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How to Ensure Top Talent Won’t Ever Turn Down Your Salary Offer

Perks and benefits add value to a job, and top talent has been vying for the companies that offer the best “extra little something” over the past few years. However, you’re fooling yourself if you think that an endless selection of K-cups in the break room will detract from lackluster salaries.

Compensation is still a major factor that attracts talent. If the money isn’t there, the best candidates will never accept your job offer.

In fact, we recently released our  2018 Best Places to Work Report. It found that 81 percent of respondents believe competitive compensation contributes to their high level of job satisfaction.

But for most organizations, this poses a problem.

In an ideal world, companies could pay their employees exactly what they want. In reality, there are budgets that have to be maintained. There really is no “magic number.” Yet salary becomes more fair and attractive to top talent when the offer is made with their best interest in mind.

Knowing what to offer potential employees isn’t always easy. But by following these tips, you can make offers to top talent that is eager to accept, and build a team of the best and most loyal employees:

Fly That Salary Like a Flag

Imagine the hiring process from a job seeker’s perspective. There’s a lot of work involved. They have to customize their resume and cover letters and set aside time for multiple interviews. Applying to work for a company is a commitment.

No one wants to waste that much time and energy when there’s no information about compensation in the job listing. So, list the salary for your open position in your job advertisements. Simply saying “salary is competitive” isn’t enough.

Be transparent about what you’re prepared to offer potential employees. Even if you can only offer salaries slightly lower than the industry standard, tell applicants up front. This way, you’ll know that the applications you receive are from people who are truly excited about your mission and values.

Lay Out Clear Criteria for Salary Scales

Salary decisions are never arbitrary. You have a formula based on the responsibilities of the position and the skills of the candidate to determine what you can offer. But job candidates want to know where salary offers come from. In fact, in a 2017 PayScale report, 82 percent of employees said they were fine receiving a lower salary as long as they knew the reasons why.

During the interview process, explain to candidates precisely how their salary will be decided. You can even show them the resumes and offers of current employees — with the names redacted — so they can see how different skills and experiences equate to different offers.

Show Them the Path to Salary Increases

Sometimes a candidate is a perfect cultural fit and truly excited to work for the company, but they lack the experience you’d prefer for the position. You want to give them a chance but need to lower your salary offer. If you can explain to the candidate how you plan to get them to the next level and in what timeframe, they’re more likely to accept the lower offer.

Start by showing them how training works within the company. Let them know what options are available and how new skills will impact their career. From there, explain how promotions and raises work at the company. The more details you can give the better.

This will get them excited about their future with the company. In fact, our aforementioned survey found that 51 percent of respondents said the promotion structure of their company gave them the most job satisfaction.

It can also be helpful to have candidates sit down with a current employee who has moved up the ladder. Let the two of them talk — alone — so the candidate can openly raise their questions or concerns. Getting genuine answers from someone who started in a similar situation will help them understand why the salary is a fair offer.

Salary offers can be tricky. Don’t give up when you cannot find that magic number that satisfies everyone. Just make more genuine and transparent offers.

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Zuckerberg finally speaks on Cambridge Analytica scandal: He’s willing to testify to Congress, and thinks tech should be regulated

Earlier on Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg broke his days-long silence on the Cambridge Analytica scandal that rocked the social network and sent its stock diving.

Now, to follow up on his earlier statement, Zuckerberg has done a rare series of interviews with the press on the matter: A televised sit-down with CNN, along with printed interviews in Wired, The New York Times, and Recode.

Notably, in several of these interviews, he actually apologized, saying "sorry" — a word that he conspicuously hadn't used in his Facebook post earlier in the day.

The scandal centers on the British data company Cambridge Analytica, which has ties to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and which illicitly obtained information from as many as 50 million Facebook profiles by abusing Facebook's data-sharing features.

Mainly, in these interviews, Zuckerberg reiterated the points he made in his earlier statement: Facebook regrets what happened, and has already taken steps to ensure that what happened with Cambridge Analytica can never happen again.

Still, the devil is in the details, and in these interviews, Zuckerberg revealed a lot about how he, and Facebook, think about the situation. Here are some highlights:

  • Zuckerberg is happy to testify to Congress "if it's the right thing to do," he told CNN. He expounded on this to Wired — he says he's willing to testify personally, but would rather leave it to Facebook's legal and technical experts, who can speak with more authority on the situation.
  • He told The New York Times that the #DeleteFacebook movement that's sprung up around the scandal hasn't seen "a meaningful number of people act on [it]," but it's still "not good." He continued: "I think it’s a clear signal that this is a major trust issue for people, and I understand that." 
  • Zuckerberg believes that tech should be regulated: "The question isn’t 'Should there be regulation or shouldn’t there be?' It’s 'How do you do it?'" he told Wired. He says that he supports regulating tech, but that he's wary of "micromanagement" of free speech by governments. (He expressed explicit support for the Honest Ads Act, a US bill that would require more transparency around advertising if passed.)
  • Zuckerberg told Recode more about the audits it plans to perform on Facebook app-developers who could have abused user data as Cambridge Analytica did. Facebook will need to analyze tens of thousands of apps in a process that will cost "many millions of dollars," he says — plus, they need to hire qualified auditors. 

All told, it's a rare look at how the CEO of the world's most successful social platform is looking at its power — and its responsibility. 

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Amazon is now second most valuable company in the world

(Reuters) - became the second most valuable publicly listed US company on Tuesday, surpassing Google parent Alphabet Inc for the first time.

Amazon shares finished up 2.69 percent at $1,586.51, for a market capitalization of $768 billion, underscoring Wall Street's confidence in its relentless expansion into cloud computing, groceries and other new businesses.

Alphabet lost 0.39 percent, trimming its stock market value to $762 billion, as Wall Street fretted about regulatory fallout following revelations that a political consulting firm had improperly obtained personal data on 50 million Facebook Inc users.

Together, Alphabet and Facebook dominate online advertising. They have previously faced government criticism for how they employ their user data.

Amazon's stock has surged 81 percent over the past year, through Monday, bolstered by scorchingly fast revenue growth as more shopping moves online and businesses shift their computing operations to the cloud, where Amazon Web Services leads the market.

"They're using their cash flow to develop new businesses," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. "They could have Apple in their sights at some point."

Seattle-based Amazon dislodged Microsoft Corp as the No. 3 U.S. company by market capitalization in February. Apple is the world's most valuable publicly listed company, with a market capitalization of $889 billion.

Obviously, past stock gains are not a reliable predictor of future performance, and the surge in Amazon shares in recent years has been exceptional by most standards. But if Amazon's stock were to keep growing on the trajectory seen over the past year, its market capitalization would hit $1 trillion in late August.

Apple's market cap would reach $1 trillion around a month later if its stock price continued to rise at the 25 percent pace seen over the past year.

Alphabet's stock has risen 4 percent so far in 2018 and is up 26 percent in the past year.

The median of analyst price targets for the three companies put Amazon's market capitalization at $823 billion, Alphabet's at $914 billion and Apple's at $989 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Alex Stamos, Facebook Data Security Chief, To Leave Amid Outcry

As Facebook grapples with a backlash over its role in spreading disinformation, an internal dispute over how to handle the threat and the public outcry is resulting in the departure of a senior executive.

The impending exit of that executive — Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief information security officer — reflects heightened leadership tension at the top of the social network. Much of the internal disagreement is rooted in how much Facebook should publicly share about how nation states misused the platform and debate over organizational changes in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, according to current and former employees briefed on the matter.

Mr. Stamos, who plans to leave Facebook by August, had advocated more disclosure around Russian interference of the platform and some restructuring to better address the issues, but was met with resistance by colleagues, said the current and former employees. In December, Mr. Stamos’s day-to-day responsibilities were reassigned to others, they said.

Mr. Stamos said he would leave Facebook but was persuaded to stay through August to oversee the transition of his responsibilities and because executives thought his departure would look bad, the people said. He has been overseeing the transfer of his security team to Facebook’s product and infrastructure divisions. His group, which once had 120 people, now has three, the current and former employees said.

Mr. Stamos would be the first high-ranking employee to leave Facebook since controversy over disinformation on its site. Company leaders — including Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, and Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer — have struggled to address a growing set of problems, including Russian interference on the platform, the rise of false news and the disclosure over the weekend that 50 million of its user profiles had been harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a voter-profiling company.

The developments have taken a toll internally, said the seven people briefed on the matter, who asked not to be identified because the proceedings were confidential. Some of the company’s executives are weighing their own legacies and reputations as Facebook’s image has taken a beating. Several believe the company would have been better off saying little about Russian interference and note that other companies, such as Twitter, which have stayed relatively quiet on the issue, have not had to deal with as much criticism.

One central tension at Facebook has been that of the legal and policy teams versus the security team. The security team generally pushed for more disclosure about how nation states had misused the site, but the legal and policy teams have prioritized business imperatives, said the people briefed on the matter.

“The people whose job is to protect the user always are fighting an uphill battle against the people whose job is to make money for the company,” said Sandy Parakilas, who worked at Facebook enforcing privacy and other rules until 2012 and now advises a nonprofit organization called the Center for Humane Technology, which is looking at the effect of technology on people.

Mr. Stamos said in statement on Monday, “These are really challenging issues, and I’ve had some disagreements with all of my colleagues, including other executives.” On Twitter, he said he was “still fully engaged with my work at Facebook” and acknowledged that his role has changed, without addressing his future plans.

Facebook did not have a comment on the broader issues around Mr. Stamos’s departure.

Mr. Stamos joined Facebook from Yahoo in June 2015. He and other Facebook executives, such as Ms. Sandberg, disagreed early on over how proactive the social network should be in policing its own platform, said the people briefed on the matter. In his statement, Mr. Stamos said his relationship with Ms. Sandberg was “productive.”

Mr. Stamos first put together a group of engineers to scour Facebook for Russian activity in June 2016, the month the Democratic National Committee announced it had been attacked by Russian hackers, the current and former employees said.

By November 2016, the team had uncovered evidence that Russian operatives had aggressively pushed DNC leaks and propaganda on Facebook. That same month, Mr. Zuckerberg publicly dismissed the notion that fake news influenced the 2016 election, calling it a “pretty crazy idea.”

In the ensuing months, Facebook’s security team found more Russian disinformation and propaganda on its site, according to the current and former employees. By the spring of 2017, deciding how much Russian interference to disclose publicly became a major source of contention within the company.

Mr. Stamos pushed to disclose as much as possible, while others including Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of communications and policy, recommended not naming Russia without more ironclad evidence, said the current and former employees.

A detailed memorandum Mr. Stamos wrote in early 2017 describing Russian interference was scrubbed for mentions of Russia and winnowed into a blog post last April that outlined, in hypothetical terms, how Facebook could be manipulated by a foreign adversary, they said. Russia was only referenced in a vague footnote. That footnote acknowledged that Facebook’s findings did not contradict a declassified January 2017 report in which the director of national intelligence concluded Russia had sought to undermine United States election, and Hillary Clinton in particular.

Mr. Stamos said in his statement that “we decided that the responsible thing to do would be to make clear that our findings were consistent with those released by the U.S. intelligence community, which clearly connected the activity in their report to Russian state-sponsored actors.”

But Facebook’s decision to omit Russia backfired. Weeks later, a Time magazine article revealed that Russia had created fake accounts and purchased fake ads to spread propaganda on the platform, allegations that Facebook initially denied.

By last September, after Mr. Stamos’s investigation had revealed further Russian interference, Facebook was forced to reverse course. That month, the company disclosed that beginning in June 2015, Russians had paid Facebook $100,000 to run roughly 3,000 divisive ads to show the American electorate.

In response, lawmakers like Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, said that although Facebook’s revelation was a good first step, “I’m disappointed it’s taken 10 months of raising this issue before they’ve become much more transparent.”

And the revelation also prompted more attention into how Russians had manipulated the social network. Last October and November, Facebook was grilled in front of lawmakers on Capitol Hill for Russian meddling on its platform, along with executives from Twitter and YouTube.

The public reaction caused some at Facebook to recoil at revealing more, said the current and former employees. Since the 2016 election, Facebook has paid unusual attention to the reputations of Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg, conducting polls to track how they are viewed by the public, said Tavis McGinn, who was recruited to the company last April and headed the executive reputation efforts through September 2017.

Mr. McGinn, who now heads Honest Data, which has done polling about Facebook’s reputation in different countries, said Facebook is “caught in a Catch-22.”

“Facebook cares so much about its image that the executives don’t want to come out and tell the whole truth when things go wrong,” he said. “But if they don’t, it damages their image.”

Mr. McGinn said he left Facebook after becoming disillusioned with the company’s conduct.

By December 2017, Mr. Stamos, who reports to Facebook’s general counsel, proposed that he report directly to higher-ups. Facebook executives rejected that proposal and instead reassigned Mr. Stamos’s team, splitting the security team between its product team, overseen by Guy Rosen, and infrastructure team, overseen by Pedro Canahuati, according to current and former employees.

Apart from managing a small team of engineers in San Francisco, Mr. Stamos has largely been left as Facebook’s security communicator. Last month, he appeared as Facebook’s representative at the Munich Security Conference.

Over the weekend, after news broke that Cambridge Analytica had harvested data on as many as 50 million Facebook users, Facebook’s communications team encouraged Mr. Stamos to tweet in defense of the company, but only after it asked to approve Mr. Stamos’s tweets, according to two people briefed on the incident.

After the tweets set off a furious response, Mr. Stamos deleted them.

Roger B. McNamee, an early investor in Facebook who said he considered himself a mentor to Mr. Zuckerberg, said the company was failing to face the fundamental problems posed by the Russian meddling and other manipulation of content.

“I told them, ‘Your business is based on trust, and you’re losing trust,’” said Mr. McNamee, a founder of the Center for Humane Technology. “They were treating it as a P.R. problem, when it’s a business problem. I couldn’t believe these guys I once knew so well had gotten so far off track.”

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Candidate employed by Orange Labs

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