How To Deal With A Hot Labor Market

How to Deal with A Tight Labor Market

How to Deal with A Tight Labor Market

By: Nicole Ferrer


Every employer wants the best talent that they can find. They seek the highly educated, the most experienced, and the best leaders that money can buy.


While striving for the best is certainly not frowned upon, employers can and should do a better job of understanding how they square in the marketplace so they have a realistic shot at attracting the best talent.


Here’s the key - in a tight labor market, the most talented individuals are gainfully employed, and more often than not, they are satisfied with their current employer. This isn’t always the case, but generally speaking, it is.


In today’s market, if you’re recruiting strategy produces candidates who aren’t actively working, chances are, you aren’t getting the best talent for your company. A tight labor market requires different strategies to lure passive candidates. If you want the best talent, they will need to be manually extracted from other organizations.


Here are two quick areas of consideration:


Refine Your Brand / Reputation


After talking to a variety of leaders across the country, very few believed that their firms had poor reputations. However, with websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and Yelp, employers are able to get a glimpse of how their public profile interfaces with the labor market. Despite the large amounts of data online, this data is often ignored.


Companies may not want to dismiss warnings about the need to monitor their online ratings. Job seekers routinely view sites like Glassdoor for insights into the culture and working conditions at a particular company, and they regularly pass over employers with low ratings. 


Regardless of its accuracy, it is visible, and savvy candidates are very aware of your online reputation.


Only 1 in 5 job seekers would apply to a company with a bad online reputation


For those employers who reject these online forums, my advice to them is simple – take a look at your turnover rate. An above-average turnover rate can be a likely predictor of a poor reputation. Employees that leave voluntarily, leave for a reason.


Be Realistic About Compensation


In the world of business, consumers are usually willing to pay a premium for products that have exceptional value. In the recruiting industry, this is no different. As below average products are almost always priced below average, firms with mediocre hiring strategies will likely be unsuccessful with hiring top talent. As always, there are a few exceptions; however, this is usually the case.


Employers that have a lagging market compensation strategy will struggle to attract the best candidates, while those that have leading market compensation strategies will attract talent more easily. Further, from a candidate’s perspective, a firm’s compensation strategy is a central part of their brand.


Take the time to think through your firm’s compensation strategy. It speaks volumes about your organization – this is especially so in a hot economy when your competitors are growing.


Nicole Ferrer is the managing director of Diversity Recruiters™, an executive recruiting firm specializing in diversity.

Signs of A Tight Labor Market

The job market is so hot right now that workers are 'ghosting' employers without even saying goodbye

By: Mark Abadi 


A notorious millennial dating practice is starting to creep into the workplace: ghosting.


According to The Washington Post's Danielle Paquette, employers are increasingly noticing that workers are leaving their jobs by simply not showing up and cutting off contact with their companies.


"A number of contacts said that they had been 'ghosted,' a situation in which a worker stops coming to work without notice and then is impossible to contact," the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said in a report this month cited by The Post.




According to The Post, experts are blaming the uptick in workplace ghosting on the US labor market. Unemployment is at its lowest point in decades, and there are more job openings than there are people looking for jobs, emboldening workers to skip the awkward conversations with their bosses and move on to other opportunities.


"Why hassle with a boss and a bunch of out-processing when literally everyone has been hiring?" Michael Hicks, a labor economist, told The Post.


Predictably, experts on workplace etiquette frown upon ghosting your employers, as well as any other mean-spirited method of resigning. It's a surefire way to burn bridges and tank your reputation not just with your higher-ups, but most likely any coworkers you planned on keeping in touch with.


"Even colleagues who don't have a stake in it are going to see that and think, 'Wow, that's really unprofessional — that person is so immature,'" Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career coach with SixFigureStart, told Business Insider's Áine Cain last year.


When people quit their jobs without notice, it's often a symptom of a bad communication between management and employees, said Caleb Papineau, an executive at the employee-survey firm Tinypulse.


"Quitting a job abruptly is neither good for the employee nor the employer," Papineau told Business Insider in 2016. "Employees that feel unheard and underappreciated at times can feel as if they have no choice but to leave abruptly."


Instead, he recommended finding time to talk to a manager rather than make a hasty, emotional decision.


"Have a plan, be professional, and don't burn bridges unless you have to," he said.



How Diversity Officers Change Corporate Culture

How Diversity Officers Change Corporate Culture

These executives change hiring practices, oversee trainings and measure company climate.

By Rebecca Koenig, US News


BY 2045, PEOPLE OF color will make up the majority of the U.S. population.


That demographic shift, predicted by the U.S. Census Bureau, is one reason why companies are starting to take workplace diversity, inclusion and equity more seriously. In corporate America, this has manifested in part through the proliferation of chief diversity officers, who are charged with creating policies and climates supportive of workers from an array of backgrounds.


As of 2012, 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies had diversity executives, according to the Wall Street Journal.


"It's becoming standard across companies," says Allison Scott, chief research officer at the Kapor Center, which aims to increase diversity in the technology and entrepreneurship sectors. "I think that's a promising and important sign."


However, having a chief diversity officer on the payroll is not a panacea, researchers say.


"That all sounds good and well, but in the past there wasn't as much accountability for it," says Kisha Jones, assistant professor of psychology at Pennsylvania State University. "You could get an A for effort for attempting the different practices but not have to show how change happens."


Still, the presence of a diversity executive in the C-suite is one sign job seekers should look for when assessing whether a company is equipped to hire and retain diverse workers and effectively market to the heterogeneous customer base of the future.


Learn more about what these officers do and other signs to look for when evaluating a company's commitment to diversity.

Duties and Conditions for Success


The work of diversity officers, also known as equal opportunity professionals, cuts across departmental boundaries. They influence hiring, training and company cultural practices that relate to three "big buckets," explains Archie Ervin, vice president and chief diversity officer at the Georgia Institute of Technology and president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.


The first is diversity, which is descriptive of the ways in which people differ. The second is inclusion, or the extent to which people thrive in a particular institutional setting. The third is equity, or fairness, which is governed in part by federal policies such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (banning workplace discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion and national origin) and the Americans with Disabilities Act.


 For hiring, diversity officers may work with human resources and recruiting teams to measure the breakdown of job applicant and candidate pools by gender, race and other characteristics and suggest changes to remove hiring barriers preventing different sets of people from getting jobs. They may oversee training programs related to unconscious bias, run workshops about communicating effectively in teams or plan classes about civility in the workplace. To better understand the state of a company's climate, officers may issue surveys asking employees how satisfied they are in their roles, then look for patterns in the results that suggest racial, gender or other disparities.
Among the conditions critical to diversity officer success are reporting directly to the CEO, having a mandate to set strategies and possessing the authority to hold managers and workers accountable for meeting goals. One of the most important conditions is building a strong business case to justify their work.


"They can have that moral stance, but that stance alone isn't going to be enough of a motivation," Jones says. "For organizations, it's always coming back to the bottom line."


Challenges Diversity Officers Face


With movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, diversity dominates today's headlines. That these efforts are controversial hints at the pushback diversity officers sometimes face from "people who are resistant to diversity" and "people who feel like they aren't represented in the diversity initiatives," Jones says.


To put it bluntly, she explains, "If white men think things are being taken away from them, that's a tension that needs to be managed."


Google grappled with this problem in August 2017, when a software engineer shared an essay that criticized company efforts to boost the standing of women employees and questioned women's general suitability for technology jobs. In reply, Google's vice president of diversity, integrity and governance issued a statement reiterating that the company is "unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we'll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul."


The episode exemplifies the common misconception that "diversity officers are only concerned about particular groups," which is "untrue," says Richard Anthony Baker, assistant vice chancellor and assistant vice president of the Office of Equal Opportunity Services at University of Houston and president of the board of the American Association for Access, Equity, and Diversity. "They're concerned about the overall health of the organization by being concerned with everyone."


Workers and managers who aren't necessarily opposed to diversity may still find it uncomfortable to talk about, having grown accustomed to "colorblind models" of operating that experts consider to be outdated, Jones says.


"We've been trained that we don't talk about race, that these protected classes are things we don't openly, strategically discuss," Baker says. "It's a challenge to get over that apprehension to have the conversation."


Other Indications That Companies Value Diversity


To figure out whether a company takes diversity, inclusion and equity seriously, diversity officers are just one factor to consider. The Kapor Center's research identified four other criteria as essential to the success of such efforts at technology companies:



Information about most of these criteria should be easily accessible to job seekers on a company's website, Baker says: "It shouldn't be hard for me to find a diversity statement, diversity office or programming. Do they have affinity groups that have some role within the governance?"


These days, company diversity goals should go beyond boilerplate statements, Scott says. When assessing potential employers, she recommends looking for "really sophisticated messages about why it's important and embedded in the work they do and the product they develop." Similarly, check not just that employee resource groups exist, but also whether they have meaningful budgets to carry out programs and channels to communicate with company leaders.


Job interviews present candidates with opportunities to do more research. Baker recommends job seekers ask interviewers about company policies on issues important to them, such as accessibility, gender expression and sexual orientation.


"If they don't know, that would be concerning to me," he says. "I actually want to hear from employees if that's part of the consistent message."





How to ‘Really’ Attract Diverse Candidates

Where Is Your Welcome Sign?

Ideas On How To Become A More Attractive Employer

By Anthony J. Wright


Some employers have welcome signs. And unfortunately, some do not.


When talented individuals are assessing their career options, they look for obvious “welcome” signs. These individuals want some assurance that they are genuinely supposed to be a part of any new organization. Like in any establishment, if we don’t feel welcome, we eventually leave.


As an African American male, I have always assessed organizations based on the diversity within their leadership teams (which in my case, also includes the organization’s board of directors). While there are many different criteria that I use before engaging with a new employer or vendor, assessing organizational diversity will always be among my top three.


I’ve also learned over the years that a homogenous work environment is usually a sign of intolerance. Quite frankly, in today’s political environment, it can also be a bit scary. Further, a lack of diversity can also signal inadequate strategic thinking, as most of us know that diverse workgroups offer wider experiences and sparks tremendous innovation over the long run.


Why then, do so many organizations – especially non-profits – fail to invest in diversity initiatives? While the answer to this question may vary, let’s focus on those firms who get it right. Their results are impressive.

Locate Diverse Executives & Professionals

A recent study by McKinsey & Company sampled the outcomes of approximately 1,000 organizations and determined that firms who invested in diversity had higher profits. Specifically, it was concluded that firms in the top quartile for ethnic diversity are 33% more likely to have above-average profitability, according to the report. The same is essentially true for gender diversity.


The least diverse companies are 29% less likely to perform. Go figure.


Diverse applicants in any talent pipeline can recite these statistics (and many others) without effort. These individuals almost always prefer forward-leaning organizations. And, during stronger than usual economic conditions, individuals in the talent pipeline can be a bit more thoughtful about their next career move. They will almost always opt to work in a welcoming environment.


Many firms unknowingly communicate to diverse audiences that they are not welcome. It only takes a small amount of effort, and potentially a little courage, to make positive change. As America (i.e., your customer) becomes more diverse, it just makes sense for organizations to start thinking more strategically.  




May is Asian Pacific Heritage Month

Asian Pacific Heritage Month


May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the United States. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks on the project were Chinese immigrants.


May is also Older Americans Month, established in 1963 to honor the legacies and contributions of older Americans and to support them as they enter their next stage of life.




In addition, May is Jewish American Heritage Month, which recognizes the diverse contributions of the Jewish people to American culture.


Asian Pacific and Asian Americans of all ethnicities and languages come together to celebrate their heritage through many activities such as dancing, sharing traditional meals, observing and appreciating their rich history. Many more diverse beliefs and practices come with the already diversified Asian American community. Although there are so many different religions, traditions, and practices, all Asian Americans share the same idea of helping one another adjust to living in the U.S. and all the problems and affairs that come along with it. From everyday tasks like asking for directions and ordering food to more difficult situations like financial advice or finding housing; Asian Americans have a tough time adjusting to American lifestyle, especially if they were not born here learning the language.





Five Women of Color Who Should Be On Your Radar

By: Lauren Wesley Wilson


(Forbes) - There is no doubt that 2018 is becoming the “Year of the Woman,” with the celebration of the first anniversary of the Women’s March to the launch of the Times Up Movement and much more to surely come. Our voices are actually being heard loud, clear, and more than ever before. I proclaim that this year will not only become the “Year of the Woman” but the year for women of color.


Women of color are making great strides in the workplace, breaking barriers, and becoming C-suite leaders with impact and influence. While there are many women of color who should be on your radar, I’ve narrowed it down to just five for now. These women are dynamic and making changes inside and outside their office. They’re not speaking at every conference or sucking up all the awards at every industry show. They are strategic where they spend their time, how they show up and what they deliver.


Get to know these five insightful women:




1. Rose Stuckey Kirk, President of the Verizon Foundation at Verizon


Why you should know her: Rose Stuckey Kirk became president of the Verizon Foundation eight years ago, but has been with Verizon since 1998. She is a shining example of how successful you can be despite gender or race. As a woman of color, she has broken the glass ceiling with her C-level position, serving as a chief corporate social responsibility officer. In her role at Verizon, she is able to provide access to new technology and STEM programs to youth who traditionally come from underserved communities. Rose delivers the type of speech that leaves audiences begging for more time and time again. She is poised, deliberate, and entertaining.



2. Gloria Mayfield Banks


Why you should know about her: Gloria is an internationally renowned motivational speaker who leads a successful sales team as the #1 ranked Elite National Sales Director for Mary Kay Cosmetics. Her latest book “Quantum Leaps” outlines the steps to take to excel in your life. Gloria has spoken all over the nation on topics such as women empowerment and instilling leadership goals in girls. Gloria is an electrifying speaker and will keep you focused and holding on to every word. She has overcome domestic violence and dyslexia. Her podcast "Women Do It Better" has Gloria speaking about the gifts we all have and how to find, understand, and master them in order to excel in your personal and professional life. She is a force to be reckon with.





3. Susan Jin Davis, Vice President Environmental Affairs, Chief Sustainability Officer, Comcast/NBCUniversal


Why you should know her: Hilarious, intelligent, and spot on. Susan Jin Davis knows her worth and the stakeholders she serves. In her time at Comcast, Susan negotiated a historic memorandum of understanding between Comcast and the Asian American community as part of the Company’s merger with NBCUniversal, creating an unheard of commitment in the areas of programming, supplier and employment diversity and community investment. She serves on Comcast’s Internal Diversity Council and is a Company liaison to the Comcast and NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council. Susan is also an executive sponsor of Asian Pacific Americans at Comcast, a Company Employee Resource Group.



4. Radhika Jones, Editor in Chief of Vanity Fair


Why you should know her: Radhika is not only the first ever Indian American to be Editor in Chief at Vanity Fair, but she is also the first woman of color to ever be Editor in Chief since the publication’s inception in 1913. Radhika Jones is a Harvard University graduate and has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia, where she was also a lecturer. Her position in Vanity Fair has broken new grounds, and will hopefully open the door for other women of color to be in such roles in the near future.



5. Linda Sarsour, Political Activist and Co-Chair of the Women’s March Movement


Why you should know her: As a child of Palestinian immigrants, some of Linda’s early activism entailed defending the civil rights of Muslims living in America. She helped to organize the American Muslim community's response to the Black Lives Matter protests by forming "Muslims for Ferguson." In 2017, the organizers of the Women’s march recruited Sarsour as co-chair of the event. She became co-chair of 2017’s Day Without a Woman, which took place on International Women's Day. She is a loud and strong advocate for women’s rights as well as for underrepresented women of color around the nation.


Lauren Wesley Wilson is the founder of ColorCommwhich holds its annual ColorComm Conference for women of color in communications, marketing, & advertising. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.





The Importance of Cultural Diversity

By: Kwame Molden


Human beings are extremely diverse in very many ways.


People differ in opinions, race, nationality, gender, age, sexuality, ethnicity, class, religion, lifestyle and so much more, yet at the very basic we are all human species. Ideally, all people feel pain and joy despite the differences. Today, the changes in time and technology have made it extremely impossible for any group of people to live without interacting with others outside their group. Often people of different cultural and geographical backgrounds meet in international conferences, education exchange programs, sports, etc.


Sadly, the history of mankind discriminating against each other based on cultural differences has been with us for ages. So many people have died or have been denied their rights because of individual greed. Properties and economies have also been destroyed due to lack of understanding. Unfortunately, some of these occurrences are visible even today, perpetuated by people who little understand the importance of the uniqueness of our diversity. Little do they know that:


1. Diversity creates richness in opinion.


Some problems cannot be solved by a homogenous group of people. The complexity of challenges facing the world today requires the input people from different cultural backgrounds if we are to succeed. A diverse group will offer fresh ideas to solve problems. Diverse groups have often been found to be creative and thus producing better solutions to problems.


Cultural Diversity: The Sum of Our Parts


2. Diversity makes us compassionate about others


When we interact and try to understand others, we will not judge them. This instead makes us compassionate about others. We are then able to love and help one another. Compassion allows us to empathize with others and realize that all human beings are the same. Hatred amongst people of cultural differences only makes us resentful and full of hunger, and often denying us the opportunity to live life to the fullest.


3. Diversity is a growing trend


Today there is no country in the world that has only natives living there. Each and every day, millions of people are moving from a part of the world to another. Most people are in such of better opportunities, education and lifestyle. In the process people of different cultural backgrounds often find themselves going to the same schools, working in the same office and so much more. As citizens of this world, we are therefore left with no choice other than to embrace our diversity. Children have to be taught to live and respect people who are different from them in some way so that the world would be a peaceful place to live.


4. Diversity opens up new market opportunities


Through diversity, entrepreneurs have been able to reach new markets. Today we have multinationals setting up offices in different parts of the world of which it would not be possible without embracing diversity. This further creates employment opportunities for people in those parts of the world. 


Moral of the Story: Embrace cultural diversity. It's important for a sustainable and healthy lifestyle across the board.







Every year, we take a look at the employee reviews left by women in the Fairygodboss community to try to understand which companies are ranked most highly by female employees for job satisfaction and gender equality. For 2017, our users got to talking, and the results are in — here are this year’s top 30 best companies for women:


  1. Boston Consulting Group
  2. Dell
  3. Accenture
  4. PepsiCo
  5. General Electric
  6. Salesforce, Deloitte and PwC (tied)
  7. Vanguard Group and Apple (tied)
  8. American Express Company
  9. Kaiser Permanente
  10. Thomson Reuters
  11. Time Inc.
  12. Cisco Systems
  13. Microsoft
  14. Google and Bloomberg (tied)
  15. McKinsey & Company
  16. KPMG
  17. EY
  18. Wells Fargo
  19. Goldman Sachs
  20. JP Morgan Chase & Co
  21. Target Corporation and The Home Depot (tied)
  22. IBM
  23. Dow Jones
  24. Liberty Mutual Group
  25. Intel Corporation


Unlike many other “best places to work” lists, ours is not editorially determined. We have simply averaged the answers to three questions that over 14,000 women have answered in their anonymous job reviews on our site: (1) What is your overall level of job satisfaction at this company; (2) Do you think this company treats men fairly and equally?; and (3) Would you recommend this company to other women?


While no company scores perfectly on all counts (which would be implied by a score of 100), and causation isn’t to be confused with correlation, we do see patterns in the underlying data that may offer an explanation as to why these companies appear on the list.


For starters, many of these companies have well-known brands that have invested significant resources in employee and diversity initiatives that specifically support women. For example, the vast majority of the companies on this list offer above-average paid parental leave policies, have women represented in the senior management ranks, and offer policies such as workplace flexibility that female employees take note of and discuss in their reviews.


There are some notable industry concentrations on this list, as well. For example, technology and consulting firms are well-represented. Some people express surprise at the prevalence of those two industries on our list due to the fact that women in technology have gotten notoriously bad treatment that’s been highlighted by the media. Those stories are undeniable and point to cultural problems, but they may also not be representative of every firm, nor every female employee’s experiences. Similarly, some are surprised that the consulting industry, which requires so much client-facing time and travel away from home, does so well on our list.


In our view, it’s probably no coincidence that these two industries offer some of the most generous benefits packages, mentorship and sponsorship programs for women, and also have made equal pay and recruiting women a priority. Both industries are also very cognizant of what they need to offer in terms of parental leave and related benefits (such as backup childcare options) to new mothers and women trying to re-enter the workplace after a career break. Finally, companies in both industries tend to have invested significantly in supporting technical women in terms of recruiting and educational philanthropy.


Our goal in releasing these rankings is to highlight employers who have successfully made investments in culture, benefits and policies that result in an employee base that believes they’re treated fairly and enjoys higher than average job satisfaction. At Fairygodboss, we know that everyone can benefit from this transparency and learn from the examples these companies set in gender equality and gender diversity.


This article was previously published on

How To Identify A Toxic Culture Before Accepting A Job Offer



Many recent graduates have indicated that they would accept a significant pay cut in order to work for a company that they felt had great values, culture, and leadership. With such a high premium on these traits, employers have been repositioning their recruiting materials to put them front and center, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell which are really living these values, and which are only paying lip service.

Instead, candidates need to identify certain red flags and warning signs to make sure that culture they find themselves in is the one they signed up for before it’s too late.


One pitfall that leads many candidates to believe in a culture that may not actually exist are superficial perks like ping-pong tables in the break room and free lunches.

“A lot of people consider perks as culture. Perks is just stuff,” explains Piyush Patel, founder of Oklahoma-based online training company Digital-Tutors and author of the forthcoming book Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work. “We used to have a big cereal bar, and everybody who took a tour would say ‘oh my gosh, you have a cereal bar, that is the coolest thing, your culture is amazing,’ and I’m thinking ‘no, it’s just food.”


Instead, Patel says candidates should look out for some very subtle clues during their initial tour of the workplace. First and foremost is the layout of the office, as some may prefer to work in an open concept while others thrive when given their own cubicle or office. Candidates should also keep an eye out for how employees interact with each other; whether things seem very rigid and regimented or freer flowing and laid-back, and consider which would be the best fit for them.

But it’s not only about what’s visible in plain sight, according to Patel, who suggests that a lot can be learned using your other senses as well. “What does it sound like?” he asks. “Do you hear panic? Do you hear fear in people’s voices? Do you hear excitement?”

Patel even believes that much can be learned about a company’s culture based on the smell of the office; specifically whether or not it smells like food.

“I know it sounds crazy, but if you have a culture where you need to eat meals at your desk, that’s a leadership problem,” he says. “I use that as a litmus test in my own leadership, because if people are eating at their desks we either don’t have a good plan or we’re scrambling when we should be scaling.”


Another place many wouldn’t consider looking for clues on corporate culture is the bathroom, but Patel says a lot can be learned from its upkeep. He explains that restaurant inspectors and reviewers often use the condition of the bathroom as a likely indicator of the cleanliness of the kitchen, and he believes job candidates should do the same.

“Here was the rule in my office; if I walk into the bathroom behind you, and you didn’t change the toilet paper, I don’t care who you are, today’s your last day,” he says.

Though it may sound extreme Patel explains that the bathroom is where coworkers are at their most vulnerable. “If the person who you rely on to work next to you everyday didn’t care enough about you to just change out the toilet paper, what does that say about how we work together?” he says, adding that an empty toilet paper roll can indicate a culture of passing the buck and not taking responsibility for each other’s wellbeing.


High-growth startups often scale up quickly, and while some take the time and energy to carefully assess each candidate, some may be only paying lip service to their values and culture in a rush to fill seats.

“If someone is too quick to hire you, they’re just using a body to fill a role,” said Aaron Harvey, founding partner of Ready Set Rocket, a New York City-based Digital Agency and winner of Ad Age’s best place to work award. Harvey adds that a lack of due diligence is the number one red flag candidates should watch out for. “That just proves to me that they got a new account or they’re expanding something and they just need bodies, and I’m not going somewhere to be a body.”

While a rushed recruiting process reflects poorly on the company, Harvey believes that an overly time-consuming one may be just as bad. “What would be an immediate deal breaker for me is if I did a qualifying phone interview, which I understand is just to check a bunch of boxes, but if the next meeting I had did not have the decision maker in the room, I would think that’s a waste of my time,” he said.


As someone who oversees hiring for his firm, Harvey says he appreciates when candidates ask truly difficult questions about their culture and values. Rather than asking questions that allow the interviewer to regurgitate information from their recruiting materials, however, Harvey wants to see candidates that ask for specific examples that demonstrate how the organization truly lives those values everyday. Some of those tough questions include:

  • How much of your business is concentrated in a few major accounts or clients?
  • Can you describe the last time you pursued a bold new idea as an organization?
  • When was the last time something detrimental happened–like losing a major client or a round of layoffs–and how did management handle it?
  • Is mental health an open topic at this company?
  • Where will I have the final say in my work and what needs approval from a superior?
  • How has your approach evolved in recent years, and how did you go about implementing those changes?

Harvey adds that candidates should also ask specific questions about the company’s workflow process to get a sense of where there is room for experimentation and innovation, and what processes are bound by rigid guidelines or bureaucracy.


According to research recently conducted by Great Place to Work, a consulting firm that focuses on culture and values, employees are more likely to succeed for different reasons based on the size of the company.

“A friendly atmosphere is extremely important at a small company, and as it gets larger being friendly is still a factor but even more important is the ability [for the individual] to make a difference,” says Kim Peters, the executive vice president for certification and partnerships at Great Place to Work.

As a result Peters recommends that candidates for positions at smaller companies ask questions specific to workplace atmosphere and friendliness. “What you’re listening for in their answer is things that describe how employees care about each other, how managers care about their staff, how communicative the CEO or owner is, generally a positive ‘family type’ atmosphere; those types of adjectives are a good sign,” she says.

Candidates applying for positions at larger organizations, on the other hand, should ask interviewers questions about the impact individual employees are able to make on the overall direction of the company, and where they would have a chance to make a difference.

“You’re trying to hear about the work you’d actually be doing and ways you have a chance to make a difference,” she said. “Maybe they’ll tell you about conversations that senior leadership has with all employees; maybe there’s community service opportunities you want to participate in.”


Finally, Peters, Harvey and Patel all agree that there is no better indicator of potential cultural fit than your instincts.

“If your survival instincts are saying ‘this isn’t good, I shouldn’t be here,’ I’d listen to that,” said Patel. “Your second brain is in your gut. If you walk in and you don’t have a good feeling, it’s probably not going to get better.”



Even with Advanced Degrees, Black Women Earn Less Than White Men

Even with Advanced Degrees, Black Women Earn Less than White Men



Black women have to work seven extra months to earn what white men were paid in 2016. On average, black women make 67 cents on the dollar compared to white men.


In a recent blog post to mark Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, researchers at the Economic Policy Institute analyzed and debunked myths concerning the reasons why Black women earn less than White men.


Some people mistakenly believe that if Black women simply worked harder, they would earn higher wages.


However, according to EPI, the truth is that, “Black women work more hours than White women. They have increased work hours 18.4 percent since 1979, yet the wage gap relative to White men has grown.”


The EPI blog post said that the growth in annual hours is “larger for Black women than for White women and men” who work in low-paying jobs and that, “both Black and White workers have increased their number of annual hours in response to slow wage growth” and “working moms are significant contributors to this trend.”


Half of Black women who have jobs are working moms compared to 44.5 percent of White women.


Another common myth associated with the pay gap between Black women and White men is that Black women would earn higher wages, if they were more educated.


“Two-thirds of Black women in the workforce have some postsecondary education, 29.4 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher,” the blog post said. “Black women are paid less than White men at every level of education.”


According to EPI, Black women with less than a high school diploma make $10.62 on average compared to White men who make $15.16. Black women with advanced degrees earn $31.57 compared to White men, who make $48.27.


The racial wage gap persists in jobs dominated by Black women and jobs dominated by White men, according to EPI, dispelling the myth that Black women earn less due to their career choices.


“While White male physicians and surgeons earn, on average, $18 per hour more than Black women doing the same job, the gap for retail salespersons is also shocking, at more than $9 an hour,” according to EPI researchers.


Valerie Wilson, the director of race, ethnicity, and the economy at EPI said that career choice and education have little to do with the pay gap between Black women and White men.


“Black women, whether they make the same career choice [as White men] or not, will still earn less than White men,” said Wilson. “This can be in any career choice whether it is a male- dominated or a female-dominated career. We have seen that even in fields that are more common for women, men still make more than Black women in that career field.”


Wilson said that even though wages are growing faster for women than men, Black women still don’t see much benefit.


“While White women do make less than White men, they still earn quite a bit more than Black women,” said Wilson. “Women’s Equal Pay Day was held sometime in April while Black Women’s Equal Pay day is held in July.”


While the wage gap for Black women is caused by both gender and racial disparities, there are still ways to help minimize and close the pay gap between Black women and their counterparts.


Wilson said that economic policy in the U.S. can play a much larger role in minimizing the pay gap.


“We have anti-discrimination laws, but we must enforce those laws and ensure they are effective. There also has to be greater pay transparency,” said Wilson. “Other things that can help raise wages is collective bargaining. Also, Black women are known to be in lower-paying occupations, so raising the minimum wage would be very helpful.”


Wilson continued: “We need to make sure that Black women are fighting and being paid what they’re worth.”