Questions to Ask to Avoid Becoming a Token Hire

Questions to Ask to Avoid Becoming a Token Hire

Emery Tarkin, a senior global talent partner with Acast, shared his thoughts on LinkedIn about how to avoid becoming a token hire (he uses a much more elegant phrase in his post) and offers three questions to ask.

Likeability vs Connection

As a “diverse” candidate, I’ve spoken with organizations that clearly were looking to add a “drop of coffee to their sea of milk.” A few things I ask, and encourage other candidates to ask are:

1) How diverse is the leadership and team for your business area or group? Not just the team you are reporting to but the senior leaders of the org. (Tokenism is not enjoyable…obviously.)

2) What is the organizational culture around collaboration and it’s openness to new ideas? (This is VERY important because you will bring diversity of thought, and you want to be sure that it’s welcomed.)

3) What are the metrics for success that would ensure equitable growth and development? (Can I grow at the same rate as my colleagues?)


I hope you heed his advice and ask questions at the frontend to avoid headaches on the backend.

Stop Selling “The Opportunity” When None Exists


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2400 episodes.

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