The Many Ways We Seem to Discount Employees

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No, I didn’t make another mistake and mean to title this “Employee Discount,” but you were totally in your right to think I would make a mistake!

Yes, we discount our employees. We do this in a number of ways:

  1. Experience — The 10-year employee is always looked at less than a new employee coming in with 10 years of experience.
  2. Opinions — The long-term employee’s opinion gets lost to the new voice because we’ve heard the old employee’s opinion before. It doesn’t, necessarily, become less valid, but we treat it as such.
  3. Value — We tend to pay same level experience internal employees less than we pay someone coming from the outside with the same experience, education, etc. This “discount” is well-known in the industry — it’s the “Hometown discount.” They’ve been here forever. They aren’t going anywhere. Why pay them more competitively?

Fuzzy metrics at work

There is one more way you are currently discounting your employees — the Candidate Experience.

The Candidate Experience is really sexy right now in HR and Talent Acquisition. It’s all the buzz! Everyone is concentrating on making their candidate experience better.

You know why? It’s fuzzy metrics. While you can get “real” measures and metrics from your Candidate Experience, it’s not really real.

Candidates want a job from you. When you ask them about their experience they inflate what they really think because they want a job from you. When you ask them after the entire experience is over, two things happen:

  • First, they either got the job (in which case you’ll get good measures); or,
  • Second, they didn’t get the job and still want one (in which case you’ll also get good measures).

We love good measures in HR and Talent Acquisition.

Engagement is a lot harder than the Candidate Experience

What we hate are measures that make us work, like employee engagement. It’s easier and more rewarding to spend money and energy on the Candidate Experience than on than Employee Engagement.

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That’s because employee engagement is hard. As soon as we fix the stuff from the last survey, the employee’s expect more! You know who doesn’t expect more? Job candidates.

The ironic part of all of this is the easiest and best way to have great candidate experience is to not have to hire. Spend more resources on employee engagement and you won’t have to spend more resources on Candidate Experience.

It’s the chicken or the egg when it comes to Discounted Employees. You are discounting your employees in favor of candidates, and you don’t even realize it.

This originally appeared on the blog  The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.

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