February 1, 2022

Something New On Tuesdays With A Pair Of Pauls

By Paul Bieber

Hello to our friends and readers from Paul Daniels and Paul Bieber. We are going to treat you to a new concept for USGlass blogs. Paul Daniels and I will discuss one topic from two different points of view. Neither one of us is correct or wrong; we are discussing with differing thoughts. Mr. Daniels’ blog will be next Tuesday. Let us know which one of us you agree with.

This week’s question is: “What do you do when you have to increase your pay rates to attract new employees to your current workforce? Raise your current workforce payroll also? How much? Match the new rates or go higher?”

I strongly believe that you do have to raise your current workforce’s payroll. Wage information always leaks out, always. It only takes a day or two for your whole company to know that you hired a new person or people at a higher base wage than your current people are earning. Talk about a first-class, no-questions-asked way to kill morale in your company; this is it.

It won’t matter that the new people might have better skills or more experience. That won’t fly with your current folks. If you have three installers and bring in a fourth to round out a crew, they should all be paid roughly the same. Someone with more experience, or a foreperson making a higher wage will be proper. But you are not going to get someone to leave their current job for a fifty-cent increase. You have to spend big to bring in fresh talent in today’s workplace. If you don’t raise your current team, you are giving them the green light to go out and see what the competitors will pay to lure them to their shops. Benefits are a big part of the equation. You may have a stronger insurance plan, but your everyday workers will still compare base wages.

Do you want to lose your employees to a higher-wage-paying competitor? You certainly will if you do not pay what the new folks are earning. This is true whether you are talking about field installers, shop people or your sales and admin team in the office.

Yes, your overall costs will go up. You can’t get around this. With supply shortages and labor shortages, you are going to raise your selling prices on new work. Accept it. Your competitors are raising theirs. Don’t believe the customer that calls and says they can get it, whatever it is, down the street for less. That low-balling competitor won’t be in business much longer if they can.

You are going to be paying more for your labor. Accept it, whether it is your current in-house team or with some new folks weaving into your company.

Today’s afterword: “An investment in knowledge pays the best dividend.” – Benjamin Franklin