Revenue Rehab: It's like therapy, but for marketers
July 13, 2022

Building a Diverse Team: Challenges in Recruiting Diverse Talent

In this episode of Revenue Rehab, Brandi Starr is joined by marketing strategist Carol Grant, who has over 20 years’ marketing experience across multiple areas including product marketing, digital, retail, enterprise, and SaaS. As the CMO at Syndio,...

In this episode of Revenue Rehab, Brandi Starr is joined by marketing strategist Carol Grant, who has over 20 years’ marketing experience across multiple areas including product marketing, digital, retail, enterprise, and SaaS.

As the CMO at Syndio, a SaaS company focused on helping large enterprises achieve workplace equity, Carol is uniquely positioned to join Brandi in discussing strategies on how to build a diverse team.

This week Brandi and Carol walk us through how to begin, where to focus and what strategizing looks like when it comes to diversifying your teams. 

So, grab a pen and paper or open that notes app and settle in for 45+ mins of so many great recommendations, insights, and key takeaways, you’ll be ready to start Building Your Own Diverse Teams and tackling Challenges in Recruiting Diverse Talent in no time!

Bullet points of key topics + chapter markers:

  • Topic #1 Four Things That Can Lead You to Equitable Hiring [11:01] The first is setting the higher bar in expectation; being bullish in your search. The second is remote work (giving you access to more talent).  Three and four are consistency and competency; consistency in your vetting and interviewing and competency meaning evaluating skills related to the specific position rather than time served.
  • Topic #2 Diversifying Talent Beyond Your Own Network [23:45] Carol walks us through how partnering with recruiting company Color Wave helped Syndio to access talent beyond their own connections. These types of organizations can help your search for diverse talent, says Carol, and to identify people who would be a match.
  • Topic #3 Data Matters for Hiring; Find Your TAM (Total Addressable Market) But for People [26:58] Developing a plan that considers the talent that is available and the positions you can fill, according to Carol, is essential. Determining the answers to key questions like “does your company have enough of those feeder roles filled by diverse talent pools?”, and how you can use that data to recruit diverse talent.

So, What's the One Thing You Can Do Today?

Carol’s four key takeaways: set bold pipeline goals, partner with the right recruiting organizations, consider if the role can be remote/hybrid to expand the available talent pool.  And the one thing you can do today? Start by developing a strategy.

Buzzword Banishment:

Predictability and Repeatability because it takes time and “because an enterprise sale is so complex”, Carol says, “I don't actually ever know if there's going to be this formula of predictability”.  Markets and Customers change and evolve, so you might be able to decide on types of things or touchpoints that work, but she says, “until when”?  Brandi agrees “I can say the most predictable thing in marketing is the fact that everything's going to change”.


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[00:06] Intro: 

Welcome to Revenue Rehab, your one stop destination for collective solutions to the biggest challenges faced by marketing leaders today. Now head on over to the couch, make yourself comfortable and get ready to change the way you approach revenue. Leading your recovery is modern marketer, author, speaker and Chief Operating Officer at Tegrita, Brandi Starr.

[0:34] Brandi Starr:

Hello, hello, hello and welcome to another episode of Revenue Rehab. I am your host Brandi Starr and we have another amazing episode for you today. I am joined by Carol Grant. Carol is a marketing strategist with over 20 years’ experience across multiple areas, including product marketing, digital, retail, enterprise and SaaS. Carol is currently heading up marketing at Syndio, a SaaS company focusing on helping large enterprises achieve workplace equity. She is the mother of two boys, a wife of an amazing, supportive partner, and a closet real estate junkie. Carol, welcome to Revenue Rehab. Your session begins now.

[1:23] Carol Grant:  

Hi Brandi. First of all that video intro is amazing.

[1:28] Brandi Starr:  

Thank you. My team probably was sick of me as we were preparing to launch the podcast because I was like okay, move this over, try this picture replace that. I got like a little extra with the editing. 

[01:44] Carol Grant:

It paid off.

[01:48] Brandi Starr:

Appreciate it. I have to say like I read your bio, and mine reads very similarly that we've been in this industry for 20 years. And I promise we definitely don't look old enough to have been in marketing for 20 years. Love working with awesome, amazing, other women in business especially, no shame to my guys. But I'm happy to have you here on the couch.

[2:17] Carol Grant:

I'm so excited to be here. Thank you for having me.

[2:21] Brandi Starr:  

Awesome. And I like to break the ice with a little woosah moment that I call buzzword banishment. So tell me what buzzword would you like to get rid of forever?

[2:38] Carol Grant:   

It's a little self-serving at the moment because it's the thing causing me anxiety right now, me and my team. Predictability and repeatability. Yes. And not because it's not important, because I think it is. I think it's kind of the shift of thinking of given that we are a start-up, we've built this amazing marketing team within a three to four to six month period. Rapidly fast, right? And predictability and repeatability, that takes time. If my boss listens to this, she's probably going to have a heart attack when I'm saying this. Because every week she's like, when are we getting a predictability? And so I just think it's more of a timing and just setting that understanding and that expectation really of hey, when you are building new marketing motions, really getting a sense for who your audience is, like you're almost starting from scratch, predictability is not going to come right away. And you and you do need that over time, quarter by quarter, working the plan, analyzing, assessing, and tweaking, to then start to get to what's really working. I also feel like it's a bit fraught, and I'm learning this in real time. Because an enterprise sale is so complex, I don't actually ever know if there's going to be this formula of predictability. I think there are things that we will learn and figure out types of things that work in general, or what type of touchpoints work to really move that to opportunity. So that's one lens, but also the market is ever changing. And so to me, when you say predictability, it's almost like until when. Because doing the same thing over and over again, almost makes it seem as like the market doesn't change, or customers don't change or evolve. So to me it's a bit fraught, and I think it needs probably a little bit of a rework in terms of how we think about it.

[4:55] Brandi Starr:   

Yeah, I can say the most predictable thing in marketing is the fact that everything's going to change. And that's kind of the only thing we can predict. Because you are right. I mean, even just thinking about the pandemic, think about how much everything changed based on something that no one could have predicted would happen.

[05:19] Carol Grant:


[05:20] Brandi Starr:
So all the plans and the things that work, and any testing you did before 2019, it's irrelevant. Because nothing is the same as what it was and, and so I'm with you in that I do believe that you do get to a point where there is some level of expectation or predictability that you can say exists when you've seen the same consistent results. But on the repeatability side, I'd actually argue that -- and this is a buzzword that a previous guest has banished, but scale, repeatability really is about scale. Is it something we can do over and over in an effective way? So I still like scale and repeatability, but we will go ahead and put both of those words in the box.

[06:14] Carol Grant:

In the box, for further evaluation. 

[06:17] Brandi Starr:

At least for this conversation. 

[06:20] Carol Grant:

Yes, yes, yes. Sounds like a plan, I'm with that. Sounds like a plan Brandi. 

[6:25] Brandi Starr:   

Well, now that we've gotten that off our chest, tell me what brings you to Revenue Rehab today?

[6:31] Carol Grant:   

So in marketing we have scaled a team really fast. And one of the big challenges we had is how do we remain true to the mission of Syndio, who we are, and really make sure we are putting our best foot forward when it comes to really hiring diverse talent. Syndio is a SaaS company as you mentioned, that focuses on helping enterprises identify and measure inequities in the workplace, more specifically in pay and opportunity equity. But it does start with making sure you have that diverse talent coming in. And I do think as the labor market tightened, it became even trickier to really set out strategies. And I've always thought strategies like hold to them because you get desperate. Like when you are working with a lien team, and you know you got to get things done, kind of try not to let desperation take over and really making sure you're building up the pipeline in a way that you feel good that you have the best representation of the market, and what's available.

[7:50] Brandi Starr:  

And I can definitely say from experience that the worst hiring decisions are made when you make them out of desperation. And I mean, whooo the stories I could tell, but we won't go there.

[8:07] Carol Grant:   

That's for after the podcast.

[8:08] Brandi Starr:   

Yes. Those are for one of those cocktail conversations. But before we jump in, I believe in setting intentions. It gives us purpose, it gives us focus, and most importantly, it gives our audience an understanding of what they should expect from our conversation. So tell me, what are your intentions? What are your best hopes? What do you want people to take away from our discussion?

[8:34] Carol Grant:

I mean, I think when it comes to diverse talent and really kind of trying to build a world class marketing team diverse talent it's really making sure you have the right HR partner, you guys are working really closely together to really set forth the strategy. When I started, we were growing the marketing team. We were having conversations around usually our roles are Seattle, New York and DC based. I'm kind of like are we going to do full remote so that we can open up the wider labor pool and get that diverse talent? We were strategizing working together on are there organizations that we can partner with who would allow us to have more access to diverse talent? So I think it's really like -- and it depends on how big your company is. But usually in a start-up in a small company, HR is only so big. And so if you really want to be able to activate and hire more diverse talent, sometimes that means partnering a little bit more closely than what you'd be used to with HR. So I think that's one. Don't be afraid to really be in there with HR, be a true partner, and really align on what your strategy is. Even down to pipeline goals. We had, I think it was roughly a 35% -- because we just wanted to make sure we are getting diverse talent in and we had conversations and ended up upping that to 50%. And said hey, it may take some time and that's fine. But again, work with them to set the strategy and then hold true to it. And the labor market like I said, it's hard but it will be really worth it. So I think that's one takeaway. I think the other takeaway too is there's no peanut butter approach. I can tell you the four things we did. It probably is not going to apply to everybody. So it's kind of really thinking through for your unique business, the skills you need, the job functions you need, but it's the right strategy that going to make sense. And so just the other thing is there's no peanut butter approach, especially if you're doing it right. And then it should look a little different for everybody.

[11:01] Brandi Starr:   

So let's jump in and let's start with the four things that you did, because I do agree that there is no one size fits all. And we've been in a similar boat in that we are also a small company, we're a team of 26, I think now. Somewhere between 25 and 30 and very niche in what we do. And so we had to make significant efforts, because there was one role we had opened and we received 400+ applications. And these are the actual qualified ones, not the trash, the ones that you're like you didn't even have a shot.

[11:47] Carol Grant:   

It's like your job isn't even the same job. 

[11:53] Brandi Starr:

Right! Lots of stories there. So we had roughly 400 and something viable, that they at least were worth a solid review. And once we went through and this was back when we still did -- we've changed our hiring process, but when we still did a lot of true first calls, and we would do them in video. In that pool of people, there was a very small number, and I can't remember the exact number, but a very small number of candidates that were minorities. And it's one of those things where we want to genuinely make sure that we have good diversity, and not just on race, in this case that's the thing that is most obvious when someone joins a video call, but just thinking about everything, it was like, okay, how do we do that? How do we make sure that as an organization we are a diverse organization, when what we're seeing come through in this abundance is very much the majority. So I'm interested in hearing what are those things that you all did to help to recruit more diverse talent?

[13:14] Carol Grant:  

So there's a couple of things, a couple things I already talked about, I'll just reiterate. Setting just the higher bar in expectation on what we wanted to see coming in the pipeline before we had full on interview loops and vetting people. And so that was really being bold and bullish in a tight labor market and knowing that I've got to scale a team, because 2022 is coming and we got to drive demand. So I got to scale a team now. Being bullish and knowing that if we set this goal, we have to then make sure we're having the right strategies to meet that goal. To the second point, we ended up partnering with an organization that provides access to more diverse talent called Color Wave. Actually they got on our radar through one of our strategic advisors and I will say Syndio -- this is my first start-up. But as I look at Syndio compared to other startups, we really, really do a good job to make sure our strategic advisory network is diverse, so that we can kind of tap them to try and find diverse talent or help with strategies to find diverse talent. So Color Wave is an organization that came through our strategic advisory network that we that we ended up partnering with. The other thing that I already mentioned is we just made a decision, we're just going to have the roles be remote and just not dictate this major city of locations, like being located there. They're like listen, it's the age of COVID, work is shifting workers changing. Syndio was already doing remote work for like a year completely. And so if we really want to be able to walk our talk, because we are in this place of workplace equity, that is our business, we need to lower those barriers to help us do that. And so setting remote work across the board was one way that we were able to kind of get more access to more diverse talent. And a few other things like structuring the interviews to remain consistent across candidates. And so I'd be curious kind of the scenario that you were talking about, by the time it got to you the pool was embedded and the pool was smaller, I'd be curious, how they were being vetted. How consistent was that across all the candidates because we do find when you're kind of holding it consistent and making sure everybody has a similar experience, it just kind of really helps to kind of set the stage. But then also make sure we're not inadvertently injecting bias into that part of the process, and then ending up on the other end of where we're trying not to be. We also really assess based on competencies. And so the one thing I love about Syndio is we have a clear philosophy that, yes experience matters, but it's not everything. And so we really try and assess for skill and competency. I'm proof of that. I am a first time CMO. I've been in marketing for a long time, but as you know, marketing is multifaceted. And so my CEO said you have the skills. You may not have had the experience of scaling a marketing team and building it, but you have the skills and you have the capabilities. And so we really try and also assess on that level of really thinking about skills and capability. And a lot of how we unearth that is sometimes we have a lot of homework takeaways for interviewers. So it's giving everybody the same opportunity to show what they can bring to the role. And the questions remain consistent. So I think that's another thing that we really try and do to boost how we're getting in diverse talent.

[17:34] Brandi Starr:   

Hearing you talk about this is really a good affirmation for me that we're doing the right things. If I go back to, when I first started, our interview process, it was typical. It wasn't broken but it very much was sort through the resumes, have the first call where you talk through what the role is, you ask some of the basic qualifying questions and so on and so forth. And it was fine enough. And we went through a period of some really bad hires. And it was actually damaging to the brand. We are consultants, which means we are the experts in our field. And when you have multiple people making mistakes, our reputation is everything.

[18:31] Carol Grant:   

It reflects on the brand for sure. 

[18:34] Brandi Starr:  

So very much it was like okay, hold up. This is messing with the money now. We got to figure this thing out. And in re-figuring that out, kind of the catalyst for that was a business need but in re-figuring that out, we did take the approach of how do we also make sure that we are being fair and equitable in how we are handling this process, that everybody has a fair shot? And the first thing that we did was exactly what you said in going through and figuring out how do we make sure that we are not interjecting unconscious bias. And so we did remove number of years of experience. Only our most senior roles have any real reference to expectation of and we still don't use years but our most senior roles do have a little bit of that in there because it does actually matter. But other than that top tier of role, it really much is exactly what you're saying and what's the experience? Can you demonstrate that you've got the skill that we need? The other thing that we did was, I don't want to say automate because it's not automated, but taking the human component out of the early stages. So we have a landing page that has a bunch of videos. So everyone hears the exact same thing about pay, the way we work, the interview process, all these things and they go through the whole thing. And if they're still interested after reading and listening, and we're real transparent with the salary, then there's a survey. And that survey, actually, we've worked with a professional, the people that understand the studies to give us a baseline of does this person have the competency that we need for this specific role? And anybody that scores where they need to be, moves forward. Anybody that doesn't, doesn't. And so it completely takes out that, it's not subjective. It's not oh, the initial person liked them or didn't like them, or whatever. 

[20:54] Carol Grant:  

And there's no personal identifiers in it. Like you said, you remove the name so it's just literally your response.

[20:59] Brandi Starr:   

Yeah. So I mean, technically your name is in there. So the calculation can be associated back to who you are but the score is an automated calculation purely based on your answers. And so that has really, really helped. And I mean, I can say, in the past couple of years, when it comes to talent, we have nailed it. Sometimes I am in awe at just -- we have an amazing team in general. But if I look at those that were hired under this new process, it's just so spot on. As a company of 25 with a four person leadership team, our team is 50% women, 25% minority being me, you look at all of our other stats, we are above all of the averages and so it's clear that it works. And one of the things that I wanted to talk about is the fact that I really appreciate that you guys found a partner to support you. Because I do think that's a challenge especially in large organizations, that they're not thinking about is, I'll hear people say I've tapped my whole network, and I can't find any minority talent. And I'm like, well, what does your network look like? You went to Princeton, you live in Boston and I'm using stereotypical things here. 

[22:40] Carol Grant:   

[Inaudible 22:40] right Brandi. I live in Seattle now at 14 years. I mean, I've been in big tech. When I got here people were like can you tap your network, [inaudible 22:49] network? I'm like, they're [inaudible 22:50]. No, that's not going to be helpful.

[22:57] Brandi Starr:   

And so that is important is actually recognizing what your circle looks like, so that if it is not diverse, and again, race is kind of the obvious thing because you see it, but when you think about gender expression, socioeconomic background, education, background, 

religious diversity...

[23:17] Carol Grant:  

[Overlapping voices 23:17] they're so... yes, yep. 

[23:20] Brandi Starr:

All of those things bring diversity of thought into the organization. I'm going to look up Color Wave because I'm really intrigued, but help me understand what did they do with your organization? Were they the recruiting partner, where they almost in a consulting capacity? Help me understand more about that relationship.

[23:45] Carol Grant:   

I will do my best. [Inaudible 23:46] who handled like all of the logistics. Actually they have a really robust database that we can tap into. They post the role within their database and they also help funnel -- I think they sent her like daily, like here's a match of  who we think would be good for this role. So it was somewhat automated, but it was just the access, knowing that that was essentially a platform where we knew we can tap into for diverse talent. And so it was a bit automated and it worked probably like a just a regular job posting site, but we definitely did have a point of contact who would work with us on making sure they were able to help curate, and help us identify people who would be a match, and I'm sure there's others. And also to when I was looking I did see also a couple of different member based organizations that focus on black marketing executive professionals as well. Some of the names I’m blanking on. But I think overall the takeaway is there are these organizations out there, that almost makes scaling the strategy easier. Because for the first month to two months when we were trying to make sure we had access to diverse talent, it was just that. It was like I'm on a WhatsApp with this small network of BIPOC executives I know. Can you tap your network? And it was very kind of grassroots, which doesn't scale. And so I think tapping into these organizations and finding them, and being able to build those relationships is quite critical.

[25:43] Brandi Starr:  

Okay. And two things that you said that I want to jump into, shifting gears just a little bit, is one of the things that I have seen is a lot of, especially large organizations, making an effort to recruit minority marketers at the entry level roles. Kind of get them early, teach them, give them opportunity. And while I'm a firm believer that that is a great strategy, I think that it still leaves a huge gap in being able to drive diversity in the organization, when all of the diversity only exists at the bottom of the pyramid. And what have you seen, either in the work that Syndio is doing or any thoughts that you have around, how do we get that diversity to -- because if we look at percentages, it's like, okay, we now have this percentage of minorities, but it's like they are all in your entry level roles. And you look at the board slide or the executive page on the website, and it's like, they're all...

[26:58] Carol Grant:

It's not really, trickling up. I can answer that question. Just this overall mission is one of the reasons that I joined Syndio. And they started on the path of we need to make apply technologies is this idea of pay equity, equal pay for equal work. They've been doing that for a while but over a year ago, really realize, okay wait a minute though, there is not only just an opportunity or inequity when we think about pay, but also pay is impacted by the type of roles you have access to. And then you weave that thread and connect, it's like, okay, and that means higher paying jobs. And that's to your point, just what you're getting at, that's where you're starting to see that disconnect between black people, people of color, where it's more entry level versus some of these other senior level roles. And one of the products that we're actually coming out with later in the year called opportunity equity, helps companies unearth where those opportunities are. We do representation analysis to start with, and then we will weave into promotion analysis, really helping companies understand, here's what you look like. And so I would say that's kind of the first thing, it's understanding, what do you really look like across all of these levels when we think about underrepresented groups, protected classes, but then also understanding what is actually the available market for those senior level roles. And it's understanding like, hey, if externally, I'm just going to make this up -- if you're looking for a senior director of demand gen marketing, and the location that you are recruiting in, you see that there is external, availability, that oh 50% of this role externally is made up of people of color. And then if you look internally at your feeder roles, meaning the roles that would be most likely to then accelerate and get promoted into that. If you're seeing that it's mainly, oh, we only have like 20% black people or people of color within those roles, your strategy then should probably be to externally hire. So it's understanding what do you look like at these different levels but the biggest thing is what is the available talent? How diverse is the available talent both internally and externally? Because their companies can get focused on what is the strategy? If you really want to push for diversity at all levels, especially in those senior level roles, manager roles, those roles that naturally get elevated you got to understand first what you look like but then you got to understand what is the availability talent pool internally and externally. That's something that our software helps do.

[30:11] Brandi Starr:

It's almost like your TAM, your total addressable market but for people. 

[30:16] Carol Grant:

Exactly. Yes. I love that. I love that analogy. Exactly, exactly. Because I think where companies end up getting themselves or doing themselves a disservice is they set these lofty goals, they're getting pressures from all sides. They know they could be doing better just based off of what they anecdotally look like, but they don't have the concrete data to really put numbers behind it. And then they end up setting goals that aren't realistic. If you're over here, setting goals, like oh we're going to have 70% black woman in leadership level roles in two years or five years, but then when you look at the available talent, there's only 30% black women that even do this function. It's like, the goal doesn't make sense. It's not realistic. And so it really is about getting the data, understanding what you look like based on the data, and then what is that available talent pool both externally and internally. So you can set your strategy accordingly.

[31:19] Brandi Starr:  

And I think the other kind of thing that I'm thinking about with the data is, you know, I'm definitely data driven. So anytime you give me data for something I feel like I can make a better decision. But what I'm thinking about is, that actually helps you even know how you're doing and where the gaps are. Because I can think about -- I guess we're only a year out now in the height of when George Floyd was killed, and the protests and things that happened after that, I was a part of a number of discussions where there were predominantly white heads of marketing, who genuinely wanted to know what can we do? In our roles, not just in society, but in the world that I can impact directly, what can I do? And understanding that I do inherently believe that the majority of people in the world are good people, and desire to do the right things and help to solve these problems. And in a lot of cases, it is really the what do I do? What can I directly impact? And I think even just seeing that gives you a clear, like you said, a way to create a strategy, a clear step of if I'd like more minority directors, and I see all the feeder roles, there's not a single minority, that's my place to focus. Those may be the roles where most companies have a promote from within strategy, but that might be the role where I say for the next year, I'm not going to promote, we're going external every single time. And it's hard to fight those battles because especially if you have a promote from within culture, and you want to go to your HR team, your recruiting team and say, hey, I want to bypass our normal policy and not even open this up internally, without some data or some reason they're going to laugh you out of that conversation.

[33:24] Carol Grant:

Exactly, exactly. The data is key.

[33:27] Brandi Starr:

Yeah. Being able to say look, here's what the industry, here's what's available, here's what everyone else is doing, here's where we are and this is what I'm trying to solve. So for everything else we're going to do what we normally do, for this scenario we're going to make an effort. And just thinking about if every CMO or every executive, I mean, hell, it doesn't have to just be limited to fixing things in marketing, if every executive had access to that data, to find that one place that they could influence to be able to get more talent in the right places, think about how much more diverse our organizations, especially in marketing would be. 

[34:12] Carol Grant:

Yeah, yes. It's game changing in a way. And it may be obvious, because it's not like companies haven't been trying to solve this problem for some time. And setting all types of goals, but it's like when you have the data and the insights, those gaps in areas of opportunity become prevalent really quickly. And again, it's about setting goals that are realistic and attainable. You can't you can't do that if you don't know what is really the availability both on the outside and internally.

[34:55] Brandi Starr:

I think the attainability is the key thing you hit on there. Because if I'm in a Fortune 500 company, and I know we don't have much diversity especially in senior roles, and I say, I want to influence that, if we've got 50,000 employees worldwide, it's kind of like, okay, what do I do about that? It feels...

[35:19] Carol Grant:

It's daunting. 

[35:20] Brandi Starr:

Right. [Overlapping voices 35:22] I got a whole actual job besides trying to -- And so it becomes too much. But if you want to say here's your big gap -- In your department, here is where you need to try to find diversity, that feels like something I can do without trying to solve world peace and do all of these things.

[35:46] Carol Grant:  

And that's how we coach our customers. Going on this journey can feel daunting, both from a pay equity perspective, and being able to make sure as you promote people or people want to move internally that that is also equitable. And a lot of times with customers, start with one function. Don't boil the ocean. Start with one department. Start with one leader, one department and really kind of get those quick wins, and then start to expand it because then you can build the muscle and then you can also see it. It really isn't unattainable. Yes, it's hard work but it's doable, it's achievable. And sometimes if you start small, it just makes it makes it even more so. So it's how we coach our customers.

[36:38] Brandi Starr:

So talking about our challenges is just the first step and nothing changes, if nothing changes. So we got to talk about what we do from here. And in traditional therapy, the therapist gives the client homework, but at Revenue Rehab, I like to flip that on its head and have you to give us homework. So Carol, if you could summarize for me your key takeaways, and then give our listeners that one thing. What is the one thing that you would like our listeners to do? The action item that we can all take, ideally, within the next 30 days, I try to go with things we could actually do after listening to this podcast, to help to move the needle in workplace equity and recruiting diverse talent.

[37:28] Carol Grant:

So I would say the one thing when we think about recruiting for diverse talent, and really making sure your marketing organization or whoever else is listening, your organization is representative, like truly representative of the market. You got to build that relationship with your recruiter and I would more tangibly, literally sit down, 30 minute conversation, what are the strategies that you guys are using to recruit more diverse talent? And I would say if some of the things that we talked about are missing, then I would follow up with that all is great. Here are a couple other things that that I'm hearing in market that others are doing. Making sure you're setting really bold pipeline goals. Partnering with organizations. I think the partnering with organizations is such low hanging fruit. I think it's really kind of finding the right organizations who are helping get access to diverse talent, I think that's low hanging fruit. Because if you find one or two of the right ones, I think sky's the limit and it'll really help, it'll really help scale. And I think really thinking about it, I know everybody's kind of in a different place on the remote work spectrum, but really think through. Does this role need to be location based? Can it be remote? Is there an offering here where if I really want this person to be on site at certain points in time, can you make it remote and maybe have some guardrail set up to where it's like, hey, we really should be on site once a month, or once a quarter, or whatever it is. But just thinking through, can you really open up the pool to broader than where you are, to really have access to more diverse talent? And then I think it's also thinking through, again, with your recruiter, when they go to screen, what are those screening questions and how consistent are they? And then another thing that I think has really worked with us to kind of make sure that even though we have a diverse pipeline, that we're really assessing for skills and capability matches experience, especially depending on the role. I would encourage have some kind of take home, homework or assignment. And it sounds small but to me, that's a way to level the playing field across the candidates.

[40:03] Brandi Starr:

Yeah, because some people just don't interview well.

[40:05] Carol Grant:

Some people don't interview well, some people write better, some people get their thoughts out more thoroughly in written form. So I feel like that's a really good way to level the playing field, and be able to see with a really solid scenario based question. How does this person think? How do they unpack this problem? So I would encourage you all to do that.

[40:28] Brandi Starr:

And I can say, that's honestly been the biggest game changer for us is we have a scenario test that is the take-home homework. And you know, we only really expect candidates to invest 60 to 90 minutes. I know some companies get a little carried away. And it's not [inaudible 40:47] that we're getting free work, because that's kind of the other issue. But it really does allow me to see how people think and I can think of two different people within our company who, if it had just been based on resumes and typical interview questions, they would not have been the one. But when I was able to see their scenario and see how they thought through things, it took them from I'll pass to get them on the phone now. It really does...

[41:22] Carol Grant:   

It makes a difference. We had the same challenge with one of our roles, a senior manager level role late last year. Interviewed with a woman and interviewed with a man. The man was great really had a lot of experience had the skill, the way he talked, he really understood the mechanics of the role. Talked to the woman, she seemed fine, but she was a little bit tentative in her approach but still very interesting from a skill perspective. When they went to do the homework and submitted it, I mean, it was night and day. The gentleman we spoke with, I was like you didn't even try. It was like no competition. She pulled out all the stops and we hired her. She's one of our best performers. So it really does level the playing field to your point.

[42:22] Brandi Starr:

So in summary, our one thing is to start by having a conversation with your HR, your recruiter, your internal person. So have a coffee, a lunch, a cocktail, a taco, I am always great when the one thing yields some food, because they hungry. So we're going to take your HR person outs, if nothing else for coffee, virtual coffee, if you guys are remote, and talk about what is the strategy for recruiting diverse talent. That's your starting point. And especially if you yourself are a minority in any group, you will likely have ideas and things that you can interject into that strategy. And starting there, I agree with you completely Carol, is a great place to start in moving the needle in the right direction to getting genuine diversity within your organization. Awesome. Well Carol, I have enjoyed our discussion but that's our time for today. 

[43:31] Carol Grant:

This was so much fun. Thank you.

[43:32] Brandi Starr:  

Yes, thank you. And thank you for joining me. I'm going to make sure that there is a link to Syndio in the show notes, because even though the intent wasn't a shameless plug, hearing what you guys do is really amazing and I can see how impactful just the data alone can be in making a difference in driving diversity. So we will make sure to share that link with our audience. Thank you, everyone for joining us today. I hope that you have enjoyed my conversation with Carol. Carol, I can't believe we're already at the end. See you next time.

[44:10] Carol Grant:

Thank you so much. Thanks, everyone. Thanks.

[44:14] Outro:

You've been listening to Revenue Rehab with your host Brandi Starr. Your session is now over but the learning has just begun. Join our mailing list and catch up on all our shows at We're also on Twitter and Instagram at Revenue Rehab. This concludes this week's session. We'll see you next week.

Carol GrantProfile Photo

Carol Grant

VP of Marketing

A marketing strategist with over 20 years’ experience across multiple areas- product marketing, digital, retail, enterprise, and SaaS. Carol is currently heading up marketing at Syndio, a SaaS company focused on helping large enterprises achieve workplace equity. She is a mother of 2 boys, a wife of an amazing supportive partner, and is a closet real estate junkie.