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“It would make sense to most candidates that today’s rising prices also mean rising salaries. That’s just not the case,” Mariah Beahen shares. She kicks off compensation myth-busting with one key theme: clarity.
“Really understanding compensation: knowing everything from the real details of a package to the cost of living in the area, that’s the best way to ensure fairness. Candidates are demanding more transparency and more information during the hiring process now, and it’s important for both sides to be aware of it. It’s key for companies to disclose as much as possible, and candidates need to be persistent and do their research.”
Mariah walked us through the landscape of modern compensation myths and facts, and shared her tips on how to navigate today’s tumultuous economic times.
The impact of inflation and fair compensation
“The most important thing to remember is that despite rising costs, many companies are not raising their compensation budgets,” Mariah points out. “Even though these companies are raising their prices, other operational costs are absorbing a lot of the increases. Low and middle wage workers carry the biggest burden right now.”
But that’s not the only option. “Some companies are doubling down and compensating their people,” she adds. “They’re investing in their talent. That can do a lot to keep the best teams together, and maintain strong company ties. Even at the risk of cutting into profit margins, they’re positioning themselves to reap big benefits.”
She also notes that companies may have more constraints now for new hires. “Do your research. Understand the location, and remember that the cost of living and the lifestyle really varies from place to place. Start with learning what the average salary is for that particular area, and then consider what’s possible from the company’s side given that information,” she suggests. “For example, if there’s a salary cap, you may be able to negotiate other benefits or priorities. These are changes in hiring culture from the pandemic, but these conversations have become seamless with the new normal. There’s more than one way to define compensation that’s ‘fair.’”
Identifying a good offer
Mariah is quick to debunk the idea that the best offers have the highest salaries: she emphasizes that it’s all about balance.
“Beyond pay and compensation, the biggest thing candidates seek today is flexibility. Even with remote roles, flexibility with time can really make an offer stand out. For example, people want to go pick up their kids, and finish their work later,” she explains. “Family has taken a new kind of priority post pandemic.”
She also makes it clear that a supportive culture resonates deeply with today’s job seekers.
“The pandemic showed people what it was like to live a life with more flexibility, and they liked it. They liked being trusted to do their jobs – a culture of trust vs. micromanagement is huge. Workplace support is essential for today’s workers,” she adds. “After that, it’s all about support for personal development. Can you develop your skills and further your career with this opportunity? That’s a big deal. Work life balance, overall, is a huge deal.”
Navigating the economy and transparency in recruitment
Mariah advises starting any search with as much information as possible, no matter the economic climate.
“When you’re evaluating compensation, focus on what’s average in the market. What do competitors offer for similar roles? More and more companies are fully disclosing salary ranges, and you’ll likely see a lot more companies jumping on board with full transparency for certain roles,” she says. “People are demanding more information, more clarity, than ever, and companies are complying.”
She points out that transparency is important to both sides, not just for candidates, and highlights Microsoft among the major employers who’ve embraced the practice. “Canada is moving toward nationwide transparency,” she adds. “It’s coming in the future.”
At the end of the day, Mariah encourages looking ahead – and always keeping an open mind. “These are tumultuous times. For example, there have been tons of layoffs in tech, but a lot of these roles are still extremely attractive and carry good offers. Be prepared for the unexpected. Keep your eyes open: don’t close doors and never stop networking. It’s always good to give or get a leg up!”
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Recruiting Myths: Mariah Beahen on Compensation
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