There are few companies that have seen the growth and success of Uber in recent years.
Naturally, this growth brings challenges, and Danielle Monaghan, VP of global talent acquisition and mobility, talks to UNLEASH about corporate recruitment in the organization.
Monaghan notes that the company is no longer looking at explosive growth, but instead, profitability as Uber continues to be a leader in the transport industry, as well as the delivery of numerous goods, in service to Uber’s ‘Go anywhere, Get anything’ strategy‘.
Despite not looking to grow dramatically, Monaghan explains how the company continues to attract quality talent who want to be ahead of the curve. In fact, she states that the drivers for potential staff are the opportunity to be “working on problems that have yet to be solved, and the ability to move internally with ease.”
To highlight the ability to approach new challenges, the company focuses “on job content, and how interesting the work is that you’re doing.”
“We’ve really gone back and tightened our message around the roles, we’ve tightened our message around the culture of the company.” adds Monaghan.
In terms of hiring, Uber is “focused on diversity, and diverse experiences, opinions, backgrounds.”
Uber and diversity
Speaking about diversity, Monaghan adds: “We follow a methodology that has proven to be successful in law firms in the US”.
She explains: “It’s called the Mansfield Rule and it looks at the geographies you are recruiting from and what the make-up of available talent is in that location.
“The idea behind it is that the top of your funnel should look like your available talent pool. If you have a very Asian-based talent pool, you’re going to have more Asians in your funnel. If you may be in an area where you have a lot of black talent, your funnel needs to reflect that.”
This methodology does assume “that people will come through the funnel in the way they’re supposed to, and the hires will happen in the way they’re supposed to.”
“You can run into issues of bias in your funnel, but if you’re really good about tracking it, you can quickly identify where it’s happening, and you can fix it.”
Uber has been using the Mansfield Rule across its corporate recruitment for approximately a year.
It has helped further the company’s mission to “ignite opportunity by hiring diverse global talent enabled by high-tech and high-touch.”
Evolving high-tech and high-touch recruitment
Looking ahead, Uber wishes to develop its high-tech and high-touch recruitment further and focus on automation.
Monaghan gives an idea of this scope: “We want to automate anything and everything that we possibly can automate”. This means “we can free recruiters up to have the high touch with all candidates, not just senior candidates or niche candidates; all candidates”.
She continues: “We’re investing very heavily in technology both for our sourcers and recruiters, and for our talent coordinators so that we can automate and then focus on candidate experience where recruiters and sourcers have time to focus on those moments that matter and are special to candidates through the process’.”
Speaking broadly about other industries, Monaghan notes: “I think everybody wants to automate.”
“Other fields believe in automation it’s just [a question of] do they get budgets for automation?
“In the tech industry, it’s almost a no-brainer, we know we need to automate, we need to be efficient and we know what technology can do for us, but we also need to compete for scarce engineering resources within our companies.“
As well as automation, Monaghan highlights the importance of data insights, analytics, and people predictions.
Upskilling staff at Uber
As the “Great Resignation” becomes a growing and concern and staff shortages are felt, many are turning towards educating existing staff. Uber is also doing this despite fighting for the best talent in the marketplace.
Uber Academies are the vehicle for employee upskilling and have allowed the company to train staff in specific areas that require expertise. One of the many areas of focus in the academy is product management.
“We’ve opened up a Product Management Academy that we will put people into, they get training, they go through boot camp, it’s six months. Then when they finish the Academy, they’ll interview for product managers for many of our organizations,” explains Monaghan.
Another Uber Academy focuses on sales. Monaghan notes that by taking this approach Uber can “hire very good diverse talent that don’t necessarily have a sales background” and teach them how to sell. This is an initiative that Monaghan and Uber are particularly proud of.
“We hire people with really interesting backgrounds: ex-sports players in the US NFL, ex-military, veterans, and then we put them through a four-month Talent Acquisition Academy program, and then they graduate” and join respective teams.
“We do that every quarter, and we have about 15 people in the cohort, so we can graduate 60 plus people a year. It’s been super successful. So I love growing your own [talent], but you just have to be very committed to it because they are not going to come in off the ground running.
“You’ve got to be committed to putting in the time and the training and the support.” Yet, Monaghan states that: “The talent that you graduate is second to none.”
There are also tangible benefits for Uber: “People are, they’re appreciative for the opportunity. They’re loyal to the company, they will take every hill for you, and they work super hard. They’re great team players” comments Monaghan.
She adds: “They’re incredible ambassadors for Uber” and ideal people to speak to potential candidates during the recruitment stage as Uber was able to give them a career path.
Future of work
Speaking about how HR can evolve Monaghan states “nothing has literally changed in 25 years” before she adds “that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, because yes, tech has changed. But really, the process is still the same. The hiring managers, hiring manager issues, how we process people – there is such a huge opportunity for somebody to come in and disrupt the industry.
“It’s an industry that needs to be completely overhauled and it’s going to take somebody that’s sort of brave and courageous to do it.” Monaghan adds that once someone can effectively disrupt the industry, they will need to be able to talk about their success and spread their message.
After working with tech start-ups and media outlets like UNILAD Technology, The Hook and WhatCulture, Dan has become a journalist at UNLEASH. Dan is combining his first-hand experience alongside the latest news and opinions in the HR Technology space.