The Transparency Revolution: A People-Powered Movement

Employers require full transparency from us yet rarely reciprocate.

Think of your last job offer: Your prospective employer subjected you to multiple interviews, a technical exam, asked for several references, and checked your certifications, college grades, standardized test scores, credit history, citizenship and criminal background. Yet when you asked about such things as compensation data, employee satisfaction ratings, or references from current and previous employees? Well, to quote Pink Floyd, “it’s no surprise that they’re giving none away.”

You aren’t on a level playing field. This extraordinary imbalance in information and power has been accepted as “the way things are,” and has come at a massive cost to millions of us in the form of undercompensation, unfulfilling jobs and derailed careers.

At TalentGenius we’re looking to lead a transparency revolution by and for knowledge workers. So you are armed with complete information on your market and every company in it. So you find your fit.

As consumers we’ve obtained immense transparency in the past generation. When buying a car, we know precisely what the dealer paid for it. We can easily find the price history of a home, the cheapest flight for a weekend getaway, or the best deal on consumer electronics within seconds. Yet with your career, by far your most important economic asset, it’s still guesswork.

This is all about to change.

The Talent Transparency Revolution

In the U.S. several states have recently enacted pay transparency laws. It’s a good first step, yet these laws only help so much. The shortcomings? First, the information provided by individual employers isn’t clear, as the salary ranges provided are very broad or don’t reflect total compensation (which comes through salary plus bonuses, stock ownership, and other benefits).

Second, and more importantly, pay is only one piece of the puzzle. After all, taking a job solely for pay is similar to marrying for money; it rarely works out.

Getting Fit: Your goal should be to find fit. That is, any job should fit not only with your compensation needs, but also your life situation, career ambitions and values. Our research makes clear those experiencing the greatest success and joy (yes, joy!) in their work score highly across the multiple variables that determine fit, encapsulated by the new equation of job transparency:

Fit = Pay + Policies + Growth + Values

Knowing each of these elements in great detail, across any potential employer in your profession, can transform your career journey from an exercise in luck to one of far greater certainty.

You should have pixelated detail on the four elements below for any prospective employer:

  • Pay is the easiest to define. What is the total compensation you can expect in your initial assignment? More importantly, what has been the experience of people similar to you at that company in terms of compensation over time? What are the promotion cycles and typical annual pay increases? Truly understanding pay means having insight not only on what you will be paid today, but what each prospective employer would likely pay you in three years.
  • Policies in our new world of virtual work are more important than ever and help determine if a job becomes your paradise or purgatory. Some employees are looking to be in an office filled with amenities and the buzz of their colleagues. Others want to work from home full-time with flexible hours. And many are in-between. Company policies on this front are currently fluid, and often vary widely within the same industry. Thus, what are the exact company policies and how are they enforced? Will a prospective company fit your work / life balance, allow you to live where and how you wish to, and be a true partner on your career journey? On this front recruiters may spin to you but policies don’t lie. Know them cold.
  • Growth opportunities also vary vastly. At one firm you may blossom while at another you will stagnate. In my observations those starting their careers vastly underestimate this point. In college, four years in the same major at similarly prestigious universities usually yield equivalent results. Yet in a four-year window in the workplace one may gain a decade lead over their peers in other companies (a lead which will then only compound with time).
  • So how do you find such catalytic opportunities? Revenue growth can be a proxy for this. After all, the faster a firm grows the more opportunities for advancement available for its staff. Additionally, what specific resources will the company provide for your ongoing development (such as obtaining new certifications), both in time and money? In short, is a company as invested in your growth as you are, or do they simply view you as an asset for the here and now? The data on this exists and will be made available on the TalentGenius platform, highlighting which companies are “career accelerators” or “career traps” for people of your age in your specific profession.
  • Values: Does a prospective employer reflect your personal values? This can manifest in corporate culture, social views and support of people of your background.
  • Culture: Every company has a distinct personality profile, just as any person does. Is a prospective firm authoritative and rigid or open and entrepreneurial? Hierarchical or flat? Is it internally competitive or collaborative? For example, in Silicon Valley it is well understood that Oracle, Apple, Cisco and Intel have fundamentally different cultures, and that a person who thrives at one firm may struggle mightily at the other three. Having a map on cultural fit is vital.
  • Social views: Where does an employer stand when it comes to key issues facing society, such as the environment, social inequality or getting involved in politics? Does it lean in, or lean out? And what approach fits best with you?
  • Background fit: Very simply, where can you be your true self at work? And where do people of your background feel at home and have the greatest opportunity? For example, if you’re a Black American is it better to work for company A or company B in your specific area of expertise — not based on what those companies say, but based on the actual experiences of other Blacks at those firms?

Talent Empowered by Talent

The questions above are universal and have existed as long as there has been work. Yet it was impossible to answer them completely before now as the necessary information was vastly decentralized — in the minds of every individual in a market.

But what if everybody could come together, to share their experiences and insight for collective benefit? And what if this collective information could be curated (through AI and community) for your personal career journey, to help you each step of the way?

That’s what TalentGenius is all about. We’re applying a Web3 model to create a career success machine.

Those in the same profession and area of expertise (what we call a guild) share information across these criteria for mutual benefit. And they trust the platform because it’s theirs; members of the platform create, curate and consume the information for mutual benefit, in contrast with the current Web2 models (think Facebook) which capture your data and use it to benefit others (e.g., themselves and their advertisers). On TalentGenius it’s all by the members for the members. Each of them gives a little information and then gains access to a lot. In fact, all of it.

This is talent empowered by talent. A community of like-minded peers coming together to give you the agency and power that comes with full transparency. Because your future self is too important to be left to chance.