A subsidiary of Triumph Bancorp, TBK Bank is a community bank headquartered in Dallas with 63 branches throughout the Southwest and Midwest. The company carries out its core values— Transparency, Respect, Invest for the Future, Unique is Good, Mission More than Money, People Make the Difference and Humility—through robust community-focused initiatives.
Triumph has cultivated a highly diverse team. According to its internal demographic data, the company’s racial and ethnic representation closely mirrors newly released U.S. Census figures. Of its workforce, 20% are Hispanic, 5% Black and 3% are Asian. What’s more, 70% of its 1,137-member workforce are women.
As the T.D. Jakes Foundation’s September “Spotlight” partner, TBK Bank is recruiting for 15 North Texas-based positions ranging from entry-level Customer Care Representative to Senior Vice President, Finance, TriumphPay. In advance of our “Spotlight,” we spoke with Dee Fincher, VP, Leader of Diversity and Inclusion & Corporate HR Business Partner; and Meaghan Miller, VP, Leader of Talent Acquisition, who shared their thoughts on diversity, equity and inclusion and how candidates can put their best foot forward.
Q: Why has TBK Bank chosen to work with the T.D. Jakes Foundation on recruiting efforts?
Dee Fincher: We’ve always focused on ensuring that our brand reflects the communities we serve and that diversity is well-represented across all groups and categories, from race and ethnicity to gender, veterans and people with disabilities. To do that, we focus on bringing in community partners and look to leverage their platforms. That’s what attracted us to the T.D. Jakes Foundation. You have a platform that speaks to diversity and can help us fill positions with qualified people that otherwise aren’t well-represented in our industry.
Meaghan Miller: Our company was founded on two principles: doing well and doing good. We need diverse talent and perspective to represent every facet of our community because that’s what makes us successful as a community bank. It’s important that the workforce represents the tapestry of communities that we serve. This partnership gets us in front of diverse candidates that we might not see through the big three hiring sites: Indeed, Glassdoor and Career Builder. We take an intentional approach to ensure that we are hiring people from all walks of life. This is a unique partnership, and we’re grateful to be a part of it.
Q: Is diversity especially important in an industry like financial services and lending, where people of color have historically had less access to?
DF: Absolutely. There is a lack of exposure to banking in minority communities. For many Black and Hispanic families, banks are a place where you put your money, not where you would think to have a career. The only way we can fix that is to create broader exposure, to have people who look like them go into these communities to talk about what financial institutions are all about. In banking, the career opportunities, and types of jobs you can have, are unlimited but many people don’t know that.
MM: Dee has a unique perspective. As a child, I didn’t believe that there were barriers to entry. One of my grandfathers worked in banking and the other in media. I always saw people like me in these jobs and never thought progressing was off the table for me. When you don’t see people who look like you in these careers, you don’t consider them. There’s an unconscious perception that it’s not an option. Also, for us, as we move out of traditional financial services and into fintech, there is a real opportunity to go into these communities and help rewrite history.
DF: Meaghan has done a tremendous amount of work with the talent acquisition team. One of the things that I’m especially thankful for is how she’s created alignment with the talent acquisition leaders, having weekly meetings to talk through goals at the executive, middle management and sales worker levels. We talk about the open jobs list, and if we have an opening as a VP or manager, we want to be intentional in how we look for diversity. It’s not a quota system but a goal. If all things are equal and we have five candidates that are equally qualified, we look at the makeup of the team to see how we can create better balance.
MM: We couldn’t do this without Dee’s guidance and the deep dive he takes, knowing where people are underrepresented. Another thing, it’s nice to be at a company where leaders want to know. In a lot of companies, it’s the elephant in the room. No one gets it. What we’ve found is that we’re an entrepreneurial organization. We’ve grown quickly, and a lot of it has been through our referral program, which is great but also limiting. We realized that we’ve been fishing from one pond when there’s a much bigger sea out there. And it’s nice that we can actively call that out and challenge these norms.
Q: Beyond the hiring process, what steps is TBK Bank taking to promote and advance BIPOC employees?
DF: When I came on at the end of September of 2020, one of the things I was tasked with was building out a diversity-and-inclusion council, which we wanted to look like and represent the whole organization. On the council, we have 13 people, seven of whom are women and over half are a racial or ethnic minorities. The group is focusing on improving diversity, equity and inclusion across the organization and identifying areas where there is room to improve. Again, we want to be intentional, and the council is helping us do that. But probably the biggest advantage we have is a CEO at the very top who believes in it. You can go in and see diversity across our organization.
MM: I remember my first week in the organization—almost seven years ago—I was working late on a big project and the CEO told me to take a walk with him. I was new so I thought I might be getting in trouble for working late, but he walked me around the office and introduced everyone to me—all women—and said: “do you see what I’m relaying to you? Nothing is off limits. I want to see you in an office like that.” I was grateful for that, to know that this was more than just a job, but a place where I could build a career. This is not an organization that has a boy’s-club mentality.
Q: Can you offer some advice to candidates about what qualities you look for in a candidate?
MM: For all positions, regardless of where you sit, we look for someone who will not just embrace change but drive change. We look for someone who is going to constantly challenge the status quo. We’ve grown quickly as a company because we haven’t been afraid to take risks and have been fortunate that those risks have paid off and set us up for success. But, ultimately, the most important thing that we look for is a candidate who is a servant leader, who will put others’ needs before their own. We can teach people about the job and the industry but you can’t teach them how to inherently put someone else’s needs above their own. And, at the end of the day, you don’t have a company without the customer. We’re selling a service and that service is sold through the people providing it.
Q: What are some common mistakes candidates make in their search efforts?
MM: The most important thing is reading and understanding the job description. I see a lot of people mass-apply for jobs but that doesn’t give me an idea of what their aspirations are. I get it—people need a job and they’re willing to do whatever it might be, but will it provide enrichment? I want to understand where you want to go, not just where you need to go, but what I can do to help you plant roots and ensure you’re on a path to achieving your career goals.
DF: With the retail staff especially, people will move for a few dollars. They’re thinking about the immediate—the here and now—not about the long-term component. You see that even in a non-covid environment. My advice would be look at the total compensation. Consider holistically all the benefits. Think about your career path. One of the biggest mistakes new hires or team members make is that they don’t look at the bigger, broader picture.
MM: There have been times in my life where a paycheck drove my decision to stay or leave. But for people looking for a career and not just a job, they need to have a more collaborative conversation. What are the intangibles? Do you know anyone in the organization that has been promoted? The proof is in the pudding.
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