Workplace Culture

Porter Braswell Interview: Diverse Recruits, We See You

By Kellye Whitney

Apr. 22, 2015

When it comes to recruiting a diverse workforce, “We can’t find quality candidates” is a common excuse and an actual reason for failure. But technology may offer a solution to find the best diverse talent in one place. Porter Braswell, CEO of Jopwell, a tech-enabled minority recruitment company, and co-founder Ryan Williams launched the platform in 2014 to help organizations connect with minority candidates. Kellye Whitney, Workforce’s associate editorial director, recently talked to Braswell.

Workforce: What’s the state of diversity recruitment in America?Porter Braswell May 2015

Porter Braswell: When you look at diversity, the overarching umbrella, there are subsections: gay and lesbians, veterans, women. Across the country, people are taking a much closer look at that umbrella. Jopwell looks to solve the minority section of diversity. Within that category from tech to finance to health care, how do you tap into the pipeline of minority candidates?

WF: What prevents companies from recruiting minority talent?

Braswell: The barriers can be broken down into three categories. The first one is inadequate marketing. Organizations have roles from legal to finance to sales to HR. How do you communicate the breadth of roles available in your organization to a minority population? The second barrier is limited resources. While diversity recruiting is important to a lot of organizations, so is recruiting in general. You can’t devote all your time, energy and efforts to diversity when you’re also recruiting the general public. Third is a lack of a pipeline. How do you actually get in front of candidates across the country and let them know there is a role for them? When looking at finance companies, how do you get in front of a biology or a philosophy major who may be perfect for your company?

WF: How does your recruitment platform alleviate those barriers?

Braswell: We have organizations on our platform from technology companies to finance, health care, startups, retail. Because of that we’ve been able to go after candidates who have a variety of different interests. So that biology, philosophy or law major, or people who currently work in those fields, when they come to our platform, they’ll see the breadth of industries we have available. Once they’ve signed up, we apply tags to our partner organizations. So when a user searches for a technology company, they’re going to see other organizations they may not have thought of before.

WF: How do you get minorities to sign up?

Braswell: We’ve partnered with minority affinity groups throughout the country, the current delegation in addition to their alumni networks. It’s not just for people who are currently looking for jobs. Even when they’re fully satisfied with their jobs people still should know the breadth of roles available; they should still be able to connect and communicate with organizations to learn more.

Kellye Whitney is associate editorial director for Workforce.

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