Episode 21: Shari Johnston, Lauren Goldstein, and Cristina Saunders

In our 21st episode, Jason Widup, VP of Marketing at Metadata, talks category creation with the founding members of Women in Revenue, a community focused on the education and awareness of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Panelists for this episode include:

  • Shari Johnston
  • Lauren Goldstein
  • Cristina Saunders

 

You’ll walk away from this episode with an understanding of startup communities, job description best practices, and employee mentorship.

Here are some of the key takeaways from this episode.

Takeaway 1. Leverage your community to find talent

The benefits of creating a community around your brand can’t be understated. Communities drive product innovation. They help you collect real-time feedback, increase your customer retention, and even find ideas for future product releases.

For the team at Women In Revenue, their Slack community was a key part of their growth. They launched three years ago and grew to over 5000 active members within that short time. The community is now an essential part of the organization’s mission to provide greater career opportunities to women in the tech industry.

In addition to creating awareness around their mission, the community also doubles as a source for finding talent. This is a great strategy many companies can apply within their own communities as it reduces the time and costs associated with hiring.

Takeaway 2. Make your job descriptions more inclusive

The key to attracting the right candidates is to be deliberate with how you write your job descriptions. The words you use have a greater impact than you might think. For example, a female-identified talent may be less inclined to apply for a job if all of its duties use “He” as the main pronoun.

“They” and “you” pronouns are your best bets when it comes to creating inclusive job descriptions. It’s also always a good idea to get feedback from your employees before you post a job description online or anywhere else. This has two primary benefits: 1. It reduces the likelihood of unconscious bias affecting how you write your job description and 2. It allows you to get a better idea of the skills that are needed for the job.

Your goal should be to make your job descriptions as easy to read as possible. Avoid jargon. Focus on using universally understood language. This will make it easier for people of all backgrounds to focus on the critical requirements of your job posting rather than unnecessary fluff.

Takeaway 3. Provide mentorship and onboarding to increase employee engagement

Once you’ve gone through all the effort of optimizing your job descriptions and hired the right candidates for the job, you’ll need to ensure that your employees have everything they need to perform at their best. This usually starts with the onboarding process.

Many startups skip onboarding either because they don’t have a process in place or they don’t think it’s necessary. That’s a big mistake. Your onboarding sets the tone for your employees’ engagement at work. Without one, employee retention will decrease and so will performance.

It’s also best practice to have a mentorship program where your employees can learn from each other. This can help your employees gain a new perspective on their fields, develop their network, and improve their skills, all of which lead to increased engagement at work.

For more insights about hiring, workplace inclusion, and building a community around your startup, listen to episode 21 of B2B category creators.

BONUS!

Shari describes some of the operational challenges of managing an all-volunteer organization.

Join us on October 22nd for DEMAND — Get Closer to Revenue.
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