Must be the money? Whatever!!

August 15th, 2006

An article in my e-mail this morning immediately caught my eye, based on yesterday’s blog post.  It is from Utah Business, and based on a survey by Robert Half’s new company focused on financial recruiting.

The article title is “Must be the money… and job security“.  It showed a poll taken by over 1,000 CFOs asking them what they believe drives job seekers to make a decision. 

In short, here are the figures:

27% – Salary
24% – Stability of company
22% – work environment/corporate culture
17% – career advancement opportunities (down 4 points)
4%  – Equity incentives
3%  – Other
3%  – Don’t know

Hm – interesting.  Here’s my beef:

First, I’m dissappointed by the name of the title of the article, which obviously doesn’t take into consideration what a statistician would consider “significant.”  When reading just the title I’d guess that money and job security would both be significantly higher than anything else (like, 75%).  But I’d say that work environment is right there, and advancement opps is close enough.  Right on with what my post was talking about yesterday – or close enough for me anyway :)

Second, what kind of job offers are we talking about here?  You know how excited someone making $7/hour gets over a 10 cent raise – compare that with someone making $90,000/year!  A ten cent raise at that level is a slap in the face!  I’d like to know if these CFO’s appreciate the difference – I’m guessing they forgot long ago what a real raise is like. 

Third, um, they asked CFO’s.  Of course they are going to put $ first.  If they asked CIO’s, who work with IT folks, they may have ranked other stuff higher because salary is somewhat a given (that it will be “higher than average”) but lots of IT folks are very sensitive to company stability, types of projects, company culture, etc.  Ask big CEO’s and they would have ranked culture higher (because that is what the buzz has been in recent years in their cool business books).

Fourth, instead of asking a third party with an obvious bias their opinion, get better data and identifiy things like age level, profession, current job status (an unemployed guy will go for Salary pretty quick – just to get out of his situation!) and stuff like that.

Finally, I’m guessing that the reality is that Salary is higher than 27% – even though it shouldn’t be.  But I was definitely pleased to see the numbers stack up the way they did, even if I think they are all flawed :)


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