I hate vacations | Right Recruiting
Hi, in this episode we are going to talk about vacations. Let me tell you something, I hate vacations. I don’t hate my vacations. I hate vacations because they are the biggest deal breaker and often get in the way between a candidate and an employer in a hiring situation.
Here is what happens. An employer wants to hire somebody, and for the person they want to hire, they will put together a good salary package and they are going to put together a good benefits package. The candidate is very interested in the job and at the last minute what occurs is the company’s standard vacation policy is 2 weeks. Then low and behold, we find this candidate who has been working in the industry for 10 to 15 years, has 4 weeks of vacation. There are companies and there are employers who have absolutely no flexibility on their benefit package.
We have been in situations like that and I know most recruiters have been in situations like that. So, you have to go to the candidate and see if they want to give something up to get this job. And most of them, unsurprisingly, are very reluctant to do that.
I think that is an enormous mistake that employers make. They do not recognize a few things.
The first things is that, in a full employment economy like we have now, everyone that you interview is employed, and probably has more than 2 weeks’ vacation, sometimes more than 3 weeks’ vacation. Because maybe they have been working for the same company for 10 years.
You want to hire them because they have job stability, they are not job hoppers, and that’s why you want them. But for some unknown reason you expect them to take a cut in vacation to go to work for you. Well why would they do that? Why would you do that? Some people will, maybe because the job is so enticing or because the salary is so good. But a lot of people won’t. Which means that you’ve got to reevaluate your vacation policy to get good people.
There is a reason you should be more generous for vacation. And here is what it is. Every study I have ever read has told me that most people don’t use all of their vacation. So, the thing the person is asking for is something they are not going to use all of anyway. That is a demonstrable fact. Most people will not, and even when they do, most of them stay in contact with work anyway. Why? Because they don’t want to walk back into a mess.
So, it’s a cheap thing to give, but for some reason companies are reluctant to give it. The reasons that we hear are “well because we have always done it like that.” Well, I think we all know that is probably the worst reason not to do something. Because if that was a valid reason to do something, we would all be sitting around a fire cooking our meat rather than living in an industrial and information intense society.
The other reason companies give is “well, vacation is public and people see how many weeks other people get. We have said no to other people before.” That’s too bad. It’s a different world. If you said no to somebody 10 years ago, and you’re doing it now, I guarantee there are other things that you have said no to 10 years ago that you are doing now. Work from home, flex hours, you’ve got different benefit plans, people make different salaries.
So, I think as an employer in this market right now, you need to be conscious of how restrictive your new hire vacation policy is. I’m going to make you a suggestion. When you spec out a job, I know what you do, you say, “I need somebody with 10 to 15 years’ experience.” Then you say to yourself, “ok what kind of salary does somebody at that experience level make?” You come up with a salary range. Its HR 101. Well why don’t you take that a step further and say, “what kind of vacation policy does somebody with 10 to 15 years have?” and make that part of the compensation program? So that if your study says that these people somebody with this policy gets 3 weeks’ vacation, then you give them 3 weeks’ vacation.
I don’t think there is anything inconsistent with that. If it ruffles some feathers, it ruffles some feathers. People get over it. I think it is incumbent upon employers to understand that vacation is important to people because it’s quantifiable. It’s not like the benefits plans, which are murky. They know their salary and they know how many weeks of vacation they are going to get.
Because it’s quantifiable it is something that is easily evaluated. “I’m going to get 4 weeks of vacation here, and I’m going to get 2 weeks of vacation here.” That is why it is important to them. It’s understandable. But it’s also usually something they are not going to use anyway. So, give it to them. It’s easier than giving them another 10 grand. I guarantee you they will probably appreciate it more.
That’s a perspective that I wish more companies would have. I think you’re going to have to have that at some point in the future. Hopefully we have given a potential answer for that. So please, don’t look at this as a dogma, and is something “well I’ve always done and I’m going to do it.” Look at it as, it’ s a new world. What can we do to make our vacation policy better and what can we do to make our vacation policy help us get better people?
Hopefully that has been of help and of course you if you have any questions or any comments, you know where we are, Right Recruiting in Blue Bell, PA.
Music by Ema Grace | “Check Them In” http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Ema_Grace/~/Check_Them_In
Creative Commons Attribution License — Changed only to shorten for need.