Creating Employee Resource Groups to Enhance
Diversity and Inclusion
By Monica Diaz, VP Diversity,
Inclusion & Wellness, ESPN
the launch of ESPN’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
in 2009, the Company’s HR-Diversity, Inclusion &
Wellness team has leveraged these groups to drive greater
diversity and inclusion at The Worldwide Leader in
Sports. ESPN ERGs represent eight diverse constituencies:
women; Latinos / Hispanics; African Americans; Asians;
people with disabilities; families; young professionals
and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
The ERGs allow us to engage the diverse communities in our workplace and gain insights into the different markets we serve now and in the future. These groups are a constant representation of how diverse perspectives can have the most positive impact in our business. My team provides ERGs with guidance, tools and support to help them achieve their full potential.
Below are just two examples of how ESPN’s
Employee Resource Groups make effective contributions
to the business:
Just a year ago, ESPN’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
Transgender (LGBT) ERG, called EQUAL, proposed a workplace
business goal to implement an “Allies of EQUAL”
program, designed to increase the support of ESPN colleagues
to the LGBT community. Through this initiative, the ERG
increased its membership by 43 percent, and is now made
up of more allies than members who identify as LGBT. In
addition, the group created a marketing campaign called
“I Am” that included a video
featuring various employees from all levels of the company.
The video was released virally via the Company’s
corporate blog ESPN
Front Row with the hash tag #ESPNAlly. The hash tag
generated 4,624,887 impressions, reaching an audience
of 4,624,374 followers within the first 24 hours after
the video was released. In addition, the company
was recognized at the 2012 Work Life Matters Magazine
Awards as a “Top Company for LGBT Equality”
and contributed to The Walt Disney Company receiving a
100 percent rating for the HRC Corporate Equality Index.
ENABLED ERG Another model of how ESPN has leveraged its ERGs to foster inclusion is through its disability ERG, ENABLED. A component of this group’s strategic efforts has been to partner with ESPN’s HR Staffing & Recruiting team to build a pipeline for diverse talent in the disability workforce. The group has focused on establishing relationships with organizations that connect people with disabilities and employers. By partnering with these organizations, ESPN is able to assess their organizational readiness to attract and retain this segment population. ENABLED has also partnered with ESPN’s Facilities Department to improve the comfort, convenience and access for people with disabilities across all the buildings at its headquarters. The ESPN disability ERG also partnered with the studio production team that works on the popular traveling college football and basketball television show College GameDay. Each season, the ERG contacts the schools from which the show originates to assign a sign language interpreter to be on the set with the commentators to interpret what they are saying for the deaf student population in attendance. Since 2011, the show has included an interpreter 15 times.
ESPN’s other ERGs have also been involved with inclusion
initiatives, served in focus groups for content ideas,
contributed to HR policy, recruitment, community outreach
and professional development. We are proud of the contributions
our Employee Resource Groups make to our business every
day. Their positive impact continues to evolve and we
are looking forward to supporting their growth as ambassadors
of what diversity and inclusion is at ESPN.
a Recruitment Marketing Platform Technology to Amp Up
Chris Brablc, SmashFly Technologies' Marketing Manager
of Social & Online Programs, and Marketing Associate
Megan Hennessy recap the presentation made by Jennifer
Tracy, Bright House Networks' Senior Director of Talent
Acquisition, and SmashFly COO Mary Grace Hennessy at CTHRA's
Power of Perspective Symposium.
We live in a plugged-in world. Whether
it’s the interactive maps in the mall, the mobile
phone in your hand, the tablets in the college lecture
room, or your own personal computer in your home, people
are finding more ways to plug in and stay connected to
one another. The way we access information and keep in
touch with our friends, family and acquaintances is an
integral part of our everyday lives and the way we utilize
those connections changes on a regular basis.
With this in mind, Bright House Networks
realized they faced challenges not only in their talent
acquisition, but also within their company’s organization
as a whole. Their recruiters looked at the numbers and
found themselves falling behind on meeting their hiring
goals. They poured over resumes and found few qualified
candidates. On top of that, they didn’t have the
right tools or the strategy to handle new emerging means
of engaging talent on mobile and social networks. As the
company struggled to attract the talent they knew was
out there, they realized their requisition-based recruitment
strategy was not only outdated, but also holding them
To help them meet these challenges,
the team implemented SilkRoad’s OpenHire applicant
tracking system (ATS) in 2007 to help them handle job
requisitions, manage a compliant hiring process and recruit
better. Bright House Networks soon found that the ATS
was more useful for the post application process and still
struggled to attract and engage with potential candidates.
2012, the team created a Center of Excellence for recruiting
and hired Jennifer Tracy, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition
and Diversity, to run the center. Tracy immediately upgraded
and streamlined processes within the ATS, but in order
to impact real change, she found she needed to do more.
Her goals were to increase applicant reach, establish
a strong social media presence, deliver a branded and
optimized mobile experience and find a means by which
to produce measurable data about the company’s recruitment
processes. To effectively manage every piece of this strategy,
Tracy and her team employed the help of SmashFly Technologies,
an innovative recruitment marketing platform (RMP) provider.
“From my prior experience I knew
that various options existed, some being extremely costly
and not well-integrated,” said Tracy. “Keeping
the end in mind, we were fortunate to find the right partner
in SmashFly Technologies. Their comprehensive approach
met our diverse recruitment marketing goals, and they
had the technical knowledge to deliver a seamless integration
experience with our ATS.”
The team took a phased approach to the rollout of the solution. First they deployed basic job distribution services to ensure that job openings could easily be marketed to key sites, including
Indeed, SimplyHired, DirectEmployers, LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor and Dice. Doing this eliminated manual labor in job posting and enabled Bright House Networks to build a new Talent Community of contacts through its job ads for email campaigning purposes. Talent Community members are all invited to share feedback about their candidate experience and receive invitations regarding new relevant job openings.
In January, coupled with branding design
work from KRT Marketing, Bright House Networks launched
its new SmashFly powered mobile and traditional career
complete with targeted landing pages for key job categories,
including diversity and military hiring. The team has
also implemented mobile applications on iPads to capture
talent at career fairs, on campuses and at networking
events. All of the talent captured goes into the Talent
Community for targeted recruitment sourcing and for use
in future job campaigns. Although they embarked on this
journey of technology transformation only last fall, Bright
House Networks is already seeing great success with its
recruitment marketing strategy.
The Numbers Tell the Story
Through metrics provided by SmashFly, Bright House Networks has full visibility into its recruitment strategy. The company knows where its jobs have been posted, and who has clicked on them, applied to them and qualified for them. They know how many candidates visit the Career Site, which keywords they use to find it and how many opt in to the Talent Community. They know how much money and time they are spending to make quality hires. Truly, when it comes down to it, the numbers tell the story.
When Bright House Networks recruiter Chloe L. noticed a significant drop-off in applicants for a particular job, she was puzzled. In a short space of time, nearly half the applicant flow simply disappeared. Chloe consulted metrics in the SmashFly system and identified the tiny change that had driven away nearly half her candidates. An internal decision had been made to change the title of the job from “Customer Support Specialist” to “Product Specialist Professional.” She could see that according to the data, Bright House Networks was not marketing their Product Specialist position to the right audience. Armed with the data from SmashFly, Chloe decided to repost the position under the original title, doubling her applicant flow. As Chloe stated, “Our industry is metrics driven. If you have the numbers on your side, people will listen.”
Mobile Candidate Experience
When Bright House Networks partnered with SmashFly Technologies, one of its primary goals was to leverage mobile technologies to better engage with potential candidates and create a more accessible way to place candidates into the Talent Community.
One of the most successful ways it has leveraged mobile devices is through career fair recruitment. Recruiters at career fairs use iPads to allow candidates to sign up for the company’s Talent Community via a short virtual form which enables recruiters to auto-sort candidates based on face to face interaction, making future engagement easier. Leveraging mobile in this way showcases Bright House Networks as an innovative technology company and enhances its employer brand.
Bright House Networks also works to ensure that the company is easily accessible to the mobile audience. Its Career Site has been optimized with mobile-friendly job listings, search, landing pages and the opportunity to join the Talent Community. Mobile users that opt in to this Talent Community are also automatically presented with the opportunity to share feedback. This helps Bright House Networks to better understand where they can improve the overall candidate experience and supports immediate follow-up on candidate issues that historically went unaddressed.
Bright House Networks’ mobile strategy is built with a focus on the future. As mobile becomes an essential way for job seekers to research, find and ultimately apply for jobs, Bright House Networks will be ready to accommodate them.
Quality Talent On Demand
By extending its recruitment reach with SmashFly, Bright House Networks is able to not only greatly increase applicant flow, but also attract qualified candidates with the skills and background they are seeking. Bright House Networks recruiter Carmen S., a veteran recruiter of eight years, noticed the marked improvement. “The hiring managers have been very happy with the caliber of candidates we have been bringing in since using SmashFly, and with the increased applicant flow, we are able to be more selective about who we bring on board.”
Going From Reactive to Proactive
In the past, finding quality talent in areas requiring specific skills, such as video technology, has been difficult. However, with the new recruitment marketing strategy in place, Bright House Networks continues to build a talent pipeline of video technology professionals they can tap into as soon as positions become available.
Talent pipelines have also been essential in filling Bright
House Networks’ Customer Care classes, which range
from 15 to 25 people. Filling these classes had been an
ongoing struggle of balancing hiring demand with meeting
quality standards. After implementing SmashFly, Customer
Care classes have been routinely full.
The proactive work to source ahead of the demand has already cut hiring time in half for some key roles over Q1 of this year and is expected to help reduce recruitment advertising spend in the future.
Continuous Recruiting Innovation
Bright House Networks’ recruitment marketing strategy
has been a catalyst to revolutionize its talent acquisition.
The company plans to use SmashFly to better target candidates
geographically, deliver QR code-based employee referral
campaigns and do more targeted strategic sourcing. They
are also in the midst of rolling out SilkRoad’s
RedCarpet onboarding solution to deliver a better new
hire onboarding experience. The team is dedicated to continue
evolving its recruitment strategy to stay plugged in.
Strategically Leveraging Our Industry's Human Capital
By Christopher Powell,
President of CTHRA
This article originally appeared in the June 10 issue
of CableFax Daily, and their editors have kindly
given us permission to reprint it here.
all industries in the country, few if any are changing
as rapidly as media and telecommunications. New competitors,
new technologies and changing customer expectations are
combining to drive forward new business models, strategies
and even whole new markets. The most successful organizations
realize that getting the best talent to fit their future
is the key to success. Their employees dream up innovative
programming, conceptualize branding that breaks through
the clutter, and devise creative solutions to operational
challenges. Our people and their collective knowledge,
skills and imagination can be called many things, but
“human capital” seems to capture it. No different
than financial capital, it is the long-term freedom to
act knowing that you have the resources to deliver.
As the emphasis on talent as a competitive advantage has intensified, the field of human resources has become exponentially sophisticated and critical to a company’s success. Identifying an ideal candidate for each role requires hyper-vigilant recruiting efforts. Attracting the best talent requires a comparative assessment of what other companies are offering in terms of pay, benefits and perks. Retaining employees requires thoughtful and effective engagement efforts. On top of all of that, we must remember that our workforce encompasses everyone from baby boomers to millennials, so a benefit that is highly appealing to one generational group may be virtually meaningless to another. One size does not fit all in an industry that accounts for more than 2 million jobs, and it’s HR’s job to find the right balance.
From disaster planning and cultivating a company’s culture to managing everyone from virtual employees to global offices, HR is a leading force. Inclusivity initiatives, wellness programs and diversity outreach are part of HR, too. To carry the analogy to finance a bit further, even the best CFO needs to be sure that A/P and A/R operate effectively and compliantly. But the best CFOs go beyond basic accounting—they create value by harnessing and deploying their capital to drive the organization forward. Should companies expect any less from HR?
On top of it all, the world in which our companies operate is constantly changing. Ten years ago, no one was using LinkedIn as a recruiting tool, social media policies weren’t in any employee handbooks and compliance with the Affordable Care Act wasn’t on anyone’s to do list. In all of these cases, HR has been on the frontline, guiding companies through unknown territories.
There is no doubt that the impact of HR is far reaching. At the same time, the stakes are high. In CTHRA’s 2012 Human Capital Metrics Survey, programmers reported an average of $1,149,600 in Revenue Per Employee (RPE) and MSOs reported $605,078 in RPE. The cost of losing talent to the competition can be disastrous to the bottom line when you consider RPE and average cost-per-hire (CPH) which CTHRA research determined is $4,055. Employee misconduct or an internal investigation gone wrong can be in the headlines for weeks and lead to multimillion-dollar lawsuits.
How do HR professionals deal with the wide scope and magnitude of their responsibilities? They analyze data, calculate risks, measure ROI and seek out best practices. They also leverage technologies and develop innovative, forward-thinking strategies to manage the immense changes that all of our companies continue to face. CTHRA is proud to support our members in their efforts by providing industry-specific benchmarks and a conduit for communication and knowledge-sharing, and we applaud the HR professionals who work strategically to support the millions of employees who are truly our industry’s most valuable asset.
Our Heroes Industry Job Fair
veterans are returning to civilian life equipped with
high tech skills, the ability to thrive in a fast-paced
environment and an abundance of experience. To tap into
this talent pool, CTHRA joined with Hiring Our Heroes
and the NCTA to host an industry job fair for veterans,
reservists and their spouses on June 11 in Washington,
D.C., during The Cable Show. Several members of
Congress and industry leaders attended the ribbon cutting
(see photo at left), and more than 25 industry employers
were on hand to accept resumes, screen applicants and
conduct interviews. Over three hundred career seekers
attended the event to meet with employers, receive one-on-one
career counseling from CTHRA members and attend employment
workshops hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
its launch in March 2011, Hiring Our Heroes has been able
to help more than 108,000 veterans and military spouses
find meaningful employment. More than 18,400 of those
hires came directly from more than 530 hiring fairs the
program has held nationwide. An additional 90,000 veterans
and military spouses have been hired as a part of Hiring
500,000 Heroes, a national campaign announced
by the U.S. Chamber, National Chamber Foundation and Capital
One, to engage the business community in committing to
hire half a million veterans and military spouses by the
end of 2014. Thus far, more than 900 businesses of all
sizes have pledged to hire 230,000 heroes toward this
In addition to conducting job fairs and employment workshops
across the U.S., Hiring Our Heroes provides VetNet,
a one-stop career resource shop to connect with employers
and fellow job-seekers to get career advice; a next generation
online tool called the Personal Branding Resume Engine
to capture the entirety of one’s military service
in a resume format; and an eMentor program which
is a dynamic online community where veterans can receive
career guidance from mentors. Click
here to sign up to be a mentor.
To learn more about Hiring Our Heroes initiatives and
how your company can participate, please visit the employers
section at www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes.
would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation
to our members who volunteered as Career Counselors
at the Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair: