Categories: NewsroomPublished On: March 23rd, 2022

Dell Technology, Xerox & Turazo spotlight a proven process to diversify a global workforce

Kim Grant

The Society of Women Engineers Corporate Partnership Council met recently in Houston. Jennifer Scott, SWE’s Executive Vice President for Strategic Partnerships, introduced a best practice session about leveraging Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in recruitment and retention.

SWE uses the Turazo platform for its mentoring program, which successfully connects members with each other. Since June 2020, more than 1,860 mentors and 3,476 mentees have joined the SWE Mentorship Network and more than 2,300 conversations have taken place.

The fireside chat was moderated by Pete Cipollone, CEO and co-founder of Turazo.

The following discussion has been condensed for space.

 


How did we get here? Why broaden your recruiting strategy by deputizing employees, ERG members, and business groups as company ambassadors?

Pete Cipollone*: How did you decide that one-to-one conversations with employee ambassadors would be a great approach for recruiting?

 

Dr. Yetta Toliver*: Xerox started caucus groups in the late 1960s and the National Black Employees Association (an ERG) is still thriving today. Xerox was also well known in the 1990s for being a leader in diversity. After the killing of George Floyd, we refocused talent acquisition to include a “B” (belonging) in diversity and inclusion. We wanted candidates to have an opportunity to understand the experiences of Xerox employees, what it is like to have a career here, and what the culture is like.

ERGs are ambassadors of our diversity, inclusion, and belonging. They represent the communities in which we serve. Who better to speak in an unbiased way about what a Xerox career looks like than ERG members. They can be open about our culture at Xerox because they are not involved with a candidate moving forward.

 

Laura Carver*: The last two years have been unprecedented for recruitment and hiring. Dell has always been on the forefront of building a diverse and inclusive workforce and culture. Michael Dell’s “Standing Strong Together” memo in 2020 made very public statements and goals for us as a company. Including providing unconscious bias training for all of our employees, targeting alternative talent pools, focusing on social impacts. We also have moonshot goals: by 2030 that 50% of our global workforce and 40% of our people leaders will identify as female.

But we didn’t want to sacrifice the candidate’s experience. We started thinking outside the box and created our “Career and Culture Conversations” program (C3) to leverage our ERG members to help share Dell’s story and be part of the talent attraction process. We started thinking about how we could do something differently.

 


Employees share company culture & cultivate authentic connections with candidates to improve DEI recruiting outcomes

Pete: Let’s talk about network participant experiences. Can you share a story of a prospect or employee who has been through the program?  

 

Laura: C3 is basically an open conversation with potential talent prospects. Dell employee-ambassadors share their perspectives and experiences. Our talent prospects ask us questions. They drive the conversation. They learn what they want to know about working at Dell.

When we expanded the program to Latin America, we focused on our sales organization because that is a very male-dominated field. It was challenging to attract women to even apply to these positions. With C3 women could really see what it was like to be part of our organization before they even decided to apply. At the end of their conversations, one woman shared that she hadn’t initially considered us as a potential employer. But after talking with our culture ambassador, she fell in love with the company.

That’s our goal: to move passive candidates – or people who hadn’t considered us – into someone so enthusiastic about Dell that it’s the only place they want to work. That shows that having the right culture ambassadors in places is super critical to the success of a program like this. One conversation changed her mindset completely, helping her move to the next steps in her application process.

 

Yetta: I’m an employee ambassador for our program and have truly enjoyed it. I’ve shared my story – as an African American female at Xerox for 35 years – with many candidates pursuing opportunities at Xerox. I talked about how Xerox allowed me to continue my education with advanced degrees, certifications, participation in Lean Six Sigma, and becoming a black belt.

ERGs also gave me a safe place to talk about some struggles I was going through at Xerox, how I navigated them, got visibility by management, and participated on stretch projects. I also talked about the Xerox culture, the Xerox family, what it is like to be an employee at Xerox, and why I stay at Xerox.

We started our program globally, aligning open job opportunities and underrepresented candidates. We now have a social governance metric aligned to improving the representation of women and all diverse candidates who apply for management and executive-level positions.

A vast number of candidates who participated in our program decided to become Xerox employees.

 


Data, tracking, and results

Pete: Let’s segue into metrics, measuring success, setting goals.

 

Audrey Uczen*: When I first meet with a customer, we review their goals, strategies, and initiatives. Then we understand the root causes of their issues and how this network can help achieve their goals. Before joining Turazo I received a master’s degree in human resources and worked at a large company, serving in a wide variety of HR functions – from manufacturing to business partnering to early talent recruiting where we recruited at a few SWE collegiate events. Combining that experience with supporting and launching our customer networks, I’m able to share best practices, ask the right questions, and brainstorm with customers to determine what we’re trying to measure, what’s achievable and attainable, and how to track that on the network.

 

Laura: It’s all about the metrics. What gets measured gets done at Dell. We track everything, the number of conversations, people converting to hires. It’s a long game for us. Somebody having a conversation today may not find the perfect fit of positions for a few months. Over time the needle moves, the impact that C3 has on our organization.

We intentionally started small and over the last several months we’ve seen more than 20 hires come through our North America program. All were diverse passive candidates who might not have otherwise applied to Dell, so that’s success, that’s impact.

 

Yetta: It’s all about engagements and conversions to hire. We’ve seen very strong, solid numbers. Over the first ten-month run, we sent out 14,000 invitations to participate, more than 1,000 conversations took place, and we had a conversion of more than 280 hires. We ran the program globally, we went big, or we going to go home. We looked at the qualitative side of things, at the satisfaction rating. It began at 4.3/5 and is now 4.8/5.

Last month we talked to some involved ERG members. All shared that they felt it was gratifying getting this soft recognition to spend 30 minutes of their time periodically to have these conversations. They thought it was the best thing ever. So that was very rewarding.

We’re now rolling up and aggregating results to share back with ERG participants, to inform them of the impact.

 


Roadmaps expand, scale, and diversify

Pete: What are the next steps on your road map to increasing diversity, inclusion, and belonging, and how are they tied to goals?  

 

Yetta: One of my key goals in 2022 is getting more women in the tech field. At Xerox, we have a Cinderella story with Ursula Burns, who went from Xerox intern to Xerox CEO. That’s exactly what we’re focused on with the environmental, social, and governance metrics. We have a solid target holding our senior leadership accountable. We look at the dashboard daily for performance.

The great resignation is hitting a lot of us, but we know there’s the great return ship. So that’s what we’re focusing on. The other critical piece is retention; let’s make sure the talent is staying, adding value. We stand strongly on our belonging piece, making sure the talent is recognized and supported so that they may be on stage like I am, saying they had 35 years of experience.

 

Laura: It’s a race for tech talent. We have a lot of openings, we need candidates. We continue tapping into new talent pools, exploring new ways to think about transferable skills, in-house training and educating, and teaching the talent pool to do things that we need in our organization.

We need to develop and retain folks we hire so that we can build on the culture we’ve worked hard to create. When people feel valued and challenged every day, we build long-lasting employees who want to stay, who have a passion for the work they’re doing, who feel happy and fulfilled every day in their work.

It’s an exciting time to be in talent acquisition because there are so many great things that we can do. Many are leaving their roles, but that opens up new opportunities for others ready to make a change. We want to be the company that they come to.

 

As SWE’s Jennifer Scott says, “These Corporate Partnership Council meetings bring together thought leaders to learn, engage, and grow in the DEI&B space and to collaborate across organizations in making an impact in gender equity in engineering and technology. We have certainly done that today.”

 

 


*Participants:

Laura Carver, a consultant for diversity talent acquisition at Dell Technologies, specializes in the development and implementation of recruitment and diversity programs and strategies at Dell Technologies. She works to accelerate equality and build a more gender-diverse workforce.

Dr. Yetta Toliver, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at Xerox, has a clear DIB Roadmap: build a diverse pipeline and accelerate the careers of women and diverse talent; partner with external organizations to ensure company talent reflects their communities; reinforce a company-wide culture of belonging; reach into communities they serve; measure progress.

Audrey Uczen, Senior Customer Success Manager at Turazo, brings her experience in strategic Human Resources and early talent recruiting to help customers maximize the impact of their Turazo networks.

Pete Cipollone founded Turazo in 2015 to harness the power of human connection to help companies recruit, retain, and advance high-performance workforces. He believes that technology should enable humans to connect seamlessly and purposefully worldwide. He also has an Olympic gold medal and two software patents.

Learn more about diverse talent acquisition and contact us here.

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