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Recruiting Strategies for Diversity and Inclusion

Inside SourceCon - An interview with Maren Hogan, RedBranch Media

Maren Hogan, CEO RedBranch Media,TotalPicture Radio interviewMaren Hogan

Welcome to a special Sourcecon Edition - Talent Acquisition Channel Podcast with Host Peter Clayton.

Before talking with Maren, here's a recent article in Bloomberg News I shared on Facebook: "As Uber Grew Hastily, Diversity Took a Backseat. Under pressure from harassment and sexism allegations, the ride-hailing giant is rethinking its approach to hiring."

No kidding! Uber has found itself in a PR nightmare over the past several months - mostly self-inflicted. You've probably seen the viral video of their CEO Travis Kalanick blasting an Uber driver. Here's a segment from Bloomberg News which shows the clip:

Quoting from the Bloomberg article; Liane Hornsey, Uber's senior vice president of HR, said in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday that she's working to clean up Uber's cultural problems, including its approach to recruiting. Hornsey, who joined the company this year, said Uber revised 1,500 job descriptions to remove unconscious bias from the language, will hold job interview training for women in tech and is ensuring its panel of interviewers is diverse. Uber plans to release a diversity report for the first time next week. "We're spending a good deal of time reflecting on what will lead to true diversity and inclusion," Hornsey wrote in an email. "Clearly, this matters a lot to all of us and must underpin everything we do-it's the foundation of positive cultural change." (You'll find a link to the article in the sidebar.)

Of course, Uber is not the only company struggling with diversity.

At SouceCon in Anaheim, California, Maren Hogan took the stage to speak about building diverse pipelines - not only for the clients of RedBranch Media, (based in Omaha, Nebraska), but her company as well.

I'm delighted to welcome Maren back to TotalPicture Radio for a TA Channel podcast to talk about diversity and inclusion in the workplace.


Maren, I'm glad the stars and your travel schedule finally aligned to record this podcast.

We've known one another for quite some time -- I think we first met maybe 8 or 10 years ago at an ERE conference. And I must say I've watched in awe how you've built your company RedBranch Media into a real force over the past few years. You have what, over 20 employees now?

Tell us about your journey -- and your company.

Let's talk about your SourceCon presentation CTRL ALT SOURCE: BUILDING A DIVERSE TALENT PIPELINE. You started off with the following: 85% of multinational corporations believe diversity is crucial to innovation in the workplace. -- And I'm thinking well, of course. Just like if you ask a CEO what his or her most important asset is most will say 'our people.' Maybe even Travis Kalanick at this point. So I think it's important to dig beyond the surveys to what companies are actually doing. What have you found when taking this next step?

Diversity is an issue for your company as well. Omaha is not exactly a meting pot is it?

So what strategies have you used to try and bring more diversity into your company?

Here are a few more stats from your presentation

  • Companies with gender diversity outperform less diverse companies by 15%
  • Companies with ethnic diversity outperform less diverse companies by 35%
  • For every 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior executive team, company earnings in the US rise 0.8%

And yet, you referenced Deloitte research which found that "diversity and inclusion" really wasn't on the radar screen of many more companies that just Uber, right?

One of the strategies you have developed to help engage diverse candidates in creating candidate personas. Can you unpack this for us?

One of the strategies you recommend is using something like Survey Monkey or QZZR to help in building a candidate persona - can you briefly expand on this and some other tactics you have used?

Talk to us about diversity branding.

I was talking to a recruiter who works for a big global company, lots of employees - she was telling me about a hiring manger who really liked candidates that graduated from the University of Michigan -- his alma mater. Which of course, brings up the issue that people are most comfortable around people like themselves. What are some strategies to avoid the "Just like me" syndrome when it comes to hiring?

What have we missed?

Fortunately, Maren wrote a blog post on this topic, including her SourceCon deck. You'll find a link on the sidebar.

Stay tuned... Our exclusive interview with Maren Hogan will air Thursday, March 30th!

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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