Showing Heart: When Candidates Are Your Customers

Southwest Airlines is widely known for having happy employees who provide a unique customer experience. How do they attract and hire candidates who fit their company values? With 24 consecutive years among FORTUNE’s World’s Most Admired Companies and nine years as a Glassdoor Best Places to Work, the airline has had the luxury of saying “no” to more than 1 million candidates. Shari Conaway, Senior Director of People, shares Southwest’s unique approach to recruitment and candidate experience. (26 minutes)

Humanizing the candidate experience is important because at Southwest Airlines, our People are our most important asset, even those who don’t work for us…yet!


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Showing Heart: When Candidates Are Your Customers

Southwest Airlines embodies the principles of Servant Leadership, and Shari Conaway lives those out every day as the Senior Director of People for Southwest Airlines. In her current role, she is responsible for Talent Acquisition, Health & Wellness, Compensation & Retirement, Compliance, and Onboarding. Shari learned her Leadership skills from the ground up, starting as a Recruiter and then holding several different positions leading up to her current role as Senior Director of People.

In her 23 years at Southwest, her focus has always been on leading, guiding, and serving both External and Internal Customers. Shari has over 25 years of Human Resources experience and has a passion for the airline industry and for Southwest Airlines. She leads her Team to hire the best Employees in the industry. Shari graduated from the University of Oregon with Bachelors in Speech Pathology and Audiology. Outside of work, Shari and her husband stay very active with their three grown children.

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