Recruiting with Open Eyes: the Science of Compensation
Providing a fulfilling and rewarding employee experience is key to recruitment and retention efforts in this employee’s market. Now, perhaps more than ever, employers need to be on top of their game. While navigating this environment, companies should take wisdom from the following timeless tunes.
Take This Job and Shove It – Johnny Paycheck
Much has been made of the so-called ‘Great Resignation’, which has seen unprecedented numbers of people leave their jobs in search of greener pastures. It almost certainly happened in the United States, (47 million quit their jobs in 2021)1 and, depending on who you ask, either did, or didn’t, or might, or might not happen in Canada.
Although the indignant titular resignation line is the most memorable aspect of this country classic, the verses reveal a man in search of meaning after his personal life goes sour. Many believe that such introspection is the driving force behind the current workforce shakeup.
The term ‘Great Resignation’ was coined by Dr. Anthony Klotz, who believes that the root factor was a mass epiphany about “family time, remote work, commuting, passion projects, life and death.”2
“In many industries, the pandemic revealed just how transactional the workplace is,” sociologist Lauren Rivera tells the Atlantic. “When the jobs won’t love you back … it makes you rethink things.”1
9 to 5 – Dolly Parton
Say My Name – Destiny’s Child
Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man -Travis Tritt
Dolly Parton, Beyoncé, and Travis Tritt walk into a bar… and they all demand to be acknowledged! Ms. Parton and Mr. Tritt lament the grind (and injustices) of working life, while Queen Bey simply wants to hear her name. It reminds us that, while salaries and benefits are important, they don’t tell the whole story.
According to a piece in Fortune Magazine, “Empathy, not efficiency, is the answer to burnout and the way for companies to avoid finding themselves on the losing end of The Great Resignation.”3
“Holding on to employees isn’t just about scheduling,” writes Jessica Stillman for Inc. “It’s about showing them their work has meaning and that the company actually cares about them as human beings.”4
Home Sweet Home – Motley Crue
OK, maybe this 1980s hair-metal power ballad is about returning home from a gruelling tour, but for the purpose of this blog it’s a reminder that the option of working from home is now, and shall remain, a differentiator in the minds of employees. Companies will each have their own attitudes toward this, but wishing the trend away is not a feasible strategy. Opinions vary on the employee side too, with some committed to long-term kitchen table work while others are itching to get back to the office.
Fly – Sugar Ray feat. Supercat
Started from the Bottom – Drake
Sugar Ray just wants to fly, while Drake has already soared. Top talent wants the same and will gravitate toward (or remain with) companies who facilitate the upward trek.
“Sometimes, a sizeable pay packet alone won’t cut it,” writes Dr. Manisha Morais for Forbes. “Offering professional development opportunities as part of the package can draw in and retain top talent who then go on to generate a sales pipeline and become instrumental in developing the business.”5
Working for the Weekend – Loverboy
If you’re reading this on a Friday, crank this tune up to 11. Or, if you’re reading this in the year 2030, could it be more appropriate to do so on a Thursday? Everyone’s favourite barstool work debate topic got a new round of fresh ink in February when Belgium approved a four-day work-week. Whether or not this ever becomes widespread practice in Canada is anybody’s guess, but if, by some chance, you’re inclined to beat the crowd and offer this option today, make way for an incoming avalanche of resumes.
What Have You Done for Me Lately? – Janet Jackson
This classic Control-era Ms. Jackson song finds the legendary R&B singer wondering aloud whether she’s in the right relationship. It amounts to a not-so-subtle call to step up to the plate. According to Henry Goldbeck, employees are throwing down the same challenge.
“Employees are very aware of how tight the job market is and, as a result, we’re seeing more counter offers than ever before,” says the Goldbeck Recruiting President.6
We are Family – Sister Sledge
Simply put: company culture matters. Teams that are diverse, appreciated by management, and appreciative of one another will collaborate more effectively, stay intact longer, and spread the word to their friends, all to the benefit of the company. Companies that see their employees as stakeholders, not numbers, will be poised to thrive moving forward.