Just scan the Internet and you will find a plethora of sites giving advice on how potential employees should approach the conversation of compensation during an interview. Many of these published articles suggest using a tepid approach, while others go insofar to suggest that the topic should addressed by the candidate only after the employer brings it up. In other words, discuss everything else, but when it comes to subject of compensation, simply dance around it. No human being is going to work for free or for less than they worth, and if they do, it won’t be for very long, regardless the size of the company or its perceived stature.
Why then is it that some companies, are interested in discussing a candidate’s qualifications for the job that they are trying to fill, yet remain reluctant to discuss the compensation at the onset or deemed it as being rude if the candidate brings it up? At ATS, one of the first things our recruiters address is the compensation. And why not, the candidate has obviously read the job description otherwise, they would not (at least we hope) have applied for the position. Our recruiters say this approach to dealing with compensation, puts the candidates at ease and they can go about discussing the other areas of the job as it relates to the candidate suitability.
A wonderful and recent post by titled; We Want Meaningful Work and a Meaningful Paycheck by Ted Sackett, for TLNT.com sums up employee compensation debate this way;
“I’m going to stop fighting. For years I’ve been fighting morons who claim that millennials would rather do “meaningful work” than making money. That is actually one big lie, I believe perpetuated by employers who don’t want to pay market wages! (Conspiracy Theory Alert!!!) Actually, it showed up on a bunch of studies that were poorly worded and confusing.
The reality is money matters until it doesn’t.
Millennials and almost any other human on the planet would love to do work that is “meaningful” and something they enjoy doing. That isn’t rocket science. But, if you’re not at least making a fair market wage, money is the most important thing for the majority of people.
The studies that said millennials would prefer meaningful work over money, didn’t make it clear about the money. It was put to them as if it was a decision about “more” money or “meaningful” work, what would they choose. The perception being that you are already making “good” money, so now what do you want? More money, or meaningful work, or something else. In that case, the majority of people choose other things because we don’t want to come across as greedy.”
The fair compensation debate has been boiling beneath the surface for quite some time and has morphed into proposed wage hikes across several jurisdictions. And, this has left the pro and those against wage hikes, tied up in knots.
Everyone wants to be in a job that values their skills and where they also feel a sense of belonging. We are, after all, social creatures. However, it is just as important, that candidates feel they are being fairly compensated. Otherwise, all you will be left with is a revolving, high turnover door.
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