I recently had the opportunity to attend LinkedIn’s annual human resources event: Talent Connect. Held in Anaheim, California, the event showcased everything LinkedIn’s been working on in 2018, and their plans for the future. It’s always a great educational event. The information presented ranged from what they’re doing for job seekers with their applicant tracking system — to how they’re helping companies to expand their online learning systems with LinkedIn Learning (formerly known as Lynda.com). They also announced the acquisition of an employee engagement platform: Glint.
Dan Shapero, Vice President of Talent Solutions at LinkedIn, announced the purchase on stage, alongside Glint CEO, Jim Barnett. Glint’s mission is to “help people be happier and more successful at work.” The technology is expected to help answer tough HR questions, including: the overall health and performance of the organization, where to find new talent, and if the capabilities of the team are aligned to the business needs.
“With LinkedIn’s insights into the larger workforce alongside Glint’s internal view into employee engagement and skills, we will be able to help talent leaders answer all those difficult questions,” said Shapero. “Glint provides executives with the tools to answer questions about the health and happiness of the talent they have, while giving managers at all levels the access and insight they need to improve.”
Glint’s technology encourages companies to regularly gather employee feedback on work, culture, and leadership. And, it provides those insights back to the leadership team to make informed decisions. This is great news for employees and managers alike.
After all, replacing employees is expensive. And so often, employees aren’t leaving to make more money. They’re leaving because they’re unhappy, or they want more career growth. A solution like Glint may help companies to solve these problems for employees before it’s too late.
As I think back on my experience at LinkedIn Talent Connect, there’s one theme that really shines through. It’s undeniable just how integrated LinkedIn is becoming into each and every one of our professional lives – from the beginning to the end.
Ten years ago, LinkedIn was a simple networking website. Today, it’s a collection of technologies that travel with us through our entire career journey. We use LinkedIn to research where we want to work using their company reviews. We monitor and apply for jobs on LinkedIn. We estimate how much money we should be making using LinkedIn Salary. Once we’re working at a company, we stay in touch with our colleagues there. We use LinkedIn for referrals and references. We use the site as a continuing education resource. We even throw away our business cards because we know we can use LinkedIn instead.
And now, companies are using LinkedIn to find out how they can be better employers for their employees. Regardless of where you are in your career journey, one thing’s for sure. LinkedIn is likely a part of your everyday professional life.
Sometimes, you want to feel like your work means something. You want to feel like a person who is performing a craft. You want to feel like a professional. Somehow, looking for a job can make you feel like a discount item on a shelf at a big box store.
The salary is an area where companies have lost their way. During your first phone call with a company’s HR department, the recruiter will ask you how much money you make – or how much you want to make. Recruiters will tell you that they’re simply trying to understand whether or not you’re inside their budget.
But, this is the thing. Companies have a wide band they can pay employees. Asking this question is like a game of chicken, where the company is hedging their bets to try to get a good deal. But, how much are they saving on this exercise? Is it worth the cost of upsetting and candidate?
Years ago, I shopped for a new car. I went to a typical car dealership where I was treated like prey. Then, I went to a Saturn dealership. Saturn was a completely different experience. There was no negotiation. There was no pressure. If the car worked for you, it was yours. If not, no problem. Despite that Saturn no longer exists, ask anyone who owned one what the experience was like, and you’ll find out just how positive it was.
Along similar lines, Glassdoor.com recently revealed that a ten percent pay increase only raises the likelihood of employee retention by 1.5 percent. So, what does this mean?
It means that employees are looking for the right job. They aren’t looking for the highest paying. They’re looking for fit. And, a lot of fit comes in the form of feeling like you’re treated with respect. Asking salary right out of the gate is the very opposite of respect, and it diminishes you and your work experience down to a price tag – one number.
The good news is, certain states and some cities are beginning to outlaw questions about your pay history. These laws are changing quite a bit, so you’ll want to look at what’s fair game in your area. But, the good news is that these new laws are shedding light on this important issue. Asking pay history can mean that if you’re underpaid today, you’ll continue to be underpaid in the future. Some companies are getting rid of the work history question completely, as the laws are changing.
But, it won’t stop them from asking how much you want to make. Before you answer this question, do your research. Although it doesn’t feel like it, answering this question in the first call can weaken your negotiation power later.
Perhaps in the future, companies will begin to share their budget first. It would allow you to focus on fit, and ensure companies are paying everyone fairly.
Have you ever had someone tell you that it’s a good idea to get your foot in the door at a company? The theory is that if you get your foot in the door, you can work your way up over time. I understand the reasoning. It’s a career outlook that has been around for a long time. But, in today’s career environment, this approach can backfire.
Many companies no longer prioritize promoting from within. Employees switch jobs so quickly that employers are typically focused on new talent coming in. And, there’s a tendency for the company to want you to show up with all of the right experience. They’re less interested to train you, or to move you into a new department. They want you to be productive on day one, so they can get the most out of you before you leave two years later.
This isn’t the rule, and it doesn’t apply to all industries. However, this new outlook brings up some interesting. In the past, job seekers may have been willing to take a lower paycheck now in hopes of getting a substantial raise at a later time. But, on average, companies now only give employees two to four percent raises each year.
This means that you should try to start off where you want to be. If you’re underpaid today, you’ll be underpaid next year and the year after.
As the economy has tightened and the unemployment rate has fallen, wages have not grown as much as economists predicted. Hopefully, higher wages are just around the next corner. But, there’s something to keep in mind. As long as companies can pay less, they will.
When you are evaluating a job offer, don’t assume you’ll have to take a pay cut. Don’t assume the new company won’t pay you more than you currently make. Do your research. There are a number of online sources where you can find salaries for an industry, a region, and even at specific companies by titles. Check out sites like Glassdoor.com, Indeed.com, and Salary.com to find out what your role pays in today’s market.
If you accept a job that pays less than market value, you’re doing a disservice. You’re doing a disservice to yourself and to everyone else in your industry. Accepting a job at less than the market rate is a signal to the company that it’s okay to underpay workers. It’s a signal that you aren’t valued as an employee. It says that you’re okay making less. And, it undercuts your competition.
So, what should you do? First, do your research. Find out what the going rate is for your job. Then, don’t just interview for one job at a time. Try to interview for multiple jobs, so you’ll have more than one choice, and competitive offers. The sooner we each stop taking less than we’re worth, the sooner we will all benefit.
If you’re a hiring manager, there’s a good chance you’re finding it harder to hire this year than one year ago. The unemployment rate just fell to the lowest level since 1969, so the competition is fierce for good workers. In fact, it’s taking 82% longer to fill open jobs than just a few years ago in 2010. And, on average, it’s taking companies 31 days to hire.
I recently had the opportunity to attend an event in Chicago hosted by Glassdoor, and I want to share a few of their findings with you. In particular, I want to focus in on why employers are losing their top candidates.
Glassdoor identified three big frustrations for job seekers that are going through the interview process. Job seekers feel frustrated at a lack of information about the job’s pay and benefits. They also feel frustrated that employers are cancelling or postponing their interviews. And, they’re upset that potential employers aren’t responding to them in a timely manner.
“Job seekers clearly feel that understanding the total compensation package, including pay and benefits, is absolutely essential to fully evaluate a job opportunity,” said Julie Coucoules, Glassdoor’s Global Head of Talent Acquisition.
I bet you can relate. The last time you looked for a job, I’m sure these things were on your mind too. To keep top candidates engaged, consider sharing your salary and benefits up front. Don’t turn the first screening call into a game, where you try to outsmart the candidate to get their number first. Treat candidates the way you’d want to be treated. Be respectful of their time. Keep your commitments, and let them know when you’ve moved on. Nothing is more stressful than just not knowing what has happened with a job you’re applying to.
Glassdoor also found a number of reasons that top candidates would pull out of the recruitment process. In other words, the candidate turns you down before you get the chance to even given them an offer. The top reason identified was an employer that has announced layoffs. This makes sense, right? Nobody wants to sign up to lose their job just after switching.
Other reasons cited were a poor first interaction with a recruiter or hiring manager. 40 percent of those surveyed identified this as a reason to pull out of the process. 35 percent said they would drop the company if they read negative employee reviews online. 33 percent said they would leave if they heard about employee or leadership scandals and 32 percent said they would leave if they read negative news coverage about the company.
The most straightforward suggestion from this list is to treat each candidate with the respect you’d want to be treated with. Beyond that, don’t undervalue the importance of your company’s online reviews or media coverage. With the transparency that’s available online, the hiring process really has turned into a two way street.
You know, I love tech companies. With a computer engineering undergrad, I’ve spent my entire career working in the world of technology in one way or another.
I’ve recently met a number of job seekers who have had job interviews at tech companies. They’re the kind of companies with only a few hundred employees. They have ping pong tables, video games, and free lunch.
Quickly, I noticed that something was different about their interview experience. Before the interview, we worked to update their resume and elevator pitch. But, nothing could have really prepared us for what happened next.
The attitude inside the doors of the tech companies was different – very different. Lots of young, flip-flop wearing employees fill giant tables where they are setup with computer monitors. There are no offices or cubicles. Imagine working in a Starbucks, or a lunchroom. Employees look exhausted. Their eyes are red and they’re yawning while interviewing candidates. Despite the office perks, these folks are working their hearts out day and night. And, the stress of the environment seems to come through in the interview.
Many of the interviews are what’s sometimes called a stress interview. They’re interviews designed to upset the job seeker, and to get a reaction out of them. In the middle of the interview, the hiring manager might tell the candidate that they’re not qualified for the role and that their experience is useless to the company. They do this all in a relatively rude and challenging way. Then, the hiring manager asks the candidate to respond. I’m really not sure how a candidate is expected to respond in these situations, especially if they have any self-respect.
There’s also an obsession around money. At a tech startup, everybody wants to know how much money you want to make. If you’re coming from any sort of non-startup environment, it can be tough to pin down your salary requirements because the benefits are different. Startups often provide equity in place of high salaries.
Tech companies are also looking for someone like them. Even when a candidate has all the required experience, it is very common for the number one objection to be, “You’ve never worked in tech.”
A number of tech companies also have an internal voting structure. Rather than the hiring manager selecting you, the entire team is involved. The team will meet together after you interview to decide whether or not you’re a fit. At some organizations, even one vote against you can keep you from being hired.
Right or wrong, this seems to be the reality that tech companies are living in. If you decide to interview at one, be sure to prepare yourself. On top of your normal interview preparation, learn as much as you can about the company, their culture, and their interview process. To score big at a tech company, you need to be more than qualified. You need to fit in.