Can You Find A 10-Year Employee Anymore?
One question that I have is whether it’s possible for companies to hold onto long term employees anymore. A couple decades ago a common sentiment of college students was to graduate and find their forever employment home. Companies like IBM, TRW, Honeywell, AMEX and more would hire you and you can make a career there. Simple, right? Not anymore.
If you conduct a casual search on LinkedIn, pick any company with more than 500 employees, you’ll surely find that most candidates in your results have job stints on their profile each of less than five years at a time. An argument could be said that the people with the longest duration of employment aren’t on LinkedIn, but a counter argument would argue that those people are cemented to their roles and probably don’t have a smart phone either.
In any case, the question I’d like to raise is why can’t companies retain employees so they stay ten plus years? Here is what I came up with as reasons:
REASON #1: TECHNOLOGY CHANGED EVERYTHING
Remember when nobody knew your salary or pay rate? Now, you can quickly go to Glassdoor or Salary dot com or Google search salaries to find out if you’re earning a fair wage. Websites at the tip of our fingertips allow us to find out what we can and should earn, along with companies that are looking for candidates. The market has become faster and more open.
Websites such as LinkedIn and social networking have encouraged sharing of skills easier than ever before. Of course, Monster and Careerbuilder were game changers, but it’s been taken to the next level in today’s day and age, and the barrier for finding a qualified candidate has all but disappeared. Candidates can find companies, companies can find candidates, and recruiters can find both.
REASON #2: PAY RAISES
The once a year pay raise has existed well before I entered the workforce and they continue to be one of the most important ways for companies to increase an employee’s salary. However, most times these raises are merely based on a percentage that seems to be standard across industries as opposed to the employee’s actual value to the company.
- For instance, a really strong raise could be a 10% bump in base salary. Over the course of two years of employment, a strong employee might go from earning $55,000 per year to $66,550. However, the market rate for that same employee could easily be $85,000 depending on the market and area of expertise. Imagine if the company hired the employee on at $50,000 and gave minimal salary increases at review time. That employee’s market value would trump their current pay rate and could be the single reason why they are entertaining job offers.
These scenarios often times occur in technology niche areas such as Salesforce. It only take 2-3 years for an employee to go from beginner to expert in that field and the salaries need to move briskly in order to keep those candidates at bay. If a company truly endeavors for ten year employees, they should reference the market rates/salaries/benefits for each of their employees before defaulting to the standard yearly raise.
REASON #3: RECRUITERS (thanks LinkedIn!)
There always has been recruiters finding candidates for companies. Today, with the help of technology, there are more recruiters than ever before. Recruiters are now appendages of company HR teams and even act entirely on their behalf. It’s not fast enough to post jobs on sites and wait for candidates to flood in. Candidates need to be approached and information shared that could grab their attention and ensure a proper fit. Recruiters talk to candidates all day and are able to report their findings to the hiring managers which allows them to know the current salaries and constraints for particular skillsets. If a candidate is underpaid or undervalued, they will know and that will open the door for them to look elsewhere.
Seeking out candidates for long term employment is ideal, but companies have to be proactive in their current retention practices. It’s not good enough to arbitrarily give yearly raises anymore, because the moment someone is underpaid another company could swoop in and extend a (better than) market rate offer before a company even has a chance to blink.
The Marks Group is a technical recruiter that is hired by businesses to deliver precise technology candidates. We are a recruiting leader in Salesforce. We deliver exceptional candidates in software such as Salesforce, Marketo, Adobe Marketing Cloud, HubSpot, Pardot, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Microsoft and more.