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How Companies in NYC Can Craft an Appealing Compensation Strategy

The job market is flush with opportunities. Candidates are empowered to negotiate and seek compensation that not only acknowledges their skills, but also reflects the rising cost of living — especially in metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, Toronto, and New York.

Businesses, on the other hand, have to navigate a tricky equation: how to balance the fiscal realities of their budgets (in the same world of rising inflation) while still presenting attractive offers. Right now, we’re in a world of ‘compensation inflation.’ A recent article by Forbes, which cites a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, explains that “salary increases did indeed exceed inflation in 2023 and likely will do so even more in 2024.” 

So, as we head into the new year, the question stands: how can you attract and compensate the best sales employees aside from simply increasing their pay, and in a major hub like NYC? Here are four smart ways taken from the handbook of the largest sales recruitment firm in NYC

Incentivize Performance Through Bonuses

If you’re hiring salespeople, you can navigate a difficult economic outlook by offering bonuses for achieving sales goals or offering other forms of commission. In this way, your employees earn more when your organization does. Commission structures come in many forms — tiered, revenue-based, gross margin, residual, and beyond. High achievers can accept a lower base salary if they know that they can earn much, much more based on how much, and to whom, they sell.

Offer Better Health Benefits

With higher costs of living come higher expenses related to healthcare — for all forms of physical health, as well as care for mental health issues. An attractive and comprehensive benefits package, which may include a group plan and spending account (for expenses not covered by the plan), can be even more valuable to candidates than a slightly higher salary. This is especially true for those with dependents, like children, or those with ongoing health issues. 

Provide Alternative Forms of Compensation

Alternative forms of compensation (involving non-cash pay) for employees can take a few forms, including:

  • Retirement Plans. Offering retirement benefits will see you enjoy some tax-related bonuses. Consider tying the contribution plan to profit margins; doing so might have the knock-on effect of higher productivity among staff.
  • Equity Compensation. Public and private companies can invite employees to stay for longer periods and share in the fruits of your success through stock options, restricted stock, and performance shares. Start-ups can generate optimism, excitement and loyalty through generous equity offers.
  • Professional Development. Giving employees the option of enrolling in traditional credentials, like diplomas and degrees, or in shorter-term programs, like microcredentials, certificates and badges, demonstrates that your organization is interested in the career development of its personnel. The best PD programs offer full pay for tuition and time off for employees to pursue opportunities. 

Offer Further Flexibility

There’s no going back to the state of work, pre-pandemic. Employees and employers alike see that totally remote and hybrid arrangements are not only the norm, but they’re also expected by many job seekers. Many candidates will forego robust salary packages in exchange for the freedom to work from home. Supplying employees with tech and IT support can be costly, but it’s often far less costly than paying for a large office with all hands on deck in New York city.

No matter how you develop your strategy, take a transparent approach to discussing compensation. Your continued investment in the growth and wellbeing of your workforce can strengthen relationships across the board and differentiate your organization.

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. But organizations that master the art of compensating their employees fairly and creatively are the ones who will not only navigate through the current economic landscape, but emerge as leaders.

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