Diversity Hiring 101 with USA Today Network [Webinar]

Diversity Hiring 101 with USA Today Network

Diversity hiring is not just a buzz word in 2018. Instead, it's a way for your brand to resonate more fully with job candidates.

With over 100+ communities nationwide, learn how USA Today Network rolled out a comprehensive diversity hiring program that supports the company’s mission to celebrate the importance of diversity and inclusion.

In this webinar, you'll learn about:

  • Diversity hiring and why it should matter to your organization
  • How to build and scale a diversity hiring program
  • 4 examples of diversity hiring programs that USA Today Network currently uses


Angela: Hi everyone and welcome to our webinar Diversity is a Part of our DNA diversity hiring 101 with USA Today Network. My name is Angela Lee and I'm on the marketing team here at Jobvite. As a background Jobvite enables leading companies to recruit source and on board all within a single platform with over 10 years of experience focused solely on recruitment in a recruiting strategy that emphasizes putting candidates at the center of recruiting.

Jobvite has helped companies so over 1 million jobs to date. Now onto the webinar first you'll notice that all lines have been muted to avoid background noise however we would still love to have your questions. So if you want to use the chat box at the bottom of the ready top panel we'll be monitoring it throughout the presentation and saving your questions until the end. Additionally all attendees will receive some credit by attending this webinar. We will be sending out the code for this at the end of the session as well. Now I'd like to introduce our speakers Linda Ertz director of Talent Acquisition and Marnie Davis project Manager Diversity and Employer Branding at USA Today network.

Linda: Hi thank you so much Angela I'll start. Hi I'm Linda Ertz I'm the director of talent acquisition for Gannett also known as USA Today Network so I've been at the company for four years and I will tell you the company I joined is so very different than the company we are today so when I first joined Gannett was a holding company and that had what we would call our local markets we have the USA Today newspaper we had broadcast we had digital sites and in June 2015 that's the inception of our new company we split and so we took all the local papers and the USA Today and we integrated them into one company. The structures completely digital now and we are so very thrilled we were able to integrate this great company.

So what does that really mean it meant that we had to build the TA function we had to decide what we would be from a diversity perspective we had all of our businesses needed to integrate and so what we have today is we have and I lead a team of thirty virtual recruiters we have a campus recruiter and we have a project manager for diversity and employer branding why I'd like to introduce Marnice Davis. Marnice please introduce yourself.

Marnice: Thank you so much Linda for that introduction. So for me I have a bit of a different story I've joined the company just about six months ago and when I first joined under Linda's team one of the slogans I heard was own the network something we use internally I wasn't quite sure what that meant but in just a short amount of time I was able to see that our culture really reflects ownership within your role in six months we've been able to revamp our career site track our metrics and enhance diversity initiatives. So we are super excited to really share our best practices with you today.

Linda: You had a quick introduction from us. But who are we? Well first of all it's really proud to say we're it ranked in the top 5 of news and information that's really impressive and we're really proud of that. At the split it gave us this unique opportunity to become a new company now Gannett has been around since 1906 which when you think about it we have transitioned to a completely different company and I would like to note that we're more of a start-up and more so now than ever and we really are looking to disrupt the industry we're digitally focused in this time since 2015 we acquired reach Local and Sweet IQ they're both pure played digital companies and local marketing companies and the acquisitions of those two companies really put us on our current trajectory ranking in the top five we reach more than 120 million unique visitors every month.

When we hit that we celebrated.We are the largest local national network we have properties like the Indy Star Detroit Free Press we love the fact that a story that may hit the Indy Star can make national headlines and really impact us on a national level and we're able to take some of our national level and then make it streamlined to have a local flair and impact.

I think many of you have heard that the Indy star broke the the news with the gymnastics doctor that was our company. That's what we can do from both a local to national and national to local network it's are over 2500 journalists and the power of those voices where we really have become the USA Today Network. We're really proud of that and we're really proud of our diversity strategies as well and when I look at this when we start up the basics we really look at what our mission is and when we do this we realize diversity is embedded in how we run our company.

Think about it we're over a hundred different properties in the u.s. Guam yes Guam Canada and the UK. And we need to make sure that our local networks reflect our company when and how do we do this we want to make sure that our diversity our employees our employees represent our customers and the people that we support. We want to make sure that our diversity strategy is something that's more than just an HR check-the-box we want to make sure it's part of our culture and how did we start this it evolves over time so I'm not going to pretend that we came up with this great strategy in 2015 and that we're doing these great things all overnight we took a lot of what we needed locally so we kind of did our own assessment internally and what we needed we started out some college programs that were local we looked at some of our historically black college and universities that are local we headquarters in McLean Virginia and we started with Howard Morgan State Bowie State we partnered them with our product technology team and of course our newsroom I just talked about 2500 people that report on our news and we were able to take that and we've begun to elevate that.

We're going to talk through a lot of a different strategies that we are going to present today things that you might want to take notes on that you might want to emulate or really take it to yourself and see what you need to do locally to make sure that you're resonating and having the Marnice authentic voice of your company and your customers just like what we did. So Marnice talked a little bit about how we came about with this strategy.

Marnice: Yeah so we are really fueled by our people and throughout our slides you're going to really see us highlight our people our team. We understand that diversity is fueled by the people that make up our organization and by the customers that we serve.

When we say we empower you we truly mean that as a large but entrepreneurial company we make sure that from interns to seasoned professionals that their voices are heard and that they are valued. We also value an authentic voice so this is really the thing we work and we look at the differentiation factor our value proposition of what makes us attractive as an employer we always seek to be honest and authentic to who we really are in this space.

Linda: Yes and again you just have to get started if you you know asking me my opinion on how to handle diversity to do company just take a look at what you where you are now. And so what we did is we built a strategy based on metric timelines and ROI. We in HR understand the power of diversity but we need to make sure that our leaders did as well and so the best way to get leadership buy-in it show the bottom line and what what can we get from doing this and having those numbers you're going to be able to speak the same language as your leaders and that's really what we did. And and how do we also show this we realign so again I told you we split in 2015 and we came up with what we thought was a great strategy for talent acquisition and diversity we revamp that several times and we're very iterative when it comes to both our functional alignment so we want to make sure that our recruiters can build the capability and business acumen to be able to support each of our disciplines and our sales channels.

And that's something that we've changed over the last three years and one of the things because we really need to listen to our employees we need to listen to our hiring managers and we need to make sure that our candidates are at the forefront because let's face it if we can have great sorcerer's if we're not attracting the talent so we want to show the diversity lens on what we do to attract talent we'll talk through some of the career site work that we've done we're giving you kind of a sneak peek because we are building a diversity landing page and it's how we really embody diversity as part of our DNA.

And then also now we have to keep this in mind we need to make sure that we keep the candidate at the center of the hiring process. So what we've done this year we've created recruiting surveys for the hiring managers to tell us how we can how we're doing and how we're improving our candidate experience we're looking at our Glassdoor reviews this year now that we're finally a company that we feel we've integrated and then looking and targeting local markets to make sure how we are represented locally embody how we want to be represented as the whole. And lastly we we do want to make a little plug because we think that Jobvite Engage a really good partner part of what we're doing and the success that we're finding utilizing Jobvite is making sure that it's part of our strategy it's part of our recruiting strategy it's again part of the metrics that timeline and the ROI that we'll talk through a little bit. Because we're just launching this week. Our Gro Pro which is what we call our Grow Professional Series. And actually Marnice is the one that's going to be spearheading for this so I'm going to let her tell you a little bit of how we're using Jobvite Engage in our Strategy.

Marnice: Yes so as Linda mentioned really having a metrics and having an ROI and a tangible metric on everything we do is crucial to be honest before Jobvite Engage there was no way to put metrics to events or career fairs or any engagements that our recruiters in our town acquisition teams went out to externally. We can do that now. We have been able to really break out our training series into a beginning intermediate and advanced stages really walk our talent acquisition team through the tool so we're super excited about Jobvite Engage and being able to use this as a recruiting initiative to really glean metrics from every event that we attend.

Linda: And in doing that we can talk a little bit now about our webinars or events that we can do because we're tracking candidates in our talent network. Marnice talk a little bit about the targeted campaigns that we're doing.

Marnice: Yes so hosting webinars and events back to what we just mentioned stay Engage with warm candidates and students for affairs is something that we're we're looking into we're doing for 2018 along with keeping up with our diversity colleges and partnerships there.

Linda: And so what we're also trying to do is mirroring our communities that we serve. As I said we're in over a hundred different local communities and then how do we hold accountability so the things that we want to build in our recruiting strategy and particularly our diversity recruiting strategy is accountability. We see ourselves as recruiters as consultants and so what we do with our hiring managers our hiring teams is we actually consult with them on their slates or their interviews their interview panels who they have in their interviews but also the accountability from my team a slate management making sure that the ethnicity and the gender of our people that we are interviewing reflect the communities that we serve and so on a monthly basis I'm having conversations and my managers on the team that report up to me are having conversations on what our diversity slates are looking like because again we need to make sure we're doing our due diligence.

So many times we'll have a hiring manager especially in the newsroom say I already have someone I know a great person in my network it's the job of our recruiters to kind of be that consultant to say great let me also tell you who else is in our market let's look at the talent let's do a comparative assessment between candidates so that you can make the best decision to hire the very best person for the role.

Now it might be the person that comes in and your network but it might be someone that has either expressed interest through our talent networks because remember we're going to a variety of association then we're using Jobvite Engage to be able to track those candidates we're keeping them warm we're doing webinars we're doing events there may be someone already in our pipeline and so it's just a way of making sure that we're holding accountability to both ourselves and to our hiring managers which is something that's key for us this year. And then on the social side just to give everyone really a sneak peek into how we did this before I arrived it was a great decision to kind of pull away from the company at large and create a USA Today Network careers social platforms so for Twitter for LinkedIn for Facebook for Instagram we have the USA Today Network careers platform and that was extremely crucial because we thought a significant increase in having a careers channel on social. Linda did you want to add to that?

Linda: I know I'd like to say in this situation we're talking a little bit of the 101 start small like we didn't start on Instagram just saying we started out and Linkedin then we went to Facebook then we went to Instagram now we're on snapchat. Yes you can find us on all of those platforms and then Twitter has become a very big especially with Jobvite Engage we're able to view a lot of different campaigns. But if you need to start small start with what you're already comfortable and then build on that again be iterative when you come to your diversity strategy.

Marnice: And you know Linda I think also being comfortable starting small for us breaking away from such a large platform like USA Today was a big deal to many because that has a large following over a million followers on some of those platforms.

But again they're following for news and information purposes we want a following for individuals that really are seeking a beneficial career at USA Today Network so that has been a plus for us and lastly our collateral our swag we made sure that we found the latest and greatest giveaway options.

We also enhanced all of our recruitment materials so from a branding side from the USA Today Network careers page to our recruitment marketing materials that you would see if you were able to engage with the Senate a career exhibit we want to scream unity unification across everything that we do with the network.

Linda: And this is something again you have to be iterative on we don't have an unlimited budget for our collateral so we're very targeted we want to make sure we're reaching out to the right audiences at our associations and especially in our early in career. So that's something that again you might when you're look at your own collateral when was the last time you looked at it is my question to you in this conversation.

So yes we want to make sure every six months or so we look at it we we buy them both but we try to buy in small batches as possible so that we really can make sure that we're authentically looking at what our people want to walk away from the table. So you know some of the things are popsockets we had some cool fun stuff I'm hoping that some of you might be able to reach out to us when we are at career events come see us and maybe join our Talent Network and see our sign in for Jobvite Engage.

So kind of looking at our diversity and interestingly enough so I've been asked how do you integrate diversity and branding well she's sitting right in here next to me one of the things that we find as being an accountability is being able to make sure that when we do our employer branding that it has a diverse lens to It.

So when we do our career site we sit and make sure that and Marnice was a big player in making that happen and she will be driving the diversity landing page that we were doing later this year that all our employer branding is done with the diverse funds.

And in doing this a lot of what we do we find that we needed a central person or team to be able to say and build content and so we've partnered with a marketing firm to help with some of our collateral because we wanted to make sure we were really building out our career page. But one of the things that I would stress is once you have centralized content make sure it reflects the local either vision or language.

What we use is we use our people like our ambassadors we might create centralized content but it's told through our people. Why do we do this because we want to stay local and we want to stay authentic and so that's what we've done in order to make sure that that happens with over a hundred properties again we really need to make sure that our stories resonate with each of our locations and as a community. And one of the things we found very easily early on is that when we're looking at diversity it really is part of our DNA it's part of who we are as a company and so it's making sure that we are telling that story authentically throughout our network that really hits where we found success and we found so many hits and increased our social presence.

So interestingly enough if we can kind of go through a little bit of how we attracted talent and how we centralize programs Marnice talked a little bit about the work that we've done on our career site

Marnice: Yeah Linda I think the next few slides we're really excited to share really our diversity hiring 101 I think you know and great to kind of share us as a media company but really we our goal is to give you key takeaways to leave this webinar and be able to take back to your organization's. So in this space of the career site and the relaunch of the career site we look ourselves as really producers and journalists for the media or we look at ourselves as producers for the media company that we serve. We work with a recruitment marketing firm to conduct interviews write articles and film videos really to document our journey.

We've come I can say from a basic careers page now one that tells a story of our culture we still have work to do as Linda mentioned with our diversity landing page and some other things that we're looking to do on this site but we've really found this to be an extremely helpful way and drive the right candidates to our application.

Linda: And we use a lot of authentic pictures like I love this picture because this is just one of our Town Hall it's just a picture of our Town Hall and we're showing our metrics because we do in our sales teams that's how they sell. They sell through analytics and insights and so this is just something that shows kind of who we are giving them a snapshot we're not just verbally but through pictures as well and so that's something you might want to look at when you're looking at building your career site.

But we also have programs I think you need to have centralized programs and you need an accountability from project managers like Marnice and we'll talk a little bit later about who leads our diversity and inclusion initiatives but we want to make sure we have programs so we'll start them again start local start on what you need locally and then it can build to talk a little bit about some of the programs specifically the employee resource groups that we've found success with.

Marnice: Yes so we again look at our people as our brand ambassadors we utilize our programs like our employee resource programs we share our hard to fill roles with our diversity representations in our ERG first because we trust our teams know what's best for our company and we want to give them the to refer their network to us.

Linda: And I will say where our recruiters are all part of our ERG so we will utilize them as networks it gives us an even better broader look at candidate pools and I will say as I said before metrics metrics metrics we do have a metric that's assigned to our discussions with our ERG because we want to make sure it's a true partnership so thank you Marnice.

Let's talk a little bit about like if someone were to ask you how do you start my first advice is always this an annual diversity assessment. Marnice talk a little bit about what we do as a company with this.

Marnice: Yes so we realize that diversity needs leadership buy-in period. But it also requires us to hold our leaders accountable this year a survey went out to all divisional leaders from this survey we were able to really glean how each division valued diversity and programs in place to weed their DNI initiative so we wanted to really see what that looked like this was a great way for us Linda to really take inventory company-wide and share teams best practices across the network.

Linda: Yeah that's a good point Marnice because you know there are pockets of the company that we're doing phenomenal things and and so there's a little bit of play a little bit of incentive the ones that submitted the best got a little bit of a prize and then got a little bit of bragging rights it's kind of in a fun event I think when you can add in kind of that fun factor and that collaboration factor that will help but you'll always have a best practice someone is going to be doing something great in your company.

Start small start there start with that is that something that you can spread enterprise wide or a piece of it that you could spread enterprise wide. And so kind of doing our ERG’s came through that there's some picnics that happen I mean there's just some fun things that they've been doing to kind of keep people Engage on that. So very good and let's go on to some of our partnerships so again we wanted to make sure that we have the right associations that we're working with that we're working with the right college and universities and we wanted to share with you some of our best practices you can take away some of this and potentially build locally first but then be able to expand it in your own practices for diversity strategies.

Marnice: Yes so in this case we combined diversity with early in careers. Our campus recruiter works with colleges and historical black colleges and universities to find the best talent in key areas content the newsroom finance and marketing for our company. We then make sure that we report on hires and internships monthly for from these partnerships so we really hold ourselves accountable every month to some of the key stakeholders to show how are we doing with hiring or even hiring for internships within these programs. And this is another great way to get top talent and also help cultivate them through their career development while they grow with our network.

Linda: You know we found and I think a lot of people on this call will agree that some of our best early in careers our best vein of talent is in early career bright amazing students from the different programs and we find that if we can cultivate that if we can keep those candidates warm because sometimes we don't have the right role now right out after school but if you can keep them warm they may be Engage and in your network that so that you can go to that hiring manager and say hey I've had you know some success and I've been talking to Marnice as an example so to come over to our so that's a local kind of first start. But then what do you do once you have kind of that local ability to have partnerships with the associations and you have partnerships with school how do you take it to the next level and what we did when we hired our campus recruiter Ashton Ragsdale was we implemented the executive advisory boards and so what that is it's a way we can integrate our business knowledge with the schools we started locally but we've expanded across the country we've been targeting HBCUs because we find also that those programs are ones that will just take all kind of drink in the knowledge.

So what does that really mean our executive advisory boards are members of our business leadership team that will go to schools and what do they do there they help with mentoring they help professors with content review and curriculum creation and what I think is really impactful is that they evaluate cornerstone projects.

I've been part of that and it's a lot of fun to be able to see the presentations of the students and then getting real-time feedback on whether this would work in our newsrooms as an example. I think it's something that's very profound and I think it stays with the students.

So again it's what do you do to take it to the next level you engage you don't just engage you set a metric on it how many students are we going to mentor how many people are we going to be in the classroom on how many classrooms are we going to be doing our cornerstone projects.

Again start small and then you can expand on that and again there's a lot of schools that will charge you for this but then there's a whole lot of schools that want that because they want to prepare their students for your roles moving forward and so we just found that it was a really great partnership.

Marnice: And then moving on I think key takeaways Linda is really where we want everyone to focus how they can start anywhere.

Linda: You know as I said start locally. But one of the things that I'm hoping that we can take away from this conversation is do an assessment see what your baseline is see what people in your company are already doing and then get the buy-in how do I get the buy-in I get the buy-in by going and doing it through metric timelines and ROI’s because that's really where and what my leaders want to see and then what do you do. You have to hold yourselves accountable and you have to hold your leadership accountable.

So you need to be able to reach your employees and the communities that they serve you need to make sure and I think we do this really well within our talent acquisition is to make sure that we're setting the stage so that our interviews and our interview slates are mirroring our communities that we serve and if you can start there and you look at your own communities do I see the right talent are we finding the right talent that will help build your diversity program and one of the things that we found extremely helpful because again we can do this as an HR function but we're doing it by ourselves we're not it's almost a check the box what we really need to do is make sure that we have our leadership engagement and so what we do it at Gannett and USA Today Network is we meet monthly with our chief people officer Dave Harmon and we are giving our metrics our timeline and our ROI and where we are on that timeline and what are our results.

I actually share percentages of our interview slate so he can see that we are bringing in the best talent we are doing quality of hire surveys and we're finding that people are very enthusiastic on their new hires and then in 90 days we're looking at that as well and we're finding some success so it is something that's fairly new to us but it's something where we're holding ourselves accountable for and again the idea is if we have continual report on our progress I will tell you from a talent acquisition leadership perspective it makes my conversations with my staff on our weekly connect and then our monthly check-ins so much easier because I can say look this is what our hiring managers are saying this is what our employers are saying through our surveys this is what we're seeing on our interview slate percentages I mean we look at that and then we look at the ones and we look at our leadership we look at our pipeline we look at our talent network to see who's in our pipeline it just makes the conversation to manage your team easier if you have set goals you have ways of measuring and then you have the delivery and the ability to have that conversation so one-on-ones and monthly check-in with our chief people officer are critical to our success to hold ourselves accountable and then we're also very proud of the work we do and I will tell you that the chief people officer shares that report with our CEO on a monthly basis so we know that we're doing the right thing and we get direct feedback.

So I think that in itself are great takeaways from this and another thing that we want to make sure you have the right people as I said I have Marnice who looks at diversity and our employer branding from a recruiting perspective but we also have a DNI lead Latoya Johnson who helps us and partners with us again it's through these ERG’s it's through these events it's through these assessments and through these monthly reporting where we're seeing the needle move and we're finding great success. So hopefully on from this call you're able to glean something from this to take away to your own diversity strategies to be able to attain and take it to the next level because again taking something small and starting there and then spreading it across the enterprise you'll be very surprised on how effective that can be with your numbers. I'll put the questions Angela your thoughts.

Angela: Hi there yes I see a lot of questions coming through from the audience appreciate everyone's questions and let's get started. So the first question that I see coming through right now is around motivation the question is what motivated you to focus on diversity hiring at USA Today.

Linda: Well I think we kind of talked a little bit about this but thank you for the question. In the USA Today Network we're a network of over a hundred different local properties and so one of the things that motivates us is being able to embrace those local properties and making sure that our workforce reflects the community's that we serve and this is especially true in our newsrooms where we really do want to make sure we have that kind of authentic voice and and there's a very good storytelling that can be told on the local level and making sure that our culturally diverse and that we can represent all walks of life.

But diversity hiring I just have to say is just part of it what we really have found that if we try to do that in the vacuum it's not going to work because it's being inclusion has to be equally as important to make sure that we're able to embrace our differences we're able to raise that power for who we are and what our differences are.

We want to be able to enrich our workforce and leverage our talent oh my goodness I think that's one of our top priorities is to be able to leverage that and then there's talent acquisition we need to make sure we're bringing in the right talent and making sure that we're once they come here we're retaining the top talent I think it makes our job so much harder if we're not hiring in a diverse way because we're not marrying our communities because then people aren't as empowered to stay.

I mean I think as talent acquisition professionals we all know that if we don't have the right culture we're going to have a lack of engagement low performance is your business partners out there or shaking their heads and for talent acquisition the workforce turnover makes our job so much harder and so if we can make sure we have the right talent and we're building the right culture in tandem looking at both equally that's really what motivates us to kind of look at our diversity both hiring and our inclusion together. So we want to make sure that everyone in our company has the opportunity and the means to be successful and we starts with the hire but then also ends with the retention as well so thank you nice questions.

Angela: Great thank You Linda yes we have another question here this is around diversity hiring being a trend so the question is how do you ensure that diversity hiring isn't just a trend but something that companies will focus on in the long run.

Linda: You know I think it's a little bit going back to the responsibilities and in making it a goal and measurable. I think it becomes a trend when it's a flash in the pen or if it's to check the box. I think that's something that you need to kind of look at and it kind of goes back to the retention piece on that it's got to be not just your hiring but your retention you know having a culture where everyone feels valued and welcomed included and maybe even comfortable in their own skin is what really is going to add the difference in the value. It's interesting when you look at it it's benefits you both as a company to be able to do this and as an employee and so it's going to enable us to increase our talent and contributions by having a variety of skills and experiences so I think that's something you need to drive home when you're having conversations with leaders. You know it's where employees can really learn from each other through share ideas and I'm a big one for us and our company is collaboration because we're finding that especially in our newsrooms we really need to be able to be creative and innovative and to make sure that we're representing our communities well.

But then also on the flip side making sure we're maintaining a comfortable and happy environment where inclusivity is a priority I think that's where you buck the trend is by having it a priority and that allows employees to feel very comfortable and their ability to achieve their best because everyone wants to go to work feeling like they can contribute the best that they can that they don't have that barrier and so increase its by doing this by making it more than just a trend you embed it into the culture you make sure that it impacts and you look at the numbers from a retention aspect to see that where it is falling on and with morale productivity and retention.

So I think there's a lot to do with going back to the idea that you have metrics and going to your leadership with your ideas. So if you go to your leadership team with strong metrics to say we're losing Hispanics in you know Arizona faster than we are other ethnic groups and that's something that maybe we can look at because clearly there may be something that's showing that they're not feeling include. So as in just an example Angela.

Angela: Great, thank You Linda. The next question we have here is what is the biggest misconception about diversity hiring.

Linda: That's a really great question I'll say that there's probably a few components to that. I think one of the common misperceptions about diversity hiring you know if we're going to be real is that people in the majority group may sometimes feel a little bit resentful if they sense a reverse discrimination or feeling that they need to apologize for that privilege.

I think one of the ways to combat that is to make sure what what we do at USA Today Network is making sure that we have ERG s that expand and it's not something where we may have started the first few but we're at the stage now where anyone can create an ERG anyone can come in and have an idea and you have some people that want to engage you you want to reach out across our network to feel included. I think that's one of the misperception on diversity hiring but interestingly enough the one thing that I think talent acquisition sees so that may be more of an HR business partner answer but if we're looking at it from from a talent acquisition it's oh they want me now not hire the best.

And I'm going to say that is an easy thing for a talent acquisition recruiter to kind of combat and back and say yes but if you have a full slate of candidates you're going to be able to look through across the community you're going to be able to do like I said in that example earlier so I kind of appreciate this question because it kind of brings back another point. To say that when you're hiring just in your network you're seeing one lens but if you're looking at it holistically across your entire network and you're seeing a broad amount of diversity and that could just be diversity of thought as well as gender and ethnicity to make sure that you have a complete slate again we look at that from a talent acquisition consultative aspect but by having them do that it reassures hiring managers that they are hiring the best because if you are just hiring the first person or the person that you know you might not find the best candidate because you're just kind of going with what you know as opposed to seeing what's out there.

So I think those are two kind of misconceptions that we sometimes have is that well you're not including some people or you're not hiring the best but I will say there's there's easy workarounds to make sure that you have the right talking points to arm your recruiters in your HR business partners to be able to have conversation with managers because let's face it our hiring managers are really busy and I think it's our ability to support them through that discussion and having kind of a unique and candid discussion that will help that Angela great.

Angela: Thank You Linda. We have another question here what do you see as being the greatest challenges to diversity hiring in 2018.

Linda: I think there are a few answers to this as well so I think these are great questions. I think it's making sure that our recruiters are sourcing in the right locations to make sure that we have that lens of all of our communities and not just people made maybe who have applied but making sure that we're looking at it through the lens of who has joined our Talent Network Jobvite Engage helps us with that where we can kind of tag employees and so we know if we see top talent early in career those that we catch at career fairs but a lot of our senior level talent has become through through associations and making sure that we're tracking that and I think that's something that we can hold ourselves accountable for and to make sure we're utilizing our tools but that's a challenge for sure it - making sure that we're both attracting the right talent and then also finding we activity source we have a sourcing team I highly recommend that to anyone on the call is to make sure that for your hard to fill roles that you have sorcerer's so you're allowing our recruiters to be able to do that consultative language and conversations with their hiring managers.

That can take up a lot of time where our sources we're asking them to 90% of their time sourcing candidates and so it's making sure that we are really reaching all of those local markets in in that strategy but then also we want to make sure that you know I'm always going to give you the flip side there's always going to be that ta piece but if you're not retaining employees as well you're not helping your cause and you're going to increase the ability to make sure that happens.

Interestingly enough if you're going to do this my recommendation is always to remove the fear and discomfort that employees might find interesting with that you realize bias can affect the way we interact with people who are different from us that happens if people are made aware of these biases in a very transparent environment which is what we're trying to build at USA Today Network this can be addressed in a very constructive managed way. Here's the thing that I'd like to say that we're doing that I think we're kind of proud of we want to make sure we're giving our managers the tools for success and one of the tools that we found through the assessment pieces that we're doing some unconscious bias training so we're giving our managers the tools to be able to see oh maybe I did look at that in a way that I didn't realize I did and we're working in tandem between our HR business partners and our recruiters to be able to make sure that we're this training is resonating again it's just a tool in the tool both of our managers.

So that's something that we find as a challenge it's not just finding the right talent how are you retaining the talent and then how do you know that you're making the right hiring decisions and I think that unconscious bias training would be my recommendation just to and it's something that works for us.

Angela: Great and I think on a related question is I already touched on this a little bit but if you want to expand on it more it's just how do you think these challenges can be addressed and how do you want to divide and conquer.

Linda: So I think it's looking at it holistically and when you're re-creating a recruiting strategy you need to have diversity embedded in it and then again you go through the metrics with the managers but we found really successful in this is making sure we have an accountability So Marnice from the branding side and I'd like for her to talk a little bit about how we can start from a branding perspective but if you start with your local needs you start with your low-hanging fruit this way you can kind of build upon it again I know I mentioned it earlier in the conversation but this doesn't happen overnight it's you can't change your culture overnight what you can do is you can do an assessment to make sure that you're on the right track to get leadership engagement and buy-in those are things that are really important because you need to know what your baseline is like you how can you solve a problem if you don't know what your baseline is you need to be able to go in and then I can tell you what we can do or what we've done but you need to look at it through your lens on your company's to see well what do we mean what's the missing piece and for us it was branding like this is giving you some transparency in our conversations but I'm trying to be real so that I'm helping others and guiding others as well you know when we looked at it we realized that we sometimes need to make sure that we're sending the right branding message.

You know we have a parent company named Gannett which a lot of people call Gannets not Gannett it's Gannett you need to be able to look at that so how we looked at that is well what do we what are we known for what's something that from a branding perspective will help us and so that's where we are now kind of launching and we're kind of a year into this is the USA Today Network because really what is Gannett we're all our local papers something we're very proud of we are an entire network of journalism an entire network of marketing solutions or our sales force that's using kind of that analytics and insights to be able to help local markets and help local businesses be the best that they can be and reach out to their customers but what we found is the area that we really needed to attraction on that may have been kind of our area or gap was in our employer branding as I said and I want my Marnice to kind of speak to this is we have the branding that we do on our career site we are then marching forward and looking at local branding and that Glass Door like why not utilize and leverage the tools we have there out there from a marketing solutions perspective and bring it in and making sure that we're looking at it.

So again I'll give the floor to Marnice because I think she's done a really great job in making sure that our branding from Gannett to USA Today Network is resonating with our social media and our career sites.

Marnice: Yeah so since diversity is a part of our DNA we want to show that and we want to show it externally for everyone that's looking you know as a prospective candidate or just looking externally into our company. We needed to make sure that we highlighted that so for us you know the diversity many times is within the companies but the stories that are being told often times you see the same people on websites or stock images but we wanted it to be authentic so my role is is extremely enjoyable and a lot of fun because you know I look for the story and I really look for the diversity within the story and the diversity within the local property so if we're in a local property and we're telling a an employer branding story we look to see what type of diversity is there within that location.

So when a prospective candidate looks into our career site they can really see themselves here at our company. Diversity and inclusion starts way before an employer or team members hire it really starts when they identify and can recognize our brand and when they can say to themselves I can see myself at this company I know that my values my beliefs who I am will be accepted here at this company so we're we're truly excited that we can now tell that story and that we're also growing on our career site with the diversity landing page.

Linda: So if I wanted to just to put the cherry on top I think my recommendation is just get started see what you can do as a company with this you know we gave you examples of kind of that low-hanging fruit that we're starting locally and then we expand gave you a sneak peek into our college recruiting process because we find that that's the best way to engage top diverse talent is get them right out of school and grow them and again so it's the idea of hiring and then retention.

But just get started look to see what you're already doing and then be iterative and make sure that you're empowering your employees to take it to the next level and be disruptive like don't just sit back and say well we're doing this this and this and you know we're getting these results. Figure out what we'll take whatever you're already doing and take it to the next level and then do that and make sure that you're reporting on it getting your leadership buy-in and then tie it back to retention those are things that if you can kind of tone that for your company and find that kind of secret sauce I think we're we're been doing that and I'm very proud of the work that we did but again it's kind of tailored for what we have as a company and why in some respects it's easy because diversity is part of our DNA because we are so many different people.

But take a look at your own company and make sure that you're seeing where you can start or if you've already started where can you leverage and where can I take it to the next screen Because really what you want to do is make an impact you want to make an impact in your communities your customers or your people like there's where you're going to find the greatest satisfaction in providing a diversity strategy. So hopefully we have given you something food for thought today.

Angela: That's fantastic Linda. Is there anything you or Marnice want to add? I know that folks on the line are eager to understand how to start the whole process of creating their own diversity hiring program I know you touched on a couple of key points there but is anything else do you want people to walk away with.

Linda: Hire a great project manager no I say that glib but we're very proud of our programs because we have some accountability I think that makes it easier you know take a look at your \ own people make sure that you're representing your communities your customers I mean everyone out there has a customer we're not unique in that aspect I mean I know we're a media we're one of the top media companies but and so it's a responsibility of ours to make sure that we're reflecting our communities but find out what makes what's part of your DNA what makes you guys unique and you know it kind of always goes back to branding but also our value proposition make sure you have a strong value proposition.

You know I can go in and I I've had recruiters that have sold products because our recruiters have such strong business acumen we put people from sales into recruiting and recruiting into sales which is it's fun and unique but then find out what your vision is find out what makes you guys unique and then expand on that. Again that's really just the best opportunity because then it's authentic it's your real voice it's who you are it's great I'm hoping you took some things on what we did again we knew we had some work to do in our branding we will continue to have work that we need to do in branding we're certainly not trying to say we have the panacea for everything but again if you can find what resonates with your company and then empower yourself latch on to a build metrics. I know if have said this a few times but that's really how we found the most success we’ve our 2.0 3.0 version is one in which we really want to make sure that what we are doing makes that impact don’t be afraid to be disruptive.

Angela: Great thank you so Linda and Marnice and I think that is all the time that we have for today. I know there were a lot of questions that came in so if we weren’t able to answer your questions someone will definitely be reaching out to you either today Or in the next week or so to get those answers. I want thank everyone for joining us again on this great webinar and have a great day. Thank you everybody.

Linda: Thanks everyone for participating we appreciate you.