by Aaron Melgar

In the complex world of technology consulting and development, gathering information and inputs from a wide range of backgrounds is important for fostering innovation. Building a diverse workforce rich with different perspectives is easier said than done, however, and requires some careful consideration when approaching the problem.

Martine Cadet, vice president of global talent enablement and head of the Educational Alliance Program at Infor Inc., shared insights into how her organization is creating a new model for involving talent from a wide range of backgrounds.

“We built this program where we partner with colleges and universities, as well as non-profit organizations, and we invest in them so they can invest in their students,” Cadet said. “Through their professors, they learn hands-on, immersive technologies that businesses run on each and every single day.”

Cadet spoke with Dave Vellante (@dvellante) and Rebecca Knight (@knightrm), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Inforum event in New York. (* Disclosure below.)

Young, diverse minds enable innovation and growth

One of the keys to hiring recent graduates is ensuring they are already immersed in the business environment before they actually join. Infor is solving this by engaging with students directly on campus to educate them on their products and giving them hands-on experience with real business applications.

“We are taking a very active role in changing the model of sitting in a classroom and learning something with no context for how it’s being used in business. We’re trying to embed thought leadership into the classroom and open the students’ perspective on what’s possible,” Cadet said.

In addition to hiring young minds, companies need to expand their hiring pool outside of the traditional sources in order to build a rich pool of diverse perspectives and backgrounds, she said. This often requires fundamental changes to company culture and a conscious effort to change hiring practices.

“The change has to come from the top and within the ranks. You have to have the tough conversations, and it has to be an embedded part of what the companies say they value; and then they have to back it up,” Cadet concluded.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Inforum 2017 event. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for Inforum 2017. Neither Infor Inc. nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

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