Champagne Hiring on a Rail Liquor Budget

Champagne Hiring on a Rail Liquor Budget

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A while back, I worked on a project for John Doe (not his real name, obviously) and his small company. It was a true mom & pop shop with a handful of employees and it was located in a suburb of a major US city. John had a myopic fixation with trying to recruit someone from one of the much larger companies in the big city. In his mind: “Well, somebody there is bound to be tired of the red tape and corporate bureaucracy. If they come here, they’ll be able to make a much bigger difference much faster.” Perhaps that’s true, but one thing John refused to consider was that his pay scale was much lower and his benefits package left a lot to be desired. This was during the time when more employers were requiring hybrid days in the office and John reasoned that perhaps someone living in the ‘burbs would rather commute to his location outside of the city instead of fighting the traffic and the gridlock on their hybrid days. Again, perhaps, but if it’s still more profitable to commute to a large city two or three days a week, that’s what people will generally do.

Let’s put numbers to it.

Work for John at $75K with a lackluster benefits package OR work for a larger company in the city and make $120K with good benefits and a health care plan your provider belongs to.

I mean . . . this is not rocket science, folks.

John even had a list of people he’d met over the years – some he’d gone to college with, some he’d met at trade shows, some he’d employed as interns – who he contacted and pitched jobs to and all of them had turned him down. Every. Single. One.

I was able to connect with a few of them to pursue the truth. The conversations were all: “Oh yeah, John is a great guy. Nice dude. I just couldn’t swallow the salary.”

Hiring managers and company owners have to wake up to the truth. Even when we’re not in an economic downturn and/or high inflation, people do not want to take a massive pay cut. You may romanticize your department or your business, but that doesn’t mean other people do. The mortgage company doesn’t accept hopes and dreams. You can’t pay a car note or a utility bill with “awesome company culture” or “jeans day every day.”

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