Salary Surveys for a Small Business?

Most likely, when you started your business – the “employees” were just you, your partners, and maybe a family member or two.  Now, your business has grown, and you have hired two or three employees, and that’s terrific!

But – hiring employees means you have to pay a competitive wage, or you will have to install a revolving door.  In today’s post-pandemic job market, this has become even more true.  What is a competitive wage in our area for the job your employees perform? How do you find out? The smart move here is to hire a consultant to help you.

The first thing a consultant will do is ask you for your job descriptions. When you hired your first employee, you probably advertised the position.  What did you call the job?  How did you describe it?  This is an essential part of hiring and should not be taken lightly. This list of reasons for a good job description from GO2HR will help you understand just how vital job descriptions can be.

  • Job descriptions assist in making sure your staff duties align with your company vision
  • They allow you to make informed hiring decisions by developing recruiting strategies that clearly outline to applicants their role and responsibilities
  • When conducting interviews, job descriptions should form the foundation for the development of interview questions
  • Job descriptions can also be used to determine areas in need of training and development when expectations or requirements are not being met
  • Having clear job descriptions also allows for a basis on which to develop compensation plans that ensure jobs are being compensated in ways that reflect their levels of responsibility and qualification in the organization
  • Finally, when used to communicate expectations, job descriptions can also be used as a basis for performance management. For the employee, having a clear job description allows them to understand the responsibilities and duties that are required and expected of them

Number 5 in the list is why I started this article by talking about job descriptions. If you have good ones, it’s simpler to make comparisons and decide if you are paying fairly for the work being done.  A good consultant will take your job descriptions and use them to compare with other businesses not only just like yours but those with comparable jobs.

The salary survey takes in not just what’s being offered on LinkedIn, Indeed, and other online services but will include local job board postings, Chamber of Commerce, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, as well as information from questionnaires sent to local and area businesses. (Fair Warning:  the more in-depth a survey is, the more it could cost.)

Job seekers are becoming far more sophisticated about negotiating salaries with ready access to this information themselves.  Knowing your employees ‘ worth is essential when you couple that with the competitive market we are currently in.

Once you’ve determined what salary range you will offer, it is time to consider benefits.  As a small business, you might think you are at a disadvantage, but that isn’t necessarily true.  You’ve got far more flexibility to offer your employees what they want.

If major medical isn’t a realistic option for you, get creative.  Consider offering more Paid Time Off (PTO) than your industry average, salary allotments so the employees can choose their medical coverage or provide supplemental and life insurance.  Do your employees need credit for continuing education?  Consider paying for that and their professional associations and give them time to attend those events.  Tuition reimbursement, childcare assistance, and gym memberships are more creative options.

Bottom line, employees who feel valued stay put.  The financial piece begins with a competitive salary and ends with the benefits they want.

We are presently extremely short of applicants for many jobs.  Ensuring that you are attractive to employees is an excellent way to beat the shortage!

What Every Jobseeker Should Know about Recruiters

There are 5 common types of recruiters, and it is likely that if you are on an extended job search, you will come across all of them.

Internal, In House, or Corporate*: Internal recruiters work for and source full-time employees for the company they work for and are paid a salary and benefits like any other employee. Companies often use contractors to work as recruiters to avoid paying outside agency fees, effectively insourcing this activity.  Example:  WalMart, US Army, Amazon, Google

Contingency Recruiter:  A Contingency Recruiting Agency does a full-time employee search on a contingency (paid only if they find a candidate) basis for a client company. The recruiter is responsible to do the initial recruiting, screening and interviewing and arranging interviews with the candidates for the client/company. The company pays either a flat fee or a percentage of the first year’s salary usually 15-35% depending on the difficulty. Jobseekers do not have to pay a fee. A lot of regular staffing companies typically offer contingency services too. They will typically advertise these jobs as ‘Direct Hire’ or ‘Contract to hire’ to indicate they are different than the regular staffing positions. Example: Robert Half, Spherion, Matrix-FA

Retained Recruiter: A Retained Agency is similar to a contingency recruiting with the main difference that the client company pays a retainer (fixed upfront amount) fee to have that company perform a search. A portion of the search fee is paid upfront and the remainder is due upon a successful hire. The initial retainer fee is paid irrespective of whether a placement is made. This is more typical for higher level positions to incentivize the recruiter to spend time on a low probability of placement. (It is harder to find a CEO, CFO as opposed to a software developer) Such firms may also call themselves Executive Search firms to distinguish the kind of talent they acquire.

Example: Korn Ferry, Witt Kiefer

PS: Both Contingent and Retained Search companies are also commonly called “Headhunters”. (A term many recruiters don’t like).

Staffing Agency (Temp/Contract): A Temporary/Contract Staffing Firm hires temporary employees for a client’s company. The individual is employed by the staffing agency and the staffing agency pays all wages, employer taxes, medical insurance and benefits. For all purposes the individual is an employee of the staffing company but their work is determined by the client where they work. The client company pays an hourly rate for the contract/temp employee which is higher than the employee cost – the premium or markup to take care of the staffing company’s costs and profits in exchange for the flexibility and ease of hiring and terminating such resources.

Example:  Volt, Adecco, Manpower, Aerotek

Outplacement Recruiter: An Outplacement Agency provides job seeking assistance to downsized/displaced/riffed employees. Often the employer will hire an outplacement company to help their recently downsized workforce find jobs as a matter of goodwill. Outplacement services provide resume and interviewing assistance, career counseling, etc. Several of these companies are divisions of larger staffing companies.


Regardless of which recruiter approaches you, there are some “Do’s” and some “Don’ts” to keep in mind.


Tell the truth – Recruiters cross reference information, check references, check education claims.  That’s their job! If you have been out of work for a while or are concerned about a past issue, be up front.  Recruiters have pretty much seen and heard it all and will know immediately whether they are wasting your time – and theirs.

Always be on Time – When a recruiter wants to talk about a potential role or even wants to interview you for an impending one, it’s crucial not to be late. The recruiter always wants to put the best candidate forward for a job. They’ll be taking note of the basics when it comes to timing, appearance and preparedness before they refer you on. Show up approximately 10-15 minutes before if in person. Dress well,  be organised and friendly even if you’re Zooming the meeting!.


Ghost a recruiter -While your recruiter may not be able to help you with one specific role at one specific time, they may be able to help you with a role in the future. In this day and age, jobs aren’t forever.  It’s in your best interests not to completely ghost a recruiter if things didn’t work out the first time round. Be strategic and think ahead, do not ghost your recruiter.

Bluntly say that you won’t do something minor – If there’s merely one aspect of the job spec that you’re not overly thrilled about, it’s better not to say ‘well I’m not doing that’. You can navigate the small things before signing a contract. Try to be open minded without compromising your preferences.

It’s important to remember that a recruiter wants you to succeed – because then they have also succeeded.  Be sure that you are really interested in the job they are recruiting for and show that interest when you talk with them.  If you are not interested – say so, that doesn’t mean that a recruiter won’t keep you in mind as they take up other positions to fill. The better relationship you can create, the better the chance that they will help you find your dream job!


Task Delegation for Small Business Owners

Task Delegation for Small Business Owners

Small business owners understand the value of task delegation and the high costs that
failure to do so can cause. With so much at risk with every business transaction, both
internal and external, sometimes it can be challenging to make sure everything is running
smoothly. But, with the help of these task delegation tips from EBR HR Experts, you can rest
assured that your business will be more efficient than ever.

Delegating Tasks
We’ve all heard it enough – delegating is vital. And while we all know it to be accurate, why is
it that sometimes it can be so tricky? Running a business comes with a never-ending to-do
list, but optimizing your delegation skills is rarely a top priority. Unfortunately, this can be
detrimental to your business. Rather than risking costs associated with doing everything
yourself, here are a few examples of tasks you can delegate out.

Data Entry
Date entry is an excellent place to start when it comes to delegating tasks. Not only are
these tasks relatively simple, but they are known for being incredibly time-consuming. Rather
than spending your precious time working on the data entry, delegate these tasks out to
You can hire remote staff to handle your data entry or task it out internally to other staff on
your team. Whichever option you decide, you’ll be able to instantly see how beneficial
delegating time-consuming tasks can be for you and your business.

Forming an LLC
Forming your business structure as a limited liability company (LLC) helps you limit liability
protection and pass-through taxation. There are several benefits of forming an LLC for your
small business, including:
● Limited liability
● Pass-through taxation
● Flexible membership
● Limited compliance requirements
● Heightened credibility

If you’d like to create an LLC for your company, instead of doing the legwork on your own,
you can avoid spending many hours of your time on this task by using a formation service.
Luckily, you have plenty of options when it comes to finding a formation service for your LLC.
Check out some of the best LLC filing companies, like:
● Rocket Lawyer
● ZenBusiness
● Incfile
● Legal Zoom

Recruitment and HR
As your company grows, you’ll find that your human resources needs will become more
complex and nuanced. For this reason, it’s important to outsource the work to professionals
who are knowledgeable in all aspects of HR, from recruitment to onboarding, compensation
and benefits to training and growth. EBR HR Experts has the HR experts who can take care
of all these (and more) — and well within Fair Labor Standards and anti-discrimination laws.

Tips to Help Delegate
There are countless other opportunities around your business that you can task out to other
people to free up your schedule for more pertinent tasks. You can follow these steps to help
you figure out what to delegate in your business:
1. Determine the tasks you’d instead not do yourself
2. Pick who you will delegate to carefully
3. Set your expectations clearly
4. Delegate based on your needs
5. Make sure to acknowledge who will take over the process
Are you ready to delegate? EBR HR Experts can help you find the best and most
knowledgeable professionals for the tasks you needed done yesterday.

Contact us at today!

Critical Thinking – Soft Skill Article # 4

“Critical thinking skills are essential in every industry at every career level, from entry-level associates to top executives. Good critical thinkers can work both independently and with others to solve problems. Issues such as process inefficiencies, management or finances can be improved by using critical thought. Because of this, employers value and seek out candidates who demonstrate strong critical thinking skills.” (

Critical thinking: the ability to analyze information objectively, assess different perspectives, and reach a logical conclusion uninfluenced by emotion or personal bias.
Close your eyes and pretend that you are in a very dark place, sitting on a chair.  You can’t see anything and you can’t hear anything.  What’s the first thing you would do?  Whatever your answer is – you used critical thinking to formulate it.  “I would speak to see if someone answers.”  If they do or don’t, you have information you didn’t have before, and can then decide what to do next – critical thinking in action. “I would jump up and run around screaming” – not critical thinking, not productive, potentially dangerous!

There is a process in critical thinking. Following it allows you to arrive at a decision that is fact based, well-considered, and devoid of emotion or prejudice.

Step 1.  Identify the problem – the real problem.  Use the 5 times why process by asking “what is the problem?” and then “why is it the problem” until you get to the bare bones of the issue.

Step 2.  Gather data, opinions and arguments – be sure it comes from reliable sources and is as unprejudiced as possible.

Step 3.  Analyze and evaluate the data – are the sources reliable?

Step 4.  Identify assumptions – are your sources unbiased?< Step 5.  Make a decision/reach a conclusion – decide which – if any – conclusions are possible.  Weigh strengths and limitations of all possible options.  This is the most important step.  Make a decision – not making a decision is making a decision and it’s the wrong one. Your ability to critically think through a problem is nullified if you don’t make a decision and follow through with it. To start working on your critical thinking skills, begin with applying these simple strategies: Ask simple critical thinking questions

  • What do I already know?
  • How do I know that?
  • What am I trying to prove?
  • What are my motivations?

Oppose “common sense”  This is where you can lose a good resolution to a problem.

Be aware of your biases

  • Confirmation Bias: we always subconsciously assume we’re right.
  • Action Bias: we act too quickly before thinking something through.
  • Association Bias: why did the rain dance always work? Because they’d dance until the rain came.
  • Unconscious Bias: Unconscious biases are social stereotypes about an individual, group or institution. Everyone has unconscious biases about various groups, and they are often not aligned with one’s conscious values. Here’s a place to test your unconscious bias: 

You can highlight your critical thinking skills on your resume by using these terms to describe your successes:

“Evaluated and analyzed”

“Identified a major design defect and instituted a work around”

“Interpreted the results”

“Developed a new strategy”

You can develop your critical thinking skills every day by applying the process to small problems that occur and there are some good books that can help.  I recommend Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument by Stella Cottrell.

I also found this great video from the Department of Labor that can help you understand critical thinking.

4 Ways Your HR Team Can Boost Gender Equality in the Workplace

The world is progressing at a rapid pace, with so many technological innovations and scientific breakthroughs. But even with all these, we are, unfortunately, still lacking in terms of gender equality and acceptance, most notably in the workplace. Dr. Vincent Roscigno, a professor of sociology from The Ohio State University, writes that psychological biases are the root of inequality. These are present when employees subscribe to gender stereotypes, which, in turn, breed discrimination in the workplace. It’s high time businesses started pushing for gender equality, so this article will be tackling its importance and tips on how to achieve it.

The Need for Gender Equality

Gender inequality can manifest in multiple ways. The most common instance is the gender pay gap. On average, women only make $0.81 for every $1 a man makes — and this ratio is even worse for women of color and those with disabilities. There are also opportunity and leadership gaps. Many industries, such as the tech industry, are male-dominated, which can dissuade women from entering the tech workforce and limit their participation in creating products and services for women.

To achieve gender equality, companies must not bar individuals from the same pay or the same opportunities simply because of their gender identity. This not only pushes for a fairer workplace, but also a more efficient one. Dr. Leilani Carver-Madalon, an assistant professor on the online master’s in strategic communication and leadership program at Maryville University, points out that gender equality is pretty good for business, too. Plenty of studies have shown that being fairer to women in the workplace is good for a business’s bottom line, and for the economy more generally. “For example, companies for whom at least 30% of the leaders are women can expect a 15% boost to profitability on average versus similar companies with no female leaders,” she stated in a report on The Hill. “There’s also a link between companies with more women in leadership and stronger share price performance. And equal pay would add an extra $512.6 billion to the economy.” Other studies have revealed that a diverse workforce is more accepting of “outside the box” ideas. This brings in a sizable influx of information from all kinds of perspectives, giving the company more opportunities for innovation.

But, of course, diversity is only effective if there is gender equality. Here are four things you can do to progress towards a fairer, more inclusive workplace:

1. Keep your job descriptions gender-neutral

Apart from ensuring that your job offer lists the necessary skills and certifications, it’s also important to keep the language gender-neutral. You can opt to use the singular “them” rather than “he” for pronouns. This ensures that you don’t discourage non-male candidates.

2. Involve more people in the interview process

To ensure that an applicant’s interview is considered from different perspectives, put together a diverse panel — ideally with employees of different standing, people of color, and, of course, different genders. Their feedback after the interview gives recruiters a more holistic view of the applicant.

3. Arrange company-wide gender sensitivity programs

To get rid of gender inequality in the workplace, employees must first be aware of it. Arrange workshops to educate the workforce of the pitfalls of gender stereotyping and unconscious bias. Also, be sure to promote skills like critical thinking, empathy, and understanding. DD Haines, our very own office manager here at EBR Consulting, highlights empathy as a soft skill that companies should start requiring. This is especially important in male-dominated workplaces, as women in these sectors might feel uncomfortable for being the “odd one out.” A little empathy goes a long way in making minority co-workers feel at ease.

4. Make a conscious effort to build a more diverse workforce

Companies need to be proactive in building a diverse employee base. This means being open to hiring different workers — men, women, and non-binary individuals alike. This creates more opportunities to learn about people from all walks of life, encouraging employees to be more open and less likely to hinge their beliefs on gender stereotypes. It paints an appealing picture of representation in the workplace and, like what was discussed earlier, can bring a lot of good to a company.

Take these four recommendations to heart, and you’ll be well on your way to a more gender-equal workplace. If you need assistance with the hiring process, do check out our recruitment services here at EBR Consulting.



Authored by: Jeanelle Byron

Written for:

EBR Consulting is pleased to present this guest blog by Jeanelle Byron.


Networking – Soft Skill #3

Until March of 2020, this was the definition of networking:  Business networking is the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients or customers.  It still is – but how we go about it has changed drastically and will continue to evolve as we work our way through and past the current pandemic.

In my book; The Insider Guide to Your Dream Career: Mastering Your Job Search in the Digital Age, I discuss networking how-to’s and when-to’s.  It’s pretty simple; you start by getting out there, meeting people, and exchanging information about yourselves.  The next step is being of service in some way to the people you have met, because you know someone they need to meet or you know of someone who provides a service they need, or you know the Hiring Manager of the company they want to go to work for.  Please note that I said –“be of service to them”, because that is the important part.  If your networking goal is to create a list of those who can do stuff for you – you have the wrong attitude and the folks in your network will soon realize that you aren’t helping them, but using them – and drop you.

The hard part of networking prior to Covid-19 was “getting out there”.  Now it’s nearly impossible.  There’s one place where good networking is still possible – it’s just closer to home.

Off the top of your head, can you name someone who works with you who knows how to draft an advertisement for a magazine?  Who has contacts at the nearest college? Who has experience in recruiting and hiring?  If you don’t know this much about your co-workers – you should.

Networking among co-workers should be considered as important as networking in the community.  Have you thought about starting the next Zoom meeting with an exercise where everyone tells one odd talent they have?  That’s networking – because now you have a source you didn’t have before!

You never know when you’re going to need help doing your job.  Most of the time, your company will not be able to afford to hire outside experts.  Who you know can really be as important as what you know.  “It’s great to be able to say: ”I don’t know the answer to this, but I know who will”.

To start your in-house networking, create a list of contacts throughout your company and throughout your industry. Strive to reach beyond your immediate circle.  Reach out to those you don’t already know with a short message that contains your “elevator speech”, why you are interested in them and how you can help them.  If they respond positively, be sure to stay in touch with them – even if it’s just short emails that contain an article they might be interested in or a comment about a recent achievement of theirs.  You don’t know them well enough to pass on the current joke – so leave that to your closest friends!

Your goal is not to have many, many contacts, it’s to have contacts that you can be useful to and who can be of use to you.