The internet is an interesting place to be in. Recently, a story of a young woman, Taylor Byrnes from Canada went viral. She had asked her potential employer, a Canadian food delivery company SkipTheDishes, about what her salary would be should she be selected to fill the role, but contrary to what she expected to hear, the recruiter cancelled her interview. The recruiter said, “As a start-up company, we seek out those who go out of their way to seek out challenges and new opportunities. We believe in hard work and perseverance in pursuit of company goals as opposed to focusing on compensation. Your questions reveal that your priorities are not in sync with those of SkipTheDishes...”
Whether it was too early for her to ask about compensation is still debatable, but don’t job seekers want to know what is it that they are likely to earn? And, why not?
Salary is an important consideration for job seekers around the world as well as employers, who may not wish to forego talent to their competitors. They have to make sure that they are giving competitive wages, but not at the risk of overpaying the new recruits.
This brings us to a couple of interesting finding of a Global Cost of Talent 2016 survey that was conducted by Universum.
Who participated in the survey
The Global Cost of Talent 2016 is based on the feedback of 580,397 business and engineering students from 57 countries. The question they were asked and as is stated in Universum’s website was: What salary do you expect to earn in your first job after graduation? (Please provide a before-tax salary, excluding commissions and bonuses).
Most expensive to hire
Swiss business and engineering students bagged the number 1 spot with an average salary expectation of $79,000 per year. They were followed by the Danish, who expect their salaries to be between $58,000 and $61,000 and the Americans who would like theirs to be between $52,000 and $63,000. Compared to the expectations of their Swiss peers, the survey findings seem to hint on the fact that some job seekers have modest expectations in context to the markets they are going to enter. For instance, business and engineering graduation students in Egypt, Romania and Vietnam expect anywhere between $6,000 and $8,000 per year which is a low assessment as compared to the cost of living in the respective countries. This brings us to mentioning engineering students in Panama and Chile who expect to be compensated higher than the actual cost of living.
Interestingly, there was a survey conducted by The Business Insider back in 2014 where it was found that of ‘pay’, ‘meaningful work’ and ‘positive relationships with co-workers’, the 69% millennials chose ‘pay’ as the most important for them in a job. An obvious conclusion that can be drawn is that as compared to boomers, millennials do want better-paying jobs. The time has most definitely changed. Now, the question is how willing are employers to actually pay? Should they practice discretion or pay just so they get the best onboard?
Gender inequality in pay
Across every industry, time and again, this debate of gender inequality in pay has been raised, whether it is sports, entertainment or academics. In India, as well, the situation is no different. According to a report submitted by the World Economic Forum, in the corporate sector in India women are paid one-third of what a man in the same position is paid. Coming back to the results of the Universum survey, it was found that men in both fields of study expected to earn more than their female counterparts. Male business and engineering students in the U.S. expect to make $54,000 and $61,000 respectively, while female business and engineering students in the U.S. expect to make $49,000 and $59,000 respectively. Surprisingly, women from Kenya, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates women expected to earn more than men.
So, it is certainly clear that if companies want to not just attract, but also retain young, talented workforce, they better stay ahead and keep compensation expectations in mind.