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No — I Won’t Give Up Salary Dollars For A ‘Great Culture’

Source | Forbes : By Liz Ryan

Dear Liz,

I’m getting sick of recruiters telling me “This company doesn’t pay that well, but the benefits are great!” or “The pay is nothing special, but the culture is tremendous!”

I beg to differ.

What kind of great-culture company doesn’t pay fair market salaries? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

What do you think, Liz?



Dear Nico,

I think you have a good head on your shoulders, as the old expression goes. You are absolutely right.

It’s beyond cheap, tacky and amateurish of any employer to expect a person to work for a lower salary or wage than what the market pays, no matter how cushy the workplace furnishings are or how “cool” the company is.

I heard a CEO say in a public forum “I consider the view from our office part of our compensation plan!”

Happily, nobody in the audience laughed or applauded at the CEO’s horrendous remark. The audience members looked a little queasy.

Here are 10 things that do not qualify as compensation:

• A “great culture” (The first sign of a truly great culture is that employees are paid fairly)

• Excellent health plans and other employee benefits (These are great things to offer — but not at the expense of market salaries)

• A “fun” or nicely-decorated work space

• Paid company lunches (They are nice, but they do not pay your employees’ rent!)

• A casual dress code

• A foosball or ping pong table

• Friday night beer and pizza parties

• A deck, a patio, picnic tables or a basketball hoop

• Gym equipment, lockers and/or showers

• Anything that is not cash

Don’t be taken in by people who tell you that their culture or work environment is a substitute for money — not unless their culture and other goodies are offered in addition to market salaries, and not in place of them.

The more job-seekers who tell recruiters “I don’t want to hear about dress-down Fridays and pizza parties unless the company you want to recruit me into also pays market salaries” the harder it will be for employers to pull this scam.

When you slam the door on those flim-flam recruiters who try to interest you in cheapskate employers who have money to spend on interior design but not on their own employees, tell them why you’re dropping out of the process. Your voice matters!

Read On….

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