Sponsored by Blackstone: Paige Ross — A seasoned HR manager recruits and develops diverse talent, with measurable results in a performance-based culture

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As Global Head of Human Resources at Blackstone, paige ross is a champion of creating a culture where everyone can win. Developing talent and driving efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of this mission. The investment management firm achieved 49% racial diversity representation in the U.S. and 41% representation globally among its analyst class in 2021, in a year where headcount grew by 20%. Blackstone is recognized as an employer of choice. The company received more than 29,000 applications for 103 full-time entry-level analyst positions in 2021 alone.

To achieve diversity criteria like this, Ross and his team cast a wide net, recruiting from 44 colleges (up from nine in 2015), including eight historically black colleges and universities. Blackstone partners with several external organizations, including Girls Who Invest, Year Up and SEO Career, to recruit candidates from diverse and historically underrepresented backgrounds. In doing so, she leverages her experience, including serving as Managing Director of Talent Management at Centerbridge Partners and Vice President of Human Resources at Pfizer.

Crain Content Studio recently spoke with Ross about his approach to HR.

CRAIN’S: What made you interested in a career in human resources?

ROS: I’ve always been interested in what motivates people and what makes them thrive. This was a main focus during my time at Hofstra University, where I completed my MA and PhD in Applied Organizational Psychology. Now at Blackstone, the most exciting part of my job is thinking about how we can be strategic in recruiting, developing, rewarding and advancing our people, while cultivating an environment conducive to growth. long-term careers.

CRAIN’S: You’ve worked in talent management for more than three decades. What are the most significant changes you have observed in human resources in recent years?

ROS: During this period, I have seen HR evolve into the true crossroads of people and business. In financial services, HR is at the table, now more than ever. This allows us to advise senior management on how to optimize team performance, boost productivity, and equip leaders with the tools and training to best develop our talent. Having the right leadership, in a culture where everyone can thrive, is essential to the success of any business, which is why managerial development is one of our main objectives.

CRAIN’S: Can you share some of the approaches that have been most effective for Blackstone’s approach to DE&I?

ROS: While there is always more to do, we have stepped up our efforts to attract strong applicants from the broadest funnel, actively recruiting from 44 colleges, including 8 historically black colleges and universities. Additionally, we provide access and early education opportunities through our Future Women and Diverse Leaders program and partnerships with organizations such as Girls Who Invest, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity and YearUp.

CRAIN’S: You have integrated HR professionals into each of Blackstone’s business units. Can you tell us about the thinking behind this strategy and the results you have seen?

ROS: Our leadership is hyper-focused on culture and talent – ​​so to support this we need HR leaders embedded in our business units as “quarterbacks”, if you will, to usher in the right resources in our centers of HR excellence. These HR business partners should be experts in business and people strategy, while acting as trusted advisors in driving group results.

CRAIN’S: What are your goals for next year?

ROS:
As Blackstone grows, we must, first, continue to transform our HR function, striking the right balance between strategy and execution. Second, to develop our talents at all levels and in all places; with each new office, for example, we hire locally, while moving experienced employees who embody our values. And third, maintain our performance-based culture. It’s all about talent management. Like in a game of chess, every move has a purpose!

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