CTO Diane Yu


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It takes conviction to build a team that aligns with both your values and your requirements. Diversity is important to Diane Yu, Chief Technology Officer of Better, a digital first home ownership company that offers mortgage, real estate, title, and homeowner insurance. Tune in to hear about Diane’s career trajectory, why she believes that the best approach to building a team is to ensure that it’s diverse, and how choosing talent is not just about the present but the future too. We touch on designing your target of talent according to your company culture and Diane tells us why she chooses to hire entrepreneurial people who never take no for an answer. Find out why she prioritizes personal characteristics over past experience and nurtures high performing recruiters within her company, judging this according to both accepted offers and recruited candidates. Diane believes that it is possible to build a team that fulfills both diversity and candidate criteria through building the right pipeline.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introducing Diane Yu, Chief Technology Officer of Better.
  • The start of her career as an entry level software engineer at DoubleClick.
  • How she realized the impact of making good choices in hiring as a manager.
  • FreeWheel’s global client base and potential to change the entire financial industry.
  • Why Diane believes that the best approach to building a team is to include diversity.
  • How choosing talent is not just about the present, but the future too.
  • Designing your target of talent according to your company culture.
  • Why she chooses to hire entrepreneurial people who never take no for an answer.
  • Why, in a fast-moving company, it is impossible to create a five-year plan.
  • Characteristics she looks for in new candidates: natural curiosity and eagerness to learn.
  • The talent team’s responsibility to interview for roles and gauge the right type of candidate.
  • How Diane nurtures high performing recruiters.
  • Why she pays attention to more than just accepted offers.
  • Why you have to have strong convictions to build a strong, diverse team.
  • Revamping the target pipeline in order to prioritize both diversity and her criteria.
  • An example of an unexpected drop: Diane’s daughter playing soccer in a princess dress.
  • Why Diane works very hard to make sure there is no one outlier on a team.
  • Unconscious bias and avoiding this as a reason for candidate drop-off.


“When the leadership actually puts an extreme focus on talent, you can build the best execution focused team that can win out against large competitors.” — Diane Yu [0:06:38]

“We could actually change the entire financial industry – how people own a home, how people get a mortgage, and how people use [that] home to actually grow their financial wealth.” — Diane Yu [0:07:17]“It's not about how well-spoken you are. It's about whether you have that mindset to be able to find a solution. If you believe something, you'll actually do whatever it takes to get there, not letting anybody stop you on the way.” — Diane Yu [0:13:58]“We need people that are naturally curious and are getting excited about learning new stuff. You can see that from the interview. You can see that via the conversation.” — Diane Yu [0:18:27]

“It actually takes conviction. You cannot just stop at, ‘This is what I want and then let's see how it goes.’ You actually need to look through every step along the way.” — Diane Yu [0:29:25]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Diane Yu on LinkedIn




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