Creating Employee Resource Groups to Enhance Diversity and Inclusion
Monica Diaz shares how ESPN's ERGs have not only engaged the diverse communities in the
workplace, but also gained insights into the markets they serve.

Leveraging a Recruitment Marketing Platform Technology to Amp Up Your Recruiting
Chris Brablc and Megan Hennessy of SmashFly Technologies demonstrate how constant-contact technology has increased Bright House Networks' applicants and improved the quality of its new hires.

HR: Strategically Leveraging Our Industry's Human Capital
CTHRA'S President Christopher Powell provides his expert insight on managing a talent pool that includes everyone from baby boomers to millennials

Hiring Our Heroes™ Industry Job Fair
Industry employers provided career counseling to veterans and their spouses during a special job fair held during The Cable Show in D.C.


CTHRA at The Cable Show

Next Up: Think Tank

CTHRA's Human Capital Metrics Survey: The Results Are In!

A Round of Applause

CTHRA's Newest Members

Creating Employee Resource Groups to Enhance Diversity and Inclusion
By Monica Diaz, VP Diversity, Inclusion & Wellness, ESPN

Since 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:

MP900406810[1]EQUAL ERG 
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.

Leveraging a Recruitment Marketing Platform Technology to Amp Up Your Recruiting
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.

Megan Hennessy
Chris Brabic

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 back.

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.

MP900431702[1]In 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 sites (, 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.

HR: 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.

Among 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.

Hiring Our Heroes™ Industry Job Fair

9126422967_b865323eb7America’s 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.

MP900422243[1]Since 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 goal.

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

  CTHRA would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to our members who volunteered as Career Counselors at the Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair:


CTHRA at The Cable Show

CTHRA's President Chris Powell gets a laugh from Kristen Welker and E.J. Holland, Jr. during the session that CTHRA hosted at The Cable Show.

If you’ve seen her on television, you know that NBC News’ Correspondent Kristen Welker (pictured in the center of the photo at left) is direct and engaging. Who better to moderate CTHRA’s panel discussion about the Affordable Care Act? CTHRA hosted the session on June 10 at The Cable Show in Washington, D.C. The panelists were Matthew Eurey, VP of Benefits for Time Warner Cable; E.J. Holland, Jr. (on left side in photo), Assistant Secretary for Administration at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; Karen Salinaro, FSA, Account Director for Towers Watson, and Jeffrey E. Shapiro, VP of Enterprise Benefits for The Walt Disney Company. The session focused on the Affordable Care Act and how it will impact industry employers. A recap of the session will be featured in the September issue of CTHRA’s Resource Connection. Until then, check out the photo gallery.

9128184964_fa8df4659eImmediately following the session, CTHRA hosted a networking reception (see photo at left) at the convention center which attracted some of the panelists along with HR professionals from numerous companies and members of CTHRA’s Board of Directors. Many thanks to all who joined us to connect with colleagues, share ideas and continue the dialog from the Affordable Care Act session! See if we captured you or someone you know in our photo gallery.


Next Up: HR Think Tank

9128184964_fa8df4659eLaunched in 2009, CTHRA’s HR Think Tank brings the industry’s top HR leaders together to share knowledge, collaborate, and gain insight from a leading HR expert. This year’s event will be held on September 27 in Atlanta and will feature professor and strategic human resource management expert Patrick M. Wright. Based on years of research and analysis, Professor Wright believes the best of the best CHROs define their role as a triumvirate: the leader of the HR function, a strategic advisor to the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), and a coach to the CEO. During CTHRA’s Think Tank, Professor Wright will share proven and practical approaches to help develop an HR team that can effectively execute HR strategies and influence key business decisions by delivering data and posing hard questions to the ELT. He will also illustrate how being completely honest, challenging the CEO’s thinking and identifying and surfacing areas of conflict within the ELT helps the CEO optimize his or her leadership effectiveness.

“The best CHROs help CEOs identify blind spots, consistently provide candid feedback, and provide a safe space for CEOs to vent their frustrations,” Wright states on his “View from the Top” blog.

Participation in CTHRA’s Think Tank is by invitation only. To inquire about the Think Tank, please contact Pamela Williams at [email protected]

CTHRA’s Human Capital Metrics Survey: The Results Are In!
This year, 17 industry employers participated in CTHRA’s Human Capital Metrics Survey, submitting data related to workforce productivity, employee costs/expenses, turnover and much more. At press time, the experts at Pearl Meyer & Partners (PM&P) had compiled the data and distributed findings to the survey participants. In the next issue of this newsletter, we’ll recap the highlights and trends.  

A Round of Applause
Hearty congrats to Angela Santone, who has been promoted to SVP/Chief HR Officer at Turner Broadcasting. She is an executive mentor for the Turner Women mentoring program and has served as a peer-to-peer mentor for WICT’s Southeast chapter.

CTHRA’s Newest Members
Please give a warm welcome to these HR pros who have recently joined CTHRA:
Jessica A. Arnold, Discovery Communications
Tracy A. Bultema, Charter Communications
Patrick Deville, Buckeye CableSystem
Carol Ferro, Comcast
Stacy Green, A+E Networks
Theresa A. Johnson, Charter Communications
Elizabeth Karcher, Discovery Communications
Sharon Kidd, Cox Communications
Mike Lei, A+E Networks
Dawn Levenick, Charter Communications
Lisa Rice, Charter Communications
Danese Simpkins, Cox Communications
Sven E. Skillrud, Time Warner Cable