Kumari Williams, 40
Senior director of global talent acquisition, Harman International
Big break: Becoming a director of talent acquisition at ADP and having FCA as a client
Kumari Williams is fresh off of two critical launches of human resources initiatives at Harman International.
Williams, senior director of global talent acquisition for the audio and auto electronics supplier, last year finalized and launched a new global career site and an employee “value proposition” initiative.
The value proposition is a four-pronged campaign to challenge employees to bring out their best, to foster global teamwork, to encourage agility that empowers growth, and to focus on diversity to spur innovative thinking.
“We did a lot of research internally to say, ‘As an employee of Harman, what resonates with you? How do you feel about working here? What sets us apart from other companies?’?” Williams said. “Those four values are what our employees said about Harman and who we are.”
Launching the initiative was a long time coming for the company. A team had been working on the effort previously but stopped when Samsung acquired Harman in 2017.
When Williams joined Harman from ADP that year, she immediately began working to get the initiative over the goal line.
“When I was hired, the chief HR officer said it was a top priority to get the employee value proposition launched and done,” she said. “It had been started a couple of times and just never came to fruition. And so I said, ‘We’re actually going to get this thing done.’ And we did.”
At ADP, Williams had risen to become a director of talent acquisition, with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles as a client. Williams had previously worked as a recruiting manager outside the auto industry before becoming an HR manager at a Shiloh Industries manufacturing plant.
She worked in a variety of businesses and took on new roles as her career grew.
“It just started to spark my love for leading and developing people,” she said.
The new career website at Harman, which was built in about six months, reflects the four pillars of the employee value proposition and is a way for the supplier to attract new talent.
“We’re looking for top-tier technical talent in large quantities,” Williams said. “It’s a challenge, but I feel like we’re doing the right things and we’re going in the right direction.”
One of her specific initiatives is centered around hiring women.
“We’re steadily seeing more and more,” she said. “That’s encouraging. And we know that if we can get them to engage with us and apply to our jobs, I can convert them. I can pull them through. I can get them hired.”
— Jack Walsworth