How a Top Investment Firm Turned Their Commitment to DE&I Into Real Recruiting Results
May 27, 2021

How a Top Investment Firm Turned Their Commitment to DE&I Into Real Recruiting Results

Brenna Walsh

Insight Partners, a top Private Equity and Venture Capital firm, helps the world’s leading software companies scale by providing capital, operating expertise, and access to expansive networks. When Insight was founded in 1995, they made the visionary decision to focus their investments on software, and since, this forward-thinking approach has informed all parts of their business.

One area that Insight has heavily invested in over the past few years is diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). When Adam Lagosz, Manager of Talent Partnerships and DE&I, joined Insight in early 2018, the company was in the very early stages of evolving their approach to early-career hiring. Adam had worked with WayUp in a previous role and believed that WayUp could help Insight build a more inclusive recruiting strategy. As Insight and WayUp began their partnership in 2018, the two teams worked together to create a plan to help Insight’s recruiting team transform D&I early-career recruiting.


Prior to 2018, Insight faced a few challenges when aiming to recruit diverse, early-career talent. Traditionally, Insight’s recruiting team focused their efforts on recruiting students from a select few “top-tier” schools, which held them back from achieving their DE&I goals. Narrow notions of what a qualified candidate looked like were ingrained within the organization, and the team was prepared to undertake a concerted effort to shift this line of thinking. It was important to them to open up their talent pipeline and get their opportunities in front of more diverse students.

Additionally, the traditional recruiting model made it hard to provide visibility into an industry that most students don’t realize is an option right from undergrad. To do this, Insight needed a scalable way to expand their recruiting footprint while also providing the clear data and compelling results needed to create lasting change within the organization.


Insight Partners’ search for an early-career recruiting partner that would help surface more diverse applicants led them to WayUp. Goals for the partnership were:

  • Expand their recruiting footprint beyond Top-Tier Colleges and Universities 
  • Grow their talent pipeline to include more diverse students
  • Shift the internal understanding of what makes a high caliber candidate

WayUp was a catalyst for the Insight team to start thinking differently about hiring diverse talent and recognizing that school diversification ultimately leads to a stronger, more diverse group of candidates. Plus, WayUp’s D&I Sourcing and Analytics tools were invaluable to Adam’s team as they worked to achieve their tactical goals of sourcing diverse talent. 

Leveraging WayUp’s userbase of more than 6 million candidates, Adam and the team were able to promote their early-career opportunities to more students than ever before. This expanded reach resulted in a healthy candidate flow, and the partnership between Insight and WayUp helped educate and hold the recruiting team accountable for increased diversity.

As diversity and inclusion became ingrained in the culture of Insight, the company began to think about ways to formalize their commitment across the organization. This resulted in 21 new initiatives—all focused on DE&I—representing clear actions backed by senior leadership and designed to promote accountability across all facets of the firm. Continuing to foster an inclusive campus recruiting strategy is one of these initiatives, and Insight’s partnership with WayUp helps ensure a diverse candidate pipeline.


WayUp helped Insight build a robust top-of-funnel and drive more Female, Black, Hispanic, and Mixed-Race applicants. Additionally, Insight:

  • Saw a 20% increase in brand impressions and 
  • Grew the size of their early-career talent network by 133%. 

As Insight looks to continue their commitment to diversity recruiting, they will be able to tap into their WayUp Talent Network, which is comprised of 48% Female students and 64% underrepresented minorities. Furthermore, the Insight team has found quality candidates through their WayUp partnership. The recruiting team has screened between 2,500 and 3,000 candidates for 16 internship roles. Of those, 25% of the hires made were sourced directly from WayUp.

Moreover, Adam and the team recognize that fostering an inclusive work environment requires them to play the long game. They’ve decided not to set diversity quotas but to instead take a holistic view of their pipeline, their current employees, and the overall Insight culture . Adam knows that when diverse candidates join the team, if they feel supported, included, and empowered with the knowledge they need to succeed, Insight will see immensely impactful results in the years to come.

Traditionally, there are fewer opportunities for recent grads to get into venture capital or private equity right out of school, and it’s even more challenging for diverse candidates to break into the industry. Insight continues to be committed to educating students about the software investing space in a way that attracts the most qualified and diverse talent. They’ve hosted an early-identification program, the Sophomore Diversity Summit, for the past several years and were successfully able to continue this event virtually in 2020.

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