Technically People is a community conversation with thought leaders and innovative people leaders who share their vision for creating human-centered workplaces. Brought to you by the tech recruitment platform Built In, the podcast covers it all: DEI and Belonging, the evolving candidate, the changing tech landscape, wellness, burnout, remote and hybrid work, organizational psychology, the power of empathy, human-centered leadership — and much, much more.
As a platform, Built In is designed to elevate the tech industry and its people. So we’re always exploring progressive ideas to help employers attract in-demand tech talent. Now that we’re capturing those ideas on a podcast, you can carry it all in your pocket.
Lorraine Vargas Townsend is a people enablement veteran who’s good at “breaking HR” in order to fix it. In this episode, she shares her passion for creating safe and equitable workplaces for LGBTQ+ employees and, by extension, all employees. According to Lorraine, too many companies focus their DEI efforts on recruitment, but that’s missing the mark. Instead, she says: “Start with how you fire people.” “Audits are the sexiest work in my book,” she says, possibly representing the first-ever leader to say as much. But she has good reason. Through her career, separation audits are often the point at which employees’ experiences of bias and inequity emerge, giving her the data she needs to make change. That said, the onus is on leaders to begin the hard work before a separation of any kind. Lorraine urges leaders to regularly pulse check LGBTQ+ employees about their experience of equity, or lack thereof, in the workplace. “I get that it can be uncomfortable, especially if you don't want employees to feel like you're singling them out,” she says. “But at the same time, you want to know what their experience is. My biggest advice here is: Just be brave.” To start productive and safe conversations about inclusion for LGBTQ+ and all employees, Lorraine offers these and other prompts: What supports or hinders your growth and prosperity at this company? What gives you Sunday night dread? And more. “What I'm giving you are not ‘magical queer questions,’” she says. “These are just questions about building a culture of belonging. Whatever you uncover will make your workplace safer and more inclusive for every single employee.” Episode Highlights: 2020 was the most deadly year for transgender and gender non-conforming people since 2013, when the HRC Foundation began tracking known deaths Suggestions to start conversations with LGBTQ+ employees about equity Why the separation audit is a powerful place to uncover inequity Understanding that LGBTQ+ employees must evaluate the implications of when, whether and to whom they come out, over and again (and “it never gets easier”) The need to revise travel, bereavement and family policies with an eye to inclusion Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast: Technically People Episode: Hannah Rose Olson Technically People Episode: Shannon Hogue The HRC Corporate Equality Index Find every episode of Technically People on Apple, Spotify and more. Find us on our website and join the conversation on LinkedIn. Listening on a desktop and can’t see the links? Just search for Technically People in your favorite podcast player.
32 min 22 sec
“The softest of skills — empathy, emotional intelligence, DEI, growth mindset — those are actually the hardest skills to build,” says Elisa Vincent, VP of Global Talent Enablement at Skillsoft, which supports customers’ learning through L&D content and technology. She adds: “They're also power skills.” Since the onset of Covid, people have certainly turned to Skillsoft to learn digital skills — but the company has also seen significant increases in demand for soft skill learning. “Become a Great Listener,” for instance, was Skillsoft’s number 1 completed course in 2021. In this far-ranging conversation, Elisa draws from her expertise across HR to discuss the evolving role of the L&D practice, the implications of the pending mass exodus of women from the workplace (and what to do about it) and how L&D can help people redefine career success. Elisa also offers support to people enablement leaders: “We are called to be a new frontline in our organizations,” she says. “Look at everything that we talked about today [on this podcast]. We talked about skills, mindsets, health and wellness, the mass exodus of women in the workplace. These are stressful and high-gain topics.” Leaders in the people space, she says, need to support one another in the same way we support healthcare professionals on the true front lines of the pandemic. Episode Highlights: The evolution of the L&D practitioner from “trainer” to “Chief Transformation Officer” Soft skill training is on the rise (and why there’s nothing soft about them) The long-term ramifications of the mass exodus of women from the workplace Many employees, especially women, see the global upheaval in work as a chance to redefine career success Why companies should rethink their attitudes toward transferable skills, plus who and how they hire, as more professionals break free from stale corporate structures to forge new career paths Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast: GCS’s Enterprise Learning 2021 Annual Report Skillsoft Aspire Journeys Find every episode of Technically People on Apple, Spotify and more. Find us on our website and join the conversation on LinkedIn. Listening on a desktop and can’t see the links? Just search for Technically People in your favorite podcast player.
29 min 4 sec
At Canada-based Jobber, the coaching and development team historically supported employees’ professional development. But as Chief People Officer Sara Cooper explains: Career development is one of many ways employees can grow. That became eminently clear as Jobber employees were forced to contend with Covid’s challenges. They had less appetite for career development and a greater need for wellness support, so the coaching team pivoted to meet that need. One of the company’s most unique approaches is its certified mental health support team, which Jobber doubled since the pandemic. Trained not to offer therapy but to connect people to resources, the volunteer employee team was built on the premise that peers are more likely to open up to another peer than a manager or executive. Other programs and policies include job-protected leaves and an option for employees to shift to part time if needed, returning when ready. An “every other week” schedule supports parents who split child custody with a former partner. “We wanted to ensure that people knew that their health, wellness and families came first,” says Cooper. “And we didn't want people worried that taking time to focus on themselves and their families was going to put their roles at risk.” Episode Highlights: The impact of Jobber’s certified mental health supporter team Talk points for leaders to broach mental health with employees Addressing root causes before employees need to tap mental health insurance Why mental health is not a perk The lesson Jobber learned in devising its return-to-office plan Accepting that creating return-to-office plans is a “figure it out together” process Check out this resource we mentioned during the podcast: 2020 Maestro Health survey referenced at 5:50 2021 McKinsey report referenced at 17:18 Find every episode of Technically People on Apple, Spotify and more. Find us on our website and join the conversation on LinkedIn. Listening on a desktop and can’t see the links? Just search for Technically People in your favorite podcast player.
26 min 20 sec
To gauge Joey Price’s impact in the field of HR, do a quick Google search. His name graces scores of HR lists, including SHRM’s “30 under 30” HR Professionals and HR Executive Magazine’s “Top Influencers in HR Tech.” The CEO of HR consulting firm Jumpstart:HR, who also hosts the Business, Life, and Coffee podcast, joins Technically People to answer trending HR questions and offer advice on leading with transparency, managing and compensating talent across state lines, finding new ways to tell your employer brand story and more. Episode Highlights: Key considerations in onboarding, managing and retaining remote employees Joey’s revised opinion on how to compensate employees across state lines Why pay isn’t always the reason people are leaving their jobs today Reinventing the employee handbook as an inspiring part of your culture (yes, the employee handbook!) Why leaders can’t afford to insist they know their culture better than employees Check out this resource we mentioned during the podcast: Ep. 276 of Business Life and Coffee Find every episode of Technically People on Apple, Spotify and more. Find us on our website and join the conversation on LinkedIn. Listening on a desktop and can’t see the links? Just search for Technically People in your favorite podcast player.
25 min 41 sec
Janine Yancey is Founder and CEO at Emtrain, which provides companies with culture analytics and trainings on bias, discrimination and harassment. Emtrain’s unique model gives companies a way for employees to call out moments in which they feel peers’ behaviors have been disrespectful on a spectrum from red to green, red being toxic and green being respectful and conscious. The approach is designed to enable psychologically safe conversations, reduce conflict and effect change. “It's hard work,” she says, “but it's not rocket science to build a workplace that is healthy, where people feel like they're valued, where they’re respected, where they belong.” Yancey is also an employment law attorney, whose expert testimony has helped shape workplace equity legislation in the state of California. Episode Highlights: Yancey’s work as an expert witness on workplace equity in the California Senate How a shared language enables constructive conversations among employees about behavior and matters of DEI Understanding that definitions of respect differ from person to person Fostering allyship among employees Why psychological safety is key to change-making Check out this resource we mentioned during the podcast: Emtrain’s 2021 Workplace Culture Insights Find every episode of Technically People on Apple, Spotify and more. Find us on our website and jo in the conversation on LinkedIn. Listening on a desktop and can’t see the links? Just search for Technically People in your favorite podcast player.
24 min 8 sec
Senior women are more likely than senior men to feel burned out and under pressure to work more, according to a 2020 McKinsey report. They’re 1.5 times more likely than senior men to think about downshifting or leaving work, and almost three in four cite burnout as the reason. Dr. Charlynn Ruan is CEO and Founder of Thrive Psychology Group. One of her areas of expertise as a clinical psychologist is working with women in senior leadership roles. She helps clients process the pressures unique to them, including “the second shift,” where many women shoulder most or all of the burden of unpaid domestic labor after work hours. Even as she acknowledges that modern work is built on broken systems, Dr. Ruan aims to help women find ways to move the needle forward for themselves and those who follow. “There are the things we can't fix and the things we can,” she says. “Let's focus on the ones we can. We'll be surprised how much progress we can make.” Highlights from this episode: Access isn’t equity. It really is lonely at the top for women leaders. The second shift is a relic of previous generations society hasn’t yet fixed. Discrimination against fathers who take parental leave is especially insidious. What Sweden is doing to incentivize paternal leave for both mothers and fathers. How men can model egalitarian behavior and be allies at work. How Dr. Ruan created a culture of support for women at Thrive. View the resources mentioned during the podcast: The Journal of Managerial Issues The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home (2012, Revised and with a New Afterword) Find every episode of Technically People on Apple, Spotify and more. Find us on our website and join the conversation on LinkedIn. Listening on a desktop and can’t see the links? Just search for Technically People in your favorite podcast player.
26 min 8 sec
In this episode of Technically People, Jennifer Carlson, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Apprenti, discusses how her apprentice program helps enterprise companies increase diversity while meeting their aggressive headcount needs in the midst of a tech skills shortage. Apprenti blends classroom learning with on-the-job training, preparing apprentices to fill mid-level roles (software dev, cybersecurity, tech sales, cloud ops). Most apprentices are members of the BIPOC community, women, veterans and people who don’t have a formal CS education but who demonstrate ability in math and critical thinking. Carlson works by unearthing hidden potential. For instance, upon meeting with one applicant, a Burger King manager, she dug deeper to find he was actually doing supply chain management. While a “Burger King manager” resume wouldn’t see the light of day at a typical tech company, his history of solving complex problems landed him an apprenticeship. Highlights: Tech roles outpace the number of CS graduates coming from U.S. colleges Less than 5% of the national tech workforce is composed of people from BIPOC communities versus 56% of Apprenti applicants 84% of the program's apprentices stay at the company in which they’ve been placed Upskilling apprentices is fiscally responsible; it costs less than acquiring new talent through traditional sourcing and recruiter fees How to work with Apprenti Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast: apprenticareers.org Find every episode of Technically People on Apple, Spotify and more. Find us on our website and join the conversation on LinkedIn. Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Technically People in your favorite podcast player.
26 min 55 sec
After more than a year of work from home, professionals have sampled the greater degree of freedom that comes with remote. When it’s time to return to work, they say they want flexibility and choice in how, when and where they work. Given the tight labor market, every professional in the TA, recruitment and employer brand realm should take heed of the numbers from a 2021 Built In survey. In this episode, Shelby Eversole, Built In’s senior marketing manager, shares survey insights with Technically People’s co-host Tiffany Meyers. Engaging both employees and employers, the survey found these and more highlights: - Sixteen percent of employees in the survey said they want to stay fully remote. - No one said they want to work from the office for five days. - Fifty three percent said they want to work from home regularly but have office space available for team meetings or gatherings. - While 84% of companies indicated they plan to or have already asked employees about their return-to-work preferences, only 21% said they plan to use the preferences as a driving force behind their return-to-work plans. It’s a candidates’ market, given low unemployment rates, especially among tech talent. Moreover, experts are projecting that employees are about to leave their current jobs in droves. This latter factor is known as the “Great Resignation,” and it has companies concerned about attrition. They should be. Seventy five percent of employees in the survey said they’re at least slightly to apply for a new job in the next year. Eighty five percent of employees said that, when they’re looking for a new job, they’ll heavily weigh whether a company offers remote work. In this conversation, Eversole highlights: - The misalignment between companies’ plans and employees’ preferences. - The need for employers in a tight labor market to act on what candidates want. - Employers who don’t do so will struggle to attract in-demand talent. - Why companies must use employer branding to build a reputation as a company that listens to what candidates and employees want. Download Eversole’s full 2021 report: - The Great Return to the Office Find every episode of Technically People on Apple, Spotify, and more. Find us on our website and join the conversation on LinkedIn. Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Technically People in your favorite podcast player.
17 min 40 sec
Isn’t recruitment the recruiter’s job? Not as we know it. And not if Mike Dwyer has anything to do with it. The Global Talent Acquisition Lead is creating a culture of recruitment at Feedzai, where every employee shares responsibility for talent acquisition. It’s a point of differentiation, he says, since the people doing the work are more likely to build meaningful relationships with candidates. That culture will free recruiters to evolve, says Dwyer. They’ll become internal talent consultants who empower, enable and educate, delivering the resources employees need to be a vital part of recruitment. Dwyer adds: It’s time recruiters say no to being treated like administrative assistants. Instead, they should own their rightful place as experts. In this episode, we discuss: - The definition of a culture of recruitment - What the recruiter of the future will do - The need for empathy in recruiting and hiring - Navigating the complexity of post-pandemic return-to-work plans Find ever y episode of Technically People on Apple, Spotify and mo re. Find us on our website and jo in the conversation on LinkedIn. Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Technically People in your favorite podcast player.
28 min 32 sec
In her earliest days, Kellie Wagner, Founder and CEO at Collective — a DEI Lab, felt inclined to apply a structured set of academic processes to help companies create inclusive cultures. Over time, she realized the need to evolve. Today, her practice is immeasurably more nuanced. When she works with companies, she validates and provides context for individual narratives around sexism, racism, homophobia and all “isms” and phobias. But ultimately she aims to transcend narratives by helping people discover universal points of connection — the human need for respect, for instance, dignity and psychological and physical safety. In this episode we discuss: - How Wagner’s experience with inequity in tech inspired her to found Collective - The evolution of Wagner’s DEI training paradigm - Making change in an era marked by intense fear of other people’s differences - Why admitting you’re not ready to do the work is better than giving DEI lip service - Wagner’s belief that we’re in a movement, not a moment Find every episode of Technically People on Apple, Spotify and more, or on our website, and join us on LinkedIn. Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Technically People in your favorite podcast player.
35 min 53 sec
Every stage of hiring — from your job postings to your interview questions—is vulnerable to bias, particularly for employers that need to hire tech and tech-adjacent roles with expediency. If companies seek to foster DEI and gain the benefits that come with a diverse culture, they must put in place formal structures to de-bias hiring. In this episode, Shannon Hogue, Global Head of Solutions Engineering at Karat, outlines a model from her work and offers key strategies you can implement as early as your next interview. Karat performs the first round of technical interviews for employers, aiming to make interviews better — more equitable, predictive, fair and enjoyable. In addition to designing and testing every interview question, Karat helps clients build rubrics and align on necessary competencies, enabling them to make decisions based on qualifications. In this episode, we’ll discuss: - Shannon’s nontraditional background and the bias she herself encountered in her early career - The use of structured interview protocols to ensure candidates pass through on the strength of their qualifications - How to build a diverse pipeline of professionals from underrepresented communities - The importance of setting and aligning on competencies and a hiring bar - Inclusive language for recruitment materials and job posts Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast: - Women Who Code - Brilliant Black Minds Find every episode of Technically People on Apple, Spotify and more, or on our website, and join us on LinkedIn. Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Technically People in your favorite podcast player.
34 min 19 sec
In America, 157 million adults have at least one chronic illness. Hannah Rose Olson, Founder and CEO at Chronically Capable, makes one thing clear: A person who lives with chronic illness or disability is not just capable but they bring important skills to the table, like resilience and empathy. People with these challenges represent a massive pool of untapped talent for the workplace, which has already started adapting to the most requested accommodation: remote work. In this inaugural episode of Technically People, we interview Olson about strategies employers can adopt to attract and retain this capable and often untapped talent pool. In the interview, we discuss: - What it takes to build inclusive workplaces both in-office and virtually - Intersectionality for people of different communities with chronic illness - People’s fear of telling managers about an illness - Job descriptions that signal you’re inclusive for this population - 3 strategies for allyship Find every episode of Technically People on Apple, Spotify and more, or our website, and join us on LinkedIn. Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Technically People in your favorite podcast player.
30 min 27 sec
Welcome to Technically People, a podcast brought to you by Built In. This show will feature experts, thinkers, doers and futurist leaders on the vanguard of workplace issues. They’ll share ideas and tactics to shape a human-centered future of work in the tech industry. Topics include DEI and Belonging, hybrid and remote work, wellness, burnout, organizational psychology, human-centered leadership and much more. In this trailer episode, Tiffany Meyers and Sheridan Orr share how the podcast: - Aligns with the mission of Built In - Inspires leaders to approach their people matters in future-forward ways - Reflects the ongoing conversations Built In has had for years with the most future-forward companies and leaders in tech To pitch an idea for the show or send a note to the hosts, email TechnciallyPeople@builtin.com. And join us on LinkedIn. Tech employers need top talent now more than ever. Visit Employers.BuiltIn.com to discover how Built In can help you attract the sought-after tech talent you need to fill your roles of the future.
10 min 13 sec