The Talent Acquisition (TA) team in partnership with our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) department conducts thorough research to identify the needs of the company, leadership, and departments while shortlisting our top choice of conferences. Our primary objective is to foster a more inclusive work environment by providing opportunities for diverse perspectives and experiences, and we strive to ensure that everyone has equal access to these opportunities regardless of their backgrounds. Orbrea (Bre) Nicholson, Senior DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility) Program Manager, has been a great partner to our TA team during this journey.
One such event that TA recently sponsored was the BLK Men in Tech THRIVE Conference, which allows those in the tech field to connect, learn, and grow in their pursuit to start or advance their tech career, and provides insight into the Black male experience. Our very own Hilary Vincent Payne II, Engineering Manager, was a panelist.
“Initially, I was nervous about attending BLK Men in Tech THRIVE and unsure of what to expect. But the panel discussions, where tech leaders shared their diverse and unique career paths, were eye-opening.” Hilary is a highly accomplished technology professional with over ten years of industry experience. “I realized that my assumptions about the tech industry were limiting and that there are many unconventional ways to enter the field.”
During Hilary’s panel discussion entitled, "Exploring Cyber Security & Engineering," he shared his experience of entering the tech industry without a traditional computer science background. He spoke of his journey from a software test engineer to his current role at Paylocity, emphasizing the importance of authenticity and overcoming adversity. “My experience resonated with many attendees, illustrating how Paylocity values diverse experiences and encourages authentic self-expression, which is vital in a tech environment.”
In addition to speaking at the event, the THRIVE Conference also allowed Hilary the opportunity to network and engage in conversations on various topics, ranging from technical discussions to personal development and psychological insights. He found himself being approached by many who not only wanted to speak about software engineering opportunities at Paylocity, but also more unconventional topics like limiting beliefs, psychology, imposter syndrome, and psychological safety. “The blend of these discussions helped me create meaningful connections with attendees who appreciated the holistic approach to technology and personal growth.”
For Paylocity, events like BLK Men in Tech offer significant benefits. They provide a sense of inclusion and community to individuals from minority groups who might otherwise feel isolated in the tech industry. Hilary said, “Sharing experiences and strengths with successful professionals in the field fosters a sense of belonging. These events contribute to advancing diversity and inclusion within the tech community, making it more welcoming and supportive for everyone.”
Another event Talent Acquisition had the pleasure of sponsoring was the Lesbians Who Tech & Allies Conference. This conference brings together over 15,000 LGBTQ women, women of color, non-binary, trans techies and allies who are committed to visibility, intersectionality, and changing the face of technology.
During this year’s event, Gail Shields and Emy Viceral, both Talent Acquisition Partners, were responsible for our booth. “Our goal was to spread awareness about Paylocity and our initiatives, and find talented people who can make an impact on our organization and community.”
On a panel discussion was our own Olesya Boreyko, Staff Product Designer, User Experience and Innovation. “My topic was, Strategies to Mitigate UX Debt While Shipping New Product Features. I gave a version of this talk to the Paylocity Design Team last year to positive feedback; it’s something that resonates with most product and tech folks.”
In her presentation, Olesya spoke about ways of identifying, prioritizing, and mitigating user frustrations, reduced productivity, and negative mental models as part of the product development cycle. This talk was helpful not only to UX leadership and professionals, but also to product and engineering managers.
Olesya has represented Paylocity at past LwT Conferences. “This year, the conversations were fantastic — very educational and engaging. Fireside chats with CEOs, interesting case studies, and plenty of downtime to connect with others. As a queer woman, it’s amazing to have representation on such a large scale and get inspired by the success of so many women around me. I came back energized and inspired!”
Paylocity also attended the AFROTECH™ Conference. With more than 20,000 Black tech innovators in one place, and endless opportunities to network, experience dynamic programming, and chat with top tech recruiters, it’s exactly what you would expect from the largest Black tech conference of the year.
“My experience at AFROTECH™ was incredible! It was like being a first-year student in college, but with the added benefit of having a clear goal in mind,” said Franklin Smith, Talent Acquisition Manager. “I left the conference feeling energized and inspired, with a newfound appreciation for the power of networking and community-building.”
Over five days, our Talent Acquisition Team engaged with speakers, connected with talent from early college graduates to highly experienced execs, and scoped out the competition.
"One of the key things that I learned from the conversations I had at the AFROTECH™ Conference is that diversity is not just about hiring people from different backgrounds. It is also about creating a culture where everyone feels welcome, valued, and respected." Kofi Tolbert, Principal Talent Acquisition Partner for P&T, also believes that a positive and inclusive culture is essential for attracting and retaining top diverse talent. “I believe that everyone has the right to be heard and respected at work. We need to create a workplace where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas and perspectives, regardless of their background or identity.”
Paylocity's commitment to DEIA is clear in our participation in external conferences that focus on underrepresented groups. By attending these events, we not only show our support for these communities, but we also gain valuable insights that can help to better serve our diverse workforce.