#In321 with Jon Bischke, Founder & CEO of Entelo
1. Jon, we're excited to be chatting with you around the launch of your latest product: Entelo Diversity. Can you tell us how it works?
The genesis of Entelo Diversity was when we were approached by a number of tech companies who were telling us that they were having a difficult time recruiting female software engineers. In Silicon Valley, engineering teams often start out as either all male or mostly male and over time, it becomes an environment that makes it tough for them to attracted talent women. It's a bit of a snowball.
These companies were asking us if it was possible to allow them to run a search for, say, "Female Java engineers in the Bay Area". So we dug in the data to see if we could do a good job predicting gender using our social data and indeed, we were able to. We spoke with some more companies about needs they have for diversity recruiting and identified five key groups that were often under-represented: women, African Americans, Asians, Hispanics and people with military experience (i.e., "Vets").
The next step was to consult people with familiarity with employment law. Those conversations (and subsequent conversations since) confirmed to us that there were no legal issues with putting this product into the market. In fact, it turned that using a product like Entelo Diversity might be legally advisable for some companies, especially if they are required to show good faith efforts to increase representation among certain groups in their candidate pool.
We don't reveal the specifics around our algorithm or the factors we use to determine group membership. However, we can say that we're automating many things that the best recruiters have been doing for years to help source a more diverse candidate pool.
2. A lot of companies pay lip service to diversity but they really don't have solid diversity recruiting programs in place. How does Entelo Diversity enable an employer to sustain a "best place to work" diversity program and why is this important?
Whether it's the core Entelo product or Entelo Diversity, we're focused on helping companies fill the "front end of the funnel". If you don't have enough diversity in your candidate base, it's unlikely that you'll ultimately have enough diversity in your company. For years, people have been doing things like going to colleges with high percentages of women or African Americans or doing employer advertising in certain geographies to attract different types of applicants. There's nothing wrong with these activities and we applaud all efforts to recruit a more diverse workforce. However, we just don't think that those activities are always the most efficient way to recruit.
It's our sincere hope that Entelo Diversity can help companies to recruit a more diverse group of candidates and do so in a more cost-effective fashion. We strongly believe you should hire the best person for the job. That said, that "best person" should be pulled from a candidate pool that's reasonably diverse. If a company is struggling with the latter (i.e., has too much homogeneity in its applicant pools), a tool like Entelo Diversity might be a great investment.
3. We know that you and your wife have worked with the Clinton Foundation and traveled to Africa with President Clinton and Chelsea to experience first-hand how it's changed lives. We only have one more question but it's a two-parter: is Hillary going to run and do you know if Chelsea is having a boy or girl?
Ha. You have to ask me the questions that you know that I can't answer! :) I will say this, we're humbled to be able to support the Clinton Foundation. Traveling to Africa this year and seeing first-hand the work that is happening there inspired us to do even more to support what the Clintons are doing. And Chelsea is definitely following in her parents' footsteps. She has an incredible range of intellectual depth on a number of different issues (I wonder who she inherited that from?!) and is going to do a wonderful job carrying the Clinton torch for her generation.