5 Reasons You Can’t Afford to Pay Minimum Wage

non smiling warehouse worker with arms crossed

Would you work for minimum wage? What about accepting a job that pays lower than the company down the road for the same role? We think you can see where this is going.

In today’s job market, there isn’t any room for employers that don’t offer competitive wages or only offer minimum wage, even for entry-level and temporary workers.

As a temp staffing agency, we have taken a strong stance on only working with companies in the Pacific Northwest that offer competitive wages. While we want business from all clients, we simply must refuse taking orders to fill minimum wage positions when we have comparable openings that pay more. Here are the reasons why.

The workforce is currently controlled by talent, not businesses.

This means there are more employed people than ever in recent years, and the pools of talent to choose from are incredibly shallow. Sometimes you can find rare gems, but for the most part there is a reason people are still in these available pools. This is where the age-old adage “You get what you pay for” certainly rings true.

Because highly-skilled and reliable talent is already employed, you need to entice them.

What will make them leave their current jobs? Higher wages, a majority of the time.

Wages are the first thing a person will notice. They might not initially consider other benefits as part of the total compensation package. But when they do, candidates look for better sick leave, PTO, 401K options, parental leave, child care expense reimbursement, and health and wellness perks. They also look for performance bonuses, growth opportunities, and a good culture where they feel valued and respected.

Your competitors are already offering more than you.

If you look at Selectemp’s job board, you will see identical open positions with higher wages and/or better benefits. Why would a candidate apply to your $13.50/hour job over a competitor’s $17+/hour job when looking at them side by side? They wouldn’t.

Some states mandate laws to encourage higher-paying jobs.

In fact, here in Oregon, the state allows workers to turn down jobs that are not considered “suitable employment”. Simply put, it means that if someone has always made $18+/hour and you offer them work paying anything less than market value, they can reasonably turn the offer down and remain on unemployment.

And it can’t be blamed on laziness, as many tend to do. Inflation, childcare, gas, rent, and health insurance costs (if they can afford it) is stretching everyone thin. When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, cost-cutting decisions must be made. Working parents often have to consider whether the cost of childcare is worth it, especially if the majority of their paycheck goes toward it.

Simply put — all employees need a livable wage.

You want them to work for you, and stay with you.

When you make the investment in hiring an employee, you don’t want them to bounce to another company as soon as they see a better opportunity (just 50¢ more will often make hourly laborers bounce). You not only need to entice them from the start with wages, but you need to think about the other benefits that will keep them with your company for years to come.

Fuel Your Company’s Success

There are so many factors to consider when positioning your company as an employer of choice. To stay competitive and to attract the best candidates, you must offer higher wages and benefit packages.

Finding reliable and qualified talent can be intimidating, costly, and time-consuming. Leaning on the expertise of a leading temp agency can ensure the right candidate fit upfront, saving you time and money. Learn more about Selectemp’s staffing services here.

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