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Tech promotes communities and diversity in HR, LinkedIn exec says

LinkedIn chief human resources officer talks in Q&A before HR Tech World 2017 San Francisco conference about diversity in HR and using tech and other means to achieve it.

Pat Wadors is chief human resources officer and senior vice president of global talent organization at LinkedIn....

Wadors is among several dozen executives from major HR tech companies and their customers featured as presenters at HR Tech World 2017 in San Francisco. SearchFinancialApplications and its publisher, TechTarget, are media partners of the conference. Among other big employers represented at the conference are Salesforce, Facebook, Dropbox, eBay, Wickr, Pinterest, AbbVie, General Motors, Mastercard, Visa and the FBI. Vendors include The Marcus Buckingham Company, Workday, ADP, Growbot, Infor, Glint, Virgin Pulse and CareerBuilder.

In this Q&A, Wadors talks about diversity in HR and using social media tech tools, such as LinkedIn, to achieve diversity. LinkedIn, which has nearly 12,000 employees, uses human capital management (HCM) software from Workday and an employee engagement platform from Glint internally. For hiring, the company relies, among other things, on its own widely used platform and other social media combined with in-person job fairs, often at nontraditional locations.

How can organizations best achieve and maintain diversity in HR and how is technology helping LinkedIn to do that?

Pat Wadors: I think that to create a belonging culture, you've got to hear stories and jump off others' shoulders of experiences and teach others how to move forward. We have a microsite that codifies a lot of different information for our employees to look at and get training, look at white papers, get bits of news from employees around the globe. We are doing a branding campaign on 'belonging moments' and sharing that on social media and blog posts.

Pat Wadors, LinkedInPat Wadors

What are some of the key aspects of a corporate culture of inclusion and diversity in HR and how does technology play into that?

Wadors: Having certain sensibilities, such as if I have a disability or how do you do your job? It's having those conversations. Things like that, that people may not be aware of or sensitive to. Technology covers gaps, creates accelerators, creates tighter communities. I love the way the LinkedIn profile draws in your network and enables learning from others.

When LinkedIn uses social media for diversity in HR and other purposes is it within the organization or with the world at large?

Wadors: Both. Sharing our stories and posting on LinkedIn is 'intra,' peer to peer. Internally there are posts on LinkedIn and people share how they view the culture and how they look at how they fit in and can be their authentic self. And they put it on Facebook too. It's storytelling.

What about the talent retention and attraction aspect of it?

To create a belonging culture, you've got to hear stories and jump off others' shoulders of experiences and teach others how to move forward.
Pat Wadorschief human resources officer, LinkedIn

Wadors: From a retention and attraction standpoint, if you're telling stories about how cool it is to work at LinkedIn and thrive and transform your group here, that's pretty sexy. Those stories are opportunities for others to join. For candidates in different cities we do regional recruiting, and not just going out to the top colleges. Junior colleges and other nontraditional places come into these regional fairs. We celebrate those stories as well and look for them to join our journey as well.

How do you use your various tech and non-tech tools to achieve your goals of diversity in HR?

Wadors: It's always going to be a mosaic because the diversity of talent you're trying to reach globally, you find them in different ways. So you've got to try different ways of engaging them to pull them in. [Diversity] includes country, language, experience, industries where you've worked -- we want it all.

How do you use technology internally to foster communication among diverse parts of the company?

Wadors: We use video tremendously. I find when I'm speaking to my peers, the use of video is underleveraged. Ninety percent of our conversations are body language. With verbal, you lose some of the excitement, some of the nuance, how people feel or their engagement. We highly encourage it. We wake up ready for video. I might have my PJs on, but I'll be smiling.

What's the key message you want your audiences at events like HR Tech World 2017 to take away when you present?

Wadors: People want to be found and discovered and fully leveraged. They don't want to be underemployed. There's not a single solution. When you're designing your solution or your architecture, try to be open and savvy enough that it's flexible.

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