Why Paying Above The Minimum Wage?

A sad story about a woman who died from sleeping in her car while waiting for her next shift at a Dunkin’ Donuts. Carelessness aside, her struggle to make a living wage was real. Because many store owners don’t want to pay full-time benefits, many employees in the service sector have to work short shifts and fluctuating hours.

I started working since age 17. In my young adult life, I had worked as a server, cashier, greeter, sales rep, and various customer service roles. At certain points of my school life, I had to juggle two jobs (or one job and an unpaid internship) with my full-time coursework. Fortunately, I completed my degrees and was able to end the cycle of working many part-time jobs.

Not everyone has the opportunity that I had to obtain higher education and a white collar job. Indeed, new jobs are slowly coming back after the recession. However, the majority of job growth is in the lower-paying positions. The trend of short-term employment reinforces the ‘disposable employee model‘ where many workers faceincome uncertainty and zero job security.

Why should employers pay above the minimum wage?

  1. To stay innovated. Find a way to distinguish your goods and services in the competitive market while treating your workers with respect.

    It’s so easy to cut payroll without thinking about the real problem with the business. Investing more in the employees forces the employers to not just act like everyone else. Many successful companies adapted this model to do something different and amazing.

  2. To make customers happy. Enough said.

    Pay and train workers right to ensure the quality of customer service. I do most of my shopping online now to avoid poor customer service at the stores. Why complain when you know the store manager has no control over the environment where the workers barely make ends meet and receive minimal training?

  3. To improve productivity. People simply care more when their hard work is recognized and rewarded.

    Have you ever worked with someone so great that you can trust him/her with your whole department while you’re on vacation? That’s the essence of the Container Store’s hiring philosophy: “1 Great Person= 3 Good People”. Hire someone great, not just another warm body that is disposable. And yes, it is as horrible as it sounds.

  4. To keep the best workers. They are your brand representatives and ambassadors. They remember your customers by name.

    Employee turnover is very costly, especially when replacing the high performers. See how the coffee-house giant Starbucks is vamping its compensation structure and work policy to avoid losing the best employees.

Do you agree it’s time to give America a raise? If so, sign theĀ petition!

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Why Paying Above The Minimum Wage?

Idiot’s Guide To LinkedIn

If you’re one of the general users (not in recruiting or sales) who only spend five minutes per week on LinkedIn, you probably get frustrated or lost on the site one of these days. You’re not alone. As a recruiter, I see a lot of mistakes people make when it comes to using LinkedIn. Since there are tons of articles on how to improve your profile, I won’t bore you with another list of recommendations.

Today, I’m here to guide you through the most important things you need to know as a general user to:

  • Avoid embarrassing yourself or confusing others via LinkedIn
  • Protect your privacy and control visibility of your LinkedIn activities
  • Promote your personal brand by acting ethically and professionally on LinkedIn

Where is the link to my public profile?

Yes, I think you need to know your LinkedIn public profile URL, especially as a job

seeker. You’ll be surprised how many times people submit the generic home page link as

their profile link along with their job applications (see picture).

Why am I connected to someone automatically after I looked him/her up?

Yes, you may have accidentally sent an invitation to your ex. This is a careless user interface problem. LinkedIn’s design is optimized for call-to-action. When you look someone up on LinkedIn, click on his/he name to view the profile instead of clicking on the bright blue button ‘Connect’. I know it’s very tempting to click on the big bright blue button.

See picture below for a search example on Jason Fried, one of my favorite authors.

I’m looking for a job. How do I make sure (1) recruiters and employers can find me easily (2) my current employer won’t know that I’m leaving?

1.1 Be very active on LinkedIn; complete your profile and include your contact info.

Log in, edit your profile, add more connections, post daily updates, and join group discussions. Your profile will show up as one of the top results or will be sent to a recruiter/sourcer’s inbox directly.

1.2 Insert keywords such as ‘looking for’, ‘open to’, ‘willing’, ‘available’, ‘immediately’, ‘relocate’, or ‘relocation’ somewhere in your profile.

A good recruiter/sourcer use keywords to find both active and passive candidates who may be open to new opportunities. Insert those keywords discreetly if you want to keep your job search private.

1.3 Keep your privacy and communication settings open.

LinkedIn has a preference menu for what type of messages you’re willing to receive from other LinkedIn users. Make sure your setting says that you’re open to messages that pertain to ‘Career Opportunities’.

1.4 Find the recruiter/hiring manager- view and/or connect with them.

If you don’t feel like it’s appropriate to send an invitation, simply view their profiles. People are curious by nature. Most people want to know who viewed their profiles.

1.5 Follow the target companies or join their groups.

It’s easier for corporate recruiters to find you if you are already their follower or a group member.

2.0 Look for a job privately without getting yourself in trouble.


I’m sick of getting messages from tireless recruiters/ salespeople. How can I stop them?

Don’t share your contact information openly.

Yes, they would still find some other way to reach you but you can make it harder for them to spam you. After all, it is a social networking site. If you don’t want people contacting you, don’t share your contact information.

Change your communications setting.

Select what type of LinkedIn messages you’ll receive.

State your interest- be specific.

It’s disturbing that not every recruiter or salesperson will read your profile before they contact you. That being said, you can emphasize your primary interest and preference in your summary to dissuade those who actually read your profile from spamming you.

Simply tell them to stop.

Some spams allow you to unsubscribe easily. If that’s not the case, tell them you don’t want to receive any more communication in any form.

Someone connected with me because she was interested in working for my company. I don’t think my company plans to hire her but she certainly fits one of our buyer personas. Can I add her email to our marketing list?

No. First, you’ll need her formal consent to become a subscriber. Second, you’re a jerk for asking her to buy your product after excluding her as a candidate for your open position. Third, you can’t abuse the relationship just because you’re her LinkedIn connection. You’ll probably ruin the relationship.

I reached out to someone for an advice/consulting gig/recommendation/introduction. He responded to my request. What do I do next?

Thank him for his response even if you don’t find the piece of information helpful or there’s no direct positive results from his response. If you care about building meaningful, lasting professional relationships, be appreciative when people respond to your inquiries.

Wow, Jane Doe from XYZ company is looking hot. Can I message her to comment on her beauty and ask her out?

No. You’re being creepy. Save your online dating activities for other appropriate platforms.

Idiot’s Guide To LinkedIn