Aretha Franklin sang “Let’s go back, let’s go back, let’s go way on way back when.”  That song came to me when I was thinking about the fact that we have been in a recession now for more than 10 years. Remember the late 90’s when the money was flowing and the jobs were plentiful?  Things are starting to get better but I read something recently that predicted an end to the recession is still 5 years away.  Even when that happens you can best believe wages won’t be recovering.  Companies are not making the same offers that they once were.  Salaries may be competitive but they are what I call “recession competitive” which means, they are in align with what most companies are offering now, but below pre-recession days.  More with less, I get it, that’s the name of the game and we have to re-evaluate our spending, needs and desires.

Companies are getting more creative with their compensation packages, because applicants are savvier.  Wellness programs, fringe benefits, deferred compensation packages, going green initiatives, gas cards and discounts and even student loan repayment assistance are all sexy options that can lure talent to your organization.  Another huge benefit nowadays; workers want time away from the office, they are willing to make direct compensation sacrifices for more time off.  I tell my folks all the time, don’t be surprised by some of the salary offers you receive check out the other benefits before making your decision.  Recently I read a CEO of a small company, decided to go with the 4-day work week.  His reasoning is no one really works on Fridays anyway, so just drop it altogether and work 4 ten hour days.  Something to consider, it’s a fact Friday’s are usually casual and the least productive day of the week. And many folks believe with technology being so advanced that they can complete their work in less than 8 hours, so why stick around the office, playing solitaire and facebooking friends?

Applicants ask questions, get all the benefit information then decide.  HR Managers be competitive the workforce is changing; you can offer all types of things that can help you get your person without going broke.