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Are Firms ‘Kicking the Can Down The Road’ So They Can Pay STEM Women Less?

by Dec 15, 2014, 5:40 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 11.55.57 AMConsider the possibility that thousands of STEM women are literally missing out on billions of dollars in higher salaries as a result of the recent actions by tech firms.

Everyone knows that many of the larger tech firms have recently released their employee diversity numbers.

Obviously releasing this data was a positive move that resulted in an expanded discussion around the need to increase the number of STEM women employees at tech firms. But what most analysts have missed is the realization that, almost universally, the response to this shortage of women in tech firms has been some variation of a long-term “increase-the-supply” solution. In my book, increasing the supply is code for “doesn’t increase your salary costs.” This is what would occur if every firm instead solved its shortage problem with a short-term solution. This would involve actively recruiting STEM women away from other firms, because that competition would have the effect of immediately driving up the salaries of women.

Waiting 5+ Years for the Employees You Need Wouldn’t Be the Normal Response keep reading…

Stop Talking About Cost of Living and Start Talking About Standard of Living

by Dec 12, 2014, 5:15 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 2.17.36 PMTrying to sell a relocating candidate on a lower compensation than what they make today, based on a lower cost of living, is a common closing technique in our industry. However, this is a pretty common miss in recruiting, but in my experience it is also a pretty easy fix. When attempting to get candidates to commit to relocation we most often go through a version of the “Ben Franklin close” — list pros and cons and hope that there are more pros.

I’ve recruited all over the world, and oftentimes when we are looking to differentiate one place from another, the concept of “cost of living” bubbles up high on the list either as a pro or a con. Emerging or developing markets, as well as rural markets often point to this as a great reason to move there and plant your stake in their community. It sounds good. Who wouldn’t want a lower cost of living?  However, most often it’s used by organizations in those markets to try and hire talent that would command a higher market price elsewhere in a fashion that drives their compensation down to the new location’s cost of living index. This, my friends, is a classic logical fallacy. keep reading…

How to Hire Visionaries for High-growth Companies

by Dec 4, 2014, 5:41 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 12.53.32 PM

If you’re a funded startup, in a turnaround, experiencing an uptick in growth, going through an acquisition, or on the cusp of something new that will change your business dramatically — hiring visionary people who can lead your company through growth can be a major challenge. When I worked at a well-known fashion company, the business planned to open 500 new stores within two years. I was tasked with hiring an inventory manager who could handle the current workload while making sure this person would be able to triple their workflow and amount of responsibility in the near future. Then and since I’ve worked for Seven Step, I have often had to figure out how to get people to trust me and inspire them to take a journey with a growing company that is more promise than anything else.

Here is what I’ve learned. keep reading…

November’s 208K New Jobs to Put Pressure on Wages

by Dec 3, 2014, 12:54 pm ET

ADP Nov infographicPrivate sector employers added 208,000 jobs in November, the seventh time this year that job growth has topped 200,000.

The report from HR services and payroll process ADP says that every one of the broad industry groups it tracks added jobs, with small businesses growing the fastest. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees created 101,000 new jobs. Employers with more than 500 workers contributed 42,000 new jobs.

“November continued to show solid job growth above 200,000,” said Carlos Rodriguez, ADP president and CEO. “Small businesses continued to drive job gains adding almost half the total for the month.”

Economists, however, were forecasting even stronger growth. Surveys put their expectations at an average of about 220,000 for the month. Bloomberg’s survey of 47 economists had predictions ranging from as little as 190,000 to as much as 262,000, with the average at 222,000. keep reading…

More than Money: Simple Perks Can Point to Great Employers

by Nov 12, 2014, 5:57 am ET

It can be tempting to dismiss the glowing praise of those who work at great employers in technology and other fields flush with cash. After all, what’s not to like about free smoothie stations, unlimited time off, Cadillac health plans, and other accoutrements of organizations that seem to spare no expense in attracting talent? But dig deeper, and you’ll find that some of the most valued policies at companies with satisfied employees aren’t necessarily about money. Here are a few worthwhile perks for HR professionals to consider, regardless of their industry or resources for employee benefits.

Flexibility keep reading…

Fed Bank Says Worker Shortages Putting Pressure On Pay

by Oct 16, 2014, 6:40 pm ET

Reports from the Federal Reserve say shortages of skilled workers in a variety of trades are showing up here and there across the U.S., putting upward pressure on pay.

Employers are having to pay more to attract workers in construction and manufacturing in several parts of the U.S. In parts of the Midwest, mid-Atlantic region, and the Northern Plains states, transportation workers are seeing somewhat higher pay. And in New York the number of workers quitting to take higher paying jobs is on the rise.

That shortages of some professionals exist is nothing new. Last week Dice reported that unemployment among tech professionals had fallen to an average 2.7 percent in the third quarter. And SHRM’s LINE Report for October said its measure of recruiting difficulty has been going up for seven months straight.

But the Fed’s October 15th “Beige Book” notes that “Most Districts reported that some employers had difficulty finding qualified workers for certain positions.” (The nation is divided into 12 federal reserve districts.) keep reading…

Making an Offer: It’s Not All About the Money

by Sep 30, 2014, 12:58 am ET

Sometimes recruiters think that if they get the most money for the candidate, then the candidate will accept. But it’s not all about money, but more about making the candidate feel like they have a say in the hiring process and addressing their financial needskeep reading…

What CHROs at Public Companies Earn

by Sep 26, 2014, 5:55 am ET

CHRO Pay top 10The nation’s 50 highest-paid human resource executives saw their average comp package decline by 6.9 percent last year, and that’s after a 2012 cut that averaged 6.3 percent.

They may have to cut back on the caviar, but none are in danger of going hungry. keep reading…

What’s Wrong With Retention Bonuses? Pretty Much Everything

by Sep 22, 2014, 6:35 am ET

In 30 years, I have yet to see a retention bonus retain, let alone motivate, anyone. – Kate D’ Camp, former VP of HR at Cisco

Let’s face it: only a few people voluntarily spend any time thinking about the use of employee retention bonuses (ERBs). I wouldn’t either, except for the fact that a majority of major firms use them instead of much more effective retention approaches. The use of retention bonuses is at an all-time high but I wonder why, because they’re expensive and only occasionally do  work. In my over 20 years of work as a thought leader and practitioner in retention, I have been unable to find any credible corporate data that even comes close to demonstrating the effectiveness of retention bonuses.  

The major flaws of employee retention bonuses fall into three categories, which include:

  • ERBs are evil because they are a form of “paid servitude,” where you buy rather than earn employee loyalty.
  • ERBs don’t actually work in a time when turnover rates have gone up 45 percent.
  • ERBs have many negative unintended consequences that unintentionally create damage.

Maybe the lack of data proving the effectiveness of retention bonuses is not such a big surprise, because almost nothing in corporate retention is data-driven. There is also no data to prove the effectiveness of most other common “retention resource wasters” like improving benefits for all, engagement efforts to improve retention, or offering a coach/mentor or profit-sharing. Despite their lack of supporting evidence, the use of retention bonuses has doubled since 2010 (according to a recent WorldatWork survey). If you are a corporate manager or a talent management professional who is considering offering retention bonuses, review the following 25 ugly reasons thoroughly before you act. In my book, they rank at the very bottom as the least effective commonly used retention tool.

The Top 25 Reasons Why Retention Bonuses Don’t Work keep reading…

Survey Reveals How to Attract Passive Candidates

by Sep 1, 2014, 12:40 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 11.37.38 AMThe Holy Grail in recruiting has always been the passive candidate: someone not actively searching for a job.

A LinkedIn survey of 18,000 full-time employees across all industries and 26 countries found what attracts these people. The results aren’t particularly shocking: passive candidates want more money. Either that, or they want a better work/life balance or a greater opportunity for advancement.

But the survey revealed more than just that. It also showed the surprising number of workers who consider themselves passive candidates, what active applicants want, and what motivates people to change jobs the least.

The Numbers keep reading…

5 Recruitment Practices That Are Hurting Your Organization

by Aug 11, 2014, 12:01 am ET

labor stats.jpg

Some recruiting tactics are actually doing more harm than good, reducing the organization’s candidate pool and tarnishing its reputation in the process.

Check if your organization’s recruitment department follows any of these pervasive behaviors setting the wrong standards: keep reading…

Is the Grass Greener? A Look at What Agency Recruiters Earn

by Apr 29, 2014, 9:01 am ET

Bullhorn comp survey 2014Before you decide the grass is greener in agency recruiting, consult the Money Talks survey from Bullhorn. Released this morning, it shows agency recruiters on average earned $74,000 last year.

Some earned much more. Those who work primarily in contingent recruiting averaged $96,000. There’s no doubt that’s a goodly sum. Just keep in mind that a contingent recruiter earns zero unless the candidate they submit is hired, accepts the job, and keeps it usually for at least 90 days. keep reading…

The Top 12 Reasons Why Slow Hiring Severely Damages Recruiting and Business Results

by Apr 21, 2014, 12:14 am ET

A candidate from a well-known benchmark firm dropped out of our search for a General Manager position because the hiring manager took a week to respond to his interest. He said…

It’s not like I need their job. If it takes them a week to respond to a resume like mine for a job of this importance, they’re not the kind of company I want to work for. I move fast, and I can already see that my style wouldn’t fit their culture. –Wind River Associates

As a corporate recruiting leader, know that in a highly competitive college marketplace, there may be nothing that damages corporate recruiting results more than slow hiring.

Many firms now go the first step and track some variation of the “time-to-fill” metric. But despite that metric, not only are firms still almost universally guilty of painfully slow hiring, but to compound the problem, few recruiting leaders truly understand the many negative business and recruiting impacts that result from slow hiring. I estimate that the impact at most corporations exceeds tens of millions of dollars each year. And the dollar loss from this factor may be as much as 10 times higher than losses resulting from low recruiting efficiency related to the more popular “cost-per-hire” metric.

It’s not enough to be conscious and aware of slow hiring. Identify and then quantify in dollars each of the negative impacts of slow hiring, so that everyone from the CEO on down will support the streamlining of the process. After several decades of work on “speed hiring,” I have put together an extensive list of the negative consequences associated with taking too long to hire. The top 12 most damaging factors are listed below.

The Top 12 Reasons Why “Slow Hiring” Damages Recruiting and Your Business Results keep reading…

Supreme Court to Decide if Security Check Time Is Compensable

by Mar 4, 2014, 2:48 pm ET

Amazon logo A case that has the potential to cost staffing companies — and, in turn, their clients — hundreds of millions of dollars is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The justices agreed to hear a FLSA suit against Amazon’s temp worker provider Integrity Staffing Solutions over whether workers should be paid for the time they spend going through company security on their way home.

Two former employees provided by Integrity who worked at Amazon’s two Nevada warehouses sued the retailer’s staffing firm demanding to be paid for the 20-25 minutes it routinely takes them to clear the daily security check. Because the case was filed as a class action, it could affect many or most of the estimated 38,000 temps at Amazon’s three dozen U.S. warehouses and distribution centers. keep reading…

Calculating the Tremendous Dollar Value of a Top-performing or Innovative Employee

by Jan 13, 2014, 12:53 am ET

Lionel MessiIn professional sports, almost everyone readily agrees that a top-performing athlete is worth their weight in gold. That value is clearly reflected in their compensation, where for example a top-performing NFL quarterback can get paid 10 times more than the third-string quarterback on the same team. The value of adding a LeBron James, Peyton Manning, or Lionel Messi to your team can easily exceed hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. The same is true in entertainment, where adding the right actor to a film or rock star to a concert can easily double the gross over an unknown performer.

Unfortunately in the corporate world, the HR function has failed to come up with a credible method for quantifying the “performance differential” between an average employee and a top performer in the same job. And as a result of not having this economic justification, executives have all too often been reluctant to fund the leading-edge recruiting, retention, and management processes that are required in order to successfully attract and retain these highly desirable top performers and innovators. In last week’s article, I demonstrated how to calculate the negative costs associated with hiring and keeping weak performers, and in this companion article, I highlight how to calculate the performance multiplier of top performers.

Calculating the Performance Multiplier of a Top Performer keep reading…

Employer Branding: Don’t Get Taken in By the Waffle

by Dec 26, 2013, 6:35 am ET

bpEvery few years our business lexicon gets invaded by a new cliche. Management speak like “big data” and “social hiring” … vague terms that no one can really define but are liberally trotted out typically by vendors, consultants, and conference speakers trying to impress you. The king of the management cliches at present and one that makes my skin crawl is employer branding. There. I said it — well wrote it — but I was cringing when I did.

If you ever hear someone wittering on about employer branding I dare you to interrupt them and say, “define employer branding.”

I bet most won’t give you a very good definition and will be suitably aghast that you even questioned one of recruitment’s current sacred cows, but challenge it you must. Prick the pomposity bubble that we get sucked into. I read one article recently that urged all companies to create a “compelling employer value proposition.” There were few details on what that meant or how to implement it. In short it was just waffle. Companies spend fortunes and waste thousands of hours (I know, I was part of one) designing internal value propositions to allow company recruiters to become “front-line brand ambassadors.” This is nonsense. Stop wasting your time and money.

Let’s examine what exactly people are referring to when they talk about employer branding. Let’s cut through the waffle and look at some specifics that you can actually do to boost your organization’s perception among job seekers. keep reading…

How an Improved 2014 Economy Affects Recruiting

by Dec 18, 2013, 6:00 am ET

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in the United States has continually dropped over the past year. As of November the number dropped to 7 percent, down from 7.3 percent.  We must ask ourselves how the improved economy affects employer recruiting initiatives.

While organizations should maintain the same overall headhunting strategies as in any other economy, some adjustments are necessary.

Take a look at the challenges hiring managers ought to expect when bringing on employees. Only when we define these hurdles is it possible to formulate and implement strategic solutions to over-leap them.

Three Challenges keep reading…

You Get What You Pay For: Why It’s So Hard to Hire Salespeople

by Nov 13, 2013, 6:05 am ET

Demand for sales professionals continues to boom, even in our fluctuating job market. An Indeed.com search for sales positions in the U.S. yields over 770,000 results (versus marketing at 280,000 and human resources at 96,000). With so much competition for great sales hires, it’s no surprise that sales positions continue to rank among the hardest to fill.

Often, a mismatch between compensation and candidate expectations, as well as complex recruitment processes, means losing out on a top candidate, especially at the lower levels. And because candidates have so many opportunities to choose from, compensation and the hiring process become critical factors in recruiting a top salesperson.

In the typical sales environment, commission is the most popular way to compensate sales representatives: it’s essentially a pay-for-performance model that rewards results. What makes commission-oriented opportunities work, however, isn’t the commission check, but rather the perks and incentives that surround sales compensation. While some companies may believe that great sellers can make a living on commission, the real question is: why should they sell for your organization? What does your company offer that a competitor can’t? The answers to these questions are the keys to crafting a successful recruitment program. keep reading…

Increasing Your Power in Conversations With Hiring Managers and Clients: An essential sales skill every recruiter must develop

by Oct 23, 2013, 6:45 am ET

your way my way.jpgThere you are — ready to pitch your rock star candidate to your hiring manager or client. You are excited about your ability to snag this great prospect in record time, and you are proud of the fact that your candidate is well-qualified for the position. You left a brief message, letting your client or hiring manager know you have found a great prospect. A call is scheduled. You pick up the phone to dial.

As the phone rings, you gather your notes and are feeling confident and prepared; your pitch is bulletproof. As you announce yourself and prepare to share your great news, you hear, “Sorry, but I only have a couple of minutes. All I need to know is if the person you referred to is experienced and will be negotiable on salary.”

You are speechless. Actually, your rock star does not have the exact experience and might not be open to a lot of salary negotiating. Nonetheless, you push forward — trying to recover quickly by reciting the list of the other great things you learned about your prospect, confident these factors will win over your hiring manager or client. But you can’t shake off feeling weak, frustrated, and doomed.

Not the way you envisioned the call going? How’s your confidence now? And what about that bullet-proof pitch? In 29 words — 143 characters — (about a Tweet), you became the victim of the will of your hiring manager or client.

What just happened? More importantly, can you recover? Let’s look at both of these questions and use some basic sales skills to provide some help. keep reading…

We’ve Got to Stop Over-promising and Under-delivering, or Retention Will Suffer

by Oct 8, 2013, 6:15 am ET

It’s natural to do everything you can to convert a potential candidate you’re interested in. However, mistakes made during recruiting process and in the onboarding stage can lead that person to leave early.

Recently, a friend of mine left his job after 18 months. He had spent four months looking for a job and deciding that one was the right fit. He even relocated to a new state to take it. He was as excited about it as can be. So what happened? keep reading…