Posts By: Ray O’Donnell

Is It Always About the Money?


The labor market is more candidate-driven than ever before. Talented job seekers are more tech-savvy and have more access to various tools that help them compare and contrast competing offers. This, combined with different personal motivators, has shifted the influence power in the recruitment process from employer to employee. As a result, many talent acquisition leaders, hiring managers and recruiters are re-approaching how they win over top talent. And as the power shifts in favor of the job seeker, it begs one important question: Does winning the best talent always boil down to offering more money? Exploring which tactics HR teams are using to address current employment motivators highlights the critical debate of monetary versus non-monetary compensation.

Cash Compensation vs. Intrinsic Benefits

For many companies, deciding where to focus their compensation and benefit programs isn’t so cut and dried. A recent study from Glassdoor indicates that 43% of employees expect a pay raise, and 35% said they would leave a job if they didn’t receive one. On the other hand, the same study reports that 79% of employees would prefer new or additional benefits. Choosing between cash or intrinsic benefits largely boils down to specific business objectives, but some industry approaches highlight impactful strategies for engagement and retention, including tactics like:

Offering Unique Benefits & Non-Monetary Compensation

Offering unique benefits and employee perks on top of monetary compensation might help attract talent. Perks like paid sick days, childcare assistance, and gym membership options all ranked above a flat-out pay raise in the study mentioned above.

Being up front about perks and benefits is equally important to attracting top talent. In the Glassdoor study mentioned above, Rusty Rueff, career and workplace expert says: “Employers should be communicating clearly about non-traditional compensation. Recruiters should take note that touting the benefits and perks offered can help win talent of different demographics, industries and occupations.” Making non-monetary compensation a priority can help recruiters remain relevant and competitive in a job market where roughly 4 out of 5 candidates prefer more robust benefits packages.

Salary Transparency

Delivering transparent salary information can resonate with potential candidates more than higher pay. Another survey from Glassdoor, the Global Salary Expectations Survey, found that 69% of employed adults across Europe and North America wish they knew more about market rates for salary and compensation for their positions and skill sets. Proactively offering detailed total compensation statements projects honesty and transparency to job seekers. Recruiting staff that considers salary transparency a high priority may have better success in separating themselves from the competition.

Incentivizing Loyalty

The current labor market is fickle. A Gallup study shows that 51% of workers are looking to leave their current jobs. A proactive and transparent approach to retention strategies will help give candidates a sense of belonging and incentivize loyalty from the moment they receive an offer. In addition, setting up a career development plan for new hires shows employees the value they add to the organization, encouraging a nurturing and supportive approach to career growth that will incentivize potential candidates.

In such a candidate-driven market, enticing and retaining top talent remains highly competitive. Candidates with changing values and a major influence on the overall recruitment experience will continue to affect how companies think about overall culture and how they market themselves to job seekers. Offering a robust benefits package that includes both monetary and non-monetary compensation, having a transparent approach to salary expectations, and focusing on retention are strategies used by top talent acquisition professionals to stay competitive.

Learn more about the benefits of a proactive approach to total compensation statements with this article.

TotalRewards Software Exhibiting at the WorldatWork 2017 Conference


TotalRewards Software will be one of many leading HR companies attending the WorldatWork 2017 Total Rewards Conference & Exhibition May 7-10 in Washington, D.C. Tagged as the place “Where Big Ideas Begin”, the event will host over 1,200 human resource professionals seeking ideas and solutions around total rewards, compensation, benefits and work-life effectiveness. Attendees can pick and choose from more than 90 sessions with 200 speakers.

Learn more about the WorldatWork 2017 Total Rewards Conference & Exhibition and how to get involved here.

Representatives from TotalRewards will be at the event to discuss the TotalRewards Builder and CandidateRewards solutions as well as weigh in on the importance of total compensation statements and recruitment tools in today’s evolving workforce landscape. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate has been dropping over the last six years and is now at a record low of 4.8%. As a result, there is a smaller pool of people looking for jobs, putting more pressure on HR teams to find and retain the right candidates and often extending already expensive, time-consuming recruiting and onboarding processes.

TotalRewards Software is leading the way to help companies recruit and retain valuable employees by offering software solutions that provide on-demand access and clear messaging around employees’ total rewards beyond monetary compensation, including career path information, vacation time, work-life balance and more. Access to this information can spearhead employee engagement and improve employee retention.

To learn more about the importance of retaining top talent and ways to do this, download the white paper, “Making a High Impact Case for Total Rewards Software.

How To “Think Forward” About Total Compensation


As the workforce continues to evolve, it’s important to keep up with what employees value in an employer. Many organizations are re-approaching the way they present total compensation to their workforce. Unfortunately, this tactic is often utilized too late in the process to impact retention and engagement levels. On the flip side, HR teams that “think forward” and leverage total compensation as a proactive solution, and not as a point of reflection at the end of the year or quarter, gain an edge in the fight to recruit, engage and retain top talent.

Adopting a proactive approach towards total compensation will set your business ahead by instilling a culture of transparency and honest communication—key factors in retaining high-value employees and setting them up for the personal success that translates to business success.

How To “Think Forward” About Total Compensation

According to Kimmel and Associates, 91% of workers quit their job after three years. This revolving door of talent leaves companies in a tough spot to build company culture from the ground up. Opening up critical lines of communication with new recruits and top performers about their contribution to the organization and their total value as an employee can be an impactful way for HR to align core company values with their employee base – but it has to happen early in the employee life cycle.

Create a Positive Employee Outlook

Employees want to be empowered and nurtured, not micromanaged. Being proactive about total compensation helps build a company culture around development and progress. Quantitative data that illustrates what an employee is on track to achieve in the coming year can go a long way in driving a positive, healthy and productive outlook for an employee as well as prevent them from feeling like cogs in the wheel.

Prevent Miscommunication

Being upfront and proactive about total compensation also helps organizations prevent critical miscommunication between employees and managers. Total compensation discussions at the beginning of each quarter or year are great ice-breakers and can lead to frequent touch-points between management and staff. It’s important to keep employee expectations parallel to the company’s culture.

The first step in addressing retention and engagement has to be understanding employee expectations and motivators. Armed with this insight, HR teams can align total compensation programs with these values and have a better foundation for engaging employees with honest and supportive dialogue. Here’s a great article highlighting the power of employee benefits as a retention tool to help you start thinking critically about how you can innovate your company’s culture.