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Fine Tuning The Job Offer

When considering a new hire it is important to compare your company’s job offer with the candidate’s current compensation and benefits, plus the consideration of relocation expenses. If you are intending to attract currently employed management candidates with substantial years of successful laundry industry experience you need to minimize economic discrepancies.

Many hiring decision makers are inclined to keep the salary portion within the company’s budget commitments and to maintain consistency with company benefit policy guidelines. However, there are creative approaches to salary negotiation.  They include a salary review towards the end of the current fiscal year when a predetermined proposed salary increase can be an effective compromise.  Some organizations use the “sign-on” bonus to impact the earnings, while not disrupting peer management salary equities.

As an employer you must uncover the hidden financial details of the job offer by asking the correct questions and obtaining the necessary information.  As you prepare a job offer, ask the candidate to provide a copy of their most recent pay stub. If the candidate has already disclosed their current compensation, and are now reluctant to provide a pay stub, there could be a discrepancy.

Take a close look at the prospective employees current insurance benefit, especially in regards to the payroll deduction. If your company’s policy requires a 90-day waiting period then the new employee will have to pay COBRA for up to 3 months.  The job offer should include paying the difference between their current payroll deduction and the COBRA payment.

Vacation benefits tend to be a delicate issue.  You may be interviewing a plant manager or chief engineer eligible for a four week vacation after 10 years of employment with their current employer. However, your standard policy would start them off with two weeks the first year, progressing to three weeks after three years of service. Can you justify maintaining their benefits while keeping your current managers happy?

In this instance you may consider asking the candidate how many weeks vacation they took each of the last 3 years. If they took three or less then starting with less than four should not be a sticking point.  One option is to request they do not take vacation during their first 90 days, and allot two weeks for the remaining balance of the calendar year or 12 months of employment.  This will put two weeks into a maximum 9-month window, then you can allot three weeks for the second year.  Compare your personal day / sick day benefit to their current employer’s policy.

Relocation assistance for the out of town candidate brings another set of details which need to be discussed and carefully considered. An employed “trailing spouse” will probably lose some earnings in the transition, which impacts the family budget. One critical item often overlooked is a lump sum payment made to cover some or all of the relocation expenses.  Since there will be significant tax liability for the employee the budgeted amount should be “grossed up” by approximately 42 percent. Realize there is a lot of  “sweat equity” the new employee will invest in to complete the move.  Packing, unpacking, finding new medical providers, and setting up utility accounts are only a few of the items on the “punch list”.  If school age children are in the picture then there will be even more energy put into making the transition.  Consider giving the employee a day or two off the first month to complete all the extra details.

If the candidate lives locally then take the time during the interview process to compare their current commuting distance and time to the hypothetical distance and time with your company.  An extra 20 miles one way could translate to $1700 annually ($1300 net). In some metro areas tolls can factor into the commuting expense. 

As always, put yourself in your prospective employee’s shoes.  Take the high road and treat the candidate or new employee the way you would want to be treated.


Craig Lloyd represents LaundryCareers.com, a management search firm specializing in the industrial / institutional laundry industry.  He holds a degree in Industrial Relations from Rider University and has been a Certified Personnel Consultant since 1979.

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Got Bedbugs? Help Is Here

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ecolab Inc. and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) launched the www.bedbugtoolkit.com, a free online resource to help hotel owners and operators stop bed bugs before they spread. The kit features downloadable materials on how to train staff to detect bed bugs early and actions to take when they suspect a guest room is infested. The digital toolkit includes a fact sheet about how bed bugs spread, their life-cycle and where they like to hide; a poster on bed bug detection; an instructional video showing where to inspect for bed bugs and what signs to look for; and a convenient pocket card for housekeeping staff with directions on how to inspect a room and what to do if bed bugs are found.