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News & Events
Pay Equity: A New Requirement for HR

by Meghan M. Biro | December 19, 2017

The laws regarding pay equity are changing. In seven jurisdictions, there are new laws on the books regarding pay equity, including California, New York City, Oregon, Puerto Rico, and Massachusetts. Each has new laws prohibiting employers from asking a candidate’s salary history. There are more than a dozen other pay equity laws under consideration, and it’s going to be a very key focus for lawmakers — and therefore HR and the world of work — in 2018.

Navigating change

Employers are going to have to address this issue, starting now — regardless of your companys position, or whether you have created a policy to deal with pay equity or not. The winds of change are upon us and it is critical to start revising your hiring practices now. Or you may wind up breaking the law.

It is not just laws that factor in, however. You will also want to be on the forefront of this transformation as an employer. In terms of attracting the best talent, it is no surprise that it is a best practice to demonstrate a progressive, well-thought out approach to pay equity. To not be clear about supporting pay equity is to possibly convey a retrogressive stance on fair and equitable hiring. At a time when pay equity is on the radar and in the news, to not have a policy towards pay equity, law or not, could be the key factor in whether a superbly qualified candidate applies to your organization, or goes elsewhere.

But there are also statistics showing that pay equity drives more profitability — tied into the fact that a well and fairly compensated workforce is a more engaged and productive one, and a more diverse workforce is a more innovative and creative one. A study of nearly a thousand companies on their pay equity positions found that the 51 companies officially committed to gender pay equity as of this past spring generated a 12.5% return to investors. That is opposed to the rest — who generated a return of only 10.2%. Is it possible that paying women fairly is good business? I dare say it is.

Jumping on the bandwagon

According to the U.S. Census of September 2017, U.S. women still make only 80.5 cents for every dollar that men make. Glassdoor’s salary study in the Spring of last year found that men earn 24.1% higher base pay than women on average. But many organizations are taking the initiative. Among those known for their leading stances on pay equity are Starbucks — whose own study of its male and female employees found they are paid within 99.7% of each other for doing similar work. Gap has been officially paying male and female employees equal pay for equal work since 2014, and was the first Fortune 500 company to do so. Costco and Nike are among companies who are stepping up to do internal studies of their workforce. Tech companies are trying to repair their reputations as part of Silicon-Valley-esque bro-culture by conducting pay equity studies of their own. Will they play a role in changing the tech workplace? Probably.

We will see more and more organizations taking long, hard looks at their own compensation structures — and trying to remedy equity within existing employees as well as new ones. The Glassdoor study found that one key remedy for the gender pay gap are employer policies that embrace salary transparency. Albany County just announced it’s giving some employees salary “bumps” to address pay equity — days after passing its own salary history ban. We may see companies evaluating retroactive rebalancing, adding additional work/life balance components to their benefits packages, and setting key targets for increasing diversity and inclusion — as they drive towards better and more equitable pay among all of them. But they can’t do it alone.

Outsourcing Equity

That is where recruiting and hiring firms come in. When companies outsource their recruiting and hiring to other companies, those companies are also responsible for compliance under the law, if not more so. An outsourcing firm that does not guide its client on issues of compliance may be held liable for that client’s breaking the law. So, it is incumbent upon firms to really understand the legalities involved in these new pay equity laws. And the firms leading the way with this issue are already setting their own policies. HireRight, for instance, recently announced it was building capabilities into its own hiring and screening tools that enabled its clients to remove salary verification from its screening process. Here at TalentCulture, we just featured a #WorkTrends podcast with HireRight on this topic — and we’re going to dive even deeper with them in a webinar coming up.

The bottom line is that if we are going to improve the workplace, it can not be left to legislation. But if there is a wave of legislation happening — and far more to come — it is vital to understand the laws and compliance. When we combine solid internal policy making on the part of well-meaning companies with legislation, and then we increase the effectiveness by having hiring and screening firms create effective tools for observing best practices, then we are getting somewhere with pay equity. It is good news, and it is about time.

This article was sponsored by HireRight. All opinions are that of TalentCulture and Meghan M. Biro.

Interested in learning more about pay equity? Join us for “Pay Equity Legislation: 5 Ways to Tackle the Year’s HR Must-Do” lead by Meghan M. Biro.

Ideas Are Worthless Without Execution


Ideas are everywhere.

It is the execution that is rare.

I often hear or see so many people who complain about wanting something that other people have, or something they want done, or want others to do, or want to change something, etc… but they would not do anything themselves to get stuff moving forward…

Can you relate?

Maybe you are one of these people?


Here is a novel idea: stop complaining/protesting if you are not going to do anything to make a difference yourself.

This goes for work life, personal life, side-hustle life, etc.

If you have an idea, speak up.

If you do not like something, speak up.

If you want to seek changes in processes, or feel like something could be done better or more efficiently, have a chat with your leadership team to see if there is a solution.

Sitting like a bump on a log waiting for others to do something for you is going to get you one place… nowhere.

You would be surprised at how open upper management might be to ideas—it is their goal to make the business run smoother.

But maybe you have limiting beliefs or think that no one will take you seriously. No one will have the chance to take you seriously if you do not take yourself seriously by communicating your thoughts and ideas.

Here are some steps to remove limiting beliefs from your mind and bring your ideas to life:

1. Take a week to think about what might be causing your hesitation or lack of confidence to speak up, and acknowledge those limiting beliefs.

2. Come up with a mantra that will shift negative emotions into positive affirmations. Ex: “I want to talk to leadership about a new team strategy, but they probably would not care.” —> “I believe in this new team strategy because I see the day to day grind of our team, and I am certain it will help us provide more efficient work product.” Repeat your positive affirmation to yourself daily.

3. Be clear with your intentions. What do you want to gain from sharing your idea with leadership? Be specific with a strategy plan, steps to execute, and expected outcomes. This will help upper management see you have dedicated time to provide potential value, and it will help you when it comes time to execute your idea.

4. Let go and execute. This is the most important trick—do not worry about what other people think so much. Let us say leadership approved your idea and wants to see how you can, for example, create a better data-tracking plan for recruitment metrics. Do not worry about what your other coworker might say or think about you—it does not matter. This is the MOST limiting belief—worrying about what peers think of you.

If there is an idea you believe in, take action. If there is room for improvement with something at work, speak up.

Or forever hold your peace…

3 Keys to Being a Good Boss It is About Presence, Praise & Promise

Todays post is inspired by this one on small gestures made by good bosses, especially those at the most senior level.

It is also inspired by a sneak-peek I got at the results of our latest Workforce Mood Tracker survey (report to be released soon, stay tuned), which showed employees would rather have a better boss than more money in their paycheck.

That caused me to think about the characteristics of a better boss. While there are many, these three seem to rise to the top continually:

1-Presence You not only manage by walking around , you show up to meetings on time to signal that you value the work your employees are doing. When you are meeting with an employee, you shut off or totally ignore your email, IM, texts and any other interruptions to give your full attention to the employee. If employees need your support to push a key decision forward, you lend your visible presence and direct support.

2-Praise You make it a point to give your employees the frequent, timely and specific feedback they need to stay on track and move their projects forward appropriately. You recognize and appreciate them and their efforts that are especially in line with the companys core values and strategic objectives. Because you are diligent about catching employees doing something good, you also help employees receive constructive feedback more readily as they know the feedback is intended to help them advance.

3-Promise You help your employees see the future they have with the organization and in their career. You do not make undue or unwarranted promises of course, but you are committed to helping your team members grow and develop and they know it. You seek out training and development opportunities for them and encourage them to go. You give them realistic stretch goals to help them develop skills.

These three skills are foundational to earning the good boss title and all the perks that come with it (committed employees who happily go the extra distance). But there are many more.

What other signs of a good boss are important to you or do you strive to demonstrate?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

Derek Irvine is Vice President, Client Strategy & Consulting Service at Globoforce, a global provider of strategic employee recognition and reward programs. In his role as a thought leader for employee recognition at Globoforce, Derek helps clients set a higher ambition for global, strategic employee recognition, leading consultative workshops and strategy setting meetings with such organizations as Avnet, Celestica, Dow Chemical, Intuit, KPMG, Logica, P&G, Symantec, and Thompson Reuters.

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