EPISODE 184   |   

August 4, 2023

Differentiating Through Inclusivity: How to Achieve an Impressive 75% Diversity Placements

Alexis Alvarez

“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a priority to the next generation of employees. Their expectation is to see leaders who look like them and to know organizations are committed to

DEI long-term — not only during times of social crisis.The Future of Recruiting 2023 LinkedIn Report

Embracing diversity in the recruitment industry is a progressive move that not only brings commercial benefits. It is a long-term commitment that aligns with the values of the current and future employees. I am delighted to share this episode with a very special guest, Alexis Alvarez. 

Alexis is a diversity advocate and the founder of Career Rockstars, a boutique talent and diversity search firm that partners with lower and middle-market PE firms in the United States and Europe. In this episode, she shared how they became diversity recruitment specialists for lower and middle-market private equity firms, with diversity hires of 60-75%. 

Alexis has over 10 years of recruiting experience and is also a podcast host. Her show is called Take the Stage – Ladies Who Rock, conversations with rockstar women from the world of private equity.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [01:46] From the US to the Middle East and Europe –  hear Alexis’ recruitment career journey.
  • [12:30] How Alexis started her Private Equity (PE) recruitment firm.
  • [21:39] Why truly embracing diversity can be a key differentiator to a recruitment company.
  • [26:00] A retrospect to Alexis’ biggest achievements as a recruitment business owner including key learnings.
  • [29:07] Do you consider yourself the biggest challenge in your recruitment career? Listen as Alexis shares how she can relate. 
  • [32:02] Discussion on how to dislodge self-limiting beliefs.
  • [36:18] Career Rockstar’s critical success factor: Patience, Purpose, and Intention framework.
  • [40:20] Launching “Take the Stage Ladies Who Rock” – adding value to the recruitment industry through podcasting. 
  • [51:12] David vs Goliath – the story of how Alexis won a huge deal over Heidrick & Struggles.
  • [56:40] Navigating the unseen challenges of working full-time as a mom and recruitment business owner.

Truly Embracing Diversity as a Key Differentiator

Career Rockstars’ unique selling point is its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Alexis has a remarkable  60 to 75% diversity placement rate in her company. They prioritize diversity in their searches. This approach attracts like-minded firms that are also committed to diversity. 

What led Alexis to adopt this approach? She explained, “And I don’t know why, maybe it’s being, growing up in LA, you’re in a really diverse setting… It was really like in 2020 when the world was falling apart. I’m seeing everything happen in the US. I just thought, what’s happening, like, I could be doing more… I  just thought, okay, well, what can I do? And that’s really when I decided to double down on increasing the number of diverse candidates that are in my pipeline, at least. And that’s really how it started.”

Like me, you will also be inspired by Alexis’ passion and positive energy while sharing her story. How are you embracing diversity in your recruitment firm? Doing so is a progressive move that brings significant advantages. By fostering an inclusive culture and actively seeking diverse talent, recruitment companies create a more dynamic and forward-thinking business mindset.

Operating Under the Patience, Purpose, and Intention Framework

Alex shared her work framework involving patience, purpose, and intention. This is aligned with her business model and also a no-nonsense approach to coming up with solutions for her clients. Some valuable insights that Alexis shared are:

  • Patience – this entails planning in advance and not over-complicating things. 
  • Purpose – having clarity on purpose and the “why” of doing things will lead you to plan with intention.
  • Intention – this is credibility through action.

This benefits Alexis both personally and professionally. She explains, “So not only with the clients that I work with and telling them how to help them and what they need to do and what patience in their context means and purpose and intention in their context means, but like with candidates who want to make a move, it’s the same simple concepts that are applied, but just you’re adapting them to different scenarios.”

Dislodging Self-Limiting Beliefs

A lot of us can relate to another key topic that Alexis and I discussed: overcoming self-doubt. When I asked her about the biggest challenges she had to face, she mentioned that her biggest obstacle is self-limiting beliefs. I admired how Alexis transparently laid out how she felt when she had to deal with insecurity, an impostor mindset, and self-doubts. We then discussed how she is able to greatly improve her confidence with the support of her husband. She also talked about the value of joining a coaching group. 

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Today’s Guest

Alexis Alvarez

Career Rockstars Founder, recruitment expert, and diversity advocate, Alexis

Alvarez is a steward of capital…human capital. She delivers value-creating impact

working with L&MM PE firms who want to increase their diverse hires and broaden

their talent pools.


With 15 years of recruitment experience, Alexis knows that firms simply cannot hire

high-caliber diverse talent with a low-caliber, or non-existent, diversity strategy. She

understands that attracting, and retaining, diverse talent requires patience, purpose,

conscious effort, and intention. This approach, together with her positive energy and

ability to find and attract outstanding talent, make her a true talent partner.


Alexis’ commitment to diversity started as a child growing up in Los Angeles. As a

first-generation American, she was raised to embrace different cultures, races, and

religions, understanding from a very early age that being different was not a

weakness but a strength. That upbringing has served as a guiding principle

throughout her life: different is good and more often than not, great!


Prior to founding Career Rockstars, Alexis led recruitment efforts in the European

and Middle Eastern digital TV spaces, working with HBO Europe and StarzPlay Arabia. She holds an MBA from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, and a BS in International Business from CSU Northridge. She is a lover of languages and considers herself a hard-core Godfather fan, and when not playing referee to her three young children, tries to squeeze in time for reading and sewing.

About the Host

Mark Whitby

Mark Whitby is one of the world’s leading coaches for the recruitment industry. Since 2001, he has trained over 10,000 recruiters in 34 countries. Mark has helped recruiters to double or triple their billings and owners to increase their team’s sales by 67% in 90 days.

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