Sometimes, employee recruiting outreach manager Alicia Harris’s life is like that Johnny Cash song “Everywhere”: she’s been to Kalamazoo, Mount Pleasant, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ann Arbor, Minnesota, Cobo Center, Warren, Ypsilanti, Grand Rapids, Detroit.
She’s an “everywhere” recruiter. And she often brings a team of DTE Energy employees who volunteer their time to seek out the top talent for DTE.
“We go to places throughout Michigan and throughout the country to attract new employees,” said Harris, the manager of Employment Strategy and Compliance at DTE Energy. “We go to so many places because we know our workplace and the communities we serve include people with diverse backgrounds, cultures and experiences.”
It’s a busy time for Harris: with fall comes recruiting fairs and conferences. And companies throughout the country — including DTE — attend the events to attract new employees.
At DTE, Harris said recruiting the next generation of employees is incredibly important: up to 50 percent of the company’s workforce is expected turnover in the next decade or so, mostly due to retirements.
With that in mind, Harris said her team is focused on several areas, including attracting skilled trades workers, workers in STEM fields and a commitment to hiring a diverse workforce that reflects the communities DTE serves.
As testament to that, this past week DTE sent recruiters to more than seven recruiting fairs or conferences, including at Walsh College, Michigan Tech, Oakland University and the University of Toledo.
Even more, just this past week, DTE recruiters and business unit volunteers were involved in three events for professionals from underrepresented populations:
- The National Association for African Americans in HR, which was in Romulus.
- The National Black MBA Association & Prospanica (formerly National Society of Hispanic MBAs) in Philadelphia.
- And a resume and interview workshop hosted at DTE Energy headquarters in Detroit for the student members of the National Association of Black Accountants.
And this weekend, DTE will also be at the Cobo Center in Detroit for the Women of Color in STEM, a national conference that brings together women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
For Harris, that means a lot of time on the road and in the air, traveling to conferences to connect with professionals and recent college graduates. But, she said it is worth it when you find that one person who you know will someday make a difference for Michigan.
“We all have diverse perspectives and life experiences, and when there is a better understanding of those differences, we are more productive, creative and effective for our customers,” Harris said. “A diverse workforce provides a competitive edge for our company.”