How do you feel about hiring a candidate and having them on the payroll for a week prior to their actually doing anything for the organization?
It is a remote hire for a new location where we have no IT or office yet in place for the individual. He was the best candidate who my predecessor began recruiting early Feb 07 and postponed continually. This is my first hire as a manager. Others have disapproved of my decision and would have put the candidate off another week. I should mention that our organization will receive a training subsidy from the local Government covering 56% of the hires wages for 24 weeks. Any comments would be appreciated.

pmoriarty's picture

I wouldn't pay him until he actually starts working. Perhaps you have some additional rationale for your decision to do otherwise?

TomW's picture

I'm a little confused. Why would you pay him before he actually starts working?

ccleveland's picture

Was a start date scheduled with the employee as part of the offer/acceptance [b]before[/b] you knew about delays in getting the remote office set up?

From the employee’s perspective, if you told me two+ weeks ago about a start date, then I would resigned from my current job and make plans to start working. I would feel pretty "put off" by additional delays....with no pay check coming in.

What was the nature of the agreement between you and the new hire? When did you know of the delays in the remote office setup? (The second question doesn’t directly help your current situation, but it might help understand how to prevent in the future.)


clemgr's picture

I should have been more detailed with my situation. The hire was by far the best candidate and yes there was a start date on their offer of employment which we would not have met had I delayed further. He was also being pursued by other orgs that were of equal interest to him.
So he is paid to do nothing for a week, my hope is he will pay off in the role.
I appreciate everyone's response.

ashdenver's picture

I would. I would put that week's worth of wages down as "hiring bonus" or something to soothe the nerves of whomever is being persnickety. Somehow a bonus is more palatable (because it's more commonplace, I think) than "a week's worth of wages for doing nothing" (because it feels like special treatment.)

Are any of the people chastising you for your decision your boss or in your direct line of command?

Also, is there anything the remote employee could be doing for that week? Reading training materials, working on a special project, etc. Something to make him earn his keep (even if it doesn't take the full week, it's something to justify the expense regardless of government subsidy.)

Gareth's picture

Also, is there anything the remote employee could be doing for that week? Reading training materials, working on a special project, etc. Something to make him earn his keep (even if it doesn't take the full week, it's something to justify the expense regardless of government subsidy.)[/quote]

Just going to mention a similar thing. How about ask him/her to write a short research paper on the company's history or market?

Mark's picture

Hell yes pay him early. Who cares?

Imagine what the two choices create in the mind of the employee.

This is a competitive advantage issue.

I am going to blog on this...

Does anyone know WHY we all pay at the end of the month (or two weeks)?


ccleveland's picture

I always thought it's the latest practical date because of GAAP (recognizing expenses in the same time period as the period the value was received). The reason for not paying earlier is the Time Value of Money. Payroll is a huge chunk of extra day or so in the money market can add up. I worked for a payroll company that made quite a bit off of this kind of interest.

Maybe I've got another "think" coming? ;)


Mark's picture

Those are certainly the reasons we don't wait LONGER. Why don't we pay sooner?

Think of it this way: assume you needn't worry about the cost of administering pay. (To some degree, when the habit of paying at the end of the month started this was not an issue). Why wouldn't you pay earlier?

Or, why wouldn't you pay in ADVANCE?



wendii's picture

Ok, I'll bite. If we assume this goes back to before organised labour, then each of us would have created our individual goods for sale. Therefore, until you made something you couldn't sell it and therefore reap the reward. I would think that that 'habit' of work now, pay later still remains. There's got to be a certain amount of people who, if paid in advance, would take the money and run - we assume the organisation is less likely to do that than an individual, although I don't think it's always true.

Although having said that I did once work somewhere where we were paid 2 weeks in advance and two weeks in arrears, which was still a monthly wage - but when you left you only had two weeks money coming.



Mark's picture

Close enough... we get paid in arrears because companies are afraid we won't show up if we get paid in advance.

It's risk mitigation.

So...If you agree with the concept of not continuing a mitigation practice where there is no risk... could you achieve no risk?


wendii's picture

Thinking out loud here.......

Well, I would think that's why we have employment contracts - which is not so much no risk as recourse if the risk turns out to be true.

If you did want to pay up front and mitigate risk, you'd also want to provide a fantastic work environment, then your employees would want to stay.

You'd also have to make sure your recruiters/hiring managers were very good, because if word got out you paid in advance, every unscrupulous Tom, Dick and Harry would be round.

It would change the way you do business in some very intresting ways.


AManagerTool's picture

Why pay him to do nothing? FedEx him your training manuals and other materials that he will need to review to do his job! The first week, hell, the first few months are full of administrative nonsense and training. Use the week for a jump start on all the paperwork. This would remove the sense of "pay for nothing".