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Totally agree. Plus in my opinion it's not very "nice" to take advantage of someone that in normal times would be asking $75,000 or more. The fact he has been out of work for a year is no reason to take advantage of him. "Short term gain for long term pain."

Quite correct, Chuck. The ancient British phrase, "Penny wise and pound foolish," comes to mind.

True that. Hard talent is always worth the value. If you are looking around to save bucks, you can do it by adopting a hiring strategy that does that rather than hiring cheap talent and compromising on work quality. There are many sites like hourlyconsultant.com or fiverr.com where you can source candidates from several valid offers to get your job done. That way you would be spending only to the extent of what you need over a period of time.

I was in a "temp-to-hire" assignment for a managerial position. After proving myself for 9 weeks, Corporate flew me to their east coast headquarters, picked me up in a stretch limo at the airport, wined and dined me all day while I met with key executives in the department. They offered me the position and I accepted. Their parting words as I boarded the plane home, "We'll call you next week with a salary package." The agreed-upon salary was $55K annually. They were paying me $14.00 per hour as a "temp", nearly half of the market value for that position. They called 3 days later to rescind the offer. For whatever reason, they were going to keep looking. "Now, we know you can walk out, but would you do us the courtesy of staying until we find your replacement?", they asked. What was I supposed to say in response to that? I'd been laid off 2 years previous, working temp assignments when offered, but no employers were beating down my door, trying to hire me. I was devastated and wanted to "walk", but desperately needed the $14.00/hour wage, didn't have another temp assignment waiting in the wings, and didn't want to burn any bridges. I flatly said, "Of course I'll be here tomorrow, and the next day, and the following day, because where will I go? I have no place to go." All said and done, I was there for 4 months at $14.00/hour performing the exact job my replacement is now being paid the $55K salary promised to me. Employers know I've been job hunting for 2 years and assume I'm desperate and will settle for anything. But I still have some dignity left and know my position's market value. Don't try to short-change me. I am worthy of my hire.

Stories like yours, Laura, is why so many folks hate corporate America. Because experiences like yours are all too common. I shake my head at their short-sightedness, though. Not only because of the points made in my article, but because of the potential damage to their reputation. Word does get out. People will talk. I once worked (for a short time) for a company who reputation for employee treatment was so bad that local recruiting agencies wouldn't touch them. Wouldn't send candidates to interview. They had to go out of state to work with recruiters. Hang it there, Laura. Your day will come.

What many hiring managers have failed to understand is "buy cheap, buy twice". This is what happens when employers take advantage of the LTU (long termed unemployed), if they engage them at all.

I have seen the same job advertise over and over again. The position tasks and qualifications are not matching the pay rate. Employers are filing these position and then finding that the person moves on at the earliest convenience. It makes more sense to pay the LTU the fair value of the position. What the employer will get in return is an enthusiastic and grateful employee. A walking, talking advertisement for the company values.

Excellent article. I have said all of these things to hiring managers and to HR. You may not be paying for "saving money" now, but you will definitely pay for it later. Paying under market for the long-term unemployed is a losing proposition for all involved.

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