Not our team at PowerToFly but that's what we basically looked like during this hiring blitz.
Last year PowerToFly, the company I cofounded, was faced with our biggest challenge yet: diversify a tech team with skilled women for a major media company in three weeks. Oh and the positions were in Seattle and New York — already markets where women in tech are in high demand and recruiting teams are crawling all over them.
We’ve all heard the myriad of excuses when it comes to finding women in tech. The “pipeline problem” stands out the most. Companies love to say not enough women in tech graduated from computer science programs so therefore they don’t exist in the hiring market. But doesn’t that sound ironic when you consider that Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs never graduated with a Computer Science degrees? Clearly no pipeline problem there.
At PowerToFly we don’t use the “P” word. We look for women who want to work now because we know they are out there, especially if companies partner with us in the right ways to find them. It’s not easy, but we got the job done for the major media company and we’re working for them again this winter. We can’t give away all of our secrets (we wouldn’t have a business if we did) but here’s a top line breakdown of how we diversified a tech team to have over 50% women on it.
1. Our Platform is Built For and By Women — So Women Come:
Think about how most career sites are made. They focus on your timeline. Women often have very different timelines than men. We have babies. We leave the workforce to take care of them sometimes. Or maybe we didn’t major in Computer Science in college, but we did go to a bootcamp where we learned to code and build products out of the gate. Our PowerToFly profiles ask women to share their stories first and foremost so they can explain why their timeline doesn’t look like a thirty-year old Ivy League grad’s. Employers can scroll down the page for resume info if they want that information too.
2. We Called It A Hiring Blitz and Aligned Our Teams:
We’re a company of almost all women — but we like using war terms like the rest of the business world… Our talent management team aligned with our talent acquisition team on daily meeting schedule that was managed through a project tracker that we all shared. Here’s the template you can download. We actually use this template to manage priorities for our senior team every quarter. My cofounder and I go through and approve top level tasks before the start of the quarter to make sure everyone is on the same page.
3. We Created Content Highlighting Women Working at The Company:
We’re big believers at PowerToFly that you have to “see it to be it”. Yes, companies run employer branding campaigns to showcase their employees, but how many in depth articles have you read about women in tech working at those companies? As working mothers ourselves we have questions that aren’t often answered on company sites. How do you manage a product pipeline with two toddlers who need to get picked up from nursery school everyday? We’ve seen it done and we tell those stories to inspire others.
4. We Also Focused on Hiring Managers:
When looking for a job people can find a lot of information about the company… but what about the person they will be working with everyday? At PowerToFly we know transparency creates a more efficient hiring process. There’s two reasons why this makes sense: one, you want to give people a chance to be prepared for their interview. If they aren’t, especially, when there is information out there about their potential boss, then that’s a flag not to hire them. Second, everyone should have a clear idea who they are working with on day one. If you’re expectations are out-matched then your employment history will be short-lived.
5. We Promoted Content In Places Where Women Are:
Job websites act like it’s still the mid 1990s. Content is all on their site — and not across the social channels where women spend more of their time. How about going to where women are on the social web, especially since they are already overwhelmed? We are big believers in taking opportunities to women instead of asking them to come to us and we do this at PowerToFly for companies through a network of partner sites, women’s organizations, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn groups and a myriad of other places.
6. We Invited 400 Women To A Webinar With The Hiring Managers:
We did this for one main reason: to measure intent within the candidate pool. As I said in point three, we’re very insistent that women know who their hiring managers are. We went a step deeper and held a webinar with those hiring managers. After the webinar women raised their hands who wanted to stay in the hiring process. Those who weren’t interested in what they heard left — everyone saved time. For the record, 141 women expressed interest after the hour-long webinar to work for the media company.
7. With 141 Women In The Running, We Started The Technical Vetting Process: This is where it got interesting. We have Technical Account Managers who focused on code reviews while our Talent Management Team checked in with candidates to see how they felt about the company’s cultural principles. Note that we never put ourselves in a position where we could say “she isn’t a cultural fit”. We think that’s a proxy for people being able to get away from racism or sexism. Instead we wanted to make sure the women felt comfortable and aligned with the company’s internal dynamics.
8. We Handpicked 22 Candidates For The Media Company To Review: We took over 400 candidates and whittled it down to 22 women for the company to meet. Our goal is to save everyone time — especially women in tech who get pulled in every direction. With those 22 interviews, the interviews began in Seattle and New York. The interview process needed some improvements which we highlighted immediately to the media company. One woman felt that the panel interviewing her was too male. Another woman felt like a hiring manager barely asked her any technical questions and made his assumptions about her “fit” based on her appearance. It was our job at PowerToFly to let them know. When we told the hiring manager at the media company he took the feedback and made changes immediately. That was one of the more rewarding parts of the blitz. Real time change for women during the interview process.
9. They Hired 7 Women
And that’s the story.
So, have you created a profile on PowerToFly yet? If not, you should. It's time to elevate your value -- get noticed and interviewed by some of the best hiring managers on the planet.
Check out the following job openings below at companies we have accepted on the PowerToFly platform because they value gender diversity and inclusion.
Not Everything is Engineering: Logicworks’ Courtney Pearce on Taking on Tech from a Sales Perspective
Courtney Pearce’s background isn’t one you’d expect to find in a tech sales position. But as a motivated self-starter, it makes all the sense in the world that she’s been so successful in her role as Solutions Specialist at Logicworks.
If you ask her what she’s most proud of about her time so far at Logicworks, she’ll say her growth over the last four years.
“Even though I came from a technology company that was selling software, selling infrastructure and infrastructure managed services is very different. There was a learning curve. And when I started four years ago, I was the only woman. So I felt like there was this uphill battle of educating myself on the cloud platform. Now, I'm one of the top sales reps and have consistent top performance. So I'm most proud of my growth over the last four years.”
Courtney has a lot of wisdom to impart to those interested in taking on the sales side of tech. We sat down with her to learn more about how she broke into the tech world by utilizing her retail experience.
An Unexpected Path Into Sales
Courtney started college as an Orthodontics major but eventually realized that science wasn’t her calling.
“Although I'm a great student, science and math were difficult subjects for me,” she admits. "I ended up taking a random textile and clothing elective and it was my favorite class.”
She enjoyed the breadth of the program and decided to become a Textiles and Clothing major.
“You got the opportunity to learn the sociology behind why people wear clothes, the chemistry behind dying, how to make fabric, then creating a line from start to finish and marketing that to the class,” she shares.
Although fascinated by the program, her career journey didn’t lead her to the fashion industry but rather to an adjacent career in retail.
“I ended up accepting a leadership position for a big box department store,” she says. “At 23 years old, I ran a 35 million dollar store. It was a great experience and I learned a lot.”
After two years of working in retail for various name brands, she found her way into a tech company through a recruitment role.
Breaking Into the Tech World
While Courtney was working at a recruiting firm, she was approached by a security tech company with a position as a technical recruiter. She was interested in the role and applied, but didn’t get an immediate response.
“I didn't hear back, but continued to follow up,” she recounts. "One night, I got a phone call that said, ‘You're not a good fit for the technical recruiter role, but we have this new group that we're building out called business development and they're working directly with sales. Based on your experience and the fact that you're willing to follow up, we think you'd be a great fit’.”
At the time Courtney knew nothing about the tech space but that didn’t stop her from interviewing for the position.
"I spent an entire week browsing the website, watching all their product marketing videos, and tried to wrap my head around what this security company did," she explains.
During the interview, she blew them away with her knowledge of the company.
“I gave my five-minute spiel and I think that impressed them,” Courtney shares. “I had taken the time to research the company, and not having had a tech background, I tried to comprehend what they do.”
Hired as a business development rep, she had the opportunity to build the team from the ground up.
Reaching New Heights at Logicworks
Courtney continued to rise in the ranks, but she eventually felt that she had hit a plateau. With a desire to try out something new, she looked to Logicworks who offered her the career advancement she was looking for.
“I had reached my potential with my previous employer. There wasn’t anything new for me to learn. I wanted to figure out what was next in my career. There was an opening at Logicworks for a Solution Specialist to be based in Boston. That was enticing for me.”
When Courtney moved to Logicworks she was able to explore job autonomy.
“It gave me the opportunity to move into a territory that I'd been working in for many years, but also run that territory like my own business,” she explains. "There was nobody else working within that space, and I could create the process that I wanted to.”
Now at Logicworks, she experiences the constant changes of a cloud system.
“I'm constantly learning,” she shares. “We're constantly evolving our services, what products we're providing, and how our services are integrated as the cloud is maturing. It keeps me interested every single day.”
Now as a sales lead, Courtney focuses on building relationships with current and potential clients.
Coincidentally, the relationship-building skills that Courtney uses on a daily basis come from her experience in retail.
“I think coming from retail, you have to be able to talk to anyone,” she says. “You're getting a lot of different customer personalities, so it allows me to be comfortable talking to strangers, which I think is key in sales.”
Along with sales experience, Courtney's internal drive has been key in propelling her forward.
“Being a self-starter and watching YouTube videos on what the cloud is, what AWS is, and taking that time on my own to learn and absorb as much as I can are, at the end of the day, the kinds of things that you can prepare you to enter the tech space,” she explains.
Ultimately, it was the skills she learned in retail and her self-taught understanding of tech that have led to her success.
Advice for Entering the Tech World Through Sales
If you're looking to enter the tech world from a sales angle, Courtney offers this advice:
- Find companies that resonate with your values. “Whether you like their product and think that product is solving a pain point in the marketplace, or you align with the company's values, work for a company whose mission you support,” Courtney advises.
- Be pleasantly persistent. “The biggest thing that helped me was when I reached out and nobody responded, and then I followed up and nobody responded, and then I followed up again and they called me. Being pleasantly persistent shows that you’re interested and invested in the organization,” she explains.
- Do your research. “Take the time to figure out what the company does and what they are all about. Educate yourself above and beyond the basic training material to ensure that you have the right knowledge base to be successful in the role.”
If you are looking to grow within the tech space, check out these open positions at Logicworks.
Recruiter Tips to Answer This Question!
💎 Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Does this question make you anxious? Watch the video to the end to learn all about how to best answer it in an interview!
📼 When asked "Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?", don’t be scared! Kathy Brehmer, Lead Technology Recruiter at Spectrum, wishes to know what drives you in your career path and shares tips on how to prepare for your interview.
📼 When applying for a position at Spectrum it’s very important to know where you do see yourself in the next 5 years, but also here’s some more insight into what the whole application process looks like: First, your resume will be reviewed, and if your skills are aligned, an initial phone screen with a recruiter will be set up. These conversations are typically informal and you will be asked the basic questions to get to know your background and skills. But then, of course, some of the most important would be, what're your top criteria. It could be the work environment. It could be the type of culture, the team, or career growth. In a follow-up interview with maybe a panel of developers, if it's a more technical role to deliver on technical questions, it would be advantageous if you would ask questions yourself that are important around the particular technologies or how you approach a particular strategy or deliver. Finally, on the interview piece, there might be a final interview that would be with the leader or the product owners and cross-functional teams. So you have a chance to identify with the folks with whom you'd be working. And then, of course, they would as well.
📼 Besides being ready to answer "Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?", prepare yourself to share your story. The life experience does also contribute to Spectrum’s evaluation of a candidate. Life learning lessons do contribute to who we become. There are always these opportunities where we learn from our mistakes and we provide process improvement and building on relationships. Therefore, Spectrum does look at the transferable skills in their interview process. Those are certain factors that would come into play in consideration alongside the skills and the experience set. If there was an opportunity, there might be some more junior level folks who apply to positions that Spectrum does have hiring managers who would offer the opportunity to interview and deliver on how their work and life experiences or studies have applied to maybe where they can be a great asset to the roles of which they are interviewing.
Where Do You See Yourself In The Next 5 Years? - Express your enthusiasm
At Spectrum, they place a lot of value on reaching out to each of those folks who interviewed you. They would recommend you do that and pull up their LinkedIn profiles, and send them a quick thank you note there or follow up via email. They would recommend the delivery in those thank you notes to be anything from a simple thank you to include a quick collaboration on something mentioned in the interview process. That being said, make sure that you are expressing your enthusiasm for the role. Spectrum thinks this goes miles, and they would recommend doing that within the first 24 hours of your interview just to keep it fresh.
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining Spectrum? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Kathy Brehmer
Kathy is AIRS Certified, Sr. Technical Recruiter with experience in Corporate Recruiting, Contract Recruiting, and Agency Staffing (Contract and Perm positions). If you are interested in a career at Spectrum, you can connect with Kathy Brehmer on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Spectrum
Spectrum's Products and Services are powered and innovated by Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR), a leading broadband communications company and the second-largest cable operator in the United States. Their company provides a full range of advanced broadband services, including Spectrum TV™ video entertainment programming, Spectrum Internet™ access, and Spectrum Voice™. Spectrum Business® similarly provides scalable, tailored, and cost-effective broadband communications solutions to business organizations, such as business-to-business Internet access, data networking, business telephone, video and music entertainment services, and wireless backhaul. The advertising sales and production services are sold under the Spectrum Reach™ brand. News and sports networks are operated under the Spectrum Networks brand.
💎Nestlé’s manufacturing excellence team is growing. The team supports Nestlé USA factories that produce bakery sweets brands including Toll House, Libby's and Carnation, and Nestlé Professional Brands which supply food service operations. Watch the video to the end to apply and begin your career there!
📼The manufacturing excellence team seeks someone passionate about driving world-class manufacturing through continuous improvement methodologies. Jennifer Watson and Taylar Marshall, Senior Managers, give you all the information you need to join their team.
📼Join the manufacturing excellence team if you are a go-getter, someone who takes the initiative to establish cross-functional teams to eliminate losses. This also means you should be highly collaborative with a variety of people and have a curious mindset about how things are manufactured. If you fill these requirements, don’t hesitate to apply!
📼The manufacturing excellence team unlocks career path opportunities throughout different functions, locations, and brands across Nestlé USA. Jenny Watson shares her own experience: her career has included roles in three different functions: manufacturing excellence, manufacturing, and operations strategy. She was based out of three different locations: Springville, Utah, Solon, Ohio, and Medford, Wisconsin across four different categories. The opportunities at Nestlé are truly endless!
Inside The Manufacturing Excellence Team
This team is driving continuous improvement and project management routines in the Toll House factory to contribute to the overall expected business results in the bakery and sweets category. It is a boots-on-the-ground team that tries to solve complex problems with a focus on people development and operator capability building. No day is the same in their team!
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining Nestlé USA? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Jennifer Watson and Taylar Marshall
More About Nestlé USA
Nestlé USA has been nourishing a growing world for generations. No matter where you work within the Nestlé organization, you’ll discover new opportunities to grow while you help them inspire healthier lives, support local communities, do what’s right for the planet, and make an impact.
From September 12-15, 2022, PowerToFly hosted a four-day virtual event, featuring a three day summit and single day virtual job fair.
To kick off the event, attendees had the opportunity to partake in a one-hour guided networking session followed by three full days of fireside chats and panels where they were able to listen and ask questions to experts and thought leaders across multiple industries.
Featured Summit Topics Included:
- The Art & Science of How to Clarify Your Best Fit Career Path
- Going Back to the Drawing Board: How to Navigate Major Career Shifts
- Pulling Back the Curtain: Understanding What’s Happening Behind the Scenes In the Hiring Process
- 4 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door to a New Career
- Nailing the Basics: How to Grow with Intention and Purpose
- How to Break Into a New Industry Without Starting Over
Companies We Hosted At The Job Fair:
- Bank of America | Hiring for: Senior Financial Analysts, Business Bankers, Senior Technology Managers, and more!
- ScienceLogic | Hiring for: Technical Support Engineers, Chief Marketing Officers, Product Managers, Executive Assistants, and more!
- PowerToFly | Hiring for: Global DEIB Strategist & Trainers, Account Executives, Support Specialists, Events Specialists, and more!
Thank you for joining 4 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door to a New Career with Flatiron School Career Coach Betsy Kent! In case we weren’t able to get to your question in the Q&A, or if you thought of additional questions after we wrapped, here are two ways you can contact the Flatiron School Admissions team directly:
- Schedule a casual 10-minute chat with a Flatiron School Admissions rep
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Attending information sessions, panels, and workshops is the best way to get a sneak peek into what studying at Flatiron School is like — so don't miss what else is coming up! You can find a list of our events HERE.