It’s Time to Champion Underrepresented Talent

Diversity, or the lack thereof, has been the topic of conversation as the highly anticipated Silicon Slopes Tech Summit came to a close. Though tech companies in the Silicon Slopes area have provided an influx of new jobs in Utah, the amount of underrepresented talent employed by these companies is low. We could blame it on Utah’s general “lack of diverse population”, on the homogenous religious communities, or on the difficulty of finding qualified underrepresented talent. We could  blame it on numerous factors, but it doesn’t change the fact that underrepresented talent in Utah is just that—underrepresented.

While Utah’s startup community is on the road to becoming the next Silicon Valley, companies face significant recruiting challenges in the most competitive talent market since 1969. “Leaders can no longer afford to ignore any opportunity that could present qualified candidates. This includes creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels like they have a place”(Mentorli, 2020). The truth is, Utah is 78% white and predominantly Mormon. While many of the cultural responsibilities that come with Utah’s dominant religion prove beneficial for entrepreneurs, “the very thing that is transforming Utah into the next tech mecca could be the very thing that ends up holding it back” (Bluestein, 2020). 

It’s no question that the companies on the Slopes are in need of cultural pivots to better recruit, hire, and retain more underrepresented talent. The call for diversity has been issued, and a new company, called Mentorli, appears to have the solution. Through their mentorship platform, Mentorli increases a candidate’s chances of landing a job by 15x. “We’re leaning into that power to close the opportunity gap underrepresented candidates face,” says CEO Luke Mocke.

Creating equal opportunity for job seekers is simply the right thing to do, but it turns out there’s a significant business case too. For one, there’s a linear relationship between earnings and racial diversity on the senior leadership team—to the tune of .8% in earnings for every 10% lift. However, the most compelling reason for fast growing companies in the US, and Utah specifically, to hire diverse talent is to open their talent pool for future hires. Homogenous organizations unknowingly marginalize talent that looks different to them. To ensure they’re creating an inclusive environment for all qualified talent, they need to create a representative workforce. Failing to do so is already creating monumental challenges as minorities in the US become the majority. 

Mentorli supports this philosophy by empowering underrepresented employees to recruit candidates from similar backgrounds—showing candidates how to set themselves up for success in the interview process and thrive in a new environment—building diverse networks from the grassroots level. Read Mentorli’s full press release here. As a participant in the recent Silicon Slopes Tech Summit, Mentorli is offering a FREE first hire to companies that schedule a demo before February 7, 2020. Check it out today!

Social Sensitivity in the Workplace

As defined by, Social sensitivity is the personal ability to perceive and understand the feelings and viewpoints of others. Why is social sensitivity important in the workplace and specifically when working with a team? Here’s what we found. 

On September 19th, Emily Gregory, VP of Development and Delivery at VitalSmarts, presented at the RevRoad Revation Summit. During her presentation, Gregory stated the following, “When team members have a higher degree of social sensitivity it predicts a higher rate of team success.” 

Social sensitivity demonstrates that one is aware of other people in both business and social settings. Below are two examples. The first demonstrates conversational qualities of someone who lacks social sensitivity. The second demonstrates qualities of someone who is socially sensitive. 

Example 1: Lacks social sensitivity

During a team meeting, a co-worker gets defensive about the progress of his/her tasks. Rather than mentioning where they are at in relation to task completion and an updated timeline/completion date, the coworker gets more upset and their voice begins to raise. It’s frustrating that they don’t have as much done on their assigned task as was expected. Soon, the energy in the room takes a turn for the worse as you raise your voice back in an effort to “put them in their place.” 

Example 2: Demonstrates social sensitivity

During a team meeting, a co-worker gets defensive about the progress of his/her tasks. Rather than mentioning where they are at in relation to task completion and an updated timeline completion date, the coworker gets more upset and their voice begins to raise. Though you’re frustrated that they don’t have as much done on their assigned task as expected, you calmly respond, “I understand this week has been stressful and we really appreciate your hard work. Based off what is on your plate right now, what would be a reasonable target completion date for these tasks?” 

Example 3: Lacks social sensitivity

At a networking event, a conversation between you and another attendee has sparked.  However, only five minutes into the conversation you feel undervalued and unheard as the conversation consistently circles back to the other attendee. Not only are they continuously talking about what they are doing and what they are interested in, they also bulldoze over anything you attempt to add to the conversation. You start to deliver verbal and physical social cues demonstrating you’re losing interest, but those are also ignored. Soon, the conversation becomes awkward as you search for a segway out of the “conversation.” 

Example 4: Demonstrates social sensitivity

At a networking event, a conversation between you and another attendee has sparked.  Five minutes into the conversation you feel valued, heard, and appreciated. The conversation is evenly focused and you both have the opportunity to talk about what you’re working on and what you’re interested in. You both take turns talking, listening, and responding. After wrapping up, you leave the conversation appreciating the new connection and excited to continue networking.

The ability to understand and demonstrate social sensitivity on a team will increase the overall rate of success.

Discover your own social intelligence by taking the “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” test. Take the test here.

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Intro to Mentorship

Mentorship is often defined as the relationship between an industry experienced professional and a less experienced professional. Many people use a mentor to help navigate through industry’s niches and connect with those in a position of success. 

The practice of mentorship has proven to be successful time and time again.  Below are some tips to help ensure a successful mentorship experience

  • Choose your mentor carefully
  • Be proactive in scheduling meetings
  • Be clear on the end goal
  • Put forth effort
  • Be respectful of the mentor and their time
  • Ask questions
  • Be resourceful
  • Be engaged

By following the above suggestions, your mentoring experience will improve significantly. Success is a collaborative effort. 

Mentors are more than willing to help, but you need to put forth the right effort to make the mentorship effective. The result of a successful mentorship varies based upon one’s level of engagement and ability to clearly communicate the desired outcome.  Be sure to show up to your mentor meetings on time and with 5-6 thoughtful questions written down.

Don’t be afraid to approach potential mentors and ask for their help. They are there to help you succeed. Do your research on potential mentor candidates prior to approaching them to determine compatibility. 

Be proactive and engaged throughout the process and you will be sure to have a positive mentorship experience. 

Below you’ll find two resources with more information about what to look for in a great mentor and where to find them. 

Finding and Becoming a Great Mentor Workshop by Dave Myers (RevRoad Talent and Sales Chief Officer). View here

Download A Quick Guide to Mentorship.

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Utilizing Video for Your Business

Video marketing has recently dominated the marketing field. As much as video can be a benefit for businesses, we also understand it can be incredibly time consuming and capital draining to create content. So, let’s dive into how your business, large or small, can better understand and utilize video.

Increase your business by utilizing video.

Videos are the industry’s new trend. They hold a significant amount of power on how a potential customer sees and values your product or service. 

Not only are videos easily found on search engines, but they also work well across different devices, including mobile. 

Videos are easily shareable, therefore, reaching a wider audience and increasing visibility for your product/service!

How can utilizing video increase your business?

  • A video on your homepage can increase conversions by 80%
  • Video produces great ROI
  • Video builds trust
  • Video is easily found on search engines
  • Video is mobile friendly
  • Video marketing can explain complex messages succinctly
  • Video encourages online sharing

Proper planning

The biggest and most expensive mistake you can make is not planning properly. When you have no plan, you will spend time and resources trying to figure everything out on the fly.

Before you begin, make sure you have the following questions answered clearly:

  • What’s your goal/purpose
  • Who is the audience
  • What’s the budget
  • How long will the final video be?
  • Make sure you have a storyboard/script drafted with an outline of the shots you would like to capture–anything else after that is just extra!

You can download our customizable storyboard/script template HERE.

For more tips on utilizing video for your business check out “Video on a Shoestring” by Tigran Mirzoyan (RevRoad Video Producer) and A.J. Rounds (RevRoad Chief Marketing Officer).  View HERE.

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How to Build Effective and Collaborative Teams

Building effective and collaborative teams is crucial to the success of an organization. In any business, a successful team begins with successful leadership.

Bruce Hassler, CTO at RevRoad, shares his insight on how to ensure that you have the best team for your business. 

First, Hassler recommends hiring top-performing dedicated team members. This increases productivity and ensures that you are utilizing your time and resources strategically. 

Second, is to be involved with and care about what each team member is working on. This gives the employee a sense of confirmation and appreciation. 

Third, is to trust each member to make decisions. Avoid micromanaging employees. Instill trust and give them opportunities to learn and grow. 

Fourth, is to listen to the team and don’t be afraid to try new things. Leaders often think they have to do it all themselves, but there is beauty in collaborating with team members and trying to understand their point of view.

Everyone brings a unique prospective and it’s in collaborating together that the best representation of what our customers and clients need is delivered. 

Jason Caldwell, COO at RevRoad, emphasized the importance of validation. As leaders who are trying to build high functioning collaborative teams, validating our team’s achievements is crucial. Examples of common validations include:

  • Validating ideas
  • Validating initiative
  • Validating circumstances
  • Validating feelings

Allowing teams to feel validated helps them build confidence in and respect for their leaders. 

AJ Rounds, CMO at RevRoad suggests, “Ways to develop an effective leadership team very much align with the RevRoad ‘H’ philosophy which includes:

  • Hands – Individuals who aren’t afraid to roll up the sleeves and get stuff done.
  • Heart – Individuals who have passion and conviction for the vision.
  • Head – Individuals who are smart.
  • Humility – Individuals who are willing to take responsibility for actions and feedback. 
  • Humor –  Individuals who are fun to work with. 

Building a collaborative team can be challenging but there are great strategies to facilitate the process. Hiring top performing individuals, staying involved, instilling trust, validating, and implementing the 5 H’s is a good place to start.

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