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Q&A with the #1 on Our List of top HBCU Employers: McGraw-Hill

Q&A with the #1 on Our List of top HBCU Employers: McGraw-Hill
Posted By: Will Moss on June 26, 2011

Our writer Wylana Lee sat down with Peter Castillo, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition,
Angela Smith, Bureau Administrator, McGraw-Hill Aviation Week and John Marshall, Vice President Technology and Business Operations, McGraw-Hill Platts to find out what it takes to be the #1 ranked organization on HBCUConnect.com's "Top 50 HBCU Employers" list!

This is the second year The McGraw-Hill Companies is ranked in the Top10!

Read the interview and find out what it takes to be the #1 Employer and what it takes to get hired by
the best!

Q) Who is McGraw-Hill and what type of products and services do you offer?

A) McGraw-Hill is one of the world’s leading publishing and information companies in the media space. Our business portfolio is broken up into three sectors: Education, (all public school books and tests are created by McGraw-Hill), Financial, (Standard & Poor’s, we own S&P ratings), and Information and Media (J.D. Power and Associates).

Q) Does McGraw-Hill have a commitment to diversity?

A) Yes! We have a resurgence of a commitment over the last few years as well. We are top on the list of Women in Business Magazine and so they pay really close attention to how we rank against our peer companies. McGraw-Hill has built out considerable platforms, very strong platforms around the corporation for diversity and inclusion. Each segment of the three McGraw-Hill sectors has their own diversity and inclusion counsels that are well structured with presidents and executive team kind of structure. They have trained almost all of the hiring managers at a certain grade level across the company on hiring practices to ensure that the candidate pool for senior positions are as diverse as they can be across all elements of diversity. The training has gone over very well , they each have their own charters to ensure that the organization is doing all they can for not only recruitment but internal promotions, due to the fact that we are actively looking for internal candidates for retention and promotions in these areas. The ERG’s (Employer Resource groups) that McGraw-Hill has invested time in over the last few years have really flourished. BEAM (Black Employee’s at McGraw-Hill) started about 3 or 4 years ago and is now the 2nd most vibrant and active ERG within the five at McGraw-Hill. The largest being WINS (Women Initiative for Networking and Success). BEAM is ranking second as far as the activities and their programs such as helping black employees find ways to ensure that they are promoting themselves effectively inside the organization, leveraging their own personal brands, tapping into those programs like education reimbursement, mentoring programs, and career development programs. These things are very active and we have something in BEAM that we are very proud of called “Leader of Color series.” Every quarter one of the senior leaders of color in McGraw-Hill will do a Web-X either global or across the country, and they tell their story. It has gone over quite well. It’s helped some of the informal networking and allowed some of the other black employees to get exposure as well. In all of this, the actual ERG’s themselves are actually good platforms and seems to be paying off. It is the white space between the programs so whether you are a black employee who volunteers to help facilitate an activity, session, or banquet, the sheer involvement of that offers you exposure to a lot of the other black leaders around the country. We offer employment engagement survey’s which includes questions about diversity and inclusion. We are very proud of what they’ve done to support these programs. We rank that and we measure that in a couple of different ways so there are affirmative action scorecards and tools as such to assist in the process. We are doing a better job in recent months and years in measuring the more difficult aspects of how included new employees feel and strategy, access to projects that might help grow their career. It is all the softer stuff that seems to pay off.

Q) McGraw-Hill is ranked 1st place on the HBCUConnect.com “Top 50 Employer of HBCU students and alumni” list. How does that impact your company’s ability to recruit new employees and retain existing employees?

A) In regards to recruiting new employees, sheer exposure is the answer. The exposure that HBCUCONNECT is going to give McGraw-Hill is going to pay off. When graduating students or student’s from other companies learn that McGraw-Hill is a very diverse organization and is very interested in diversity that will simply get them to go to our website, look at some of the programs we have, look at our commitment and our vision in this area, and then it will sell itself. Internally, we have the platforms in place to let people looking for jobs and graduating students see that we are committed but we’ve got to first get them to our website. Black employees at McGraw-Hill are the first course of action when it comes to reaching out to friends and family that may want to take on positions at the company. We have the approval so to speak to start recruiting on our own. It’s the people we socialize with that are the best source of new talent in McGraw-Hill. From the stand point of retention, this kind of conversation that we are having in form of an interview is further evidence of our commitment and gives us a little bit of hope in pushing the ball forward as far as recognizing blacks and other minorities inside the company. McGraw-Hill’s effort and willingness to invest in companies like HBCUCONNECT and other programs is not just lip service, we are actually trying to understand what black students are looking for and to cater our message and strategy toward that rather than just offer lip service and try to get on someone’s list. It sends volumes across the company that we have to learn as corporate America “How do we create a more diverse more inclusive work force?” We don’t know all of the needs, requirements, and expectations that black students and employees have, and we may not know what those are sitting in our corporate offices. These kinds of programs like HBCUCONNECT will help us learn a little bit more about how to cater our message.

Q) Why is it important, to McGraw-Hill, for the public to know that your company is a Top 50 Employer of HBCU Students and Graduates?

A) First and foremost it’s really important and it’s our desire to have a work force that is as diverse as its customer base. And by doing so, these two go together and it helps to ensure that we have successful delivery of these products and services.

Being a Top 50 employer of HBCU students and alumni demonstrates how McGraw-Hill is actively pursuing diversity in the employment market place and it helps the company move forward. We think that HBCU’s are critical to the successful recruitment of top African American talent across the United States for us. So our involvement with HBCU Connect is critical, it’s a critical piece of the overall puzzle. Over the 3 years or so that we have been working with HBCU Connect we have come to that realization more and more and more.

Q) McGraw-Hill has used HBCUConnect.com for Diversity Recruiting. What other HBCU colleges or organizations do you work with in the hiring or educational capacity?

A) We have a very strong relationship with the following schools and we are looking to increase our relationship with other key HBCU’s so right now Central State, Howard, Morehouse and Spellman. Those are the four that we have strong relationships with currently and going into the 2011 campus season we are in the middle of strategizing which other two or three schools we will attempt to develop our initial contact for the internship program next year.

Q) What areas of Diversity Recruitment/Management is your company more focused on and why?

A) We have a multifaceted approach to diversity recruitment and management across the companies and we focus on all levels throughout the organization. We focus on tenure roles and we obviously focus on entry level beginning with internships. Some of our efforts include recruiting at HBCU’s and working with different associations such as The National Black MBA Conference. We have a really great relationship with NABA (National Association of Black Accountants). We also work with different trade associations and we support various diverse organizations like the ones just mentioned. We talk about sharing best practices between the businesses. The different businesses that McGraw-Hill Companies own like Standard & Poor’s, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw Hill Education as well as some of our broadcast stations allow us to work and share best practices because we have different recruiting organizations within each of those businesses. T he reason why it is important to us is because of our ability to develop our employees, and we support individual s of diverse backgrounds with growth and development opportunities.

Q) How do you measure the success of your diversity initiatives?

A) Two ways, Quantitative and Qualitative. While our goal is to increase diversity representation meaning the hiring of diverse talent, it is also important to diversity of thought. We aim to provide a more inclusive environment for all of our employees which in turn is measured through engagement and satisfaction. When we go out and do engagement surveys, we find out that all of our employees through inclusiveness we’ve measured a success and that is a clear way to do it.

Q) Are there any programs or social activities that help integrate new employees into the workplace culture?

A) There are all types of programs but the main resource that would be beneficial to incoming employees will be the various programs we have within our ERG’s which are Employer Resource Groups. There are numerous ones; one being BEAM (Black Employees at McGraw-Hill),WINS (Women Initiative for Networking and Success), HHN (Hispanic Heritage Network) and Toast Masters an organization that McGraw-Hill pushes which helps with speaking publicly, creating speeches and having impromptu speeches, and most recently added to the group is GLBT for gays and lesbians within the company. One of the main things that can help new employees is getting involved in some of the groups mentioned to help build networking and speaking skills.

Q) What events have been successful for you in your efforts to hire HBCU talent?

A) We have regular attendance at the various career fairs of the HBCU colleges we have relationships with so that the students can see the McGraw-Hill presence at these events. That is our report source. We like to do regular messaging on a monthly basis to the data base that HBCU Connect has of students and alumni to inform them of what’s happening at McGraw-Hill, not just what career opportunities we have available which is important but also the types of activities that are going on within McGraw-Hill, in an effort to constantly help alumni and students to learn about the McGraw-Hill Companies. One month we may be talking about a career at Standard & Poor’s, and the next month we may be talking about a sales career at McGraw-Hill Education, while the following month we may be talking about all of the McGraw-Hill Companies while providing internship opportunities , entry level opportunities or more experienced opportunities for the HBCU Connect alumni. Branding and marketing through messaging is very important on a regular basis.

Q) What type of internships and full-time positions are currently available for the students and graduates?

A) McGraw-Hill has a great internship program. The HR representatives go to various universities including HBCU’s to recruit. It depends on what the intern wants his internship to be about and his initiative or drive that will get him where he wants to be. McGraw-Hill is hiring for various positions in education and you can use the website or newspaper to apply. The three sectors that are big for openings are editor, sales and market positions.

Q) What is the best advice you can offer hired diverse talent for succeeding in their career or internship at McGraw-Hill?

A) The best way to succeed within your career for McGraw-Hill is being self assured, creating a brand for yourself, and by finding people who will help you to grow, who will assist and direct you such as mentors. McGraw-Hill has a mentoring program within the various ERG’s. Be willing to go outside your normal job and do something different; be open-minded to criticism because the only way you’re going to learn is by someone critiquing you. Keep an open mind; if you realize that you have to start somewhere to grow then the sky is the limit! The good thing about McGraw-Hill is that there is plenty of opportunity for growth. It’s your want, your drive and your eagerness, and realizing that whatever you’re doing is going to be a prelude for your future. Finally, always ask questions.

This concludes our interview, but if you would like to apply to career
and internship opportunities or have questions for Recruiters please visit: http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/
If you enjoyed this article, Join HBCU CONNECT today for similar content and opportunities via email!
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