Employers often complain that it’s difficult to find staff and yet pay the same amount as the competition. However, if you consider the situation from the employees perspective, you can appreciate that if the pay is approximately the same, then many things you might not consider are actually quite important to a candidate.
For example, the purpose of the organisation, the role flexibility, career growth opportunity, the manager or the organisation’s prestige all become critical considerations if the pay rate is similar.
Why should anyone come and work for you at the same salary as your competitors?
Episode 67 – The Growth Whisperers
The Growth Whisperers is a weekly podcast hosted by Brad Giles and Kevin Lawrence two advisors to mid-market businesses, one Australian, one Canadian, who each work with CEOs and Leadership Teams across the world with a mission to build enduring, great companies. Each weekly episode covers interesting situations and questions from the world of strategic planning, leadership development, talent and hiring in high growth entrepreneurial companies where real results matter.
Why should anyone come and work for you at the same salary as your competitors?
Brad Giles 00:13
Welcome to the growth whispers where everything that we talk about is building enduring great companies, companies that are inspiring and great and enduring. And that means a lot to all the people who work in them, and the passion. As always today, I’m joined by my co host, my name is Brad Giles. But in case you didn’t know that, I’m joined by my co host, Kevin, how are you today?
I’m doing great. And a little piece of trivia insight for the listeners today. It’s just before midnight in Brad’s timezone where he is, so it’s a long day. And Brad is incredibly keen. And we you know, we needed we wanted to record this episode. But yeah, so it’s almost midnight. So it might be a more entertaining episode. And if those works, maybe we’ll do all of our episodes close to midnight and have some more fun with it.
Brad Giles 01:07
Now, maybe we want Who knows? Yes, It is light over here in Australia. But yeah, it’s great to be here nonetheless. So as always we like to begin as we advocate that people do begin meetings with a word or phrase for the day. So yes, tell me what is your word or phrase for the day?
Kevin Lawrence 01:31
My word afraid is persistence. And, one of my favorite quotes is from an American by the name of Calvin Coolidge. And I first saw it in my friend’s father’s office when I was a child. He was the only friend whose father had an office and I saw it and I absolutely love it. And I have it right here. Nothing No, nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. And here I said grab it. Because it’s I don’t want to get it wrong. Nothing in the world can take the place was its talent will not anything is more common than unsuccessful men, which I crossed out and with the word people with talent, genius will not unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not, the world is full of educated derelicts. persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan press on has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race. So that’s a word that became a quote. But that’s what No, for me, I just look at so many things around us in the world. And at the end of the day, it’s persistence, because whether you’re smarter or not smarter, no persistence is is genuinely it. And you got to love what you’re doing to persist long enough to make it work. Brad, you got a crazy smarter you like to get like it? Did I pick your word?
Brad Giles 03:02
No, you didn’t. But you know, I love that we’re now doing we’ve done been doing this for a few months. I love that we’re doing the word or phrase of the day, because one of us always comes up with a good one. But the other one, maybe not so much. And you’re insinuating that you’re going to have the good one next? No, I’m insinuating that yours was really good. No, my word for the day, my phrase is authentic. And I say that in the context, I spent today, building core values with an organization and stressing to them the importance of authenticity. Yeah, around the core values, that these are things that are bone deep. Because if they’re not authentic, so many things happen, but one of the things is that you need to defend these core values to the rest of the organization. Okay, you need to hold people accountable. around these core values. Yeah. So they, you know, people say all sorts of things and the things in these conversations like, are but if we need to be a, an innovative company, because of this.
Kevin Lawrence 04:19
Yeah, that’s got to be a core value. Yeah. It has to be Oh, absolutely. But it’s not.
Brad Giles 04:26
Kevin Lawrence 04:27
that’s, that might be a strategy. But does it accurately represent what’s in the hearts and souls of the humans? Not likely. Yeah. So my word is authentic. Because it’s on my mind. Yeah. You know, there’s a chance that we both might have come up with good ones today, because you know, it’s interesting. I was in a winery recently. And you know, and when you go to a winery, and you taste the wine, we’re sitting on this amazing patio and it’s beautiful. And this guy’s coming and oh, and he Taste the cherries in the blackberries in it. It reminds me of my grandmother’s turkey dinner, and particularly the stuffing and this guy’s just given it. He’s laying it all out. And we’re asking ourselves is that a script? Yeah. Or is that actually and I said, Tell me. And so I started and may not have been nice, but I was like, Really? So tell me, tell me about your grandmother’s stuffing, what was in it? What was in your grandmother’s stuffing? And they start asking about it. The story kind of started fall apart. I think he was reading the script. It felt like a script. So I was just doing Oh, yeah, tell me I said my grandmother’s stuffy to have it sausage meat in it. And it tasted awesome. And had the sausage and the leeks and all this stuff. And, and it was he started to lose a little bit of his Oof, yeah. Cuz it wasn’t frickin authentic. He was reading the script. Because then the other one it was about his mother’s chicken dinner and gravy. Oh, this guy was making me hungry. Like, and? And if it was true, it would have and maybe and maybe it was Yeah, and maybe he wasn’t, but it didn’t feel authentic.
Kevin Lawrence 06:09
Yeah. And at some point, it started to push us backwards. So authenticity is insanely, insanely important. And I get excited, like I have a friend and they’re, their phrases, you know, Authenticity, like sitting around a campfire telling stories, you know, like warm in a circle, really sharing great stories with friends. You know, that’s, like their version of authentic. I love it. So today, it’s about authentic persistence. Right and authentic being it’s meaningful, and, and true. And then just pushing like crazy to make it happen. Yeah, awesome. Great. We actually have a show to do today. But our words were, I’m feeling inspired by these midnight hours, Brad. So thankfully, it’s not been night for me. So so so let’s talk about what the show is today.
Brad Giles 07:04
All right. So recently, I’m in a workshop and annual workshop with a company. And I won’t say who, but we got through this debate. And part of that debate was people complaining about we can’t find people or there’s a skill shortage. And then some of the, you know, we’ve done this thing called the talent assessment where we’re assessing the different people in the organization. Yep. And then I just blurted out, I said, why should anyone come and work for you at the same salary as your competitors? There’s no difference. And so that is what we’re talking about today. Why should anyone come work for you, the listener at the same salary as your competitors?
Yeah. And we can even up it same salary, or maybe even less, because I have seen a lot of people come to clients that we work with, for same or less salary, and I’ve seen some come from more, but there’s sometimes people will come for less, which means there’s something really compelling there. But let’s just stay for the
Brad Giles 08:18
It’s not double. That’s the point. No, windfall. It’s not a windfall. Yeah, right. And that’s, and that’s the idea, you can always not always it’s, easier to get caught up in thinking you just have to pay more. And, you know, the thing I would start with is, you know, compensation is part of why people work for a company, I’ve always maintained, it’s half of their paycheck, half of the paycheck is money, half of the paycheck is all the other factors that make them feel good about their work, or that the other needs that the job meet. So half of its economic needs, half is other needs. Truthfully, I think the economic needs are even less, but you know, the money, the money needs to be there. That’s what makes the world go round. So So the thing that we want to kind of frame this up with it starts about thinking about what’s in it for them. Yeah, beyond money, because money is easy, but it’s easy to think about. But it’s interesting, as we’ve been building our firm, and again there as well, by the time we get into the fall, there will be you know, 11, maybe 12 people it’s a small boutique firm that does, you know, boutique services. But, but one of the things we that we noticed and we learned along the way, one of things we noticed and learned along the way. Is that because we have such an amazing team. Like it’s all a players doing great work, that I found that there was many really successful consultants and coaches who actually wanted to be on an amazing team.
Yeah, and that the team was probably equally More important than the economics and a bunch of the things I’m hearing from people and When, when, when we’ve gone through our process, and they’ve been offered opportunity to join us. There, they’re saying I’m excited to be a part of that team. And that was even in our initial discussions, what they were looking for. So, you know, the numbers of the numbers. But that is an example in, in, in our, our, our little firm, being a part of an awesome team is a big, big pull a big poll. And, and, and a lot of companies, though, there are maybe 10 or 15 different variables, the main thing is, is, is looking from the perspective of this person, and what is awesome about your company that you might not even realize, particularly, because you may have been in your company for 10 or 20 or 30 years and not even know the difference. So what is distinct and compelling for somebody else that would meet their needs. And that’s what we’re looking at today. You know, one of the businesses that I used to own was a job board. And so it’s a bit like monster or seek in Australia, where, you know, it’s an online portal, people go on, they place employers place adverts, and people apply for jobs. It’s simple. So it was very small in the context, it was industry specific and very small. But I got to see really interesting statistics between companies that had what looked to be effectively the same advert and the same pie. And one company with the same number of views on an ad would get, like 10 applicants, and then the next company would get like 100 or 200 applicants, it was absolutely outrageous, because everything else seemed the same, including the plan. What was it? What was the difference? Well, I, I would call it the employer brand. I would call it the employer brand. Like it was the subtleties in that advert. It was the positioning of the company, people thought that they were going to be working at a better company.
So it was the way they told their story basically, the way they articulated the story of the company.
Brad Giles 12:27
Yeah, that’s another way to put it. Yeah. Awesome.
Kevin Lawrence 12:31
So what are its great insight and, and what, what, what are the other variables that we see that bring companies in? Or bring people into companies that pull people in? And one of our clients does a lot of recruiting right from colleges. Yeah. Right. And for them, they talk about one, the opportunity for growth is something and they’re competing against a lot of other companies to get to land these students a lot, because everyone’s trying to recruit these college grads. And in some cases, their pay is lower they were in based on their economic model. And they talk about the purpose of their company. Right. And the purpose of their company is positively impacting lives. It’s legit, they’re trying to help make people’s lives better. They do an incredible amount of charity work, and the heart of the company radiates through the people. Yeah. So they that for them is the meaningfulness of that company and what they’re doing in the world, and because it’s so damn authentic, taken into account your earlier word. Yeah, people get it. And it’s like, some people, and it’s a filter, but some people really, really, really want to be about it, because it’s such a meaningful place to work that gears so damn much. And also has that optic. So that’s, that’s in their case, we’re recruiting new grads, that’s a powerful strategy for them.
Brad Giles 13:54
Because if it matters, that original question like, why would someone else why would someone come and work for you versus someone else? Because people often complain about being unable to find staff. They’re like, Ah, this is cool. Short, he’s like, it’s so hard to get good people. But you’ve got to look at it from the armor angle, which is, well, why would the good people come and work for you? What did they see through their eyes? Right? When they look at your organization, and this is a bit like looking in the mirror, it can be a bit difficult at times it is, especially when it’s midnight, but you know, it can be difficult, but it’s worth it to understand why would someone work for you? And if you can’t come up with a viable answer, then look to some of these other things. So another company I owned was an electrical contracting business and we did communications in it and things like that, and people were great. amazing skill shortage, like the, you know, you’d write business cases about how amazing this skill shortage was, people would come in, and we would explain, the first thing that I would say to them is, look, we’re not like all the other employers, we’re trying to build the best of this type of company in the industry. And let me just before you, you know, get a bit hesitant on that. We’ve won the Best electrical contracting company in the whole of the country, the only one from our state to have done that, and we’ve done it twice.
Right, so, so an award winning company, kind of like people that jump on the bandwagon for the local sports team when they’re winning. Yes, people like to be a part of that. And then they get to feel like they’re winning.
Brad Giles 15:48
Yeah, we couldn’t necessarily pay twice the amount of everybody else. But there were other ways that we could bring the bride to life. And the point is, that was true, and you made it part of the sales pitch, we’ll call it
Kevin Lawrence 16:03
Yeah, all companies have awesome things that are true, but we forget about them. Yeah. And that’s what this is about you, you have already awesomeness there, the unique value is there is just there, there might be 15, different things would resonate, and you got to figure out the ones that resonate, that would absolutely resonate most. And that’s why you’ll lots of people do these great places to work surveys, right. And they get certified as Bill Best Places to Work in Canada or my state, British Columbia or, you know, whatever it happens to be or inks, fastest growing companies like these, these kind of getting on the list. And it’s kind of getting on that list, especially I have, you know, some beliefs in some of those awards are a little bit. gamble, and not necessarily authentically, truly representation of Best Places to Work. But it is a list, it is a certification and it gets people’s attention. And it gets as long as you’re not just gaming it like some organization. And if you’re actually using it to make your company better.
Those things work. Because it’s a it’s an external certification that you’re special, a good no different than leave your externally certified as organic, or organic product or an ISO certified business. So those those those are other things that can kind of take you up a notch in the perception of potential employees. One of the teams that I work with is called a physio co here in Australia, a guy called Tristan is the CEO, they’ve won the Best Place to Work in Australia or been in the top 10 for 11 consecutive years. Now, that says something to a potential employee when the pay rates are the same.
It just says that you guys aren’t assholes. Yeah, like that. It’s that they’re not going to be coming into a nightmare. And that’s, that’s valuable. Because people don’t, a lot of companies aren’t great to work at. Yeah, so that would be another thing that could be if it’s true is, is if you have an awesome culture, like if it actually truly is an enjoy, I mean, Work is work, but you can be in environments that are healthy and productive and have a great culture and don’t. So one of the things that we do when we do quarterly engagement surveys, as we prep for our strat session strategy sessions, we collect word clouds. And we say we don’t how would you describe the culture of the company? in three words? Yeah. And then many of those word clouds go into what we pitch to potential employees saying,
Hey, here’s what our team says about our company. This is the survey from June. And here’s the word cloud of what our people say is, is their choice of words for us. Here is the things that people love about our business and why they like working here, this is just the survey from June, you can read what we’re about. And, you know, it gives people again, a validated source that you are not and it’s a way to articulate the message and it’s another thing. The other thing that comes up in some companies, and it’s not maybe not your company, some companies, its flexibility and room for a better life, you’ve got a lot of very successful companies that have a philosophy. Yeah, if your kids got a really important baseball game, or dance performance, or anything, it’s you got to get your work done. But if you need to take off for an afternoon and go and get something done, we want you to do that. You know, one of our companies has a core value called the importance of family. So so that might not be yours. I’m just giving you examples. In some companies, flexibility for your family can be a really important thing especially not especially but well whether it’s for mothers who are caregiving or fathers or caregiving, or parents that might be involved in child’s sport. or activities or something maybe for their parents or their who knows. But flexibility of some sort can be a big value prop for people,
Brad Giles 20:09
and especially after in the pandemic with working from Yes, a lot of people at work, we’ve spoken about this before, a lot of people have been working from home. And it’s become an expected right or benefit of working in a place that people now say, Well, if I can’t work from home at least one or two days a week, I don’t really want to work there. We actually have a new person that joined our team a few months ago. And she worked in downtown Vancouver, but now that she has a family and she lives in the suburbs, she doesn’t want to commute downtown every day. When we talked to her boss, for previous boss for reference check, he was glowing, he would hire her in a second. But she’s not willing to go into the city. regularity, even two days a week, not something she wants to do. So we have we, for us, she could work from home, she still got to get the work done. And she can catch up on her work at night after her kids go to bed if she didn’t get through it all. Yeah, so that one single thing aside from that were awesome. But aside, aside from that, it was that alone, otherwise, she wouldn’t have been available for a new role, she would have stayed where she’d already been, I think, for 10 years. And what, and that’s awesome. And what you touched on is actually our next point, which is a specific leader that they might want to work from, if you’re paying the same as others, understanding that, you know, one of the things that matters is have working under a great manager, yes, that can make a huge difference to someone’s career, or even their personal satisfaction and happiness.
Kevin Lawrence 21:52
It is and thankfully, I have a great manager on my team, because I don’t think I might, I’m a great manager. So shout out to Dean, Dean Ritchie, my team is amazing. Dean is the person who is working with her as her kind of her manager and, you know, jennison, my team and collaborates with her on, you know, training and helping her to learn things. But he’s a great guy, and he owns it, and he will make sure she’s successful. And things go well, but and that’s, that’s a critical part of people’s decision. Yeah. And some people will follow great managers, right, they will come just because of the manager. I mean, that’s a sign of a great manager, by the way. Yeah. Is that that people want to follow them and go with them for sure. The next one is, is growth. And, and for some people, and I’ve seen this a lot, you know, if people are working, you know, at a large company, and they’re a cog in the wheel or a number on a spreadsheet, right, like they follow a process and grind it out.
And it’s like, they, they want more. Right and and, and they want to go from being a number or a cog to a decision maker or a real leader, a different decision maker or a difference maker. Yeah. And, and that’s a big thing, we see a lot of people like, you know, one of my favorite places to get to find CFO is from the cpmg company. So the packaged goods companies, because they have their they’re like outstanding environments for financial analysis and reporting, and just running the financial end of the business because they’re masters. And but there’s many times you’ll find ones that have been in a big company for a long time. But now, you know, they want to go into the actual CFO type role or a VP of finance type role. And if they have the right wiring to go from a large corporate to an entrepreneurial, which isn’t always the case, you got to look at some of the things, but then they get to put their stamp on things. And they get to be a part of building something versus operating a big machine. And that’s that is for some people, that is a huge value, a huge benefit to them. And, and you and I work with many fast growth companies. And that’s definitely a story that we can sell that our teams can sell. Because fast growth companies create opportunities for employees, they come up more often. Yep.
All right. So the final thought here is is is the pride and prestige. You know, and if you think of you know, we talked before you were talking about a company called apple or others I’ve got a
Brad Giles 24:28
many companies that work with our places that people will be proud. I have many clients that I am proud to work with. Now we’re this company in India called a shout out and they are a leading home builder for the mid market in terms of trust and quality and beautiful communities and all of these things I’m so I’m working with over a decade. I’m so proud to work with them. And their employers are two. Yeah, and that is something because if you say you work for ashiana that is something special in the cities that they’re in India and That pride flows throughout the whole company. And just like you would for some if they work for Apple or any, you know, company or brand that they resonate with, or somehow it provides meaning and just don’t forget that your
company does have something special, there is something that is special that people can connect with. You just got to think about it and make sure it’s part of the conversation when they’re deciding. Yeah,
Brad Giles 25:25
yeah, it is really so important. The pride. Alright, so a quicker conversation today. But, um, yeah, I think that thinking about this for people who employ Why should anyone come and work for you at the same salary as your competitors, because that’s the market and, you know, we’re expecting people, a players to come in hordes to us, as opposed to everyone else who’s paying the same pay, and it’s not a logical, it’s not a logical conversation instead, what are the other things that will really matter? And how can we make those shine?
Yep. Awesome. All right. Well, hey, thanks for joining us on the growth whispers today. I’m Kevin Lawrence. My co host here is Brad Giles. For the video. Go to youtube.com to get a hold of Brad evolutionpartners.com.au or for myself, Lawrenceandco.com. hope you have an awesome week. We’ll see or hear you or you can hear us next week.
Or watch it on YouTube