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Navigating Pay Strategy in Volatile Markets

Team Compa
August 8, 2022
5 min.

The US economy is confusing everybody… 

The long-term impact of COVID stimulus, inflation, rising interest rates, and supply chain volatility are impacting global markets like never before. And it’s trickling down to everything around us. 

Bottom line: the old economy is dying, and a new one is struggling to be born. 

So… what do we do?

What does this mean for Talent & Comp leaders?

Given the current economic confusion, compensation teams are having difficulty crafting competitive offers. 

This makes sense for several reasons:

And interestingly enough, hiring remains strong as the Fed tries to cool the economy.

These are very difficult waters to navigate, but companies rescinding offers are not to blame. Revoking offers is a challenging solution to an even more challenging problem. This economy is unprecedented… And while better data and better processes won’t wipe out the current situation, they can lead to less suffering on all sides.

In times of market volatility, it’s important to look outside the box to find solutions that work well for your team as well as the candidate.

Find inspiration in tougher geographies

Like most of the world, Argentina and Egypt have experienced hyperinflation in recent months and years. And since looking outside of your own market can inspire new ideas for pay strategies that align with your talent pool, these countries in particular can be used as a comparison tool in building a comp strategy.

So look at them and ask yourself:

  • Are companies in these specific markets hiring?
  • How are companies in these markets adjusting their hiring and comp strategies?
  • What expectations do candidates have?

To win the war for talent in 2022, you need to emphasize clear processes and be willing to experiment. Because candidates have greater expectations of their prospective employers now then they did ever 12 months ago.

The foundation to success is having a clear process and line of communication, both internally and with the candidate. 

Your employees don’t expect you to solve all the world’s problems. But they do expect to be heard and treated fairly and the same applies to your candidates. Talent and Comp leaders can positively influence this and drive innovation by making sure everyone is on the same page.

This may be the first time you have experienced an economic implosion like this. So it’s important to run pilot programs and get creative with changes as relying on “what has always worked” may not be the best strategy for your organization. 

Instead, we suggest asking your industry peers what they’re experiencing, finding new sources for market data, and encouraging internal ideation. At the end of the day, I don’t know if this is comforting or terrifying to you, but it’s the full truth: right now, we're truly all confused together. But if we share ideas and look for new opportunities, we'll come out on the other side just fine.

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