Bringing Your Whole Self to Work

By Erica Goldberg, Vice President, Talent Acquisition, Publicis Health

In my many years of corporate recruiting, there’s one question I’ve been consistently asked by candidates: “What characteristics do you look for during the interview process?”

Research has shown that grit, determination, drive and emotional intelligence are key attributes that help job candidates stand out. These qualities are common among successful leaders and are so ingrained in our business vernacular that it’s no coincidence that a multitude of business self-help books have one or a combination of these words in their titles. Although these characteristics are useful guides for discerning future success in any role, there’s always another quality I look for when assessing talent that’s just as important: Diversity.

The truth is that some of our most successful hires are those who brought their unique, multi-faceted personal and professional perspectives to their interviews. Conversations with candidates coming from diverse backgrounds and experiences more often than not will stimulate new ideas and new ways to drive success. Unlike the usual cookie-cutter candidate who checks all of the right boxes on paper, but lacks innovative, out-of-the-box thinking, a candidate who possesses an unusual background, education or experience naturally brings something different and desirable to the conversation.

Candidates who are open and willing to bring their authentic selves to the conversation always are more likely to grab my attention over candidates who are guarded and choose to perform the way they think they should, rather than just being themselves. After all, it’s much easier to come to work as you are. It’s exhausting and self-defeating to put on a mask or costume every time you go to work.

At Publicis Health, we celebrate what makes individuals uniquely themselves. Beyond affirming our deep commitment to recognizing and celebrating what makes each of us different — whether it’s an individual’s race, ethnicity, gender expression or gender identity, sexual orientation, or life experience — we believe that diversity of thought also helps to bring out the best, business transforming ideas. That’s why we focus on helping people realize their full potential by acknowledging and appreciating their unique and different ways of thinking and being.

Erica Goldberg, Vice President, Talent Acquisition, meets candidates at the 2017 Out & Equal Workplace Summit in Philadelphia.

Égalité, Publicis Groupe’s business resource group (BRG) for LGBTQ+ people and their allies, was created in 2012 as a way to create community and foster a stronger sense of belonging for all. Égalité — French for equality — encourages employees to bring their authentic LGBTQ+ selves to work, each and every day. Because of Égalité and other diversity and inclusion-focused BRGs, we believe we have an unfair advantage in attracting and retaining a unique and talented workforce that drives our businesses.

There’s no denying that LGBT-supportive corporate policies and workplace climates are linked to greater job commitment, improved workplace relationships, increased job satisfaction, and improved health outcomes among LGBTQ+ employees (Out & Equal 2017 Fact Sheet). There’s no doubt that enabling an LGBTQ+-friendly workplace isn’t simply the right thing to do, it’s also the business-savvy thing to do.

We believe that recruiting an effective and successful workforce through the lens of diversity is business-critical, but we also understand that taking talent engagement and inclusion to the next level doesn’t happen instantly or without effort. Recruiters and hiring managers always need to keep the ideals of diversity and the business case for it in sight.

I’m proud to have had the opportunity to represent Publicis Health at the 2017 Out & Equal Workplace Summit in Philadelphia, and my involvement has further inspired and motivated me to continue to make new connections and implement best practices for ensuring that LGBTQ+ candidates and employees know that they are welcomed and supported at Publicis health.

I am a proud ally, both in and out of the office. If you’re interested in learning more about job opportunities at Publicis Health, please connect with us on LinkedIn.


Erica Goldberg manages the talent acquisition function at Publicis Health. She is a working mother of three and lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

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