A ‘Nudge Engine’ fundraiser, 25 jobs for the future and the ranks of black CEOs rise – to just six


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We’re over three weeks into the New Year and if you’ve been sticking to your New Year’s resolutions so far, hats off. My plans to reduce my consumption of social media and desserts are already canceled, maybe because I did not read this story. This week in Forbes Careers:

  • Could a former Google executive’s “virtual personal coach” startup help your career?
  • Wharton MBA students may be disconnected from their salaries
  • Vaccine specialists, machine learning engineers and surgical intensive care nurses: 25 jobs of the future

What do you remember from your first day at work? For Laszlo Bock, the former head of human resources at Google, it was his first day’s meeting where a candidate was rejected because someone said the person had a “dumb major.”

But the disgust he felt that day for biased HR decisions is part of what inspired him four years ago to co-found Humu, an HR technology platform that uses artificial intelligence and nudge theory to help organizations keep employees engaged and effective in their work. works. Humu announced $60 million in Series C funding this morning.

“The challenge with a lot of HR issues and human challenges within companies is that each person has their own intuition about the right answer,” Bock told me recently.

Although Humu is an interesting company, what intrigues me is Bock’s career, a kind of microcosm of the evolution of human resources over the last decades. He started at McKinsey at the end of the dot-com boom, ended up in the human resources department of General Electric, when he was still considered an “academy” of leadership rather than an aging industrialist on the brink of breakup, then got a call from Google, where he helped build its culture fueled by free lunches and on-site dry cleaning, as well as its influential “people analytics” team.

In interviews, Bock shared all sorts of interesting details about his career, only some of which made it into my story: While earning his MBA at Yale, a McKinsey consultant told him that his CV was not not “distinctive enough”. he did not meet the founders or the CEO of Google before taking up his post; and at GE, even in the mid-2000s, he could already see the company’s “HR machine” “fraying around the edges,” Bock recalls. To learn more about the story, go here.

—Jena McGregor Forbes Editor-in-Chief, Careers


Black CEO ranks rise – to just six

Frank Clyburn, a senior executive at pharmaceutical company Merck, will become the next CEO of International Flavors & Fragrances, joining a small list of black CEOs at companies in the S&P 500 Index. have not changed much in the past two decades or so, although the pressure to diversify better has increased. According to research, there were five black CEOs in 2004, five in 2020, and never more than seven in any given year. Learn more here.


Hybrid work can undermine equality. Here are 10 ways to avoid this.

In a talent war, a mentorship program can be a powerful weapon.

When your workday feels overwhelming, it’s essential to prioritize. Here are three easy ways to achieve this.

Here are the top 10 phrases to use in your job descriptions and resumes.

Vaccine specialist. Diversity and Inclusion Manager. Machine learning engineer. These are the 25 fastest growing jobs on LinkedIn that will be in demand in the future.


Your boss is in the office, even if you’re not: Future Forum, a consortium launched by Slack with founding partners Boston Consulting Group, MillerKnoll and MLT, finds in a new investigation out of more than 10,000 employees that 71% of managers say they work from their office three or more days a week, compared to 63% of non-managers. It’s a recipe for what some call “proximity bias,” where just being nearby could give some people an edge.

Nice change: A Wharton professor has revealed how many MBAs ignore the average American salary, with a quarter of the professor’s students believing it to be above six figures and one suggesting it was $800,000. A small sample, sure, but a reminder that business school students — and thus, many managers — may need reminders about how much less the average American really does.

Reversals brewing for vaccine mandates? Starbucks scrapped its vaccine requirements for U.S. employees after the Supreme Court rejected the Biden administration’s plan. Could other companies follow suit, especially in hard-to-hire areas with frontline workers?

HR applies to: The HR Brew newsletter recently wrote about the application proliferation help manage human resources. And new data from Okta, the identity management company, shows that for the first time ever, five of the 10 fastest growing apps on its network are employee collaboration tools: Notion, Figma, Miro, Airtable and monday.com .

Who knew? Apparently, this Friday, January 28 is National Fun at Work Day. (Truly. It’s a thing.) If your business takes this sort of thing seriously, hopefully that means you start early, rather than another Zoom happy hour.


Fixing diversity and inclusion isn’t just management’s job, it’s everyone’s job. But in too many workplaces, trying to talk about race gets you shut down, writes Y-Vonne Hutchinson, CEO of consulting firm ReadySet, in How to talk to your boss about race, released last week. In this textbook-sized guide written for workers who care deeply about anti-racism and action, Hutchinson explains how to push your boss into listening.

Key quote: “When you draw attention to the fact that racism exists in the workplace, you complicate people’s stories about meritocracy, how they earned what they have, their self-esteem and their value. You challenge one of the main ways we define ourselves,” Hutchinson writes.


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