Crystal Lay

Chief People Officer & CEO
GBS Worldwide

Crystal Lay is the Chief Executive and Chief People Officer of GBS Worldwide, an end-to-end Talent Attraction Firm specializing in employer branding, recruitment marketing, media management, and organizational talent transformation. With over 20 years of experience in marketing strategy, behavioral psychology, brand experience management and award-winning digital marketing, Crystal, along with her team, work with late stage startups to multi-national, Fortune 10 organizations to improve talent attraction and better the world of work. When the pandemic hit, Crystal saw a deepened need to help employers better understand the psychological shift happening with workers and so returned to school to pursue a Masters in Leadership and Organisational Innovation through the University of Wales, specialising her research in EVP, Employer Brand and the employment gap for the Neurodiverse Workforce. Over the last three years, she's conducted the largest known study of its kind into the gap in EVP development, specifically as it applies to those with disabilities and the neurodiverse. 
When she's not working (and often even when she is), you're likely to find Crystal either traveling or with her family.  She's also fond of patio gardening, an occasional glass of red wine, and got her first Barbie doll when she was 6 years old. More on Barbie later. 

GBS Worldwide

Crystal Lay’s Session(s)

2:10 p.m.–2:45 p.m. PT —

Untapped Potential: Attracting and Integrating Neurodivergent Talent

One in five workers identifies as neurodivergent, emphasizing the pressing imperative for employers to adopt neuro-inclusive practices. Yet, unemployment rates within the neurodivergent community remain disproportionately high. Notably, the University of Connecticut's Center for Neurodiversity and Employment Innovation indicates that unemployment for neurodivergent individuals is eight times higher than those without disabilities, and for individuals with Autism, it exceeds 70%.

This disparity not only represents untapped potential but also highlights the significant opportunities employers might be missing. Recognizing and leveraging the unique abilities of neurodivergent workers can lead to outstanding organizational outcomes. However, genuine commitment and actionable strategies are paramount. In this session, participants will gain insights into Crystal's 2023 research, as well as learn:

1. The mutual benefits for employers and employees in fostering a neurodivergent workforce;
2. Efforts to normalize and de-stigmatize neurodivergence, thus facilitating neuro-inclusion;
3. Tactics for recruiting, retaining, and promoting the advancement of neurodivergent professionals;
4. Effective workplace accommodations tailored for neurodivergent employees;
5. Successful examples of neuro-inclusive recruitment marketing messaging and initiatives.

10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. PT —

Post-Conference Workshop Training D: Employer Branding Workshop: Crafting a Comprehensive Strategy for Talent Success

In today's competitive talent landscape, a strong employer brand is more critical than ever. With the right strategy in place, organizations can differentiate themselves, attract the right talent, and ensure a harmonious workplace environment. This intensive half-day workshop dives deep into the nuances of employer branding, providing you with a holistic roadmap to design and execute an actionable plan tailored to your organization's unique people, needs, objectives, and goals.

Key Workshop Components:

Foundational Pre-Work: Start your journey by grounding yourself in preliminary research and analyses to bolster the strength and clarity of your employer branding strategy.
The Seven Pillars of Effective Employer Branding: Understand and implement the key components that make an employer brand not just recognizable but also actionable.
Critical Considerations for Success: Delve into common challenges, nuances, and strategies to ensure your employer branding effort isn't just effective, but resilient and adaptable.
Post-Workshop Action Plans: Translate workshop insights into clear, actionable steps ensuring continuity and momentum in your employer branding journey post-session.
Strategic Learning Objectives:

Measurable Goals and ROI Mastery: Learn how to define specific, measurable goals for your employer branding efforts and understand the return on investment they can generate.
Person-Environment Alignment and EVP Development: Discover the art and science of aligning an organization's culture with the intrinsic values and expectations of potential and current employees, and how this alignment informs your Employee Value Proposition (EVP).
Visual Branding as a Catalyst: Explore the power of visual elements in fostering inclusivity, setting your brand apart, and creating a cohesive and appealing narrative for potential talent.
Neuroinclusive Employer Branding:  Dive deep into the importance of content and communication strategies that cater to diverse cognitive needs, ensuring your employer brand resonates with a broad spectrum of talents and backgrounds.

Join us for a transformative experience and equip yourself with the tools, insights, and strategies to make your employer brand a beacon for top talent and a foundation for organizational success.



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