Josh Magsam believes a remote workforce encourages diversity, but even largely remote companies need to work hard to foster diversity in each geography.
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Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to Episode 143 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. This week we’re talking about diversity and inclusion. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I’d like to welcome back to the podcast today. Josh Magsam. Josh, it’s lovely to have you back again. And the topic for this week is diversity and inclusion. I know you have a lot of experience hiring globally. And I’d be fascinated to hear your thoughts around maintaining a diverse workforce.
Josh Magsam 0:51
Yeah, absolutely. It’s, it’s certainly a topic that’s at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. You know, these days more than ever, I mean, people have been talking about this thinking about it, strategizing, rounded for quite some time, but there’s, I think, a very fresh and timely and to be frank, welcome sense of urgency. Right now, with anyone doing hiring, regardless of if you’re in support or marketing, where you’re at, you’re thinking about this on another level. Yet, you hear a word for global. So, you know, we’re hiring in Honduras, and Manila, and Romania. You know, but also various other remote locations in Northern Africa, a few other places. And so, you know, we’re getting cultural diversity and and of those different geographies. But, you know, everyone is really sort of looking back to your home base right now, and sort of saying, Hey, you know, how are you tapping into the communities around us? Is it? Is it possible to do a better job of finding a more diverse applicant pool? Right, where you are? And I think the answer is yes, it is possible. But the big question that I don’t know anyone has an answer for is, okay, how, how would you go out and do that? And does it happen tomorrow? Again? It does take it does take some time.
Charlotte Ward 2:16
I yeah, I think I think you’re absolutely right. There are no quick fixes, which is really frustrating in this climate of urgency that you just talked about. Right. And, and also, I think, a couple of things there. One is that remote as a working paradigm, does naturally Of course, give you a greater diversity in your potential hiring pool just by virtue of different social socio economic circumstances, different geographies, different skill sets, all of the all of the differences that hiring remote can, all the opportunities that hiring remote can give you in terms of what you’re looking for, and the kind of people you’re looking to hire in terms of skills or character or whatever else. So there’s that. But I think I think you do make an interesting point, actually, even even now, when we’re all effectively remote, even when the world is still pretty closed. There is a tendency for companies to want to keep things I think, relatively local to them as well. I mean, I think even all but the most remote first of companies have an HQ somewhere and have a tendency to hire in their locality don’t lay as you said, so that’s the challenge. I mean, particularly if you’re in a, you know, a very, like, let’s say, you’re in like the most middle class, frankly, white, privileged area on the planet. How do you what work can you do there? That’s that’s a tricky one. I don’t have the answers.
Josh Magsam 3:56
No, I mean, I think you know, well, I’ll give you one example. It’s an area that I think we have done well at, at partner hero. And in in Honduras, specifically, which is our original sort of home base, and our largest hub is there. And we kind of see it is really our spiritual home.
Unknown Speaker 4:15
We have a large
Josh Magsam 4:19
candidate pool in the LGBTQ plus community, and we’re sort of, I think, kind of sort of unofficially, a safe haven, employer in a lot of ways. We have partner programmes that are looking for applicants out of that pool. And so we just sort of continue to, to tap into that. So we have built up a reputation within the community. And it took time. I mean, it was well established when I came on board almost two years ago, but it took time. We had to hire people out of that community and we had to ask them, what we needed. For them to feel heard and safe. We had to listen to them. We had to do the work of finding you know, ways that we have had to change or adapt to make sure that we were meeting their needs and, and, you know, bringing everyone to the table, people outside the community, but also within our workforce, how did we have to sort of work on educating them, and it’s an ongoing process, I’m not going to say that we’ve perfected it, there or anywhere else, you know, but over time, you do build up a reputation of of like, you know, hey, I’m a member of this community, I’m needing a job, I’m going to talk to my other community members, and they’re saying, like, you should go, you should go check this one out there. They’re good. They they walk the walk, they’re trying, they’re listening, you know. But then you the big challenge is you kind of have to do that, across all the communities you have to reach. And so how do you find that entry point, you have to be very deliberate and intentional in your approach. And you have to do a lot of asking, and a lot of listening. And I think the big challenge that companies are facing now is how do you ask in a way that, that helps the company do better work, rather than assume that the communities themselves have to do the work? You know, it’s sort of saying, like, tell us how we can hire more people in your community, instead of saying, like, here’s what we’re doing. Is there anything we’re missing? What What else should we be doing? Do you know anyone, you know, else that has references we can talk to, you know, so in a way, sort of just continuously showing like, we’re open ended, and we’re even more open? And then we’re even more open? Again, to finding out what we’re not doing. Right. And,
Charlotte Ward 6:43
and as you said, and as you said, iterating, that for every single kind of facet of diversity that you possibly can, right? Yeah, yeah. I love what you said there that it’s about building that reputation as well. Because it’s more than it’s more than a facade that you paint on. It’s more than a few social media posts, isn’t it? It’s, yeah, it’s, it’s really, a, it’s about walking the walk. But it’s about building the reputation that goes with walking the walk, it’s about comfort, it comes down to trust, right, in each
Josh Magsam 7:17
of those communities. A lot about trust. And, you know, I mean, we’re always expanding, and we’re looking at other markets. Right now, in the United States, we’re looking at a couple different, you know, labour markets to expand some of our sort of remote hub kind of configurations. And, you know, we’ve got extensive data on, you know, cost of living and, you know, different diversity, metrics, and all those sorts of things. And those are great. And even even, let’s just say it at surface level, those are, you know, highly accurate, and you can sort of identify a geographical area based on those metrics, think you’ve got a great diverse candidate pool. Well, guess what?
Unknown Speaker 8:00
If you just
Josh Magsam 8:03
start planting your, you know, your job postings in the same channels, you’re probably still not gonna reach those communities. Right, you’re, you’re still going to get the same demographic of applicants in that geography as you’ve got any other geographies. So you have to go into that place, started talking to people on the ground to say, hey, I want to reach all these communities. How? How do I do that? Where should I go? And again, you know, be very intentional and committed and saying, you know, a lot of conversations, rightfully so right now, we’re saying like, how do we reach more African American applicants, if you’re a US based company? You know, I’ve I’ve heard over the years at other companies, you know, people saying, we’re just not getting that the candidate, but what are we missing and no one’s really doing the deep work and being intentional saying, we have to go out and find out where we should be. Because just putting up a posting in the Portland area, for example, is not going to necessarily guarantee you diversity. It’s a diverse city, in many ways, but you’re going to have to work and be intentional and the communities that you reach out to build trust with show that you’re serious, you know, and then over time, you will, you will start to see that diversity reflected in your applicant pool, but it isn’t an overnight process. And I think a lot of companies are frustrated with that ever, you know, people want to see change happen. But it is going to take time.
Charlotte Ward 9:34
Yeah, absolutely time, trust and reputation, I think, and and being intentional, I think those are four words. I thought I had three it’s it turns out it’s four, four key points about about increasing, increasing diversity and against and create great candidates out of that whole experience. Wherever, wherever and whatever they whatever the communities they come from right i think that that’s the answer. Well, that’s the aim. Right? Okay, so those are the four things What was it again, time reputation trust, intentionality. That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/143 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.
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