Thursday, July 20, 2006

Is Compelling Work Really Better than Great Comp?

I read an article recently from Dialog NewsEdge about compelling work being more critical to job satisfaction than comp. In fact, I see a lot of these articles and see several potential pitfalls in taking this information at face value. The article says that Lawyers were asked which areas provide the greatest job satisfaction and they ranked challenging assignments at 42%, Comp at 22%, relationships at 20% and so on…

The challenge I have with this is that they assume a person’s decision making is linear—which it’s not. If it were linear, and challenging work ranked first, then theoretically you could ONLY offer challenging work and NOT offer any pay and people would do it. These surveys are linear in nature. They should ask a series of questions about rewarding/challenging work and level of pay that would keep them there for each increase or decrease in the level of excitement factor of the work. So, I would do a survey that looked like this….

Please Rank in order of interest which career you would most likely be attracted to: (0 being least important or 5 being most important)

The most exciting work in the world and NO pay
0 1 2 3 4 5

Very exciting work and 20K per year
0 1 2 3 4 5


I would of course word these differently but you would eventually get to where the threshold was. Then you would have better understanding of what the trade off is instead of just knowing that people want exciting work before they think about pay—you would have the correlation between exciting work and pay. From the survey below it assumes that comp plays into 22% of a person’s decision to take a job (ASSUMES). BUT—a lot of people might say that It’s 100% of the job first, then it’s 80% comp between all of the most exciting jobs. This is the information that will give an organization competitive advantage if you ask me. It also takes into account that human decision making is not typically linear.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ahh--The Air Smells So Good!

Wow! It’s been a recruiting roller coaster over here, hence why I haven’t written for a while. My current role is to lead staffing for one of our largest teams. We are a 650 person company so a lead role is a very hands on role. It includes strategizing, managing and executing. There is never a boring moment and it’s a constant dichotomy of balancing the longer term view with the tactical execution. There are big, big expectations for a recruiter in a professional services firm. You have billable hour employees so when we bring in new business we lose money until we can staff those accounts—so there is a lot of pressure. It’s also a business that changes directions constantly so even the best predictive models lag the pace of change. Given the unpredictability I always fall back on the basics—and every GOOD recruiter knows what this is. It’s not the job boards, not the networking tools or your ATS—it’s the ability to pick up the phone, make the connection, assess and close on an offer. I have done quite a bit of interviewing for my own team recently and it’s pretty amazing how many recruiters out there aren’t learning these basics. It’s not always their fault either. There are a lot of companies that still don’t understand why this is important and rely only on the mass advertising tools or completely rely on search firms. I’m not complaining though—for those of us that do still value the basics we are able to bring an added layer to the organization that makes our firms more competitive and better poised for success in the future. That’s job security if I have ever seen it. Okay—so, as you can see, this is what happens to a recruiter that gets stuck in the trenches and finally has a chance to come up for some air. The craziness of it all tends to make us rant about nothing at all….so there you go.

Oh—and before I forget. One of our own agency superstars just transformed his internal blog into a public blog. Frank Shaw leads the Microsoft PR account—he is a very interesting fella—check out glass house if you get a chance: Glass House