Is Your Compensation Strategy Working?

April 28, 2015

Did that CEO from the credit-card processing company in Seattle who changed his firm’s minimum wage to $70k/year, awarding himself that minimum salary signal a change in compensation practices? Naw. And what about all that talk around reforming CEO compensation—aligning it with the stockholders’ interest? CEO compensation was higher than it’s ever been in 2014, even as independent boards were mandated to try to rein it in, or at least tie it more closely to performance. It seems stockholders are fine with exorbitant CEO pay.

The truth is compensation practices have not changed much recently, and there appears to be no adjustment for the millennials, who, the numbers suggest, will crowd out the workplace by a large margin in as early as 2020. Many telecom firms don’t really have a compensation strategy in place and don’t have good access to hiring data in the industry. There’s an opportunity here.

In telecom, last year about 60% of companies reported having job openings they couldn’t find a qualified candidate for. Over 80% of them offered raises and most say they intend to or are working on a compensation strategy for better acquisition and retention.∗ There’s an overall understanding of the shrinking labor pool and the need to fight for the right talent. But let’s get back to the millennials because they are uniquely important to telecom. Winning the fight for them could mean winning the future, and the good news is it’s not all about money. Or maybe that’s the bad news, because it’s not that simple. Millennials, despite entering a very turbulent marketplace are unflinchingly optimistic about the future. They volunteer more and they want their job to fulfill them in ways beyond a paycheck. They like to collaborate and they like the opportunity to learn new things. So, if you’re competing for millennials, maybe it’s time to change your compensation strategy a little. You can’t just throw a bag of money at them, you have to offer paths for growth, an engaging culture, your managers have to be enablers not just holders of the keys. They have to mentor and bring out the right spirit in your workers, because your millennial workers already know how to get the knowledge and content they need. It’s no longer about access to information, it’s about wisdom and coaching. But this is all advanced, and the place to start is acknowledging that your company needs a compensation strategy.

∗According to Payscale’s 2015 Best Compensation Practices

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

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