Talent Acquisition Toolkit: How One Simple Formula Can Move the Needle to Compensation Equality for All


How will Covid-19 impact Human Capital Management (HCM)? This is the million-dollar Human Resources question top of mind! While we don’t know all the implications of coronavirus, we are starting to see an opportunity arise for Talent Acquisition to take the lead on compensation equality with diversity and inclusion at the forefront.  

For the past few months, Talent Acquisition has had to shift to 100% virtual. Recruiter and Hiring Manager Avatar, please meet your Candidate Avatar! To illustrate, avatars have no color, no gender, no sexual orientation, no height, and no weight.

And yes, while live zoom videos and video interviews have become more normalized, a small image behind a screen leaves much to be unseen. 

The coronavirus effect of a virtual talent acquisition process has created an opportunity. Organizations can more effectively evaluate a candidate’s qualifications based on interview metrics directly associated with a role, a candidate’s credentials, and responses.

In turn, this has created an opportunity for organizations to extend offers based on data-driven metrics vs. the influence of conscious and unconscious biases.  


How can Talent Acquisition ensure offers are extended to candidates based on data-driven metrics?

In brief, follow this simple formula.

Education + Transparency & Personalization + Authentic Conversations



Compensation Departments run market data on open roles. They provide market ranges for hiring managers and recruiters to use when they discuss and extend offers. Recruiters must follow a Compensation Committee approval process before posting a role. Providing them intel on a role’s budget, internal equity, and market data. 

A hiring manager’s (HM) primary focus lies within their own operation and department budget. Therefore, HM’s are not expected to be well versed in the art and science of market data and best practices around compensation. This is a perfect opportunity for Talent Acquisition to create a course, one-pager, SOP. Whatever your organization’s culture wants to call it! 

Key Takeaway: Empower your hiring managers to recognize the impact of their conscious and unconscious biases. Free them of a compensation inequality burden that leads to decreased productivity and increased turnover costs in their department.  


GEM Recruiting AI

Transparency & Personalization

What’s more, market data and an employee’s total compensation package is becoming more and more available to the public. Websites such as glassdoor.com, salary.com, and mercer.com provide candidates with information on salary ranges. Including direct compensation data.

These platforms allow employees to share their data and experiences. Making it easy for candidates to see reviews on how consistent and inconsistent, fair and unfair, an organization treats their people. These direct testimonials are key to attract top talent. 

A 2017 Mercer trend study showed the following: 

  • 97% of employees want to be recognized and rewarded for a wide range of contributions.
  • Fair and competitive compensation ranked #1 for employees in Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, and the United States. 
  • Transparency on pay calculations ranked #1 for employees in Japan.

In addition to transparency, we have seen a dramatic shift towards personalization within HR over the past 5 years. In Talent Acquisition alone, Automated Tracking Systems (ATS) now offer personalized pages per role, personalized responses, and personalized assessments.

Benefits, Performance Management, and Learning and Development have all now followed. They evolved to a transparent and personalized model. Consequently ensuring they speak to their target audience. It’s time for compensation to join its fellow HR departments!

Key Takeaway: Building a compensation model that is personalized and transparent is a driving factor to attract top talent. 


Authentic Conversations

Once Talent Acquisition educates HM’s and adopts a transparent and personalized offer experience. All that’s left is an authentic conversation! If organizations post roles and ranges internally and externally, employees and candidates can then have authentic conversations to fine-tune where they align within the market range. Based on their experience and education. 

Feeling squeamish about this conversation? Don’t worry! Fierce conversations around culture, data-driven metrics, and expectations will be covered in that training we discussed above under education.

Also, comfort comes with practice! Looking for another way to look at this conversation as an opportunity? Take this occasion to ensure you and your candidate can effectively communicate. And that your candidate aligns with your team and organization’s culture. 

Key Takeaway: Talent Acquisition has an opportunity to set a candidate and organization up for success by fostering fierce conversations that are data-driven and authentic. 


In Summary: The Talent Acquisition Toolkit Formula

Education + Transparency & Personalization + Authentic Conversations = One simple formula that can move the needle to compensation equality for all!

Rebecca Ahmed

Rebecca Ahmed is an award-winning keynote speaker, certified coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and published writer. She brings energy and joy to your workplace and life and is a recognized expert in career counseling, culture, and diversity and inclusion. During her 10+ years as a leader in Human Resources (HR) in Hospitality, she is most notably recognized for partnering with C-Suite Executives through a 2.8B M&A, overseeing HR Operations and Technology for 16,000+ team members, and developing pipeline partnerships with high schools and colleges to ensure each of the organizations she worked with had a robust internship and youth succession program. As the founder and CEO of Laugh Thru Life, Rebecca wears a Chief Bullshit Button and Energizer Hat, supporting clients in helping them to “see what they’re not seeing,” calling them out when they’re not honoring themselves, their values, or their worth, and reigniting their passion to feel empowered with confidence to laugh thru life. Rebecca has a bachelor’s in public relations with a double minor in communication design and business from the University of Southern California, and a master’s in hotel administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.