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Truworths and the Market Related Salary

I’ve recently criticised a Truworths recruitment strategy targeting vulnerable youth for withholding information and tricking applicants to  interviews. Truworths doesn’t disclose salary ranges in adverts claiming it’s ‘market related’ offers would be misunderstood and that applicants have fair opportunity to negotiate at an interview. 

Poor Truworths?

Truworths is a Cape Town-based, South African clothing retailer, with 728 stores in South Africa, and 49 elsewhere in Africa.

Founded as The Alliance Trading Company in 1917, Truworths sells clothing under a number of different brands, including Truworths Man, UZZI, and LTD, employs over 11,000 people, and generates over R18 billion in annual revenue.

In December 2015, Truworths acquired the UK shoe chain Office Holdings for £256 million. (Wikipedia) According to Just-style, the deal went down for R5.5 billion.

Poor Truworths? I think not! Save your sympathies for the staff who likely attended interviews without knowing what they were going to be offered and upon being told, were also informed that their salary expectations were too high and not market related.

Would the information they received from Truworths be free from bias? As Truworths points out in their email to me

Truworths chooses to not disclose salaries with advertisements for employment opportunities so as not to inadvertently and prematurely exclude good candidates from positions based purely on their salary expectations.

Looking at the evidence, it would seem to suggest that Truworths believes average market rates are too high. So do applicants really wield ‘negotiating power’ in this context, as Truworths claims?


From Dow Jones to MRS Jones

We got a thing going on! Know that song ‘Dear, Mrs Jones…’?

MRS Jones AKA Market Related Salary

According to the email I received from Truworths telling me to back-off:

Truworths offers market-related salaries and remunerates fairly based on the requirements of a role, the candidate’s qualifications, skills and experience. 

There are a few sites you can visit when you need salary information. I’m only going to refer to two sites and reveal what they show us about Truworths ‘MRS’ claims. (See the reference list below for links to 3 sites to check.)

Note that ‘the requirements of a role, the candidate’s qualifications, skills and experience’ does not mean they cannot state a salary range.

While benefits vary from one company to another, it’s important to identify how your skills and knowledge are valued by looking at salary trends. Sometimes companies put a unique job description together for a position that never existed – you then have to research both skills sets and find a happy medium.

Salary ranges are not laws. Ultimately, what you are willing to accept may be lower than what someone else would and the recruiter will take advantage of that.

How much does Truworths in South Africa pay?

Salary information on Indeed comes from 286 data points collected directly from employees, users, and past and present job advertisements in the past 12 months.
These salary figures are approximations based upon third party submissions to Indeed. These figures are given to the Indeed users for the purpose of generalised comparison only. Minimum wage may differ according to geography and Indeed advises that applicants should consult the employer for actual salary figures.

R8 224 is the average salary for sales consultants in South Africa.

Truworths Sales Consultant Salaries

Compare Truworths to other companies and see for yourself where it ranks.

Who’s lower than Truworths?

  • Verimark: R3393
  • Stuttafords: R3802
  • OK Furniture: R3759
  • Edcon: R3581
  • Edgars: R2739

Truworths Store Manager Salaries

Interesting to note that a brand perceived as ‘cheap’ pays among the highest salaries.

I’m assuming it’s because they want store managers who can help them be competitive and drive their brand into a massive market challenging other brands. Or perhaps they’re just a lekker better brand to work for?

The 21 salary submissions from Ackermans claims an average salary of around R15 787 p/mth.

Truworths? With an average offering of R8240, Truworths hardly communicates a similar banging brand imagination, vision or prowess for it’s people.

Strategically, they are focusing on aggressive international growth and global competition. In this pursuit, they appear to have forgotten that brands are built by people, not products. They are strict about protecting a culture of secrecy, akin to Dianetics.

The next time you step into a sexed up Truworths store, know that it’s all facade from a company that pays low but can afford big ass billion acquisitions on the global market.

Truworths International Business

Competition and Career Junction Salary Trends for Sales

According to CJ:

Job advertising for Sales Representatives and Sales Consultants continued to strengthen during March 2017. Job seekers within the Sales Consulting field are currently experiencing great employment prospects. However, the job market is very competitive in this sector.

Tough competition means that although there are plenty positions available, the number of applicants is very high. This would mean that recruiters and employers can take their pick and make applicants compete against each other by taking advantage of their ignorance and lack of experience.

Given that Truworths is firmly against revealing their salary ranges for opportunities and their claim that applicants don’t understand market rates – we can see how it’s possible that they exploit this ignorance to their own advantage, offering salaries that are among the lowest in retail.

However, given that Truworths says salaries are nuanced by experience and skill level, perhaps Truworths only appoints from among the least skilled and that’s why pay scales are below market average.

This could mean that Truworths isn’t competing for experts but actually looks at retaining those who have less to offer in the competitive job market. (Strange for such a high powered internationally focused brand, no? Please let me know in the comments section what you think.)

Accessing Information

Truworths wants us to believe that withholding information reflects their ‘virtue’ and that an applicant who doesn’t know the information is more likely to be considered ‘virtuous’ enough to be offered a job.

If you ask questions, Truworths wont like you and you wont be invited to an interview. I asked to meet with them to debate this topic and was flatly refused.

 

A third great site to use for pay scale information is https://www.payscale.com/index/ZA

Please research and inform yourself before applying.

Remember that money isn’t everything. There are many low paid employees throughout South Africa, indeed, the world,  who enjoy their jobs none the less and use the opportunity to work their way up to a better position or move to another company once they gained experience.

It’s not wrong for a company to try to under cut you – that’s business. They want the best for the least amount of money, that’s why you must be informed before you interview or you will not have strong negotiating power. Companies and recruiters will hide this information as they are not legally required to reveal it.

The problem is that organisations purposefully withhold information during recruitment in order to entice those who need a job to an interview and then prey upon their vulnerabilities, Truworths justifies this approach in their email.

Conclusion

Companies who rely on secrecy breed distrust. In Truworths case it seems they have reason for such secrecy, a secrecy that reflects the unlimited power business assumes over vulnerable citizens.

For me and many others, secrecy of salary ranges is not virtuous.  Secrets are used to subjugate and to take advantage of individual vulnerabilities and ignorance.

Don’t we deserve better South Africa?

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truworths

https://www.truworths.co.za/annualreport2016/static/pdfs/office-acquisition.pdf

https://www.just-style.com/news/truworths-acquires-office-footwear-chain_id126741.aspx

https://www.indeed.co.za/salaries/Sales-Consultant-Salaries?start=20

https://www.indeed.co.za/salaries/Store-Manager-Salaries

https://cj-marketing.s3.amazonaws.com/South-Africa-Salary-Trends.pdf

http://www.payscale.com


More on recruitment issues at these links

No Salary Advertised? Call first

Explains why withholding information is abusive. Please read and be informed!

How the public feels about non-disclosure of salaries in adverts

Comments from Face Book and LinkedIn friends.

Truworths Responds to Recruitment Criticism

What they said to me and what they’d say to you.

 

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