The business press is abuzz with stories about how it’s a “buyer’s market” out there if you’re an employer who’s in a position to hire right now.
Just yesterday (Sunday, April 12), I heard a business commentator for KYW 1060 AM radio here in Philadelphia encouraging companies to begin hiring sales and marketing professionals now to ramp up for an expected turn-around because that talent will be “on sale for 10-20% off.”
He didn’t provide a single piece of data to support this somewhat cheery assertion.
Unemployment is high and rising — according to the April 3 news release by the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, unemployment rose in March from 8.1% to 8.5%.
And while this means there are more unemployed people looking for work across all industries, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be able to hire for less, or that if you do, you’ll actually be getting more for your money.
Guess who also follows the news? People who are looking for work. And the smarter ones know that prospective employers see this as a buyer’s market, too, so they’ll be prepared to negotiate the best salary they possibly can, particularly if they feel the need to make up for lost income during a period of unemployment or stingy raises received over the past year.
Paying someone less than they deserve often results in the employee making it up in other ways. They feel cheated, so they cheat you right back by using time they’re supposed to spend working for you doing other things instead, like running an online business, selling things on eBay, chatting with friends on Facebook, and a million other things other than what you’re paying them for.
It’s a way that employees even things out financially when they feel ripped off.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t, as a prospective employer, attempt to bring on new talent at the lowest cost possible.
But keep in mind that sometimes, when you pay the lowest cost possible, you get what you pay for. Even less.