Transcript:

Mo: Hello, hello, hello and welcome to this week’s everyday inclusion and belonging where we talk about everything, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging under the sun. We are doing a redo here because I have invited Deb Gran back. Deb and I had this conversation, I don’t know Deb, 6-9 months ago and our live streaming didn’t work so apparently, we were supposed to do it again when we could show up as twins.

So, Deb and I have, it’s probably been 5-6 years Deb, in a couple of different organizations, you’ve brought Moxie in, and from the very first conversation I had with them, I was struck by both an innovative and grounded HR leader she is in terms of always being willing to think about what’s next.

An always grounding in how people are the core of an organization’s success and you’re so far from the compliance-based HR leader of the past. I’ll let you introduce yourself and then I want to dig in because we just have so much to talk about.

Deb: Yeah, thank you for that. It’s always a pleasure having a conversation with you, so if this one doesn’t go live, we’ll just do it again. We have worked together for a good couple of years at a couple of different companies.

It’s interesting, I will tell you that I think I started out as that HR compliance person because that’s where many of us start, right? In you know helping organizations be compliant in certain areas, but you know, as my HR career grew and I started to work with direct businesses is when I think I started really adapting into more of, what do we really need to do to get out of that HR policing and be that partner.

And you know, kind of carry us through as well so you know, as you know, I’m the Corporate Vice President for DiaSorinin North America right now, been with the company about two years. Prior to that, I was a Senior Vice President for Amplifon Americas and prior of that I was with a company called Soft Med systems that also became part of the Three M organization, so I’ve had a pretty long run in a HR, it’s been my entire career.

I have worked for small companies that have been, you know, purchased by big companies and I’ve worked for international companies. The last two organizations I’ve worked with have been Italian owned, so I’ve had global experience working with them as well.

Mo: Which is always interesting. I know that you were just featured in redefining HR and Lars Schmitz book that’s out, that’s amazing. And I’m not surprised that you were one of the leaders that he decided to feature. So, let’s talk about that.

Deb: Thank you. Well, it was an honor to be one of the people that was selected to do a highlight in his book. I think his book is amazing, I’ve read it several times because it’s full of anecdotes and stories from a lot of all different HR leaders and I think any one of us who are building our HR careers or are managing an organization can relate to some of the stories that are in there.

So, I think his approach was very necessary and it’s a great learning experience.

Beyond that, I think it’s a great book for CEOs who really want to maybe better understand how to partner with HR or what that HR leader can really do for them. So, you know, I was very proud to be part of it.

I have that sitting on the shelf in my home office and it’s a reminder of all the great people that I’ve worked with in HR over the years and the business leaders that I’ve worked with that I’ve learned from.

Mo: I think seeing your shift right from sort of that compliance based to now, how do you unleash the potential of every person in your organization, right so from let’s make sure we check all the boxes to, let’s think about diversity and equity and inclusion in our people practices as well.

Your HR team was named Best Of, right?

Deb: Uh huh.

Inclusive Organizations Is Top Down

Mo: So, one of the things that I’ve appreciated is, you know, depending on different organizations sometimes there’s no DEI function and it lives in the organization, which is what I love. Sometimes it’s driven top to bottom. In DiaSorin what you all have done is sort of lead from both where I’ve seen you say, you know, let’s take a look at some of our talent acquisition practices and some things that we’ve done and interrupting bias there all the way through, how do we help everybody understand their role in inclusion?

So, let’s just talk about some of the things that you’re doing. Do you want to start with talent acquisition?

Deb: Yeah, absolutely, because I think sometimes, nothing is easy, right? But it’s beginning of fixed right? Talent acquisition is the beginning of almost every experience that you will have as a candidate and then ultimately an employee. And it touches not just HR, It’s the hiring manager, it’s the peers of this individual as well. In 2019 we really started to take a step back in the HR organization to say, what do we need to do differently just from an experience perspective.

And you know, part of our challenge was also the environments of where we are situated. In our Minnesota location for example, we are further out from the city, we are closer to Minnesota, Wisconsin border.

So, we miss out on a very big population of people who don’t necessarily want to drive to the location that we’re in.

And then our office in the Los Angeles area they have the traffic issue so we have that standing in our way sometimes of really reaching candidates. So, we really started to look at how we were doing recruitment overall. At the same time, we started to have some more conversations with you about what are some of the things that we can do to not only increase the candidate pool, but how are we going to make sure that we’re bringing candidates in and having a fantastic experience and making sure that we are looking at things from a diversity and inclusion perspective and making those things regular as possible.

So, we really took the approach of what can we do from a candidate perspective. Can we have blind resumes, can we make sure that there are dual in