Overlooked Workforce

Some employees are getting overlooked on compensation increases. With the rise of inflation and the escalating cost of healthcare, it is hard to budget for everyone. We use the excuse that these people do not have a client-facing position; rather, they are the support staff or non-revenue generators.  We may say some people are essential to the business and bring in revenue so every year an increase in pay can be justified. But what about those who been loyal to the organization with diligence and hard work. Shouldn’t they see an increase in pay as well?

Recently LAUSD’s support staff took to a massive strike, shutting down the nation’s second largest school system to protest better pay and improved working conditions. Included were food workers, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers – and many more departments banded together. After the three-day strike, with mediation by Mayor Karen Bass, a resolution was signed along with new contracts. During the pandemic, these workers were deemed #essential, and the backlash was that they were mistreated. They had to go three years without a new contract or raise.

Three years without a raise…some of us would argue the question: why didn’t these people just find a better paying job elsewhere?  Why go through the hassle of a strike if you are not valued where you work?  The Bureau of Labor Statistics listed the United States’ unemployment rate at 3.6% in February of 2023.  In America, versus other parts of the world, there is movement in our domestic labor force. People like me and other recruiters in the industry can push and pull employees into other roles for different companies, thereby creating a better paying job market. So why didn’t these #LAUSD employees just work somewhere else?

It is hard to leave one’s current company even if the pay is not ideal. To give an example in the legal field, I was recruiting an attorney who had a hard time leaving their firm. Even though they knew they were underpaid, they didn’t want to leave. A lot of people like – and even love – their work. They like their day-to-day jobs, their co-workers, their offices, and their clients.

Maybe the Los Angeles school system has employees who enjoy working with youth. From the pictures and videos shown on the news, these people seem to express the communal joy of working together. The reason why we work at all is to find happiness in what we do with the people we are working with. 

On the corporate side, much of what has been said about the LAUSD pushback is that the higher cost of wages and #healthcare is not in the budget. As a business – even a non-profit – paying people more will never be in the budget.  What about the attorney who is procuring thousands in fees, but their salary does not increase. Is it likewise not in the budget?

It is up to company leaders to take employees reviews seriously and allow for compensation adjustment. It also up to employees to look at their current situations and compare their work to others in the same field. In this way, they can make sure they are being compensated for what they are doing for their organizations.


Dane Flanigan

ultraHealth Agency

Truth in Transparency

In January 2023, California enacted the Transparency Pay Law according to which, “employers include the pay scale directly in the job posting.” People looking for work can see exactly what is being paid for the position they are applying for. Is this a game changer or something that should be clear for any position?  An attorney once told me that the reason employment laws like this are put in place is due to a major issue. Most likely, the problem is that employees come in with one understating of the pay and are sold another. 

Companies want to save money on labor – people – and some are notorious for the old bait and switch routine. We call it the “car dealer mentality.” You wait until the end of the negotiation only to find that they are selling something that you were not expecting. Now not all companies are like this, and it is not right to generalize, but new laws have been enacted to stop such practices.

Pay validates the way people feel about their jobs. There is power in #negotiation , but when the tactics become anti-productive, we have an unmotivated #workforce . People start to work more for themselves than for the good of the company.

As employers, it is best know the numbers; also making projections for inflation, bonuses and employee appreciation as well as retention.  Relating these numbers to management and letting our team know that this is the defined budget for the new person being hired; being honest and upfront about expectations and compensation.

For their part, job seekers should feel comfortable asking questions regarding the compensation package both now and three years ahead. In the end, everyone should be prepared to walk away. There is no use working for an organization, where the business does not see the value in its people.

There is truth in transparency.

By Dane Flanigan

ultraHealth Agency

Why Some Companies Aren’t Struggling to Hire

A Friday night bad habit had my tastebuds struggling to fight the urge for a cheeseburger, animal fries, and large strawberry shake. So, I dodged the drive-through line and decided to order at the counter of my local In and Out. I was sitting on a bench, waiting for them to call out my number when I took the machine operation. From ordering to cooking, the production process was tremendous; I could not believe how many people worked there. Aren’t we in work shortage, I thought? Especially in the food and beverage industry, there have been great staffing shortages because of the pandemic. But this In and Out was buzzing with people and atmosphere.

In and Out is known for paying workers on a higher pay scale, specifically their management. They are among the highest paid in the fast food industry and the best benefits. Pay matters! For someone in high school, a dollar or two more makes a big difference. For someone supporting a family, it is stressful to work a job, where you are not well compensated.

This enterprise has a winning environment. Have you ever been to a place where the staff is yelling at each other. Well, it is the last place you want to be. A positive work environment is key to success, one where people are always having fun, and customers want to stay and come back. This is an essential but sometimes forgotten element of customer service.

Always Hiring is the sign on the door.  As I came into and exited the place, I saw that both had “Now Hiring” signs for $$ per hour. It was a direct advertisement for people in the neighborhood looking for work. As a recruiter, I cannot imagine that a high-volume establishment like this has heavy turnover. Sure, most restaurants do, yet you don’t always see signs encouraging people to come in and apply. Marketing is key.

Staffing starts with people; that’s why they have a department called human resources. The people dealing every day with customers should be compensated fairly. The environment they work in should be filled with positive energy. we should always be looking to add good people to the organization.

Dane Flanigan CEO

ultraHealth Agency