Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Posts Tagged ‘Salary’


Posted by sweens on January 28, 2010

I would like to take this blog today and turn it in to more of a question then a rant.  I am wondering if many companies or professional services firms take inequity (differences in pay) into consideration when they look at staffing their projects.  As it is likely in any environment, when multiple people get together they are bound to talk and will likely expose information on their current consulting rates or salary.  As I have blogged before, if these rates are not indicative of the skill set for each person, you can have a serious problem. 

Often when it comes to staffing a large project (large testing environment, call centre, etc) an organization will put out a requirement calling for multiple resources.  As will always be the case, all the resources chosen to staff this project will come in with a varied skill set.  If resources are placed by different firms the rates can vary as each firm can negotiate for a different margin.  But this difference in price can cause problems down the road of people find out the team members are not being paid the same.

This is the same for employees who have the same responsibilities or skill set.  I am a recruiter for example, but I am not the only recruiter.  If I make more then someone else who does relatively the same thing as I do we should be making the same salary?  I know that I would be upset if someone was making more then I was. 

This is not to say that everyone is equal, and to suggest such a thing is simply incorrect.  Every organization is going to have a mix of talent.  Perhaps my suggest is rather that any organization needs to be able to justify or demonstrate why they are paying one person more then the other one in case someone brings it up.

It always helps to have something down so you could explain if need be why you feel such a person is worth the higher price take.  After all, this is a headache no one wants to deal with…

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The Way I See It

Posted by sweens on March 19, 2009

As I am sure you are aware by now – I suffer from a small Starbucks coffee addiction. I have often thought about incorporating the Starbucks quotes I read on the back of my cup into my blog and today I figured I would as it has some relevance on a conversation I had today.

 BACKGROUND – Starbucks has a section on each cup titled “The Way I See It.” If you go to their website you will find a tab that explains the thought behind this. Starbucks tries to promote good and healthy discussions amongst its customers. As such, they put a quote on the back of every cup which represents a collection of thoughts, opinions and expressions provided by notable figures in an effort to promote these healthy and good discussions.

Back on track – I was having a conversation today with a friend about choosing between a job that pays more money but offers less career potential or a job that pays less but offers more of a career path. Which to choose? Based on that conversation, I only offer the idea that getting trapped into a job that you hate but is financially satisfying can be dangerous.

On that note, I leave you with my Starbucks quote from today:

“Failure’s hard, but success is far more dangerous. If you’re successful at the wrong thing, the mix of praise and money and opportunity can lock you in forever.”

Please visit the following URL for more information on “The Way I See It”.

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Compensation Packages: Let’s talk…

Posted by sweens on February 10, 2009

Further to my entry yesterday, candidates should be prepared to discuss with a recruiter what their ideal compensation package would be.  This means, aside from your base salary, what other compensation factors are you looking for:


         Benefits package

         RRSP Matching

         Stock Options

         Vacation Time

         Closed over Christmas


While many of these may seem trivial or miniscule for most people, these elements can make or break a successful offer from employer to employee.  These factors can also be used as a way to offset a bridge that can not be crossed when it comes to agreeing on a base salary.  What I mean by this is that if you get an offer of $5000 dollars less then what you were hoping for and the employer is unable or unwilling to give you that, you may consider asking for another week of vacation to offset that monetary difference. 


The ability to negotiate RRSP matching is likely non-existent – as it is generally a company policy – however the ability to negotiate the start of benefits, or your eligibility to acquire stock options are often based around the level of your position or seniority in the company and can be tweaked on an individual basis.  These small changes may sweeten an offer for you or allow you to accept a position that is going to pay you a lower base salary then you had hoped for. 


Most offers can work out to be beneficial for both sides; it is just a matter of finding the right combination that keeps everyone happy. 

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What’s my current market value….

Posted by sweens on January 21, 2009

Today’s blog entry is about the market value any position has in the IT market today and where that may or may not go.  With the recent layoffs by many Information Technology companies in Ottawa, the simple ‘supply and demand’ equation comes to the front to help us look at this issue.  Supply and demand states that in a competitive market, salary will function to equalize the quantity demanded by employers and the quantity of hires made by the market conditions.


So, with more and more people being let go as of late, we now enter a situation where the supply of candidates exceeds the demand employers have on the labour market.  Some people would have suggested prior to this economic downturn that current salary expectations were a bit higher then where they should have been and that new-grads were demanding too much coming out of school.  That situation was made possible by a lack of candidates to fill employers’ requirements – which allowed candidates to demand more from their new employers.



We are now entering a situation where there are too many candidates to fill a limited number of positions which MAY lead to people taking a salary cut in order to find employment.  This ultimately could lower the salary expectations once the Information Technology sector begins to grow again as people may begin to join companies at a lower salary range then they are currently in.




I think the suggestion I can make is that you should seriously consider what you are willing to accept in terms of compensation for any offer made from this point forward.  I say this for two main reasons.  The first, being that companies who are still going to hire people may be a little nervous about a big salary and would be more comfortable going with a moderate salary.  Secondly, with more people actively searching for a position at the moment, your competition for each position just got tougher, and if you won’t accept a position that pays lower then your last position did, someone else might.


And where would that leave you…

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