by Hank Frecon, the chief executive officer of Source Digital
According to a report by McKinsey & Company, companies that commit themselves to diverse leadership are more successful. When you have a team made up of people from various backgrounds and experiences, you will get a mix of results that can benefit your company. There are numerous benefits of having a diverse team, but not everyone knows how to build a team of experts.
The company has created a platform which takes video advertising and e-commerce to a whole new level; by activating video storytelling. People can literally make purchases and explore information within the video, without missing a beat. A diverse team of experts came together to create the vision and platform that has gotten the company where it is today.
Our Source Digital team is plentiful with industry experience, including one of our co-founders – and my sister – Laura Frecon. Laura is a costume designer and stylist with many movie and film credits to her name and has an Emmy nomination for her work on Mad Men. And while I have over 18 years of experience in the technology industry, I’m also continuing a third-generation farming legacy by also owning and running Frecon’s Cidery, where 100% of the apples used to make the cider are grown by my brother and father.
Our chief product officer, Michael Phillips, is an Academy Award-winning technologist and creative professional. Justin Williams, the chief operating officer, has 23 years of experience in interactive entertainment. Jeff Wilhoite and Lesley Glorioso round out the list of key members on the Source Digital team. Wilhoite has over 20 years of experience in business and revenue acquisition, while Glorioso offers an extensive history in finance, programs, and products.
Each of these people on the Source Digital team, as well as the others that round out the company, all have something to bring to the table. They have a variety of skill sets and are all able to contribute to the company’s mission and help carry it forward. Putting together a winning team worked for us, and it can work for other companies, too.
Here are 8 things every business can do to build a diverse team to help them succeed:
1. Be flexible.
Don’t have rigid expectations about what type of experience you want in the candidates you look to hire. Oftentimes, people have a preconceived notion of a specific type of experience they want, but their team may benefit more from a type of experience they hadn’t even expected. Being flexible when it comes to experience and education can go a long way.
2. Get creative.
When it comes to writing your job descriptions, think outside of the box. Write your job description and what you are looking for in a way that invites a diverse population to apply for the position. When you cast a wide net, you are more likely to get what you are looking for.
3. Invite referrals.
Having an employee referral program can help bring in talent that you may not have considered before. You may have employees who know someone who would be great for a position you are considering. Be open to meeting with the person to see if they would be a good fit.
4. Offer internships.
When you open your business up to internship positions, you will get a chance to try people out and see if they are a good fit. Invite people from diverse areas to intern, so you can widen the exposure your company has to the talent that is waiting to be discovered.
5. Be adaptable.
Having the ability to adjust to new conditions is going to go a long way toward helping your company to succeed. Be sure to have team members who can readily adapt.
6. Opt for integrity.
It’s important to have a team of people who are honest and have a strong moral foundation. These are the people who are representing your company and will help give it a reputation, good or bad.
7. Have a vision.
Your company will be far more successful if you have a clear vision that you share with your team, as well as an organizational culture. These things are often overlooked and don’t get the attention they need.
8. Commit to it.
Make the decision that your company is going to have a diverse team, and then stick to it. Keep it in mind when it comes time to working with vendors and hiring new employees. Renew your commitment to it as often as needed so your company benefits.
Hank Frecon is CEO and co-founder of Source Digital, pioneering the next generation of advertising and commerce technology. Frecon also continues his family’s third-generation farming legacy at Frecon Cidery, one of Pennsylvania’s premier cideries he helped to establish in 2008.