Several years ago, I worked for a healthcare specific search firm providing direct recruitment for a flat fee – retained search – ½ due at the onset, the other ½ upon completion. We specialized in those “hard to fill” manager and director level positions and occasionally engaged in executive level/C-Suite searches. I loved the work, we had a great team: a Managing Director, Director, three recruiters and two administrative assistants. We usually had six to ten open recruitments at any given time.

As we grew and the work became more intensive, one of our admin assistants was promoted to a recruiter position as she had expressed interest, as well as ability to step up and help out the firm in making placements. She was driven and wanted to learn more. I was able to take part in her training and was very happy with her progress; she was great. Because her promotion left a vacancy, we posted an advert to recruit for ourselves: an Admin Assistant. We loved recruiting for ourselves, it was quite novel, actually. The new position would work alongside a part-time administrative assistant that had worked for the organization for five years, she also knew and embraced the biz.

Several individuals were interviewed, but few passed the first round. There was one young woman we all thought was great. She had worked for her mom's staffing agency, and we thought it would be great to have someone with a little background in recruiting. She passed the first few months with flying colors until she felt her duties exceeded the limitations of her pay and she complained loudly about how much she was making. "$16 an hour isn't enough to put up with this crap."

What this assistant failed to realize was that the part-time assistant was only making $11 an a hour AFTER five years of faithful service. Additionally, the assistant that had been promoted to a recruiter was making just under $15 an hour. How do you combat this? How does one address the individual not being paid enough for the right amount of service? I was approached with questions of "how this could be" from both assistant and recruiter. Feelings were hurt...

I eventually had to go to the Managing Director to tell him of the false move, the move in which the new employee tried her darnedest to build herself up in the eyes of the other employees, not realizing her very words were self-damning. The new admin assistant was fired; there was no other choice. What she chose to share had been listed as confidential in her offer letter. She had been well-liked, she was a hard worker but carelessness and one false move had ruined her chances for a spot on the team.

Ideas on how to combat this ongoing issue?

© by rayannthorn

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This is a constant issue for me, if you figure it out let me know! I hate to put it on a generation, but the worker today doesn't appreciate the value of the dollar, all they want is more with the slightest bit of success. They are also quick to complain when the job actually becomes work!
I'm only 42, but, I was thinking the other day, when I started work @ 15, I got $3.15hr. 12 yrs later, I was management for Safeway, making decisions that affected the bottom line, yet, only making $15 hr. However, for me I was proud of how hard I worked to get there. Now, I have my own small business, I start my employees at $10 hr, they usually are at $15 within 2 yrs, but, I've never got anyone past that because they quit!?! I would have come short of killing someone for $15 yr when I was in my 20s, especially for the work we do (I'm a winemaker & run a winery).
Point is, I think we give too much to soon, let them struggle a bit & WORK their way up to appreciating what they get!
Rayanne- Ugh, been there, unfortunately. You are seeing a possible morale issue brewing. I am sure your team members wished they never new what she was making; because in this instance, "ignorance is bliss." My recommendation is to create guidelines around compensation with perceived fairness because inspite of our hopes that comp is confidential, word gets out. Create a program as if your compensation program was 100% transparent. Then stick to the plan. Tell your current team members that you have created a plan that will avoid this in the future. This should alleviate any fears of this happening again.

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