railroad, healthcare, plumbing supplies, and professional services industries.

Foray Into Consulting

Jennifer’s formative years fanned her belief that something needs to be done for people of color to increase inclusivity and diversity. As a job aspirant, she faced problems she tried to remedy when she got into recruiting and made final hiring decisions. She wanted to fix the problem in the recruitment process of Corporate America, which was a lack of diversity. With a passion for helping people and making a significant impact in their lives, Jennifer founded Jennifer Tardy Consulting (JTC) LLC in October 2017. Her company aimed to create the process of finding solutions and began training recruiters, employers, and HR professionals to identify biases and find solutions to increase diversity in organizations. She also trains employers to identify the bias and diversify the recruiting process. Her ultimate goal is to increase the representation of marginalized job seekers, including people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and women in the workplace.

Jennifer helps job seekers master the unwritten rules and navigate the hiring biases, so they can land their dream jobs and forge career success.  At her consulting agency, Jennifer works with two different sets of audiences. One is the job seekers whom she helps in finding jobs, getting promotions, and navigating bias. And the other audience is the employers. Through training and consulting, Jennifer helps employers increase workplace diversity and provides job seekers with adequate coaching to land their dream job.

For job seekers, JTC has a membership program, where there is a lot of focus on coaching with ample support along the way. For employers, the company offers training by way of different courses. “Our approach towards clients is different. When we start consulting with employers, we become an extension of the hiring company because our team dives deep into their data, processes, and behaviors. It helps them identify the challenges and biases and recommend what the hiring company needs to do to navigate the ingrained bias,” Jennifer says. Many organizations seek her services to do workshops in both virtual and in-person mode to learn more about the prevalent hiring bias.

Donning Many Hats

For Jennifer, it was not enough that she was doing her bit to increase diversity in the candidate pool. She wanted to do more. Her podcast - But What About Me? - addresses the obstacles underrepresented job seekers experience during their career journey. Jennifer’s maiden book, Letters to my Girlfriends: 365 of Pure Inspiration, was published in 2012. The inspiration behind it came from her life, where she had a chance to meet many amazing women with whom she wanted to stay connected and motivated them at the same time. Therefore, in 2010, she wrote a letter of motivation, encouragement, and inspiration every day. The audience grew and grew, and by the end, the letters were being read by over 10,000 people. Eventually, Jennifer decided to publish the compilation.

In addition, Jennifer is also the Co-Founder & Chief Operations Officer of Proving What’s Possible, LLC (PWP). This Mental Health Counseling organization supports people living with severe mental health issues like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe anxiety. The Medicaid members, clinicians, and case study workers help people connect to community services, including food, shelter, and medicines. The entity offers two services - outpatient counseling or therapy to individuals 14 and older and Mental Health Skill Building (MHSB), for individuals to stay connected to community resources, facilitating them to live an independent life.

The Road Ahead

Jennifer says that though she loves the work that she is doing with diversity recruiting and behavioral health, there is way more value that she has to offer. “One of the main reasons I do what I do is because I know what it feels like to be different and ambitious at the same time. Many people can make an impact but have not taken that leap of faith. I think that is my next chapter. Just like I took a brave step against all odds, I want to inspire the masses to do the same,” Jennifer said while speaking with WomLEAD Magazine. Jennifer advises young women just starting their businesses or struggling with biases in the workplace to understand the value of what they are putting out there. She believes that the more you understand the process, the more people begin to feel the energy around you and be drawn to it.

The Editorial Team

The Editorial Team

Hi there, we're the editorial team at WomELLE. We offer resources for business and career success, promote early education and development, and create a supportive environment for women. Our magazine, "WomLEAD," is here to help you thrive both professionally and personally.

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