Avoiding the Salary Pay Gap: How Employers Can Avoid the Trap
Since 1963 equal pay for men and women has been the law, and in order to comply, employers must ensure that women are offered the same salaries as their male counterparts. Equality in the workforce can be a hot button for management, but by following some basic guidelines, it doesn’t have to be a quagmire. Remember, the hiring process is a two-way street. Both your female employee and their employer want the best outcome for job results and happy employment. With solid expectations and mutual respect, it’s possible for both employer and employee to emerge satisfied with the job arrangements at hand.
Ensure that you have access to the best employees – If you took a quick survey of your current employees, chances are that a large percentage of them found their current position through word-of-mouth. Yes, your current employees are the best advertisers for high quality candidates. If you let your workforce know that you’re looking for someone to fill the position, they’ll get the word out more effectively than any job ad posted online. Networking is essential to finding your best employee, and there are many women’s groups who specialize in professional networking in a variety of industries. And if you’re confident that you’re hiring the best woman for the job, then you’ll feel more confident when it comes to talking compensation.
You need to impress them as much as they should impress you – Don’t scare off potential employees, male or female, with stringent resume guidelines or application warnings that they’ll be disregarded if they fail to provide an extensive CV. This won’t present your company in a positive light nor will it highlight your management style in a positive way.
Give them a tour of the job before you discuss salary – What often happens in salary talks is that the full details of the position aren’t explored. An employee will agree to the outline of a job and then find out later that there’s additional travel or longer hours than originally explained. Remember that women are often balancing family commitments in addition to their career, and it will serve you both to be transparent about the position you’re offering. This will also aid you in salary negotiation, because you will both know exactly what work responsibilities are required. You will both be empowered to deal with one another fairly and honestly.
Respect the Research – DON’T begin salary talks with a question about what they’re currently earning. There’s no rule that says they have to tell you the truth, and in the end, you’re the one offering the job. You should have done enough research to determine how much revenue your new employee will bring in and how much you will need to compensate them for it. There are a plethora of resources on the internet that can help you calculate salaries for almost every industry. This is also an excellent opportunity to review your current employees’ salaries. Are the men and women in similar positions earning the same salary? Do your research so that you can negotiate from a place of confidence.
The other side of this is that a good hire will have done their research too. How they approach their salary negotiation should tell you a lot about their personality. Do they feel defensive? Do they avoid the negotiation completely and take your first offer? Or do they counter your salary figure with their own number and explain why by illustrating the highlights of their education and work experience? Men are often more comfortable in this negotiation role than women, so keep this in mind when evaluating your hire. Don’t write off a reticent negotiator, and don’t take it as an opportunity to lowball her with a low salary amount. Remember, based upon similar education and work history, a woman should be earning the same pay rate as her male co-workers. It’s the law.
In today’s workforce, the hiring manager is trying to woo the best hire as much as that candidate is trying to impress the hiring manager. An important key to the success of this match is ensuring that the salary remains equal regardless of gender. Good hiring practices and equal pay will be the best ways to keep and attract new hires, and following these guidelines will help you stay on the right side of the law.
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