Vicious cycle coming in local hiring practices |

Vicious cycle coming in local hiring practices

The city of Aspen has contracted with the Segal Co. to develop a new, total compensation philosophy to recruit and retain city employees.

New hire data cited in The Aspen Times (“Aspen officials studying how to be a market leader employer,” June 28) stated that 64% of new employees come from the private sector.

I will go out on a limb and make a prediction. The $90,000 study will conclude that wages and benefits must rise significantly. Council will then accept the recommendations and raise wages and benefits — by a lot.

This will then have the inevitable effect of siphoning workers from the private sector, paying equal or lower compensation. As the manager of a private sector business, I will then react in a totally predictable and logical fashion by raising wages and benefits to at least what the city is offering to maintain and attract staff. Other businesses in the private sector will do the same, or go out of business.

I would counsel the city that the entire process will result in a vicious cycle, since the number of workers is relatively inelastic, and the public and private sectors will be constantly raiding each other’s workers in an attempt to reach necessary staffing levels.

Robert Morris


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