Career Changers

Open Forum for Job-Seekers

February 17th, 2010

Yesterday's post on employers asking candidates about their salary histories got some interesting responses from a job hunter and two staffing firm owners (click on Comments to read them). But it raises another question: are employers using the weak job market to intentionally low-ball salaries when hiring new workers?

Signe Godfrey, president of Olsten Staffing, says business owners have to be more frugal and cautious in what they're paying new hires. I get that. However, I also understand why an employee would jump ship if they got a higher-paying offer for the same type of job -- especially if the current employer won't ante up to retain good workers. Then it becomes a lose-lose situation for the agency that placed the job candidate, the company that hired the person, and the employee who gets a bad rep for job-hopping.

Anyhow, that thread was sparked by a reader who sent me a personal email suggesting the salary topic. I love getting emails, but please feel free to post your own ideas for this blog in the Comments section!

Just be aware it may take awhile before it appears because of the comments moderation system the Advertiser has in place. If I'm in meetings or writing, it could take an hour or two for me to approve comments. I will read them all though, and try to bring in experts to answer questions related to job searches, career education options, and starting up your own business.

So what would you like to know more about? Before your ask, you might find some answers on our website:

4 Responses to “Open Forum for Job-Seekers”

  1. Rich Figel:

    This comment came from Michael, which I moved from the prior thread since he's talking about a different topic -- unions:

    Michael: A job is a job. One should work hard no matter what the pay. Just because one is in a union does not mean they are to be paid each year an increase. I hate slackers and many are in unions. they get paid extra each year because they are members but not hard workers. Being in the union means a pay raise whether one is a hard worker or slacker. Frustrating for those who work hard while the other slacks.


    Not sure which union Michael is talking about, or if by slackers he's referring to younger workers or just plain lazy employees. I think you can't blame laziness on the union itself... but does he have a point about union workers not having to work as hard as non-union employees to get pay raises?

  2. Rich Figel:

    Got another email from Michael, which I'd like to share excerpts from. Some of the things he says are troubling if true, about employers asking about his marital status and if he's gay... isn't that illegal? Any labor lawyers out there?

    From Michael:

    The laziness is in each individual, young or not... Unions don't contribute to health insurance or unemployment benefits. One just pays union dues to get nothing in return.

    Delta Airlines is non-union and yet doing well. With the merger of Northwest Airlines, a union-run company, how are their workers feeling about going non-union? Afraid of not getting a fair share?

    ... I have also been asked in job interviews if I am married, or why I am single. I was even asked if I am gay, which I am not. I just like being single. Questions don't bother me. I am sure the business has a reason to ask. I just answer as honestly as I can.

    I am in my 50s, and a job is a job. It is hard to find work since companies want younger workers and less worry about a worker's retirement. Health insurance and retirement are big issues. People want jobs with both. The younger generation is computer smart, but they don't want to work hard or sweat for their money. I don't mind both.

    Sorry for such a long rant... I was brought up "old school." Work is Work. When I work, I can pay taxes. When I work, I have a right to play. Not play before work or texting while at work.


  3. cheecethy:

    How can I make mycandidacy stand out in the crowd and land a job interview when so many competent people are unemployed and applying for the same positions I am applying for? I feel like employers don't even have time to review all of the applications they must be getting for their openings…any advice?

  4. Rich Figel:

    Can you tell me more about what type of job you're looking for, and what qualifications you have? Have you been looking long? If you give me more details, I can put the question to some job placement experts who might have suggestions... In fact, my first suggestion would be to talk to some staffing firms and get feedback on your resume if you haven't already.