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Selling in Color

May 4, 2021

We’re thrilled to welcome Roderick Jefferson on this episode of Selling in Color. As the Vice President of Field Enablement at Netskope with over 20 years of sales leadership, he knows how to create bridges between organizations to empower sales to exceed expectations. In today’s episode, we ask him one important question: why aren’t companies hiring more black people?

Many companies are not hiring people of color. Why is this the case?

  • It starts at the leadership level; there often aren’t people of color making the hiring decisions.
  • The recruiting process is flawed for two main reasons. First, recruiting is based mainly on referrals. And that's usually people who look like you or are in your circle. Second, companies continually recruit from the same schools year after year.
  • The cost of this is not just diversity by gender, color, or ethnicity; you lose diversity of thought.
  • Unfortunately, we have many people of color who aren’t utilizing the resources and platforms they have to support other people of color.

To current company leaders - here’s how you can help:

  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Stop doing what you've always done, broaden your horizons and put on a different set of lenses. Think about what is missing on your team, as far as diversity of thought.
  • Ask people of color inside your company how to find more people. But don't just say, “how can I find more people like you?” because that puts you in a box. Humbly explain that you’re looking to diversify. 
  • From the company perspective, recruiting starts with your website. If there is no show of diversity, equity and inclusion, it makes people of color feel like they aren’t welcome.
  • Make sure that your hiring managers are asking to see diverse recruits. 

Roderick’s parting advice:

  •  We get excited when a company moves from 1% to 2% in diversity -  that’s the wrong response. 
  • To Roderick, diversity means being invited to the table. Equity means being able to order anything he wants off the menu. Inclusion means the people in the restaurant sit down and break bread with him. 
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and get away from doing things the way you've always done it. Because the world older generations grew up in doesn't exist anymore. It's not going to happen by accident.

Want to get in touch with Roderick? Find him all over social on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You can also check out his website and congratulate him on his new book