Jomana Elwenni

Head of People @

Jomana Elwenni- San Diego’s very own HR Superwoman

A strategic global people’s leader and an HR superwoman - Jomana Elwenni is a woman reshaping the HR industry one candidate at a time. 

This time on HER TALKS, we landed an opportunity to interview San Diego’s very own HR superwoman!

From being a woman leader shaping the high-performing cultures of Fortune 50 companies to innovating and digitalizing foundational HR operations, Jomana has helped budding businesses with transparent and scalable solutions. Jomana Elwenni is also known for her sound experience in the start-up culture that has seen hypergrowth with the global distribution of workforces. 

In this interview with Jomana, we wanted to understand the ever-evolving dynamics of the HR industry and how TA specialists can be at the top of their hiring game. 

When we asked Jomana what she thinks are the main challenges in Talent Acquisition, she believes it is the shift in the market to more passive candidates. 

“The shift to a more passive candidate market means that employers need to focus on their employer brand more than ever. It has become a competitive market with a talent shortage, and candidates are more focused on finding the right fit for them so how you showcase your brand as an employer needs to be a huge focus on how you recruit.” 

The second challenge, and the one that compliments this shift, is the employer brand, according to Jomana. She believes that in recent years there has been a drastic change in how candidates view and value companies. 

“People want flexibility, autonomy, connection, and belonging. This can be represented in how your company works (Remote/Hybrid), your DEI efforts and commitments, social impact, feedback loops, and career advancement opportunities.”

She goes on to highlight that it's these elements that create a culture. Jomana also states that it is imperative for employers to constantly keep in touch with the growing trends of the HR industry and what candidates are precisely looking out for. Otherwise, acquiring talent will just get more challenging. 

In addition to this point, we wanted to know if she had a secret recipe that she used to find and assess the right candidate. 

“My secret sauce to assessing candidates has always been to understand the candidate first - How they work, who they want to work with, what they value, where they want to grow, etc. I found that the less I talk about how great we are and the more I listen to them, I can assess if they will be a fit for our organization.”

True to the adage-  ‘understand to be understood. It all boils down to listening to the client or the candidate. When recruiters and hiring managers listen to what the candidate is saying, we are not just gathering information about the individual but also understanding a little more about their psychology and the culture they carry. Through this, you can zero down on the best talent in the market and find the right fit for a balanced professional ecosystem. 

Now, what if you don't? What if they faked it to make it? And what was the impact of this on your organisation? Here’s what Jomana’s had to say: “I have experienced a few mis-hires in the past and the cost of this goes beyond a financial impact - It can be detrimental to your culture that will take 6-9 months to rebuild. It is so important to have a solid recruitment process that speaks to and aligns with your internal company core values and vision to avoid this negative impact.

Mis-Hires are one thing, and the aftermath of it is another. It need not just be related to the culture and the personality one carries. It involves aspects like the right skill sets and talent for the job. 

So how do you tackle issues like this? The answer is pretty simple. Pre-assessments. This way you have first-hand data, and unbiased results along with scores that show you who are the true performers and the right fit for your organization. 

We asked Jomana, what her views were on hiring talent and making life easy for TA specialists and HR Leaders. Is it a complicated and intricate process?  Or is it several rounds of interviews? Here are her views on this, “Keep your process simple but intentional. We sometimes think that we need an advanced recruitment process to find the best talent but in contrast, it deters candidates. Approach recruitment with a "how can the right people find us" approach instead of "how do I find the right people". 

Sometimes, as humans, when we are presented with opportunities out of nowhere, we tend to question them. We tend to develop a feeling that it is ‘too good to be true. This is not us talking but it is the imposter syndrome. When we asked Jomana about her struggle as a woman at work and the challenges she faced as she went up the ladder, she says “As someone who quickly progressed early on in my career into leadership roles where I was underrepresented at many tables I sat at - I found that I was being limited by imposter syndrome. I doubted my abilities and felt out of place, and sometimes felt like "I just got lucky", which limited my ability to make an impact in some cases.”

She also adds that something she wished someone would tell her while growing up the ladder and something she wants to tell young aspiring corporate women is that, it was never just handed over to you and that you worked hard for it. She wants women in the industry to believe in themselves and believe that they worked incredibly hard to achieve this. She wants young women to believe that where they are right now giving them a voice and the ability to impact great decisions, Jomana Elwenni wants the young women in not just the HR industry but every other sector to own that success and let it fuel you as you grow and climb up the ladder.

Finally, we asked her what that one piece of advice she had for women working in the Talent Acquisition and hiring line. She says “The job sells itself but candidates want to know if they want to work with your company. Keep it simple, be authentic, and focus on personalizing the recruitment experience so you build a genuine relationship with candidates that leave them feeling connected.”