Are employers trading more perks for reduced pay?


Here’s a conspiracy theory for you: employers from various industries around the GTA substituting job perks for reduced pay to boost their own bottom line. This is something I’ve seen in a few different situations from people close to me, and while there’s certainly not enough data or information to say it’s an actual trend, it’s worth speculation.

What I’ve noticed is a company will offer Google-like job perks such as ping pong tables, pool tables, lounges, occasional tickets to Leafs, Raptors, or Blue Jays games, and cool company outings as part of the employment package. However, with these work perks, the salary will be less than the industry standard.

You may see a relatively complex incentive program where hard-to-reach bonuses are offered, but the actual salary is lower.

Welcome to the family

Companies that provide these interesting perks promote a laidback work environment where everyone acts more like a family than co-workers. You’re welcomed into the family with open arms, and while you may not be overly enthused about the pay, they sell you on the perks and the experience.

How deep does it go? If you’re into sports, you may have heard how analytics and detailed stats are a big part of the puzzle. The movie Moneyball was based on the real-life general manager of the Oakland A’s and his use of deep analytics to build a winning team with a limited budget. Even the Leafs have hired an analytics guy as assistant GM for the 2014-15 season.

In a real world workplace, it probably wouldn’t take much to run some numbers and figure out if a few massage chairs and sporting events are worth slightly lower salaries over the long haul. And if the employees actually enjoy being at work, they’ll be more productive, too.

The choice is yours

In the end, an employer trading perks for pay isn’t good or bad. To be honest, having a ping pong table and tickets to fun Toronto events sounds great. Whether it sounds great enough to forfeit a little salary or other benefits is up to you.

Take the time to look over any offer you get from an employer and dissect the numbers before you accept it. If the perks and the money seem to strike a nice balance for you, then go and enjoy your new work family and your new job! If not, politely decline and keep looking until you find a combination that’s right for you.

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