Pragmatic Solutions to Achieve Pay Equity
Although we do not think of ourselves as customers of our employers and their jobs, we are. Government agencies, companies, and non-profit organizations create jobs and end jobs. We do not control those factors yet when it comes to filling a job the burden suddenly lies on us, the individual candidates, to create individual “pricing” for ourselves while it is actually the job that has market value. Typically the first salary offer is based on our previous pay and how we responded to the “desired salary” question. That’s individual pricing.
I know, it’s a different way to look at the hiring process but let’s face it candidates are not in control. Employers are in control. They decide when to create new job openings and when to shrink the number of jobs. The government covets these jobs. Local, state, and federal government offer great incentives to employers to ensure a presence in their neighborhood and to hire their citizens. These incentives are in tax breaks. They are offered because getting more citizens hired will create even more money through income tax, sales tax (when we are employed we buy more), and through property tax (when we are employed well we buy homes). All are the fuel that keeps government agencies running. Also, the more employed, the less government services we use which saves the government even more money.
So it is not little ol’ you and me who are selling to employers the need for a new employee. It is the employers selling their job openings to little ol’ you and me. With the hangover from the recent recession it is easy to forget that employers need to sell themselves to good candidates. And of course, you are a great candidate and an even better consumer.
Women are amazing customers. We make more than 80% of all purchasing decisions. 80%! And we are educated about these decisions. 83% of consumers research online before making an electronics purchasing decision. On average all customers visit three websites before buying. We probably should spend the same effort into understanding the price (salary and benefits) a job should have as we do comparing the price of gas, a cell phone, a car, or a house. Understanding this can mean an increase of 10% or greater in pay resulting in thousands of dollars per year to you plus the increase in 401K contributions potential, social security contributions, and everything else that are based on your pay.
You already know how to compare pricing and you are damn good at it. There are online sites, mobile apps, professional and trade associations, and headhunters to help understand the price (salary and benefits) of your job. Now it’s time to start researching job pay just like the price of any purchase.