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This Year’s Best Employers Have Focused on Fairness

Gender and income equality are a top priority for this year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Like to work for a company that gives every employee a bonus of $100,000? Or one that takes all employees and their guests for a weeklong trip to a Mexican resort, complete with performances by LL Cool J and Sublime? Or one that caps its top executive salary at 19 times that of the average annual wage—when CEOs at the largest U.S. firms average more than 300 times the pay of their workers?

Welcome to the 19th annual installment of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. As you read through this list, you’ll find companies with remarkable perks. But eye-popping perks are only the tip of the iceberg. What really makes a workplace a great place to work are the people practices that forge trust across the enterprise. That’s the kind of thing that doesn’t show up on company benefits lists. We select the firms on our list primarily based on the results of what employees tell us anonymously about their workplace culture.

This year we were struck by the prevalence of egalitarian practices at all 100 companies. Take Hilcorp, the Houston-based oil and gas company that doled out $100,000 bonus checks after it met some daunting five-year financial goals. In December the company’s president, Greg Lalicker, defended spreading the wealth as crucial to the company’s success: “In order to create better alignment across all employees, our bonus structure treats everyone equally. We have a culture that we are all in this together.”

The big bonus checks at Hilcorp stand out because of the dollar amount, but the inclusive attitude expressed is what we see at many, if not most, companies on this list. Nationwide, the $36 billion mutual insurance and financial services giant, raised the minimum wage of its call-center workers to $15 an hour from $10.50. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff made good on his commitment to gender equity by reviewing the salaries of every Salesforce CRM -0.10% employee and earmarking $3 million to shore up the paychecks of underpaid women. And according to the National Center for Employee Ownership, employees of six of the 100 Best Companies own all or a majority of the shares of their firms: Burns & McDonnell, PCL Construction, Publix Super Markets, Robert W. Baird, W.L. Gore, and TDIndustries.

As we compared the results from this year’s Great Place to Work Trust Index employee survey with those of our 1998 list, we saw that measures related to fairness showed the biggest improvements: The number of employees who said yes when asked if they felt they were “paid fairly for the work they do” jumped 13%; there was a 17% increase, likewise, in employees who believe they are “treated as a full member here regardless of my position”; and a 26% bump in those feeling that they have an equal “opportunity to get special recognition.”

Perhaps the 100 Best Companies have something to add to the national debate about fairness and economic equity that has become such a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail. After all, corporate America’s leadership has been ahead of much of the rest of society before on such issues as recycling and diversity. Many corporations also offered domestic-partner benefits years before courts and legislatures took action.

In fact, many leaders at the 100 Best Companies see promoting fairness as part of a social mission. Salesforce executive vice president Cindy Robbins explained its gender equity initiative in these terms: “At Salesforce we believe that businesses can be great platforms for change. Making the world a better place for everyone and being financially successful are not mutually exclusive endeavors.”

Or consider John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods WFM 1.52% , who capped his own salary at 19 times that of the average company worker. He insists that many companies today embrace a more egalitarian attitude toward workers as part of an expansive vision of business aims. These companies, Mackey says, “are keenly aware that they have a higher purpose that goes beyond making money, and they take proactive measures to respect all their stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, communities, suppliers, and the environment.”

Looking beyond Mackey, we were curious whether other CEOs of the 100 Best Companies were more restrained than their peers in terms of compensation. So we asked Equilar, a firm that specializes in executive compensation research, to run the numbers. It compared CEO pay at the 37 publicly traded companies on this year’s list with CEO pay among the S&P 500. Equilar found that the median CEO pay at publicly traded 100 Best Companies was about 19% less than at the S&P 500 ($8.3 million vs. $10.3 million).

Obviously, reducing CEO pay by 19% will not solve income inequality. But you may find it worthwhile to look at all the ways these exemplary companies create more equitable workplace cultures within an increasingly unequal society. Maybe some of the practices you read about here can be part of the solution.

Source: Fortune

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4 Things You Need to Talk About With Candidates During the Interview

 

The reality is we’re in a war for top talent. After years of employers having control over the job market, candidates now know they are in control. In order to hire your next great employee, you’re going to have to adapt your candidate experience.

One thing that often goes overlooked in the candidate experience is the communication between hiring managers and candidates during the interview. What kinds of things should you be communicating in an interview in order to interest the best candidates?

Hiring managers are used to quizzing candidates about their employment history, skills, and background. But today’s top candidates want to be a part of a deeper conversation, one that centers on the company, the work environment, and more.

Here are a few vital communications to include in your next interview:

1. A Realistic Employer Brand

Today’s candidates are concerned with employer brands. According to CareerBuilder, approximately 91 percent of candidates make decisions on whether to accept a position based on the organization’s employer brand.

If your hiring managers aren’t aware of the employer brand or can’t articulate it clearly, this could lose you candidates. It’s critical to realistically communicate your organization’s employer brand in an interview – otherwise, you could find that new hire exits a lot sooner than the company had hoped. Train hiring managers to paint a picture in the interview of the company’s mission and vision, including how the prospective employee’s team relates to both.

2. Insight Into the Working Conditions

Many job postings refer to the company culture very vaguely, promising little more than “a great work environment.” These ads often stop short of providing an explanation of what that environment might actually be like. As a result, many candidates come to an interview with one idea about the culture, only to be confronted with a completely different picture once they begin a new job.

RoadIf the company is fast-paced, it behooves a hiring manager to mention this in the interview instead of describing a laid-back environment. An accurate portrayal of the company culture ahead of time can set a new hire up for success and ensure that the people joining the organization are truly the right people.

3. Advancement Opportunities

Today’s candidates are concerned with opportunities in the workplace for career advancement, more pay, professional development, and so on.

According to Deloitte, millennials – the fastest-growing segment of the talent market – are extremely concerned with opportunities for advancement and learning. Sixty-three percent of them feel their leadership skills are simply not being developed, which drives them to search for new employment opportunities.

In the interview, it is a hiring manager’s job to attract top candidates by setting expectations regarding potential advancement opportunities that may exist.

4. How the Employee Will Benefit From Working for the Organization

Too many hiring managers still approach the interview as a way to evaluate the candidate, rather than as an opportunity to sell the position.

Many of the best candidates know they’re in demand. They want to know what’s in it for them if they join your organization. In the interview, be prepared to discuss the things that set your organization apart, like advancement opportunities, team events, company culture, perks and benefits, and more. This information can help sell the candidate on working for your team instead of a competitor’s.

As the war for top talent heats up, it will become increasingly important that hiring managers learn how to position themselves in the marketplace to attract and hire the best candidates. This must involve detailed communications during the interview process.

Remember: It’s not just about what the candidate can do for you – it’s also about what you can do for the candidate.

Source: Recruiter

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This Is How You Identify A-Players (In About 10 Minutes) During An Interview

This post was first shared with my private email list for founders. If you want to learn how to grow from small startup to thriving company (from someone that’s built 5 companies with $200M in total revenue), you should subscribe.

Over the last 15 years I’ve probably interviewed close to 1,000 people for all sorts of roles. From sales to marketing to engineering to customer service to management and even CEOs and board members.

When I started interviewing, I’d estimate my hit rate was right around 50%, which means only 1 in 2 candidates would be a good fit for the role. Over the years and as I continued to interview and hire, I started to see the “real life” impact of hiring A-players.

If you haven’t heard the term “A-players” before, don’t feel bad. Here’s a quick rundown — when it comes to people in the context of work, you can generally group them into 3 categories:

  • A-players: the top 5% of people. They work hard, go over and above, are well liked and respected and typically move “up the ranks” fast.
  • B-players: most people. They do the 9–5 thing, do their job well and are generally the “good not great” people.
  • C-players: the bottom 10%. They do just enough to scrape through, don’t volunteer to take on new projects, like (and cause) conflict and have little to no personal accountability or responsibility.

In terms of hiring, your managers are A/B/C players too, which means:

  • A-players love to hire other A-players and build teams of super smart people that love to win. They genuinely want to be the “dumbest” person in the room and love learning from those around them
  • B-players hire C-players because they’re worried about someone coming in and taking their job
  • C-players don’t really hire (too hard/too lazy), but if they do, they’ll pretty much take whoever comes along

So obviously you want to hire A-players, right? Good. I sat down earlier today and thought about all of the A-players I’ve been fortunate enough to hire over the years at my 5 previous companies — most of which are still in those companies today.

I thought about the commonalities between them and what “makes them tick” and I also thought about my actual interviews with them — even the interviews back in the early 2000s. When I asked myself “What do they all have in common that would form the foundation of an A-player?”, I came up with a series of personality traits and past experiences.

I then looked at it from another angle and came up with 7 questions you can use in your interview process to give you a much better chance of finding and hiring them.

Here are those 7 questions:

Q1: Have they been promoted at least once in a previous role?

A-players are great at what they do and good managers will pick up on that fast, offering them more responsibility and eventually a more challenging role. Look at their LinkedIn profile and see if, at any of their previous companies, they’ve been promoted. Once is great, twice is amazing and three times is out of this world.

Q2: Have they had to lead a big project in a previous role? How did they handle it?

A-players like to take on more responsibility over time, not less. Have they had a previous manager that was so confident in their abilities that they were given a large or important project to run on their own?

Q3: Is this the same role as a previous job or is it somewhat/completely different?

A-players love challenges. I found that most A-players don’t change companies so much as they change roles — because they like the challenge of constantly learning new things and being in new situations.

Q4: Can they speak about your company and tell you what they like and what they might change?

A-players do research on a company before an interview. They try to understand your strategy, what’s going well and even what’s not. Can they clearly articulate what they like about your company but also provide some constructive feedback on something you might want to change?

If they don’t know what your company does or they have no opinion (positive or negative) about it, that’s a red flag.

Q5: Are they confident without being cocky?

This is a fine line. A-players have great track records and you want someone who talks a lot about being on great teams and having great managers and mentors, not someone constantly saying “I this, I that”.

Q6: Are they committed to continual learning? Can they prove it?

A-players love learning new skills. Ask them what they learned in their previous role. Ask which book they’re currently reading. Ask what they plan to learn in the next 6–12 months and how they’ll go about doing that.

Q7: How would you rate the quality and quantity of questions they ask YOU during the interview?

A great interview is always a conversation — it’s never one-sided. Look at the quantity and quality of questions they ask YOU. A-players care about the team they’ll be on, their manager and where you want to take your company moving forward.

If you’d like to use these questions in your next interview, I’ve put together a swipe file which includes a 70-point rating system you can use to help you assess whether candidates are A-players or not. Download it here (look for the yellow box). It also includes the specific questions you can ask during the interview, for those of you who aren’t sure.

Remember, hiring A-players isn’t a science. There’s a lot more to it than asking the 7 questions above, but in my experience it’s a great place to start. You also need to trust your gut, check references, assess if they’re a great cultural fit and most importantly ask the people on the team they’ll be a part of whether they’d like to work with them or not.

Want more stuff like this? Join my private email list for founders here.

Source: Medium

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