Employee Empowerment Meets Corporate Social Impact: Q&A with Martha Hernandez, Founder & CEO of madeBOS


As ONE WORLD connects the Bay Area corporate social impact ecosystem for the upcoming Innovations in Corporate Social Impact summit on October 30, we are sitting down with local leaders to learn more about this vast and growing field. Here’s what Martha Hernandez had to say about her experience founding and scaling madeBOS, an AI career path software that empowers employees to develop their skills for their current job and future promotion opportunities. Their platform is a community where employees feel inspired to learn, stay and grow.

What is the problem you are solving via your start-up company madeBOS?

Profound workforce inefficiencies exist. Enterprises are spending 3x more recruiting talent than developing them. This creates profound inefficiencies in the employee lifecycle. In fact, around 50% of employees leave their jobs within a year because they feel underutilized and lack internal mobility. While at the same time over 65% of employers struggle to fill current workforce demands, particularly in mid-tier positions.

What is the biggest opportunity for corporations to change the way they hire and engage talent from diverse populations?

madeBOS is currently serving customers in food service, manufacturing, distribution, retail and hospitality. The reason we focus on these industries is that they struggle with upwards of 70% turn over, all are overly represented by low wage roles performed by people of color, and overly represented by women and single mothers living in generational poverty that are more likely to be unemployed than promoted. The biggest opportunity is for corporations to untap this talent and include them in their vision for growth.

How does hiring from diverse talent pools help corporations be more financially successful? What is the impact on the bottom line?

Most companies spend 3x more on recruiting costs than learning and development. In fact, the turn over epidemic is already an accepted $536 billion dollar per year cost of doing business. Most companies are already diverse, the problem is that some employees are seen more favorably for specific roles leaving talent and skill untapped.

As the CEO of a young company, what is the most important thing you recommend to other entrepreneurs with respect to selling into large companies?

Ask yourself, have you made the impact you wanted to see in the world? Is this acquisition changing, influencing or deepening that impact?

What social impact has your company achieved that you are most proud of?

The first time we released our MVP one of our users said: “Every time I’m in front of a computer and looking for a job, I see so many job listings and it’s overwhelming. That’s not the worst part. The worst is that I don’t feel I’m good enough for anything I see. The first time using madeBOS, I felt for the first time I was a good fit for three careers (not even just “jobs”). And I learned how to actually get there. No one has ever told me how to get to a job like that.” I will never forget the moment I heard this feedback. it truly validated madeBOS’ existence.