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Founded Year

2012

Stage

Series D | Alive

Total Raised

$116.3M

Last Raised

$50M | 3 mos ago

Mosaic Score

+10 points in the past 30 days

What is a Mosaic Score?
The Mosaic Score is an algorithm that measures the overall financial health and market potential of private companies.

About Lever

Founded in 2012, Lever offers hiring software that interviewers, managers, recruiters, and companies can use to collaborate and streamline the hiring process. Per the company, its Talent Acquisition Suite combines an ATS (applicant tracking system) with CRM functionality into one product dubbed LeverTRM. The Lever Hire and Lever Nurture features aim to allow leaders to grow their people pipeline, build authentic and long-lasting relationships, and source the right people to hire. Lever Analytics provides customized reports with data visualization and see offers completed and interview feedback with the aim of informing strategic decisions between hiring managers and executives.

Lever Headquarter Location

1125 Mission Street

San Francisco, California, 94103,

United States

415-458-2731

Latest Lever News

Comcast hires former Sinema colleague to lobby on ‘FCC nominations’

Jan 13, 2022

January 13, 2022 Food delivery, dog-walkers, housekeepers: All of these are reimbursable up to $150 a month at the recruiting software maker Lever. Remote work allows for huge real estate cost savings. But as tech companies transition to hybrid work, employers will be carrying a few extra costs as they support both home offices and traditional office space. Early in the pandemic, many tech companies offered home office stipends and helped with technology needs, like monitors and internet reimbursement (if they weren’t already doing so). Others, like Lever, went further, handing out monthly stipends that could be used for home office perks as they repurposed budgets that might otherwise have gone to parking, commuter benefits or in-office amenities like food. With the job market as hot as it’s ever been, companies may be reluctant to roll back any of those benefits even as offices reopen. “Every customer I speak with is increasing their focus on employee well-being,” said A.G. Lambert, chief product strategy officer at SAP Concur. “They’re working to make sure that they don’t have employees leaving.” Between 2019 and 2020, SAP Concur customers received 58% more reimbursement requests marked “other,” which Lambert attributes to new categories of employee expenses emerging with the pandemic. Lever’s $150 monthly stipend can go toward “anything that makes working from home feel more comfortable and a little bit easier,” said Caitlyn Metteer, Lever’s director of Recruiting. That’s in addition to Lever’s $100 monthly wellness benefit, which can be used on anything from gym memberships and massages to at-home exercise enhancers, like running shoes or a Peloton subscription, Metteer said. The company hasn’t yet decided whether to rework its perks and benefits as offices reopen. Sarah Britton, Lever’s senior manager of Employee Operations, said in an email that the company would “continue to conduct listening tours to survey employees on the perks and benefits that matter most to them.” Finding out what employees really care about is key, said Jennifer Shappley, LinkedIn’s vice president of Global Talent Acquisition. “The more important thing for organizations to do is to focus on: What does support to their employees mean?” Shappley said. “What you don’t want to do is just take, ‘This is what we provided [when we worked in offices], and how do we do that exact same thing in a virtual way?’” Benefits like the ones Lever has been offering can be tough to roll back, said Brian Kropp, Gartner’s chief of HR Research. “Whenever you create a new benefit, in the moment, it’s effective at attracting and retaining talent,” Kropp said, “But once it’s there, it’s really hard to get rid of.” Likely for that reason, some companies opted for one-time home office stipends in order to avoid introducing a monthly perk they might later want to revoke. Kropp cautioned that the harm to employee morale caused by revoking a perk can be greater than the benefit gained by offering it in the first place. Twitter, Meta and Google all reimburse for internet bills, the companies told Protocol. Google and Meta both stuck to a one-time work-from-home benefit — Google offered $1,000 — rather than an ongoing work-from-home allowance. (Google has since handed out two all-staff bonuses totaling $2,100.) Twitter pays its employees a $500 annual “productivity allowance” for items like office furniture and home printers. The social media giant also increased its wellness allowance by 40% for 2022, and plans to keep offering both of these benefits as offices reopen. “In general, we want people set up to be productive, but then where they want to work is just a choice," said Temy Mancusi-Ungaro, the CEO of Reachdesk, a New York company that sells corporate gifting software. Reachdesk’s remote workers receive a one-time $500 home office stipend and hybrid workers — employees who go into the office two or three times a week — get $250 for the same purpose. Reachdesk doesn’t cover recurring home internet costs outside of regions where the law requires it (as it does in Portugal, where Reachdesk has an office). For most companies, remote work will mean big savings on real estate. Still, even covering basic technology expenses — like buying and upgrading technology hardware for both the home and the office — can add up when hundreds or thousands of employees are splitting their time between different work locations. When deciding what to offer, tech companies will need to weigh potential future risks against the strength of the economy and tight labor market. “We’re in such a tight war for talent that companies often make decisions to just get them through the current moment and prevent that next person from quitting,” Kropp said. “You have to play through the scenario of: What happens if we don’t have as much money tomorrow, and we have to take some of these things away?” Keep ReadingShow less David Silverberg is a Toronto-based freelance journalist, editor and writing coach. He writes for The Washington Post, BBC News, Business Insider, The Toronto Star, New Scientist, Fodor's, and several alumni magazines. He also writes for brands such as 23andme, Shopify and Bold Commerce. He has served as editor of B2B News Network, Canada's only B2B news magazine, and Digital Journal, a leading pioneer in citizen journalism. Find more about him at www.davidsilverberg.ca January 5, 2022 Greg Petraetis, SVP and Managing Director, Midmarket and Partner Ecosystem, North America at SAP As businesses grow during the pandemic, they also encounter pressing challenges to maintain that success. Among them is the pressure to strengthen their digital backbone, which leads to the question: How can companies find the ideal technology provider suited to their evolving needs? In the midmarket space, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often need support to buoy them through any choppy waters ahead. As a SaaS solutions provider, SAP has extensive expertise developing strategies to connect innovative companies with their customers. “We’ve seen how so many SMBs want to become the next billion-dollar companies as they move from being innovators and disruptors to global leaders,” says Greg Petraetis, senior vice president and managing director, Midmarket and Partner Ecosystem, North America at SAP, in an interview with Protocol. “And we’re there to catch them along that trajectory and help them achieve that profitable growth.” He added that front-burner priorities for future-ready businesses include environmental sustainability and effectively managing the supply chain crisis. These issues were highlighted in a recent Protocol-Morning Consult survey of small business leaders , presented by SAP. Close to half of the respondents stated it was very important to adapt production to meet sustainability goals and regulations during the current supply chain crisis. Protocol sat down with Petraetis to discuss the challenges SMBs face today, how the right technology can help them leap over those hurdles and what lessons business leaders can learn from the pandemic’s impact on business processes and operations. What are some of the key challenges SMBs face today? What comes to mind is hypergrowth, which can be a consistent challenge and opportunity. Many SMBs are projected to grow nearly 60% in the next five years, and that can create tough situations for their businesses and their teams as their technology needs also grow. I was talking to one CIO and found out their IT staff is five people, three of which work part time. There is this historical notion that SAP is for big companies but we can offer these CIOs the ability to grow with cloud solutions such as S/4HANA so they can get up and running quickly to get prepared for the future. We have a strong track record for doing this with well-known brands such as Moderna and LIVEKINDLY, working with them when they were smaller companies and supporting their steady growth over the past few years. This is a testament to not just the way we simplified implementation and operational sustainment of these companies but also a testament to the ecosystem. They look at SAP, and think, “Wow, there are 3.5 million people surrounding the company!” There is comfort in knowing they can find the skills among our ecosystem to sustain and grow the technology they implement. Another topic on our radar is how many SMBs are focused on sustainability. There are shifting global customer demands about the environmental impact of an organization and we see that as a challenge those companies will face as well. How does SAP leverage technology to help those businesses overcome these challenges? When it comes to hypergrowth, as these companies look to put in a digital core for their business and a platform to support them, a solution such as RISE with SAP is important. It allows midmarket companies to leverage SAP’s industry expertise and line-of-business expertise and radically reduces the overhead of running an ERP system. It also allows high-growth companies to focus on outcomes without worrying about keeping the lights on. After all, they are not in the business of sustaining technology; they are in the business of their business. We are a partner-first organization because we recognize we can’t possibly do everything in-house. The walled garden always falls, in my experience, and so we have more than 22,500 partners worldwide to bring innovation and subject-matter expertise to the table. In a cloud-first environment where industries are becoming more connected, we’re investing in the cloud to enable future-driven business models but we’re also counting on innovation available across the partner and cloud ecosystem. We pride ourselves on supporting an open ecosystem of technologies to give them the benefit of choice, flexibility and scale. When it comes to sustainability, we have invested in those areas in response to shifting global and consumer demands, and we constantly have an eye on that area from a development perspective. In a recent Protocol-Morning Consult survey, close to two-thirds of small business leaders rated meeting their businesses’ immediate needs as a high priority when it comes to selecting a technology provider. What considerations should be top-of-mind for SMB leaders as they look for the right technology provider? Industry expertise is an enormous differentiator. Does your technology provider come to the table with technology but also with expertise to get you up and running quickly? Is the provider situationally fluid in your business, business model and the processes you need to serve? SAP’s industry cloud, as the open-innovation space for SAP customers and its partners, provides the environment to build differentiating solutions for the core businesses of our customers. You should expect more than just great technology with the businesses you work with, but also expect that subject-matter expertise around the technology, business process expertise and soft science. Also important is the ecosystem. Is the technology provider engaged with the ecosystem in order to come to the table with thoughtful best-in-class recommendations? That doesn’t mean to focus on just those who implement the technology. An example is looking at stakeholders surrounding the SMB and often the big ones can be private equity or venture-backed organizations. We figured out that one out of every three customers we are working with are either private equity, growth equity or venture backed, and we are looking to service the needs of that community because they invest in these organizations with a disciplined investment thesis and profile. In addition, we have become a leader in the business process intelligence space. When we acquired Signavio, we folded that business into our solution RISE and we offer business process intelligence into that suite to allow midmarket customers to continually evaluate day-to-day business operations and benchmark them against peers in the industry. Going that route can help them make decisions about their end-to-end processes not based on emotions but based on facts. In the same survey, nearly half of small business leaders said it was very important to adapt production to meet sustainability goals and regulations during the current supply chain crisis. How does SAP confront this challenge, and how can SMBs best manage the supply chain backlog we’ve been seeing in the past two years? If we look at the supply chain backlog, SAP can assist to ensure transparency across the supply chain. Among SAP customers, the first ones affected by the pandemic were businesses dependent on supply chain manufacturers in COVID hotspots, and they experienced sudden swings in demand and supply. So, we opened access to our software, such as SAP Ariba Discovery and SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain , making it available for free for 90 days. Our customers were able to predict demand shifts and deal with dynamics caused by supply chain disruptions. They could switch suppliers quickly and keep critical production lines running. We’re proud that we can lead with our software, and we did what we could to help make a tremendous impact in this area. Looking at sustainability goals during the supply chain crisis, we more broadly help SMBs to create sustainable supply chains by effectively managing the creation and exchange of the data that’s needed to account for the full value of carbon emissions and material use. We want to support companies’ achievements of zero-emission goals, and we launched a program called Climate 21 to help companies minimize and disclose the full carbon footprints of their products and services. We also built capabilities into our core analytical systems to help customers analyze all the greenhouse gas emissions across their operations and supply chains so they can determine the carbon footprint down to individual product level. For us, it’s not just words. We are investing heavily in this as a discipline. What lessons can SMBs glean from the pandemic’s effect on employees, systems, analytics and leadership? What we’ve seen is so much resilience in the SMB market in the past two years. We have also seen a lot of investments, and the number of companies that chose to work with SAP in 2020 went up compared to the year before. That type of investment is making these companies react and quickly adapt because many of them had to shift to entirely new business models, with ecommerce being a major consideration. The adoption of technology has grown exponentially as companies embraced new ways to work. We saw the constraint with employees, and that’s where the partners and ecosystem relationships we have developed become important. At end of 2020, we built a consortium with SAP and SAP partners in conjunction with the Association for Corporate Growth to create SAP Mergers and Acquisitions Ambassadors, a select group of partners with specializations across industries to respond to and support the needs of CEOs and private-equity operating partners and venture capitalists. As a function of community, we’re trying to bring everything together so these SMBs can receive every benefit possible. What are the investments that SMB leaders need to make today in order to be future-ready for tomorrow? Everyone has a different point of departure, and I think that for SAP the reason we are doing so well with these customers is due to the breadth of our portfolio, ecosystem and industry focus. I talked to a CEO and told him his CFO said he needs a new finance system in place. He said, “I do, but I have a site that doesn’t work and a procurement strategy that is broken and business processes that are sub-optimized and I also have HR-related issues. I have seven priorities and have money for four and resources for two and patience for one.” I told him, fine, let’s get started, and we began dealing with his ecommerce issue first and then dovetailed to look deeper into a broader ERP transformation project. This was a more consultative process than a selling experience. We worked with that company to create a blueprint around their requirements for today and the foreseeable future. We didn’t sell them a spot application, but a framework supported by SAP’s transformation platform to support their future growth and provide them with agility as their business evolved. Keep ReadingShow less Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia reporter digging deep and telling print, digital and audio stories. She covers AI and data for Protocol. Her reporting on AI and tech ethics issues has been published in OneZero, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, Ad Age and Digiday and heard on NPR. Kate is the creator of RedTailMedia.org and is the author of "Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about how the 2008 presidential campaigns used digital media and data. January 13, 2022 Ebay ’s Nitzan Mekel-Bobrov has big plans for helping the ecommerce mainstay evolve into what he calls an AI-first company. The December launch of eBay’s proprietary AI-based tech, which can generate 3D product views, is a sign of more immersive shopping and AI-enhanced customer communications to come, built using computer vision, natural language processing, streaming and computer graphics. As eBay’s chief artificial intelligence officer, Mekel-Bobrov — who joined the company last year after helping lead AI engineering teams at Hearst, Capital One and most recently Booking.com — takes what he calls a distributed approach to disseminating AI across eBay. People in the company’s marketing science, advertising science, search science and buyer experience teams all have domain-specific strategies “but they’re also feeding into the broader enterprise-wide strategy around maturing our AI at eBay and becoming an AI-first company, which is not something any one domain can accomplish on its own,” Mekel-Bobrov told Protocol in an interview this week. Nitzan Mekel-Bobrov, eBay's chief artificial intelligence officer, makes the rules. eBay Still, Mekel-Bobrov guards against haphazardly building AI for customer use or incorporating AI-centric tools into workflows without parameters. It’s why he’s creating standards, best practices and governance for the use of low-code and no-code AI tech by others inside the company, and why he says AI requires a unique form of monitoring and maintenance that other software does not. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Tell me about what a “distributed model” for AI technology use at eBay looks like, maybe in relation to the new 3D tech. So that as a capability is something that we’re developing centrally, and then teams across different parts of the customer journey will be able to leverage that capability in an easy-to-deploy way. Our buyer experience team has deployed this on a number of our pages, a number of our portions of the customer journey, that they own. You’ll also see it in our eBay stores. So far we’ve launched this for sneakers. If you look at some of our top sellers, they now feature 3D in their stores, in their digital storefront, which is owned by the eBay stores team. This is going to continue to roll out that way across multiple different areas. It’s not just about eBay using AI to build experiences, but it’s actually about putting AI into the hands of our sellers and buyers, so that — especially our sellers — can build experiences for their buyers. It’s actually the sellers using our technology to build 3D experiences or 3D visualizations of their products. Let's talk a little more about that – about people who usually don’t work with AI using it, or even building it. There are lots of low-code and no-code AI tools out there. Are non-engineers, people on the business side internally at eBay, using low-code AI or auto ML tools? We are putting that into the hands of our developers in some instances where we felt that as long as they operated under certain parameters, under certain constraints, they could scale it up independently without in-depth knowledge of AI or machine learning. We are doing that first in areas that are low-risk, where there’s not really an opportunity for bias or privacy issues, et cetera, no fraud or cyber issues. That’s where we started, and we’ll proceed, but we have to be very careful as we do this because we need to understand what’s being put into production in front of our customers, and as you scale that up, you need all of the instrumentation in place to be able to continuously monitor. With AI, the piece of software could be performing correctly, but you need to monitor it because the world changes and it’s reacting to the world. Are there processes in place to protect against risks when others at eBay use some of these third-party low-code AI technologies? I am standing up essentially standards, best practices and governance that includes membership and representation from across the company in order to ensure that regardless of the implementation, the same standards are being kept and monitored. I think one of the biggest challenges, one of the big differences between an AI solution in production and other software: Software needs to be maintained and monitored in general, but engineers that deploy a piece of code, a general piece of software, their need to maintain it really has to do with technical performance issues. It’s about whether the actual integration is still up to date. With AI, the piece of software could be performing correctly, but you need to monitor it because the world changes and it’s reacting to the world. And data changes, the performance of the model changes, therefore you have to monitor it on an ongoing basis. That’s something that a lot of companies misstep there, where they treat it like software without really treating it like an ongoing — I don’t want to say living — but it’s something that is continuously changing and evolving and needs to be monitored. So as we allow teams across the company to use no-code or low-code, and any kind of AI development, we need to have the right requirements and processes in place for ongoing monitoring. What’s planned for 2022 when it comes to hiring on the AI team or other AI trends? We’re not one of those companies that goes out and just gobbles up every person with AI in their title; we’re strategic about it. But there are specific areas — for example, computer vision and natural language processing — that are of strategic importance for us this year and so we’re going to focus on those. There’s been tremendous progress in our ability to understand language in the terms that customers communicate to us in, so I think for us what you’ll see in 2022, you’ll see further developments in our customer assistance or customer service conversational capabilities, but you’ll also see more multi-linguality. We’re going to be really double-downing on immersive experiences. So, 3D was sort of an early foray but you’ll be seeing more products rolling out, especially on our mobile platform, to close the gap between ecommerce and physical retail to enable buyers to experience products in an immersive way so they have full confidence in their buying decision. That really comes through computer vision, natural language processing, through personalization as well as some adjacent technologies like streaming, like computer graphics. Keep ReadingShow less December 21, 2021 In the early days of the pandemic, Matt Mullenweg didn't move to a compound in Hawaii, bug out to a bunker in New Zealand or head to Miami and start shilling for crypto. No, in the early days of the pandemic, Mullenweg bought an RV. He drove it all over the country, bouncing between Houston and San Francisco and Jackson Hole with plenty of stops in national parks. In between, he started doing some tinkering. The tinkering is a part-time gig: Most of Mullenweg’s time is spent as CEO of Automattic, one of the web’s largest platforms. It’s best known as the company that runs WordPress.com, the hosted version of the blogging platform that powers about 43% of the websites on the internet. Since WordPress is open-source software, no company technically owns it, but Automattic provides tools and services and oversees most of the WordPress-powered internet. It’s also the owner of the booming ecommerce platform WooCommerce, Day One, the analytics tool Parse.ly and the podcast app Pocket Casts. Oh, and Tumblr. And Simplenote. And many others. That makes Mullenweg one of the most powerful CEOs in tech, and one of the most important voices in the debate over the future of the internet. But before we get to that, you have to hear about this RV. "I really love networking equipment," he said, in an effort to explain the story he’s about to tell. He's always been the guy who goes over to friends' houses and upgrades their router or just rewires the whole system: "So when I get this RV, what I ended up doing was I set up a multiple-cell phone modem router." It connects to all three major U.S. carriers and combines them into a single Wi-Fi network. Suddenly, when Mullenweg signed on every morning to do his job as CEO of Automattic, one of the web's largest platforms and most powerful influences, he could do it from anywhere with a cell signal: like one time, last December, when he recorded a Web Summit panel from the side of Highway 97 in Northern California as logging trucks went by. Mullenweg, who is also an insatiable gearhead, had a solution for the truck noise, too: a Sennheiser headset mic with awesome noise-cancellation. The setup is ever-changing. "What we recently figured out was how to mount a Starlink on top," Mullenweg said. His SpaceX-built satellite internet receiver plugs right in and provides even faster speeds. "You can't drive around with it, and I think it's geo-locked to just the Wyoming region," but with two minutes of setup his RV gets broadband-quality internet. "And," Mullenweg said, already planning his next upgrade, "SpaceX has announced they're going to do a mobile version, so whenever that comes, I'll redo the whole thing. It'll be nice not to have to mount and dismount, and it'll work when I'm moving." From his always-connected RV, Mullenweg has continued to turn Automattic into a tech giant. He talks often about his desire to build "the Berkshire Hathaway of the internet," a holding company populated with the most ambitious and important products and services in tech. But there is one thing that binds the many products under the Automattic umbrella together: a bet on and belief in the open web and open-source software. In every way that matters, Automattic is a reflection of Mullenweg (you could say he puts the “Matt” in Automattic). He started building web software because he wanted a place to store and share his photos; he’s a blogger to the core, and loves anything that aids in the free expression of ideas on the internet. He loves jazz, which is why WordPress releases are named for jazz musicians. He loves to read and write and work from anywhere, so he turned Automattic into a company that supports bloggers and promotes remote work. He buys companies that make products he likes, and companies that have missions he believes in. Most of all, he believes that open-source software is the future of everything. And he’s betting on it every way he can. Eighteen years after he first started working on WordPress, Automattic is more powerful than ever. It’s a $7.5 billion company, one of the biggest private companies in the industry. And yet its founding idea — that software should be available to everyone and editable by anyone, that communities can build great things together, that walled gardens always eventually fall — seems more tenuous than ever. There’s another 17-year-old company named Facebook that flies in the face of everything Mullenweg believes in, and is threatening to own the future of the internet. Most people will tell you it feels like the future of tech hangs in the balance. But the way Mullenweg sees it, open is still going to win. It's not a matter of if, only when. And all he's trying to do is help make it happen a little faster. The builder If you were in San Francisco in the early days of the Web2 era, circa 2005, there’s a good chance you have a Matt Mullenweg story. Maybe a 21-year-old Mullenweg personally upgraded your WordPress installation at one of his “upgrade parties,” which he used to throw at his San Francisco apartment. Maybe you went to one of his Christmas ugly sweater parties. Or maybe you went to one of the countless Meetup events, at which Mullenweg would extol the virtues of WordPress, open source and blogging. Nearly everyone who knew Mullenweg in those days remembers the same three things: He looked like a kid, he was extremely nice and he had ridiculously big ideas. “WordPress, people knew,” said Scott Beale, the founder of Laughing Squid and a friend of Mullenweg since those early days. “And then you meet the guy, and it's like, he's so nice. No real ego, he’s ready to talk to anyone.” “I had just started using WordPress,” said Om Malik, a blogger and venture capitalist, as well as a longtime friend and mentor to Mullenweg, “and I got in touch with Matt. I had no idea who he was, or how young he was at the time.” Malik would send Mullenweg long emails every time he ran into trouble with WordPress, and Mullenweg would always help. Eventually, “Matt and I just became friends,” Malik said. “We would talk about the internet, the open internet.” Even now, he added, “I only talk to him about technology. We never talk about business.” A young Matt Mullenweg (second from left) at a WordPress meetup in 2005. Michelle Ma (@himichellema) is a reporter at Protocol, where she writes about management, leadership and workplace issues in tech. Previously, she was a news editor of live journalism and special coverage for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to that, she worked as a staff writer at Wirecutter. She can be reached at mma@protocol.com. January 13, 2022 This story is part of our Salary Series, where we take a deep dive into the world of pay: how it's set, how it's changing and what's next. Read the rest of the series here . Kathryn Valentine was first inspired to learn negotiation skills as a summer intern when she was in business school. During that internship, she walked into the company’s HR office, hoping to negotiate a new assignment in a different department. Instead, she ended up walking out of that office without a job. Now Valentine runs Worthmore Strategies, where she helps companies retain, develop and promote female employees. “How did that one conversation derail my career?” was a question she kept trying but wasn't able to answer. That experience inspired her to devote her life’s work to understanding how to be a better negotiator. What she discovered: Women run a higher risk of backlash when they negotiate professionally. Unless they do it the right way. Protocol spoke with Valentine about how to make the most of salary negotiations, regardless of gender. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. What does the research show about the role of gender in negotiation? Societal conceptions of gender have led to men being seen as agents of their own destiny. They can be aggressive, and they can argue for what is theirs, whereas women are much more seen as communal beings. Those are the expectations of men versus women. What that means is, if you were to negotiate aggressively as a woman, it very likely will trigger a backlash, which happens when someone isn't acting in a way that is predicted, leading to cognitive dissonance, which people don't like. It makes them uncomfortable, it scares them. They put you back in your place. The way that that happens right now in workplaces is not the first-generation gender bias of "Mad Men," but it's much more subtle second-generation gender bias. All of a sudden, your career isn't progressing as fast as it was before. You're no longer given the high-profile assignments. Or you're no longer invited to the after-work drinks, which is where the real decisions are made. This backlash effect is well-documented . The obvious follow-up question is, “What do you do if you find yourself in this position? How do you navigate it?” The No. 1 thing to do is to take a negotiation training. Research shows doing that will virtually eliminate the gender gap in outcomes. I recommend a two-part approach. The first part will be taught in any real negotiation training these days. Women benefit from having a collaborative approach to negotiations. So rather than being about you versus me, it's about us versus the problem. I worked with a client who is an executive at a regional bank last week, and she had gotten a competitive offer. And she was like, “I'm gonna go in there and throw it on my boss's desk and tell him he's gonna have to address it.” And I told her, “No, that's probably not the best way to handle this.” The problem is that a competitor's trying to poach you, allowing him to then get competitive with the competitor. And as a result, she got a 33% raise and a $300,000 retention bonus, because he wanted to keep her. What did she say? The way that she said it was, “As you know, I've been able to accomplish X, Y and Z here. I've been here for 15 years. I love being here. And we're on the path to being able to accomplish [insert whatever big goal you have together]. I wasn't looking, but I was surprised, however, that somebody came to me. And the package that they're offering blew me away, because it's 30% more than I'm making here. As the primary breadwinner in my family, that's important for me to take a look at. Can you help me figure out how we can close the gap so that I can continue contributing here?" In her case, this was all true. If it's not true, don't say it. You should never negotiate just a raise, but a package of things that will enable you to contribute more. How do you recommend people go about evaluating and finding negotiation training? There's a great free one on LeanIn.org if you just want a 101. It's maybe 20 minutes, and you'll get a really good foundation on it. On the other side of the spectrum, Harvard does a four-day leadership and management negotiation training that's phenomenal and I think around $2,500, maybe more. Any good negotiations professor at this point in time is teaching collaborative negotiation. The second piece of the approach, which is still not widely talked about, is the communal ask. The communal ask is the part that virtually eliminates the risk of backlash as a woman, and it’s when you ask for that thing that you need. Explain why it's better for others, why it's better for your clients, your company, your team, whoever it may be. What I find is that my clients generally are thinking this way. They just don't actually say that extra piece out loud. And it's the act of saying that piece out loud that takes the cost of negotiating to zero. What have you seen when it comes to backlash in the context of not just gender, but also race? In gender negotiations, we have 40 really good studies, and probably like 60 or 80 studies total. Up until two years ago, there just wasn't as much done on race. There are four, maybe five good studies that I can think of. And what those studies say is essentially the same thing: that the way negotiation is set up right now, the rules of the game benefit the predominant group, which is historically white men. Anyone who's not the predominant group benefits from negotiating collaboratively and using a communal ask. So what these studies show, and I've really focused on women, is that women of color gain even more from using this approach than white women do, which, unfortunately, is because there's more of a gap to close. What about for trans women? Is the advice applicable for all people who identify as women? This is another area that needs more research. I want to be open to the possibility that there is something out there I’ve missed, but sadly I haven’t seen anything. What’s unique about the tech industry compared to other industries when it comes to pay and norms around negotiating pay? What fascinates me about the tech industry is the ability or openness to think creatively. So if you are negotiating anything, you never want to negotiate just one thing, because that will walk you into a win-lose proposition. You should never negotiate just a raise, but a package of things that will enable you to contribute more. These are highly-trained, highly-educated workers. Losing them hurts you. So what can you do to keep them? What's so interesting to me about tech is that the openness to have those conversations is much higher than it is in, say, banking. In tech, I have this list of 70 things that I've helped women negotiate. You can really start to have a holistic conversation about the things that would enable you to deliver more impact in your job versus at a bank that's existed for 250 years that might say, “For the past 200 years, we've done it this way.” What are some things that people don't typically think of that they can negotiate? I always start with the question of, “If you could wave your magic wand, what would your career look like in five years? Or what would it look like next year? What are the things that you could have that would enable you to deliver more impact? What are things that you could have that would lower your stress?” I worked with one woman who was very good at her job but burning out. So she negotiated that she would be on a local masters swim team. It meant that she wasn't available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and she has worked that way for eight years. The benefit for that company is they got to keep her. She was a top performer, and she would have left eventually. By saying yes to this, they got to keep her for an extra eight years. It makes a lot of sense right now in tech. These are highly trained, highly educated workers. Losing them hurts you. So what can you do to keep them? Right now, we've seen the top-down programs have only gotten us so far. So what if we took a bottoms-up approach of empowering people to ask for what they need at this point in time? I have seen women ask to be off the computer from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., because that's when the majority of their caretaking happens. I've had women negotiate for backup childcare when schools are closed due to COVID. I've had people negotiate location to take care of their parents. One of my favorite ones is negotiating additional resources for your team. If you had that inventory management or CRM system, is your team able to rack up so many more wins? If so, then make that part of your negotiation. Should you only ask for these other things once they’ve told you, “No, we can’t give you a raise?” Or do you present the options all at once?” You 100% present the options all at once. Because if you ask for a raise first, you're asking for one thing, which means that it inherently cannot be a collaborative negotiation. That’s a competitive negotiation. And women do very poorly in competitive negotiations because of gender perception. In order for it to be a collaborative negotiation, there have to be multiple issues. I saw an article the other day that advised people to say, “I deserve more.” That is horrible advice. You just derailed somebody's career. So instead of saying that, you could say, “I've accomplished X. We are on our way to doing Y. And I’m very excited about what that means for the company.” And then your communal ask, which is, “In order to achieve that, I wanted to take a step back and talk about how I can deliver more impact. And things that I've brainstormed are X, Y and Z. I think it would be helpful to have even a part-time assistant to help me focus on higher-value tasks. I think a 20% raise would put me really where the market is for the impact that I'm delivering. Lastly, I wanted to talk about potentially getting some more sales training for our team that I think would help us talk to our customers better.” We’re hearing, “You’ve got to ask. You’ve got to ask.” And then we're being given a bazooka that is aimed at ourselves. Would you say your advice has changed given what we’re experiencing in the workplace right now in terms of the Great Resignation? The advice hasn't changed; the environment has. So before, the No. 1 negotiation prior to COVID was how to help women work remotely one or two days a week. Now, workers are in a much stronger position, and companies have been forced to think creatively. And so what we were thinking about doing before is a lot easier to do right now. I've been encouraging my community to do it now, because we don't know what the world is gonna look like in six months. As in, tech workers have the upper hand now, but that might not be the case in six months. I’m not an economist, but I know that they have the upper hand right now. I've also read some other studies out there that found that not only do women receive more backlash than men, but men also don't have to negotiate as much as women because they tend to get promotions and raises without asking for them in the first place. It's like that whole saying about how men are judged on potential, whereas women and people of color are judged more on past performance. Do you agree with that, and how do you think overlooked employees can better advocate for themselves? I do think that that's the experience. However, I see it as an opportunity. Because, as a woman, when you negotiate communally and collaboratively, you are able to sidestep the double-bind. So you get both better negotiation outcomes and better social outcomes. I've had this happen in my own career, when I negotiate using a strategy and I do it well, people afterward not only see me as more competent, but also as more likable. They rate me higher on leadership potential and all kinds of other things. I see negotiating when you're able to do it this way as an opportunity to accelerate your career. On the other hand, what do you think managers can do to make sure they're not overlooking people because of their gender or race, and that they're promoting people equitably? We know that men have been conditioned to see and request opportunities more than women. I worked with one manager who made a policy that any opportunity was openly announced at his team meeting on Tuesdays, and anyone who wanted to throw their hat in the ring could. Men had been coming to him and saying, “Hey, I just heard about this new deal. Can you put me on that account?” Women weren’t hearing about the new deals. Men and women didn't have equal access to information. Just by making it open that way, that brought more fairness to the team. What advice do you give for managers on the other side of negotiation? I train them to consider how gender comes into the equation. When a woman comes to you with her back against the wall asking for something, I need you to understand how much harder it was for her to do it. She probably doesn't want to. Acknowledge how high the potential cost is to her career. You can't interpret it the way you would if a man came to you aggressively. So is it true then that women don't negotiate as much as men? The studies are mixed. I think if you were to do a trend line of them, you would find that up until about five years ago, women didn't ask as often as men. And now what you're finding, particularly with the younger groups, is that women are asking just as often, if not more. We’re hearing, “You’ve got to ask. You’ve got to ask.” And then we're being given a bazooka that is aimed at ourselves. We’re being told, “Here's how you’ve got to ask, but the advice is gender-specific to men and is actually going to hurt you when you go do it.” Research shows that having objective data helps eliminate bias. What resources are out there for women in tech to find out more info and context around pay and benchmarking market rates? Well, my first point is there’s often a conception that the only thing I can benchmark is my salary. That's not true. You can benchmark a whole host of things that don't even have to be quantifiable. I worked with one woman who wanted to get a partner promotion. The way she benchmarked is she talked to five people who had gotten it, and what she discovered is that running a P&L is the one thing that they all had in common. So her benchmarking uncovered that there's actually an opportunity she needed to ask for. Because she didn't currently have a P&L, she had to demonstrate she could run one in order to become a partner, which means she needed to ask for the opportunity to run one. In terms of pay resources, one of them is Salary.com. The other one is Carta. They have a new DEI initiative where you can run a benchmarking report for your job, your location, et cetera. They have the most competition data on privately held companies. The other source is people who have left your company, because they're very open books. The key for women and people of color is, naturally, we tend to ask people that we're the closest to. But if we just ask women and people of color, we will get lower numbers. So go find a white man, and ask him what he thinks. The approach that I’ve found works is, “Hey, I'm going in for my annual review. I’m thinking about asking for Y. Does that seem right to you?” What I’ve found is that 80% of the time I get a yes or no, "that's too high" [or] "that's too low,” they then come back with, “Here's what I make, in case it's helpful.” It's an easier ask than just straight up saying, “What do you make?” If we just ask women and people of color, we will get lower numbers. So go find a white man, and ask him what he thinks. Say you find out that number, and it’s a huge discrepancy. How do you bring it up with your manager? Do you reveal that this specific person told you that they made much more than you? How do you frame it? In general, I would never say who the person is. That just brings risk onto them. I wouldn't straight-up say, “That's not fair.” That, unfortunately locks yourself into a competitive discussion about what fair is. What you want to do is to go one level deeper and approach somebody in terms of what their interests are and how your interests align with that. You could say, “You know, I've been doing some research, and it looks like the market value for this role at this point in time is about X. What do you think about that?” I feel like benchmarking is easier when you have a job that has very clear levels, like an engineer, for example. But how do you negotiate when your role’s a little bit less structured or more unique? How do you know what you're supposed to be paid and what the norms are if you don't have a good comparison? I advise clients to be out in the market every 18 months or so. You are worth as much as somebody else will pay you. So if you have a highly ambiguous role where it's near-impossible to figure that out, then the best way for you to figure it out is to see what somebody else would pay. Is there any instance where you would recommend not negotiating? The answer to that question is probably to understand the other side's BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Basically, what's your backup plan? If your company has been losing people left and right, then their backup plan is pretty weak, and it might be a good time to negotiate. Right now in general I would say is a really good time. If your back’s against a wall and you're highly emotional, I would probably give yourself a few days before negotiating. What do you do when your company says, “Here's your raise, here's what we're offering you. It's non-negotiable.” I think that's, again, why you do not want a single-issue negotiation, because they can do that. But you can go into your midyear or annual review, or whatever the conversation is, and say, “Here are three things that would allow me to deliver more impact.” Because of the way human nature works, if they don't give you one, then it increases the likelihood that they'll give you another. Maybe they say, “Unfortunately, because of budgetary reasons, raises are locked at X percent this year, but we were able to get you another team member, or support for the executive program that you want to be a part of, or additional training.” If your company has been losing people left and right, then their backup plan is pretty weak, and it might be a good time to negotiate. Do you have any final thoughts on the biggest misconception women have when it comes to negotiation? What I’ve found is that there are four things that hold women back from negotiating. One is fear of backlash. That is real. I think that this approach significantly mitigates it. Then there are three other lies that women tell themselves. One of them is, “Well, what if they tell me, ‘No?’” They feel like, “'No' means I'm not worth it.” But actually, it is not a read on who you are as a person. It's just a piece of information that you take in and then do something with. The other one blows me away, because I used to say it: “Well, I'm not going to ask for more, because I have everything that I need. I can pay my bills.” And then the third one that I hear a lot is, “Oh, I'm just not good at this,” which I think kind of devolves into, “Women just aren't good at this.” And that's untrue. You may not be good at this yet because you haven't been given the right tools yet, or you haven't had enough time to practice yet. But to believe that women aren't good negotiators is factually untrue. And in cultures that are less individualistic than ours, women actually consistently have better results than men. It's just that in ours, we have to tweak the rules of the game a little bit. From Your Site Articles Amber Burton (@ amberbburton ) is a reporter at Protocol. Previously, she covered personal finance and diversity in business at The Wall Street Journal. She earned an M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University and B.A. in English and Journalism from Wake Forest University. She lives in North Carolina. January 12, 2022 Glassdoor released its 2022 "Best Places to Work" list on Wednesday. The verdict: Tech companies ruled the rankings. Chip giant Nvidia topped the list, and a total of 40 tech companies ranked in the top 100 best places to work among large U.S. companies. This is up from 28 tech companies in 2021. Glassdoor compiles its "Best Places to Work" list via its own algorithm, taking into consideration the consistency and quality of employee reviews submitted. As the pandemic wears on, workers report that tech companies continue to excel when it comes to offering flexibility and positive employee experiences, said Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao. A large number of tech companies have continued to allow employees to work from home either full-time or part-time, something Glassdoor heard from employees is a highly valued benefit. “What we've seen on Glassdoor is that discussions of burnout have more than doubled over the course of the pandemic, and so that priority on employee experience has really shone through,” he told Protocol. Even though tech companies are leading the list of the best large companies, those on top might not be the companies you expect. Some of the former heavy-hitters have fallen in Glassdoor’s rankings this year. Meta dropped to No. 47, its lowest ranking on the "Best Places to Work" list since first appearing in 2011. The company notably experienced a 600% increase in 1-star reviews over a fourth-month period on Glassdoor in the U.S. last year. Zoom also fell in the rankings this year. The videoconferencing platform is now listed at No. 100 after ranking at 22 last year. While Zhao said this year was more competitive than ever, it’s also about how employers have responded to the uncertainty of the past year. “I think this to some extent, it's about how companies actually respond to quick changing times, which especially in today's environment is particularly important,” Zhao said. He offered Nvidia as an example. Though the company is a graphics chipmaker and there has been a global chip shortage, Nvidia has been able to manage the crisis in a way that makes employees feel both satisfied and looped in on the conversation. “They understand what's going on, and they feel empowered to actually address the problems that the company is facing today,” he said. Companies like Meta and Zoom have also been bumped down by more unexpected tech-adjacent companies. These are the companies nestled within other industries that have integrated more innovative technology within their work practices. Zhao uses real estate company eXp Realty as an example. The company, which is ranked No. 4 on the list this year, has a fully remote workforce and was an early adopter of the metaverse for the workplace. The company has a virtual platform for employees to interact with each other and was well-positioned for remote work when the pandemic hit. Overall, the top companies were the ones that proved to employees they could be both nimble and flexible. “That flexibility has been critical during the pandemic, as leaders need to respond to the quick-changing environment that we're in today,” Zhao said. From Your Site Articles

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