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"Competitive" merely means that you are competing. As you point out, Chuck, every employer competes for talent. That is a universal reality. Very few win each competitive contest, however. Those whose competitive practices are mere window dressing for empty promises tend to lose consistently because they fail to deliver marginally acceptable employee value propositions. Not every reward jingles, but hypocritical practices undercut the effectiveness of your payroll spend.

Good article Chuck - but you'll want to be mindful of broad-sweeping generalizations like, "no one quits for less money". I can recall an instance of someone close to me (actually, me) - who after the events of 9/11 drew on a handful of motivations (patriotism, call-to-service, etc.), and quit to join my current outfit - for less pay. Those same motivations propelled me back over the less-pay "tipping point" pretty quickly, but I assume I'm an isolated example (although I saw lots of others in those early years who had "drawn down" to join up).

I liked the angle of short-changing on 1-2 employee salaries as a cost-savings strategy can inadvertently draw you into a inescapable do-loop - of low-balling everyone in an attempt to maintain internal equity. Those attempts at cost-savings always result in them costing you more . . . in the end.

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