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HR TROLLS: Thinking Unemployment on Steroids Means You Have a Compensation Problem...

Short post today, but an important one. I belong to multiple online groups covering HR on a variety of platforms - you know the type - people can post questions on problems they're having in their HR shops and get help, advice and recommendations from their peers.

On one of the big forums on Facebook, a HR Director posted about problems she was having recruiting for the Distribution Center she supported, and reported that she believed that part of the issue was Trollthat many candidates who would normally be under consideration were recipients of the $600 weekly employment benefit that's part of the COVID stimulus program. The theory, which many of you know, goes like this - once a potential candidate adds up the state and federal unemployment and is earning the equivalent of 40-55K annualized (depends on your state benefit level), it's hard to get them to come back to a $15-20 an hour job.

That's more than a theory, that's likely reality in many cases.

So our friendly HR Director asks for guidance, and I'd say 20% of the responses went something like this:

"You should look in the mirror and pay a living wage."

There were different versions of that, but they all shared a common belief. The problem wasn't the incentive, it was the company.

What planet did I wake up on as I navigate the 5th month of the COVID experience? Mind you, this wasn't a random message board, it was a members only HR forum. You know, HR people. 

It's a tone deaf, light form of shaming that we've become all too used to in the cancel culture we live in.  How dare you not pay your employees enough to incent them to come back from a historically rich form of government benefit designed to keep the economy going in a pandemic?

Man, those shaming style commenters in a HR forum. Talk about not understanding the business as a limiting factor to HR success.

I'm still a fan of what the US government did. They moved fast, and while it wasn't perfect, the stimulus did what it was supposed to do.

But artificially propped up comp can't last forever, and while I write this it's unclear what type of Federal unemployment benefit will emerge in August after the $600 benefit expires at the end of July. It's likely to be significantly less. There's likely to be pain as a result of the benefit being reduced, and I don't take that lightly.

HR trolls suck. The world has enough trolls - our profession doesn't need our own version.

 

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